Priti Sandarbha 7.4: The Semblance of God's Appearance -- Sākṣātkārābhāsa





7.4 The Semblance of God's Appearance -- Sākṣātkārābhāsa


atha yad-avatārādāv aśuddha-cittānām api tat-sākṣātkāraḥ śrūyate, tat khalu tad-ābhāsa eva jñeyaḥ | nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ [gītā 7.25] iti śrī-gītopaniṣadbhyaḥ |
 

When it is said that people of impure heart saw Bhagavān during His avatāra, it should be understood they they experienced a mere semblance of seeing Him (sākṣātkāra-ābhāsa). [It is not seeing Bhagavān in the real sense, thus these people do not attain the result of seeing Him, i.e., mukti]. The Bhagavad-gītā says,

nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yogamāyā-samāvṛtaḥ
mūḍho 'yaṁ nābhijānāti loko mām ajam avyayam

Being covered by My Yoga-māyā I am not revealed to everyone. And so this confused world does not know Me who am unborn and imperishable. (Gītā 9.11).

And from the Uttara Khanda of Padma Purāṇa also:

yogibhir dṛśyate bhaktyā nābhaktyā dṛśyate kvacit |
draṣṭuṁ na śakyo roṣāc ca matsarād vā janārdanaḥ || 

Bhagavān Janardana is seen by the yogis through devotion and is never visible through non-devotion. He cannot be seen through anger or envy. (PP 6.238.83b-84a)

adarśanaṁ cānavatāra-samaye vyāpakasyāpi darśanābhāvaḥ |

Outside the period of an avatāra, Bhagavān is not visible despite being all-pervading. so during that time no one sees Him.

avatāra-samaye tu paramānande’pi duḥkhadatvaṁ, manorame’pi bhīṣaṇatvam, sarva-suhṛdy api durhṛttvam ity-ādiviparīta-darśanam eva |

During the avatāra period, however, He appears [to non-devotees] in ways contrary to His true nature: although He is the supreme bliss, He appears [to them] as a source of misery; although most beautiful, He appears terrible in aspect; although the well-wisher of all, as one bearing ill will.

tad-aprakāśe yoga-māyā-prakāśe ca mūlaṁ kāraṇaṁ tad-bhaktāparādhādimaya-puruṣa-cittāsvācchyam | yat khalu tadānīntane tasya sārvatrika-prakāśe’pi vajralepāyate |

The root reason behind His non-manifestation or the manifestation of His Yogamāyā potency is the impurity of [the perceiver's] heart in the form of offences to His devotees. This impurity [covers their awareness] as hard as a layer of cement and makes it impossible for them to see Bhagavān even though at that time He is manifest to everyone everywhere.

ata eva muktir hitvā [bhā.pu. 2.10.6] ity-ādi-lakṣaṇasyāvyāpter na tasya sākṣātkārābhāsasya mukti-saṁjñatvam api |

Therefore the definition of mukti as "being situated in one’s own svarūpa, abandoning all attachment to other identities" (SB 2.10.6) is not applicable to such a person and his so-called vision (sākṣātkārābhāsa) of Bhagavān can never be called mukti.

ata eva śrī-viṣṇu-purāṇe tac ca rūpam [vi.pu. 4.15.8] ity-ādi-gadyena yadyapi śiśupālasya tad-darśanam uktaṁ, tathāpi nirdoṣa-darśanaṁ tv anta-kāla evoktam |

For this reason, even though it is described in Viṣṇu Purāṇa (VP 4.15.9) that Śiśupāla saw Bhagavān, [it further says that] he only had a flawless vision of Him at the time of his death:

ātma-vadhāya yāvad bhagavad-dhasta-cakrāṁśu-mālojjvalam akṣaya-tejaḥ-svarūpaṁ brahma-bhūtam apagata-dveṣādi-doṣaṁ bhagavantam adrākṣīt

"Śiśupāla, freed of defects such as hatred, saw Bhagavān, the supreme Brahman whose form is imperishable brilliance and who was shining from the garland of rays emanating from the disc thrown by Bhagavān to destroy him."

