STORY: DEVRAJ INDRA’S SERMON TO GREAT WARRIOR PRATARDAN

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    In the treasured mythological scriptures such as Purans and Upanishads, battles between the Devatas and Asuras have often been been described in great detail and on many occasions. Asuras, have always troubled Devatas for some reason or the other. In fact, they were mostly stronger than the Devatas in strength, and therefore Devatas were always scared of them. Even Devraj Indra who was extremely powerful and laced with a lot of divine offence could not harm them in any manner.

    A time came when Devraj Indra had had a prolonged spell of atma-gyaan (self enlightenment). And with that his power and inner strength had increased exponentially when he defeated the asuras big time. Thereafter, amongst all the Devatas he was rated supreme. He was awarded the kingdom of Swarglok (heaven) and the ownership of Tribhuvan (Three worlds—swarg, dharti and pataal). In this great battle he was assisted by Pratardan the great warrior son of King Divodas. The spiritual conversation below is between Devraj Indra and the warrior son Pratardan.

    With the help of powerful Pratardan, when Devraj Indra was able to forge a grand victory over the asuras he took Pratardan along with him to Swarglok. Impressed by his surreal warring prowess and supreme purusharth (bold human endeavour) Indra said—‘Pratardan! I am extremely happy with you, so tell me how do I bless you?’

    Pratardan humbly said—‘Devraj! Since you consider var (blessings) to be beneficial for human beings. I want, you only to present me with something that will be beneficial for me.’

    Indra replied—‘Rajan! Everyone is quite aware of the fact that no one, asks for a var for anyone else, because no one knows what the other person wants. So, you, only ask for something, for own yourself.’ Indra’s point of view sent Pratardan into a spin. But he recovered swiftly and said.

    ‘Then there is no blessings likely to come my way, and I shall always remain devoid of it. Because you won’t grant me one in accordance to what is good for me, and I wouldn’t know what to ask for myself?’

    But even after hearing Pratardan’s pungent plea. God Indra did not go back on his words, because he had vowed to grant him a var. And he was worried, as he was considered the epitome of truth. So, come what may, he had to award Pratardan with something, even when he had not asked for it.

    In the middle of all this Devraj Indra sermonised—‘Dear Pratardan! You need to know my real cosmic profile and configuration. For, that alone would be the most helpful var for mankind. If you so desire, you can ask what is so special in me that you should know in depth. Listen to what all I have, to understand what will be beneficial for you. I’ve established a permanent unison with Param-Brahma (supreme creator) so I don’t have the arrogance of a doer. My mind always stays steady and never deviates to nothingness. I never aspire for any karmafal (rewards for actions) and no particular work can confine me.

    It is said I killed the three-headed Wishwaroopa. Many pseudo sanyasis and sadhus who never followed the discipline of ashrams and who were away from bhramcharya (celibacy). I cut them into pieces and fed them to the wolves. So many a times I killed the daitya (asura) kings who troubled noble souls like Prahlad. Daanavas (a superior race of asuras) who gave pain to Pulopasur and other asuras residing in the planet such as Kalkhanj were also destroyed by me, after removing all obstacles that came in my way. While doing all of this, not a single pore of mine was damaged because, I was bereft from desire—karamfal. In the same manner a person who will endeavour to know me well, his punyalok (paradise) will never get derailed by any action of his.’

    Very attentively Pratardan kept listening to Devraj Indra. Indra further added—‘Pragyaswaroop (In enlightened form) I’m the pran—the breath of life. I am also the cumulative age of all prans and jeewanbhoot (past lives) put together. And that which is pran, and that which is without the fear of amritpad (state of immortality), is not separated from Indra. So age is pran and pran is age and pran is amrit. Only till the time pran resides in the body there is age. And from pragya (enlightened mind) alone a man decides on truth and finds alternatives in life. Those, whose age and amrit reveres Indra, they alone in this loka live to the fullest of their age and while moving to swarglok (heaven) drink ‘akshay amrit’ (Everlasting immortality).

    Responding to Indra’s sermon, Pratardan asked—‘Why is it that some intellectuals say, the holistic pran (breath of life) of a human body which includes all indriyas (literally means belonging to Indra, also means faculty and senses at work in a human body) work together in a well woven and synchronized manner and individually they cannot function. When the voice starts speaking, rest of the senses in the pran remain silent and approve of what the voice is saying. When eyes start seeing then other senses stand behind it and start watching. When ears start listening, all other senses too start listening. When mind starts thinking, all other senses also start thinking along with it. And finally when the lord & master—pran is at work other indriyas endeavour to work in tandem with it. Is this true?’

    Devraj Indra thought for a moment and said—‘yes, it is like that only. All prans put together are one but are still called by five names and without doubt are the form of ‘supreme bliss.’ I call it supreme bliss because one is dumb without voice, blind without eyes, deaf without ears and without a developed mind it is like a child or a simpleton. A man can survive even when his body parts are severed, but without pran he cannot survive even for a second. So, pran is the precursor for power and knowledge. Pran is the supreme God. In pran resides Parmatma (supreme-soul) whose darshan (occasion of seeing a holy person) is the ultimate in knowledge, and that alone is pragya .’

    Pragya and pran co-exist in a human body. But both leave the body after the person is dead. Without pragya even if pran is there, a person cannot register anything. Any business of mind cannot be transacted without pragya. Only knowing the voice is of little consequence, on the contrary the desire to know the inspirer of the voice which is the soul is of utmost importance. To know the indriyas or the subjects of indriyas alone, is not sufficient, what is important is to know about the adopter of these topics of indriyas, that is the soul.’

    Indra further enlightened Pratardan—‘In the manner, topics of indriyas are merely about the past. In the same manner sections of similar indriyas are related to pragya. If the past bit won’t be there even pragya bit will not be there. Out of the two (matter and indriyas) neither of the two, can survive alone in any form and obtain siddhi (supernatural powers). The essence of life therefore is from indriyas to matter and from matter to indriyas and that alone is considered the holy domain of life.

    The sense is, from indriyas you arrive at the subject matter and from subject matter one can figure out the power of indriyas. If there is only one subject matter that moves from the matter to the same matter one can’t derive knowledge. Also, a single indriya will not have the complete knowledge of other indriyas unless there is a subject matter. So both knowledge of the past and pragya are essentially needed for fusion of matter and indriyas.

    Here it is important to understand that between matter and indriyas there is disparity. But there is no disparity between matters of pragya and the past. Past pieces are lodged in pragya and pragya is well entrenched in pran, therefore: the pragyatma (enlightened soul) of a pran is its anandmai (fill of bliss) and is the supreme nectar of life (amrtimai). This pran and pragyaroop (enlightened form) of chetan parmatma (conscious soul—God) allows the person who is proud of his body to perform the duties of his sadhu dharm. For he is the ombudsman, he is the king of the lokas and he alone is supreme. And blessed with all these attributes and considering pran to be Parmatma (Supreme soul) residing in Nijatma (one’s own soul) it has obtained atma-gyan (self-enlightenment). And blessed with all these qualities one must consider pran to be the ultimate Parmatma or Nijatma and basis by which one can obtain the ultimate knowledge of the soul.’

    And impressed by Indra’s atmagyan (self-enlightenment) and sermons Pratardan was quite satisfied and he returned to earth and started spreading the sermons of Lord Indra that was extremely helpful for the mankind.

    From Brahma-upnishad

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Translated by Kamlesh Tripathi

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