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Mahakala, Vibhishan, and the Seven Immortals
Q: “Guruji, I read that in the war with Banasura, Lord Krishna defeated Lord Shiva as well. Is that true?”
Guruji: “Actually Shiva-ji told Krishna to use jambhastra on Him so he that couldn’t help Banasura. And Lord Krishna didn’t kill Banasura, only defeated him and cut all of his 1000 arms but 4. It’s interesting what happened to Banasura. After the battle, Nandi suggested him to dance for Shiva. So in this amputated state he did Tandava for Shiva! After that Shiva-ji made him Mahakala. Mahakala is Banasura only. It might have been a test for him, to see if he could still perform in this condition. The description of the dance is wonderful! He danced his eyebrows, produced different sounds, and all this while fully covered in blood! You’ll find this story in Shiva Purana, Harivansha Purana, as well as Mahabharata.
“I have read about two Mahakalas: Banasura who even Shri Ved Vyas has referred to with great respect in Mahabharata, calling him Sriman Mahakala. One more Mahakala is a brahmin named Mante in Skanda Purana, who became Mahakala with his penance.
“Ved Vyas has also said that Sukracharya and Brahaspati (Jupiter) are one and the same.”
Guruji: “You know why Hanuman-ji contacted Vibhishan when he went to Lanka? Vibhishan was chanting ‘Rama Rama..’, so Hanuman-ji immediately knew that he would get his brothers killed (laughs). Obviously, if somebody’s chanting the name of their brother’s enemy then clearly they are looking to get their brother killed. He eventually became the king of Lanka, and took his sister-in-law, Mandodari, as his wife. That means his intentions were always bad. If he had not done so, and had not taken his elder brother’s wife whom he should have respected like his mother….
“Vibhishan is also immortal. Maybe Shiva-ji made him immortal to set an example that a brother should not be like this. He’s a antithesis of how a brother should be.
“All traits are represented by the seven immortals. A son should be like Ashwatthama, who left no stone unturned to avenge his father. A donor should be like King Bali, who gave away the three worlds! A man of knowledge should be like Vyas-ji who classified the vedas and created the puranas. A brother shouldn’t be like Vibhishan who got his own family killed and dared to take his mother-like sister-in-law as his wife. An uncle should be like Kripacharya, who had the secret of immortality and who supported his nephew and made him immortal as well. A devotee and a hero should be like Hanuman-ji, who went beyond possible to fulfill his duty. Kartum – what is possible,akartum – what is impossible to do, and anyatha kartum – if there’s anything beyond possible and impossible, he did all three. And a guru should be like Parashuram, who established discipline as well as an immortal tradition, with stalwarts like Drona, Ashwatthama, in his lineage.
“The next hierarchy of gods is going to be permanent. Hanuman-ji is the new Brahma. Wow we are entering actual Sat yuga. Also, Vibhishan is under Hanuman-ji’s control so all the rakshasas are under control. It might have been part of the deal with Vibhishan, ‘whatever you are doing at home with your sister-in-law, don’t create any disturbances in the creation’ (laughs).”
Q: “Guruji, why did Shiva-ji instruct Agastya rishi to go to South India?”
Guruji: “It’s strange story. Once upon a time the Vindhyachal mountain became jealous of the Himalaya and started rising to become the highest mountain. Eventually it started creating problems, so Shiva-ji asked Agastya rishi to go to the south, as the mountain would have to stay low to give him passage, and instructed the rishi to tell the mountain to not rise until he returned. The rishi went to south India and never returned, and the mountain stayed low till this day (laughs). It could be symbolic as well – the rishi might have controlled the mountain with his powers .
“It’s only due to Agastya rishi’s impact that the south Indian culture is so rich. Shiva-ji’s worship is very common, and compared to the north, the common man is more educated as well as peaceful and well-behaved.”
Q: “So, Guruji, should we identify ourselves with Aryans or Dravidians?”
Guruji: “It’s all mixed up now. We are definitely not Aryans, because Aryans used to butcher cows and eat their meat. Vedas are full of these references.”
