“Being under the control of passion and lust, Rama’s father, Maharaja Dasharatha, wanted to fulfill Kaikeyi’s cherished desire, thus he did not go through with Rama’s installation ceremony.” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 47.12)
कामार्तस्तु महातेजाः पिता दशरथस्स्वयम्।।
कैकेय्याः प्रियकामार्थं तं रामं नाभ्यषेचयत्।
kāmārtastu mahātejāḥ pitā daśarathassvayam।।
kaikeyyāḥ priyakāmārthaṃ taṃ rāmaṃ nābhyaṣecayat।
“It was the college years. I could try to blame the people around me, for pressuring me into indulging, but the truth is that I did not put up much of a fight. I felt some kind of deficiency, that without the intoxication I was not friendly enough or that people wouldn’t like me.
“It is an embarrassing period from my past, and one that I can’t really share too often. People tend to look for any weakness in others and then exploit it. I am probably the same way, so it seems the better policy is to censor the information from my life’s story.”
2. Causing physical harm to someone else
“I know there is that verse in Bhagavad-gita that explains the sequence of events leading to anger. I have fallen victim to that trap many times. With the physical attack, you often have visual evidence remaining. Sort of like this mark of your mistake, reminding you of how bad a person you are.
“No matter how much I change, how much I reform, I always remember those past mistakes. I wish I could take them back, but that is not how life works. I feel for those people in the public eye, whose similar mistakes get caught on camera and preserved for everyone to see, at any time.”
3. Viewing illicit materials
“What do you want me to say? I am not like Shri Hanuman. He accidentally came upon women in an intimate setting, in the palaces in Lanka. This is while he was searching for Sita Devi, the missing wife of Shri Rama. Hanuman correctly rationalized that in order to look for a woman, one has to search amongst other women.
“Though he came upon this scene, Hanuman’s mind was not affected. This is because he is an exalted soul, someone capable of staying true to the mission, always linked in consciousness to the Supreme Lord. I am not like that; my mind is affected. I know I shouldn’t do it, but sometimes it is like this burning sensation inside of me that needs to be satisfied as soon as possible.”
4. Lying to protect myself
“If you are on the path of self-realization, you should be truthful. The person you are trying to understand is described as the Absolute Truth, after all. Duplicity and dishonesty are products of illusion, of chasing after something which is false, maya.
“Well, I have not always been forthright. I have lacked candor on many occasions. I could try to rationalize by saying I didn’t do anything wrong, but most of the time the lies were to protect my ego. Rather than put the spotlight on a shortcoming, rather than reveal I am not everything someone thinks I am, I told a lie. It was a way to move on, to go past the incident.”
“This anartha should be the easiest one to avoid, but let’s be truthful here. I have been so invested in the outcome to certain events that I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I maybe didn’t wager that much money, but the effect was the same. I didn’t get into the game for the thrills; I thought the experience would be innocent enough. But that was not the case; I got caught up in the fever of wagering.”
To err is human. Any person taking birth essentially has some blemish from their past. If arriving in this world for a higher purpose, such as to rescue others from the illusion of maya, then at least they will commit some mistakes in the upcoming journey through life. The only perfect person is the Supreme Lord.
That perfect person is also the most forgiving. We have the historical incident of Queen Kaikeyi turning her back on Rama, an avatara of Bhagavan. She asked for the horrendous punishment of sending Rama to live like a homeless person for fourteen years, outside of the royal kingdom of Ayodhya.
Rama never held that desire against her. It was poor association with the servant named Manthara that caused Kaikeyi to slip. Otherwise, there was great affection. The individual souls in this material world are the same way; everyone is originally conscious of God.
As His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains, material life is simply forgetting God. Spiritual life is remembering Him, and let us pray that we always remember, day after day, throughout this difficult journey.
Wise acharya to say,
That remembering the way.
For material life to right,
Go from ignorance to light.
Whatever mistakes already made,
Attention to Bhagavan now paid.
Who most forgiving of all,
Where even Kaikeyi mother to call.
Categories: the five