Saturday, July 28, 2012

Gauging the Reaction

lord_rama_pg16_l1“Looking at Rama and Lakshmana’s beauty, the people of the city became so happy. From love their hearts are filled with bliss, eyes with tears, and bodies with excitement.” (Janaki Mangala, 55)

rāma-lakhana-chabi dekhi magana bhae purajana |
ura ananda jala locana prema pulaka tana ||

To know that a particular method is having a tangible effect, one must see a difference, either in their personal emotions or in their physical wellbeing. The barometer is based on the specific benefit desired, but irrespective of the specific circumstance the result must manifest for the original system to be considered effective. This principle applies to devotional activities as well, as through the vision of the Supreme Divine Being one should fill up with certain emotions, which are by constitution pleasurable.

Think of the natural reactions that occur in the course of everyday dealings. Say perhaps a new child is born in the family. You’ve never met this person before, as they have only been alive for a few days. Just from a single glance you swell with loving sentiments. Why didn’t you feel this way before? What could one person have inside of them to elicit this type of emotional response from others?

The Vedas, the ancient scriptures of India, reveal that the essence of identity is filled with a blissful potency. The spirit soul is full of knowledge and bliss and is eternal in its existence. The bliss already exists within everyone, but depending on the circumstance it can get suppressed. Love is meant to be offered to others, and in the form of a small child the living entity can best extract that loving sentiment from others.

The claim that the newborn carries the most potent form for extracting love is validated by the noticeable reaction of parents and other elder family members. Without the noticeable reaction, the claim wouldn’t be valid. Just as when you eat a meal, you know that there was a tangible result when you feel full afterwards, when following the highest path of religiosity the benefit doesn’t have to come in the afterlife. By seeing the real thing, even by hearing it, the individual swells with love, which in turn fills the various body parts with pleasure and excitement.

A long time ago, innocent townspeople got a look at the Supreme Lord and His younger brother seated in thrones in an assembly to determine a marriage arrangement. According to the Vedas, the brothers in question were divine incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Again, any claim can be made by any person. I could say that I am God and you could say that you are God. No one is authorized to make such claims, and thus either person can be refuted rather quickly.

The Vedic texts, which purportedly descend from the Supreme Lord Himself, can be greeted with similar skepticism, but through the reactions that result from following the recommendations, we can see whether or not the works are genuine. If they are for real, the statements about the Supreme Personality and the need for connecting with Him in a mood of love are also valid.

In the assembly in King Janaka’s court, the two princes of the Raghu dynasty were first spectators. The contest was to determine who would marry Janaka’s daughter Sita. Rama was the elder brother and Lakshmana His devoted follower. The two brothers were inseparable, so when Vishvamitra Muni asked to have Rama’s protection in the forest, Lakshmana had to come along as well. No harm there, as Lakshmana is equal to his brother in strength, beauty and overall opulence. The difference between the two is subtle, as Rama is dark-skinned and Lakshmana fair.

The people in Tirahuta looking at the brothers couldn’t believe what they were seeing. “Who are these two youths? Where did they come from? The elder Rama is so beautiful that we can’t take our eyes off of Him. The fair, younger brother is just as beautiful. We have received the fruit of our existence by being blessed with this splendid vision today.” Just from that vision the people wanted Rama to win the contest. He was the elder brother, and since He was not yet married He was eligible to try for Sita’s hand.

There was only one rule to the contest: lift Lord Shiva’s bow. Whichever prince could do this first would win. Seems easy enough, but none of the many princes could even move the bow, let alone lift it. You would think this would ease some of the tension in the onlookers, but it actually made them more nervous. Obviously the bow had an enormous weight. What if Rama couldn’t lift it? Janaka made the vow, so he could not go back on his word now. This meant that if Rama failed, He would be eliminated as a candidate.

The above referenced verse from the Janaki Mangala tells us that Rama is God and that Lakshmana is practically equal to Him. Upon first sight at this stranger and His brother, the townspeople became so happy. It was the beauty that caused this reaction. The Supreme Lord is the most beautiful. In His original form He is described as all-attractive; hence He is addressed as Krishna. That all-attractive form gives transcendental pleasure to others; therefore He is also known as Rama. The original personality has many expansions, and Lakshmana is one of them. The living entities are also expansions, but they are separated, sort of like tiny samples of the original.

Shri Rama DarbarThis means that there is an inherent link between God and us. If we see Him, we should have the same reaction that the townspeople had. Their minds were distracted by the event taking place, but that did not stop them from appreciating the beauty of Dasharatha’s beloved sons. The brothers weren’t specifically invited to the contest because they were away from home when the news went out, escorting Vishvamitra in the forest, where he and other sages were being attacked by night-rangers.

The level of selflessness of Rama and Lakshmana was unprecedented. They were young children at the time, so if anything the elders should have been protecting them. They left home not to play or have fun, but to offer protection against the world’s most powerful fighters. They didn’t complain, and they didn’t itch to return home. Rama had Lakshmana with Him, so how could He be unhappy? Wouldn’t you be pleased to have your number one caretaker by your side, especially if they are an expert warrior capable of defeating any enemy?

These qualities made Rama and Lakshmana all the more endearing. If Rama could protect the exalted sage Vishvamitra, He most certainly could protect the goddess of fortune, the beloved daughter of Janaka who had delicate features. She had soft skin, beautiful limbs, and an internal character that was spotless. Sita was the perfect match for Rama, and that the two would be in close proximity at the svayamvara was no coincidence.

When there is love for a newborn upon first sight, that love leads to other reactions and behaviors. When seeing Rama and Lakshmana and feeling happiness over their beauty, love overcame the townspeople as well. From that love their hearts filled with bliss. To feel bliss is the reason for our existence. The long hours you put in at the office and the time you spend taking care of responsibilities are meant for experiencing the highest pleasure, even if you’re not consciously aware of the fact. The living being has a vital force capable of action for a reason. The vitality of the living being is best used for connecting with God, as that activity is the most efficient in terms of realizing the purpose to life.

Not surprisingly, the love in the townspeople caused their eyes to fill with tears. Crying can be cathartic depending on the cause. Tears filling the eyes represents a release of the barriers erected by the living entity who is afraid of getting hurt. From the transcendental love felt from seeing Rama and Lakshmana, the onlookers felt free to cry, to appreciate the vision in front of them.

