“The Lord who is birthless takes many births,” say the scriptures. His infinite glory and compassion stand revealed during the periods of descent He undertakes. He establishes dharma and destroys adharma, and reinforces His instruction to redeem people caught in samsara.

The sermon of Kapila to His mother Devahuti is a concise but comprehensive discussion of the individual’s quest for Self-knowledge through jnana and bhakti which are subtle attributes of human experience, pointed out Srimati Prema Pandurang in a discourse. The philosophical exposition also expounds the grand design of cosmic creation.

The first tenet of Kapila’s teaching is that one should seek the company of saints and sages who are venerated for their selfless nature. The only aim in the life of such realised souls is to save the people from the clutches of samsara where good and evil coexist in a state of constant tension. The veil of Maya is powerful and tempts even those with good propensities to believe in the attractions of the world. The situation is further strengthened because the senses in human beings are turned outwards and are thus preoccupied with worldly affairs. The turmoil in our daily life keeps us on tenterhooks at all times. Since the mind is the cause of both bondage and liberation in human beings, the only way to turn it inward is to seek the company of the pious.

A God-centric atmosphere enables one to pause to analyse the purpose of existence, and try to identify the permanent against all that is evanescent in life. Devotion supported by knowledge and renunciation is gained by listening to the Lord’s glory. When the choice to renounce worldly attractions is made, bhakti bhava begins to take root in the individual’s consciousness. The aspirant becomes unperturbed by anything because of total self-surrender to the Lord.

Kapila advises people to cultivate a generous heart towards all beings. This is possible if one realises that God is the Supreme Lord of all Nature and of individual souls and that all belongs to God. .

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