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History of Matrugaya

After Sage Kardam left Bindu Sarovar to become an ascetic, Kapila took charge of the ashram. One day his mother Devahuti remembered that the purpose of Vishnu incarnating himself as Kapila was to once again spread the message of Sankhya Yoga, which is a combination of devotional service and mystic realization. This message was to be spread through the discourses that Kapila would give her. So she addressed her son as the Supreme Lord and informed him that she was ready and eager to learn from him. She said that she was disturbed by her involvement with her material senses and sought the path to salvation.

Kapila then expounded on the wisdom of Sankhya Yoga. He told Devahuti that in its unmanifest state the human soul is Purusha, which is another word for Param Atma or the Supreme God. Purusha is eternal and omnipresent. There is nothing in the world that is not embedded in Purusha. Purusha is without any characteristics. The manifest energy of Purusha is known as Prakriti. As a part of his “lila” the Purusha induces Prakriti to influence it. Under the influence of Prakriti, Purusha begins to take on characteristics and this form is known as the Jiv Atma. The mind perceives the Jiv Atma as different from the Param Atma and gets deluded. Feelings of “I” and “Mine” enter the mind. The mind also begins to get involved with emotions of love and hate and anger and desire and with the various human relations. As a result the individual feels happiness and unhappiness.

Devahuti then asked Kapila how humans could overcome this delusion. Kapila explained that the mind should not be attached to the material and emotional things that it had got attached to. However it is very difficult if not impossible for the human mind to exist in a state of non-attachment because Prakriti will sooner or later exert its influence. The solution is to attach the mind to the Supreme God so that it cannot get attached to anything else.

Just as a glass that is already full of water cannot be filled with anything else.

Devahuti questioned Kapila again. The mind is attached to so many things. How can one suddenly erase these attachments and attach it to God. Kapila replied that there are many ways but none is like a magic wand. The easiest and the quickest way is through devotion or “bhakti”. The way to inculcate bhakti is through the company of holy men. Listening to them recount tales of the incarnations of God and chanting hymns with them helps in detaching the mind from undesirable things. The devotee should dwell in a secluded and peaceful place and eat the minimum that is essential for survival. He or she should observe celibacy and should look to all humans without enmity and without intimacy. Slowly the mind will be free from all material and emotional attachments and focus only on God. At that time the veil of disillusionment will disappear and the mind will recognize that the Jiv Atma and Param Atman as one. At that time the devotee will be free of all desires, including desire of eternal salvation.But because he or she is attached to the Supreme God, the devotee will get freedom from the cycle of birth and death without desiring it.

After passing on this knowledge to Devahuti and the other residents of the ashram, Kapila like his father left Bindu Sarovar. Wherever he went sages and learned men begged him for passing on his wisdom. Finally he settled on an island in the sea, now at the mouth of the river Ganga, and gave discourses to everyone. In fact it was Kapila who was indirectly responsible for bringing the Ganga to the earth. In the Hindu month of Magh thousands of devotees flock to that island to pay homage to the great sage Kapila. Devahuti began to follow the exact directions he had given and in due course she was able to remove all imperfections from her mind. Having realized the Supreme God within her, she shed her body, which became a holy river named Gyanavapi in which even the demi-Gods and sages bathed to purify themselves. The place became a major center of pilgrimage known as Sidhpur.