In addition, their bodies filled with excitement. Seeing God is not the end of activity; it is the beginning of the real life intended for the spirit soul. The endless engagement of devotional service begins with excitement, the anticipation of knowing that bliss will continue to arrive as long as the destined husband for Sita Devi is remembered.

From the reaction of the onlookers in Tirahuta know that Rama is God. Extract the same love from within by regularly chanting, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”, and following the devotional activities of hearing, remembering, and associating with devotees. That love will then fill your heart with bliss, cause tears to flood your eyes, and make you so excited that you’ll wake up every day anxiously awaiting the next time you get to see in your mind the beautiful Rama seated in Janaka’s kingdom alongside His devoted brother.

In Closing:

When a newborn baby you see,

To show loving emotion you’re free.


Naturally occurring is the sentiment,

For seemingly from heaven is infant sent.


When seeing God also a natural reaction,

Bliss makes you excited for devotional action.


Just like when Lakshmana and Rama seeing,

Best servitor and the Supreme Divine being.


Excitement filled the body and the eyes tears,

People of Janakpur toward divine love steered.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Enjoying All of Life

Krishna's lotus feet“For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.30)

Question: “If everything is made from God and we have a tendency to enjoy like Him, why can’t I enjoy all of His creation? Why should I have to avoid specific things like drinking and gambling?”

The living entity is a spirit soul, part and parcel of God. At least this is what we are told by the Vedas, the ancient scriptures of India. The road from the premise to the conclusion consists of continued study of Vedic principles coupled with practical application. Not even considering sectarian beliefs and blind faith lacking confidence, just simple observation alone will tell you that there is an identifiable force within every creature. It has an arrival time followed by a departure time, and in the middle there is autonomous action. The actions can be so endearing that an attachment develops to the resident, and upon their departure sadness follows. In both the attached person and the person to whom the attachment is formed exist a desire for pleasure, and thus in the original entity the same tendency must exist. The desire to enjoy is one way to define life, and through knowing more about the properties of the original person, the proper way to enjoy is revealed.

This is the key after all. The origin of spirit and matter is the father of everything and everyone. The earth, water, fire, air and ether constitute the gross elements of His external energy, and the mind, intelligence and ego constitute the subtle aspects to His infinite expansions. These facts are found in Vedic texts like the Bhagavad-gita, and they can be validated through our own observation. The many different species are just bodies composed of the various elements. The birds have the element of air to a higher degree, while the human being has a higher constitution of fire. The aquatics can swim in the water without a problem, while the human beings cannot breathe in the same environment. Thus each body type has its own specific features.

The ability to think gives evidence of the subtle aspects to the body. The mind drives the actions, and the mind’s makeup is determined by intelligence. Subtler than intelligence is the ego, which is our identifying source. And then even subtler than the ego is the atma, or soul. This is the essence of individuality; it is the entity which arrives at the time of birth and then departs at death. Where it was prior and where it will go after are mysteries that no one can answer with ontological certitude due to limitations in perception. When the sun sets at night, our natural source of light vanishes. We must wait until it returns in the morning to be able to see everything outside. From this we know that just in our immediate perception we have so many dependencies, and with something subtle like the soul it is impossible to know where it goes unless it has an outer covering that is visible.

These facts relating to the spiritual science are all well and good, but what is the purpose to it all? Why are there different bodies? Why is there a mind? On the basic level it is seen that everyone wants happiness. In Sanskrit the enjoyment is known as ananda. The Supreme Spirit and His abode are described as ananda-chinmaya-rasa, or consisting of the mellows of knowledge and bliss, so His sparks inherit the same traits.

Okay, so if we’re meant to enjoy, why can’t we just do anything to find enjoyment? Why is there such pain in this world? Why are we subject to the torturous behavior of other living entities, the calamities of nature, and the crippling internal enemies known as fear and doubt?

To find the answer, we need look no further than the kitchen. The various utensils in this area of the home can act as a microcosm for action and enjoyment at large. After all, within the kitchen there are players, who can be likened to knowers. There is also a field of activity. But just because there are knowers and a field doesn’t mean that everything will run smoothly. The desire is for enjoyment of course, but you can’t just do anything in the kitchen and enjoy. Take the kitchen knife for instance. An object of the playing field, the knife has a viable purpose. It is meant to cut things. If you train to become a professional chef, one of the first things you learn is how to cut. There are different ways to cut food, and if you’re going to be cooking regularly, you will want to be very skilled at cutting.

cutting bread with a knifeOh, but in order to cut, the knife must be very sharp. Thus the enjoyment of cutting is facilitated through the properties of the knife. Ah, but when something is sharp, it can cut other things besides food. You can slice up your finger very easily, especially by accident. A wicked creature masquerading as a human being can use the knife as their weapon of choice to attack innocent people. The knife can be thrown at someone in this regard as well. In these instances there is no enjoyment; it’s just the opposite in fact. The knife becomes the source of tremendous pain.

In order for enjoyment to manifest, the various objects of the playing field must be utilized properly. This is where dharma, or religiosity, comes into play. We living entities are all knowers of the localized playing field that is the body. Then there is the larger playing field that is the material world. It can be likened to the largest kitchen, with so many knife-like objects. There is ample enjoyment available, provided that the functional purposes are utilized; otherwise there will be pain and misery.

For instance, eating is one of the ways to enjoy. Yet in the Vedas it is stressed that eating is to be limited, or at least utilized only for maintaining the body. Moreover, the eating process is sanctified by first offering prepared food items to the Supreme Lord for His satisfaction. Through an authorized method, the offered food becomes pure and is then returned to the preparer. The remnants are known as prasadam, or the Lord’s mercy. In addition, not any type of food will suffice. The human beings don’t have very sharp teeth or large nails to use in killing other animals. The physical capabilities of the human being are quite modest, but where he excels is in intelligence. And with intelligence comes responsibility, as you can use your brainpower to make a bomb or a garland of flowers. One option leads to mass destruction while another is an offering of peace.

