The Sphota: KRISHNA DASHANA (By Shiva Kant Jha)

The Sphota: KRISHNA DASHANA
(By Shiva Kant Jha)
I felt the cosmos exploded with an incessant shower of sparks, some big enough to subsume countless suns, some so small as not be enough even for a neutron to get parked. The sparks seemed to form waves in which the particles seem to move through variations with the fastest imaginable speed all shrouded in mystery. I saw a little of what was being unfolded without understanding what all that meant.
It is amazing to notice that the blue sky was itself advancing (or receding) towards a realm that seemed to begin where the blue seemed to softly merge in the realm of ‘darkness’ the intensity and tone of which seem to increase. What was happening in that realm of darkness couldn’t be seen. All the sparks were fading out by slipping into that realm.
It was amazing to see through spectra the countless universes emerging and melting inside a spark whose number no supercomputer could count. Whatever aperture through the spectrum could be got, I saw the dance of Lord Shiva going on even in the tiniest parts. It was an alluringly frightening experience, perhaps to my astral body. Then I heard, or I felt I heard the sound of Krishna’s flute. The sound was no ordinary sound. At times it seemed emanating from the conch, at times from damru, at times from the flute we are familiar with. Besides, it had countless other sound patterns and effects which I could neither explore, nor imagine. It seemed that whole that I saw getting revealed in that sound. It was strange to see in light and sound the same symmetry, same idiom, the same symbiosis.
When my goes back to those moments, whose memory has almost faded now, I feel I had the luck to witness the sphota (‘the explosion’) coming from the imageries, the ultimate building-blocks for our experience, and/or thought. This word in Sanskrit poetics is difficult to be translated into English as there is no synonym. But I do not now whether the sphota was in exterior world that I had seen, or inside myself. In fact, the duality cease when there is sphota. In yoga, the sphota gives rise to naad that advances up towards the point of perfection. The yogis believe that naad is inherent in everything that universe contains. When it acquires attributes it expresses itself in the phenomenal world, but expressively in the seven swaras in which creation sang its music of creativity; and which we imagine best expressed in Shiva’s damru, and Krishna’s bansuri (flute?). But when its attributes cease, it becomes just O’m that symbolises and expresses the entire creative process. It is interesting to note that when Kabirdas thought of what best mission in life he should devote himself, he asked himself to advance towards that great delight the perfection of which are thus captured by his words bulding rich imagery.
Phaguna ke din chaar re holi khel mana re.
My yoganidra lasted for a few minutes, but for me it seemed hat eons had passed. That ‘blue sky’, that ‘light’, and that ‘sound’ I could remember for long, through mysteriously haze no doubt. I have reflected on them in my later years with a measure of fidelity that I could muster.
( at Indirapuram: New Delhi Oct., 2013)

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ERTAIN IDEAS WHICH I ALWAYS TREASURE IN MY MIND by Shivakant Jha

CERTAIN IDEAS WHICH I ALWAYS TREASURE IN MY MIND.

1. Venerable Bede (672-735) wrote in his Ecclesiastical History:

“ Such O king, seems to me the present life on earth, as if ………. On a winter’s night a sparrow should fly swiftly into the hall and, coming in one door, instantly fly out through another …. Somewhat like this appears the life of man. But of what follows or what went before we are utterly ignorant.”
I get reminded of the following shloka of the GITA:
अव्यक्तादीनि भूतानि व्यक्तमध्यानि भारत।
अव्यक्तनिधनान्येव तत्र का परिदेवना।।2.28।।

2. The greatest achievement is to be born a man who alone is free to bring about his salvation or damnation. This is the Right to Liberty that all humans enjoy. Shri Ram had asked the people of Ayodhya to inhibit/prohibit even the King if his actions do not accord well with their sense of justice. In course of his instruction to his people he said something which we are accustomed to quote often:

बड़े भाग मानुष तन पावा | सुर दुर्लभ सद् ग्रन्थन्हि गावा ||
साधन् धाम मोक्ष कर द्वारा | पाई न जेहिं परलोक सँवारा ||
3. In my view the grammar of human existence is well expressed in the last shloka of the Chapter 11 of the Gita that describes the cosmic form of creation where the duty of MAN is to work in accordance with the norms thus pointed out in the Gita.