Çiçupäla, becoming free from the defects of envy, saw Bhagavän, the Supreme Brahman of imperishable effulgence, made more brilliant by the rays of the disc He held in His hand [as He prepared] to kill him. (VP 4.15.9) KrsnaS 106



(4.15)
pañcadaśo’dhyāyaḥ
śiśupālasya pūrva-pūrva-janma-vṛttāntasya vasudevasya ca santānānāṁ varṇanam

śrī-maitreya uvāca—

hiraṇyakaśiputve ca rāvaṇatve ca viṣṇunā |
avāpa nihato bhogān aprāpyān amarair api ||1||
nālabhat tatra caiveha sāyujyaṁ sa kathaṁ punaḥ |
samprāptaḥ śiśupālatve sāyujyaṁ śāśvate harau ||2||
etad icchāmy ahaṁ śrotuṁ sarva-dharma-bhṛtāṁ vara |
kautūhala-pareṇaitat pṛṣṭo me vaktum arhasi ||3||

śrī-parāśara uvāca—
daityeśvarasya vadhāyākhila-lokotpatti-sthiti-vināśa-kāriṇā pūrvaṁ tanu-grahaṇaṁ kurvatā nṛsiṁha-rūpam āviṣkṛtam ||4|| tatra ca hiraṇyakaśipor viṣṇur ayam ity etan na manasy abhūt ||5|| niratiśaya-puṇya-samudbhūtam etat sattva-jātam iti ||6|| raja-udreka-preritaikāgra-matis tad-bhāvanāyogāt tato’vāpta-vadha-haitukīṁ niratiśayām evākhila-trailokyādhikya-dhāriṇīṁ daśānanatve bhoga-sampadam avāpa ||7|| na tu sa tasminn anādi-nidhane para-brahma-bhūte bhagavaty anālambini kṛte manasas tal-layam avāpa ||8||

evaṁ daśānanatve’py anaṅga-parādhīnatayā jānakī-samāsakta-cetasā bhagavatā dāśarathi-rūpa-dhāriṇā hatasya tad-rūpa-darśanam evāsīt nāyam acyuta ity āsaktir vipadyato’ntaḥ-karaṇe mānuṣa-buddhir eva kevalam asyābhūt ||9||

punar apy acyuta-vinipāta-mātra-phalam akhilabhūmaṇḍala-ślāghya-cedi-rāja-kule janma avyāhataiśvaryaṁ śiśupālatve’py avāpa ||10|| tatra tv akhilānām eva sa bhagavan-nāmnāṁ tvaṁ-kāra-kāraṇam abhavat [tatra tv akhilänäm eva bhagavan-nämnäà käraëäni abhavad, KS 66||11|| tataś ca tat-kāla-kṛtānāṁ teṣām aśeṣāṇām evācyuta-nāmnām anavaratam aneka-janmasu vardhita-vidveṣānubandhi-citto vinindana-santarjanādiṣūccāraṇam akarot ||12|| tac ca rūpam utphulla-padma-dalāmalākṣamaty-ujjvala-pīta-vastra-dhāry amala-kirīṭa-keyūra-hāra-kaṭakādi-śobhitam udāra-catur-bāhu-śaṅkha-cakra-gadādharam atiprarūḍha-vairānubhāvād aṭana-bhojana-snānāsana-śayanādiṣv aśeṣāvasthāntareṣu nānyatropayayāv asya cetasaḥ ||13||

tatas tam evākrośeṣūccārayaṁs tam eva hṛdayena dhārayann ātma-vadhāya yāvad-bhagavad-dhasta-cakrāṁśu-mālojjvalam akṣaya-tejaḥ-svarūpaṁ brahma-bhūtam apagata-dveṣādi-doṣaṁ bhagavantam adrākṣīt ||14|| tāvac ca bhagavac-cakreṇāśu vyāpāditas tat-smaraṇa-dagdhākhilāgha-sañcayo bhagavatāntam upanītas tasminn eva layam upayayau ||15||

jīva-gosvāmī : ātma-vināśāya iti ātmanaḥ svasya śiśupālasyety arthaḥ | bhagavatā astaṁ kṣiptaṁ yac cakraṁ, tasyāṁśu-mālayā ujjvalaṁ yathā syāt tathādrākṣīt | yataḥ apagata-dveṣādi-doṣa iti | tayā tasya dṛṣṭāv ujjvalāyāṁ satyām apagata-dveṣādi-doṣaḥ san dūrīkṛta-māyika-nijāvaraṇaṁ bhagavantam adrākṣīd ity arthaḥ |

kiṁ ca, tan-mate kalpāntara-gata-tat-kathāyāṁ śiśupālādi-dvaya-mukti-viṣayaka-maitreya-parāśara-praśnottara-rītyā jaya-vijayayoḥ śāpa-saṅgatir nāstīty anyāv eva tāv asurau jñeyau | yuktaṁ ca tat, pratikalpaṁ tayoḥ śāpa-kadarthanāyā ayuktatvāt || [śrī-kṛṣṇa-sandarbha 106]

etat tavākhilaṁ mayābhihitam ||16|| ayaṁ hi bhagavān kīrtitaś ca saṁsmṛtaś ca dveṣānubandhenāpi akhila-surāsurādi-durlabhaṁ phalaṁ prayacchati kim uta samyag-bhaktimatām iti ||17|| (KS 29)

H.H. Wilson

When the divine author of the creation, preservation, and destruction of the universe accomplished the death of Hiraṇyakaśipu, he assumed a body composed of the figures of a lion and a man, so that Hiraṇyakaśipu was not aware that his destroyer was Viṣṇu: although therefore the quality of purity, derived from exceeding merit, had been attained, yet his mind was perplexed by the predominance of the property of passion. 

