“The child of the protector of Koshala, who is the protector of the devotees, the most merciful one, Shri Rama, lives in the holy lake-like mind of Tulsi in the form of a beautiful and auspicious swan.” (Dohavali, 122)
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बालक कोसलपाल के सेवकपाल कृपाल।
तुलसी मन मानस बसत मंगल मंजु मराल ॥
bālaka kosalapāla ke sevakapāla kṛpāla।
tulasī mana mānasa basata maṃgala maṃju marāla ॥
This is the background to the image. If crafting something like a wallpaper to serve as a background on a computer desktop screen, the trees would be part of the image. Something at a higher altitude. A viewpoint from above. To get a zoomed out view, to witness everything taking place at the lake, the trees provide that opportunity.
This is likely what surrounds the lake. In the idyllic setting, the grass is of a beautiful green color. It complements the image perfectly. The grass is not too tall. A person can approach the lake by following the grass.
3. Pristine water
The image is of a freshwater lake. The water is beautiful from every angle of vision. When looking directly down, you can see what is underneath the surface, such as fish and rocks. When viewing from an angle, such as from the grass, the color is ideal and the ripples appear as if intentionally placed in a symmetric arrangement.
4. Lotus flowers
These are the best flowers, and they float on top of the surface. The flowers never get wet, though they have contact with the water. There is plenty of variety, and bushes can be found amidst the grass, as well.
Because this is the perfect setting within nature, swans are there. They are attracted to the lotus flowers. They choose purity over pollution. They have no interest in rubbish or weeds, which are reserved for the crows and birds of a lower-class.
क्रीडन्ती राजहंसेन पद्मषण्डेषु नित्यदा।
हंसी सा तृणषण्डस्थं कथं पश्येत मद्गुकम्।।
krīḍantī rājahaṃsena padmaṣaṇḍeṣu nityadā।
haṃsī sā tṛṇaṣaṇḍasthaṃ kathaṃ paśyeta madgukam।।
“How can that female swan who is accustomed to sporting with the king of swans amidst lotus flowers ever cast her eyes on a water-crow that stays amidst bunches of grass?” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 56.20)
Goswami Tulsidas compares his mind to this kind of setting. The mind essentially turns into a beautiful lake, manasa. The person most enjoying that setting is the swan representing Shri Rama, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The comparison is quite telling. We learn of the intricacies of the bhakti-yoga way of life from different angles of vision. To begin, Tulsidas makes reference to the protector of Koshala. This is King Dasharatha, who happens to be Rama’s father within earthly pastimes.
Shri Rama is known as sevakapala, or the protector of the devotees. This means that there is no reason for apprehension within the manasa-lake. Everything is accounted for. The Supreme Swan goes about without concern. The devotees can enjoy the setting to the maximum limit.
That enjoyment is auspicious, or mangala. There is everything to be gained. Nothing will be lost. Since that lake is within the mind, it can be created at any time. A person can travel there whenever they want.
This setting reveals the mood of pure devotion. A person may wonder what life is like after liberation. If they want to reach the promise land, to find eternal life in a heavenly place, exactly what will that be like? What are the conditions? What are the activities?
As Rama is compared to a swan, it means that there is activity. We are not worshiping a statue or an inanimate figure. God is not merely a concept or an abstract. He is neither tired nor old. He enjoys with the devotees, and there is protection on all sides.
Protection for every side,
When in that lake to reside.
Where Shri Rama plays,
Mind of devotee stays.
Beautiful flowers to see,
Plentiful grass and trees.
At any time going to place,
To liberation giving a face.
Categories: dohavali 121-160, the five
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