मत्कर्मकृन्मत्परमो मद्भक्तः सङ्गवर्जितः।
निर्वैरः सर्वभूतेषु यः स मामेति पाण्डव।।11.55।।
4. It is interesting to note that in providing us this most important instruction, the Bhagavad-Gita and the Quran strike the same note, say the same thing.
uddharedatmana’tmanamNa’tmanamavasadayet
atmai ’vahyatmanobandhuratmai’varipuratmanah.
The Bhagavad-Gita (VI. 5)
[Let a man lift himself by himself; let him not degrade himself; for the Self alone is the friend of the self and the Self alone is the enemy of the self. ]

***
I underscore this idea by quoting the holy and inspiring words from the Holy Quran: .
‘इ_नलाहोलायूगययरोमा _बकौ _मनह_तायुगययरोवा _बन _तसेहुम

5. I brought my memoir to an end quoting lines from Shiv Mangal Singh Suman which I consider the best portrait of our life on any of the cycles of existence at any of the points in the cosmos, or anywhere we call anant (space in which the universes are born and get lost.) [Please see at pages 538-39 in the chapter 31 of On the Loom of Time, uploaded on my website at http://www.shivakantjha.org/pdfdocs/on_the_loom_of_time_2nd_edition/45_loom_31.pdf.

6. I would like to re-iterate what I wrote in my above mentioned memoir at its page 535:

“Now I, in my seventies [now in eighties], wholly share what Lord Hailsham of St. Marylebone, who had been the Lord Chancellor of England, said in his autobiography: A Sparrow’s Flight. If I were my own judge, I would hang myself by the next lamppost. Lord Hailsham of Marylebone, who had been England’s Lord Chancellor, called his autobiography A Sparrow’s Flight. One’s life in the world is like a sparrow’s stay for a short while. He concludes his autobiography with a prayer for mercy, not with a prayer to be weighed and judged:”

7. My last prayer, when that occasion comes, would begin with Arjuna’s prayer to the Vishwaroop of Krishna comprehended in the 11th Chapter of the Gita:
त्वमादिदेवः पुरुषः पुराण
स्त्वमस्य विश्वस्य परं निधानम्।
वेत्तासि वेद्यं च परं च धाम
त्वया ततं विश्वमनन्तरूप।।11.38।।
I implore my tongue that I have served over eight decades, for its last act of kindness: (to quote Sri Billvamangalachraya):
त्वमेव याचे मम देहि जिह्वे समागते दंडधरे कृतान्ते
वक्तव्यमेंवं मधुरं सुभक्त्या गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति
8. A lot of thinking has been done in the West on the interrelationship between the forces of Good and Evil. But I believe in what Tulsidas said in his Ramacharitmanasa:
9. भलेउ पोच सब बिधि उपजाए, गनि गुन दोष बेद बिलगाए
10. कहहि बेद इतिहास पुराना, बिधि प्रपंच गुन अवगुन साना
[Good and Evil are God’s husbandry, the Shastras have discriminated them as good or evil. All the Vedas and the Puranas are one in saying: It is God’s craft (maya) to knead all the traits together.]
9. For various good reasons I have enjoyed listening to the following songs which I wish all my friends should listen to understand our life and death, and the Gita..
(i) शिवोहम् शिवोहम् शिवोहम् शिवोहम्… [ You can hear this kirtan in the voice of Swami Satyananda Saraswati at youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-QKQrg0lSw ; and also in the voice of my wife, Smt. Veenapani Jha by visiting http://shivakantjha.org/openfile.php?filename=trusts/bhagavadgita_study_centre.htm ] and
(ii) khabar-e tahaiyyur-e ishq sun Na JunooN Raha Na Pari Rahi on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPBIOIGpt3Y.

