Friday, July 10, 2015

What Use Are You To Others

[Rama's lotus feet]“Like when the cow dung mixes with the rain, when you turn your back on worship of Rama you will experience that no one likes you and no one has love for you, says Tulsi.” (Dohavali, 73)

barasā ko gobara bhayoṁ kēā cahai ko karai prīti |
tulasī tū anubhavahi aba rāma bimukha kī rīti ||73||

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When engulfed by the material consciousness, it is difficult to bring pleasure to others. You think that by buying them things and providing for their wellbeing, they will be grateful. You think that if you are kind to them always, they will hold you in high esteem. You think that if you don’t argue with them, if you simply agree with everything they say, they will appreciate your company.

Sadly, things don’t play out as expected. The interaction of the senses is the reason. We don’t have to look very far to understand how. The police is there to give protection. Communities have voluntarily decided to pool resources and efforts in order to protect life and property. Each individual protects what they have; this is part of the four basic animal instincts, with the other three being eating, sleeping and mating. At the individual level, there is protection through locks, alarm systems, and even weapons. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that there are six kinds of aggressors in life, and that killing them is never sinful. This is not his opinion. As a perfect acharya he simply passes down what comes from the ultimate authority that is the Vedas.

“According to Vedic injunctions there are six kinds of aggressors: 1) a poison giver, 2) one who sets fire to the house, 3) one who attacks with deadly weapons, 4) one who plunders riches, 5) one who occupies another’s land, and 6) one who kidnaps a wife. Such aggressors are at once to be killed, and no sin is incurred by killing such aggressors.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 1.36 Purport)

[politicians]We inherently don’t trust politicians. They lie to get ahead. When in office, they go back on their campaign promises. Through raising taxes, they increase the burden of work for the common man. They are like thieves in a lot of ways, though they get elected by the people. There is worry over the overreaching hand of the government, and outside of that there is worry that others will encroach on our property.

The military and the police exist to defend. They provide a valuable service, but is there appreciation? Certainly within such ranks bad apples can be found, those who take advantage of their authority. Yet even if ten percent were bad, the sacrifices of the good should at least be appreciated. The saying, “what have you done for me lately,” nicely describes the material consciousness. Man tends to forget the past good deeds, while only remembering the latest transgressions.

Goswami Tulsidas says that if you turn your back on Shri Rama, you won’t be any good to anyone. Rama is God; the personal form. Worship of God the person is specific. If you worship an energy, an impersonal force, you can pretty much do anything and tell people that you’re worshiping. You can kill others in the name of religion. You can persecute innocent and faithful women and say that it is part of your religion. You can kill innocent animals by the millions and not have any regrets.

Worship of Rama is worship of God with personal features. The process is purifying, to the point that others will benefit simply by meeting you. Tulsidas compares the opposite situation to cow dung that has been left out in the rain. Outside of India the magic of cow dung is not well known. It can be used for fuel and to construct dwellings. Though dung is generally considered waste, when it comes from the cow it has antiseptic properties.

“Vedic principles are accepted as axiomatic truth, for there cannot be any mistake. That is acceptance. For instance, in India cow dung is accepted as pure, and yet cow dung is the stool of an animal. In one place you'll find the Vedic injunction that if you touch stool, you have to take a bath immediately. But in another place it is said that the stool of a cow is pure. If you smear cow dung in an impure place, that place becomes pure.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shri Ishopanishad, Introduction)

[Prabhupada teaching]The pure cow dung can become impure when left out in the rain. Then no one will want to have anything to do with it. Similarly, if a person who was worshiping Shri Rama suddenly turns their back on Him, they won’t be any good to people. It may not seem that way on the surface, but with time eventually the truth will play out.

What good can I really do for someone if I don’t show them the meaning of life? The animals are busy working for eating and sleeping. The human being does the same; they don’t really need my help in that regard. Since the senses can never be satisfied, no matter how much I feed someone they won’t think so highly of me. No matter how much money I give away, people will always want more.

[Lord Rama]In devotion to Rama, the light of truth shines bright. Within that devotion is full knowledge and renunciation. The goal of life becomes clear to those who see this light. They awaken to the true purpose of the valuable human birth: to love and worship God with the same devotion. That devotion will make them happy, and the person who brought about this happiness becomes the most dear to them.

In Closing:

Cow dung for fuel and cleaning having use,

For daily life valuable in ways profuse.

 

But when rain with it mixing,

Eyes no more on it fixing.

 

Consider result to be the same,

When abandoning Lord of Rama the name.

 

Without Him what really for others to do?

Better to let light of devotion shine from you.

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