Krishna's Mercy

Hare Krishna

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The Benediction King

Posted by krishnasmercy on December 14, 2014

[Krishna with Yashoda]“O Lord, Your lotus face, which is encircled by locks of soft black hair tinged with red, is kissed again and again by mother Yashoda, and Your lips are reddish like the bimba fruit. May this beautiful vision of Your lotus face be ever manifest in my heart. Thousands and thousands of other benedictions are of no use to me.” (Shri Damodarashtaka, 5)

idaḿ te mukhāmbhojam atyanta-nīlair
vṛtaḿ kuntalaiḥ snigdha-raktaiś ca gopyā
muhuś cumbitaḿ bimba-raktādharaḿ me
manasy āvirāstām alaḿ lakṣa-lābhaiḥ

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It is understood that someone who has things is capable of giving away those things as well. They probably don’t need that much for themselves. Such as if someone becomes wealthy in a short time, it’s likely that their friends and family aren’t sharing in the new situation. Thus it is natural for them to ask that newly wealthy person for gifts. The head of state gets petitioned to redress the grievances of the citizens. A fundraiser seeks the help of a philanthropist. It would seem silly, then, to not ask anything from the wealthiest person in the world. Why would you ask for a basic vision to remain in your heart, when you can get thousands of other things?

There is a saying that you should be nice to the people you meet on the way up since they will be the same ones you meet on the way down. If you make your way up the ladder of success, you’re bound to run into people from all walks of life. Today they might be of help to you, but tomorrow, when you are much wealthier, you may not need them. Does this mean that you should treat them differently? Are they not the same person in both circumstances?

[Lakshmi Devi]The saying is there since fortune is not known to stay with a person indefinitely. Personified she is known as Lakshmi Devi. One of her many names is Chanchala, which means one who is constantly moving. The stock price of your company may be very high today, but tomorrow there could be a crash. The competitor could release a better product, increase their sales, and thereby run you out of the market.

Then what will you do? If you treated the people on your way up poorly, why will they want to help you? Why will they suddenly treat you well? In life reversals of fortune occur all the time, with some being bigger than others. Knowing this, to ask for fortune from someone in power is not very wise.

“Why don’t you ask for fixed fortune, then? God should be able to take care of that. Just ask that He make you wealthy and keep you that way.”

Others ask for similar boons. They too wish to land the job they are interviewing for. If all the candidates for the position ask the man in the sky for success, how is it possible for everyone to get what they want? The material is limited in this way. Not only is fortune chanchala, but it is also finite in a world of duality. Moreover, sometimes not getting what you want can turn out to be a blessing. If you get promoted and then suddenly find yourself involved in a scam that cheats the shareholders, you could face serious punishment afterwards. You were better off before the promotion.

Satyavrata Muni asks only for the vision of Damodara to remain in his heart. What is so special about this vision? It is of a darling young boy tied to a mortar in punishment. In that vision, the boy’s mother repeatedly kisses Him on the cheeks. He has a bluish complexion, with soft black hair encircling His face. Words cannot accurately describe the image; it is too beautiful for anyone seeing it to tell another about it properly.

[Krishna tied to mortar]What does that vision give? Why is it more valuable than thousands of other boons? It gives devotion. Why is devotion important? It is the lone source of true happiness. The spirit soul is thirsty for that devotion. Money, influence, strength, beauty, and intelligence do not come close to bringing that level of happiness. The association of friends and family brings a similar feeling, but the interactions are not pure. Relationships can break very easily. Say the wrong thing to your husband and he won’t talk to you. You’ll then worry that he is trying to find another wife. One day your child will grow up and leave home. They will think of their own family instead of you.

Those relationships come together through karma and they eventually dissipate through the same force. The vision of Damodara, however, stays for anyone who wants it. If you have it in your heart in this lifetime, you will get it again in a subsequent one. Time will not destroy your bhakti. Time operates at the order of Damodara. Time is the great destroyer, but against bhakti it is no match.

In front of Damodara the loving mother is helpless. She is bound by affection, and she makes ropes of that affection to bind Him as punishment for having broken a pot of yogurt. Damodara then binds the devotees who hear about this incident, since they can’t believe how kind He is in allowing mother Yashoda to do this. Then those devotees bind future generations with their artistic words of praise about the incident. In this way more and more fortunate souls find bhakti, which will never leave them when they truly want it.

In Closing:

Lakshmi is chanchala you should know,

Here today, but tomorrow she can go.

 

Therefore something better should request,

A boon to give lasting happiness, unlike the rest.

 

Satyavrata asks for an image in his heart to stay,

Where Krishna tied, to mother’s love giving way.

 

Whether high or low, this life or the next,

With sincerity, bhakti’s presence can expect.

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The Best Boon

Posted by krishnasmercy on December 10, 2014

[Krishna and Yashoda]“O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for the boon of impersonal liberation, nor the highest liberation of eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon (which may be obtained by executing the nine processes of bhakti). O Lord, I simply wish that this form of Yours as Bala Gopala in Vrindavana may ever be manifest in my heart, for what is the use to me of any other boon besides this?” (Shri Damodarashtaka, 4)

varaḿ deva mokṣaḿ na mokṣāvadhiḿ vā
na canyaḿ vṛṇe ‘haḿ vareṣād apīha
idaḿ te vapur nātha gopāla-bālaḿ
sadā me manasy āvirāstāḿ kim anyaiḥ

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If you did a poll of people on the street asking them if they could have one thing what would it be, one answer would be pretty common: money. And why wouldn’t you want money? There are so many expenses. They never end. Even if you’ve paid off your house, there is the property tax to pay each year. Then there is medical insurance; you never know when you’re going to get sick. Then there are all the places you want to visit. With money, you can survive longer; at least in theory. The chief God, deva-vara, gives the best boon, and surprisingly it is not money.

[too much sense gratification]The spiritually cultured know there are a few other boons that you can go for. Religiosity is preferred. Who wants to act like an animal? Perhaps in the age of television and instant news, behaving badly can get you notoriety, but a good person will not want to intentionally transgress common standards of decency.