Hari O’M
Shivakant Jha
Oct 12, 2017

Arjuna’s Perception of Krishna’s Visvarupa in Chapter 11 of the Geeta

अर्जुन उवाच
पश्यामि देवांस्तव देव देहे
सर्वांस्तथा भूतविशेषसङ्घान्।
ब्रह्माणमीशं कमलासनस्थ
मृषींश्च सर्वानुरगांश्च दिव्यान्।।11.15।।
अनेकबाहूदरवक्त्रनेत्रं
पश्यामि त्वां सर्वतोऽनन्तरूपम्।
नान्तं न मध्यं न पुनस्तवादिं
पश्यामि विश्वेश्वर विश्वरूप।।11.16।।
किरीटिनं गदिनं चक्रिणं च
तेजोराशिं सर्वतोदीप्तिमन्तम्।
पश्यामि त्वां दुर्निरीक्ष्यं समन्ता
द्दीप्तानलार्कद्युतिमप्रमेयम्।।11.17।।
त्वमक्षरं परमं वेदितव्यं
त्वमस्य विश्वस्य परं निधानम्।
त्वमव्ययः शाश्वतधर्मगोप्ता
सनातनस्त्वं पुरुषो मतो मे।।11.18।।
अनादिमध्यान्तमनन्तवीर्य
मनन्तबाहुं शशिसूर्यनेत्रम्।
पश्यामि त्वां दीप्तहुताशवक्त्रम्
स्वतेजसा विश्वमिदं तपन्तम्।।11.19।।
द्यावापृथिव्योरिदमन्तरं हि
व्याप्तं त्वयैकेन दिशश्च सर्वाः।
दृष्ट्वाऽद्भुतं रूपमुग्रं तवेदं
लोकत्रयं प्रव्यथितं महात्मन्।।11.20।।
अमी हि त्वां सुरसङ्घाः विशन्ति
केचिद्भीताः प्राञ्जलयो गृणन्ति।
स्वस्तीत्युक्त्वा महर्षिसिद्धसङ्घाः
स्तुवन्ति त्वां स्तुतिभिः पुष्कलाभिः।।11.21।।
रुद्रादित्या वसवो ये च साध्या
विश्वेऽश्िवनौ मरुतश्चोष्मपाश्च।
गन्धर्वयक्षासुरसिद्धसङ्घा
वीक्षन्ते त्वां विस्मिताश्चैव सर्वे।।11.22।।
रूपं महत्ते बहुवक्त्रनेत्रं
महाबाहो बहुबाहूरुपादम्।
बहूदरं बहुदंष्ट्राकरालं
दृष्ट्वा लोकाः प्रव्यथितास्तथाऽहम्।।11.23।।
नभःस्पृशं दीप्तमनेकवर्णं
व्यात्ताननं दीप्तविशालनेत्रम्।
दृष्ट्वा हि त्वां प्रव्यथितान्तरात्मा
धृतिं न विन्दामि शमं च विष्णो।।11.24।।
दंष्ट्राकरालानि च ते मुखानि
दृष्ट्वैव कालानलसन्निभानि।
दिशो न जाने न लभे च शर्म
प्रसीद देवेश जगन्निवास।।11.25।।
अमी च त्वां धृतराष्ट्रस्य पुत्राः
सर्वे सहैवावनिपालसङ्घैः।
भीष्मो द्रोणः सूतपुत्रस्तथाऽसौ
सहास्मदीयैरपि योधमुख्यैः।।11.26।।
वक्त्राणि ते त्वरमाणा विशन्ति
दंष्ट्राकरालानि भयानकानि।
केचिद्विलग्ना दशनान्तरेषु
संदृश्यन्ते चूर्णितैरुत्तमाङ्गैः।।11.27।।
यथा नदीनां बहवोऽम्बुवेगाः
समुद्रमेवाभिमुखाः द्रवन्ति।
तथा तवामी नरलोकवीरा
विशन्ति वक्त्राण्यभिविज्वलन्ति।।11.28।।
यथा प्रदीप्तं ज्वलनं पतङ्गा
विशन्ति नाशाय समृद्धवेगाः।
तथैव नाशाय विशन्ति लोका
स्तवापि वक्त्राणि समृद्धवेगाः।।11.29।।
लेलिह्यसे ग्रसमानः समन्ता
ल्लोकान्समग्रान्वदनैर्ज्वलद्भिः।
तेजोभिरापूर्य जगत्समग्रं
भासस्तवोग्राः प्रतपन्ति विष्णो।।11.30।।
आख्याहि मे को भवानुग्ररूपो
नमोऽस्तु ते देववर प्रसीद।
विज्ञातुमिच्छामि भवन्तमाद्यं
न हि प्रजानामि तव प्रवृत्तिम्।।11.31।।

