“Meditating on Shri Rama, who has Janaki to His left and Lakshmana to His right, brings all auspiciousness and is your wish-fulfilling tree, O Tulsi.” (Dohavali, 1)
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राम बाम दिसि जानकी लखन दाहिनी ओर|
ध्यान सकल कल्यानमय सुरतरु तुलसी तोर ||
rāma bāma disi jānakī lakhana dāhinī ora|
dhyāna sakala kalyānamaya surataru tulasī tora ||
“We lost someone dear to us recently. To say they were beloved is an understatement. They were like a pillar of strength and support. In the entire time that I knew them, I don’t think they ever did anything for themselves. They were always helping others.
“Being the eldest in the family, they could seamlessly mix with the different generations. At one moment, they were dutifully abiding by the orders of the parents. The next moment they were playing with us kids. We shared so many wonderful moments together.
“Their passing is the greatest tragedy to occur in my inner circle. It was both untimely and unexpected. I realize that this happens all the time, that no one carries a guarantee to reach old age, but the reality of the situation is difficult to handle.
“How can spiritual life help during such times? I feel so bad for those left behind. It just doesn’t seem fair. How can someone so good be taken from us so soon? They didn’t deserve such a fate.”
In the opening couplet to his Dohavali, Goswami Tulsidas remarks that meditating on a certain image provides all auspiciousness. The focus is on Shri Rama, who has Lakshmana to His right and Sita Devi to His left.
This image is not concocted. It is not the product of sentimental attachment. It is not an artificial way to escape the cold realities of the land of birth and death, in which every situation and association is temporary.
Rather, Shri Rama is one manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, specifically known within the Vaishnava tradition. This is the parampara that worships God as a person, who is known to be the Supersoul and more. God is Narayana, who is the source of men.
Lakshmana is one of Rama’s brothers. Lakshmana is always standing by. He respects the etiquette of letting the older brother lead. Lakshmana is also known as Ramanuja because of the way he follows and his standing as younger brother.
Sita Devi is the goddess of fortune. One way to understand God the person is to know that fortune is always by His side. He is the home of opulence, Shrinivasa. No one can take Sita away from Rama.
In their tale within this manifest world, someone indeed tries to separate the two. The king of Lanka at the time, Ravana, wants Sita Devi all for himself. He thinks he is stronger than Rama. He thinks that he can get away with stealing, that no one will be able to stand face-to-face and administer justice.
Sita endures this struggle after already suffering through sharing the fate of her husband. Rama was previously unexpectedly kicked out of the kingdom of Ayodhya, where everyone loves Him. Kaikeyi felt the same way, if not for a brief period of envy instigated by her servant.
Lakshmana has to suffer, as well. He will not allow Rama to leave by Himself. Lakshmana will stand guard. He will protect. He will always be there for his brother.
How is such an image worthwhile for meditation? Will there not be a constant reminder of the horrors of this world? Will not it be realized that unrighteousness actually wins out, that adharma dominates over dharma?
There is all auspiciousness within that image because Shri Rama is always victorious. He never falls down, and so He is also known as Achyuta. He always conquers the foe, so He is known as Ajita. He always has the support of Lakshmana, who is the lead person in glorifying God. Because there is no end to such glorification, Lakshmana is also known as Ananta.
Sita Devi can never be separated from her husband. A fiend like Ravana only succeeds in a dream. There is no reality to his temporary situation. He meets ultimate destruction, during a battle that he tries desperately to avoid, on his own territory, losing everything in the process.
Tragedy, whether expected or not, is sure to occur in this world. If we are upset with time for taking someone away, we should be similarly upset that time brought that person into our life in the first place. Both are within the workings of time. Sometimes we are together, and sometimes we are apart.
The preferred image of meditation for Tulsidas is auspicious in both gain and loss. During the good times or after suffering from tragedy, Sita, Rama and Lakshmana are there for support, comfort, and strength. They are a reminder of the true purpose to the human life, which is to reawaken the dormant love of God and reignite the fire for service.
Unbearable tragedy to see,
Pillar of strength was he.
But now suddenly gone,
That loss to dwell upon.
But when image of trio in mind,
All auspiciousness to find.
Whether in gain or suffering too,
Radhe Radhe ❤️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❤️🔥 Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram