Narach Philosophy

THE ESSENCE OF THE EPIC: MAUSALA PARVA


We have seen how in one cycle of Descending thought or eighteen years, we can go down from Vaisnavism to Saivism when the idea of Sacrifice is denied; and when the same thing happens again, we go further down to Buddhism and Jainism, the two divisions of principal Sankhya, with all their denial of the true idea of God. This is the meaning of the disguise of Amba, the insult offered to the Rishis and their curse, resulting in the death of Balarama and Krshna, who personify prana as the vehicle of the Soul, and the Supreme Soul respectively.

The Disguise of Samba: We have seen that Vedanta was established and Nyaya defeated when Bhishma saw that a Woman (Prakrti) could be transformed into a Man (Purusha or God) through Sacrifice. When the reverse of this happens, that is, when an expression of God or Man is transformed into an expression of Prakrti or Woman, through lack of reverence for elders or denial of Sacrifice, Vedanta vanishes and Nyaya is re-established once more. In other words, when we hold that what really belongs to God (Man) is to be attributed to Nature or Prakrti (Woman), and when we deny the idea of Sacrifice, we descend from Vedanta to Nyaya and so when Samba, a son of Krshna, disguises himself as a woman and insults the Rishis, his action is followed by the death Krshna, and his race.

The Iron Bolt: We have seen how we descend from principal Yoga or Saivism to principal Sankhya or Buddhism and Jainism in the second Descending Scale of thought; and, then we come to believe that the Mind, associated with the senses, is the highest creative energy of life. This is the Bolt of Iron to which Samba gives birth.

The Order of Krshna: We can prevent this lapse into Buddhism and Jainism only if we do not imbibe the idea that the Mind is the highest creative energy of life; and so Kia and Balarama command that the people should not take any intoxicating liquors, for Wine of all kinds is characterized by Mind energy. Further, we see that intoxicating drinks undermine self-control and so destroy the essence of Sacrifice and the idea of God; and to prevent this catastrophe Krshna and Balarama forbid their use.

The Drunken Revel; the Fight; the Destruction of the Race of Krshna: But we have to understand the Descending Scale of thought, ending in the denial of God as Creator of the universe and so the people lose the idea of Sacrifice and self-control, take to drink and fight, with the result that the very name of God is forgotten.

The Death of Balarama and Krshna: When all this happens, God dies in the hearts of men. It is only in this sense, that is when he is denied, when all Sacrifice, self-control and goodness is denied, that God passes away from this world. This is the death of Krshna.

But when a person is passing away, before the Soul vanishes, it is Prana or vital breath that flies. It passes out, and soon after it is followed by the Soul and so Balarama, who personifies Breath or Prana, passes away first, and he is followed by Krshna, the Supreme Soul of the universe.

The Arrival of Arjuna; the Death of Vasudeva; the Submersion of Dwarka: Man, along with others, has come down to Buddhism and Jainism; and so Arjuna, the Prana or Soul of Man, comes to the scene to realize what has happened. He finds that the very source of the idea of God as a Creator of the universe has disappeared, and that is the death of Vasudeva, the father of Krshna. The fundamental idea of God lay in the Sacrifice of the senses (Asvamedha). But all that is now gone and the people believe that it is Nature that reigns supreme. This is the idea of the submersion of Dwarka (the body of the senses of Knowledge and Action) in the Ocean, symbolic of Nature or Prakrti.

The Attack of Robbers: After this happens, all forms of manifest life come to owe their allegiance to Nature and not to God; and this is the idea of the attack of robbers who carry away all the women (forms of Prakrti) who accompany Arjuna or the human Soul.

A SUMMARY OF MAUSALA PARVA:
  1. In one Descending Cycle of thought, represented by the number eighteen, we go down from Vaisnavism to Saivism; and then in another to Buddhism and Jainism; and all this happens when the idea of Sacrifice is denied.
  2. Then, when we come down to Buddhism and Jainism, we come to believe in Nature or Prakrti as the creator of life, and hold that what really belongs to God is to be attributed to Nature.
  3. We then came to believe that the Mind, associated with the senses, is the highest creative energy of life.
  4. The only way to prevent this lapse is to exercise self-control, and not to give way to drink.
  5. But if we lose self-control and give way to drink, and hold that the Mind is the highest creative energy of life, we forget God, and he dies within us.
  6. When we forget God, we forget all Sacrifice too, and so lose hold of the very source of the idea of God.
  7. When this happens, we ascribe all forms of life to Nature or Prakrti, and not to God.