Liberation Or Parenting

[Krishna birth]“In other words, the Lord selected His mother and father—namely Prishni and Sutapa—specifically to appear in the material world. Whenever the Lord comes as a human being, He must have someone as a mother and father, so He selected Prishni and Sutapa perpetually as His mother and father. And on account of this, both Prishni and Sutapa could not ask the Lord for liberation. Liberation is not so important as the transcendental loving service of the Lord.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 3)

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For the person who is serious about yoga, there are rules and regulations to follow. At least these are the recommended guidelines, and the aspiring student tries their best to adhere to them. At the foundation of every principle is detachment from what falls under the general umbrella of “material life.”

Within such a life, there are endless potential points of attachment. The conduit is the senses. Vedic literature talks about both the senses and the sense objects. Combine them together, in something like a cartesian product, and the total number of combinations is significant.

Each combination is like a pit of quicksand. At first you don’t notice any difference. The experience feels like any other. In a short matter of time, however, the condition deteriorates. You become so attached that you wonder if you can properly function without the requisite interaction on a repeating basis.

With such a backdrop, what kind of serious yogi would ever think about becoming a parent? The experience typically begins with physical interaction. This is in the traditional sense, involving a partner. The seed and the field upon which the seed will grow.

सर्व-योनिषु कौन्तेय
मूर्तयः सम्भवन्ति याः
तासां ब्रह्म महद् योनिर्
अहं बीज-प्रदः पिता

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā

“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.4)

From there, it is one responsibility after another. Who will be able to focus on their yoga? Who has the time to contemplate detachment when you hear yelling and screaming from morning until night? Even if you had the best relationship with your spouse before, after children enter the picture it is like trying to interact with someone while separated between thick, soundproof glass.

[Krishna birth]Taking such a review into consideration, we marvel at the experience of Vasudeva and Devaki. As explained by Shri Krishna showing the rupa of Narayana, those parents had been pious souls for several iterations. They were of the highest character. They were at the topmost standard of pious life, of living in a way aligned with dharma.

When reaching the summit, they did not ask for liberation. They could have gained release from the cycle of birth and death. Yoga is only necessary as a discipline when there is a diseased condition. It is like taking medicine when you are sick. No need to be admitted to the hospital when you are otherwise healthy. No need to hide in your house, because some test says you have a disease, when everything is otherwise functioning properly.

Instead, that couple opted for receiving the Supreme Personality of Godhead as their child. Within the same world, subject to the same threefold miseries, enduring the same experience from birth to death, but with the most amazing association: a direct link to Divinity.

From the experience of those parents, we see that liberation is not as important as proper consciousness. A person can be within the cycle of birth and death and still be liberated. Devaki and Vasudeva were suffering tremendously due to the torture inflicted by the wicked king of Mathura. They were in prison, of all places, when Krishna appeared to them as their son.

“While Vasudeva was carrying his son Krishna in the falling rain, Lord Shesha in the shape of a serpent spread His hood over the head of Vasudeva so that he would not be hampered by the rainfall. Vasudeva came onto the bank of the Yamuna and saw that the water of the Yamuna was roaring with waves and that the whole span was full of foam. Still, in that furious feature, the river gave passage to Vasudeva to cross, just as the great Indian Ocean gave a path to Lord Rama when He was bridging over the gulf.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 3)

[Vasudeva crossing the Yamuna]While in a prison, those parents were already liberated. While married, they were detached like yogis. While carrying out responsibilities, in the literal sense for Vasudeva, they were not bound by action and reaction. This is the potency of devotional service, which stands above all other systems of religion.

In Closing:

If parenting to choose,
Attention and focus to lose.

Screaming child and spouse the cost,
Peace of mind forever lost.

But Vasudeva and Devaki stayed,
Through the choice they made.

For Vishnu as son to receive,
Liberation in this world to conceive.

Categories: my past lives

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