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755. Sisupala

Gods are powerful, but Rishis are more powerful than gods. Gods who are the size of the earth endowed with splendour and power, do not have the psychic, the evolving Spirit. Janaka was a great Rishi inside, though outwardly he shouldered the onerous duties of a king. His inner spiritual growth was so great that no longer did he need to conform to the outer symbols of sannyasa. Whether he was an ostentatious king or dressed in the ochre robes of a sannyasi, the inwardly developed SOUL remained what he was inside. Narada, a god, visited him. Being a god, Narada had no evolving soul which alone can perceive another evolving soul. He missed the spiritual greatness of Janaka.

Puranic stories are taken by gullible folk literally. They are valuable and instructive. They are cast into the mould of parables. One should see their significance for him. Rishis reached Vaikunta and tried to enter the abode of Mahavishnu, who was asleep. The gatekeepers, dwarabalakas, innocently declared to the sacred Rishis that Mahavishnu was asleep. Rishis are greater in power than gods, but are not free from ego. Their egos are pronounced and all the time protruding. They may not pass the entrance test of any yoga which requires the dissolution of ego. These Rishis cursed the gatekeepers to be born on earth. The gatekeepers appealed to Mahavishnu who was helpless against the fury of the Rishis. He offered his gatekeepers a clue to return to Vaikunta. ‘While on earth, oppose me instead of worshipping me. That will bring you back quicker,' said he to the gatekeepers. The shortcut to heaven is opposition to God!

Sisupala was thus born on earth, born with extra features. He was Krishna's cousin. Krishna put the child on his lap and the extra features disappeared. Sisupala's mother knew from that event that Krishna was destined to kill him. At the Rajasuya yaga of Yudhisthira, Sisupala was outraged by the prominence given to Krishna and abused him copiously. Krishna patiently waited, counting the abuses. When they had crossed a hundred, Krishna had fulfilled the promise given to his aunt. In the ensuing fight, he sent his Sudarsana chakra to cut off Sisupala's head. Krishna was enveloped with tenderness as he did so. A light of devotion emanated from Sisupala's body, made towards the feet of Krishna and merged in them. God's compassion, full of divine tenderness, evokes from the recipient soul the light of devotion. His compassion was to destroy Sisupala who was evil incarnate. Good comes out of evil, says Sri Aurobindo. Light came out of evil Sisupala. Evil is not really evil to God. It is one permissible form of life through which God emerges. To discover in our own life the evil actions of our enemies giving rise to the good of life is to understand Sri Aurobindo's philosophy. No evil will ever come to us if there is NONE in us.

story | by Dr. Radut