“Tulsi says that one who has love for Rama should be friendly towards friends, renounce enmity with enemies, and be easy-going, simple in nature, quiet, and equally disposed towards all.“ (Dohavali, 93)
हित स्ॐ हित, रति राम स्ॐ, रिपु स्ॐ बैर बिहाउ |
उदासीन सब स्ॐ सरल तुलसी सहज सुभाउ ||
hita soṃ hita, rati rāma soṃ, ripu soṃ baira bihāu |
udāsīna saba soṃ sarala tulasī sahaja subhāu ||
1. You were wronged during childhood
“That person was the absolute worst. They used to apply mild physical punishment, when I was just a kid. I hadn’t even done anything wrong. I think I was chasing after one of my siblings one time, and we were making a little too much noise.
“But it was not like we got a warning or anything. This person was not my mother or my father. Not a grandparent, either. I think they were way out of line. Decades have passed and I still remember the incident as if it occurred yesterday. What a horrible person. I will never forget.”
2. You were embarrassed in front of a large crowd
“There was no reason to tell that story in front of everyone. I don’t do that to people. It is so easy to find fault with someone else. It is not difficult to recall some mistake they have made. I may laughingly bring such incidents up when we are in private, if I am good friends with the person.
“But I would never purposely embarrass them while in a social setting. It is an easy way to make yourself look good, for sure. You can deflect attention by bringing someone else down, but I don’t like it. It is not a valid excuse.”
3. You were unfairly punished
“Seriously, I wasn’t hungry. Nothing more than that. I wasn’t trying to act out. I just wanted to go to sleep. Apparently, that was an unforgiveable offense. The parent decided that I had to eat something, no matter what.
“The weird thing was that this parent was hardly involved in my life during that period of time. It was like they were overcompensating for not having a close relationship. Anyway, I will never forget the incident. I still love this parent, but that was so wrong what they did, especially in front of other family members.”
4. Someone spoke harshly to you
“This is probably one of the more common causes for dislike. Someone is my friend precisely because they are friendly with me. Another person is my enemy because we do not get along. We are always fighting, in disagreement, hurling verbal offenses at each other.
“For some reason, the little squabbles between friends do not stay in the memory. It is the time some random or strange person spoke harshly to me. It is the lasting impression they leave. It shouldn’t matter, but I always remember, after the fact.”
5. Someone got you fired
“They wanted me out of the company. They didn’t like the competition. I was doing better than them at the job. My boss knew how valuable I was, but when the acquisition occurred, there was a whole new management team. They knew nothing about us individually.
“This rival at the office decided to poison the well, so to speak. They kept track of what times I entered and exited the office each day. Never mind that I was the most responsible person, that I always got my work done, that I completed tasks from home all the time, whenever emergencies arose.
“This person spoke to the management for long enough that I was eventually let go. The company could afford it, since the work my division did was not that important to the bottom line. They didn’t care if the day-to-day operations suffered temporarily as a result.”
Goswami Tulsidas offers the advice to let go. Don’t hold on to the enmity. Forgive the offenses. Move on. This is in line with having love for the Supreme Lord, Shri Rama. Saintly people think this way. Their link to the Divine consciousness brings a different way of thinking.
The best way to test the principle is to take the gravest offense. Think of the worst thing someone has done to me, and then see if I am willing to renounce the enmity. If I still remember the interaction vividly and my outlook is affected as a result, it means that there was a lasting impression made.
The recommendation is based on intelligence, however. Whatever offenses others have committed against me, I have likely done the same to others. While I am the victim in one circumstance, I am the offender in another. I may not even realize the impact I made. I might not remember the incident, but to the person on the other side there is a lasting memory.
The human being is flawed. They assume four principal defects at the time of birth: imperfect senses, the tendency to cheat, committing mistakes, and being easily illusioned. No one is immune. Everyone succumbs to illusion at some point.
Shri Rama is the Absolute Truth. Seeing Him is seeing clearly. Understanding His nature is knowing the ways of the world. Realizing His timelessness is understanding the temporary stay in a material body, and how the cycle repeats, both forwards and backwards.
Every person is struggling in this world, and to offend is inevitable. It is not that I should be naïve and automatically trust every person, but there should be sympathy for the difficulties in interacting with others, in navigating through an experience filled with illusion. Shri Rama is the transcendental light, and His association gives eternal life, along with clarity of vision.
A virtue like empathy,
And for others sympathy.
That not always properly seeing,
Flawed is the human being.
So why the enmity to increase?
To that memory release.
Since Shri Rama the goal,
To His extension hold.
Categories: the five