There is sense gratification, too. You don’t necessarily need money to eat well. Someone else could pay for your things. If you have money but no place to go to purchase things, you’re not really enjoying.

Money is good for this life, but what about the afterlife? So there is the boon of liberation, or moksha. Getting more specific, this reward means no more birth and death. There is a similar cycle that we can perceive right now. We had the body of a child once, and now it is gone. We can never get it back. We had it for only a short time, and just once. This means that we already have personal experience of the “you only live once” concept.

dehino ‘smin yathā dehe

kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā

tathā dehāntara-prāptir

dhīras tatra na muhyati

“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.13)

[the changing body]Since we are still alive today, it means that we lived once and survived. The same concept applies for the death of the body. There is birth again. The change is really no different than shifting from youth to adulthood. The body changes, the circumstances shift, but the individual remains alive throughout.

Moksha is the end to birth and death. No more worrying about where you’re going to end up, whether it’s a wealthy family’s home or the ashrama of a yogi. No more chasing after money, since without birth you don’t need to worry about survival. You’re already living in some capacity, without accepting a material body.

Satyavrata Muni says that the only boon he wants from the chief God is the form of Bala Gopala to remain manifest in his heart. Bala Gopala is the same chief God; He is the Supreme Lord who delights the residents of Vrindavana with His childhood play. Why would the muni ask for this boon? He readily acknowledges that Krishna is the chief God, that He is the detail behind the abstract concept of a supreme being. He also knows that Krishna can give any boon, all the way up to moksha.

Why doesn’t he ask for money? Why not religiosity? How is the image of Bala Gopala going to keep Him alive? Actually, this will give him more life than any amount of money will. It will give him a life of devotion, which is true happiness, wherever he is. The muni is very wise in this regard. Bala Gopala once broke a pot of yogurt in mother Yashoda’s courtyard. She then chased after Him and eventually caught Him. She tied Bala Gopala to a mortar as punishment, earning Him the name Damodara.

The image of Damodara manifest in the heart is more valuable than any material reward. Money comes and goes. If you have too much of it, your friends get jealous. If you have too little, no one wants to hear from you. If you have just enough, the money alone doesn’t give you peace of mind. Religiosity is difficult to maintain. It has an end goal, also, so if that goal is not reached the adherence to religious principles is not so valuable. Sense gratification comes in any species; it doesn’t need to be asked for.

[Krishna with mother Yashoda]Damodara is unique. He isn’t asked for by every person, though He will appear for anyone who wants Him. Satyavrata Muni knows that not everyone is aware of this side of God, where He allows a mother to love Him so much. They may not know that God is beautiful in a transcendental form and that He appears within this creation so often. They may not be aware that His name is identical to Him. Therefore the muni composes the Damodarashtaka, giving it special potency in the month of Kartika, where devotees offer a candle to Damodara while singing it. He has found the real treasure in life, and since he is unselfish, just like Damodara’s mother, he is willing to share it with the rest of the world. He allows the best boon to be sought by anyone.

In Closing:

Bala Gopala the boon the best,

To last forever, unlike the rest.

 

From getting money others to envy,

No pleasure despite possessions a bevy.

 

Pure love for God beyond to stay,

Not just this lifetime, never to go away.

 

Satyavrata in kindness to others to give,

Damodarashtaka, in bhakti’s happiness to live.

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Do What You Like

Posted by krishnasmercy on December 3, 2014

[Lord Rama]“Tulsi says that Rama favors the desires of His servant more than His own. How can anyone turn their back on such a sweet master as the husband of Sita?” (Dohavali, 48)

tulasī rāmahi āpu teṃ sevaka kī ruci mī।thi |
sītāpati se sāhibahi kaise dījai pī।thi ||

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“I’ve heard of bhakti-yoga. I know that it is the process of meditation done with devotion. It is similar to other kinds of yoga, except there is attachment to another object. It’s supposed to be selfless. You’re supposed to do whatever it is that God wants you to do. You shouldn’t be in it for your own benefit, even though by following bhakti-yoga you’ll be benefitted the most. I wonder what it is you’re supposed to do, though. In other kinds of yoga the action is laid out. You meditate, you study, you work with detachment – but what about in bhakti?”

Devotion in the pure stage lacks both motivation and interruption. We get this definition from the Shrimad Bhagavatam, an ancient Vedic text focusing specifically on bhagavata-dharma, which is another name for bhakti-yoga. You lose motivation because you’re not in it for yourself. Motivation in this sense relates to the personal wellbeing. Not that you want to harm yourself, but when you have personal motives, your love for God is not pure.

Interruption is also gone. This means that you’re not in it for just a short while, intending to give it up at a later date. Bhakti-yoga is the end. It is the culmination of all systems of maintenance. Every speculation we’ve ever had about our reason for being, every philosophy on life we’ve tried and applied – it ends at bhakti. And that end is a continuous flow of loving service, which never stops since the individual never ceases to be.

na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin

nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ

ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ‘yaṁ purāṇo

na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre

“For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.20)

What exactly is that service? What does it involve? Here Goswami Tulsidas gives us a hint. He says that Shri Rama cares more about the interests of His devotees than His own. The devotee is the person engaged in bhakti-yoga. Rama is the object of service; He is the recipient of the love offered by the devotee. Rama is the detail behind the abstract concept of God. In His form of Krishna He delivers the Bhagavad-gita, which is timeless wisdom that awakens the soul to its true purpose in life. In His form of Vishnu He creates this and innumerable other universes simply by breathing. Through His external energy expansion He is the material nature that bewilders us, under whose force we constantly struggle.

mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke

jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ

manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi

prakṛti-sthāni karṣati

“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.” (Lord Krishna, Bg. 15.7)

[Bharata meditating on Rama]From Rama’s generous disposition, we see that the devotee can do whatever they want for their service. As long as they serve Rama, their work falls in the category of bhakti-yoga. Rama does not force everyone to follow the same path. The younger brother Bharata meditates in a tiny hut, awaiting Rama’s return to the kingdom of Ayodhya. Sita and Lakshmana follow Rama to the wilderness. Hanuman leaps over mountains and fights off night-crawling demons, all for Rama’s sake. Sugriva enlists his massive monkey army to help Rama rescue Sita from the clutches of Ravana. The female sage Shabari offers Rama and Lakshmana fruits and berries from the wilderness. The wife of the sage Gautama serves simply by feeling the lotus feet of Shri Rama.