The consequence of that intermixture was, that he reaped, as the result of his death by the hands of Viṣṇu, only unlimited power and enjoyment upon earth, as Daśānana, the sovereign of the three spheres; he did not obtain absorption into the supreme spirit, that is without beginning or end, because his mind was not wholly dedicated to that sole object. So also Daśānana being entirely subject to the passion of love, and engrossed completely by the thoughts of Jānakī, could not comprehend that the son of Daśaratha whom he beheld was in reality the divine Achyuta. At the moment of his death he was impressed with the notion that his adversary was a mortal. 

Therefore the fruit he derived from being slain by Viṣṇu was confined to his birth in the illustrious family of the kings of Chedi, and the exercise of extensive dominion. In this situation many circumstances brought the names of Viṣṇu to his notice, and on all these occasions the enmity that had accumulated through successive births influenced his mind; and in speaking constantly with disrespect of Achyuta, he was ever repeating his different appellations. Whether walking, eating, sitting, or sleeping, his animosity was never at rest, and Kṛṣṇa was ever present to his thoughts in his ordinary semblance, having eyes as beautiful as the leaf of the lotus, clad in bright yellow raiment, decorated with a garland, with bracelets on his arms and wrists, and a diadem on his head; having four robust arms, bearing the conch, the discus, the mace, and the lotus. 

Thus uttering his names, even though in malediction, and dwelling upon his image, though in enmity, he beheld Kṛṣṇa, when inflicting his death, radiant with resplendent weapons, bright with ineffable splendour in his own essence as the supreme being, and all his passion and hatred ceased, and he was purified from every defect. Being killed by the discus of Viṣṇu at the instant he thus meditated, all his sins were consumed by his divine adversary, and he was blended with him by whose might he had been slain. 

I have thus replied to your inquiries. He by whom the divine Viṣṇu is named or called to recollection, even in enmity, obtains a reward that is difficult of attainment to the demons and the gods: how much greater shall be his recompense who glorifies the deity in fervor and in faith!

====

Many of the verses quoted here are also found in KS 106, including the following:

mallānām aśanir nṝṇāṁ naravaraḥ strīṇāṁ smaro mūrtimān
gopānāṁ svajano’satāṁ kṣitibhujāṁ śāstā svapitroḥ śiśuḥ |
mṛtyur bhojapater virāḍ aviduṣāṁ tattvaṁ paraṁ yogināṁ
vṛṣṇīnāṁ paradevateti vidito raṅgaṁ gataḥ sāgrajaḥ ||

As Krishna entered the arena with His elder brother Balaräma, He was recognized differently by each observer: the wrestlers saw Him as a bolt of lightning, the ordinary menfolk saw Him as the best of men, while the women saw Him as the incarnation of Cupid. The cowherds thought of Him as a relative, while the evil kings saw Him as their punisher, and His parents as their own child. King Kamsa recognized Him as death incarnate, while the ignorant thought of Him as a something great. The yogis perceived Him as the Absolute Truth, and the Vrishnis, as their worshipable deity. (10.43.17)

The point he is making there: iti śiśupālam uddiśya viṣṇu-purāṇa-gadyena cāsureṣu yad rūpaṁ sphurati, tat tasya svarūpaṁ na bhavati, kintu māyā-kalpitam eva | svarūpe dṛṣṭe dveṣaś cāpayātīti | tataś cāsureṣu sphuratyā yayā tanvā bhuvo bhāra-rūpam asura-vṛndam aharat, tāṁ tanuṁ vijahau | punas tat-pratyāyanaṁ na cakārety arthaḥ |
 



etad-anto nṝṇāṁ kleśo yad bhavān akṣi-gocaraḥ [bhā.pu. 10.86.43] ity-ādikaṁ ca nṛṣu ye svaccha-cittā ye ca tad-bhaktāparādhetara-doṣa-malina-cittās teṣāṁ kleśa-nāśasya tadātvāpekṣayā, ye tv anyādṛśās teṣāṁ tan-nāśasyonmukhatāpekṣayaiva—tebhyaḥ sva-vīkṣaṇa-vinaṣṭa-tamisra-dṛgbhyaḥ kṣemaṁ triloka-gurur artha-dṛśaṁ ca yacchan [bhā.pu. 10.86.21] iti śravaṇāt, śrī-viṣṇu-purāṇādy-anusārāc ca |

