Darkness of samsara


In the Kapilopadesa section of the Bhagavata Purana, the primary creation, that is, the natural evolution of the fundamental categories from Prakriti, is explained in detail. The categories remain separate and only when Divine Will intervenes and infuses them with His power that the Cosmic shell from which Narayana lying in the cosmic waters emerges along with Brahma. Brahma is Vishnu’s intermediary, distinct but not different from Him. Prakriti, the primordial matter, comprises the three gunas, satva, rajas and tamas.

Kapila then expounds the path of spiritual evolution that leads the jiva to a state of freedom from the darkness of samsara, pointed out Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a discourse. Life and death is a recurrent occurrence in the journey of the jiva through countless births. There are 84 lakh species in creation and the jiva is allotted a body in every birth according to its past karma. The jivatma should understand that the soul is only a temporary resident in the body. He should train himself to be unaffected by the experiences of happiness and joy, pleasure and pain, etc.

Just as the reflection of the sun in water is not in the least affected by the differing qualities of water, the soul should remain detached if one desires to have peace of mind. The jivatma who is attracted to the senses and their objects will be forced to pass through the cycle of birth and acquire a new body according to the nature of his deeds, good and bad. To avoid sense pursuits one should exercise self control and focus on thoughts about the Supreme Lord. Kapila explains further that by the Lord’s abundant grace alone it is possible to transcend samsara and turn one’s mind towards the path of selfless devotion. Then the blissful state of mukti is attained from which there is no return.

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