Monday, May 12, 2014

Vishwamitra... When a sage becomes a Brahmarishi and an asana is named after him

(The above painting by Raja Ravi Verma, is very much there in most Indians's inner eye... we have seen it somewhere or the other. Of Sage Vishwamitra refusing to acknowledge his child with the apsara)

A lot of us relate to Sage Vishwamitra -- he is real. He wants the highest good and the highest attainment and has his own rules, on how to get them.Somewhat like us, when we want something, and rationalize our goals. It is how, when Sage Vashishta, his arch rival refuses to acknowledge his "attainment" by calling him Brahmarishi that Vishwamitra  goes on a rampage and kills the disciples who are like sons to Vashishta. While still angry at not being acknowledged for his spiritual attainment, and thinking off knocking him off too, he realizes why Vashishta does this when he overhears a conversation the latter is having with his wife: that because Vashishta loves him he has to wait till all his karma is realized. To acknowledge him ahead of it would actually affect his attainment.. and that is when Vishwamitra falls at Vashishta's feet, pleading for forgiveness.

This story is somewhat akin to the frustration of Milerepa, the Tibetan Tantric yogi whose guru Marpa also will not initiate him despite his painstaking and arduous efforts. But when he does, it is because Milarepa has understood what is required..

This beautiful quote attributed to him:

Just as the mere name of food does not satisfy the appetite of a hungry person but he must eat food, so also a man who would learn about the Voidness (i.e. Universal Awareness) must meditate so as to realize it, not just learn of its definition. 

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