“Shri Rama’s holy name is like a numeral, and all religious practices are like zero. When the numeral is not there, zero means nothing. But when it is present, the resultant value increases tenfold.” (Dohavali, 10)
नाम राम को अंक है सब साधन हैं सून |
अंक ग_एँ कछु हाथ नहिं अंक रहें दस गून ||
nāma rāma ko aṃka hai saba sādhana haiṃ sūna |
aṃka ga_em̐ kachu hātha nahiṃ aṃka raheṃ dasa gūna ||
Friend1: There’s a new trend emerging within society, and I don’t like it.
Friend2: The killing of innocent animals? If that is the case, I have some bad news for you.
Friend1: No; I understand that has been going on since before anyone can remember. I think Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that the practice starts with one generation and then picks up momentum moving forward.
Friend2: Which validates the concern from Arjuna in Bhagavad-gita about family traditions being destroyed:
नरके नियतं वासो
narake niyataṁ vāso
“O Krishna, maintainer of the people, I have heard by disciplic succession that those who destroy family traditions dwell always in hell.” (Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, 1.43)
It takes just one bad person to set a new trend. Then each successive generation can say they are merely following the ways of their ancestors.
Friend1: I feel that is happening today, but in terms of institutions. Churches. News organizations. Big businesses. They were founded by a particular leader. Someone who legitimately merits praise.
Friend2: They had good qualities.
Friend1: Yes. They were true to their craft. Now, today these institutions are run by the worthless children, metaphorically speaking.
Friend2: People who lack qualifications.
Friend1: To the highest degree imaginable. This trend that bothers me is that something occurs in the news. Then every leader feels the need to respond to it.
Friend2: What kind of news?
Friend1: It could be anything. A contagious disease. Mass protests. The reaction is so fake, to me. These people are only commenting on what they feel others want them to say. I don’t need to hear any of it. Just carry on, like always.
Friend2: There is pressure from within.
Friend1: But no one has sympathy for my issues. The killing of children in the womb. The massive unemployment caused by tyrannical government rules. Sending innocent cows to the slaughterhouses by the millions each year. Where is the solidarity with my concern?
Friend2: Yeah, that is simply not going to happen.
Friend1: That’s why the outrage is fake to me. No one really cares about these issues they are emailing me about. They confess their supposed guilt and then move on. Nothing actually gets done. It’s starting to worry me.
Friend2: Why is that?
Friend1: Because it feels like nothingness everywhere. The entire world has gone mad. Are there not any sane people left?
Friend2: This is the result of forgetting God. Plain and simple. That is the root cause. When you don’t have Him in your life, then everything is like zero.
Friend1: I know that is true, but I would at least like to have some people I can rely upon to be rational. It is like the entire world is under the spell of illusion.
Friend2: The acharyas are there to help us. Think about it. Even if you follow spirituality, you could reach the same conclusion. The Mayavadi sees nothingness everywhere, and they are supposedly immersed in Vedic teachings.
Friend2: The right acharya is required. Goswami Tulsidas compares basic religiosity to a bunch of zeroes. When you add the Supreme Lord Rama, then the zeroes take on a value. Put a one in front of a zero and you have ten.
Friend1: Or one in front of six zeroes. Then you have a lot more.
Friend2: It is a comparison to help us understand God to a degree, but know that the happiness from true surrender to Him, where I realize that He is a person and someone very dear to me, cannot be compared to anything else. That is why noble, honorable and dependable people like Sita Devi, Lakshmana, and Hanuman follow Rama to the ends of the earth.
Upon news opportunity to take,
To display outrage fake.
Commiserate and guilt sharing,
But not for issue really caring.
Nothingness like this everywhere,
Even in spiritual life aware.
But like one to zeroes of value’s length,
When standing on devotion’s strength.