Bala Vinoda

[Rama with parents]“Every day in Ayodhya there is a celebration happening, as renewing auspiciousness brings so much happiness. The mother, the father and the people are so happy seeing the childhood play of Shri Rama.” (Dohavali, 118)

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anudita avadha badhāvane nita nava ma:ngala moda |
mudita mātu pitu loga lakhi raghubara bāla binoda ||

We know what misery is like. Pain and heartache. Anxiety from separation. Worry about the future, as there is uncertainty in the most basic things. It is not guaranteed for the sun to shine brightly tomorrow. In some places there is cloud cover for a week straight. How to deal with the depressing atmosphere?

We know that the troubles begin at birth. While everyone is happy to see the new baby, pretty soon the responses change. Instead of smiling and making cute noises, others walk past you without saying a word. People are afraid to speak, lest they anger someone else.

We know that everything ends at death. Despite our greatest hope to the contrary, there is no way to take our life’s work with us. The house, the car, the family relationships – they are not guaranteed to remain through to the next life.

We know from studying different spiritual traditions that there is an end to the suffering. Some call it salvation. Others refer to it as nirvana, or the ultimate end. In Sanskrit there is the term “moksha.” The common English translation is “liberation,” but what exactly does that mean? There is an end to the cycle of birth and death, of further swimming in the ocean of suffering, of spinning on the wheel of rebirth, samsara-chakra.

We don’t know what comes afterwards, though. Let’s say that you are fortunate enough to achieve the end. Moksha, after dharma, artha and kama, becomes a reality. What happens next? Time is known to be infinite in both directions. Therefore something must come after an end; otherwise time as we know it is not valid.

In the above referenced verse from the Dohavali, Goswami Tulsidas gives a glimpse into the life of liberation. Though the circumstances may not be exactly the same for every liberated soul, there is one important factor in common. There is interaction with the personal form of the Divine.

In this case God is playing the role of a small child, living in the house of King Dasharatha of Ayodhya. The events occurred on this earth, in the city of the same name, many thousands of years ago, but that is not to say the pastimes aren’t continuing. In some place in the unlimited universe Rama is playing right now. He has descended as the avatara, to protect the pious and annihilate the miscreants.

The bala vinoda, the pleasurable play in the childhood form, brings great delight to the mother, the father, and the people. An interesting thing occurs: a celebration takes place daily. Whatever Rama does is cause for celebration. There isn’t boredom, either. If we celebrate someone’s birthday today, tomorrow another party might not carry the same festive atmosphere. If every day were a celebration, then celebrations would start to lose their meaning.

[Shri Rama with parents]Not so with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is to be celebrated every single day, and not out of fear. There is great joy that results, and time does nothing to diminish the effect. Rama is the embodiment of mangala, or auspiciousness, and so the liberated souls take great delight in endlessly celebrating His transcendental glories.

In Closing:

No need of description to be suspicious,

Shri Rama embodiment of auspicious.

In Ayodhya celebrating every day,

For more bliss to find a way.

Especially when the childhood form displaying,

That son the one for whom the saints praying.

Glimpse into life of liberation giving,

That eternally in spiritual bliss living.

Categories: dohavali 81-120

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