Mahapravu & Loneliness..
MAHAPRABHU SHREE JAGANNATH (BAPA) IS ABSOLUTE TRUE,
OTHER THAN HIM ARE RELATIVELY TRUE….
OTHER THAN HIM ARE RELATIVELY TRUE….
Now a days when we are unable to have Darsan of Mahapravu at Shree Mandir that does not mean we don’t have the holy blessings of Mahapravu .
Loneliness is usually felt to be an unwelcome state except for those who value it for creative or spiritual purposes. Man’s gregarious nature prohibits him to be solitary. If one chooses to be solitary, then, he would probably face such unsavoury addresses as ‘loner,’ ‘lone wolf,’ ‘unsocial,’ ‘standoffish,’ ‘introvert,’ as well as a pack of such other terms as ‘quirky,’ ‘weird,’ or ‘reclusive.’ He may also be looked askew and be subject to a plethora of gossips and speculations as to his character. In short, he would be avoided or abandoned by those who tend to socialize. It’s not bad to socialize either. However, loneliness has its own merits. Only a few recognizeit. The disinterest of a majority toward loneliness necessitates an enquiry into the nature of this anathema. One feels lonely in the absence of someone longed for, and stops to feel so when he gets his/her company. The company of someone dearly loved gives one a feeling of comfort, happiness, security, and a sense of belonging.
This is fine in case of man. But what about Mahapravu Shree Jagannath’s loneliness? Does He need anybody’s company? Is He troubled by loneliness the way man is? We might think Mahapravu never feels lonely. And why should He? Man feels lonely, desperate, insecure because he is limited, because he is incomplete. This does not seem relevant in respect of Mahapravu because He is complete, and does not need anything or anybody for fullness. But Mahapravu feels lonely. This intrigues us. We wonder ‘Why’? Company or friendship is an ontological, vital necessity. In every phase of man’s life, he always wants to be friend, to communicate, to pour out his heart, to be listened to and cared for. From infancy to old age, man always needs another. The fact is that man cannot be lonely whether he wants to be or not. Friends, classmates, colleagues, family members, or people in general give us company. Sometimes we feel that such company is permanent. And delusion faces us. Further, a different aspect of loneliness interests us, that is, the solitude of sages or hermits who possibly renounce worldliness, but not the world. Barring a few of them who distance themselves from the bustle of humanity in order to contemplate in uninterrupted solitude, others live in ashrams in the company of their likes, and do also mix with worldly people to provide them service. Thus, they do not seem to be prioritizing loneliness as a condition for a spiritual life. The interest for company has another side too, that is, we need the company of only those whom we love, and those who matter to us. If that is not the case, a lost child separated from its mother in a fair would not miss her and long for her company.
Mahapravu’s loneliness as well as His interest for company is beyond the tethers of human understanding. In Gita, Krishna says He is unattached, needs nobody and unaffected by anything. Yet He longs for the company of the devotees. As Salabaga writes, “Bhakata to pita, mata, bhakata to bandhu” (the devotee is your father, mother, and your friend, O Mahapravu!) and further he writes, “Dhenu pachhe pachhe batsa game kheera lobhe / bhakata pachhare tuhi thau sehi bhabe” (as a calf follows its mother for milk, O Mahapravu ! so you follow your devotees). The calf’s dependence on the cow is vital and affectionate, and both the calf and the cow are interdependent since this relationship sustains both emotionally. In a similar way, the relationship between the devotee and Mahapravu is vital and both are interdependent. However, it sounds puzzling. How is Mahapravu dependent on the devotee? If yes, then what is the urgency that necessitates Mahapravu to associate with the devotee physically?
If He is not interested to associate physically, then, why does He incarnate, and incarnate again and again? May be this is how He would like to mix with His devotees and be closer to them. Since it is difficult for man to love the formless, Mahapravu comes in a form. An irresistible yearning for each other’s company is an arresting feature of Mahapravu-Devotee relationship. What is striking is the desire in both the devotee and Mahapravu for association, that is, being physically closer to end the loneliness. Thus the bodily form of Mahapravu is endeared by a devotee who, if not willing or trained to luxuriate in the formless, would not be content with Mahapravu as an idea or as an essence. We might like to think as to why we yearn for the bodily form of Mahapravu, His sakara rupa. In our day-to-day lives whenever we feel lonely, we long for the company of the people we love and want them in person. How happier we feel if the intensely missed ones come to us and give us the much cherished company! Since we are body and are corporeal, it is natural that we would long for the physical presence. We cannot be content simply with the essence.
Thus we need Mahapravu’s presence. Despite our knowledge that Mahapravu is beyond form, beyond rupa, beyond the expanse of our understanding, yet we long for a bodily form, something that would correspond to our materiality and corporeal status. We yearn to see the infinite in the finite. However, the finite, visible manifestation of Mahapravu, be it in the form of an idol or painting or sculpture, or an incarnation, is essentially a visible expression of the invisible, a finite expression of the infinite. Thus, there is no difference between the form and the formless, between the unman fest one and the incarnation. That Mahapravu exists validates His need for company since none can exist without company. This asseveration might look audacious or inappropriate because one would like to interrogate the rationale behind Mahapravu’s wish for company. Wish for company is essentially an expression of a vital need. It is an expression of love, and love rests on the foundation of a mutual, emotional symbiosis. In this light, the relationship between Mahapravu and devotee is built on mutual love, and both need each other. They cannot bear to see each other solitary. A similar degree of loneliness is contingent on a similar degree of mutual love, a similar urgency, a similar yearning for an ecstasy of union.
Mahapravu also feels similar urgency to listen to a devotee who has unqualified devotion to Him. Thus, the loneliness of both merge into each other where both Mahapravu and the devotee become one and inseparable. Mahapravu’s loneliness is intertwined with the loneliness of His devotee. As a lover of Mahapravu longs for His company, similarly Mahapravu also longs for him. This is an extremely recondite relationship beyond comprehension. Loneliness is a fact that man has to face. But in case of Mahapravu-Devotee relationship, loneliness has no place because Mahapravu would never make his devotee feel alone.
The mutual relationship between Mahapravu and devotee and their interdependence dismiss the possibility of loneliness in them. Mahapravu needs His devotee and He wants that His devotee think of Him. As George Herbert writes in “The Pulley”, Mahapravu has purposely withheld rest from man so that being desperate for rest, man would long for His company: “wearinesse / May tosse him to my breast” (Gardner, 136). If we take the spirit of what Herbert says, it seems to be a studied plan of Mahapravu to have the company of man. Since man tends to be oblivious of Mahapravu in his good times, Mahapravu has made this plan to make man think of Him in times of unhappiness. This divine plan to effect an inseparable union between them shows Mahapravu and devotee intertwined in a cosmic reciprocity.
The Eternal Mystery Of Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannath by Srikanta…..