"In Wonders We Sail, Questing for the Answers in Veil"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Story of Jaigishavya

Long ago there lived a yogi named Jaigishavya who undertook a long uninterrupted practice of intense tapas (austerities) before attaining enlightenment.Aided by his indomitable power of his will,he defied hunger,sleep,thirst and fatigue.Even though his body became emaciated,his senses and mind turned inward and his consciousness rose upward.

Eventually the concentrated force of his will penetrated the realm of existence where the ordinary mind cannot reach.Then,as recounted in the scriptures,he transcended his body-consciousness and saw the relationship between the body,the senses and the different faculties of the mind.As his practice intensified,his awareness became so concentrated that he gained direct experience of the contents of his mind,ego and intellect.Finally he entered in to the vast realm of unconscious mind,known as chitta,where he encountered the dormant karmas related to his million and millions of of past lives.But in this state of deep spiritual absorption,he became disoriented.Although his mind was clear and one pointed,he could not tell whether he was dreaming or whether his unconscious mind being presents on the screen of pure consciousness.

As he focused more intently,however,confusion vanished and realized that he was in samadhi.His consciousness has transcended the realm of time and space and he was being blessed with the intuitive experience of his sanchita karmas.All of his previous life was before him and there was no distinction between them and his present life.It was if the past was slipped into the present and present had walked into the past.

Allowing his consciousness to expand further,he traveled deeper into the backyard of time.The more he searched,the more he discovered about himself.The experience was shocking.He was overwhelmed by the numberless life-forms,he had assumed in the past.He had been a king,an insect,a beggar,an elephant,a demon,a celestial being and everything in-between.He had hurt others and others had hurt him.He saw millions of individual souls-some he had hated and others hated him;some he had loved and they had loved him.Everything that had ever happened to him had created an impression,and all these impressions had stored intact.Although there were occasional intervals of pleasure,a stream of vivid pain flowed continuously throughout all these experiences.Before entering in to this state he had not been aware of those deposited impressions,nor had he been effected by them.But now he saw quite clearly that they would eventually manifest.The realization forced him to ponder issues he had never thought he would entertain.

"How and why did I involve myself in this apparently never ending chain of karmas ? He wondered "How vast our unconscious mind to be able to accommodate all these karmic seeds! What force preserves these seeds allow them to sprout and grow at specific times,causing them to manifest as destiny? Not all these dormant karmas are awakened at once .Who decides which particular group is to be activated ?

Overwhelmed by the sheer number of his dormant karmas,Jaigishavya grew discouraged.He realized that at some point it will gather momentum and become active,pushing him to migrate from one life form to another.

"I am able to see the history of trillions of lifetimes of my transmigration,"he thought,"But I still can't see beginning of my soul's outward journey.This means there are still many dormant karmas lying beyond my present intuitive capacity.I can do nothing about my dormant karmas that are outside my awareness-but do I have the freedom to erase,rewrite,throw-away or recycle the dormant karmas I have identified ? If so,how can it be done."

While Jaigishavya was tangled in the maze of his own self discovery,one of the immortal guides,the sage Avatya,sensed that someone was in need of his help.The sage working on behalf of his primordial master,Bhagavan Narayana, who aids advanced seekers ,who have become stuck at a higher level  that neither scriptures nor teachers in human form can help them.Even they are always connected with the cosmic mind (Hiranyagharba), the sages on this level are also connected with each individual.

Intent on cutting asunder the yogi's final knot of ignorance,sage Avatya emerged from the universal pool of consciousness and descended into Jaigishavya's consciousness.Jaigishavya prostrated before him,and sage Avatya lifted him lovingly and spoke "You have been overwhelmed by discovering the vastness of your karmic field.Tell me how can I help you.?"

Jaigishavya replied, "It is disheartening that after my long dedication to intense yogic practices,I still have so many karmas stored in my mind.And even after knowing that they are there,I do not know how to get rid of them."

Sage Avatya replied, "Because of your austerities and your practice of meditation,you were able to penetrate your own chitta,the vast unconscious mind where the subtle impressions of all your past deeds are stored.You are consciously experiencing your unconscious.You think you are witnessing the contents of your mind while remaining above it,but you are not; you are actively involved .That is maya.Rise above maya and you will see what or who lies beyond."

"O Ocean of compassion,how can I rise above maya ?

