Snatching Victory From The Jaws Of Defeat

[Rama's lotus feet]“Have fear of Rama, have deep love and attachment for Rama. Tulsi says that without doubt, with full trust in Rama victory will be yours, even when defeat seems likely.”  (Dohavali, 95)

rāmahi ।daru karu rāma soṃ mamatā prīti pratīti |
tulasī nirupadhi rāma ko bhae’ hārehū’ jīti ||

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So many emotions in a human existence. Not that everything will remain the same. Happy today, but tomorrow might not be so great. Totally distraught recently over an unfortunate turn in events, but the future will change things, even if the outlook is otherwise bleak.

One of those emotions is fear. What will happen in the future? No one knows for sure. The analysts on television try their best to guess. They use intelligence guided by experience. They’ve witnessed the past. They’ve studied what happened in the many years of recorded history. They noticed the patterns of today. Collecting the vast amount of information and analyzing it, they attempt to predict the future.

Yet no one knows for sure. That is a cause of fear. After birth there must be death. At some point this body that is firing on all cylinders will cease to operate. The end is guaranteed, but the exact means and time are not. Every result prior to that inevitable end carries the same lack of certainty.

Mamata is strong affection, to the point of possessiveness. This friend is “mine.” This beloved car belongs to “me.” Though temporary in duration, such possession is real. Otherwise, every person would be entitled to enter every home, at any time. The fourth amendment to the Constitution would not be necessary.

[search warrant]Priti is love. This is the reason for living, is it not? Everyone is going to die, but does this mean that they should never love? After all, the strong attachment in the relationship is guaranteed to cause heartbreak for someone. Why not avoid the situation altogether? In fact, this love is deep within the individual. It is part of their makeup. Even the loneliest person, with a crusty disposition, not caring for anyone, has love for someone or something.

Goswami Tulsidas says to take these emotions and direct them towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Rama. Have full faith, pratiti, in this instruction. From there victory is certain, even when things look bleak. Defeat is heavily favored, but victory still occurs.

One of the most famous examples is Prahlada Maharaja. He had fear for the atheistic, sinful, and ruthless father, King Hiranyakashipu. Prahlada, only five years old, viewed the Supreme Lord as his, and he wanted everyone else to have the same mentality. There was love for God first, and from there the affection descended to everyone else, who are always linked to the Divine in some way.

Defeat was likely. This was because the father was antagonistic. He was against the slightest display of affection towards Vishnu, which is another name for Rama. Hiranyakashipu viewed Vishnu as the greatest enemy. Now the previously beloved son was fully devoted to that Vishnu. The father could not tolerate it.

No problem. Just kill the boy. One issue. Deadly weapons coming from the palace guards. The force of gravity from a high cliff to the ground. The venom of snakes. The strong burning potency of fire. None of these things could gain victory over Prahlada. The boy should have lost, but he won every single time. He didn’t go to extraordinary lengths, either. He simply meditated on Vishnu.

“He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.31)

[Rama's lotus feet]Not that every devotee will have the exact same experience, but the promise for protection is there. In the form of Shri Krishna God makes the same promise. He tells the beloved disciple Arjuna to declare it to the world that the devotee never perishes. One way to define such a person is to know that they have put all fear, attachment, and love in God the person. The devotional life of the devotee remains for as long as that devotion is desired, through an infinite number of lifetimes.

In Closing:

Love, attachment and fear,

Give to one most dear.

Even mamata possessive strong,

To Shri Rama, of glories long.

Then always in victory’s seat,

Even when likely is defeat.

Like Prahlada over father overcoming,

Defeated the devotee never becoming.

Categories: dohavali 81-120

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4 replies

  1. Faith can move mountains…great writeup

  2. The devotional life of the devotee remains for as long as that devotion is desired, through an infinite number of lifetimes. What does that mean? Isn’t the end of devotion self realization? or Nirvana.

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