Aditi, or pure consciousness within us, being thus in great sorrow, because the demons, symbolising the negative qualities within us, defeated her divine children, sought refuge in her husband and her guru, rishi Kashyap. Sage Kashyap instructed his wife, Aditi, to worship Lord Vishnu during bright fortnight of month Phalguna (when the Sun, dwelling in Aquarius, shines as Tvashtar, the giver of progeny), drinking only milk and honouring him in this way:
“I bow to you, supreme, all-pervading Lord, the greatest of all, who dwells in the hearts of all beings as the silent witness.”
“Devi, I understand the wish hidden in your heart. I know that you prayed to me for the welfare of your sons, who have lost their shelter in heavens. But, oh goddess, it is very hard to win with the demons by using the power at the moment. By the blessings of their Guru they became unconquerable.”
“O brahmana, I offer you my hearty welcome and my respectful obeisances. It appears that you have come here to ask me for something. Therefore, whatever you want you may take from me. O best of those who are worshipable. You may take from me a cow, gold, a furnished house, palatable food and drink, the daughter of a brahmin for your wife, prosperous villages, horses, elephants, chariots or whatever you desire.”
“O king, I know that even until now, no one taking birth in your family has been poor-minded or miserly. No one has refused to give charity to brahmanas, nor after promising to give charity has anyone failed to fulfill his promise. But although you are very generous and are able to give me as much land as I want, I ask only three paces of land, to the measurement of my steps.”
King Bali was shocked. Thinking that Lord Vamana must be still just a child, he replied:
“O small boy, one who approaches me to beg something should not have to ask anything more, anywhere. Therefore, if you wish, you may ask from me as much land as will suffice to maintain you according to your needs.”
“My dear king, even having all the three worlds in possession cannot satisfy a person whose senses are uncontrolled. If I am not satisfied with three paces of land, then surely I would not be satisfied even with possessing the entire world. One should be satisfied with whatever he achieves by his previous destiny, for discontent can never bring happiness. A person who is not self-controlled will not be happy even with possessing the three worlds. Therefore, o king, from you I ask only three paces of land. By such a gift I shall be very pleased, for the way of happiness is to be fully satisfied to receive that which is absolutely needed.”
“Gurudev, all the material opulences of this world are separated from their possessor at death. Therefore, if the brahmin Vamanadeva is not satisfied by whatever gifts one has given, why not please Him with the riches one is destined to lose at death?”
This enraged Shukracharya and inspired it him to utter the words of a curse, which will very soon come true:
“Although you have no knowledge, you have become a so-called learned person, and therefore you dare be so impudent as to disobey your guru’s order. Because of disobeying me, you shall very soon be bereft of all your opulence.”
“O king, you have promised me three steps of land. But, look, just with my two steps, I have covered the entire universe. Therefore, you tell me, where shall I place my third step?”
Great king Bali, humbled by these words of Lord himself, understood that it is time for him to surrender completely to the feet of the Lord – and so he said:
“Vishnu traversed this world; three times He planted His foot, and the whole world was collected in the dust of His footstep.”
Three steps of Lord Vishnu represent his transcendence – and our journey into transcendence, too. It is said that these three steps of Lord Vishnu represent crossing through the three stages of consciousness to reach the infinite state of turiya. Not without a reason sign of Pisces starts from two nakshatras called Bhadrapadas: Purva Bhadrapada (“first auspicious step”) and Uttara Bhadrapada (“second auspicious step”). But where is the third step? It is invisible for the mortals, for it represents the inconceivable realm of Lord Vishnu, which can be perceived only by the yogis, who transcended the realm of material world, in their deep meditation, and reached the state beyond consciousness and beyond subconsciousness: the super-consciousness.
The name of Shravana nakshatra, lunar mansion of Lord Vishnu, also means “to hear” or “an ear”. It refers to many different types of hearing. On the most sublime level it manifests as listening to the subtle pulse of the ocean of Cosmic Consciousness and our ability to listen to the voice of our intuition. On human level it manifests as our ability to listen to other person with true empathy and compassion. On lower level, however, it manifests as listening to the powerful stream of collective consciousness, as manifested via mainstream media, listening to wrong advisors or even gossips.
I am still in the process of writing “Twelve Vedic Suns” and it will take me quite some time. But if you preorder, you can become the first one to have the access to some of the finished chapters. This will be my longest ebook – I estimate it to be 600 pages long in total.
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