“There are two classes of beings, the fallible and the infallible. In the material world every entity is fallible, and in the spiritual world every entity is called infallible.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.16)
To ere is human, so the saying goes. We all have our faults and deficiencies to some degree or another. No one is perfect after all, for that is the effect of material nature.
On the other hand, God is perfect and infallible. He is the only person with such a characteristic, for everyone else is flawed. This is the law of nature, though many of us tend to forget it, or we remain unaware of it. The Vedas tell us that man inherits four defects from birth: the propensity to cheat, the ability to be easily illusioned, the possession of imperfect senses, and the propensity to commit mistakes. Through our imperfect senses we end up lauding the achievements of mortal men while neglecting those of God Himself compiled through the activities of His various incarnations. Cheating is also natural since we’re all struggling to accumulate wealth and fame. Our imperfect senses lead us to mistakenly think that we see water in a desert when it is only a mirage. We also commit mistakes to varying degrees, with some leading to punishment. The prison houses exist for dealing with those who have committed the most grievous mistakes.
In a civilized society, a crime is committed when someone violates the laws set forth by a government. The accused stand trial in front of a judge and a jury of their peers, who then pass judgment on the alleged criminal’s actions. Those found guilty then spend time in prison with other criminals. The key is to make sure that only the guilty get sent to jail. To ensure this holds true, the trial by jury system is most commonly used. If we are judged by our peers consisting of a panel of impartial jurists, then we are more likely to get a fair trial. The jury deliberates based on the testimony presented from both the plaintiff and defendant, witnesses, and bystanders. Science also plays an important role with the recent introduction of forensics and DNA evidence. Videotapes, tape recordings, and photographs also aid in the decision of the jury. Such great effort is taken by both the plaintiffs and the defendants to ensure that the jury has all the evidence they need in front of them. It is very important for a jury to make the proper decision on a person’s guilt, otherwise they will have committed the most grievous of errors by sending an innocent person to jail.
“I do not see any such fault or sin in Rama that He should be banished from the kingdom to range in the woods.” (Lakshmana speaking to Kausalya, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand, Sec 21)
When Lord Krishna incarnated on earth as Lord Rama many thousands of years ago, He was banished from the kingdom by His father, the king of Ayodhya, Maharaja Dashratha. Rama was loved and adored by all, but Dashratha’s youngest wife Kaikeyi wanted her son Bharata to be the successor to the throne instead of Rama. Agreeing to that request, Dashratha was then asked by her to send Rama to live in the forest for fourteen years. Kaikeyi didn’t want Rama to be able to raise any opposition to the coronation of Bharata, so she figured it would be better to get Him out of the picture. Rama willingly agreed to these orders, but His younger brother Lakshmana took great umbrage to them. Being an incarnation of Lord Ananta Shesha, he was naturally disposed to supporting Lord Vishnu, who had now come to earth in the form of Lord Rama. Lakshmana was very angry upon hearing what happened, for He loved His brother very much and knew that He was completely faultless. In his eyes, the most innocent person was being sentenced for no justifiable reason. He was outraged that someone would dare treat his brother this way.
This is exemplary behavior shown by a true devotee. God is often tarnished by people out of frustration. “Oh God, how could you do this to me? How could you let me suffer in this way?” These are common lamentations by people in distress. In reality, our problems are not God’s fault. Through some reason or another, we desired to take birth in this material world so that we could feel a false sense of proprietorship over nature. This hubris has no limits, for now today many think that human beings are even responsible for the weather. “Never mind the sun or the ecosystem, no, it must be man that causes the earth’s temperature to increase or decrease.” These are the thoughts of the modern day atheistic scientists. The true fact of the matter is that God and His energies control everything. We wanted to play in this material world, and He has given full facility to do so.
The proper course of action is to praise and defend God instead of being angry with Him. This was the path that Lakshmana chose, and for this he is worthy of eternal worship. He loved Rama so much that he insisted on serving His exile period with Him and His wife Sita. While the husband and wife would sleep at night, Lakshmana would stand guard, making sure no one in the forest would bother them. This is the behavior of a saint; someone without any faults. Rama wasn’t alone in being free from sins, for His pure devotees also become sinless through their loving service to Him, as was the case with Lakshmana, Sita, and Hanuman.
So let us spend our time thanking the Lord for being so kind to us, because even though we spend all our time trying to forget Him, He is still so merciful upon us. Being able to see His beautiful form and chant His holy name are the greatest boons in life. We should make the most of this great fortune that has befallen us. If we follow the lead of Lakshmana, we can do no wrong. If we constantly praise the Lord and associate with devotees, we will always be happy.
Categories: glories of lakshmana