“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 ||
“Let’s do a flashback. Pretend I am living in an ancient time. Books are available, but their production and distribution are not widespread. Only the higher classes have the luxury to create a personal library, which is a space within the home dedicated to collecting books.
“They are not picky, either. They will take any book they can find. This is to impress others. It is something to show off when guests arrive. The more books a person reads, the wiser they will be considered.
“Inserting myself into this ancient time, I am aware that visiting certain pilgrimage sites carries the opportunity to meet saintly people. Not that they are necessarily holding a fair or an open-house, but if you search long enough you can get a meeting.
“It might be in a remote place. It is not like there are guards standing by or a security team. You will be surprised at the humble surroundings. You will wonder how any person could live in such austerity, volunteering to do so.
“Anyway, I approach one of these saintly people. I am polite. I am respectful. The conversation eventually gets around to what is troubling me. I have this problem in my daily life. I am looking for relief. If not direct assistance, I at least want to know if there is a time when things will change.
“The saintly person advises me to chant the names of Hari. They give me a specific mantra to repeat. That’s it. No word on my specific issue. They don’t even address it. I feel almost cheated, in a sense. I respect what they are about, but the advice doesn’t really cut it.
“Do you see what I mean? The same can be applied to the modern day. If someone has trouble in their daily life, the recommendation to chant more rounds of japa does not really address the issue. Is this a deficiency within the parampara system? Should not saintly people be better equipped at life coaching, for lack of a better term?”
In the manner preferred, addressing the issue at hand will not suddenly rid the person of problems. As an example, a person is suffering from the scorching heat of a hot summer’s day. Nightfall gives temporary relief. The lack of sunshine at night brings cooler temperatures.
The sun will rise again, however. Time still operates. Whatever suffering I have today, I will suffer again tomorrow. That is the way of the material world. The happiness and sadness come and go, like the changing of seasons.
मात्रा-स्पर्शास् तु कौन्तेय
तांस् तितिक्षस्व भारत
mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
“O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.14)
The saintly person gives advice for the purpose of completely removing suffering. That is at the foundation of chanting the names of Hari. More rounds of japa means more time spent meditating on that transcendental sound: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Goswami Tulsidas begins his Dohavali with a recommendation to meditate on a single image: Sita, Rama, and Lakshmana. This meditation, dhyana, will not necessarily increase the bank balance. It might not stop the spouse at home from yelling constantly. It might not make the adult-aged spoiled children suddenly responsible and self-sufficient.
The meditation will bring kalyana, though. This is general auspiciousness. Everything will change for the better. Perhaps not overnight. It might take a while to notice the changes. At the same time, the period of meditation is blissful, especially given the nature of the objects of worship.
To know more behind the process, from where the potency comes, there is the vast anthology of Vedic literature. The saintly person has knowledge in this area, and they are willing to share it with the right recipients. This transfer of knowledge is at the heart of parampara. It is what keeps the disciplic succession going, so that every generation has the opportunity to find a permanent end to their suffering.
Wanting my miseries to end,
But told that to extend.
Into tomorrow and again,
Of what use advice then?
Saintly person solution giving,
That way of eternal living.
Such that kalyana also to come,
And all better to become.
Radhe Radhe ❣️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❣️ Hàre Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram