Uni5 Thiruvilaiyadal puranam - 4. Indra Loses Himself

4. Indra Loses Himself

As per our CAC patter, we can see Thiruvilayadal at five levels like our BMIAC. (Before that, read the book on Miracles and comprehend it well.)

Where does Indra live?

It can be said that Indra is the one controlling our five senses. A life force, as it develops into an enlightened being step by step, still sometimes slips due to the confusions caused by the senses. The Puranas transform these into stories where Indra is cursed or confused.

Who is Guru, Jupiter?

The Devas stand for the good in us.  Their head is Indra. Guiding them towards enlightenment is their Guru, Jupiter of Bruhaspati. The awareness and good qualities in us can be said to be Bruhaspati. When one lives as guided by him, there is no dearth of joy.

On this basis, shall we examine Indra closely?

Indraloka Mesmerised

Indra and the other devas were enjoying the dance of the divine damsels. Among the dancers, the dancer called Tilottama was especially astounding. So he was lost in her art.

Should one have no sensual desires?

Man has been given the five senses so that he may enjoy the good around us well through our senses and awaken the inner eye. That is why, including love-making, our elders identified 64 art forms. The pleasure one derives from these arts is equivalent to attaining salvation. But we do not realise this due to ignorance. We think it is the material thing that gives us pleasure. Through art we should strive for spiritual awakening instead of pursuing physical pleasures. That is why the arts like dance, music, and painting are like doing great penance. There are many who have attained spiritual oneness with the divine by pursuing these arts.

But the question that arises is through these arts, what kind of sensual pleasure do we attain? It is in the hands of the individual. But everything good also has a flip side to it. It is enough if he realises it.

Indra now started enjoying the dance only for sensual pleasure. He forgot himself and his imagination ran amok. At that time his guru Bruhaspati entered the hall.

Indra did not realise that his Guru had entered the room. So he did not pay the respects due to a Guru.

The Guru also, realising Indra’s mood, went away. He also did not make the devas realise his role in awakening their spirituality. Indra and the devas, denied of the Guru’s guidance, lost little by little their spiritual energy. Realising this, Indra went deep into himself and asked Brahma the way to raise his spiritual energy again.

‘Raising the spiritual energy once lost is no mean task. It needs a Guru’s guidance, which you do not have currently. But still, use Daksha’s son Vishwaroopa as your Guru for the time being,’ Brahma advised.

But Vishwaroopa guided demons who sought only physical pleasures. Demons are those who give importance only to physical pleasures and will do anything to achieve it.

With no other go, Indra agreed to take Vishwaroopa as his Guru for a while. For one who had slipped down from his high spiritual energy to base emotions, he could expect only so much.

As per his Dharma – duty – Vishwaroopa too accepts Indra and gives him Siva Kavacha (armour) which helps Indra overcome his base desires. One can call this the battle between the asuras and devas.

Knowledge or Emotions?

Vishwaroopa did everything as per the rules laid down in the Vedas. But without anyone realizing, a part of his offerings were for the demonic forces. That is, the Guru of the demons sowed the seeds for demonic thoughts to grow in Indra’s mind. But Indra, who realized this somehow, beheaded Vishwaroopa through the sword of his awakening. This was an error he committed due to the domination of his emotions.

This indicates that aware of some mistake happening within himself, he tried to overcome the possible wrong with knowledge. But can one overcome such evil so easily? Can one eradicate the evil that happens because of dallying with it so easily? What happened then?

Coming to know of his son Vishwaroopa’s death, Daksha – the epitome of arrogance – unleashed the most evil demonic force. This is the struggle between the good and evil in our minds.

The Primary Text says that these forces were released after eight days of yagnas. The demon who emerged was called Vritrasura – one can say that through his evil power he facilitates the growth of evil in man’s minds (vritti means development in Sanskrit).

Chased by Vritrasura, the devas surrendered to the fully enlightened Mahavishnu. When evil holds sway, man must turn to enlightenment to fight it effectively. It is that knowledge that will help man find the right path again.

Who is an unselfish man?

‘If there is anyone who is willing to give up his life, and therefore his body so that his spine maybe used for the good of the people, then find the person,’ He instructed Indra.

Who will agree to such a sacrifice? That too give up his spinal cord? The devas stood helpless.

Dadhichi’s Sacrifice

There, the devas seek the ashram of Dadhichi rishi. They seek his help in finding a solution for their problem. Dadhichi can be said to stand for selfless goodness that strives for spiritual awakening amongst the people of the world. One who is ready to sacrifice anything so that another may experience spiritual progress can be said to be Dadhichi personified.

When the devas and asuras seeking immortality had gone to churn the ocean to obtain the nectar, they had left their weapons in his keeping.Why should one detached from the world take up such a responsibility?

There is a Limit to Patience

Does nectar bestow immortality? No! Neither of the contenders realized that immortality is only for those who become one with the divine. Dadhichi acquiesced to their request knowing that this was an opportunity for them to realize the truth. But when he saw that they turned a blind eye to this evident truth, the two were more interested in consuming the salty nectar, he lost his patience and drew the powers of the weapons into himself. Vishnu explained to them that all that power now rested in his spine.

He had the ability to internalize the powers of the weapons of the devas and the asuras who wasted their time. So his life time became balanced too. He sacrificed his body so that Indra may shape the weapon and chase Vritrasura who hid in the ocean. Now what could he do?

Indra again sought the counsel of Brahma, who advised him to go to knowledge personified Agastya rishi. Here it is clear that for the evil to be destroyed completely, the guidance of a Guru in needed.

Agastya is said to have drank all the ocean water to help Indra. What does this show? That he destroys the apparent self-confidence that gives rise to evil. Man needs a pure Guru in his life like Agastya. Such a Guru should help his disciple discover the fount of knowledge within himself and not make him dependent on the external Guru forever.

Finally Indra killed Vritrasura with the lightning. But realizing the sin of killing will follow him forever, he surrendered to his Guru Brihaspati, who welcomed him back whole-heartedly.

He advised Indra to worship the Swayambhu Sivalinga near the lotus pond in the Kadam forest on the banks of River Vaigai. Indra and the devas reached there. They purified their ever-changing hearts with the pure water of the pond. They worshipped Siva with pure thoughts that bloomed like the flowers. That too since Indra worshipped with true realization his oneness with the divine, he felt each flower glowed with a golden hue. (Gold stands for purity of thought.) His troubles were finally over.

Looking for a New Place

We must look for the Divine Truth that resides in us as Siva energy with diligence and the guidance of a guru. But to be able to identify that Truth within us, we must overcome all evil thoughts. That in itself is a struggle! But there is no doubt if one finds a pure-hearted Guru and practices certain spiritual exercises under his guidance, then one can find that Siva-like Divine Truth within self.

The Swayambhu Linga is considered by the elders to be the very linga that Indra worshipped. And that linga manifests itself as Madurai Sokkeshwara, Lord Somasundarar and Sri Meenaskhisundareshwara.

Indra temple tower decorates the Lord’s sanctum sanctorum. Eight elephants guard the eight directions.

It is believed that every year, on Chitra Pournami (full moon day in the Tamil month of Chitrai, which falls during April-May), Indra and the devas worship the lord in their ethereal form.

What is the significance of the eight elephants in the Indra Tower?

The eight elephants constantly remind us that the pleasures the five senses make us experience should lead us to the higher plane. The elephants surrounding the linga can be said to signify that the elephant like strong senses should realize the divinity in every the pleasure they experience.

So that the Indra that is the ruling power of the five senses should always experience divinity in every pleasure, should we not then worship Sokkanatha all the time?

Om Namah Shivaya!

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