Qualities That Match

[Sita-Rama]“O best of the monkeys, I hope that my husband will regain me soon, as my heart is pure and the good qualities in Him are numerous.” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.12)

āśaṃsa iti hari śreṣṭha kṣipram mām prāpsyate patiḥ |
antaḥ ātmā hi me śuddhaḥ tasmin ca bahavo guṇāḥ ||

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In Vedic literature a person finds many names for the Almighty. There are too many to remember offhand, and so there are certain prayers recited to help bring auspiciousness. There is the Vishnu-sahasra-namam, which means “the thousand names of Vishnu.” Each name has a different meaning, revealing a different feature to the person most of the world refers to as God.

Many of those names reference a relationship to a person. Specifically, the Supreme Lord is the husband of the goddess of fortune. He is Vishnu and she is Lakshmi. He is Bhagavan, the most fortunate one, and the wife is the embodiment of that fortune. He is the energetic and she is the energy.

[Lakshmi-Narayana]One of Lakshmi’s many names is Chanchala. This means “restless” or “fleeting.” That is to say the goddess of fortune does not stay in a place for very long. This is both factually correct and symbolic. A person who has wealth may not keep it for very long. Such as with the wealthy person heavily invested in the stock market, their net worth can take a tumble in a matter of hours depending on the price of the shares.

Though she is not known to stay with a person for too long, the relationship with Bhagavan lacks this feature. That is to say a person can always find Lakshmi the person at the lotus feet of her husband, providing a comforting massage. She dutifully serves and He happily accepts. The two are inseparable in a sense; they naturally go together.

This is due to the qualities. Bhagavan indeed has qualities, but they are not binding. The Sanskrit word is guna, but it has a different meaning for Him. We possess gunas, of the three kinds: goodness, passion and ignorance. The combinations lead to the different body types, or species, but there is the inhibiting factor that suppresses the abilities of the amazing soul within. Moreover, the presence of gunas brings a high likelihood of repeat birth and death.

For Bhagavan the gunas are many, as Sita Devi says in the verse quoted above. Here she is referring specifically to Shri Rama, the prince of Ayodhya. Sita-Rama are non-different from Lakshmi-Narayana. Vishnu and His wife descend to earth from time to time, and they are just as inseparable when on the earthly realm as they are in the spiritual world.

In this situation Sita is separated from her husband, and she hopes aloud that they will reunite. Her heart is pure, shuddha. This means there are no hints of sin. She has no desires outside of her husband’s wellbeing. This is another way to define pure devotion. Though she is not specifically practicing a kind of spiritual life, her example is illustrative.

The same applies to Shri Hanuman, the person on the receiving end of these words. He is related to God in a different way, as servant, but the heart is similarly pure. He has no outside desires. He is not interested in mystic yoga, merging into the formless Absolute, or enjoying in heaven from having performed good deeds.

[Sita-Rama]When there is pure devotion, real yoga is established. In that state there is always a connection to God, even if physical separation is the temporary condition. Sita is actually always with Rama, as the Supreme Lord is close by whenever His devotees think of Him.

In Closing:

Not really that far away,

Always in heart to stay.

With Sita Devi constitutionally so,

Together even when in Lanka to go.

Of qualities matching since,

Dutiful wife and chivalrous prince.

From pure devotion to them connection,

Like Hanuman desires in one direction.

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