“I trust that Raghava, who deserves to be honored, is not suffering bereavement on my account. I trust that Rama’s mind is not occupied elsewhere. I trust that He will come to rescue me.” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 36.23)
man nimittena māna arhaḥ kaccit śokena rāghavaḥ |
kaccin na anya manā rāmaḥ kaccin mām tārayiṣyati ||
Some people are better at it than others. They can juggle several responsibilities simultaneously. They don’t get overwhelmed by the pressure. In fact, to them depression starts to sink in when there aren’t a lot of things on the docket. They are at peace amidst the chaos.
For others the opposite is true. This is simply a byproduct of the material nature. One way to define material is to say “limited.” Two minus one equals one. Once the one is gone, the debit must take place. As you start taking slices of pizza, eventually the pie is gone. Theorists sometimes refer to this as the “zero sum game,” as the thing taken away must go somewhere else.
The mind is a subtle element of the material nature, so the same limitation is inherited. The individual is spirit soul. Unlimited bliss, knowledge and existence covered by dull, lifeless, and limited elements. There are five gross elements and three subtle that make up this covering.
“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego - altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.4)
The limitation within the material nature can be used to explain the Almighty. God is the opposite. One way to define Him is to say that He has unlimited potency. He can juggle an infinite number of tasks simultaneously. Proof is already around us.
We know that the planets remain in orbit. They don’t fall out of line and move to somewhere else in space. Yet we know that clouds move. We know that people don’t stay where they are forever. You can’t find someone who stands in the exact same position for a hundred years. The trees can do this, but eventually they die.
Moreover, in His feature as Supersoul the Supreme Lord is the overseer and permitter. He witnesses everything. By everything, we really mean whatever goes on in any space, large or small. He is within the heart of the ant and the elephant. There is a spark of the Divine within both the genius and the less intelligent.
One of the many advantages of the Divine incarnations is the ability to give proof of a complex concept in an easy to understand way. We have one example from the above referenced verse from the Ramayana. Here Sita Devi is wondering if her husband’s attention has shifted elsewhere.
That is a reasonable assumption to make. There is the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” If you lose the association of someone, it is natural to forget about them. After all, other things occupy the brain space. It’s impossible to keep thinking of everything all the time.
Moreover, in Rama’s situation there is the possibility of shoka, or lamentation. Perhaps He has lost His nerve after not finding Sita for so long. One minute they were living happily in the Dandaka forest, and the next she is gone, perhaps to never return.
Sita says that Rama, who is also known as Raghava, deserves mana, or honor. She hopes that someone who is so honor-worthy is not plunged into grief. That would be unfortunate.
Since Rama is a Divine incarnation, He has the same potencies as described previously. He can juggle many things at once. Though He shows lamentation briefly in order to convey His deep love and affection for His devotees, that short downturn does not take Him off the path of righteousness. Nor is He ever overwhelmed by a seemingly daunting task.
This is good news for us. It means that He hears our prayers. When we do something as simple as chant the holy names, He hears us, even if millions of other souls are approaching Him at the same time. He is the dear husband of Sita, the object of service for Hanuman, the elder brother of Lakshmana, the creator of this and many other worlds, the seed-giving father for the population of creatures, and also the best friend of every living entity.
Troubled mind even time can’t erase,
Too many tasks taking brain’s space.
Solve one but then again into trouble,
How everything simultaneously to juggle?
Negation for God one way to define,
Holding up world, in resplendence to shine.
Like Rama with Sita people never to forget,
Divine mercy here now, in bhakti to get.