Q: “I thought killing a cow was always considered the biggest sin!”
Guruji: “Only in recent times, after Lord Krishna’s advent. It wasn’t like this before. I read a story in vedas long time back in which Vashistha rishi went to someone’s place and in his welcome feast, young healthy calves were slaughtered and their delicate meat was served. There was a king named Raktidev. In his kingdom, 10,000 cows used to be slaughtered everyday in honor of rishis and brahmins. An entire river formed out of washing the hides of those slaughtered cow – the Chambal river. The original name of Chambal river is Charmanavati – formed out of charma (hide).
“Krishna was the first person to revolutionize vedic culture, which also seems like was his primary objective. He deposed Indra – the main deity of vedas – and stopped worship of Brahma. Krishna’s work was revolutionary! Before Him, all avatars came only to help Indra, as Vishnu is Indra’s younger brother – Upendra. Krishna stopped Vishnu’s worship and started a new tradition of caring for cows. That’s why he was called Gopal [go = cow, pal = to raise]. He started the worship of Goverdhan mountain and gave the discipline of cow-herding, which became the most virtuous of all work. No one else did all this before.
“Also, what we call the degradation of Hindu culture is basically uprooting of the vedic culture. Brahmins had become very powerful and corrupt. If a lower-caste person were to hear vedic verses by mistake, they would fill molten lead in his ears. There was no limits to cruelty at that time, however Hindus feel about it today. They have no idea what kind of changes Krishna has brought.
“The old vedic gods got so out of control, they even stood up against Shiva! After Daksha yagya, when they opposed Shiva just to get a part of sacrificial offerings and Mother Sati had to die, they have been continuously getting punished. That’s why no vedic god is worshiped today – neither Vishnu, nor Brahma, Pusha, Varuna, or anybody else. New gods have emerged – Rama, Krishna, Hanuman, Radha-Krishna. Even a child makes fun of Indra. This means they were not as noble as have been portrayed in vedas.
“Also, if you read carefully, it’d feel like these vedic rituals were more like hardcore tantric rituals. For example, king Harishchandra couldn’t have a child. So he appeased Varuna, who said you’ll beget a son but you’ll have to give it to me at a particular age. When the time came, Harishchandra didn’t give his son to Varuna, so he fell seriously ill. To appease Varuna again, he did a yagya which required human sacrifice. Vishwamitra rishi presided over the yagya ceremony. It’s a touching story and also very famous. For the human sacrifice, Vishwamitra suggested the king to buy somebody. One poor Brahmin had 3 sons. The eldest one Brahmin refused to part with as the eldest son was going to continue his lineage. The mother refused to part with the youngest son as he was very dear to her heart. The middle son they sold to the king for money. In the story he was saved in the end – when he was tied to the sacrificial pole, he became enlightened since he had overcome the attachment of mother and father, and started uttering verses of vedas. Vishwamitra refused to kill the boy, claiming that he had now reached the state of a rishi.
“But the main point is, there used to be such rituals when human sacrifices were offered. You must have heard about Ashwamedha yagya; in that, the horse used to be sacrificed at the end. Just like people today donate cows believing that after death they would cross the Vaitarni holding the cow’s tail, at that time kings used to sacrifice horses believing that after they die, they’d find a horse standing there, all saddled and ready, to take them to heaven!
“Today no one would like to do such rituals. Also, yoga wasn’t very well known. There used to be a sect called vraatya, who used to do fasts, etc. Among them there used to be a few yogis. But they were always segregated since they didn’t accept vedic rituals.”
Q: “Guruji, weren’t rishis yogis?”
Guruji: “They were expert in rituals and had tantric powers. Not all rishis were yogis – some were. Rishis have just been vying to control the gods. The only stories you hear about them are how they got tempted by this nymph and that nymph. You wouldn’t find such stories about yogis. That’s probably people say that we are children of rishis and munis – they were always about impregnating some queen or seducing some princess (laughs). And they were so powerful that everybody had to abide.