Religiosity is perceived to be very restrictive, so one might wonder why so much of the creation is off-limits for the human being. Actually, in the proper consciousness the entire creation turns into a field of activity for deriving real enjoyment. Illicit sex life is an improper use of the body, but sex life for procreation of children who will be taught how to properly make use of the material creation is completely in line with piety. Intoxication from beer and wine is not helpful, but nectar in the form of fruit juices first offered to God gives so much enjoyment to the taster. Gambling and eating animal flesh are also prohibited, but taking a risk in trying to spread the glories of the Supreme Lord and eating sumptuous foodstuff first offered to God are completely valid uses of the human body.

The key element is the knowledge of how the two spiritual entities are related. We know that we are molded after God and thus inherit His qualities to a lesser degree. But there is also an inherent relationship to Him, and that relationship forms the basis for action on the ideal platform of consciousness. In divine service is where we are meant to live, and that endeavor isn’t restricted to any specific area of the material creation. In any space one can chant the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”, and think of God. Any tool of this creation can be used to further the purpose of thinking of God. When unaware of the relationship to Him, however, the playing field is known as maya, which is illusion. With the mistaken vision, the objects are used improperly, and though enjoyment is sought, only pain results.

On the other hand, in bhakti-yoga there may not be a specific enjoyment sought at the outset. Perhaps we avoid meat eating, gambling, intoxication and illicit sex out of duty. Out of an obligation to the kind spiritual master, who teaches us bhakti-yoga, we chant the holy names for a prescribed number of rounds each day. Despite the initial cause for our action, enjoyment comes anyway. It’s like learning to use the knife properly when at the outset we have no clue what it is. We may even discover new uses for that knife that we hadn’t thought of before; uses which fulfill a worthwhile objective. The living entity in the human form is granted abilities not found in any other species; hence it is considered the most auspicious birth. The sole way to realize that potential is to follow God consciousness in an authorized manner, wherein the Supreme Lord is contemplated at all times, and the only pressing desire is to please Him. In that endeavor any object of this creation can be used, and when it is there is no shortage of enjoyment.

In Closing:

So many uses there are for the kitchen’s knife,

Can cut food or even take someone’s life.


Must be utilized in way that is right,

As intelligence is human being’s might.


For enjoyment can use creation’s entire field,

But proper functional uses must first be revealed.


From spiritual master get this necessary information,

How to use eating and thinking for divine glorification.


Find happiness you deserve in bhakti-yoga state,

And at end of life be reunited with real soul-mate.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Form Matching

Sita Devi“The form of this woman looks just like the form of that woman who was seen previously being carried away by that Rakshasa, who could take any form he likes.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 15.27)

hriyamāṇā tadā tena rakṣasā kāma rūpiṇā ||
yathā rūpā hi dṛṣṭā vai tathā rūpā iyam angina |

In Sanskrit the word “rupa” can mean beauty or form. In this verse from the Ramayana it is referenced three times, with the form in question corresponding to a spotted individual. A Rakshasa of cruel deeds, who could actually take on any shape he desired, took away a beautiful princess on a prior occasion. She was seen from afar by Vanaras, monkey-like characters, as the aerial car of the kidnapper was flying away. All that could be made out was her form from a distance, which indicated tremendous beauty and auspicious markings as well.

That initial recognition was required to locate her later on. The monkeys at the time didn’t know that they would be chosen for the reconnaissance mission, but the incident was noteworthy enough to stay in memory. But not all of the monkeys would be there to make the final determination when it was necessary. Usually a loved one is there to identify someone that they know. If you see someone every day, or if you have at least spent time with a person after they have reached adulthood, you can recognize them later on if you have to. Many years can pass by, but with the adult their outward vision typically doesn’t change drastically as they age.

But these monkeys only saw that princess for a moment. And one of them would have to make the identification later on, the determination of whether there was a direct match. Couldn’t they have just asked her directly? “Hey, are you the same person I saw being carried away by a wicked ogre? If you are, where is that vile creature right now? Any chance you would be willing to come back with me to your husband, who has sent me here to find you?”

Such an approach wasn’t practical. The kidnapper hid her away where no one from the outside could find her. In addition, she was harassed day and night by attendants to that miscreant, who ruled over the city of Lanka at the time. The princess was in a distrustful mood. She wouldn’t want to openly speak with any person, especially a monkey. So with all of this in mind, Shri Hanuman had to go off of outward features to make the identification. He would have to approach Sita regardless of the circumstance, but in order to make that approach, he’d have to be sure that the woman he was looking at was indeed Sita.

If the wrong identification were made, the woman could tip off his presence to the leader of the town. You see Hanuman was not an invited guest in Lanka. Normally, this shouldn’t present a problem. The kind souls welcome guests to their home all the time. “Hey, come on over for dinner sometime. We’d love to have you. We’ll cook a nice meal for you.” This is a common practice in welcoming homes. The husband and wife pair enjoys entertaining guests, for the visitors give them a chance to be hospitable, to show their affection. Also, the husband and wife spend so much time together as it is. It’s nice to have a friend come over to break the monotony, to create a new dynamic.

But Ravana was known for being quite unwelcoming to guests. As a head of state, it is typical to greet ministers from other states from time to time. This is how diplomacy works after all. Even if the other king is your biggest enemy, if you send an emissary over, you can perhaps get a dialogue going, avoiding conflict in the process. There is a reason for the phrase, “don’t shoot the messenger.” The middleman really has no axe to grind, and they can’t be blamed for any offense their message may cause to the recipients.

But Ravana was a vile creature at heart, so many of the emissaries sent his way were not treated well at all. After giving their message, they were often killed and then eaten by Ravana and his brethren. What kind of a human being would eat other human beings? Well, the same kind that would take another man’s wife without offering a challenge to conflict. Ravana boasted of his fighting prowess, but when it came time to put up against Rama, the jewel of the Raghu clan, he remained a coward. He used his ability to change his shape at will to transform into an innocent looking mendicant. In that guise he approached Sita while she was temporarily alone in the Dandaka forest.

Not able to win her over, Ravana eventually revealed his true self and forcibly took her on his aerial car and flew back to his home. Sita protested vehemently, and several monkeys on Mount Rishyamukha saw her and heard her calls for help. Hanuman therefore knew that he wouldn’t be welcome in Lanka. He was assigned by Rama to look for Sita and report back on her location. There was a delicate balance to deal with, so Hanuman did everything he could to avoid being spotted.

