Chapter XXXII - 114 Home | Index | Previous | Next

"Asraya is the final aspect dealt with in Puranas. It means, the help, the support, the prop. Without help, liberation cannot be attained. The absolute is the prop for the universe. The absolute (Paramatma) from which all this has emanated, in which all this exists, into which all this merges, is the prop for achieving liberation. He who knows the Adhi-bhowthik, the Adhi-daivik and the Adhi-atma by that very knowledge, knows the Asraya or the Paramatma too." Parikshith interrupted the sage here, and pleaded, "Master! Tell me then, what the Adhi-bhowthik, the Adhi-daivik and the Adhi-atmik are."

Suka was happy that the question was put; he prepared himself for answering it. "O king! I see a thing. That thing is Adhi-bhowthik. But, what exactly is seeing it? You may say, the eye sees it. Wherefrom does the eye get the capacity to see things? Think of that! The deity presiding over the eye is the sun (Surya). He gives the eye the power of vision. Without the sun, in the dark, the eye cannot see, isn't it? The sun therefore is Adhi-daivik. But, there is one more basic factor in this process - the Jivi, the individual behind all the senses, behind the eye and the ear and the rest. That individual is the Atma, the Adhi-atma. The Atma, the deity, the senses that bring knowledge of things, without these, the process cannot continue. The Atma is the witness."

"Now, I have told you of the ten characteristics of the Bhagavatha and other Puranas. Tell me what else you desire to know from me and I shall gladly relate to you the same. I am ever ready," said the sage.

At this, Parikshith said, "Master! I could understand the ten marks of the Puranas; I came to know that the Paramatma who is in every one as Atma is the witness, of time, space and causation. That eternal witness has assumed many forms for the sake of the world and upheld morality and righteousness. I wish to listen to the divine narratives of these incarnations, of Rama, Krishna and other manifestations, and of the deeper mysteries of these appearances. Do not feel that time is short. Let me sanctify every moment that is available, intently listening to the inspiring narration of these incidents. I pray that my thirst may thus be quenched and my heart be gifted with contentment, by your grace."

Suka replied, "O king! I was also entering upon that narrative. So, listen! Every concrete manifestation of God is significant; there can be no higher or lower. The story of each one of them is elevating. Each is a full manifestation. Listening to these stories may make you feel that one manifestation is grander, and more sublime than another. It would appear as if you get more inspiration from one Avathar than another. But, all are equally divine and mysterious. The manifestation is suited to the time, the task, the circumstance and the need; its form is in accordance with the purpose."

"Listen O king! God is omnipotent, He knows no distinction between the possible and the impossible. His wizardry, His sport, His play, His pranks cannot be described with the vocabulary that man commands. Though He has no Rupa or form, He can assume the form of the universal person, embodying all creation in His form. He is one but He makes Himself many. Matsya, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parasurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Kalki - people relate to each other that these are the divine forms He has assumed. But, that is not describing Him as vast as His magnificence. We have to visualise all forms as His; the vitality of every being is His breath. In short, every bit in creation is He, the manifestation of His will. There is nothing distinct or separate from Him."