“There’s a story in Chandogya Upanishad: There was a king named Janushruti. One day, the king was standing on the roof of his palace when some swans flew past, making sounds like ‘raikva, raikva’. In sanskrit it means whatever is there is with Raikya.
“So the king searched for a Raikya and he found one Raikya sitting naked near a bullock-cart, scratching his back. When the king asked for knowledge, Raikya threw him out saying that a low-caste king didn’t deserve such knowledge. The king had a daughter, about 15-16 years old, and very beautiful. The king went to Raikya again and offered his daughter to him. Raikya said, ‘O king, even though you are not worthy, your daughter’s beautiful face is compelling me to give you the knowledge’. And then he gave him knowledge that everything is air! But the moral of the story is that Raikya rishi got aroused by the princess and to get her, he gave the king a little bit of information.
“Vedas as filled with such stories. We should be glad that we are born in a time free of the shackles of vedas, thanks to Lord Krishna. The government has now banned cow-slaughter MP – the first thing Uma Bharti did as part of her new administration. In Chattisgarh as well. This is a good improvement.
“We can conclude that Lord Krishna brought about the end of vedic times. Even in Gita he has denounced vedas three times. Nobody wants to go heaven now. Everybody’s preaching now-a-days that there’s nothing in heaven, we should seek the lotus feet of this god (laughs), or seek liberation, or self-realization.”
Guru Gorakhnath, Shrinath-ji, and Datta Guru
Q: “Guruji, I’ve read that old yogis always lived or roamed around in solitude.”
Guruji: “They used to, and to accumulate energy also followed celibacy for a particular duration. But nobody knows what happened to them afterwards. For instance, Matsyendranath was trapped in the Triya kingdom because of Hanuman-ji’s instructions, and then Gorakhnath freed him. But happened afterwards? There’s no story of them after that; there’s total silence. Then suddenly Shankar-ji’s stories start, that he’s doing penance in the Himalayas and is a very accomplished yogi, then Daksha Prajapati gave him his daughter, then Himalaya later. Why did all these start at Lord Rama’s time, and not before that? Could it be that it was a continuation of guru Gorakhnath’s story? Shankar-ji also has Nath get-up, and in ‘Skanda Purana’ and ‘Shiva Purana’, Shankar-ji is saying he is Gorakhnath himself.”
Q: “But Guruji, Shiva-ji is also Adinath, the first Nath?”
Guruji: “Yes, is it also said that Adinath first came in the form of Gorakhnath. It’s very complicated. and And only he is always doing meditation.”
Q: “Who is he meditating upon?”
Guruji: “Well, the simple answer is that since his devotees are meditating upon him, he is meditating upon his devotees. But the actual thing could be entirely different. To understand it the mind has to reach that level. An immortal being, who is all-powerful, and the entire creation and all the spirits are his parts in a way, how to understand what is he meditating upon?? In a religious sense people say he is meditating upon Krishna or someone else but I don’t believe that. When we meet with him we’ll ask him, no other way to find out (laughs).”
Q: “I found that Agrawals history also has references to Guru Gorakhnath.”
Guruji: “The impact of Gorakhnath on Agrawals is clear. They hail from Agroha/Rajasthan where everybody believes in Gorakhnath. 22 states in Rajasthan recognize Guru Gorakhnath and other Naths as their official gurus. Who is Punjab doesn’t bow to them? The honorific “guru” is associated with only these two – Dattatreya (Datta Guru) and Gorakhnath (Guru Gorakhnath). And ‘Guru Purnima’ is his birthday. He was born on that day, and later Vyas-ji was born on that day as well. Mysteries are increasing. ”
Q: “Am not sure if the solutions will come.”
Guruji: “We are only equipping ourselves better over time. In the beginning I had no idea but these things have revealed themselves over time. At least I’m sharing all this with you guys. When I was your age, I didn’t have any idea about these things. Only after finding their natural marks (Shivalinga and Devi’s breasts and vagina) that my attention was drawn towards Shiva and Shakti. Finding these symbols also means that they have a direct blessing on me.
