“Tulsi says that one should confess to the merciful Shri Rama about the good and the bad. In so doing the burden of sorrow will diminish, and in that full surrender to the supreme strength will increase and one will become fully satisfied.” (Dohavali, 96)
tulasī rāma k।rpālu soṃ kahi sunāu guna do।sa |
hoya dūbarī dīnatā parama pīna santo।sa ||
Man is not perfect. To err is human. Even the most sober person, keeping strict attention on right and wrong, pious and impious, is bound to fall victim to desire every now and then. Such as at a gathering where pizza is ordered, the fair thing to do is allow each person the same number of slices. After you’ve had a few, however, you want more. While no one is looking, you take two extra. No one knows the culprit, except you.
Then there are times when a good deed occurs, but no one is around to see it. While seated on the subway, a lady enters with several small children. She is in a lot of distress. It’s a packed car. Though your stop is a long way down the line, you decide to get up and offer your seat. No one else did the same, though there was ample opportunity. The woman is very appreciative.
Goswami Tulsidas advises that whatever good and bad we do, the Supreme Lord should hear about it. Shri Rama is described to be kripalu, which means “merciful.” The person studied in Vedic philosophy will detect a contradiction. One of the features of God is Paramatma. This is the Supersoul residing within the heart. Paramatma is antaryami, or the great witness. He sees and hears everything already.
“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.15)
If Rama already knows everything, what is the benefit of confession? For starters, the guilt from a bad deed automatically diminishes when others are told. That is only natural. Some people hold on to a transgression for years. When they finally tell someone, it’s like a huge weight is lifted off their shoulders.
Secondly, closeness towards Rama increases. He is actually the best friend of every living entity. Not the type of friend that simply asks for things, looking to take advantage. Not the friend who is made only through a shared interest. Not the kind of friend who forgets past favors done for them and only remembers the most recent failure to help.
By sharing the good and the bad, the best well-wisher that is Rama gives inner-strength. The process turns into surrender, where there is humility. The living being has a very difficult time shedding ahankara, which is false ego. When the greatest person hears about our good and bad, humility is bound to increase.
Increased closeness with Shri Rama leads to a sense of peace. The Sanskrit word santosha also means “complete satisfaction.” The idea is not to simply confess and then revert to bad behavior. That is taking advantage of the merciful nature of the Supreme Lord and very little good results. Still, any approach made towards God the person is beneficial.
Similar confessions to anyone else may not yield the same results. Friends and loved ones will look at you differently if they know your darkest secrets. If they find out about the good things you have done, jealousy may arise. There is always a risk, as each person in this world is flawed to some degree.
The Supreme Lord removes the burden of sin, which carries a negative reaction. He rewards good behavior, and the more one confesses, the more chances they have to tell Rama about positive aspects to their daily life. One of the best times to develop this closeness is through the meditation of chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Since flawed to some degree,
Risk from your confession to see.
Advantage from there taking,
Or good deeds a jealous friend making.
With Shri Rama not the case,
Foolish pride His company to erase.
More humble, to Him closer become,
Then complete peace sure to come.