Talk Is Cheap

[Rama's lotus feet]“Just as saying is useless without doing and succeeding is useless without subsequently protecting, every solution is useless without love for Shri Rama’s lotus feet.” (Dohavali, 103)

jāya’ kahaba karatūti binu jāya’ joga bina cema |
tulasī jāya’ upāya saba binā rāma pada prema ||

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In the collections industry, there is something known as a “promise to pay.” The agent initiates the phone call. The debtor is delinquent. The cause is not always the same. Perhaps they simply forgot to pay. Maybe they didn’t receive the bill on time. They could be in difficult financial circumstances, where there isn’t enough money.

When contacting the debtor on the phone, oftentimes a promise is made. “I will pay on this date. I will send the check in the mail.” The agent notates the account as such, and then the waiting begins. As the debtor was already delinquent, there is a likelihood that the promise will not be fulfilled. When the payment is not received on time, the event gets marked as a “broken promise.”

[promise to pay]This is one instance where the saying, “Talk is cheap,” is relevant. A person can say anything. Usually, honor and decency steer the person in the right way afterwards, but when there are no good characteristics the words themselves are known to be empty. Politicians are notorious for making promises they can’t keep.

The talk is cheap because it ends up being meaningless. It is like the wind blowing. The sound vibrations are simply air. Without following through what is the value of promising anything? If a person expounds on a particular philosophy, but doesn’t faithfully follow it themselves, the message is diminished. They are known as a hypocrite. Making honest mistakes here and there is another story, but simply ignoring everything taught to others is not good.

Then there is the case of succeeding in a venture. The work is put in. Going beyond the initial words comprising the vow to complete, there was a real effort made. And everything worked out. The objective was reached.

But now what? If the thing worked so hard for is not protected, what was the use? I put in a lot of extra hours at the office to purchase a new car. Then, on the first day of owning it I drive it recklessly and carelessly, causing an accident that leads to a total loss of the vehicle. What good was my success?

In the above referenced verse from the Dohavali, Goswami Tulsidas references both situations, used as a juxtaposition to any endeavor and the fruitless nature when a certain component is absent. There are many words spoken during a lifetime. Many successful objectives are reached, as well. These are necessary since so many issues arise.

Every solution tried will be pointless when love for the lotus feet of Shri Rama is missing. This is automatically true based on the nature of the world we inhabit.

Take the following sequence: There is a problem. A solution is proposed. Then the solution gets implemented. The best case is success, but even then the positive condition is guaranteed to deteriorate. This is because the creation itself goes through cycles of manifestation and annihilation.

“When Brahma’s day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma’s night they are all annihilated.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.18)

When the solution includes love for Shri Rama’s lotus feet, consciousness gets purified in the process. If I propose a solution of plucking a flower and offering it to the deity representation of Bhagavan, there is the intended goal of peace of mind; calm in an otherwise storm-like existence.

[Rama's lotus feet]The flower will eventually wilt away. Frustration and worry may return, as well. Still, the solution brings a lasting benefit. The flower offered in devotion to Rama increases bhakti. When there is more love for God, there is more detachment from the temporary world. When the scales fully tip over on the love side, then rebirth is stopped. Moreover, the bhakti continues. Love for Rama’s feet is itself the greatest solution, bringing potency to otherwise fruitless endeavors.

In Closing:

When promise not to keep,

Talk known to be cheap.

In endeavor success to get,

But worthless when not to protect.

Since world dissolved same way concluded,

Solution only when Shri Rama included.

When love for His lotus feet,

Then successful end to meet.

Categories: dohavali 81-120

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