Tulsidas serves by composing wonderful poetry and song in praise of Rama. His works stand the test of time, and they are some of the most popular compositions in the history of the civilized world. If Rama were cruel and strict, He would not allow such diversity. In the neophyte understanding of God, the person thinks that the Lord is a mean person who looks to punish the sinners. In truth, the punishment is automatic, coming through the laws of nature. Rama is always blissful; He has no need to punish anyone to make Himself happy.

As Rama is so benevolent, Tulsidas wonders why anyone would turn their back on Him. Indeed, this turning of the back is the reason for the living entity’s descent to the material world. Heaven is the upper planetary region, and our present location is lower because of the pervasive lack of God consciousness. Ascent to the original home occurs through bhakti-yoga, and the object of that service is so kind that He accepts anything the devotee is willing to offer. He advises Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita to take whatever one does and make an offering out of it.

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi

yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat

yat tapasyasi kaunteya

tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam

“O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bg. 9.27)

[Lord Rama]Rama is so kind that just chanting the holy names on a regular basis pleases Him. If one so desires, they can spend their whole life chanting these names and Rama will provide the facility to do so. He will personally intervene to create the conditions necessary for always saying and hearing Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Do whatever it is you prefer,

With love to Rama then offer.

 

Limited in this area you’re not,

Chance for service all have got.

 

Why then on Him back to turn?

With His favor liberation to earn.

 

Though bhakti to the end bringing,

Endless activity, Rama’s glories singing.

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What About Me

Posted by krishnasmercy on November 27, 2014

[Rama's lotus feet]“O son of Dasharatha, those persons who remember you just once get all happiness bestowed upon them by you. Why, then, don’t you care about me, O ocean of mercy?” (Dohavali, 46)

bāraka sumirata tohi hohi tinhahi sammukha sukhada |
kyoṃ na sa’bhārahi mohi dayā sindhu dasarattha ke ||

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If you are not familiar with bhakti-yoga, the science of self-realization that culminates in complete surrender in devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, here are some key facts to know.

  1. God is a person. He is an individual like you and me, except His features are inconceivable.
  2. He lives within everyone through His expansion as the Supersoul. The person within the body corresponds to the individual. The Supersoul within the body is the same person within all creatures.
  3. The sound representation of the Supreme Lord is identical to Him; so is the deity form worshiped in the temple.

Keeping this in mind, how is it that those who practice devotion at the highest levels always feel inadequate, that they are not with God? Shrimati Radharani is the perfect embodiment of this spirit. She constantly feels separation from Krishna. God is one. He is not different for each religion. Perhaps the form of address varies, and so too might the detail to which He is known, but He is still always one person. The Vedic tradition says that the original person is all-attractive, and so the name Krishna suits Him well. Krishna expands into avataras which are identical to Him. One such avatara is Shri Rama.

God is the energetic and that which expands from Him is His energy. The energy falls into different categories. Radharani is the pleasure potency. She is a unique energy since she never deviates from Krishna. She always thinks of Him. She has no personal motives. Since she worships so perfectly, she is considered to be one with Krishna. Radha and Krishna; they are just two aspects to the same supreme spiritual force.

[Radha and Krishna]Radha is the most elevated transcendentally, and yet she never thinks that she has captured Krishna. She thinks just the opposite in fact. She considers everyone else to be more fortunate. Krishna loves them more, she believes. She always feels the pain of separation from her beloved. If she is always in pain, then how can pain be a sign of advancement?

The same sentiment is expressed here by Goswami Tulsidas. His ishta-deva, or worshipable deity, is Shri Rama, who is identical to Krishna. Tulsidas mentions a well-known fact in the first part of this verse. Rama is known to be so gracious that only by thinking of Him one time in the proper mood the person becomes the recipient of so much good fortune.

There are examples to back up the claim. The vulture Jatayu remembered Rama at the time of death and got liberated as a result. The wife of the sage Gautama simply felt the feet of Shri Rama and then became free from a curse previously placed upon her. The ostracized leader of the monkeys in Kishkindha agreed to be Rama’s friend and then immediately regained his kingdom. The Rakshasa Vibhishana renounced his sinful brother and took shelter of Rama. As a result, he got the kingdom of Lanka.

Tulsidas, a famous Vaishnava saint from the medieval period in India, remembered Rama all the time. You could not mistake his occupation for anything else. His life was only devotion. He was fully surrendered. He spoke about Rama, thought about Him, and also wrote about Him. How, then, could he feel that Rama forgot about him? Should not advanced devotion lead to more closeness to the Supreme Lord?

[Goswami Tulsidas]The explanation is that this intense longing is the equivalent of association. The person who feels they have captured Rama is not as likely to appreciate His association. If they feel proud over having received His mercy, they are susceptible to forgetting Him very soon after. The person who always longs for His association, however, never forgets Him. Tulsidas was never without Rama. Radha is never without Krishna. The famous gosvamis of Vrindavana, who practiced devotion in the mood of Radha, also never claimed to have captured Krishna. The charlatan spiritual leader will boldly proclaim that they are God, and on the other side the most bona fide spiritualists will always think that they have not done enough to win God’s favor.

The facts seem paradoxical, but to one who practices devotion in the right way everything is revealed eventually. The common bond shared by the devotees feeling the ecstatic pain of separation is that they hang on to the holy name as their life and soul. Whether they feel they are with God or not, they always chant the holy name, given to them in a specific mantra. The most efficacious mantra for the present age is the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

[Rama's lotus feet]How powerful is this short sequence of words? Whether you know who God is or not, by chanting these names you’ll get a huge benefit. Whether you feel separation or intimate connection, whether you know that you are spirit or not, whether you are proud of your accomplishments or feel wholly inadequate – the sound of these names will bring you the best result. Tulsidas does not stop chanting, even though he feels he has yet to get the mercy of Rama. Radha does not leave Krishna consciousness; she cannot give Him up. The devotional state is the constitutional one; meaning that once attained there is no other way to go for the person captivated by the enchanting glance of the all-attractive Lord.

