Daily Archives: July 14, 2017

Commitment to dharma

Source : The Hindu

The subtleties and practical features inhering in the dharma codified in the sastras is best revealed with clarity when the Lord upholds it during His incarnations, said Sri Kesava Dikshitar in a discourse.

Rama is hailed as the very embodiment of Satya and Dharma, deemed to be the highest worth in this world. Rama is proud to state He always speaks the truth and only the truth. There is no room for any second word in His life; and no way for slackness in upholding dharma. He tells Kausalya that there is nothing higher than dharma in this world and that truth is rooted in dharma. It is important that He should honour Dasaratha’s word to Kaikeyi as it is consonant with dharma.

Valmiki emphasises Rama’s commitment to truth and dharma when Lakshmana faces a stiff battle with Indrajit. Lakshmana finally succeeds in killing him only after he sends an arrow with the prayer that if it is unquestionable and absolutely certain that Rama stands for Truth and Dharma, this arrow should kill Indrajit.

Krishna avatar is replete with unique instances that showcase His Visesha dharma as the impartial distributor of the fruits of individual karma. Krishna tells Arjuna that the war he faces is a fight for the cause of dharma, and an opportunity for him to uphold his Kshatriya dharma. Arjuna need not hesitate to kill his preceptors Bhishma, Drona and others. They may be virtuous and upright, but they have swerved from dharma by siding with Duryodhana who is steeped in adharma and will have to face the consequences. The same Lord is the very essence of compassion when He goes in person to offer solace to Bhishma at the time of his death. He graces Bhishma with the knowledge to explain dharma to posterity and He, along with the Pandavas, listens to the exposition. He finally grants Bhishma salvation.


Spirit of service

Source : The Hindu

The esoteric teaching about the true nature of the jivatma and its eternal relationship with the Lord as that of servant and master is skilfully interwoven in the Ramayana. The jivatma who realises the significance of this bond is inspired with the yearning to serve the Lord who is the embodiment of all auspicious qualities that the human mind can recognise — perfection, compassion, prowess, goodness, etc, and even much more beyond all these. Lakshmana, Vibhishana and Bharata, for instance, seek Rama’s feet knowing that their true worth is fully realised only when involved in selfless service to the Lord, pointed out Sri V. Karunakarachariar in a discourse.

Each of them desires this cherished reward of acceptance by the Lord to serve Him in their respective subservient roles. The spirit of service inherent in Lakshmana is revealed when he literally clasps Rama’s feet and seeks permission to serve Him and Sita during their stay in the forest. He promises that by doing so there will be no taint to the dharma He upholds. His desire to serve Rama will be fulfilled and He will also benefit by his service. The way shown by Vibhishana is also somewhat similar.

He is frank about his position. “Ravana treated me as a vile slave and put me to shame before all. His sharp words pierced my heart through and through. So, I have cast behind me wife and child, wealth and luxury, and sought refuge with Rama.”

Vibhishana teaches the way by which the hurdles that prevent one’s efforts from seeking refuge with the Lord have to be overcome. Bharata, in his state of total renunciation, is the very embodiment of nobility and is steadfast in his service to the Lord in thought, word and deed. The privilege to serve the Lord has to be diligently earned by each one through selfless love, devotion and admiration for Him.