Thought for the week
S. V. Subrahmanian
svsubrahmanian at YAHOO.COM
Fri Sep 28 04:46:44 CDT 2001
Lesson from Ramayana
Sadhakas are often led to lead very "involved" lives in samsAra, either through
prArabda or their own volition. But there is always a struggle in choosing as
to how much one should be involved, in what matters must one be involved and in
what role. Students of Vedas will recognize that what samsAra has to offer has
no lasting value and one's true value is to know one's own Self. Having learnt
this fact, one should turn one's mind towards the pursuit of Truth unmindful of
the temptations of samsAra. The example of Sri Sita mAtA in Ramayanam is the
When Divine Mother was abducted and kept captive in Lanka, she faced the same
problem that a sAdhaka of today faces. Ravana tempted her with various
opportunities for sense-pleasures, with fantasies of royalty and unquestionable
suzzerainity over the three worlds. He used all means - good speech,
convincing arguments, enticement and finally even threats to convince her to
accept his offer.
Sri Sita mAta's handling of the circumstance is the best example we have of how
to avoid such pitfalls in life. She dedicated her entire mind to the
contemplation of Sri Rama and refused to accept anything offered by Ravana.
Having had the firm conviction about what is right for her and having set her
mind on Ishvara who had come down as Sri Rama, she paid no heed to the endless
temptations. She rejected all of them as immoral and worthless in comparison
to contemplating on Sri Rama. When the raxaSi's of Lanka tried to convince her
through very convincing arguments, that she could achieve better things by
accepting the offer, she refused to listen to their arguments. Infact she does
not even engage in counter-arguments. When all the evil hordes indulged in
these activities, she sat there patiently, contemplating on Sri Rama with the
Faith that He would deliver her.
We should pursue our search for Truth in much the same way as Sita mAtA. Sri
Rama's pursuit of Sri Sita mAtA can infact be regarded as Ishvara revealing
Himself/Herself slowly as the contemplation deepens. But for that to happen we
should be like Her, discarding away all the temptations of samsAra, paying no
heed to the various allurements - achievement, fame, wealth and entertainment.
Constantly one is forced to contend with arguments that "it is much better to
do X than sitting and contemplating". Sure enough She went through such
temptations and she came out winning when she did not heed to these
Sometimes it is better not to try to argue and convince others in such matters,
for it might disturb our own composure. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi was known for
His silence. But, what is not known is that He did engage in lot of
conversation too. What He tried to impress upon His devotees and other
visitors was the need to cut out useless chatter. He answered questions to the
extent He felt it was helping the devotee. Once the conversation turned into
and argument, He withdrew Himself to both discourage argumentativeness and also
to highlight that such a method was not helpful in the search for Truth. Also,
if He felt that a particular talk did not help anybody, He did not participate.
But whenever there was genuine interest in the devotee, He did speak and
Of course, the purport of all the above is to not stop acting. Only we have
turn our mind inwards and renounce our activities there.
Have a great weekend.
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