Under the Influence

Radha Krishna “O Supreme Eternal! If the embodied living entities were eternal and all-pervading like You, then they would not be under Your control. But if the living entities are accepted as minute energies of Your Lordship, then they are at once subject to Your supreme control. Therefore real liberation entails surrender by the living entities to Your control, and that surrender will make them happy. In that constitutional position only can they be controllers…” (Prayers of the Vedas, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.87.30)

The influence of a woman can cause a man to act in all sorts of crazy ways. Men will do things they normally wouldn’t do because of attachment to the object of their affection.

Radha Krishna deities The Vedas declare that the human form of life is especially auspicious since only humans have the mental capacity to understand, know, and love God. The spirit soul is eternally a part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, but it has been placed in this material world since time immemorial due to desires for sense gratification. The soul transmigrates through the various 8,400,000 species in an evolutionary process that culminates with taking birth as a human being. It is not a very common thing to be born as a human, so one should make the most of this wonderful opportunity. The Vedas have declared that starting from childhood, one should be trained in the process of tapasya, or religious austerities. It is not that we should do whatever we want, whenever we want, for that will doom us. Tapasya means voluntarily imposing barriers and limits on ourselves relating to sense gratification. As the saying goes, “Early to bed, early to rise” one should make a habit of rising early in the morning and taking a shower or bath. That should be followed by chanting the holy names of the Lord, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”, and worshiping the deity of the Lord and so on. If a person is always engaged in this way, they will easily be able to avoid the four pillars of sinful life: meat eating, intoxication, gambling, and illicit sex. This regulative system will allow one to steadily progress in spiritual life.

Sex life, especially illicit sex, is the biggest barrier to making spiritual progress. It is the highest form of sense gratification, or maya, and it is the primary cause for us repeating the cycle of birth and death. Dogs and monkeys especially have an uncontrolled desire for sex. They engage in sex all the time and are never satisfied. Human beings aren’t meant to behave in the same way, for we are supposed to be more intelligent than dogs. Yet many of us are completely engrossed in sex life and in lusting after others. This leads to all sorts of problems such as teenage pregnancy, abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases.

There is much time spent trying to think of ways to cure poverty around the world. In America, studies show that those who graduate high school and don’t have children until after they are married are almost guaranteed to not live in poverty. This completely makes sense, for even the Vedas tell us that we shouldn’t have sex unless it is with our wife and for the purpose of having children. The Vedas are the original system of knowledge passed down from God Himself, so everything it contains is flawless. We needn’t spend money on welfare and redistribution programs, for they will never solve any problems. Simply following God’s instruction will make us happy and shield us from a life of poverty.

Lakshmana Lakshmana, the younger brother of Lord Rama, was a great example of a person who perfected their life by following the teachings of the Vedas. When Rama, an incarnation of Krishna, came to earth many thousands of years ago in Ayodhya, He was born as the eldest son of the king, Maharaja Dashratha. The king had planned on installing Rama as the successor to the throne, but at the last second he changed his mind. This was due to the influence of his youngest wife, Kaikeyi. On a previous occasion, Dashratha was involved in a battle against the asuras, or demons. In those days, kings were all expert fighters of the kshatriya race. They served as the leaders in government since they had proven their ability to fight and administer justice fairly. So in this particular battle, Dashratha was in trouble, and Kaikeyi had helped pull him out and bring him to safety. Dashratha was so pleased that he offered her any two boons of her choosing. Kaikeyi, being very cunning, decided to hold on to these boons until a more suitable time arose. On the occasion of Rama’s installation-to-be, she decided to cash in on the boons by asking that Rama’s younger brother Bharata instead be installed as the new king. For her second boon, she requested that Rama be forced to live in the forest for fourteen years. Dashratha had no choice but to grant these wishes, for a king could not go back on his word.

“I like it not, O worshipful one, that Raghava (Rama) should repair to the forest due to the influence of a woman, renouncing this grandeur of sovereignty. The king is old and therefore of perverted judgment, and is addicted to sensual enjoyments. Being under the influence of his wife and passion, what could he not speak?” (Lakshmana speaking to Kausalya, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand Sec 21)

Sita, Rama, and Lakshmana leaving for the forest In the above referenced quote, Lakshmana is speaking to Rama’s mother Kausalya, stating his objection to the king’s order. Lakshmana from his very birth was attached to Rama. He wouldn’t eat or sleep without his elder brother. When he heard the order imposed on Rama, Lakshmana became very angry. He completely objected, declaring that his father had lost his mind due to his love for Kaikeyi. Lakshmana was a pure soul, for sin could never touch him. Being completely devoted to God, maya ran away in fear at the mere sight of him. From his example, we can learn how to transcend the influence of sin, and completely free ourselves from all material desires, including illicit sex life. By simply devoting ourselves to the Supreme Lord in all thoughts, words, and deeds, we can become the greatest of yogis. Lakshmana was so angered by the treatment shown to his brother that he insisted on accompanying Rama to the forest for fourteen years. Lakshmana was married at the time, for Rama and all three of His brothers were married on the same day in the kingdom of Videha ruled by Maharaja Janaka. Lakshmana renounced everything in favor of serving God, so we can do no wrong by following in his footsteps. In this way, we will never come under the influence of worldly affairs.

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