“Tulsi says that when one’s devotion in attachment to the Lord, the husband of Sita, diminishes, their happiness, luck and fortune run away.” (Dohavali, 70)
sāhiba sītānātha seāṁ jaba ghaṭihaiṁ anurāga |
tulasī tabahīṁ bhālateṁ bhabhari bhāgihaiṁ bhāga ||70||
We’ve all had those days. Nothing seems to be going right. The car doesn’t start. You bring it to the mechanic and they tell you that the repairs will run thousands of dollars. Suddenly, you’re in the market for a new car. Then the household duties have been neglected for so long. Your boss is on you about meeting a deadline. The children aren’t happy that the television in the living room is broken. The spouse is upset over how stressed you’ve been.
The situation doesn’t have to match identically, but everyone in this material world struggles through bad times. In frustration a person says, “Why does it only rain on me?” In this verse from the Dohavali, Goswami Tulsidas says that the good fortune will run away as soon as one’s devotion to Shri Rama diminishes. The name used to address Rama here elaborates further on the point.
Rama is God. He is a sahiba, or boss. He is in charge of everything. Not a blade of grass moves without His sanction. He is the same Supreme Lord worshiped in every spiritual tradition. The name Rama is more defined; it refers to God as a personality. It provides more details into His nature and, by extension, the nature of the world we inhabit.
We know so many people who are not godly at all, but who have plenty of money. They don’t seem to be down on their luck. They don’t seem to be struggling. They have it all, it appears. If we had that much money, we would never worry; or so we think. In the Bhagavad-gita, Shri Rama, in His original form of Krishna, says that everyone is struggling hard in this material existence. The six senses are the cause of the trouble; the mind is included.
“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, Bhagavad-gita, 15.7)
The wealthy person is struggling. We don’t see it, but it is undoubtedly true from the mere fact that wealth doesn’t remain forever. Once you acquire something, there is the fear of loss. To mitigate that fear, there is maintenance. One of Rama’s other names is Vishnu, who is also a distinct personality. Lord Vishnu is the greatest maintainer. Only He can maintain perfectly; others are flawed.
Shri Rama’s wife is named Sita. Therefore Tulsidas addresses Rama as Sitanatha. Sita is the goddess of fortune, which means that from her blessings alone one can avoid misfortune. If there is a lack of attachment in devotion to Rama, then naturally Sita’s blessings will diminish as well. And then one can say goodbye to happiness and good luck.
Why does Sita only give fortune when there is anuraga for Rama? The physical manifestation of the fortune doesn’t necessarily vanish; just its nature changes. For instance, there was the famous Rakshasa named Ravana. He had tremendous wealth. He literally lived in a city of gold. Yet he didn’t have anuraga for Rama. Therefore he eventually lost everything. He tried to steal fortune in the form of Sita. He was not successful.
One who has fortune now but lacks devotion to God can expect a similar fate. Their money can turn into the greatest curse if not used properly. As Rama’s wife, Sita lives only to please God. Her blessings in the form of fortune are meant to be used in the same way. If the intended use gets ignored, then there can only be trouble.
Birth itself is the cause of the misfortune, and through devotion to Sitanatha birth stops. One can make a test of it in this very lifetime; there is no requirement to wait until death. Giving devotion a try through chanting the holy names, one can test to see if their fortunes change. They may lose money and even become poor, but in many instances that can be the sign of good luck. Leaving more time to be spent with the all-attractive God, there is good fortune all around. Whatever is needed to continue in the practice of devotion is provided through the blessings of the goddess of fortune.
Blessings to devotees giving,
So that in devotion to husband living.
Fortune from Sita in this way intended,
Otherwise trouble, no matter how much defended.
All your good luck to run away,
When against Rama you stay.
Through chanting a test yourself make,
See the benefits when consciousness to awake.