Saturday, January 2, 2016

Kalpataru Maa!

ll ॐ नमो भगवते रामकृष्णाय कल्पतरवे ll   llॐ श्री मात्रे नमः ll

Dear Devotees,
What a coincidence! Or is it? Kalpataru diwas is Sri Sri Maa's Jayanti this time. The Kalpa-vrksha stands at the North-east corner of the temple, looking at the Real Kalpataru presiding inside... It has one queer feature - the trunk is bifurcated right from the bottom.

Kalpataru is the legendary 'wish-fulfilling tree' that abides in Indra's precincts. One could ask for the desired object, standing beneath it...of course, all that is finite, surely.
 We are reminded of what Maitreyi, in her wisdom, asked on behalf of all of us​, "किमहं तेन वित्तेन कुर्यां येनाहं अमृता न स्यां ?" (What am I to do with all the objects if they would not make me immortal..)

That brings up the natural question - would Ishvara, invoked as Kalpataru, be as apologetic as that?
Narayana Bhattathiri in his famous Naraayaneeyam addresses this in a glowing verse thus -

नम्राणां सन्निधत्ते सततमपि पुरस्तैरनभ्यर्थितानप्यर्थान्  कामानजस्रं वितरति परमानन्द-सान्द्रां गतिम् च l
इत्थं निश्शेष-लभ्यो निरवधिकफलः पारिजातो हरे त्वं 
क्षुद्रं तं शक्रवाटी-द्रुममभिलषति व्यर्थमर्थिव्रजोsयम् ll 

"Indeed it only befits vain mendicants to be begging from and of that insignificant tree that grows in Indra's garden, when O Lord Hari, you are there to shower what is desired, even though unprayed for, and transcending all that, the fruit called limitlessness - Moksha - upon devotees that have surrendered unto you!"

Ishvara is not an 'ordinary Parijata' who would want to grant you what would keep you bound in the finite Samsara. It could be said without a shade of doubt about Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna a least. Not for nothing was He so choosy about the right devotee - one who would not ask for things that bring bondage, one who wanted Ishvara Himself, Moksha alone!!
Yet, it takes a day like today, where one sees a Kalpataru day superimposed on Sri Maa's Jayanthi to understand why that Kalpataru Ishvara has indeed got to be patently Motherly - for this kind of compassion, born of sheer vatsallya!

​Isn't it then rightly said of Her -
भोगाद्दुष्कर्म-कोट्या कृत-मलिनं दुर्लभम् मर्त्यजन्मं 
माया-मोहाग्नि-पङ्के गहनतमे अन्धकारे निमग्नम् l
मोक्षं वक्ष्ये किमपरं प्रदिशसि भक्तमुन्नीय स्वाङ्के 
आर्त्र-त्राण-परायणे ! जननि हे ! मां पाहि श्री सारदे ll
"Even upon that lowly devotee as has sullied this rare-to-attain human birth with millions of misdeeds and sense-enjoyments, and who is deeply immersed in abyssmal darkness, in the quicksand of delusive ignorance that scorches - She generously bestows Moksha, having lifted up his dirty self right on to Her own lap!! What more do I have to say in extolling the glories of my Mother! O Ma Sarada, the ever-eager Savior of those in distress and suffering, please save me!"
Indeed it takes Motherhood for manifestation of Ishvara's 'Kalpavrkshattvam'!!

Well, did not Bhagavan say to Arjuna, "I am the Father of this Jagat, and the Mother as well..." (पिताहमस्य जगतः  माता  धाता पितामहः...
Is it to indicate this truth that the Kalpa tree near the temple has a bifurcated trunk?

Maa! You chose this coincidence, You alone must choose to put us on your lap, we are ignorant as children, O Dayaamayi!!

Swami Sheshadri