Shri HanumanHe was finally on the precipice of meeting Sita. The problem was that this woman he was looking at was in a terrible condition. She was sighing uncontrollably, her single garment was not in a good state, and she was worn thin from fasting. Her gloriousness only slightly remained, but from that dint of transcendental light Hanuman could tell that she was no ordinary woman.

Hanuman was confident that she was Sita, and just to make sure he did a further review, of which the above referenced verse is part. Sita’s beautiful form is noteworthy. It is remembered by the mind, as such an enchanting vision uniquely belongs to Shri Rama’s eternal consort. Sita is forever with Rama because Rama never takes birth or dies. He remains with His body for all of eternity. We too never take birth or die, but we can accept and reject bodies through the course of reincarnation. For God there is no such defect, as His body and spirit are identical.

The transcendental features belonging to that body are unmatched in brilliance. Sita is practically one with Rama, as the two are always in each other’s company. Rama is the energetic, and Sita is the energy. Though the scene was pitiful, Hanuman could tell that Rama’s wife was in his line of sight, as he was perched on a tree in the Ashoka grove next to Ravana’s palace.

Despite the temporary changes due to the conditions of the time, Sita’s transcendental qualities were still evident. In the same way, God’s influence throughout the universe can never be totally absent. The distinction lies only with external vision. We think that God can’t be seen because we don’t know how to notice His presence. But as was seen with Sita, if that presence is noted just one time, it can be spotted again, despite peripheral obstructions. We see birth, death, old age, disease, calamity, loss, sadness, separation, and terrible misfortune and somehow think that God could never create this. But these are just outward distractions, aspects that puzzle the mind and baffle it into mistakenly believing that the divine influence doesn’t exist.

The divine vision is granted to the sinless souls only. Ravana also saw Sita but he didn’t get the true benefit of her association. He only saw a material body to be used for his personal enjoyment. To him Sita’s body was maya, or illusion, but to Hanuman it was real and divine. Ravana’s improper vision led to his eventual demise, while Hanuman’s proper vision brought him eternal fame and glory. More importantly, it brought him success in the mission at hand, in locating Rama’s beloved.

In Closing:

Rakshasas can change their shapes at will,

And thus attack innocent who stand still.


Ravana an iniquitous deed did perpetrate,

Brought another’s wife back to his state.


Hanuman this beautiful woman to find,

Seeing her beauty of old form it did remind.


Previously woman was seen while away carried,

This princess now a match to whom Rama was married.


Ravana with sin and Hanuman without,

One to die and other’s fame to spread throughout.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fuel Is Pumping Engines

!BYFkUQgBWk~$(KGrHgoOKkQEjlLmWTSVBKfvlNfHww~~_3“The work of a man who is unattached to the modes of material nature and who is fully situated in transcendental knowledge merges entirely into transcendence.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.23)

“Should I move to the electric car? I’m not happy with the carbon footprint I’m currently leaving. The office I work at is thirty-five miles away from my home, so I could use a car with better gas mileage. In addition, I’d be comforted knowing that my trips to work aren’t using up valuable resources, that the burden upon the fragile economy is lessened to a degree by my smart decision. Perhaps this new hybrid car, which requires an electrical charge, is the answer. And if I take this bold move, perhaps others will follow suit. In this way, we can all change the world for the better.”

With the torchlight of knowledge shone brightly from the Vedas and their bona fide teachers, the many flaws in the above logic are exposed. This isn’t pointed out due to jealousy or miserliness. It is the easiest thing in the world to criticize someone else. It takes no intelligence whatsoever, just observation. “Oh look at that person! Remember when they yelled at that little kid the other day? Sure they were having a bad day, and they only snapped for a second, but still, how could they act like that? Oh, and remember when they didn’t say ‘hi’ to you when you walked by them. I tell you, they are not nice at all. They have so many flaws.”

The fault-finding of the truly wise souls has a purpose, and a positive one at that. If you correct real mistakes, you can find real answers. The electric car and other inventions that look for alternative sources of energy are themselves a type of correction, an attempted one at least. But when the real problem is unknown, how can the right solution be found? To tackle the issue head on, the properties of the spirit soul must be known, along with its tendencies when encased in matter. Combine the association of other similarly encased souls and you have similar tendencies followed by an unimaginable number of autonomous creatures.

In the above hypothetical scenario, shifting to a new type of vehicle is for easing the burden on fuel when driving to work. We see that the trip to the office is the constant factor. That issue is not being addressed; we still have to travel such a great distance to earn a living. From the constant factor we see that the fuel problem is but a symptom of a larger issue. Whatever mode of transportation we adopt, if the objective we are supporting is the same, we will require a source of fuel. And if that objective requires daily indulgence, refueling is a must.

fuel pumpYou can think of it in even simpler terms. You can change what you eat every day, but regardless you must eat. Food is required to keep the body moving. No matter how you alter your diet, the energy within the body must be present. Therefore whatever it is that is producing the food needs to keep working. Whether I eat a banana every morning or a bowl of yogurt, that food must be produced through some other work. And as long as my body continues to act, that food must appear before me every day.

The long distance trip to the office is a common symptom of the modern advanced economy, or that which is also known as progress. “How can you be against cars, computers, cellular telephones, airplanes, and other such wonderful inventions? Think of how much they have improved our lives. Why would you want to stop progress?” There is certainly progress in terms of ingenuity. The standard of living is also increased. Living with an air conditioner is much more comfortable than sitting in your steaming hot room in the summer months. Relying on the oil truck to deliver home heating oil to you in the morning is much easier than going out to the forest in the bitter cold to find firewood.

But each new invention is two-sided, as duality is par for the course in the land we inhabit. Sure, the automobile is terrific at what it does, as it allows us to now travel great distances in a short amount of time. Because of this new ability, we can live far away from the office, the place where we earn a living. Ah, but the living is the more important factor. The advanced lifestyle must be supported. No longer will a simple farm cut it. You have to either start your own business or work for someone else. That someone else must produce a good or a service for a profit; otherwise they will not stay in business long. Despite what the less intelligent might think, people don’t start businesses to create jobs. There is a passion to produce something, and if it can be produced and sold for a profit, the jobs come automatically, as the extra labor helps to increase production, which thereby also increases overall profit.