In Closing:

Devotee feeling intense separation pain,

Advanced, but how this a sign of gain?

 

When thinking that God has been caught,

Not to appreciate what to them brought.

 

When always for His favor seeking,

In consciousness ecstasy peaking.

 

Blessed those keeping Rama only once in mind,

Imagine then favor for one thinking all the time.

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Catching God

Posted by krishnasmercy on November 23, 2014

[Damodara with Yashoda]“By such childhood pastimes as this He is drowning the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy, and is revealing to those devotees who are absorbed in knowledge of His supreme majesty and opulence that He is only conquered by devotees whose pure love is imbued with intimacy and is free from all conceptions of awe and reverence. With great love I again offer my obeisances to Lord Damodara hundreds and hundreds of times.” (Shri Damodarashtaka, 3)

itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe
sva-ghoṣaḿ nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam
tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvaḿ
punaḥ prematas taḿ śatāvṛtti vande

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Take your house. You know how big it is. You know how many rooms there are. You know what furniture fills each room. You have a general idea of how big the house is in comparison with others. Now take the neighboring home. If you’re not sure which direction to go, take all of them. Go left, go right, go forward and go backward. Now you have several homes.

Extend that vision to the entire community. Now multiply that community by a very large number. Soon you have the whole nation. Then you get several nations, up to the point that you have the whole world. Then you get all the planets, including the sun.

[the earth]This vision exists. It’s hard to comprehend, for sure, but it is factual. This entirety, this vision of the maximum, is one way to understand greatness. To the person who doesn’t believe in a higher power, a supreme deity, they can at least acknowledge the presence of the whole.

Now imagine trying to capture this whole. It would seem a little silly, no? We can’t even wrap our arms around our house, so how are we going to take control of the entire universe? Sure, we can use cranes, pulleys and other mechanisms for moving and securing large objects, but to do that for the whole world is impossible.

In the Vedas, we learn that this universal form, the virata-rupa, is only one aspect to God. He is nirguna, which means “without material qualities.” He has arms, legs, hands, and a face. We can see Him if we wish, but we have no way of comprehending the nature of those qualities. His form can be small or it can be very large. The virata-rupa is the largest thing we can imagine, and yet He can expand to something much larger than this. He is smaller than the smallest as well.

So now imagine trying to capture God. The nirguna Supreme Lord is impossible to comprehend, so how are we going to even find Him? When He is apparently saguna, that is with a form that we can see in front of our eyes, it seems a little easier, but even then it isn’t very easy. Yet mother Yashoda did it one time. That person who is larger than the largest got bound to a mortar by a rope.

[Mother Yashoda]What was her secret? For starters, she was not interested in knowing His greatness. Not that she didn’t believe in God. Not that she foolishly thought she could create every outcome through her effort alone. She just didn’t feel the need to test. She did not need convincing that there is a person who is responsible for the cosmic manifestation, which has so many intricacies that work in harmony for predictability and sustainability.

What is wrong with trying to understand God scientifically? What is wrong with testing His greatness? These things are helpful in understanding Him, but they won’t work in catching Him. The less intelligent might ask what purpose is served by catching Him. The question itself reveals ignorance of the true nature of the Supreme Lord.

By definition, God is all-bliss. This refers to every aspect of His personal self. We work so hard to try to find peace. Peace is necessary for happiness. Yet if God is all-bliss, wouldn’t we be peaceful all the time if we had Him with us? This is the reason for trying to catch Him. If one tries to bind Him for the purpose of fulfilling their desires for money, strength, fame, prestige, honor, or longevity, they will always fail in their attempts.

Mother Yashoda bound her young child with ropes of affection. Indeed, the physical ropes weren’t sufficient. The first one she tried didn’t work. It ended up being too short, by the length of two fingers. No problem. She just got another rope; two of them now joined together. But alas, still short by the same length. Taking more ropes just led to the same result. Her friends started to tease her. She could dress her child just fine. She could tie a belt around His waist, but all of a sudden tying Him to a mortar as punishment was impossible.

Finally, it was Krishna Himself who gave the sanction. He was the one being punished. He knew the love Yashoda felt. He knew why she was trying to tie Him. He gives sanction to all results, including the rewards offered by the many demigods of the Vedic tradition. Not a blade of grass moves without His approval, so certainly He could not be bound unless He agreed to it.

[Damodara with mother Yashoda]Yashoda caught God in person after He broke a pot of yogurt in a tantrum. That darling child of hers would eventually grow up and leave home, but He still remains with her always. It is said that Krishna never leaves Vrindavana. When He goes elsewhere, He simply expands. In a similar manner, the devotees who love Krishna so much keep Him bound in their hearts, where He happily stays and listens joyfully to their constant glorification of Him. If they ever feel that the naughty Krishna, the origin of the universe, is slipping away, they recite the holy names to bring Him back: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Whenever feeling loneliness attack,

Chanting holy names to bring Him back.

 

In their hearts Damodara is found,

By pure affection He’s bound.

 

Like what in Gokula first occurred,

When by broken pot mother disturbed.

 

Punishment failing, ropes short by fingers two,

Krishna then agreed because mother’s love He knew.

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What You Are Missing

Posted by krishnasmercy on November 18, 2014

[Damodara]“[Seeing the whipping stick in His mother’s hand,] He is crying and rubbing His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes are filled with fear, and the necklace of pearls around His neck, which is marked with three lines like a conchshell, is shaking because of His quick breathing due to crying. To this Supreme Lord, Shri Damodara, whose belly is bound not with ropes but with His mother’s pure love, I offer my humble obeisances.” (Shri Damodarashtaka, 2)

rudantaḿ muhur netra-yugmaḿ mṛjantam
karāmbhoja-yugmena sātańka-netram
muhuḥ śvāsa-kampa-trirekhāńka-kaṇṭha
sthita-graivaḿ dāmodaraḿ bhakti-baddham

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Question: “I hear that the living entities descended to this earth out of their own will. They were with God previously, but then they wanted a change. Their wish was granted, and now they struggle through the cycle of birth and death. But what is really to be gained from having God’s association? If I’m going to be reborn after I die, why should I worry? Why is that a bad thing? What am I missing really?”

