True Colors

Sita Devi “Why would you, being a jackal, desire to be with me, who am a lioness and very difficult to obtain in this life? Just as a person can see the sunshine but never touch it, you will never be able to have me.” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 47.37)

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God can only be pleased by the good; those with a spotless character. The demons and atheists can never come close to touching God or any of His pure devotees. The Lord and His faithful servants don’t associate with cheaters, liars, and thieves. The deceitful might be able to get away with fooling the common man, but God can never be fooled through false flattery and insincere kind words.

It’s not uncommon for people to think that their society is advanced both materially and socially. For example, today men and women are free to intermingle. This is seen as a positive cultural evolution. Sex life is free and open, with contraceptives used quite often. The practice of abortion is also sanctioned throughout the world. As a result of these advancements, women especially have become more vulnerable to the advances of lusty men. Men generally have a much stronger sex desire than women. Much stereotypical male-female humor revolves around the idea of the man always wanting to have sex and the woman always rejecting him. This theory has some validity to it, for adult aged men do think about sex quite often. Today, for younger men the aim is to try to score with as many chicks as possible.

Marriage of Sita and Rama Seducing a woman is not an easy thing, for it takes alacrity and great skill. The typical playboy has honed his skills through much trial and error. Those who are expert in wooing women are usually also expert in lying and cheating. The two things go hand-in-hand because seducing women is cheating in a sense. The Vedas tell us that women and children should always be protected by the other members of society. For children, protection involves providing for their food, shelter, and clothing. It is also important to keep them away from things that will harm them. These rules apply to women as well. The Vedas tell us that the best way to protect an adult aged woman is to find her a husband. Not only does a husband provide security and a stable family life, but he also protects the woman from being preyed upon by other men for sex. When women aren’t married, they are left unprotected and thus become susceptible to cheating men. Having a one night stand with a woman is really a form of cheating because the man essentially uses the woman for one night and then discards her.

“The strong man’s strength should be applied to protect the weak, not for personal aggression. Similarly, sex life, according to religious principles (dharma), should be for the propagation of children, not otherwise. The responsibility of parents is then to make their offspring Krishna conscious.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 7.11 Purport)

Shrila Prabhupada For the conditioned souls, it is important to try to always act in the mode of goodness, and this applies to sex life as well. Sex is allowed, but it should be regulated; it should only be used to beget offspring with one’s spouse. Any other type of sex is considered illicit and sinful because it binds one to the repeated cycle of birth and death. One night stands and wooing women simply for sex pleasure are both considered sinful acts, for the women are exploited.

Cheaters do win sometimes, however, and the after-effects aren’t pretty. The men that secure relationships through lying often have trouble once things get more serious. A person’s true colors will eventually show. Relationships can quickly crumble once the other party realizes that they are with a reprobate. This principle holds true not only of amorous relationships, but also with politicians. Since democracy is the popular style of government today, elections are based on who can garner the most votes. A politician gets votes by making promises to various groups of voters. After getting elected, however, it is often seen that the politician will go back on their promises. Running for office and actually governing are two completely different things. More times than not, voters end up regretting their vote once they see the true colors of the candidate they previously supported.

Liars and cheaters hurt themselves and the people they deceive. People invest so much time and emotion supporting their friends, paramours, and political leaders, only to be burned in the end by many of them. Thus we see that even though lying and cheating can provide short term gains, in the long run, they don’t pay. This principle holds true with God and His devotees as well.

Lord Rama Many thousands of years ago, Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, advented on earth as a handsome and pious prince named Rama. Krishna has many incarnations, or avataras, and each one serves a specific purpose. Lord Rama’s defining characteristic was His adherence to dharma. Dharma is religiosity, or occupational duty. We can also think of dharma as virtue and piety. Rama paid special attention to dharma because He was a prince born into a very pious family, the Ikshvakus. During those times, the governments were monarchies run by members of the warrior class. There were no votes, for the leaders were all expert fighters who could defeat any enemy in battle. Aside from being expert fighters, the kings were all very pious because they had to administer justice. It is quite common to see police officers violate traffic laws and politicians bend and shape the law in their favor, but the Vedas tell us that this is not ideal behavior. A king must administer justice by punishing criminals. If they themselves break the law, how can they be taken seriously when punishing the guilty? Citizens follow the behavior of their leaders, and if they believe that their king is a cheater and a fraud, they will have less of a reason to obey the laws of the land.

