Lessons of Maya - Narada's Tale and Cosmic Design

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Vibhishana's opposition to Ravana's actions, particularly the kidnapping of Sita, and his commitment to dharma led him to defect and ally with Rama in the pursuit of righteousness. His defection is an act of moral courage, showing that sometimes it is necessary to take a stand against wrongdoing, regardless of personal cost. This can encourage you to make tough decisions when confronted with ethical dilemmas in your own life.

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Arthashastra is a book written by Kautilya (Chanakya) about administration, economic policy, and military strategy. It was written in the 3rd century BCE. Kautilya was the guru of Chandragupta Maurya. The book deals with 180 topics in 150 chapters. The topics include - the need for law and government, the roles of kings and officials, how checks should be maintained on administration, causes of poverty, causes of unrest, the judicial system, laws of marriage, forests and wildlife, manufacturing, mining, war and peace, spying, propaganda, and taxation.

Quiz

Who was Vidura's mother ?

Sure, I'll correct the grammar and spelling mistakes while maintaining the original structure and paragraph organization: "I want to share a story from the Shiva Purana that has profound lessons for our lives. Bhagavan makes the world function, causes events to happen through his maya shakti. Bhagavan creates and controls the world through his maya shakti. Maya is not some negative quality that you should get rid of. Maya is the very reason for the world's existence. That's why Durga Saptashati says - ज्ञानिनाम....

Sure, I'll correct the grammar and spelling mistakes while maintaining the original structure and paragraph organization:

"I want to share a story from the Shiva Purana that has profound lessons for our lives.

Bhagavan makes the world function, causes events to happen through his maya shakti.
Bhagavan creates and controls the world through his maya shakti.
Maya is not some negative quality that you should get rid of.
Maya is the very reason for the world's existence.
That's why Durga Saptashati says -
ज्ञानिनामपि चेतांसि देवी भगवती हि सा ।
बलादाकृष्य मोहाय महामाया प्रयच्छति ॥
Even jnanis come under this maya sometimes.
Even they have no escape from this.
Even they can end up acting in ways contrary to their basic nature.
That's what happened with Narada.
Narada is Devarshi, a brahmachari, a brahmajnani.
But even he ended up once getting deluded and getting attached to worldly desires and appearances.
Even he ended up acting like an ordinary layman.
No matter how strong our faith, how deep our knowledge, all of us are susceptible to the influence of maya.

Once while he was traveling he reached the capital of a king called Sheelanidhi.
Preparations were going on for the swayamvara of the princess.
When he saw the princess, Narada fell for her, he was spellbound, completely enchanted.
He wanted to marry her.
This is the power of maya.
This was not without a purpose.
Narada looked at the rest of the kings who had come for the swayamvara.
They were all in royal clothes, wearing exquisite gem ornaments and handsome.
And then he looked at himself.
How will I surpass all these and get the princess?
How to make her like me?
Narada got an idea.
He rushed to Vaikuntha.
Narada was one among the most ardent devotees of Lord Vishnu.
He told Bhagavan - can you give me a body exactly like yours.
No one can say no to someone who looks like Bhagavan.
The girl is definitely going to fall for him, Narada thought.
Bhagavan smiled and said Tathastu.

Narada went back to the swayamvara venue and sat among the kings, fully confident.
The princess with her friends went from king to king.
She is supposed to put a garland on the neck of the king or prince that she likes.
Narada had goosebumps as she approached him but he was shocked to see her turn her face and move away.
What happened, he couldn't believe that the princess said NO to him.
Everyone who saw him got a funny smile on their faces.
He asked one of them, what are you laughing at?
He said - you don't know?
Go and look at a mirror.
Narada did that.
A monkey-face looked back at him.
He couldn't believe why his dear Lord did that to him.
He again rushed back to Vaikuntha and confronted Bhagavan.
Bhagavan with a smile said - what wrong have I done?
You asked for a body like mine, I gave it to you.
You never asked for a face like me.
Narada could not see his own face.
He could only see his Bhagavan-like body and took it for granted that even his face looked like Bhagavan.
His perception became similar to that of an ordinary man.

But it didn't end there.
Narada ended up cursing Bhagavan - Because of you I lost that charming princess.
You will take birth on earth and suffer separation from your sweetheart.
Only monkeys who look like me will come to your help.
They will help you in reuniting you with your wife.

So the game plan was to make Bhagavan take birth on earth.
It can't happen without cause.
Narada's curse became that cause.

This is maya shakti.
We should reflect upon our ideas and perceptions from time to time.
We should question our assumptions and presumptions.
We should understand the limitations of our perception.
One way to counter this kind of stupid action is to cultivate inner contentment.
Narada's action - both his longing for the girl and cursing Bhagavan were impulsive.
If he had thought about it, he would have probably realized that it was maya shakti playing out on him.
Avoid impulsive actions, impulsive decisions.
They mostly have undesirable consequences.

In the pursuit of immediate and temporary pleasures, we are at the risk of losing sight of eternal truths.
Only our relationship with Bhagavan can give fulfillment and joy forever.
Let us learn this from Narada's mistake.

Another point to be noted is that Bhagavan accepted the curse with a smile.
Because he knows it is part of a bigger game plan.
In the same way, we should also accept the fact that, even adversities in our life, could be part of a bigger cosmic plan.
Understand that these plans are to prosper us, not to harm us.

By the way, You might have heard another version about Sriram Ji's birth that the Lord took advantage of a curse from Shukracharya to take birth on earth.

That is also correct. These incidents repeat themselves in each kalpa with slight variations.
The curse of Narada and curse of Shukracharya could have happened in two different kalpas."

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