Take What You Want

[Sita-Rama]“Shri Rama, who are supreme bliss and the resting place of mercy, who can fulfill all the desires of the mind, please grant me pure loving and unwavering devotion.” (Dohavali, 125)

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परमानन्द क्।र्पायतन मन परिपूरन काम ।
प्रेम भगति अनपायनी देहु हमहि स्रीराम ॥

paramānanda k।rpāyatana mana paripūrana kāma ।
prema bhagati anapāyanī dehu hamahi srīrāma ॥

In this hypothetical situation, we have the ability to approach someone important. The benefactor is in a generous mood. They are ready to say “yes” to any request. We just have to be smart about our approach.

We don’t want the opportunity to go to waste. We don’t want to regret our decision, after the fact. There is the well-known concept of buyer’s remorse. You spend weeks and weeks looking for the perfect car. You are in the market for a brand new vehicle.

You check out the different lease and finance offers. There are specific features that you need to have, such as blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alerting, and heated seats. You want the car to be both reliable and well-performing.

After an exhaustive search, you end up deciding on one. To get the perfect color, you put in a custom order. You plan on having the vehicle for a long time. You are not worried about depreciation, because regular use and functionality will more than make up for the exorbitant cost.

[new car]After about a week of owning the vehicle, you start to have regrets. There is this small, annoying rattling sound when driving at high speeds. The suspension is not what it should be for a vehicle of its class. You feel the bumps in the road while driving.

You wonder if you should have taken more time, to look for something better. If only you were more deliberate, you would have settled upon something more to your liking. Nothing can be done, as the opportunity will not return anytime soon.

Goswami Tulsidas presents the benefactor who is bliss personified. One of His qualities is paramananda. He is also the dhama of mercy. No one can be more compassionate. Forgiveness is linked to compassion. This benefactor is neither spiteful nor vengeful. He does not hold an experience penalty against those who have turned away from Him for countless lifetimes spanning thousands of years.

This benefactor can fulfill the desires of the mind. Just which desires? Try all of them. Desires are something like the product of a chariot which can go in every which direction. Manoratha. The mind can think of so many desires in the matter of moments. I want this. I want that.

The benefactor presented by Tulsidas can fulfill those desires. There is no question of inability. The potential is there. Anything that I want, this benefactor can turn into reality.

Keeping these conditions in mind, just what exactly should I ask for? What will benefit me the most? What will I get that I will never regret, after the fact? What is most valuable? What gift could leave others in the dust?

Tulsidas asks for pure devotion. He wants bhakti. He seeks devotion that will always stay with him. The devotion should not be based on conditions. If the benefactor agrees to the proposal, for instance, Tulsidas wants to continue in that devotion.

The benefactor here is Shri Rama. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Only the topmost person could be in full bliss and ready to agree to any desire created by the mind. Only devotion to that person would surpass any other reward.

Shri Rama is ready to grant this desire. He will not deny the earnest plea. He will not turn down the request. He will not abruptly close the door after hearing a knock. The devotee is not looking to exploit, in this case. They are not looking to display the causeless mercy to others, as a means to put them down. They are not looking to win a contest, to show how much better they are.

क्षिप्रं भवति धर्मात्मा
शश्वच्-छान्तिं निगच्छति
कौन्तेय प्रतिजानीहि
न मे भक्तः प्रणश्यति

kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā
śaśvac-chāntiṁ nigacchati
kaunteya pratijānīhi
na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati

“He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.31)

[Sita-Rama]Rather, the pure devotion to Rama will continue. It is not based on conditions. It is not affected by time. As revealed in Bhagavad-gita, the devotees never perish. Nothing is able to destroy their link, which is kindly granted by the greatest benefactor.

In Closing:

After locking in answer set,
Not wanting later to regret.

That perhaps more time needed,
Abruptly with decision proceeded.

When choosing bhakti’s course,
Never a buyer’s remorse.

Shri Rama who everything can give,
Tulsi wanting only this way to live.

Categories: dohavali 121-160

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