If asked to describe what God means in a simple term, which would you pick? The Almighty? Surely He must be greater than everyone else. The unborn? Everything has a birth date, though in actuality the spirit soul never takes birth or dies. Still, there are various births of the soul in the material world and they relate to the temporary bodies accepted. God is the same as His body, and that body is never born. The wealthiest? Yes, God has more money than anyone else. He is also the most beautiful and the strongest. Of all the terms we could think of, likely the one that means “one whose belly is bound by a rope” wouldn’t cross our mind. Yet not only is this term accurate, understanding it gives a hint into what we’re missing.

What is bad with our current situation? Take whatever it is that you like. You must enjoy some activity. There must be some person’s association which you prefer. Now know that whatever it is you like will eventually leave you. This isn’t meant to frighten. It isn’t meant to make one think. It’s simply a statement of fact. The truth arises at the time of birth. Whenever you get something, you should know that one day you will be without it.

In this way life is a sort of torture. You enter a new world, find objects and people, form attachments, and then everything gets snatched away from you. This occurs in cycles within one lifetime, and then everything gets repeated in a subsequent life. Life after life, birth after birth, and death after death the same thing happens. The names and circumstances may change, but the result is always the same.

śrī-prahrāda uvāca

matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā

mitho ’bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām

adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ

punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām

“Prahlada Maharaja replied: Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Krishna are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.30)

[Prahlada Maharaja]Just by knowing the cycle of birth and death, we see what God’s association is not meant for. Money will leave us, so why should we ask God for it? Our life will eventually move on to another situation, so what is the benefit to desperately seeking good health? Strength lasts for as long as the body, sometimes not even that long due to old age.

The benefit of being with God is the association itself. One way to understand that association is to think of the name Damodara. One time in the sacred land of Vrindavana a small child broke a pot of yogurt in anger. The pot was important. His mother was churning the yogurt inside it to make butter. It was hard work. Though she dutifully fulfilled her role as a traditional wife, she was anything but idle. She was a working woman; she worked at home the entire day.

Her son broke the pot on purpose. Knowing that He had done something bad, He ran away in fear. The mother caught Him, however. When she did, she tied Him to a mortar as punishment. The boy cried tears of fear, and He looked lovely the whole time. Since He was tied by the belly, He earned the name Damodara.

[Lord Krishna]That Damodara is the same Almighty. He is the only unborn one. He is invincible and unconquerable. He is without a beginning and without an end. He is all-attractive, so the best name to describe Him is Krishna. When you are with Krishna, you get interactions such as this in Vrindavana. He steals your butter and makes you chase after Him. He cries to show that He respects your authority. He eats your butter to show that your work is satisfying to Him. He looks beautiful in a variety of scenes, creating a collage of memories for your mind.

The soul mired in the cycle of birth and death caused by material desires misses out on these interactions. They miss out on offering love without motivation and without interruption. They miss out on appreciating the person who is most worthy of appreciation. They miss out on singing the glories of the one person whose glories are endless. They miss seeing true love in action, offered by the queen of Vraja, Yashoda. They miss out on swimming in the ocean of transcendental ecstasy that is devotional service.

[Damodara with Krishna]With material desires you can get pretty much whatever you want. If you’re having trouble, worship one of Krishna’s administrators, who are gods in their own right. But one thing you won’t get is pure love. You won’t get the gift that is most worth having. And yet it can all change in an instant, in one second. It can change today; no need for tomorrow. No need to wait for the afterlife, since the present life brings the opportunity to love the sweet child of Yashoda, who allows the devotees to bind Him with their ropes of affection. That Damodara is accessible to anyone who chants the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

When affection not towards origin of all,

To the material world to unfortunately fall.

 

That which already chewed again chew,

In cycle of birth pursuit for happiness renew.

 

To this punishment there is more,

Missing out on Damodara to adore.

 

A name for God, though not one to expect,

With bhakti today with Him connect.

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What Do The Demigods Think

Posted by krishnasmercy on November 4, 2014

[Demigods worshiping]“Let there be all obeisances to the lord of speech [Brihaspati], the carrier of the thunderbolt [Indra], the self-create [Brahma], and also the consumer of oblations in the sacrificial fire [Agni]. Let whatever words spoken by this forest dweller in front of me be true; let it not be otherwise.” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 32.14)

namo astu vācaḥ pataye savajriṇe svayambhuve caiva huta aśanāya |
anena ca uktam yat idam mama agrato vana okasā tac ca tathā astu na anyathā ||

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Not knowing any better, the human being first seeks rewards which are actually not difficult to attain. Praying for food to be put on the table each day seems like a wise thing to do, but then the same prayer is absent in so many who are able to eat without a problem. The animals know nothing of prayer, and they seem to find food to consume each day.

Food is one thing, but there are so many other rewards sought as well. The person who is a little religiously inclined understands that not everything comes through their own work.

“So many people work hard, but not everyone gets the same result. Some people aren’t as smart as others. Some aren’t as lucky. Some are born into more difficult circumstances. This means that we can’t control everything. There are higher powers who manage these things, and to gain their favor, I will pray to them.”

Indeed, this is a wiser choice than ignoring the existence of higher authorities. At the very least, the human being should know that there are three kinds of miseries which are beyond their control. Miseries come from mother nature in the form of hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and the like. Then we get miseries from other living entities, like the mosquitoes that bite us for no reason and the people who cut us in line at the post office. Miseries of the third kind come from within, like a restless mind or an upset stomach.

[hurricane]We have little control over these miseries, so it’s wise to seek help from those who can control them. Not only is there control, but there are specific rewards the seeker can get. There is speech, which is managed by Brihaspati. His name and knowledge of his personality come to us from the Vedic tradition of spirituality. Then there is rain to help the crops grow. Indra, the wielder of the thunderbolt, manages this. Then we have our material form consisting of the three gunas: goodness, passion and ignorance. The self-create, Lord Brahma, manages this area since he creates everyone. There is also the respect offered to all the gods managing the many different departments of the material creation. Agni, the god of fire, accepts these offerings and then distributes them accordingly.

