“Tulsi says that one who has love for Rama has their work, fate and time become fully auspicious and rewarding. When they turn their back on worldly life and face towards the Lord, all desires will be fulfilled.” (Dohavali, 75)
tulasī udyama karama juga jaba jēhi rāma suḍīṭhi |
hō'i suphala sō'i tāhi saba sanamukha prabhu tana pīṭhi ||75||
There’s an important event coming up. You’ll need to invite many guests. You’ll have to pick out the perfect location. This is a once in a lifetime thing; you can’t afford to mess anything up. A good option is to consult with the important players. What do they think? When is a good time for them? Where is the best place? If the time and circumstance are unfavorable, even something that looks like it’s guaranteed for success will end up failing. Goswami Tulsidas mentions that fate, time and work can all become auspicious when there is one key ingredient.
Let’s say I have a car that works perfectly. It is relatively new. It doesn’t have many miles on it. The oil was changed recently. The tires look good, and they are inflated to the proper pressure. The vehicle is equipped with all the latest safety features. There is a camera inside that lets you see the other lanes on the highway. If you’re going in reverse, there is another camera with guide markers showing you how far away you are from the curb.
You decide to take a routine trip to the supermarket. It seems like nothing will go wrong, but if time and circumstance are not in your favor, nothing can be done to prevent the bad outcome. Though the same trip may have completed successfully many times in the past, that is no guarantee for a future outcome.
And who doesn’t want a guarantee for the future? Why should we work so hard if we can lose everything in a second? Why put so much stock in enjoyment when death can arrive at any moment? Why even work, then? Why are we here? What should we be doing?
Religion has been there to try to answer these questions. There are different styles of it. You can attend a church and pray for things from a higher being. You can do certain rituals in the home, repeating sacred chants. You can leave home for a weeklong retreat, meant to clear your consciousness. You can study the holy books in search of knowledge of that which transcends birth and death. Those books hopefully describe a truth that is absolute, beyond the relativities and polarities of heat and cold, light and darkness, and happiness and sadness.
There is one discipline that is above all kinds of religion and pleasure seeking. It is known as bhakti-yoga, which is translated as “devotional service” by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. What are the symptoms of bhakti-yoga? Why is it special? How do we tell that we are practicing it?
The conditions mentioned by Tulsidas above are one way to tell. If our work, time and fate become auspicious at any moment, it means that we have love for God the person. Tulsidas addresses Shri Rama, the king of Ayodhya, but the same Rama appears in other spiritual manifestations as well, such as Krishna, Vishnu and Narasimha. His impersonal feature is the light of Brahman, which is a way to appreciate God from afar. Rama is also within the heart as the Supersoul, who is known as the overseer and permitter.
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, Bhagavad-gita, 13.23)
The cause and effect mentioned by Tulsidas is axiomatically true whenever there is love for Rama. Basically, there is never a wrong time to love God. Fate is automatically taken care of through the loving hand of the person who creates fate. The work becomes successful because, by definition, love for God means acting in ways to please Him. He doesn’t ask much from His children; simply that they look His way instead of towards the dreaded material ocean.
That ocean features birth and death and all the temporary things in between. There are attachments formed that become so strong that it seems like life can’t be lived without the associated objects. There is such great lamentation over things that are known to occur beforehand. There is bewilderment over loss and hesitation at every turn over which path to follow.
By turning one’s face towards Prabhu, who is the Supreme Lord, every desire can be fulfilled. When there is love for Rama, by definition the lone desire is to continue to practice that love. This desire is the only one worth having since it is the only one that can be fulfilled going forward, without fail.
All other desires require the important factors of action to cooperate. Not everyone who works hard makes a lot of money. Not everyone who studies for hours and hours passes the examination. Not everyone who meditates comes in contact with God. Yet everyone who sincerely endeavors to love Rama gains His favor and has their work made successful. For this reason and many more the most respected personalities who grace this earth follow bhakti-yoga as a way of life.
In the past results because just,
Not that same outcome again a must.
Cooperation needed from factors five,
From Supersoul the results to arrive.
For everything favorable to be,
Shri Rama in front of you just see.
Not just saying of Tulsidas dogmatic,
Since with God truth axiomatic.