Turning The Living Into Dying

[Worshiping Sita-Rama]“Those living beings who worship Shri Rama, who is capable of turning the living into nonliving and the nonliving into living, are fortunate and blessed.” (Dohavali, 128)

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जो चेतन कहऽ ज।द करै ज।दहि करै चैतन्य ।
अस समर्थ रघुनायकहि भजहिं जीव ते धन्य ॥

jo cetana kaha’ ja।da karai ja।dahi karai caitanya ।
asa samartha raghunāyakahi bhajahiṃ jīva te dhanya ॥

Goswami Tulsidas says that those people who worship Shri Rama are fortunate. They are dhanya. They are blessed because of the decision, which has a sound philosophical backing. This means that it is an educated decision, based on knowledge of the realities of the life situation.

Tulsidas explains that Rama, who is also known as the hero of the Raghu dynasty, can give life to the lifeless. This is one way to explain the emergence of life. That child appearing within the womb came from somewhere. There is the playing field, the kshetra, but there has to be someone to first plant the seed.

सर्व-योनिषु कौन्तेय
मूर्तयः सम्भवन्ति याः
तासां ब्रह्म महद् योनिर्
अहं बीज-प्रदः पिता

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā

“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.4)

There would not be life without Rama. He can animate the rock, if necessary. This was seen in the bridge to Lanka. A large army was able to cross an expansive ocean by foot, due to rocks floating on the surface of the water.

[Vanaras building bridge]The other side of the equation is turning the living into nonliving. We know this to be the case at the time of death. The person who was speaking to us mere moments prior, who was full of life, who could engage in a conversation, who could make plans for the future, is suddenly gone.

The body remains. The same playing field is there. Nothing else appears to be different. It is just that the life force is gone. It has moved on to some other place, in the way that air carries the fragrance of blossoming flowers in the season of Spring.

शरीरं यद् अवाप्नोति
यच् चाप्य् उत्क्रामतीश्वरः
गृहीत्वैतानि संयाति
वायुर् गन्धान् इवाशयात्

śarīraṁ yad avāpnoti
yac cāpy utkrāmatīśvaraḥ
gṛhītvaitāni saṁyāti
vāyur gandhān ivāśayāt

“The living entity in the material world carries his different conceptions of life from one body to another as the air carries aromas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.8)

This travel is due to Rama. He is the individual behind the formidable factor known as time. Time is the cause of birth. Time is the cause of death. Birth is the cause of our suffering. Time works at Rama’s direction, and the operation runs off of individual desire.

From the Ramayana history, we have the incident of Rama transforming an area of land that was known for life. The name is Janasthana. It is in this place that Rama defended against fourteen thousand aggressors of the Rakshasa species.

जनस्थाने हतस्थाने निहते रक्षसां बले।।
अशक्तेन त्वया रक्षः कृतमेतदसाधु वै।

janasthāne hatasthāne nihate rakṣasāṃ bale।।
aśaktena tvayā rakṣaḥ kṛtametadasādhu vai।

“O Rakshasa, when your Rakshasa army had been killed in Janasthana, turning it into Hatasthana [land of the dead], being powerless you committed this wicked deed.” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 21.29-30)

As Sita Devi later noted, Rama turned Janasthana into Hatasthana. The land of the living became the land of the dead. The fourteen thousand attackers lost their life force. They were previously feared for their strength and prowess. They were full of life, utilizing it for the purpose of sinful advancement.

[Worshiping Sita-Rama]Instead of worshiping Rama, they attacked Him. The wise person chooses worship because they understand that both life and death are due to the same factor. There is a single presiding force. Why not work for His favor? Why not be on His good side? Why not be blessed instead of perpetually condemned, repeatedly spinning on the cycle of birth and death?

In Closing:

Wherein repeatedly spinning,
And liberation not winning.

Because Rama against,
Like to Janasthana went.

Turned to Hatasthana where,
Appropriate punishment there.

To that one be bound,
In whom all potency found.

Categories: dohavali 121-160

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