As the buying habits of the consumer are ever-changing and difficult to predict, it is rare for a business to stay continuously profitable for a long time. Since there is open competition, not only can the consumer choose between different products, but the workers can choose between different companies to work for. The result is constant shift in employment, adding further reliance to the trusted mode of transportation.

What all this means is that regardless of the fuel source, it is the trip to work, the desire to sustain “progress”, that will keep the engines pumping. Whether I drive my car to work or take a bike is really of no concern when the aim is to satisfy the senses. The spirit soul is a lover of God at the core, but without confidence of this fact, the conditioned soul will seek to satisfy the senses first. In this area satiation is short-lived, so repeated indulgence on an increasing scale of magnitude is required.

The concept of progress itself validates this fact. In days past you could live on a farm, get milk from the cows, have many children and relatives for companions, and be at peace. Why travel so far to work when you can get up and produce the food you need with your own hands? Why have your family separated from you when they can all live on the same property, with enough elbow room to keep everyone happy? Why require the cell phone to talk to someone so many miles away when all the important people in your life can be in close proximity?

Through progress in technology, the human being turns into a less efficient machine, requiring more energy to reach the same level of happiness that can be found through a simple lifestyle. And the problems never stop either. The car is great, but then there are the oil and pollution problems. You get the electric car, but now you need to charge it in your home. And that charge is not simple either. Some cars require a complicated charging system, and the charging must take place regularly, as the total mileage available from a full charge is pathetic compared to what gasoline can provide.

And of course new problems would be introduced should everyone switch to electric cars. The reliance on energy would still exist, as nothing is changed with respect to fruitive activity, which is known as karma in the Vedic tradition. Karma is an engine that requires fuel, and the human being desperately seeking cherished fruits will find some way to get that energy. If they should be pricked by the many thorns on the trees providing the fruits to feed karmic activity, the pain is considered worth it.

The Creator provides more than enough fuel to meet life’s basic necessities. If you don’t believe this, just look at how much food is produced in the United States alone. Other areas of the world have much more area available for farming, but in America the desire for profit and the advanced machinery allow for enough food to be produced to feed the entire world. The original source of that food is the seeds in the earth, which comes from the Creator. The rain is also necessary for food production, and no nation is responsible for producing that.

Just as the worker is given the fuel required for karmic activity, so the transcendentalist seeking true ananda, or bliss, is given the necessary energy to complete their tasks. Karma is shunned by three types of transcendentalists, namely the jnani, the yogi, and the bhakta. The jnani is a philosopher who speculates on the meaning of life. The yogi is a mystic who looks for enhanced personal abilities through meditation. The bhakta is the devotee who can follow the actions of any of the other three classes. The devotee can seemingly engage in fruitive activity, mental speculation, or meditation, but since their acts are dovetailed with service to the Supreme Lord, the results are not the same. And neither are the same pitfalls borne of duality present.

“One is understood to be in full knowledge whose every act is devoid of desire for sense gratification. He is said by sages to be a worker whose fruitive action is burned up by the fire of perfect knowledge.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.19)

Bhagavad-gitaIn bhakti-yoga the divine master kindly offers His personal intervention. The neural network of reactions attached to karma are guided in the right direction, along the path towards emancipation in devotional surrender. As the aim is changed, no longer is the fuel required only for maintaining sense enjoyment. Instead, all the dependencies focus on worshiping God, which means that the negative turns to positive. The burden becomes a source of pleasure. The philosophical speculation turns into a fruitful mental exercise on how to find new ways to glorify God, whose wonderful attributes are limitless. The meditation turns into a way to better focus on those attributes, to feel the pleasure of knowing that there is a Supreme Lord and that He is on the side of those who are devoted to Him.

The real treasure of that devotion is the ability to constantly think of Him, which automatically produces good qualities in the worshiper. The devotees become good stewards of the environment, and through their example they show others the way out of the doldrums of material existence. And the best model they set is through the regular recitation of the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.

In Closing:

To the electric car should I make the switch,

Do good for the environment without a hitch?


Less gasoline to be used by my hybrid,

My massive carbon footprint I will rid.


But know that fuel required for karma’s engine,

Reliance on work for pleasure real tension.


Take same energy and use for God worship,

Then becomes a time for yoga your office trip.


Supreme Lord gives devotee all that they need,

Do good for all when this lesson you heed.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Filled With Love

Rama and Lakshmana“Looking at Rama and Lakshmana’s beauty, the people of the city became so happy. From love their hearts are filled with bliss, eyes with tears, and bodies with excitement.” (Janaki Mangala, 55)

rāma-lakhana-chabi dekhi magana bhae purajana |
ura ananda jala locana prema pulaka tana ||

The vision of the transcendental body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead has an enchanting effect on others. The same potency exists in the Lord’s immediate expansion, His number one servant. This notable pair was seated on thrones in the kingdom of Janakpur at an assembly many thousands of years ago. Some were far away and others closer, but because of their internal clarity of vision, the observers showed symptoms that can only come from seeing God and recognizing His transcendental features.

Is it possible to see the original creator and have an improper reaction? Think of it another way. Is it possible to look at something and not recognize it for what it is? This already takes place with theatre and drama. If you turn on the television and flip to a channel that is showing a movie, depending on the position in the story, from watching the present scene you may or may not know what is going on. If it is at the end and you haven’t seen the movie before, there may be no reaction at all. But consider this: if you watch the movie from the beginning, that identical scene, viewed with the exact same set of eyes, can bring tears to your eyes. Or it can make you extremely happy and thrilled throughout the body.

If you’re looking at a painting and not wearing your glasses, you may not appreciate all the intricacies of the piece. If you’re driving and your vision is obstructed by the setting sun or the headlights of oncoming traffic, you may not notice the street signs that you need for guidance. Your eyes in these instances are the same, but there are distractions that lead to a different effect when viewing.

The people in Janakpur were not meditational yogis, experts on theology, or first-class teachers. The majority of them were simple townspeople, who lived their lives according to the standard set by their leader, King Janaka. Whatever a great man does, others will follow. This fact is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, the guidebook of guidebooks. King Janaka followed righteousness so closely that he even held a ceremony to give away the daughter he didn’t want to part with. Her qualities were so extraordinary that there wasn’t a prince in the world worthy of her hand in marriage. At least this is how Janaka felt.