"the first step in tearing the veil of maya," Avatya explained,"is to sharpen your intellect,so that you can clearly understand why you are attracted to knowing your past.Your interest in your past is an indication,of your desire to reclaim it.And this desire to reclaim your past is due to your attachment.You are aware that most of your past is painful.Logically,you should have no desire to re-associate yourself with painful events,yet you are drawn to them.Why? Because you are attached to your actions,the fruits of your actions and their subtle impression.You treasure them in your mind-field,although you know how useless,ugly or painful they are.That is how sanchita karmas,gather their momentum and come in to manifestation"

"People are drawn to painful,disgusting and violent stories because stories help them to re-associate with their past thoughts memories and ideas.This re-association engenders a sense of pleasure.Just as worldly people listen to such stories for pleasure,spiritual people find pleasure in experiencing them in samadhi.They call it 'Story Telling',you call it a spiritual experience,'but it is essentially the same process.By these tales worldly people awakens,and act out their subtle impressions.If the impressions are strong,they are deeply affected.As a result they may commit themselves to take a related action,thus creating more karmas.That is how their dormant karmas turn in to active karmas,which are the fabric of destiny"

"If you are negligent,this conscious experience of your unconscious can trick you.In fact,it had already tricked you.You are re-associating with your dormant karmas by brooding on them and by figuring out,when,how and why you created them in the first place"

Avatya saw Jaigishavya was growing more troubled."Let me help you" the sage said gently."I ll properly formulate the question which are already in your mind in a hodgepodge state.This will help you contemplate on them and find the answers."

"Tell me,how many karmas do you have? Do you remember when you performed your first action,reaped its fruit,and stored its impression in your mind? When did it become active and motivated you to perform the next set of action? When did you become aware of your cycle of your karmic action from potential,to dormant and then to active again?"

Jaigishavya replied,"Sir,I do not know,ho many karmas I have stored in dormant form nor when I performed my first action.Nor do I know how or when I created these impressions.and I have even less of an idea how the wheel of karmas was set in motion."

"Then tell me" sage Avatya asked,"can you categorize your dormant karmas?"

"Yes dormant karmas are either painful or pleasant,undesirable or desirable,hard to deal with or easy to deal with"

"Now tell me which category of dormant karmas are in larger.The painful or the pleasant?"

"The Painful.",replied Jaigishavya."Even the pleasant ones are contaminated by pain.Even a pleasant memory makes me emotional,because there is a desire to recapture the pleasant moments-but the past is past,and that is painful too"

Sage Avatya smiled and said,"This answer is the result of your deep analysis and introspection.When I arrived,you were simply recounting your dormant karmas.Now you have gained some experience.Reinforce it by contemplating on this truth: all impressions are painful.All beings caught up in the karmic whirlpool are bound to experience pain. Disidentify your karmas."

"You were reinforcing the idea that your were doer of your actions.Your anxiety about the fruit of actions made you miserable while you performed actions.In the event that you did not achieve the desired result,your disappointment made you miserable;your worry about retaining the fruits of your action also made you miserable.In this way,every action you have ever taken was smeared with the impressions of misery.You must understand that every karma,to some degree,contains inherent misery.True knowledge lies not in knowing your karmas,but rather in knowing their inherent nature.And this knowledge will give you the freedom from the effects of your dormant karmas."

For some time Avatya continued his instruction."Whenever a memory either grieves you or thrills you," the sage warned,"Its your attachment giving energy to that related dormant karma.Instantly neutralize the karma with the power of non-attachment."

"Attachment," he explained,"is like the nutrients a seed needs in order to sprout.Once you no longer provide these nutrients,the seed of dormant karma will loss its capacity to grow into destiny.But some of the dormant karmas are so strong,that even if you do not have any attachment to them at a conscious level,they will find a way to manifest as destiny.In relations to such powerful karmas,it is not enough to simply remain unattached to them.The practice of non-attachment is a passive preventive measure.That it works only in relation to weak karmas."

"To neutralize the effect of such powerful dormant karmas," the sage continued, "You must commit yourself to a methodical practice,and that practice has to be intense.During such a practice you have to summon your entire sankalpa sakti (The power of will and determination),to complete it regardless of how many obstacles you may face.Thus vairagya(non-attachment) and abhyasa(Practice) are the ways to attain freedom from your dormant karmas."

After imparting this knowledge,Avatya disappeared.Jaigishavya's confusion and discouragement had been dispelled,and he redoubled his commitment to spiritual disciplines.He preserved until one day he became Yogishwara-lord of the yogis.Completely free from all karmas and their fruits.

From Death to Birth: Understanding Karma and Reincarnation 
By Rajmani Tigunait


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