The statement, "When You become visible to the eyes, then the misery of men comes to an end" (SB 10.86.49) ...

sa tvaṁ śādhi sva-bhṛtyān naḥ kiṁ deva karavāma te
etad-anto nṛṇāṁ kleśo yad bhavān akṣi-gocaraḥ

O Deva, please instruct us, Your servants, in what we should do for You. When You appear before a human beings' eyes, all their troubles meet an end. (SB 10.86.49) Quoted at end of 7.2.

...is spoken about the destruction of the misery of those humans whose hearts were already pure, or those whose hearts were impure because of some defects other than the offence to Bhagavān’s devotee, which awaited the moment when they saw Him [to be destroyed]. But as for those who are different from these two types [i.e., who were offensive] the verse speaks about the commencement of the destruction of their miseries, because it is was said [earlier in the same chapter from which that verse was quoted],

tebhyaḥ sva-vīkṣaṇa-vinaṣṭa-tamisra-dṛgbhyaḥ
kṣemaṁ tri-loka-gurur artha-dṛśaṁ ca yacchan |
śṛṇvan dig-anta-dhavalaṁ sva-yaśo’śubha-ghnaṁ
gītaṁ surair nṛbhir agāc chanakair videhān ||

Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the teacher of the three worlds, conferred insight into Reality as well as the ultimate welfare to people whose vision had become free from ignorance due to having seen Bhagavān with their own eyes.  (SB 10.86.21)

And also because of the [above-quoted] prose text of the Viṣṇu Purāṇa.

Commentary by SNDB

After explaining the qualification for realizing Bhagavān, Śrī Jīva raises a pertinent issue. When Bhagavān appears on earth then everyone can see him.What then is the great importance of having the requisite qualifications to see Him?

He replies that seeing by unqualified people is as good as not seeing. It is like a novice person looking at a Picasso painting or listening to a sitar performance by Paṇdit Ravi Shankar. They do not understand anything about the painting or the music and thus cannot 
really appreciate it. In the same way, when unqualified people see Kṛṣṇa they cannot understand His sweetness or His majesty. They think of Him as another mortal being, perhaps extraordinary in many ways, but just another human. They cannot understand His true nature. It is only by bhakti that He can be known (Gītā 18.55). For others He remains covered by His Yogamāyā.

In reality it is not that Kṛṣṇa is covered by Yogamāyā, but that the non-devotee's capacity to see Him is covered. Just as when a small cloud covers our vision of the sun we say that the sun is covered by a cloud. Kṛṣṇa says that He reciprocates according to a person's 
bhāva (Gītā 4.11). Therefore, to non-devotees, the atheist or the unfaithful, He appears as a mortal being. Although He is source of all bliss He appears to them as giver of misery.

Just as the real purity of heart is love, in the same way, its impurity is the offences. The offences and their effects were discussed in Bhakti Sandarbha (153-160, 265). Offences make the heart as hard as stone. No light can pass through such a heart, and thus one cannot see the beauty, majesty and sweetness of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, a practitioner should guard against all offences, especially the ten offences against the Holy Name.

Earlier it was said that mukti in the form of realization of the supreme Tattva is the highest goal of life, tad evaṁ parama-tattva-sākṣātkārātmakasya tasya mokṣasya param-puruṣārthatve sthite (Anuccheda 1.7). In this statement mukti has been equated to having vision of Bhagavān. If everyone could see Bhagavān during his avatāra on earth then they should all get mukti. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī writes that the definition of mukti given in verse 2.10.6 (cited earlier in this Anuccheda) holds good because the vision of unqualified people is not a real vision and thus they do not become free of their conditioning. This is supported by the prose text cited from Viṣṇu Purāṇa. Although Śiśupāla was seeing Kṛṣṇa, he was not seeing Him with eyes of devotion. He was full of hatred and thus could not recognize His greatness. It is only when Kṛṣṇa hurled His disc at him that he was purged of his hatred and could see the real Kṛṣṇa. That is why Kṛṣṇa’s disc is called Sudarśana, that which gives the proper vision of Kṛṣṇa.

Those who have a clean heart and have not offended a devotee by physically hitting, criticizing, feeling hatred or anger, or not feeling pleased to see, and not greeting him or her, become free of distress as soon as they see Bhagavān. For others, their distress only begins to reduce.





Comments

Prem Prakash said…
This is so beautiful. Thank you.

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