To see if he could find a worthy match, Janaka decided to hold a contest, where the first person to lift Lord Shiva’s bow would win his daughter’s hand in marriage. Janaka would find the ideal match, but ironically enough it wouldn’t come from the invited guests. Instead, the prince was a sort of standby passenger, admitted entry at the last second because of the people He knew. Vishvamitra Muni, as a recognized spiritual leader, led two sons of King Dasharatha to Janaka’s kingdom after they had successfully defended the sages residing in the forests from the attacks of wicked night-rangers.

Lakshmana and Rama with VishvamitraJanaka, as he was known to do, welcomed brahmanas to his kingdom. Vishvamitra was treated like an honored guest, and so were his escorts, Rama and Lakshmana. But these were no ordinary boys. They had just defeated the staunch enemies of the demigods. Their ability to protect was so great that Vishvamitra used them for protection. If Rama and Lakshmana could protect the priestly class from wicked creatures who could change shapes at will and use illusion to kill their enemies, then surely the boys could protect a king’s daughter.

The family ancestry of the boys was perfect, and so were their bodily features. Given thrones to sit on, Rama and Lakshmana glowed in the assembly. The townspeople could not take their eyes off of them. In the above referenced verse from the Janaki Mangala, the people of the town became happy at seeing the beauty of the two boys. Depending on the object viewed, sometimes beauty can lead to unhappiness. If it belongs to a member of the opposite sex who is already committed to a spouse, that beauty only causes pain, for you know that you can’t go beyond external viewing.

Rama and Lakshmana’s appearance brought happiness because that is the natural effect that God and His personal expansions have on kind-hearted people. The deity and the picture representations of the Supreme Lord are beautiful and awe-inspiring for a reason. Their transcendental features are not ordinary. Show a young child a picture of Lord Rama and they will instinctively know that the image depicts something divine. They know that it is different from an ordinary picture.

Rama and Lakshmana’s divinity is revealed in the sacred Ramayana and many other Vedic texts. Their status is also confirmed in the reactions aroused in onlookers. The onlookers felt bliss in their hearts. Ananda, or bliss, is the reason for living. It is the only thing that gives life meaning. Without bliss in the heart, what is the point to working so hard day after day for so many years of your adult life? What is the point to getting out of bed in the morning if you can’t find bliss?

And know for certain that the bliss the heart desires exists. It is not a myth. It was taken from the vision of Rama and Lakshmana, and the people kept it with them. They received the fruit of their existence just through sight, without any other method of implementation. Life’s meaning is revealed to those who apply the right attitude towards the Supreme Lord and His servants.

The eyes of the onlookers filled with tears. This can only happen when viewing something extraordinary. The tears were a result of amazement as well. “How could two people be so beautiful? And they are so kind too. They protect the brahmanas, the people who practice religious principles and kindly disseminate Vedic wisdom to others.” The entire Ramayana poem of Valmiki brings such tears to the eyes simply through sound vibration. The qualities of Rama and Lakshmana are so extraordinary that the enemies of the saintly class try to discount them as made up or part of mythology because they can’t wrap their minds around them.

The bodies of the onlookers also filled with excitement, an emotion which goes hand-in-hand with anticipation. They saw the two beautiful boys and they immediately hoped that something good would come of it. Rama was the elder brother, so only He was eligible to marry Sita. They saw the beautiful vision and immediately became greedy. They wanted those youths to never leave their sight. They wanted Rama to win the contest and marry Sita.

These reactions were due to the love the people of the town felt. Nothing more than a glance at the two boys caused that love. The divine features elicit these reactions in sinless people, those who are not distracted by desires for personal gain. The aim of religious life is thus revealed in this verse. Follow the principles of bhakti-yoga, avoiding the most mentally distracting behaviors of meat eating, gambling, intoxication and illicit sex. And always chant the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”. Soon thereafter, the same body that was previously distressed and fatigued from the daily grind will be filled with excitement over the prospect of seeing the Supreme Lord and serving Him without motivation and without interruption. That excitement was warranted on that day in Janakpur, when Rama would eventually step up and lift Mahadeva’s bow, fulfilling the destiny everyone was waiting for.

In Closing:

Eyes mesmerized by two youths sitting still,

With bliss the hearts are then filled.


To love all of this is due,

For muni’s protectors two.


This emotion only with God is seen,

Such as during contest in Janakpur scene.


Rama and Lakshmana to vow are true,

Protectors of sages and demigods too.


Love them with all your heart,

And happily this world you’ll depart.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pitying The Fool

Narasimhadeva with Prahlada“Prahlada Maharaja said: O Supreme Lord, because You are so merciful to the fallen souls, I ask You for only one benediction. I know that my father, at the time of his death, had already been purified by Your glance upon him, but because of his ignorance of Your beautiful power and supremacy, he was unnecessarily angry at You, falsely thinking that You were the killer of his brother. Thus he directly blasphemed Your Lordship, the spiritual master of all living beings, and committed heavily sinful activities directed against me, Your devotee. I wish that he be excused for these sinful activities.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.10.15-17)

Alright, it’s your time to get back at someone. They wronged you in the past, so you can’t wait for them to get theirs. They’ve had it coming too. They thought they would get away with their horrible behavior, the insults they threw your way, and the overall ill humor they showed to others. But now is the time for payback. And oh will it sting for them. And then you’ll be happy, no? Since they are meant to feel the misery, their pain will make you feel better?

The saints on the highest platform of transcendental knowledge don’t think so, and due to their intimate familiarity with the true properties of the individual, they tend to view things in the opposite way. They instead pity the fool for his mistakes, for the negative reaction rightfully due them will cause harm that could have been avoided. The saint thinks, “Why did they act this way? If they only knew about karma they would have avoided so much trouble for themselves. They insulted me, that’s for sure, but I too have done so many bad things in the past. In fact, you can’t count my sins; it would take too long. I have been quite fortunate actually, for I have still been favored by the most munificent Supreme Personality of Godhead. He should have given me more trouble, but I have been spared for some reason.”

Sentiments like these are found in Goswami Tulsidas’s Vinai Patrika. The famous Vaishnava poets are known for being extremely humble, and while it is easy to downplay one’s own achievements and personal qualities, in the case of the saints they really do think that they have not done that much. Tulsidas, a famous devotee of Lord Rama, says that his sins are too long to count for Yamaraja, the god of justice. There are so many gods in the Vedic tradition, and they each have a specific role. We create so many gods in our societies, large and small, and we do so on the basis of the ability to control a certain field.

