Creation of Lord Brahma and The Four Kumaras | Who is Yamaraj?| Writings from Bhaktamal-01

Who is Yamaraj

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Meditating on the Supreme Lord

The omniscient and all-inclusive Lord, out of his boundless compassion blesses the living entities of the world and accepts them as they are. The living entities of the world are harassed continuously by sorrows and disease. They are bewildered to no end as the pastime of birth and death continues to haunt them birth after birth. People are blinded by lust, anger and greed. To get the misguided population of the living entities on the path of well-being, out of his immeasurable compassion, the Lord incarnates, so as to attract the living entities towards Him; that they develop attraction towards Him. By being attracted to Him, the living entities forget their mean nature and get drawn to Him, in the anticipation of boundless joy, which is ever present in the Personality of the Supreme Lord. The Lord descends on the earthly plane and performs sweet pastimes in order to end the illusion of the downtrodden living entities. By meditating on His sweet and eternal forms, by hearing His sweet glories and pastimes, the living entities who are drowning in the ocean of nescience have the hopes of easily salvaging themselves from the pitfalls of mundanity.  The Lord, in His many incarnations, sets examples in such a way that living entities can hear about the Lord’s activities and try to live by them, inspired by the Lord’s own internal potency.

Five primal forms of the Lord

It is not within man’s capability to measure the Lord’s beauty and capabilities, in the course of His many incarnations. The Lord has infinite forms and qualities. His Abodes are also infinite. Although, the scriptures exhort to the fact that, all the innumerable forms and qualities of the Supreme Being are non-different. The Lord is invested with eternal powers and those powers are evident through five of His most popular forms which are Supreme objects of worship even on the earthly plane. They are forms of (1) Lord Narayana (2) Lord Shiva (3) Bhagawati Mahashakti (4) Lord Surya Narayana and (5) Lord Ganesh.  There are also some very notable divine beings who are revered in Shastra as the perfect devotees of Lord Vishnu. Their greatness is that although they are appointed as the controllers of the earthly plane, in their own respective abodes, they are perennially in the thought of their Ishta Devata. We shall be discussing some devotees from the divine realms.

Lord Yama, the god of death, Dharma Devata

Lord Yama says in the Bhagavatha, “Those whose tongues do not utter the sweet names of the Lord, those who do not remember the pristine qualities of the Supreme Being, those who do not worship the Lotus feet of the Lord, those whose heads do not bow in surrender to the Supreme Lord Krishna, those who remain separated in thought, word and deed from Lord Vishnu, Oh denizens of my Abode, Hell, go and get such wrecks from earth and present them before me.” So orders the Lord of the Hellish planet, Lord Yama to the Yama dutas (यमदूत the attendants of Lord Yama). When the Yama dutas prepare to descend to the earthly abode, to get the sinners, Lord Yama whispers into their ears “Take care that you do not bring to me people who are devoted to Sri Narayana, those who chant the names of Sri Hari and depend on Him alone. Do not even venture close to them. I have been given the job of punishing those beings whose works do not glorify the Lord, those who are opposed to the Lord and those who never think about the Lord. I am incapable of punishing the ones who have the Lord as their master. I am not the master of the devotees of the Lord.

Lord Yama is a Devata, he is the son of Lord Surya Narayana. He emerged from the womb of Devi Sangya. The color of his body is black and he wields the Danda (दंड punishing rod) with which he punishes those who are opposed to the Lord, owing to which, they commit severe sins. He rides a he-buffalo. By the will of Lord Brahma he punishes the worldly beings based on the bad actions. He is considered as a part incarnation of the Lord. Lord Yama rules over the Hellish planets for a period of one Kalpa, till the time that another being is handed over the position of Yama for the next Kalpa (one day of Brahma). For a being who follows the path of Dharma, Yama is the form of Dharma Devata, whose form is fair and is gentle in appearance, always protecting and safeguarding the interests of the righteous beings. When righteous beings leave their bodies, Dharma Devata receives the beings with lot of respect and honor and based on their good deeds, the beings are lead to higher planetary systems, to enjoy the fruits of their good actions. However sinners are received with contempt and disgust and punished in accordance to their sinful actions. He is however still kind to the sinners and prays to the Lord, to show them the right path. Lord Yama is considered as a Bhagavatacharya, as one who is fully educated in the affairs and nature of the Supreme Lord.  This, being his qualification, he can never be considered ruthless or heartless. He punishes sinners with the higher intention of relieving the sinner of his sins and thereby making him eligible for better activities in subsequent lifetimes. His only intention and dream is to see that the whole world becomes the ardent devotee of Sriman Narayana. He is ever enthusiastic to be able to witness a living entity rise to the abode of Vaikuntha. Nothing else, other than this, makes him happy. The Abode of Yama can be considered as a furnace where lower quality of gold is heated to such an extent that the impurities are filtered out and pure gold is extracted. Lord Yama is praised and respected by even the denizens of the highest heavens including Lord Brahma.

