“Tulsi says that those who have an intimate attachment to Shri Rama also look upon everyone with an equal vision. Without attachment, anger, distress, or bad qualities, the devotee crosses over the ocean of birth and death.” (Dohavali, 94)
tulasī mamatā rāma soṃ samatā saba saṃsāra |
rāga na rosa na dosa dukha dāsa bhae bhava pāra ||
The Sanskrit word mamata means a strong level of attachment. It is often referenced in relationship to children. Mamata also refers to “mine,” the feeling of possession.
“These are my children. I love them so much. They are the world to me. If I had to rank the people most important in my life, they would be at the top of the list. Sadly, others don’t compare.”
In material life such a mentality certainly exists, but it is not entirely beneficial. After all, others have their own children. Others have their own interests. When the possessive-mentalities clash, how to reconcile? This is one of the causes for violence, conflict, wars, and the like. It is an animalistic tendency, as well.
The human being has more intelligence, or at least the potential for it. What I consider to be mine wasn’t there before. This land was here prior to my birth. It will remain after the present lifetime is finished. These human beings are related to me as family, but in a previous life there were other family members. In the future there will be new attachments.
The wise person views everyone equally. They understand that every living being is family, in a sense. That is because everything living is spirit soul at the core. I can relate to you and you can relate to me. This is because we are both fragments of spirit at present covered by certain material elements. We were spirit before birth and we will remain so after death.
“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 5.18)
Since everyone is equal at the core, there is no reason for strong attachment, raga. Neither is the opposite needed, rosha. This is anger. I get happiness in attachment and anger at separation. There is duhkha, distress, and dosha, bad qualities. Better to be free of these things. Then it is easy to cross the ocean of birth and death.
Goswami Tulsidas says that the person who has mamata for Shri Rama automatically develops the aforementioned qualities. It is a contradiction of sorts. On one side there is a strong sense of possession, where Rama is viewed as “mine and only mine.” On the other side there is detachment, keeping a cool head, and viewing everyone equally.
Such contradictions cannot be explained by logic, and they exist in the relationship with the Supreme. After all, He is Himself contradictory. He doesn’t have eyes, but He can see everything. He doesn’t have feet, but He moves faster than the wind. He is without a physical body, but the complexion is bluish. He has no name, but He can be called through sounds like Krishna and Rama.
With the combination of devotion to Rama and detachment from the dualities of the material world, crossing the ocean of birth and death is easy. The world is compared to an ocean of suffering, samsara. It is difficult to escape because there is dreaded time lurking in the corner. As you mature, the body starts to diminish in ability. With death the slate gets wiped clean, sort of like moving back to the starting line after almost finishing.
With mamata for Shri Rama the progress doesn’t get erased. Anger is difficult to abandon. Bad qualities are not easy to shake off. If there isn’t perfection in a single lifetime, it is an opportunity not taken advantage of fully, but there is no loss. The same can’t be said of advancement of material life. Taking everything together, attachment to God the person makes even more sense.
Why with anger forever to live?
Mistakes of enemies forgive.
Not good either attachment strong,
Pain when for something to long.
For Rama keep possession sense,
Your bhakti with bow and arrow defense.
In that effort no fear of loss,
And ocean of birth and death to cross.
Categories: dohavali 81-120