The devas, or gods, defined in the Vedas are heavenly figures who actually do manage the creation. Yamaraja delivers justice to those who are deserving of it. Similar to a list of naughty and nice, Yamaraja has a scroll containing each person’s deeds, pious and impious. We see the negative reactions to our work in our own life, and sometimes they arrive much after the fact. They come at the proper season, though, like the flowers that blossom on the trees. The reactions also correspond to the original act in severity.

Goswami TulsidasTulsidas humorously says that his sins are so long that Yamaraja doesn’t get a chance to read them. If he took the time, all others would avoid punishment, and thus Yamaraja would be accused of negligence. Therefore the Supreme Lord Hari never gets a chance to hear of all the sins of Tulsidas, or if He does Yamaraja gives a good account. In this way Tulsidas is let off the hook slightly. Of course this is all metaphorically speaking, as the humble Vaishnava has a difficult time understanding how or why they are given the opportunity to provide so much service to God. That is actually the greatest blessing to receive in life. Like getting a small business loan to run that startup you’ve always dreamed of, or inheriting a large plot of land to run a farm, the ability to practice devotion means that you can find happiness in any situation. Moreover, that practice continues day after day, only increasing in output, which is pleasurable.

When the saint is that humble, how are they going to wish for revenge on others? They know that they have been spared personally due to the direct intervention of God, so their wish is to have the same fate for others. Another person who showed supreme humility was Prahlada Maharaja. When he was five years old his father Hiranyakashipu tortured him so much. And what was the boy’s crime? He simply worshiped Vishnu, which is another name for God. Day and night, Prahlada thought of no one else. He boldly preached about bhakti-yoga to his classmates during recess. He was not worried about what others thought of him, all the way up to his father, who was the most powerful king in the world at the time.

Hiranyakashipu’s anger at Prahlada eventually reached a boiling point, and so the father then tried to kill his son. The methods attempted were quite vile, but through remembering Vishnu Prahlada survived each attack. Finally Vishnu arrived on the scene in a strange yet terrible figure of a half-man/half-lion. He took Hiranyakashipu on His lap and then proceeded to tear him in half; a most cruel death delivered to the cruelest father in history. Prahlada should have been thrilled, no? “Yeah, my father finally got what he deserved! Good riddance.” But actually the boy wished for his father to be absolved of all sin. What room for hatred did Prahlada have anyway? He was going to continue his worship of God, who is full of bliss and knowledge, so the satisfaction from revenge couldn’t find residence in the boy’s consciousness, which was infused with transcendental pleasure day and night.

Haridasa ThakuraIn more recent times we have the example of the Namacharya, Shrila Haridasa Thakura. He was born in a Muslim family but took to devotional service with great sincerity. He always chanted the holy names of the Lord, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”. The leaders of the government did not like that he acted this way. Of course Haridasa Thakura posed no threat to anyone. He had no possessions and neither did he plan to overthrow the government run by Muslims. Yet they thought he was an outcaste for following the Hindu religion. The government leader ordered him to be beaten repeatedly. The saint took such a lashing that no one would have survived it. His body was then thrown into a river.

Yet he survived just like Prahlada by thinking of God the whole time. Afterwards, the people who had beaten him suffered in so many ways. But Haridasa did not feel any satisfaction from that. Rather, he pitied them for their original mistake. When an ignorant person does something stupid like place their hand into a fire, should we be pleased when the resulting burn arrives? Even if such a person didn’t listen to our warnings, still the burn inflicts great pain. Why would we wish that on someone else?

The perceived satisfaction from revenge is also limited by the time factor. If there is a superstar basketball player who suddenly jumps ship and joins another team specifically in search of a championship, the fans of the other teams might not be so happy. Therefore they will watch the games of the upcoming season in hopes that the “traitor” player doesn’t win their desired championship. The player can go all the way to the final round of the playoffs with his new team, only to lose in the end. There is of course some satisfaction for the many fans that rooted for his failure, but what will happen after that? The satisfaction lasts for maybe a day or two, but what to do later on? Life must be lived after all, and so some other outlets of attention must be found. In all likelihood someone else will be hated and their failure will be eagerly anticipated; thus repeating the cycle.

But from the example of the saints know that the life force inside is meant for positive action. What need is there for envy when every one of us is fallible? We had no control over where we took birth and we have no idea when the precise moment of death will arrive. Only the Supreme Lord is the most powerful, and thankfully He is also the most merciful. He makes devotion to Him the one practice that can be implemented in the most number of places. Prahlada practiced devotion while being thrown off a cliff. Haridasa Thakura remembered God while being whipped in the back. Just imagine then what can be done during times of peace, those times where we otherwise pray for revenge, a payback which is guaranteed to arrive regardless just based on the laws of karma.

In Closing:

I can’t wait for their payback,

For karma’s forces to attack.


The pain and misery they deserve,

For having into sinful life swerved.


But revenge not all it’s made to be,

From pain of others little pleasure to see.


Prahlada and Haridasa showed forgiveness,

Pitied others for their ignorance and haughtiness.


Life to serving God saints devote,

For their association may we all hope.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

You Think You’ve Got It Bad

Sita Devi“…deserving only of happiness and unaccustomed to misfortune, (She was) tormented by grief.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 15.25)

sukha arhām duhkha samtaptām vyasanānām akodivām |
tām samīkṣya viśāla akṣīm adhikam malinām kṛśām ||

You think you have it bad. The days repeat themselves, you’re all alone, and you have no clue what to do with your life. The days follow such a similar pattern that you can pretty much account for every hour, remembering the same period of time from the day before. You can thus predict what it will be like going forward. This knowledge brings to mind the difficult struggle involved with taking on a new task. As every person has to work for a living, or at least occupy their time with some kind of task, whatever you have completed previously needs to be redone in the future. If your job is to build houses, after one house is built, you must move on to the next one. If you build enough houses, pretty soon you’ll recognize the pattern, and knowing the daunting task you have in front of you, just starting a new house will be difficult. Procrastination will set in, as who wants to start something that they know will take a while to complete?

