This series chronicles interesting experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. These articles are translations from the series, “Madhuramaana Mahaneeyar” that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine.
Why God incarnates?
One day, during satsang, Sri Swamiji gave a discourse on Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. In the discourse, he stated that Sri Ramakrishna was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and that he who incarnated as Rama and as Krishna in his previous births, has now incarnated as Ramakrishna.
At that point, someone asked our Sri Swamiji, “You said Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Similarly, people say Saint Thyagaraja is the incarnation of Sage Valmiki. And that Purandaradasa is the incarnation of Sage Narada. Likewise, we attribute all the staunch devotees of the Lord as either an incarnation of the Lord himself or some sage. On analyzing this, two questions arise in me. First, can an ordinary person like me attain the state of eternal bliss or undergo the supreme divine experiences they underwent? Second, if they are Bhagavan themselves, then why should they yearn and cry for Bhagavan?”
For this, Sri Swamiji replied, “Even a little child watches the television for hours together. It enjoys listening to cine music and even hums them. When it comes to sports, it enjoys watching them as well as playing. But, it is impossible to make the same child participate in a Bhajan session or make them listen to the stories of the Lord. What is the reason for this? When a lamp is lit, the flame always points upward and water flows downwards. Likewise it is the nature of human mind to always go outwards in worldly pursuits.
Everybody desires to see the Lord directly. But we do not long or cry for the Lord. Sometimes, we do stand in front of the Lord and shed tears. Do you know the cause for that? Reflecting on our problems and our inabilities causes self-pity and as a result, we shed tears; not because of the desire to see the Lord. I completely understand when you say that you are unable to shed tears thinking about the Lord.
We can sit, stand or clap hands as we wish. But we cannot cry whenever we want to. Then can we get ourselves to cry? While it is certain that one cannot see God without pining for Him, the human heart seldom longs for Him. Then how does one get the yearning for God and cry for Him? It is only by getting into contact with who truly yearn and weep for Him. That is why, the Lord Himself, incarnating on earth, weeps or longs for the Lord and, passes on this divine longing to all those who come in contact with him during his time on Earth.
Since man’s mind is not naturally inclined to long for the Lord, God himself manifests on Earth, weeps for the Lord and creates the longing in the minds of men as well. That is why God incarnates on Earth; and sheds tears for God.” replied Sri Swamiji.
Original Tamil article by Smt. Jayanthi Janakiraman, Jan 2006 issue of Madhuramurali monthly magazine
Translated by Viji Ramakrishnan, Dallas TX