“Earlier I only bothered about yoga – used to sit in practice day and night, till 3am. Got tremendous results from that. Powers, or should rather say, abilities also developed. Wrote the commentaries in Gita, Yoga Darshan, etc, and only after all that and after starting to live in Smashan (cremation grounds) these signs came. That means Nature has tuned with me. Another remarkable thing is we never found any other gods’ marks, except Shiva and Shakti.”
[About Shrinath-ji, who is the presiding deity at Nathdwara. There’s confusion about who he really is, since Shrinath is also a name of Lord Krishna, Guru Gorakhnath, as well as Shri Matsyendranath]
Guruji: “People say that Lord Krishna is Shrinath-ji, since he’s the swami of Shri-ji, -Radha-ji. But that’s not really true. Somehow there’s a mystery behind how these cults started. Badrinath temple deity looks exactly like Babaji sitting in padmasana. It seems like they went into backdrop over time and something else came forward. The city itself became Nathdwara – ‘Home of Naths’ – when he went there. There are some obvious facts that are getting ignored due to sectarian fanaticism.”
Q: “Guruji, what’s the relationship between Datta Guru and Guru Gorakhnath?”
Guruji: “It is said that Datta Guru started the Nath cult. He is the giver of magical powers and immortality as well. There’s a Siddha cult who can do miracles with the help of Mercury and Sulphur. That too was started by Dattatreya Maharaj. He always guides from the backdrop. He is the one who gave Kapalika get-up to Lord Shiva, and also established the Aghora path. Aghora means ‘pure beauty’, not ‘terrible’ as is generally understood. It is completely opposite of that. If one is immortal, there will be no fear for him. and For fearless, there’s only beauty and nothing’s horrible. A strange point of view will develop.”
Jivatma, Shiva and Shakti
Q: “Guruji, it is said that Brahma is Providence and governs us with the laws of karma. To which state does it continue?”
Guruji: “Brahma’s domain is only till the physical world. Nobody has any dominion over the real spirits in the spiritual world, except Shiva and Shakti. The spirits, bhuta, around Shiva-ji are so powerful that even Brahma and Vishnu are scared of them. They are only jivatmas – spirits in the purest form. They have gone beyond all bodies – physical or astral. People call them bhuta, preta, pischacha and they all stay around Shiva-ji. And they are all immortal.
“Jiva is Shiva, and atma is Shakti. It’s a very subtle point. We are all ardhanarishwara (male and female) in a way, as both jiva and atma are in us. Atma is all female powers, like consciousness which is also a form of shakti. Atma and all such powers belong to the domain of Devi – Aadi Shakti. And jiva since it is a form of Shiva belongs to the domain of Shiva-ji. Even science says the same – we are half male and half female. The only difference is of a chromosome! All these things reflect on the physical plane to some degree, whether we can understand them or not.”
Q: “So Guruji when we say I, who do I identify with, jiva or atma?”
Guruji: “That’s what the whole effort is for, to understand who I am. It’s a matter of realization what our true nature is, who we are. Plainly speaking I’m Shiva, I’m also Shakti, I’m male, I’m female, I’m both. Our body has so much information recorded that if could decode all that we’ll become super knowledgeable. The entire history of human race, infact the history of entire physical creation is in it. As the old books say, ‘yat pinde tat brahmande’. It’s a very profound statement. That means once you know yourself in entirety, and not just that ‘I’m Brahma’, etc, but also your body as well, that will be something! It’ll be a shocking realization. The data of the entire universe will become available to you. It’s a wonderful thing!
“That’s why the old yogis have said, ‘Go inside’. And only yogis have said that. Others only worshiped hypothetical gods whose name they cannot even pronounce. Here’s another horrible truth: We read that the devil is after your soul. Now soul is your immortal substance. Everybody’s after that immortal substance, whether you offer it to a hypothetical god or to the devil. In Christianity, for example, there’s description of the creation but who created the souls is not even described in the Bible.
“The soul must have some substance that even gods are after it. May be it makes them powerful – if immortals start worshiping you, you’ll also become immortal. That’s why the earthly plane becomes important, because that the only place where the soul forgets its true nature and get imprisoned in the body. At that time it’s easy to fool it. See why there are so many religions, so many cults on Earth? Because if you can influence the soul, you can do anything.