Lord Rama was committed to not only maintaining His own reputation, but also that of His family. On one particular occasion, Rama’s father, King Dasharatha of Ayodhya, made the mistake of granting two boons to his youngest wife, Kaikeyi. When cashing in her boons, Kaikeyi requested that her son Bharata be installed as king, and that Rama be sent to live in the forest for fourteen years. Dasharatha was in a pickle. As a pious king, he could not go back on his word, but at the same time, he would die without Rama, who was His eldest and most beloved son. Lord Rama took the decision out of Dasharatha’s hands by insisting on obeying Kaikeyi’s requests. He left for the forest along with His wife, Sita Devi, and His younger brother, Lakshmana.

While living in the forest, one day the group’s cottage was visited by the Rakshasa demon, Ravana. Actually this was no coincidence, for Ravana had set up a diversion which lured both Rama and Lakshmana away from the cottage. Ravana had heard that Sita was the most beautiful woman in the world, thus he insisted on having her for himself. He initially approached Sita while he was in the guise of a mendicant, but he soon revealed his true identity. He tried to woo Sita by telling her that he was a powerful king and that he would make her his chief wife. Ravana had many wives whom he cavorted with regularly, yet all that sex wasn’t enough for him, for he could not live without having Sita.

Sita Devi Sita was repulsed by Ravana’s advances. She responded by openly declaring that she was Rama’s devotee. She also described Rama’s glories and informed Ravana of His strength. In the above referenced statement, she is chastising Ravana for even thinking he could be with her. Sita described Rama as being a lion among men, for He was the most powerful person in the world. Being the wife of the lion among men, Sita compares herself to a lioness and Ravana to a jackal. Sita Devi, being a pure devotee of God, was very clever. She knew how to choose just the right words which would both praise Rama and insult Ravana. A jackal is not considered a virtuous animal by any means, while a lioness is considered great and powerful. She essentially told Ravana that the two of them were incompatible. Being a great devotee, Sita would never associate with an enemy of God.

Sita also told Ravana that he could never touch her, just as how one can never touch the rays of the sun. We may see the sunlight or sunshine, but we can never actually touch it. In a similar manner, a devotee of God can never be tainted by the demons. Ravana wouldn’t heed Sita’s advice; instead he would forcibly kidnap her and bring her to his island kingdom of Lanka. Nevertheless, even after months of trying, he was never able to win Sita over. Rama eventually would kill him in battle, thus proving Sita right.

“Sitadevi, the dearmost wife of the Supreme Lord Ramachandra, certainly has a spiritual form full of bliss. No one can see her with material eyes, for no materialist has such power.” (Lord Chaitanya, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 9.191)

The lesson here is that no one can touch Sita Devi except Rama, or God. Sita is the goddess of fortune, Lakshmiji, who is the wife of Lord Narayana, or Vishnu. Narayana, Vishnu, and Krishna are interchangeable names for God since they all represent the original Personality of Godhead. Sita’s only interest is to serve Rama, and she is also very kind to Rama’s devotees. She grants wealth and good fortune to those whose only business is devotional service to God. If we use our wealth for other purposes, we are essentially stealing Lakshmi in the same way that Ravana did. We all saw what happened to him, so it’s not a good idea to go down that path.

Hanuman meeting Sita To capture God’s attention, and the attention of His devotees like Sita, we simply have to regularly chant the Lord’s names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”. We can be honest with God, for He already knows what’s in our heart. There is no reason to lie to Him or to His devotees. Hanuman, the great devotee of Rama, humbly approached the Lord and served Him honestly and sincerely. As a result, Hanumanji is worshiped to this day by millions, and his name is synonymous with love and devotion to God. He achieved fame and opulence a million times that of what Ravana had while he was alive. We would be better served to be more like Hanuman and less like Ravana.

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