Though there are many gods of seemingly equal importance, one stands above all. He is the origin of even Brahma, who comes to be through the stem of the lotus flower that emerges from the navel of said origin of all. There are many ways to know how and why this god is supreme. For one thing, He does not always grant what the worshiper asks. He knows that the material is not as important as the spiritual. The aim of the human existence is to become conscious of Him, not to constantly be seeking material rewards that provide little to no happiness.

The supreme god is known by many names in the Vedas. One of them is Rama. This refers to His possession of transcendental pleasure and also to His incarnation that appeared on earth many thousands of years ago. That incarnation is described in detail in the work known as the Ramayana. The above quoted verse is from that work, and it gives proof to the concept of a singular deity which stands supreme.

[Lord Rama]In this verse Sita Devi, the wife of Rama, prays to various demigods to let the words of a forest dweller be true. The forest dweller’s name is Hanuman and he spoke these words in front of Sita. She did not know him prior to this encounter. She was worried about her husband at the time, and so the words of Hanuman were like nectar to her ears. Hanuman told her that Rama had sent him and that Rama was ready to come and rescue her.

The problem here was that Sita was surrounded by liars and frauds. The king of that particular land had used deception to lure her away from her Rama. So it makes sense that she would be hesitant to believe words coming from a stranger with a form that was out of place for the area. She asks that the important gods of the Vedic tradition validate Hanuman’s speech.

We know that the speech is indeed true, which means that the gods all confirm that Rama is the Supreme Lord. That is Hanuman’s more important opinion, as he serves Sita and Rama to this day without motivation and without interruption. Hanuman’s word is enough, as is Sita’s. Both are of impeccable credibility, proven through their thoughts, words and deeds. Yet Sita kindly offers the chance to the subordinate gods to support the glorious speech of Hanuman.

yo yo yāṁ yāṁ tanuṁ bhaktaḥ

śraddhayārcitum icchati

tasya tasyācalāṁ śraddhāṁ

tām eva vidadhāmy aham

“I am in everyone’s heart as the Supersoul. As soon as one desires to worship the demigods, I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to some particular deity.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.21)

It is natural for the person who seeks and gets material rewards from their particular god of choice to have some affection for that god. In the Bhagavad-gita the Supreme Lord says that He helps such a person maintain their faith in their god of choice, though the rewards actually come from the original God’s sanction. With such a faith, it’s understandable if some would want to discount the notion that Krishna, Rama or Vishnu is a higher god. They will object to these claims, though they are supported by scriptural authority and the words of Hanuman.

[Shri Hanuman]In such cases, the gods themselves can be asked. They can be polled to see who they think is supreme. The answer coming back will be unanimous. Just as they were compelled to grant Sita’s wish, knowing that Hanuman’s words could not be untrue, they cannot lie about being under the control of the Supreme Lord. Thus the person whose faith is in a particular god can take the authority of that god to understand that there is a singular supreme being whose association is cherished by the wise.

In Closing:

Though to your favorite god you go,

A supreme being amongst all you should know.

 

Hanuman his story to Sita described,

To convince her of his message he tried.

 

To the demigods Sita then prayed,

That true would be speech Hanuman made.

 

No other choice, had to comply,

That Rama is God on their authority rely.

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At The Constitutional Level

Posted by krishnasmercy on November 2, 2014

[Lord Rama]“I have a mind that has become thoroughly filled with thoughts of Him, with all my sentiments directed at Him. As I am constantly thinking about Him, in that manner I am seeing Him today and hearing about Him.” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 32.12)

aham hi tasya adya mano bhavena sampīḍitā tat gata sarva bhāvā |
vicintayantī satatam tam eva tathaiva paśyāmi tathā śṛṇomi ||

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“Get out of my head. Stop bothering me already. I don’t want to think about you anymore.” Those tormented by affection for a particular person know these sentiments all too well. Those who wish to forget a past incident also have likely said the same under their breath a few times. When the mind is consumed with thoughts of a particular object, it appears that the object comes to life. No matter where they look, no matter which way they turn, they keep seeing that one thing. When the object stuck in the mind is the Supreme Personality of Godhead in one of His many beautiful forms, then the apparent curse turns into the greatest blessing.

That blessing explains how bhakti-yoga works at the constitutional level.

“What are the other levels? How is bhakti practiced at the non-constitutional level?“

[Typing]The word “practiced” reveals everything. When that word is present, the bhakti, or devotion, is not at the constitutional level. Take any particular field and consider the experts in it. The person who is very good at billiards likely doesn’t need to practice an easy shot. They don’t have to think. With a mind focused on something else even, they can line up their shot and make it almost every single time. The expert typist doesn’t have to look at the keyboard when doing their work. They don’t have to check to see that everything is coming across on the screen accurately. Their typing is at a level where it becomes second nature.

That highest level in bhakti is described as constitutional because it is the origin from which everyone has descended. This means that previously we were perfectly conscious of God. We never thought of competing with Him. The thought of surpassing Him in any area of opulence never entered our mind. We worried only about how His pleasure could increase every day. We used the days as a delimiter for systematically executing our schemes to please Him. The expert organizers in this area are Vrinda Devi and Paurnamasi, who know how best to bring pleasure to God in His original form of Krishna. They devise schemes in the spiritual land of Vrindavana to allow Krishna to meet with His beloved Radha in ideal settings.

[Radha and Krishna]Falling from the spiritual world, we get separated from the constitutional level of bhakti. To get it back we have to practice. In the beginning we follow rules and regulations. If we are fortunate enough to believe in God, we fear Him a little bit. Since we think that rewards other than devotion to Him are more important, we approach Him with requests. We ask that He keep our family members safe and healthy. We ask that He give us enough provisions to maintain our livelihood.

If we are doubly fortunate and hear from someone who is at the constitutional level of bhakti-yoga, we take our religious practices up a notch. In this step, we do what our guide tells us out of love and respect for them. We start to chant the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. We try to think of the Supreme Lord as often as possible. We believe in the fact that He is all-attractive, that any aspect of His personal self is worth contemplating. Though we still have desires for material enjoyment, we suppress them as best we can.