“Look at Shiva-ji instead. A yogi attains Shivatva (Shivahood). Shiva-ji doesn’t dominate. He’s a guru, and you become Him. Because jiva is already Shiva – immortal. The entire theory is different but that’s only in yoga.
“No other gods are like that. You don’t attain Brahmahood or Vishnuhood, or in Christianity become God or in Islam become Khuda. That is kufra (blasphemy) according to them. Mansoor used to say ‘anahalak’ – I’m He, so king Aurangajeb got him decapitated. According to them, nobody can become god, you can only become devotees. Only in yoga it is said that you can become Shiva. What’s bigger than that? And this way is open for everyone.
“Read that section in Mahabharata vol 6 where Upamanyu rishi is rebuking Indra, saying, ‘O fool! Don’t try to fool me with sweet words. Who is worshiped by all the gods? Nobody is born with a conch-shell or chakra, but with linga or yoni. But every male in the universe is stamped with Shiva’s symbol and every female with Shakti’s. It’s a universal phenomena, from a bacteria to an elephant, ant, or even human. That biggest evidence that the entire creation is Shiva’s and Shakti’s, that this creation is Maheshwari.’ And every man has the potential to gain Shivatva and every womanShakitva (Shakti-hood).
“That book, History of the World, has a picture of a thousands of years old statue of a naked female. It represents the female principle of the Earth. Despite all their sweet-talking, people have only been suggesting to avoid our fundamental nature. Isn’t that contrary to what should be? Suppression is not realization. As I have written in Gita, these symbols are not just from somebody’s imagination. They are hints, left by the first people out of their compassion for the future generation, for those who are able to understand. That’s also why even from the ancient times renunciation has never been encouraged, because then you’ll never get blessings from Shiva.”
Q: “Guruji, we were talking about lucid dreaming. Is it really possible?”
Guruji: “It is quiet possible. With advance yoga practice this ability comes automatically. But some people also practice this technique, mostly those who are interested in astral flight. It’s basically waking up in the dream.”
Q: “But aren’t dreams just projections of subconscious?”
Guruji: “No, dreams are of two types. One is just continuation of what was going on before the sleep. It’s a display of the memory. The second are the dreams which come out of the blue. They are astral world impressions. The sleep frees us from physical limits and we go to the astral world. It’ll be hard to survive without it – we’ll never recuperate. Physiologists say that dreamless sleep doesn’t relax. Dreams are necessary. We don’t remember most of them though due to the shock of waking up.
“Dreamless sleep is slumber, which you get when you are very tired. But the mood always elevates after a good dream and gets spoiled after a bad one. Dreams make direct impressions on the mind.”
Q: “Guruji, what do the third and fourth states – sushupti and turiya mean?”
Guruji: “Sushupti means beyond dream. What is dormant – 95% of our brain – is sushupti.Hibernation is a better word for it. That is the dreamless state. Turiya means the fourth state – beyond the three states. It is the same in Kriya yoga: in the first a person wakes, in the second starts experiencing dream states, in the 3rd you gain knowledge of sushupti, and of turiya in the fourth. One who goes even beyond the fourth state is called turiyateeta. ”
Q: “And you said that the practice still goes on forever..”
Guruji: “If you’ve earned MA or PhD, that doesn’t mean a full-stop on your learning. It means you are now better equipped to learn. You’ve earned the qualification that you can learn anything. In yoga sadhana, after touching a certain level, you don’t need to go to anyone to learn any more – you become independent even in the matter of learning.”
The Eternal Religion, Life and Death
Q: “Guruji, I was watching a documentary about Pygmy people on TV. It was amazing that in all their activities and songs they were thanking Nature from morning to evening.”
Guruji: “Yes, they are Nature worshipers. They live according to Nature, including most native tribes of Africa and and even Americas. Nature is the eternal religion, as we are living with Nature. And as soon as our behavior goes against Nature, we don’t experience anything except sorrow and frustration. Imagine someone who can understand his own nature and also Earth’s nature. How glad he will be, how close he’ll feel close to Earth!”