Sri Brahma begins Creation

When one becomes extremely fortunate on account of the fruition of good deeds done over many million lifetimes, one gets the association of the pure devotees of the Lord. It is due to their association that ignorance is lifted owing to the destruction of deep attachment to the body and illusion of the mind comes to an end. The rise of knowledge happens due to end of illusion and self-pride. Associating with pure devotees evokes the light of higher intelligence in the being. At the very dawn of creation, Sri Brahma, the first living entity, desired to begin creation. His very desire produced 4 mind-born sons. Namely Sanak, Sanat, Sanandan and Sanatan. Lord Brahma had meditated for 1000 celestial years and obtained the vision of Lord Sheshasai (Vishnu) in the core of his heart. The Supreme Lord communicated the central teachings of the Bhagavatha in Sri Brahma’s heart. It is following this process that Sri Brahma started the creation work with his mind. At the time when he began creation, his mind was soaked in Krishna-Bhakti and hence it was utterly purified and divine. He was in the mode of pure goodness. He did not even have a trace of Rajas and Tamas.  He was free of indolence, laziness, procrastination, sleep and was not even inclined towards the Rajasic impulse of creativity.  He was ordered by Sri Vishnu to create and hence was just following orders in the most disinterested manner.

Sanak-Sanatan-Sanat-Sanandan Kumara

It is under these circumstances that Lord Vishnu expanded Himself as the 4 Kumara brothers and incarnated as the mind-born sons of Sri Brahma. The disciplic system of Knowledge about the Supreme Being was cultured in all the three worlds by the Kumara brothers. Right from the time of their appearance, the Kumara brothers had no other inclination other than the glorification of the Lord’s names, qualities and abodes. They would extensively sing the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. They would never lose a moment in talking about anything other than the Lord. It was impossible for them to flinch from the Lord and move towards the world. It is a matter of intelligence to understand that such beings devoted to the feet of the Lord would have no interest in proliferating a family and contribute towards worldly development. Their nature was not meant for the world. This was their level of disinterest for the world and worldly activities. Their lips would constantly chant “Hari Sharanam” (हरी शरणम I surrender ever to the Lord).

Sanat Kumara brothers are unaffected by time

The lips of the Kumara brothers would never rest for even a moment from the chanting of the Holy names of the Lord. Their hearts were perennially attached to the beauty of the Lord’s divine forms. The effect of such deep attachment to the Lord was that time itself could not have any effect on the Kumara brothers. They remained eternally as 5 year old children. They never were attacked by lust, because of their baby-like transcendental bodies and innocence of their hearts. No aspect of Maya Devi could come close to their divine forms. Their eternal abode was in Jana Loka. The Jana Loka is full of beings who are eternally free and detached from worldly activities. They are all austere and are lost in contemplation of the Lord. The beings of that planetary system are ever enthusiastic to hear and discuss about the Lord’s pastimes. Satsanga is a way of life on that planet called Jana Loka. Every being was qualified to render the pastimes of the Lord. Daily, one being adorns the position of the speaker and the rest of the citizens of that Loka would assume the position of listeners and intently listen to the Lord’s glories. This is the eternal custom of the planet known as Jana Loka. The listeners would offer humble services to the speaker and with rapt attention, they would hear the pastimes. Satsanga was the very breath of the Kumara brothers. They would not be able to survive even for a moment without Satsanga. Their lips would chant the names of the Lord, their heart lost in contemplation of the Lord, Their intelligence steadied with the principle of the Lord’s magnanimity and their ears constantly drinking the nectar of the Lord’s pastimes, this was their daily routine.