The constitutional position is one step further. Then there is no need for practice. There is no need for thinking of God in a certain way. The love is there, and it remains. It cannot go away. An example of what results comes to us courtesy of Sita Devi in the quote referenced above. From the famous Ramayana of Valmiki, this verse explains how Sita is consumed with thoughts of Rama, who is her dear husband. Rama is also all-attractive, carrying His bow and arrow with Him and revealing to His devotees a beaming smile that instantly cures the dangerous enemy known as pride. Rama is God Himself, and Sita is always with Him. Their relationship is in marriage, which means that Rama voluntarily binds Himself by duty to protect Sita. She too uses the excuse of following the duties of a wife to always remain with Him.

[Sita and Rama]The link between the two is so strong that one never forgets the other. The love for Rama essentially torments Sita. And that torment is a wonderful thing since it brings her husband’s association. Since she’s always thinking of Him, it’s like she sees Him everywhere. She hears of Him, too. Of course in this situation the seeing and hearing are not created by the mind. Hanuman is within vicinity, and he is describing Rama to Sita.

It is like music to her ears, as she will soon be reunited with Rama after a long period of uncertainty, which was created by the evil king of Lanka, Ravana. And so the long spell of misery triggered by the fall from the spiritual world, spanning many lifetimes, comes to an end when bhakti-yoga reaches the constitutional level. We will know it is there when we become helpless in our thoughts, when Sita and Rama will never leave our mind no matter how hard we may try.

In Closing:

No matter how hard to try,

Rama not to leave heart of mine.

 

Constitutional level explains,

In which Sita Devi always remains.

 

In whichever direction Him to see,

Of His association never to be free.

 

A boon is this helpless condition,

Bound always by God’s affection.

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Why Do People Die

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 24, 2014

[The universe]“The demoniac conclude that the world is phantasmagoria. There is no cause, no effect, no controller, no purpose: everything is unreal. They say that this cosmic manifestation arises due to chance material actions and reactions. They do not think that the world was created by God for a certain purpose.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 16.8 Purport)

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Question: “I know this has been asked by people since the beginning of time, but it really struck me lately. Why do people die? It’s not fair if you think about it. You become attached to them, you gain so much from them, you love them so much, and then they abruptly leave you, never to be seen again. Why must there be death?”

Life and death are tied to each other. You can’t have one without the other. Death puzzles everyone, for who knows exactly where the individual previously living has gone. No one is certain, as they can’t do an experiment to test for the next destination. The same lack of knowledge is there regarding birth. From where did this new baby come? The less intelligent, relying on sight alone, think that sex life is the only cause. Two living bodies get together in the proper way and a new life emerges. The philosophy of the spiritual science says otherwise. From knowing how birth takes place, the unknown of death becomes a little clearer too.

Between birth and death what we actually see is the soul. The individual may be a man, a woman, a dog, an elephant, a cow, or even an ant. We react differently based on what we see. We adjust our behavior to the individual’s behavior, which differs depending on the species. Even within one species, the individual always changes. The human being doesn’t emerge from the womb capable of acting out scenes in a Shakespearean play, but in adulthood it can. The infant doesn’t know how to fix a computer, but as an adult the same person can become an expert in the field.

This means that we see change. The individual does not change; just their particular covering does. From this we see that birth is the assumption of a covering. The individual existed somewhere else previously. Where exactly we don’t know for sure. The individual doesn’t remember their previous existence. If they could, they would be God.

śrī-bhagavān uvāca

bahūni me vyatītāni

janmāni tava cārjuna

tāny ahaṁ veda sarvāṇi

na tvaṁ vettha parantapa

“The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!” (Bhagavad-gita, 4.5)

We’ve introduced another person into the picture. God. One way to know Him is to look for that one person who has perfect memory. Birth and death is a single instance of a travel where memory gets erased at the end. There is no memory going in, but the individual remains the constant. It’s like a dreaming state almost. Death is like waking back up and awaiting the next dream.

This helps us to understand what birth and death are, but we don’t really know why they take place. Why does someone have to exit the dreamlike existence? As the dream is not real, we should know that the time spent within a particular species is not the ideal existence for the individual. In short, they are not meant to undergo birth and death. They do so at their own risk, and the cycle continues until they are ready for a permanent change.

And actually, death is a nice thing. Imagine if the situation were the other way around. Imagine if someone told you that how you look right now, where you live, and what you do – those things will remain forever. You will never get to leave. Who would actually opt for that? The less intelligent might jump at the chance without thinking first, but upon further thought the apparent boon would be properly seen as a horrible punishment. Death guarantees a change of scenery, an escape from a prison-like existence.

Unfortunately, that cycle continues. Death brings another birth, which brings another death, and so on. The cure for birth and death is spiritual awakening. Know who you are. Understand why you go through this temporary existence. Then take the necessary steps to stop it. The identity of the individual is spirit. Spirit is that which transcends birth and death and all the changes that occur in between.

The temporary existence is the result of desire. The individual who wants a dreamlike state, a place where they can pretend to fend for themselves and rise to prominence amongst other species who are in the same boat – they get their wish granted. Of course they are quite powerless even in the dreamlike existence. If they had real power, they would never be forced to leave. They would never die. They would get what they wanted, all the time. This is not the case, which means that the results to actions actually come from someone else.

upadraṣṭānumantā ca

bhartā bhoktā maheśvaraḥ

paramātmeti cāpy ukto

dehe ‘smin puruṣaḥ paraḥ

“Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul.” (Lord Krishna, Bg. 13.23)

[Lord Krishna]That person with perfect memory whom we mentioned before accompanies the individual in the dreamlike existence. He is the one who actually makes everything happen. He doesn’t influence decisions without being asked. If it were otherwise, then the individual would have no independence. They would be like robots forced to act under someone else’s direction. God observes and then sanctions. Desires conflict and so not everyone can get what they want all the time.

