Friday Review » Faith

Updated: October 18, 2010 01:53 IST

Desire for liberation

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Marble statue of Lord Krishna
Marble statue of Lord Krishna

The course of the Jivatma's journey towards liberation passes through many births. At some point of time, due to past Karma and more importantly through God's grace, the Jivatma realises the ultimate purpose and begins the search for this goal. The Bhagavata Purana, that is the essence of Vedic literature, provides the necessary assistance to the Jivatma in this regard, pointed out Swami Bhoomananda Tirta in a lecture. As one starts listening to the narratives not only are one's sins wiped away gradually, but the desire for liberation takes root as well.

Parikshit, who got the valuable opportunity of listening to the Bhagavata Purana from Sage Suka and attained liberation, exemplifies the successful spiritual aspirant. This king had inadvertently thrown a dead snake on a sage in deep meditation, and immediately regretted this act. Though the sage himself remained unruffled, it was his son who cursed the king that he would die of snake bite within seven days. Parikshit accepted this curse willingly as a fit punishment for his act. He undertook penance for the remaining period of his life and did not want to get immersed in worldly life. This Vairagya is to be emulated by the Jivatma who has to turn his back to worldly attractions and look inwards for seeking liberation.

Dhruva and Prahlada also teach valuable lessons. Dhruva had desired to sit on the lap of his father but the stepmother refused to grant this rightful wish. Dhruva felt insulted and his mother, who also suffered indignities in the palace, saw no other way than ask the child to seek God through penance and propitiation. God is the only enduring relative for every one. He alone remains with us always and protects us unfailingly.

In the case of Prahlada, the father was tooth and nail against his son who implicitly believed in God. He advised his young friends to get involved in seeking God and not fritter away the life in wasteful pursuits. From one's childhood the dharma of devotional service to God is to be practised. Attachment to perishable things only leads to physical and mental strain. We have to cultivate the discrimination by which the body and the soul are perceived as two entities.

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