“A person who knows that their happiness comes from Rama and their unhappiness from their own actions, whose thoughts, words and deeds are proper – such a person cannot be cheated by Kali Yuga, says Tulsi.” (Dohavali, 88)
tulasī sukhī jo rāma soṁ dukhī so nija karatūti |
karama bacana mana ṭhīka jeehi tehi na sakai kali dhūti ||88||
“God will make you unhappy. Look at the scandals in organized religion. Innocent people were lured in, with promises of a better life. They were told to stay within the organization, lest they fall into the hands of the outsiders. They were instructed to follow their leaders, even if those leaders misbehaved. They were told not to question authority. Look where it got them. Religion has ruined so many lives. How can it be the answer to all the problems of life, then?”
The name for the present age is Kali. The Vedas provide this name, along with specific characteristics to make up the definition. The easy way to understand is to know that in Kali Yuga everything is the opposite of what it should be. For instance, we know that honesty is generally a good policy. If I tell you that I’ll deliver that envelope for you the next day, you trust that I’ll get the job done. If I lied to you, if I had no intention of following through, there is nothing good to come of it. We know that being truthful is good for the precise reason that I might have to rely on your honesty one day in the future. If I’m dishonest with you, then you have every right to behave the same way with me.
Yet in Kali Yuga the liars get handsomely rewarded. Look no further than the politician. Come campaign season, they are full of promises. Once they get in office, however, it’s a different story. Most of their promises involve handing out money. The problems start when the government runs out of money to give. Then the politician has to go back on their promises to not raise taxes. They have to make deals with other politicians to get legislation passed. Something the public is adamantly against can pass through behind-the-scenes deal-making.
Perhaps the worst form of this prominent cheating is found in the area of religion. Groups that claim to represent God are nothing more than money-making schemes. They are materialistic, after all. They play to the material desires of the population. They don’t properly inform people that the aim of human life is to become truly God conscious, a path which involves renunciation. When it comes to genuine transcendentalism the general rule is “less is more.”
Kali Yuga cheats the innocent people into thinking that they will be happy only through their own efforts. “Study in school, work hard at your job, save up enough money, and some day you will have it all.” Yet the people who have already succeeded still aren’t happy. They did everything by the book. They put in their own effort, and they were left unsatisfied.
Kali Yuga says that association with the Supreme Lord will only bring misery. We can look to the devotees of Narayana, who is the Personality of Godhead. Though Narayana is opulently adorned, having the beautiful Lakshmi Devi next to Him, His devotees are generally poor, materially speaking. Lakshmi is also known as Chanchala, since she doesn’t stay in one place for too long. For the devotees, it appears that the curse on Bhrigu Muni has remained. He one time kicked Narayana in the chest to see what the Lord’s reaction would be. Lakshmi Devi did not like this. In response she cursed the entire brahmana class to be poor, i.e. to lack her association.
Tulsidas gives us the straight answer. He says that the way to beat Kali Yuga is to know that happiness does come from God. The poet refers to Rama, who is the same Narayana. Basically, you should know that you can only be happy when you are serving God the person. By extension, when you act only for your own interests, all you’ll get is misery. This is because the latter is the inverse of the former. By acting for just yourself, you’re automatically turning away from Rama.
Just knowing these two things is very powerful. It makes you strong enough to be immune to Kali’s influence. Thoughts, words and deeds should be proper as well. Think about the Supreme Lord and His attractiveness. Speak words of praise in His honor. The Vedas, the oldest scriptural works in the world, consist entirely of praise of God and His associates. Since Rama is unlimited, there can never be enough words to sufficiently glorify Him.
Dedicate your actions for Rama’s pleasure. This will make your deeds proper. As Shri Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, whatever you do, whatever you offer, whatever sacrifice you do, make it an offering to Him. Krishna is the same Rama. He is Narayana. By acting in this way, one becomes dear to the Supreme Lord. Rama then protects against Kali Yuga, which is His creation. Thus the devotee can gain the protective armor necessary to repel the cheating age of quarrel and hypocrisy.
Happiness through own effort to meet,
In this way Kali the population to cheat.
For proper understanding to learn,
To Tulsi’s instruction just turn.
Proper thoughts, words and deeds,
Then safe from this age indeed.
Suffering from decision my own,
True joy from Rama’s association alone.
Categories: dohavali 81-120