When someone suffers from bodily illness, it is a physical ailment and hence a doctor is consulted. However for behavioral issues, there is a problem with one’s mind. Hence taking instructions from a sage can be useful. However there is something unique when one compares the diseases of the body and those of the mind. When someone is attacked by a disease of the body, one is clear that the problem is with one’s body. However when one has problems with one’s mind, one shall see that the problem is not with oneself but with the world. Hence treating the body is far simpler than treating the challenges of the mind. Thus when one goes to a physician or a sage, how can the motive of the person be to hear about one’s own goodness? A person goes to the physician to understand the problems of one’s own body while the person goes to the sage to know about one’s own mind’s deficiencies. Even when a sage appreciates a person, the appreciation is directed towards a specific purpose, and should not be regarded as something good, but one has to understand the context and the larger intention of the sage who appreciates one thus.
In the Ramayana, in the Sundarakand Chapter, Lord Rama sends Sri Hanumanji Maharaj to the court of Ravana. Hanumanji Maharaj is the direct expansion of the Lord of Lords, Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is also considered as a physician in the Vedic pantheon. In this context, Lord Rama, the Supreme physician sends the Master physician, Sri Hanumanji Maharaj, to assess Ravana so that appropriate medication could be administered to Ravana. On a lighter note, Sri Rama needed to assess whether a simple medicine could do the work or whether a “lethal” operation need to be conducted and hence Sri Hanumanji Maharaj was sent to the court of Ravana. Sri Hanumanji Maharaj diagnosed the “disease of the mind” that had infected Ravana. He came to the conclusion that it was “illusion” or bodily attachment also known as “Moha” that had diseased Ravana. In fact it is “Moha” (मोह) or illusion alone that is at the root of all anomalies in the human character. As a medication to Ravana, the celestial physician, Hanumanji Maharaj asked him to surrender his ego that was in the mode of ignorance and take shelter of Lord Sri Rama. This would cure his diseased character. Sri Hanumanji also said that Ravana may continue to maintain his ego in the mode of goodness and passion. This was probably the simplest cure for Ravana’s defective character. But Ravana laughed and commanded the God of Death to make himself available and then turned towards Sri Hanumanji Maharaj by saying “Here you are trying to become a physician or a Guru and trying to instruct me, the all-powerful being under whom even Death bows down. Ravana was so powerful that he had the power to summon death personified. Looking at the god of death, Hanumanji smiled and thought “Ravana, it is good that you have summoned death personified. But it is sad that you are unable to see as to who is going to be the target for Death.”
In the context of the story when Sage Narada visits the abode of Himavan, he is overjoyed to see Mother Parvati, the daughter of King Himavan. Mother Parvati is personified pure attention. She is the personification of awareness. Unless a person possesses the quality of purified attention, going to a seer for satsanga shall yield no result, however elevated the seer might be. Mother Parvati was summoned by Her father and was ordered to bow down before the great sage Narada. After Mother Parvati had bowed down with respect in front of the sage, Her father requested the sage to highlight the positive and negative qualitative attributes of the universal Mother. This event also connotes an important milestone, in the life of a sadhaka, spiritual practitioner. Here, the focus is on the role of a sage, a seer with respect to the spiritual practitioner. Prior to taking up spiritual practices, it is the duty of the practitioner to interact and consult with a sage and understand one’s own positive and negative characteristics of one’s inner character from the sage. This is an important aspect or guideline for a true spiritual practitioner. The sage, took the hands of the Mother into his own hands and then started to broadcast his reading about the daughter of the mountain king, Himavan.
The sage said, “Your daughter is worshipable in all respects. The whole universe shall revere Her. Just by uttering her name, people shall become blessed and fulfilled in all respects.” However the mountain King became more anxious and enquired with sage Narada thus. “Oh holy sage, I am happy to hear about the good qualities of my daughter. Please be kind and now let me know of the shortcomings of my daughter.” To this the sage replied “There are just a couple of bad points that I shall highlight to you.