Friday, September 30, 2011

Maarjaala Nyaya and Markata Nyaya

We saw Leaders and Followers. We saw Elders and Youngsters. Both are relative. Just like relatives. A close relative may be kept far far away. A distant relative may be a closest friend. What about those Ahead of us and are Behind us?  There is a saying that there is no tallest tree in the world. Technically there should be one and I was shown one such tree in Redwood National Park in California. But when you actually start the search you will always find a bigger tree. 

In philosophy, there are many arguments about the relation between Bhakta (Soul or Devotee) and Bhagavanta (The Lord or God whatever). In fact philosophy probably only means argument, as it is based purely on Logic.  If argument is removed from Philosophy nothing will be left. Bhaktas are divided into two categories. They have to be divided, because we believe in divide and rule. To understand the two categories of Bhaktas  we have to understand Maarjaala Nyaya and Markata Nyaya.

What is so special about these Nyayas? Maarjaala is the Sanskrit word for Cat. Markata in Sanskrit means Monkey. Translated it becomes Cat Nyaya and Monkey Nyaya. To understand this, we have to observe how cats and Monkeys handle their little ones. When you closely observe the difference between Cats handling kittens and Monkeys handling baby monkeys (I am told there is no better word for baby monkeys!). Though both appear to be the same, the difference is very clear when closely observed.

Whenever a cat moves around with the kittens, it carries the young ones in its mouth. We know cats have sharp canines and any rough handling will result in serious injury to the frail kittens. A little carelessness in holding the kitten firmly will result in dropping the kitten to the ground, especially when the mother cats jump around. But the mother cat does take care of this. Holds the kitten firmly enough in the mouth so that they do not fall down and at the same time hold gently enough so that the kittens are not injured. Best example for firm and gentle at the same time. Automobile manuals refer to the brake this way. The brake should allow full and free movement of the wheel, but the braking effect should start at the slightest touch of the brake pedal!  Kittens have no responsibility at all. Mother cat assumes all the responsibility. This is Maarjaala nyaya.

When the mother monkey carries around baby monkeys, the baby monkey has to hold firmly to the belly of mother monkey. Mother monkey keeps moving and jumping around trees as if it is alone. If the baby monkey does not hold firmly, it will fall down and get seriously injured. Entire responsibility is of the Baby Monkey and mother has no responsibility.  This Markata nyaya.

The Bhaktas or souls are also divided into these two categories. First category comprises of those bhaktas whose entire responsibility is taken up by the Bhagavanta, the lord himself.  They have achieved such a level of Saadhana that the Lord does not want to miss them!  He assumes full responsibility for the souls and is at their beck and call. They are Maarjaala Nyayi bhaktas. All other souls are running behind the Lord  to please him and be with him. Pleasing the Lord is their responsibility and if they fail, they fall. These are Markata Nyayi bhaktas.

There are two famous Beluru in India.  Newer one is near Calcutta and is the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission. The original famous Belur is about 37 kms from Hassan and 233 kms from Bangalore. The old name for Belur was Veelapuri. Velapuri and Dorasamudra (now called Halebeedu which is 16 kms from Belur) were the capital cities of the Hoysala Kings. Belur's Channa Keshava temple and Halebid's Hoysaleswara-Shantaleswara temples are nearly 900 years old and are fine examples of Hoysala architecture. Anybody visiting Karnataka and Bangalore should not miss these temples. These temples have made Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana and his Queen Shantala Devi immortal. Beauty of these temple carvings cannot be expressed in words and they are to be seen to be believed. Both places can be visited from Bangalore in one day and there are regular daily tours by Karnataka Tourism and private operators.

There is a street next to the Channa Keshava temple in Belur, called Vaikhunta Daasa street. One saint by name Vaikhunta Dasa (Dasa means servant of the Lord) lived here in the 16th century. He was a contemporary of Saint Purandara Dasa and Saint Kanaka Dasa who lived in the golden period of Vijayanagar empire and King Krishnadevaraya.

Saint Kanakadaasa, one of the foremost writer, composer and social reformer of Karnataka came to Belur once wanting to have darshan of Lord Channa Keshava (meaning handsome Vishnu). He also wanted to see Saint Vaikhuntadaasa. It was nearly midnight when he arrived in Belur. He reached Vaikhuntadasa's house and being unwilling to wake up Vaikhuntadasa, slept outside the main door of the house. Early in the morning Vaikhuntadasa opened the door and found Saint Kanakadasa sleeping near the door. He felt very sad and asked Kanakadasa why he did not wake him up in the night. Kanakadasa said he did not want to disturb the sleeping Vaikhuntadasa. Vaikhuntadasa told Kanakadasa: "What have you done Sir? You are a Maarjalanyayi. I am only a MarkatanyayiYou are far ahead of me in Saadhana. Your sleeping outside my door will make the Lord go further away from me!". Saint Kanakadaasa is said to have comforted Saint Vaikhuntadasa with kind words and stayed with him for many days, accepting his hospitality.

If we start as Markata Nyayi now, one day we may reach the level of Maarjala Nyayi some day.


  1. To become Maarjalanyayi one has to get out of "Aham" (Pride) which requires quite some saadhana

  2. For both Marjala Nyayi Bhakta and Markata Nyayi Bhakta, Karm is same. That Karm is One Eshwar Sadhana, Aaradhana, Chintan, Bhajan, Jap, Kirtan, etc. Also this Karm needs to be with total focus, devotion, faith and trust in One Eshwar. This Karm needs to be Nishkaam Karm (Karm with no desires).

  3. Both Marjala Nyayi Bhakta and Markata Nyayi Bhakta, need to perform Nishkaam Karm (Sadhana, Aaradhana, Bhajan, Jap, Chintan, Kirtan, Dhyaan, etc. of One Eshwar with no desires). They both need to focus on One Eshwar. They both need to have complete trust, love, devotion and faith for One Eshwar.

  4. Nice story. It's been years since I read good articles.