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  ‼  Aum, Asato maa sadgamaya, Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya  ‼  
     

 

SRI RAMA GOES TO THE FOREST
Page One

One of the main lessons of the Ramayana is that one should keep one’s promise at any cost. This was the staunch foundation on which Sri Rama’s family the Raghukula had built its kingdom.

Raghukul Riti sada chali aeee,
Pran Jaye par Vachan na jaya.”

Rama’s ancestors believed that if one was faced with the choice of either giving up one’s life or go against one’s word one must choose the former. ‘Give up your life, but not your word’, they proclaimed.

Rama was told of the wish of his mother Kaikeyi. The prince who was getting ready to ascend the throne did not even flinch. To Rama both the positions held the same importance. In a way the Renouncing Spirit of Rama was thankful to Kaikeyi for being instrumental in bringing about the journey to the forest where the main purpose of his life lay. Sri Rama’s incarnation’s main aim was to get rid of the demons that had been harassing the sages and his beloved devotees for years.

Rama left for the forest to make his father’s word true. Rama’s wife Sita insisted on accompanying Sri Rama to the forest.

Lakshmana would not let Rama and Sita go alone, he wanted to accompany them to serve them.

Some people who read the Ramayana claim that it was not fair on Lakshmana’s wife Urmila. She should also have gone to the forest with Lakshmana.

The question however arises Does a policeman’s wife accompany her husband when he is out on duty? Or does an army officer’s Wife go with him when he is posted at the border to protect the country?

Rama left for the forest and that came to pass which was destined.

DESTINY AND THE KARMA THEORY

Karma literally means “deeds”

The Hindu Karma theory is that as one sows, so one reaps.

The Karma theory says that what one is now is the result of what one thought and did in the past and what one shall be in the future will be the result of what one thinks and does now. According to the Hindu religion a person suffers not only for wrong committed in the present life but for misdeeds or sins, which may have been committed in the past. One sometimes cannot change what blows life inflicts upon us but one has control over what one can do with one­self in that condition. It is under the effect of pain and suffering that unbelievable works of art have seen the light of the day.

Each man is born for a purpose and no one is born without a certain talent each is given the power to use or develop this talent, and it is more beneficial if one can use it for the benefit of others.

According to Hindu belief there is a certain Karma which is entirely predetermined and cannot be avoided e.g. sex, parentage, colour of skin.

According to another kind of Karma, man acquires certain tendencies which are under one’s control, to use to one’s benefit and lastly there is that Karma which is being created now, the fruits of which will be enjoyed by us in the future during another life­time. This kind of Karma we have complete control over. Man’s will is ever free to make what he will with those elements that have been pre-ordained.

Hence within certain limits one can alter one’s destiny we are tied to destiny with a loose rope whose looseness allows us limited freedom within that restricted situation.

One must also remember that one is bound by Nature’s Law, which applies to all equally.

LAW AND EFFECT

Thus if one has pursued studies one would be educated.

If one has followed certain rules of health one would be healthy.

Destiny is a law related to cause and effect.

Man is free to desire and think as he deems fit. Action is the outcome, and thereby his destiny.

There are two schools of thought on the above dilemma some say that God is wholly responsible for our fate whereas others believe that destiny is the making of man. As a matter of fact both are right; just as one would be right in stating that for a car to function, engine and petrol are both essential. According to Vedanta, God Is the Seer behind the sight. Or that which causes one to hear and see. But what one learns and sees is man’s own choice.

The Law of Karma should fill one with hope to know that one is not governed by the whims of a dictatorial power and one does not live in a lawless nature but one can mould one’s destiny with the help of this knowledge.

The Law of Karma like the law of gravity prevails, though we do interfere with the law of gravity when we travel by plane or go up by elevators. Similarly if one understands the Law of Karma, one can create future happiness and present contentment by understanding scientifically its working.

Also just like the law of gravity does not operate beyond the world’s atmosphere, (it does in a way, but it gets smaller. It keeps the Universe running, and the solar systems dancing together the way they do) similarly with prayer and repentance, one enters that realm where all con­flict between good and evil melt away under the bene­volent grace of the Supreme Law.

It is believed that Rama’s advent to the forest was to fulfill certain promises that he had made to his devotees.

When the people of Ayodhya learned that Sri Rama was leaving for the forest, they decided to follow him there.

They were not interested in living in a kingdom without Rama.

They left their belongings and all that they were attached to, for the hardships of the forest. However the people of Ayodhya fell asleep on the way and Rama went ahead without them.

This is symbolic. In the spiritual path one has to be awake all the time, not physically, but spiritually one must be constantly aware of one’s failings and weaknesses. If one falters, God just leaves.

Dasaratha could not bear the separation of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana. He gave up his body.

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