Whom do you like the most in the Ramayana among the given options?
Preliminary purpose of Sri Rama’s birth
Sage Vashishtha named the four princes, the sons of King Dasharath as Rama, Laxmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. King Dasharath held festivals for distribution of garments, food, cows, making several other donations for the welfare of the new-born princes. Four aspects of the Supreme Lord had incarnated on earth for specific purposes. This is what Sage Valmiki writes in the Ramayana. Towards the end of Treta Yuga, the younger ones in the common man’s family had already started disobeying their elders and the Vedic culture was getting disturbed. To set that aspect of human behavior right, Lord Rama incarnated, so as to set the right example to the adults. He established through His direct example that son should obey father, the disciple should obey their master, and the younger brothers should obey the elder one. Sri Rama was the perfect example to demonstrate these qualities.
Preliminary purpose of Lakshmana’s birth
Lakshmana demonstrated the quality of Sheshatvam (शेषत्वम to remain as the Lord’s servitor at all times). Lakshmana demonstrated the very definition of the Jiva. If there is a question “Who is a Jiva.” Lakshmana simply answers this question through practical means, his entire life set as that perfect example. Through His life Lakshmana demonstrated that the Jiva is supposed to have knowledge, it should be bliss personified. But that which makes Knowledge and Bliss an experiential reality for the Jiva, is its position of being in eternal Servitorship to the Lord. This is the decider, the very definition and the single-most quality that identifies the Jiva. Every activity of the Jiva, should be carried out as pure service to the Lord and should be intended only for His satisfaction and for no other purpose. Exhibiting that quality of Servitorship, Lakshmana never slept a wink for fourteen years and offered Himself as a guard of the Lord and Mother Seetha Devi. He offered all bodily services to the divine couple.
Reason for suffering of Jiva
In modern days, it is seen that whether it is in India or abroad, people are increasingly becoming unsettled rather than being settled. People are unsure about their jobs. They are stressed with relationships and are unsure of their finances. To add to it all, they have been losing their peace of mind, inspite of investing money for insurance of health and life. Nothing seems to get back their hold on life. This is where the epic Ramayana has the answers. Lakshmana’s example says it all and gives us the reasons why one has all the reasons for unhappiness. Lakshmana represents the epitome of Servitorship to the Lord. It is seen that Lakshmana is full of energy, full of enthusiasm, he is alert, intelligent and at the same time carefree. How could he have it all? This is because He has emulated the solution to man’s problem with a single concept, the concept of Kainkarya, Servitorship. Servitorship should never be to humans. It should be only to God. Even if one is forced to work for others, in a job, in a partnership and so on, one has to mentally transfer that business, to the Lord’s will and re-align inwardly that he is working for Sri Rama and no one else. This should not be done as a mere imaginative recognition, but it should be done in full faith and full recognition of one’s Servitorship to the Lord, through all vocations and employment. In one’s heart, one should be only answerable to the Lord and perform it with full energy, understanding it to be the service of Lord. When the Jiva starts aligning all his worldly activities, as the activity of the Supreme Lord, the Supreme Lord, taking the Jiva to be His servant, shall slowly relieve him from all worldly bondages and stresses, thereby simplifying his life and actions. This is the practical means to regain one’s position as the eternal servitor of the Lord.
Why are we not interested in the spirit and Paramatma?
People worry about the body because they have only attained knowledge and means to know about the body alone. This, they have done their entire lives. One is not interested in spiritual subjects because one has not known much about the spirit. One has to take personal initiative to know about the spirit, that is the only way. Only if one is able to appreciate the position of the spirit compared to the body, will one attempt to know about the spirit more and more. One will desire more and more about attaining that object, about which one’s knowledge is really deep. The more one hears about the spirit and the Paramatma, the more one attempts sincerely to attain Paramatma, realizing the spirit. The more one starts getting educated about the spirit and yearns to walk the spiritual path, all bodily related actions and events shall lose tempo and the strands of material bondage shall start snapping away.
Why do I have a job?
Many people feel that they own their success. Many people feel that they have a job because they are educated. But then there are others without a job who are more educated than the ones who have a job. Then one may argue that they are good at their job. But there are others who do better work, but their bosses are not that good, because of which they suffer. Then these people say, they are more fortunate, that’s why they have a job. However there are others who have great Karmas and are good by nature and have a better heart, but they do not have a job. Why is it that a certain person has a job? Going deeper, one shall not be able to really say, why he has a job. But then there is something else, someone else, because of whom one has a job. That would be a logical conclusion, in the end. Thus, one should concede one’s limited understanding and surrender to the Servitorship of the Lord. Only then shall it be a worthwhile and intelligent move towards one’s own redemption from the stresses of the world. One shall be able to withstand all situations and circumstances, one shall become eligible to meet all challenges with unflinching tenacity only if one focuses on one’s Servitorship to the Lord. All the solutions to life’s problems is seen through Lakshmana’s illustration alone.
The unfortunate human senses
In the Bhagavatha Sri Sukadeva Goswami says “Eyes are able to see nicely. But then, the eyes that have not witnessed Sri Govinda, the prince of Vrindavana, are similar to the eyes present on the feathers of peacocks. That is the abysmal value of such eyes.” Only when the eyes have drunk the beauty of Sri Govinda, can they be called eyes, says the great sage. The ears that have not heard the glories of Lord Trivikrama, are fit for the serpents to stay, they are nothing but empty, dry holes for reptiles to lay their eggs. A mouth that does not speak Hari Katha is likened to the tongue of a toad which croaks unpleasantly, like the tongue of a gossip-monger. Hands that have not come together in salutations to the Lord, are the hands of a dead body says Sukadeva Goswami. Feet that have not circumambulated the place of the Lord’s worship are compared to the roots of a dried up, dead tree. The Shastra emphatically proclaims that in the human body, every sense organ has been provided by the Lord to every being, so that they can be only and only dedicated to the service of the Lord. This is the overall conclusion of Shastra.