Reflections on Krishna on the Janmastmi Day of 2017 (by Shiva Kant Jha)

(1)
My wish
My reflections which I would compile in this miscellany have roots in my desire to spend my time with Krishna in my consciousness. I cannot express my wish in words better than what Shankaracharya said in his well-known ‘Krishnastkan’:
यदा तदा यथा तथा तथैव कृष्णसत्कथा
मया सदैव गीयतान् तथा कृपा विधीयताम्
[ O Lord, Keep me blessed so that wherever I be, and in whatever conditions, I should sing your sacred lores.]
It is said that the great poet Bhikharidas (in the 18th century) had an active phase both as a man of the world and as a poet. Moments came in his life when he felt that reflection on Krishna was most satisfying. Tagore wished that his death comes as Krishna! ( मरण रे तुहु मम श्याम मान’). The most touching wish was expressed by Śrī Bilvamaṅgalācārya in his Śrī Govinda Dāmodara Stotraṁ while imploring his tongue to grant him the favor of uttering “Govinda, Dāmodara, Mādhava!” when the Lord Death comes to him liberate him from the cycle of lives:
त्वामेव याचे मम देहि जिह्वे
समागते दण्ड-धरे कृतान्ते
वक्तव्यमेवं मधुरं सुभक्त्या
गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति ।।
[ I seek, O Tongue, your this sole benefaction.
When the Lord of Death catches me in His jaws
You sing with great devotion and deep delight
Reciting ‘Hey Govind, hey Damodar, hey Madhava.]
[Translation mine.]
I have all along my life have had moments with Krishna’s living presence. I have experienced His succour whenever I needed it most. I have got great light and immense delight reflecting on Him. Whilst the whole song of film 1857, sung by Surendra & Suraiya, delighted me with its pregnant expressions, I was touched most by the ideas and emotions reaching apotheosis in the song that can be heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3lQpiVGJwg.

(2)
I have written on my https://krishnachintan.wordpress.com/posts/ 24 blogs which I would develop in my book conceptualised on this Janmastmi day. I have drawn up tentative list of the chapters of this contemplated book which I intend sharing with all. A short account of my ideas touching most of the topics can be got in Chapter 20 of my memoir On the Loom of Time see at http://www.shivakantjha.org/pdfdocs/on_the_loom_of_time_2nd_edition/34_loom_20.pdf. In the contemplated chapter on status of the Bhagavad-Gita in the Mahabharata, I intend examining the conflicting perceptions of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in his immortal Krishana Charitra, and of Bal Gangadhar Tilak in his celebrated Gita Rahashya.
(3)
The contemplated chapters in my book on KRISHNA are these:
Krishnarpan
Part I
Prologue
1. On Understanding Krishna and his Bhagavad-Gita : an overview.
2.It is great fortune to be born MAN.
3. Krishna Katha is the richest ‘objective correlative’ that our culture conceived in its most creative moments.
4.The Structure of Krishna Katha.