The temporary existence stops when there is surrender. Not to another fallible living entity. Not to the desires of someone who is destined to die themselves. Surrender to God is the secret. This means relinquishing the desire to live amongst the temporary. It means no longer competing with God, but instead serving Him. As God is such a vague concept, we see why surrender is so difficult. We see why there is such widespread lamentation at death, with so many puzzled by the event, wondering why it has to occur.

Vedic philosophy gives the most information about God. Fortunately, the information presented covers all aspects of life. Blind faith is not required, and neither is it encouraged. Use all your intellect. Question everything. Immerse yourself in the philosophy and start to look at everything with the eyes of spiritual knowledge. Then soon enough you will see for yourself that more important than birth and death is the happiness of the soul. That soul gets lasting happiness and peace, shanti, in service to God in His personal form.

In Closing:

To understand I try,

That death has to be why.

 

An answer to this cannot find,

So therefore always troubled my mind.

 

That death tied to birth always know,

As soon as one comes they must go.

 

Cycle on and on it goes,

Stops when Krishna one knows.

 

As Supersoul sanction to action giving,

When desire in bhakti, without fear then living.

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Diwali 2014

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 22, 2014

[Rama and Lakshmana]“O Lakshmana, this kingdom I desire only for the maintenance and happiness of my brothers. Holding my weapon, I swear on this.” (Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand, 97.6)

bhrātṛiṇāṃ saṃgrahārthaṃ ca sukhārthaṃ cāpi lakṣmaṇa |
rājyamapyahamicchāmi satyenāyudhamālabhe ||

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Diwali is the popular annual holiday noted for its many lights. Spread around the home, the festive atmosphere is intended to welcome home the prince of Ayodhya. The initial event took place thousands of years ago, but since that prince is a divine figure, the celebration can be repeated every year. Indeed, through bhakti-yoga, lamps are waved in His honor on a regular basis. He is remembered and appreciated every single day of the year, but Diwali calls for a special celebration. After all, it was the time that a great injustice was finally reversed.

[Lord Rama]The prince coming home is Shri Ramachandra. He is also known as Rama, and according to the Sanskrit texts that are the Vedas, He is the Supreme Lord. God is not an old man. He is not mean, vindictive, petty, or angry. He is sach-chid-ananda, which means ever-existing, all knowledge, and all bliss. He never takes birth and He never dies. He never loses the happiness He feels. So whenever He decides to appear on earth, in whatever form He chooses, He is an ocean of mercy to those who come in contact with Him. Everyone is looking for bliss, and in Rama they find it in the highest level.

In Ayodhya the people did not know that Rama was God Himself appearing in a seemingly human form to teach so many valuable lessons. They did not need to know this. They held so much affection for Him. He was their life and soul. If someone you love dearly becomes famous, do you stop caring for them? Do you start to treat them differently? If you really care for them, their status will not matter. In a similar way, the people were not concerned with what Rama could do for them; they were rather interested in seeing Him happy.

This means that they were quite upset when He was banished from His kingdom for fourteen years. By the way, this happened on the eve of His would-be coronation. Being the eldest son of the king, Rama was the rightful heir to the throne. As is known to happen in families, jealousy arose. The king’s youngest wife wanted her son on the throne instead. Rama did not mind this. The people would have been okay with it also. But thinking the worst in Rama, the queen ordered that He be banished for fourteen years. This way Rama would not be able to act should He entertain hopes of taking the throne by force.

This was insult to injury. Rama lived for His brothers. When He first heard the news that His father was going to make Him king, Rama told His younger brother Lakshmana to share in this glory. Rama did not want any of His younger brothers to feel slighted.

“O Lakshmana, do you rule this earth with Me. You are like My second self, so this glorious opportunity has been presented to you as well. O Saumitra, do you enjoy all the pleasures you desire and the fruits of the regal life. My life and this kingdom I covet for your sake alone.” (Lord Rama speaking to Lakshmana, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda, 4.43-44)

[Rama and Lakshmana]When Rama was leaving, Lakshmana insisted on coming along. Rama’s wife Sita also would not stay at home. The people of Ayodhya wanted to go too, but that would have defeated the purpose. It would have created a kingdom in the forest, which would essentially nullify the exile punishment.

So the people had to wait at home. They had to endure fourteen years of knowing that their beloved prince had been wronged greatly. Bad things shouldn’t happen to good people. A sinless person like Rama should not be made to suffer for no reason. Rama’s wife Sita was equally as beloved. It was a grave injustice that the couple should not get to protect the citizens that loved them so much.

It was not surprising, then, that at the group’s return to Ayodhya the city went all out. Each home was decorated nicely. Fragrant water was sprinkled on the roads. Flags were raised and auspicious pots were placed outside the homes. The city had celebrated like this before, when Rama first came home from marrying Sita. That was a different mood, as Rama was out on business. He and Lakshmana were protecting the sage Vishvamitra in the forest. This time too they were offering protection, namely to the sages in the Dandaka forest. But still, the fourteen years should not have been spent this way, at least in the minds of the people.

Similar to how the people in Ayodhya felt at Rama’s banishment, the devoted souls of today feel it is a terrible crime to deny the existence of God. To ascribe higher importance to any path except bhakti, pure devotion, is cheating the innocent people of the world. Therefore the Vaishnava saints, who worship Rama, Vishnu, Krishna, or any other personal form of God, always profusely celebrate the divine mercy. They are not shy in discussing His teachings, His pastimes, and His greatness. To acknowledge His sovereignty over the three worlds, they loudly and regularly chant the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

[Rama's coronation]Due to the influence of Kali Yuga, the present age of quarrel and hypocrisy caused by the darkness of ignorance and the gradual decline of righteousness, even Diwali is celebrated in a secular manner today. Even still, every lamp lit on that auspicious day pays some honor to the original celebration, the one that occurred in Ayodhya, when the rightful king of the world triumphantly returned to His home and to His adoring loving extended family.

In Closing:

Fourteen years a wait too long,

When time for righting the wrong?

 

Rama and Sita to rule over them meant,

Instead to the woods by Kaikeyi were sent.

 

Diwali celebration for their return home,

Lamps and decorations by people were shown.

 

Injustice too in denying God’s existence,

Thus bhakti followers chanting with persistence.

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