Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 31 Jul 2004

     

TEMPLE OF LORD RAMA

There is no village or town in India in which there is no temple of Lord Rama. The statue of Rama preaches two points to you:

  1. The Lord will come in human form.
  2. Miracles are not the signs of the Lord.

As told in the Gita, the Lord comes only in human form (Maanusheem tanum aashritam). Even though Lord Rama did not perform any miracles, Hanuman and the sages identified Rama as the Lord. Hanuman himself exhibited several miracles but he never claimed to be the Lord. Ravana on the other hand, exhibited miracles and claimed to be the Lord, but nobody agreed.

Preacher of Pravritti

Lord Rama came to preach ‘pravritti’. Pravritti means, the path of worldly justice in which one human being has to interact with other fellow human beings. Nivritti means sacrificing your work and the fruit of your work (money) to the Lord, with full faith and full surrender, when the Lord comes in human form. Nivritti is the way of salvation in which the Lord comes in human form. Lord Krishna came to preach nivritti. He preached the Bhagavad Gita, which is the knowledge of nivritti.

Lord Rama practiced the knowledge of pravritti. Pravritti (justice) is only practice. It is just the knowledge of rules of the Lord, which you have to follow in society. There is no discussion in pravritti. But in nivritti you have to discuss the truth. World peace is the result of following pravritti. Only when there is world peace can devotees travel on the path of nivritti in peace by putting forth spiritual effort. In pravritti, loving fellow human beings is important. By pravritti, one can at least love the human form of Lord as one of his fellow human beings. Otherwise, generally people insult Him due to their jealousy as told in the Gita (Avajaananti mam mudhaah). In this way, pravritti helps nivritti. If you treat the human form of Lord as an ordinary human being, it is not wrong. But if you recognize Him as the Lord you will get salvation.

Sita, the Devotee

In the temple of Lord Rama, Sita stands by the side of Rama. She was a great devotee. Among human beings the difference between male and female is only in body and not in the soul. Sita served the Lord by karma samnyasa (sacrifice of work). She could not do karma phala tyaga (sacrifice of the fruit of work). She indicates the firm faith in the Lord. Even though she did not get happiness in the forest, she never left the Lord. This means that one should not leave the Lord even if He does not give boons or even if He gives troubles. One should not aspire for anything in return from the Lord. Ravana showed miracles. But Sita did not mistake him to be the Lord. This means that a true devotee will never recognize the Lord by miracles. Lanka, the kingdom of Ravana was a golden city. Ravana invited Sita to be his queen. But she was not attracted. This means that wealth and money will, never attract a true devotee.

Hanuman, the Servant

Also in the temple, there is an idol of Hanuman kneeling at the feet of Lord Rama. Hanuman believed in the human incarnation (Lord Rama) and participated in the work of the Lord. He even sacrificed family life in the beginning itself, for the sake of the Lord. He always sacrificed his work because he was a saint (monk). The fame of all his works was dedicated to the Lord alone. He never claimed to be the Lord even though he performed miracles. Hanuman was made the future Creator of this world. He tore his heart with his own nails and was prepared to give up his life for the sake of the Lord. Hanuman always did the work of the Lord. He grew to a gigantic size when he was praised and he jumped over the sea. But he did so only for the sake of the Lord. He will not grow in size when you praise him in order to get your work done by him. He is not such a fool. He will not insult the deity of justice by canceling your sins and by giving you the fruits of good deeds, which you have not done. He is not a monkey who will run for your bananas and palm leaves. He is very intelligent. He is the topmost scholar and the highest devotee. He is the real servant of the Lord, who never aspires for anything in return. He is the purest person. This knowledge must come to your mind when you see Hanuman. Like him you must also recognize the Lord in human form and participate in the work of the Lord with great concentration.

Ideal Brothers

Lakshmana was very young but he still left his wife for fourteen years to concentrate on the service of the Lord. He sacrificed kama (love towards his wife). Bharata gave back the kingdom to the Lord and sacrificed artha (wealth) to the Lord and did karma phala tyaga. He kept the two wooden sandals of the Lord on the throne and ruled on the Lord’s behalf without actually taking the powers of a king in his own hands. This means that once you sacrifice anything to the Lord you should not try to manage or control it again. Shatrughna tried to attack and kill Kaikeyi (his own step-mother) with a sword when she unfairly sent Rama into a forest-exile. He sacrificed Dharma (justice) for the sake of the Lord.

Meditation on Spiritual Knowledge

In this way, you have to get spiritual knowledge when you see the statues or pictures of Lord Rama in the temple. Such knowledge will help your spiritual effort. You will attain the grace of the Lord by such knowledge as told in the Gita (Jnana yajnena tenaaham). When you meditate on the image of Lord Rama, there is no use of your attraction towards the golden crown present on His head, which will only increase your attraction towards wealth. It will harm you in your spiritual effort. The crown indicates that Rama is the Lord of this world. When you see His bow and arrow you must know that Rama punishes evil people. When you see His abhaya hand[1] you must know that He protects good people. This knowledge will help you. What is the use of keeping His form and ornaments in the mind? What is the use of merely knowing the story of Rama like a child? It is just like a story in a novel or the story of a movie or the news of your neighbor. Dhyana (meditation) means the decision[2] of knowledge taken by the intelligence after discussing (analyzing) in one’s mind—sankalpa and vikalpa[3]. This knowledge is stored in chittam (memory) and this is called dharana. The ahankara (ego) uses this knowledge in practice for its benefit and it is called samadhi. If you get a doubt in practice, it is called savikalpa samadhi. If you have no doubt in practice, it is called nirvikalpa samadhi, which was followed by Hanuman. Therefore, he became the future Creator by worshipping the Lord in human form in this world.


[1] His hand making a gesture indicating, “Do not fear”.

[2] Nishchaya is the decision made by the intellect.

[3] Sankalpa and vikalpa are the mutually opposing thoughts (state of indecision; vacillating to and fro) that exist before taking a decision (nishchaya).