“Why do I have to do this? Why can’t I just sit in peace? But is that even the answer? I know that if I sit around the house the whole day and do nothing, I’ll get bored very quickly. As I’m now an adult, everyone I know has separated from me. My friends are married now with children, so they are busy in their own way. My siblings have grown up and moved on to careers that have taken them to different parts of the country. What is left? Do I want to work every day for the rest of my life just so I can eat and repeat the same patterns?”

Mind you, this miserable scenario is one where material amenities are available. This kind of unhappiness is quite common, as eating, sleeping, mating and defending can only do so much for the human psyche. The animals have these needs fulfilled as well, and they are not nearly as miserable for the simple fact that they don’t know any better. They can’t contemplate on high philosophy and they can’t notice the repeating patterns enough to get sick of them. The human being is all too wise in this area, and without proper guidance, they will look for escapes through dangerous mechanisms like intoxication and daring adventures.

The materially impoverished will look at such predicaments and not see a problem. If the basic necessities of the body can be met, what is there to complain about? When celebrities visit hospitals to see sick children and cancer stricken adults, things are temporarily put into perspective. How can we complain about not having anything to do when someone else has only a week to live? And they are bedridden at that, so they can’t even enjoy their last remaining days.

For a princess a long time ago, her sorrow was quite profound, and what made the scene more pitiable was the fact that she didn’t deserve any pain. She had only known happiness throughout her life, so it wasn’t fair that she was now in a perilous condition. Whether you are bewildered by the daily grind of material life or panic stricken over a potential future calamity, you’ll be more at peace if there aren’t people hounding you every second. Sita Devi did not have this luxury. Female ogres of cruel deeds surrounded her day and night and tried to scare her into submission. They were ordered to act as such by Ravana, the king of Lanka, who wanted Sita for his wife. The problem was that Sita was already married, to the prince of the Raghu dynasty for that matter.

Separation from her husband was the real cause of her grief, and because of that separation Sita was not eating. She hadn’t done anything wrong to bring this terrible fate upon her. Karma is the system of action and reaction that is impeccably fair. A thief who steals money and doesn’t immediately get into trouble thinks that they have gotten away with the crime, but eventually they will get their punishment. It may not come immediately, but it will inevitably arrive. The reaction matures at the proper season and its intensity corresponds with the grievousness of the original sinful act.

“Just as a tree starts to blossom during the proper season, so the doer of sinful deeds inevitably reaps the horrible fruit of their actions at the appropriate time.” (Lord Rama speaking to Khara, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 29.8)

Karma continues into the next life as well, as the spirit soul does not take birth or die. Reincarnation is often assumed to be a belief of the Eastern religions, but in reality it is just a scientific truth. The foundational principle of reincarnation is the distinction between the soul and the body. This separation exists within the current life, and evidence of it can be seen with our own eyes. The body changes at every second, but the living entity’s identity does not. You don’t consider yourself changed once you get a haircut, and neither is your identity altered when your birthday comes around.

With reincarnation the same principle extends beyond the current life. Prior to our present birth we existed somewhere and after our time is up we will move to somewhere else. The presence of the soul is indicated by the autonomous movements of the body. Once the soul leaves, the body becomes useless. Anyone can see this. The soul has come from somewhere and thus it must go somewhere in the future. The determinant of the destinations, the authority in charge of chartering the course, is karma.

Sita and RamaBut Rama’s wife was incredibly pious. She never committed a sin, and she pleased everyone who knew her. Her father was overjoyed to have her as a daughter, and she listened to all the instructions of her mother. She followed her husband like a shadow and she served her three mother-in-laws without hesitation. When Rama was exiled from the kingdom of Ayodhya due to the ill-motives of Kaikeyi, the townspeople were more saddened by the fact that Sita was forced to go with Him. Rama was a tough fighter; He could live anywhere without fear, but how was a princess with delicate features going to survive in the wilderness?

But she managed without a problem, for she had her husband with her. To her, the punishment was a blessing, as she got to be with her husband all the time. He didn’t have to leave the house now to take care of administrative affairs. But the misery would come upon her nevertheless. And that pain was quite acute, as she was taken away from Rama’s side through a backhanded plot by Ravana. Now Hanuman was in Lanka, sent by Rama to look for her. Hanuman was looking forward to seeing Rama’s beautiful wife, who was full of purity, but what he saw in the Ashoka grove next to Ravana’s palace was disconcerting.

Sita was spotted, but she was in terrible distress. Her beautiful piece of clothing was now covered with dirt, and her body was thin from not eating. The scene was pitiable, and one would have to question how Sita remained alive. She carried on with the hope of one day seeing her husband again. She knew He could rescue her, but He needed to find out where she was. The brave Hanuman would take care of that, and even a pitiable scene wouldn’t deter him.

From Sita’s plight we see that misery comes upon all living entities, even without their explicitly seeking it. Sita’s misery is a little different, as she remains connected to the Supreme Lord in consciousness. Thus the temporary conditions of up and down, high and low, aren’t as important as the permanent placement of the consciousness in the divine realm. Though that area is without the need for electricity and is well beyond the present material realm, one can travel there in a second with the mind.

“That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.”  (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.6)

The travel takes place through thinking of God. To make the process easier, the features of the Supreme Lord are identified in the Vedas, the ancient scriptures of India. Shri Rama showed some of those features, as He is the very same Supreme Personality of Godhead. His eternal consort Sita Devi always contemplates on those features and gives Rama so much pleasure through her devotion. Hanuman thinks about both Sita and Rama, and devotees think of Hanuman. The pattern should be obvious by now. Follow service to the servant of the servant of the servant of God. As many times removed as you can get in servants the better, provided there is fidelity to the service, known as bhakti-yoga, within each link. Our present circumstances may seem bleak, but know that Hanuman comes with life-giving news to the devotee who is eagerly anticipating the reunion with the Supreme Lord, the reservoir of pleasure.

In Closing:

Misery everyone is sure to get,

Even if in peacefulness you are set.


Like a ripened fruit that matures,

Of good and bad all are assured.


But distress Sita never should have gotten,

In Lanka found situation so rotten.


She had it the worst but stayed alive,

On hopes of seeing Rama she survived.


Of Sita, Rama and Hanuman always think,

So that in total despair you’ll never sink.