Ravana is very skilled and a great warrior. He won many battles. His kingdom was designed by Viswakarma, a great architect of those days. His kingdom has many layers of protection and also beautifully architected to suit all the luxury demanded by Ravana. He wants the best in every corner of the world to be under his rule. He is always behind acquiring and enjoying everything as his possession. He was greedy and did not respect the wish of his subjects. Kamsa has a similar attitude.
This attitude is a reflection of ‘rajo: gunam’ in us. We all have Kamsa or Ravana within us. God works with us to eliminate them and replace the rulers.
Sri Rama entered the kingdom of Ravana, fought with him, and killed his supporters. He then made Vibhi:shana the king of Lanka.
As you all may notice, three main qualities in us that shape our character or personality.
- Sa:tvik (sharing, caring, giving, living in harmony, basically – good natured)
- Ra:jasik (always behind possession, acquiring more and more to own, basically – greedy)
- Tha:masik (passive, not very useful and a lazy nature – living only for food, sleep and not for anyone or anything else)
Lanka represents our body. Sitha represents the a:thma, the self. Ravana represents the ra:jasik attitude that rules our manas. But, who should actually rule our manas? It should be the sa:tvik attitude. Vibhi:shana represents the sa:tvik nature. Kumbhakarna represents tha:masik nature. All the supporters of Ravana such as Indrajith and others represent the qualities such as selfishness, ego, possessiveness, narrow-mindedness. Sri Rama gives Ravana an opportunity to quit his arrogant nature and listen to Vibhi:shana. She did not fall under the influence of Ravana. Sitha surrendered to Sri Rama. Sri Rama then entered the kingdom and killed Ravana and his supporters. He made Vibhi:shana the king. Ra:jasik attitude is no longer the ruler of our manas.
Mathura represents our body, Kamsa represents the rajasik attitude. Ugrase:na represents the sa:tvik nature. All the supporters of Kamsa, – Pu:thana, Shakata:sura, Ashwa:sura, Cha:nura, Mushtika, and many such supporters of Kamsa represent the qualities that block us from experiencing the true and long-lasting happiness. Krushna kills these and crowns the actual ruler, Ugrase:na. He is supported by Devaki and Vasudeva who represent the attributes of sa:tvik nature.
God carries this activity miraculously within us. He does not wait for us to surrender. He keeps giving opportunities by sending gurus around us. If we just begin to listen to them, our journey towards a blissful state starts to shape up. A great sage, Yagnavalkya explains to his wife Maitre:yi: a:thma:va:re drastavyaha srothavyaha mantavyaha nidhidhyasavyaha, that whoever wishes to know about themselves (to perceive the soul/self) should begin that course by first listening, then ruminating, and then deeply connect to the object of meditation as if it is with you and in front of you.
- Sro:thavyaha [listening about what is self/soul]
- Mantavyaha [meditate – think/ruminate time and again]
- Nidhi dhyasithavyaha [deep intense meditation on what is heard]
But, why do we need to know about ourselves? Because we are human and our brains are equipped and privileged to ponder on this and realisation of self, followed by realisation of God – the power behind all that is happening. Animals and birds are not capable of this.
Even though, the beginning will feel very new and difficult, it’s still essential to stay tuned. Slowly, the good words begin to eliminate unwanted and harmful qualities. The company of good people who are rooted to god is the right beginning. Continuous association with such people is so important to keep us going. He uses these people as instruments in killing the demonic qualities within us.
But, who are these good people? How do we identify them? This is what Goda Devi explains very sweetly in her songs with a nice story of waking up 10 gopikas, the ladies of cowherd families in Nandagokulam, the place where Krushna is being raised. The state represented by 10 gopikas show 10 stepping stones in the path of ultimate bliss enjoyed with Supreme power, God.
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