Part II
THE ACTIONS
The Story of Krishna retold
5.The Coming of the Lord
6. The Vrindavan Phase: the Rasraj Krishna
7.The Mathura Phase: Karmayogi Krishna
8.The Mahabhat Phase: Gyana-Karma-Bhaktiyoga
9. Krishna’ holistic worldview

Part III
THE THOUGHT
The Bhagavad-Gita: As I understand it
10. Reflections on the Bhagavad-Gita
11. The Poetry of the Bhagavad-Gita
12. The status of the Bhagavad-Gita in the Mahabharata

Part IV
Understanding Krishna from my present-observation-post
13. Dharma & corollaries
14. On the Art of Life
15. Krishna on Wealth
16. Krishna on Power
17. Krishna on political thought.
18. Krishna’s cosmic philosophy
19. Man’s duties and destiny: the grammar of existence
20. The Right to Revolt for Dharma
21 The Art of Management
22. Krishna answers the Wallace Syndrome

Part V

THE JAGADGURU (The World Teacher)
23. Chapter 20 from On the Loom of Time
24. Krishna and modern times
25. Krishna the Jagadguru
26. Prayer
(4)

Whenever I think of Krishna and his Gita, I have felt the following songs sung inside my soul. I wish you should also listen to them for light and delight. They are:
(a) shivoham by Swami Satyanand Saraswati [ see post 18 at https://krishnachintan.wordpress.com/posts/,
(b) the mystery of ishq in the famous song by Siraj at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7pjtSIozaM,
and
(c) the Parapuja strotra by the great Samkaracharya https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRRjS1hqwbY,

When public weal is subject to private greed facilitated by the imbecility of government, people have no option but to suffer.

We have witnessed how people suffer the annual tragedy inflicted by flood. After seeing the comprehensive coverage of flood in Bihar, I  felt teased when Bihar’s Chief Minister was lulling his conscience by passing blame on to Nepal wherefrom heavy flood swirls devastatingly into Bihar  as  a cruel act of nature beyond control. I would quote the last paragraph of  the Chapter 1 of my book On the Loom of Time, the first edition of which   came out in 2011, and the second in 2014.  You can read this Chapter on my website shivakantjha.org { at http://www.shivakantjha.org/pdfdocs/on_the_loom_of_time_2nd_edition/15_loom_01.pdf]. I  deem it worthwhile to quote from this chapter for our readers to jolt them into action as deemed fit and proper in a democracy.

“The plate on which the Mithila region exists is hyperactive and is constantly drifting north causing frequent earthquakes. A whimsical friend once told me with reference to Mithila : while the subjacent earth of the region is hyperactive the superjacent biomass (he meant human beings) is almost inert! He made a veiled reference to seismic activity under the Earth crust, and the indolence which had overtaken the people of Mithila. But the most devastating calamity that visits this land annually is Flood. We are told that the over-flooding is a punishment for playing imprudently with the ways of nature through rapacious deforestation, and our ‘foolish’ meddling with the courses of the rivers descending from the Himalayas in Nepal. Massive destruction of forest in Nepal has led to massive over-flooding in Bihar causing criminal soil degeneration, inundation, erosion and heavy siltation of the rivers raising every year the levels of the river-beds. It is high time to enter into an understanding with the Government of Nepal that the growing deforestation of the Himalayas and their foothills must end. The problem of annual devastating floods cannot be tackled unless there is a close co- operation between the two Governments as most of the rivers flow from the Nepal Himalayas. It is hoped that Nepal would behave as a good neighbour obedient to the ‘Standard of Economic Good Neighbourlines’, now considered a norm of public policy under international law9 [.G. Schwarzenberger, Manual of International Law p. 111].

 

 

When chaos becomes cosmos

“These are peoples that have lost the power of astonishment at their
own actions. When they give birth to a fantastic fashion or a
foolish law, they do not start or stare at the monster they have
brought forth. They have grown used to their own unreason;
chaos is their cosmos; and the whirlwind is the breath of their
nostrils. These nations are really in danger of going off their heads
en masse; of becoming one vast vision of imbecility…..”
G. K. Chesterton, ‘The Mad Official’  quoted in the Chapter 12 of my autobiography in which I dealt with Bihar’s Fodder Scam. (in my On the Loom of Time see at