Independent Contractors

[Sita-Rama]“In this world everyone is troubled by everyone else; no one is really a servant of anyone else. Tulsi says that whatever good can come will only be through the merciful Shri Rama.” (Dohavali, 100)

bādhaka saba saba ke bhae sādhaka bhae na koi |
tulasī rāma k।rpālu teṃ bhalo hoi so hoi ||

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“There is svartha to consider. There is the time factor. There is mortality. It only makes sense, then, that I would look after myself first. Who else is going to take care of me? My parents won’t be around forever. The spouse insists on some kind of support. It’s not like there are no options. Divorce is a real possibility. Children will one day move on to some other place. All that support I gave them will be forgotten.

Don’t get me started on friends. What happened to them? They are gone. I never speak with them. We spent so much time together. There are great memories. Now everyone is busy doing their own thing. It’s been years. It’s like nobody in this world really cares about anyone else.”

A similar assessment is made by Goswami Tulsidas in the Dohavali. The idea is that even friends are there only while a shared interest is met. Once there is a conflict, the friendship can break. A true sadhaka, which is a servant, is difficult to find.

The good Samaritan who helps a person in need on the street can later get sued for interference. The employee loyal for so many years to the employer can jump at a better offer to work someplace else. Though they would be considered in the laborer class, they are more of an independent contractor. “Meet my demands and I will do the work.”

As there is always an element of reciprocal interest, it is difficult for real good to be done. I’m only helping you now because you are helping me in some way. What is actually good for you may not be done. The same goes for me.

[Sita-Rama]Goswami Tulsidas says that the mercy of Shri Rama is required. This makes sense since Rama is not in need of anything. He is married to Sita Devi, the goddess of fortune. There is no poverty in that household. The concept of daridra-narayana is not valid, since the real Narayana is the wealthiest person in the world. He is the original proprietor of everything; He has the proper claim on all objects that can be possessed.

A true sadhaka is one who serves Shri Rama. It is difficult to not seek personal interest in the beginning, as that is the typical way for transactions to occur. Rama’s association is so purifying that the selfishness in His presence does not remain for long.

The purified conditioned soul, who now serves without purpose and without motive, seeks only the pleasure of Rama. They look to be able to continue to serve, and the merciful Rama obliges. No other benefactor behaves this way. Even if another were so inclined, they lack the potency, as all-devouring death arrives eventually.

Rama is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is neither affected by death nor influenced by time. He remembers every deed done in His honor, and He rewards even the most basic gesture of kindness. Due to forgetfulness we tend to behave in the opposite way. After so many years of loyalty, just one transgression from a friend can make them our enemy.

[Rama Darbar]The servant of Rama has the potential to rise so high that they earn a greater stature. One example is Shri Hanuman. In family pictures, Hanuman is always kneeling in front, in a small form as compared to the others. Hanuman can expand to the size of a mountain, but he remains this way out of humility. He never thinks that he has become the boss. Because of his pure devotion to Rama to this day Hanuman is honored throughout the world.

In Closing:

So happy a friend to see,

But really wanting something from me.

Only then the relationship to exist,

Otherwise not long to persist.

True sadhaka in world difficult to find,

Tulsi the position of Rama to remind.

That never even simplest gesture forgetting,

Servants like Hanuman the highest stature getting.

Categories: dohavali 81-120

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