Are Humans More Fortunate than Devatas?

Humans and Devatas

Aphorism – 45 | Shandilya Bhakti Sutra-16

द्वेषाद्यस्तु नैवम्

Hatred, jealousy, malice, etc are not signs of devotion.

Purport of Aphorism 45

Sri Vyasadeva writes in the Mahabharata: “Neither anger, nor envy nor greed nor impure thoughts can dwell in the heart of those who are devoted to the Supreme Lord.” This is a fact. Bhakti can only arise in a heart devoid of the vices. Some people back-bite about other devotees and flatter in front of others. Such actions are condemned by the Shastras and indicate dubious personalities, inflicted by the six vices. One must consciously revert and perform Sadhana to awaken Bhakti.

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Shandilya Bhakti Sutra Aphorism – 47


Through the revealed Scriptures known as the Shrutis it is known that one goes beyond the life of transmigration when one realizes the mystery of the Birth, Actions and Pastimes of the Supreme Lord.

In the Gita, the same Truth is highlighted by Lord Krishna to Arjun. He says “My Birth, Actions and Pastimes are all Divine by nature. Hence, it is foolish for man to think that through philosophical knowledge, one can know me. But, if one is not genuine in his Love for me, it is impossible to know Me. It is like trying to hold the ocean in one’s palm.”

The Lord cannot be known by such foolish means. He says that when one becomes satayukta (सतत युक्त), that is perennially attached to Him through loving emotions, He enlightens the hearts of those who are thus attached to Him. He gives them total knowledge and bestows undying Wisdom. Removing the gloom of ignorance from pure devotee’s hearts in totality, is the Lord’s prime duty. Only after that the individual is able to realize His birth, actions and pastimes. Not before that. These divine activities are conducted, the Lord says, “By My supra-mundane powers also known as Yoga-Maya. This Yoga Maya has no relationship with the mundane aspect of Maya also known as Mahamaya or Jiva-Maya.

How can one understand the ways of God?

How can one, whose heart is polluted with fear, lust, anger, malice and envy understand or come close to Supra-mundane Divinity? Those who are stung by the bite of monism or pantheism can never understand the Divine descents of the Supreme Being. The Lord further says, “The monists consider Me as Impersonal Brahman being ignorant of my unsurpassed exaltation. Hence, their vision is marred. They are deprived of the capability of understanding His Form and Divine activities.”

The Lord says, “Neither Devatas nor the sages know the secret of My Birth and Leela (pastimes). I manifest My Divine form on this Earthly plane by the dint of Yoga-Maya. But, the sages and Devatas including Sri Brahma, fail to conceive My transcendental, inconceivable Form. Without single-minded Devotion, I am unknowable, even if one spends trying to understand me through millions of lifetimes.”

Those who have attained the Lord through single-minded Devotion to Him, go beyond the purview of worldly Maya and are relieved of the unending cycles of birth and death. They thus attain the summum bonum of life.

Shandilya Bhakti Sutra Aphorism – 48

तच्च दिव्यं स्व्शक्तिमात्रोद्भवात्

His Births and Actions are Divine because it is operated by His potency known as Yoga Maya.

There are essentially three major forms of Maya Devi

1)  On the Earthly platform, the form of Maya is known as Jiva Maya. Man operates out of limitations posed by Jiva Maya, which keeps him fearful, selfish and limited. This limits the potency of the Jiva. The latter views everything through the veil of Jiva Maya, thus disturbing his perspective. Just as everything appears yellow for a man infected by Jaundice, all people on this earthly platform are infected by Jiva Maya. Hence, they are stuck in the eternal cycle of birth and death.

2) The next form of Maya is even more mammoth. This is Mahamaya. The Devatas of the heavens and the Lords of various material forces are operated by the Lord. They may have the vision of the Lord. They may talk to Him and interact with Him. Yet, they are unable to understand the glories of the Supreme Being. This is because of the veil of Maha-Maya. How unfortunate are the controllers of material energy as they can see the Lord but cannot understand His exalted position. This is the most debilitating form of the Maya.

3) The most exalted form of Maya is Yoga-Maya. It is available to the puny but fortunate earthly man. Such a pure soul is free from Mahamaya as he does not aspire to become A Devata or desire the heavens for sense gratification. He has surrendered to the Lord through Bhakti and has become free from Jiva Maya by the direct Grace of Bhagawan.

Effects of Yoga Maya on Jiva

One who has entered the realm of Yoga-Maya attains the gate-pass to the realm of the Supreme Lord. He becomes conversant of His Acts and Pastimes. He understands the secrets of the material world as well of the spiritual world. Free from worldly concepts which are opposed to Bhakti, he is subjected to no limitations and freely flows in the ocean of the Lord’s glory.

One should understand that the manifestations of Lord Vishnu are not the composition of matter. It should be understood that His body and His soul are one without the slightest difference. On the mundane plane, the indweller within man is the spirit, who is innately spiritual. But, the body of man is composed of five elements which is matter. Such is never the case with the Supreme Being.

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