“O Rakshasa, It might be possible for a person to live for a long time after forcibly taking away Shachi Devi, a woman of unmatched beauty and wife of the wielder of the thunderbolt [Indra]. But a person who abuses me shall not be released from death even if they were to drink amrita [nectar which grants immortality].” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 48.24)
जीवेच्चिरं वज्रधरस्य हस्ताच्छचीं प्रधृष्याप्रतिरूपरूपाम्।
न मादृशीं राक्षस दूशयित्वा पीतामृतस्यापि तवास्ति मोक्षः।।
jīvecciraṃ vajradharasya hastācchacīṃ pradhṛṣyāpratirūparūpām।
na mādṛśīṃ rākṣasa dūśayitvā pītāmṛtasyāpi tavāsti mokṣaḥ।।
“So much of the bhakti-yoga process is glorification. The spiritual master. Other devotees. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna. His various avataras, like Shri Rama, Narasimhadeva, Kapila, and others.
“Some people focus on the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi Devi. In her incarnation as Sita Devi, the daughter of King Janaka, she often indirectly praises her husband to the highest level. This occurs within the dialogue between her and Ravana, the king of ogres.
“Sita makes these wonderful comparisons between Rama and Ravana. Essentially, Ravana is weak, degraded, and of the worst character. Rama is strong, of the highest principles, and so kind and caring that no one would believe it.
“The dialogue is certainly interesting. The praise is nice to hear. It is better than lobbing one abuse after another, as is commonplace today on the internet and media-related applications on smart devices. I am sure that glorification in this regard is healthy.
“The thing is, to a lot of people the subject matter for the glorification is foreign to them. What if someone has no idea who Sita Devi is? What if they don’t know Shri Krishna? What are they going to get from hearing the glorification? Why should they care?
“Do you see what I mean? How is that glorification relevant in certain parts of the world? People are struggling with life. They are having a tough time coming to grips with loss, with the harsh realities to this world. How is hearing glorification of foreign characters going to benefit them?”
The glorification does not occur randomly. People did not suddenly stumble upon the process. They are not doing it as a substitute for playing video games, working long hours at the office, enjoying with friends and family in a party atmosphere, or eating out at a restaurant.
The glorification is the result of something gained. At the heart of the matter is appreciation. Shri Krishna has given something to people. The spiritual master has opened many eyes. They have lifted troubled souls out of the depths of darkness and depression.
The goddess of fortune has brought a glowing and comforting effulgence through her kindness, her compassion, and her insightful words. Due to the absolute nature of the Almighty, the effect is that the people glorifying feel as if the objects of worship are always with them.
The guru may have departed the physical plane many years ago. They are no longer around for consultation. At the same time, it seems that they are the most dedicated teacher, that they are always watching over, that they are constantly pushing the student to new heights of transcendental awareness.
Through glorification, if feels as if Sita and Rama are always in the home. They are giving assurance of their oversight. They are giving confidence in the path forward in life. Through glorification it feels as if we are always with them.
Not only are the objects of worship worthy of such attention, but the people who are glorifying are of the highest character. Shri Hanuman worships in this way on a constant basis. The worship is eternal. He does not stop. He continues to stay connected, and so the objects of worship, Sita and Rama, are never lost to him.
यो मां पश्यति सर्वत्र
सर्वं च मयि पश्यति
तस्याहं न प्रणश्यामि
स च मे न प्रणश्यति
yo māṁ paśyati sarvatra
sarvaṁ ca mayi paśyati
tasyāhaṁ na praṇaśyāmi
sa ca me na praṇaśyati
“For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.30)
If a person happens to stumble upon such glorification, there is an effect. There is sukriti to the process. The auspiciousness may not be known, ajnata, but there is an effect. Whereas continuing in material life has no lasting auspiciousness, no matter how much a person tries. Prahlada Maharaja refers to this as chewing the chewed.
मतिर्न कृष्णे परत: स्वतो वा
मिथोऽभिपद्येत गृहव्रतानाम् ।
पुन: पुनश्चर्वितचर्वणानाम् ॥
matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
mitho ’bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām
“Prahlada Maharaja replied: Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Krishna are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.30)
I can read a single verse from the Ramayana in praise of Shri Rama and be immersed in blissful contemplation throughout the day. There are thousands of such verses, which means I never have to be alone. I will be on the path to exit the world in the same way, accompanied by those who I constantly glorified.
With me taking,
For best end making.
Sita-Rama glorifying so,
Who always in heart to know.
That travelling together still,
My days with joy to fill.
Benefit even accidentally to hear,
From unknown to vision clear.