Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Arjuna's Ratha


Yamaka Bharata of Sri Madhvacharya

yena jayadrathamAraH pArthaH shatrUnavApatadrathamAraH  |
yadvirahAdapi dehe sa rathaH shashvat.h sthiteH sadAdapi dehe  || 58||

Arjuna,the killer of Jayadratha,pleased with the lusture of his chariot having
Krishna on it,destroyed his enemies.That chariot got burnt to ashes when
Krishna alighted from it.Even the embodied soul experiences pleasure and  pain
because of the constant existence of the Lord in the body.
Arjuna's Ratha

On the last day of battle, on reaching the Pandava's camp, Shri Krishna asks Arjuna to step down from the chariot first. Arjuna is puzzled by this as the tradition is that the charioteer always alights first, but he respectfully follows the order. Shri Krishna alights from the chariot, the next instant the Hanuman from the flag disappears. Immidiately the whole chariot catches fire and all of it including the horses is completely reduced to ashes. Arjuna inquires about this with Shri Krishna. Shri KRishna replies that because of all the divine arrows and missiles used on Arjuna, the chariot would have burned up a long time ago. Shri Krishna prevented this from happening until the last day of the battle. Wah! :)

A little analysis on this incident. First even if Shri KRishna was not physically present on the chariot during night times, it was always under the protection of Shri Hanuman. The effects of all the astras only came to play only after Shri Hanuman left the chariot i.e. until Shri Hanuman was on the chariot it did not suffer even a single effect of the all the divine missiles shot at arjuna. Going back even further Shri Krishna became Arjuna's charioteer only because Shri Hanuman was already present. (Shri Bhimsen devaru made sure that Shri Hanuman would sit on Arjuna's flag long before Arjuna asked Shri Krishna to be his charioteer ). Shri Krishna revealed the Bhagvad Gita to Arjuna, because he was already under the protection of SHri Hanuman.

If we liken the chariot of Arjuna to our body, as long as we have Shri Krishna in our heart and Vayu devaru as our Guru and protector i.e. Our head at Shri Hanuman's feet nothing can overcome us, let alone harm us and we will be able to see Shri Krishna's wonderful pastimes and Vishwa Rupa Darshana*.

* Note I have said we'll be able to see, because Shri Krishna is always helping us, with Vayudevaru's anugraha we can realize this and bask in his complete bliss and causeless mercy.

* Katha Upanishad 1.3.3
3. Know the body for a chariot and the soul for the master of the chariot: know Reason for the charioteer and the mind for the reins only.
4. The sense they speak of as the steeds and the objects of sense as the paths in which they move; and One yoked with Self and the mind and the sense, is the enjoyer, say the thinkers.
5. Now he that is without knowledge with his mind ever un-applied , his senses are to him as wild horses and will not obey their driver of the chariot.
6. But he that has knowledge with his mind ever applied, his senses are to him as noble steeds and they obey the driver.
7. Yea, he that is without knowledge and is unmindful and is ever unclean, reaches not that goal, but wanders in the cycle of phenomena.
8. But the that has knowledge is mindful and pure always, reaches that goal whence he is not born again.
9. That man who uses the mind for reins and the knowledge for the driver, reaches the end of his road, that highest seat of Vishnu.
10. Than the senses the objects are higher: and higher than the objects of sense is the Mind: and higher than the Mind is the faculty of knowledge: and than that the Vayu is higher.
11. And higher than the Vayu is the Unmanifest(AVyakta Tatva: Mahalakshmi) and higher than the Unmanifest is the Purusha(Sri Hari): than the Purusha there is none higher: He is the culmination. He is the highest goal of the journey.
12. He is the secret Self in all existences and does not manifest Himself to the vision: yet is He seen by the seers of the subtle and perfect understanding. ( Description of Divya Drishti and VishvaRoopa Darshana )
13. Let the wise man restrain speech in his mind and mind in self, and knowledge in the Great-Self, and that again let him restrain in the Self that is at peace.
14. Arise, awake, find out the great ones and learn of them: for sharp as a razor`s edge, hard to traverse, difficult of going is that path, say the sages.
15. That in which sound is not, nor touch, nor shape, nor dimmunition, nor taste, nor smell, that which is eternal,and It is without end or beginning, higher than the Great-Self, the Stable, that having seen, from the mouth of death there is deliverance. ( Moksha, residence in Vaikunta !!!)

BharatiRamana Mukhyapranantargata Shri Krishnarpanamastu !

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