What Would You Do If Everything Was Fully Stocked

[Sita-Rama]“O Ravana, inevitably all of the Rakshasas will be completely destroyed, for they have a person like you, who is stupid, lustful, and unable to control his senses, for their king.” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 48.22)

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अवश्यं विनशिष्यन्ति सर्वे रावण राक्षसाः|
येषां त्वं कर्कशो राजा दुर्बुद्धिरजितेन्द्रियः||

avaśyaṃ vinaśiṣyanti sarve rāvaṇa rākṣasāḥ|
yeṣāṃ tvaṃ karkaśo rājā durbuddhirajitendriyaḥ||

“Not that I like to explicitly challenge people, but I do enjoy philosophical discussions involving hypothetical situations. One area I like to explore is success. Failure is easy. Everyone has experience with it.

“You want to fail at something tomorrow? Simple. Don’t try. Quit. Do not show up. Sleep in. You will see exactly how it feels. You can record your observations to this kind of science experiment.

“Success, on the other hand, is different. There is a reason the wealthy entrepreneurs garner so much attention. There is one published work after another lining the shelves of the bookstore in this category. The titles might resemble the following: Five Key Principles To Success. The Habits Of Successful People. How To Be Successful In Life.

“The game I like to play is to contemplate the aftermath. Hear me out. Pretend that you are successful. Imagine a situation where you got everything you wanted. The exact category of endeavor is not important. Focus only on the fruits, the rewards.

“We are not limiting this exercise to personal success. We are not limiting the parameters to the scene. You might have everything necessary based on the success of someone else. The pantry is fully stocked. The bank balance is high enough to generate sufficient interest for many future generations to live comfortably.

“How would life be for you? Would you be happy? If not focusing on yourself, then think of others. If an entire village were to have such facility, would they be any different in behavior, in character, than those who are struggling in the quest for a better life?”

Vedic culture is built on this foundation. While there are the commonly associated images of emaciated bearded saintly people living in the most austere conditions, following rigid vows in order to reach a higher platform of consciousness, the need for enjoyment is acknowledged along every step in the path.

नात्य्-अश्नतस् ऽतु योगो ऽस्ति
न चैकान्तम् अनश्नतः
न चाति-स्वप्न-शीलस्य
जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन

nāty-aśnatas ‘tu yogo ‘sti
na caikāntam anaśnataḥ
na cāti-svapna-śīlasya
jāgrato naiva cārjuna

“There is no possibility of one’s becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much, or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.16)

Shri Krishna describes in Bhagavad-gita how the ideal yogi lives in moderation. It is not that they never eat. They are not expected to stay awake all the time. Rather, they should avoid excess in either direction.

[Krishna and Arjuna]This aligns with the four general rewards of a material existence (chari-phala): dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. The four should go together. That is to say, a person should not prefer kama in exclusion to the other three.

Enjoyment of the senses accompanies proper attention to duty and honor. Enjoyment is of the fruits of working for interests. At the end of the experience, if everything went according to plan, there is full release from the cycle.

The variable in the equation is the standard which is required for the enjoyment to take place. Does a person require a little or a lot? From studying the behavior of children, the answer is quite clear. The child does not know the difference between a toy that costs one dollar and one that costs one hundred dollars.

The person making the purchase surely is aware, but there is every chance that the one dollar toy is more enjoyable to the child. Something basic. Something simple. Something to keep the mind engaged.

The mere presence of enjoyable items, in abundance, does not automatically equate to increased enjoyment or extended happiness. There might be a longer period of indulgence, but we see with drugs and alcohol that more indulgence leads to more negative consequences in the long-term.

From the Ramayana history, we have the example of Ravana. As the king of Lanka, he has every facility available to him. There is no shortage. There is real wealth, measured in the abundance of gold and jewels.

Ravana has plenty of wine to consume. Animal flesh for eating. The most beautiful queens as companions. What more could a person ask for? What else would they ever need? They must certainly be in complete peace and comfort.

Sita Devi, the wife of Shri Rama, characterizes Ravana as ajitendriyah. This is a negation of the word jitendriyah, which means one who has conquered their senses. The concept of conquering is significant. It is not that the senses get turned off. A human being lives in the same conditions as before.

The difference is that the senses do not control them. There is a lack of weakness. To call someone jitendriyah is to compliment them. To conquer the senses is not easy. Especially in the face of so much potential enjoyment, who really stands a chance?

Ravana is ajitendriyah, to the highest degree. Sita insults him with this characterization. There are further consequences. Since Ravana also happens to be a leader, others will suffer in the process. They will be dragged down with him.

The final blow, so to speak, was the crime of trying to take Sita for himself. She was already married, following her husband in all righteousness. Since everything else came to him so easily, Ravana assumed this kind of enjoyment would proceed without hindrance.

[Sita-Rama]He was wrong. Having everything available to him did not automatically equate to happiness. Behavior and character are more important. The highest character person thinks always of Sita’s husband. Someone like Hanuman dedicates their life to Rama, and in the process they are happy and content in any condition, whether it be abundance or squalor.

In Closing:

For by senses controlled,
Destruction to unfold.

Not for himself reserved,
City not also preserved.

Despite having everything there,
The best spirits and animal fare.

More important the condition of mind,
To Sita-Rama full steadiness to find.

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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❣️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❣️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

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