Q: “Does knowing Nature mean knowing natural laws like gravitation, etc, or something more subtle?”
Guruji: “Think of it this way: Let’s say you made friends with somebody, so there will be rapport between your nature and his nature. You don’t necessarily have to figure out how his finger is working or the coffee that he just drank how is it getting digested inside him. Those things are no longer important. It’s a feeling! When somebody starts feeling the nature of mother Earth, for them it’s not important why did this tree grow and how did it grow. If I know Her, I’ll accept the tree as part of Her. Will not add my own conditions that it should like grow this and not like that. When we accept Nature and start understanding its beauty, we’ll accept it in its totality. That’s intimacy.
“Say you fall in love with someone. You won’t process how frequently she’s blinking or how many hair does she have on her head or show fast they are growing. If she sneezed, at how many miles per hour the wind went out of her nostrils (laughs). You’ll accept her in totality. If we are tuned-in or intimate with Earth’s nature or have fallen in love with Her, we won’t question these things. And if I’m tuned enough, may be I’d prefer living in a cave which Nature has made Herself, instead of corrupting Her landscape. When there’s the feeling of love, there’s no feeling to dominate, only acceptance. This is true friendship, it’s very rare but must happen.
“This is an axe on all established religions. Always remember these words:
“कब तक पूजें पदचिन्ह किसी के
चलें हम भी, छूने क्षितिज को “
(Why keep worshiping someone else’s footprints? Let’s go ourselves, reach out and touch the horizon!)
“We should realize that these possibilities are open for everybody – from a Pygmy to a modern American.
“I’ve seen we have more open and concentrated discussions on the phone. May be telepathy works better this way since it’s telephone (laughs).”
Guruji: “It’s very cold over here these days.”
Me: “I like cold weather.”
Guruji: “I like cold too. But it’s also fun to say that the cold weather is killing us (laughs). It’s a different kind of pleasure to whine like this – it’s a pure Indian thing. Even after eating the choicest food in a party, people complain they are going to die that they’ve eaten so much (laughs). See, even when somebody falls in love, they say ‘he died on that girl’ [Ed: sorry, no easy way to translate that in English]. “The cold weather is killing us”, “we are dying in the hot summer” – we are very much in love with death, so in every situation we discover that word. May be we understand the love affair between life and death. Even death is a poetic experience.”
“The mother of our water-tanker driver died a few days back. I tell you it was such a beautiful death! She was hail and hearty – no health problems. One day, after some household chores, she asked her daughter-in-law to prepare her bath. After her bath, when she got up, she suddenly felt dizzy and fell down. When people came to help her up, she asked for her husband to call him quickly. When he came, she was lying on the bed. When the husband entered the room, she said to him, joined her hands, ‘Our companionship was only for this long. I don’t think I’ll survive. If you can save me, save me, otherwise please forgive any transgressions. I’m leaving.’ Then she died!
“Can you imagine how deep tuning and love the husband and wife must have had, how much she must have cared for him? Both of them were saintly – I’ve met with both of them. I’m proud to say that I’ve met them. Even the big-shot sadhus haven’t died like this. It was a conscious death – within 5-10 minutes everything was over. This is true love! Even after becoming grandparents, she was asking him with folded hands to forget any faults. If not them, who do you call saints! In India, there are so many unsung heroes, genuine people. You’ll find them all over the place.
“There was a similar story about a temple priest who died about 2 years back. It was also very touching – we all became emotional after hearing that. He was a priest in Radha Kund. For some time he was feeling sick. One afternoon, when he was doing the puja, somebody came to tell him that his wife had just died. The priest said, ‘She’s gone? All right, I’m coming.’ He finished his ceremony, went home, laid down next to her, took her hand, and died then and there!”
“It takes time to realize how much love life holds for death. Doesn’t life just run all life long in order to finally unite with death? Real beauty is born only in the moments of union. Moments of union are always beautiful!”
[From Guruji’s yogic commentary on Srimad Bhagvat Gita]