Choosing The Weak Over The Strong

[Rama-Lakshmana]“O Lakshmana, do you rule this earth with Me. You are like My second self, so this glorious opportunity has been presented to you as well. O Saumitra, do you enjoy all the pleasures you desire and the fruits of the regal life. My life and this kingdom I covet for your sake alone.” (Lord Rama speaking to Lakshmana, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda, 4.43-44)

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लक्ष्मणेमां मया सार्धं प्रशाधि त्वं वसुन्धराम्।
द्वितीयं मेऽन्तरात्मानं त्वामियं श्रीरुपस्थिता।।
सौमित्रे भुङ्क्ष्व भोगांत्स्वमिष्टान्राज्यफलानि च।
जीवितं च हि राज्यं च त्वदर्थमभिकामये।।

lakṣmaṇemāṃ mayā sārdhaṃ praśādhi tvaṃ vasundharām।
dvitīyaṃ me’ntarātmānaṃ tvāmiyaṃ śrīrupasthitā।।
saumitre bhuṅkṣva bhogāṃtsvamiṣṭānrājyaphalāni ca।
jīvitaṃ ca hi rājyaṃ ca tvadarthamabhikāmaye।।

“From reading the Ramayana, a pattern emerges in the behavior of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Rama. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate that there is even a behavior that we can identify. That helps in understanding Him. Plus, I could read the verses over and over and not lose interest.

“I guess that is what it means to be transcendental. Rama is an avatara of Vishnu, who is the personal God. Rama plays the role of warrior prince, the sun of the solar dynasty, with Dasharatha as the leader in the beginning of the story.

[Sugriva and Vali]“The pattern I noticed is that God seems to side with the meek. The weaker of the two in a conflict, such as with Sugriva and Vali. He became friends with Vibhishana and not Ravana. He is willing to sacrifice everything for His brothers, but especially Lakshmana. Hanuman is the minister to Sugriva, who is a king that fled from his home in fear of his life.

“Normally, the tendency is the opposite. If I need to move furniture to a new house, I am going to hire the most capable people. I appreciate someone giving a genuine effort, but if they can’t lift the sofa and other furniture, I will not get anything out of the interaction. Why is Rama not the same way?”

The simplest explanation is that there is nothing anyone can do for the Almighty. He is atmarama, satisfied in the self. If He were dependent on others for accomplishing tasks, He would not be in the highest status. If He were under someone else’s care, that would make Him weaker, at least in the situation where the assistance was required.

Despite being the most powerful person, with the highest tejas imaginable, Rama accepts service from others. Since there is no requirement on ability, He can look to sincerity of purpose. Who is the one willing to offer service without any outside motives? Who is purely devoted to Him?

Yet Rama is so munificent that even outside motivations are not an immediate disqualifier. Sugriva helped to search for Rama’s wife Sita only after Rama helped him first. Vibhishana came to Rama’s side only after a disagreement with Ravana, the king of Lanka.

When an honor comes His way, Rama shares it with others. Upon receiving news of the impending transfer of power from father to son in Ayodhya, Dasharatha’s eldest son immediately thinks of Lakshmana. Rama wants His younger brother to share in the honor, so that he does not feel passed over.

[Rama-Lakshmana]The tendency extends to devotional practices in the most isolated case. Something simple like my chanting of the holy names in a secluded room, early in the morning, is noticed by the husband of Sita: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Even if I lack qualifications for increasing the magnitude of my devotional efforts, it is not a blemish against me. Rather, the Supreme Lord resting within the heart appreciates any genuine effort.

In Closing:

Sorry, but ability having none,
And not likely any to come.

A failure in all of life,
No job, children, or wife.

Yet if sincerity to possess,
Then Rama immediately to bless.

Since for devotional presence caring,
Not over how previously faring.

Categories: for his brothers, questions

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