Today's [19th August 2009] lecture is from Dasaratha's palace in Ayodhya.
Here we can see the full family of King Dasaratha. We are welcomed by a large building. Entering this, we find each courtyard is capable of accommodating 1000 persons.
Further inside is Ardha mantapa, which is also a very large hall. It has large carvings and balconies. One can not say that all these existed, as we see now, in Sri Rama's days. Every succeeding King might have repaired and improved the buildings. But one thing is certain; that Dasaratha's palace existed here. Like in a group photo, all members of the family are gracing. In the center is Sri Rama and Sri Sita.
To the right of Sri Rama and Sri Sita, are Bharata and his wife Mandavi. On the left are Lakshmana and Urmila. To the right of Bharata, are Shatrugna and Srutakirti. Like this all the Four couples are gracing at the center. To their right and left are some more persons. Sri Rama's marriage was celebrated in Janakapuri in Nepal. Those Two, in small idols, are there. Further ahead, Sri Rama, Sri Sita and Lakshmana are gracing. Sri Rama was in Chitrakoot, at the start of His life in forests. There Sri Rama walked followed by Sri Sita and then Lakshmana. They can be worshiped on the left of the main Four pairs. Further left, we can worship Sri Kala Rama of Panchavati. This 'black' Sri Rama is accompanied by Sri Sita and Lakshmana, who cut off the nose and ears of demoness Soorpanaka. Sri Rama derived happiness in introducing Himself as son of Dasaratha. That is at least natural. Sri Sita was born in another family and joined this family as the Daughter-in-law. But Sri Sita would, with pride, introduce Herself, as the Daughter-in-law of Dasaratha! In Lanka, Hanuman discovered Sri Sita, after a great search. During conversation with Hanuman, Sri Sita mentioned Her plight. She said that had Dasaratha been alive, She would not have had Her current difficulty. That shows the great confidence She had in Her father-in-law! She did not find fault with Sri Rama for not yet having rescued Her. That was not a big complaint; but, She felt that She would not have had that situation, if Dasaratha were alive. She had such great respect for Dasaratha. Dasaratha was here with his wives Kausalya, Kaikeyi, Sumitra and others. Dasaratha, after death, did not reach Vaikuntam, but was in heaven or Swarga. When his soul departed, none of his four sons were near him. Sri Rama and Lakshmana were in the forests; Bharata and Shatrugna were in the palace of Bharata's uncle and King of Kekaya, Yudhajit. Thus, Dasaratha died without his sons near him and later, Bharatha came and did the final rites. We are fortunate to have worshiped all the family members of Dasaratha in this place. Sri Rama could be seen in white, red and black colors! White indicates satva quality, while red and black indicate rajo and tamo qualities. We are also studying Gyana in its Three forms, as explained by Sri Krishna. Gyana, which transcends the varying and changing bodies, and sees the constant atman, is Satvika Gyana. It is the knowledge of understanding that the blissful and luminescent atman is same in all living beings and see equality in all. This, we saw in the previous sloka. Now we are to see what are Rajasa Gyana and Tamasa Gyana. We will see the Two slokas describing Rajasa Gyana and Tamasa Gyana, together as we have to discard such Gyana. Sloka 21, describes Rajasa Gyana:
pṛthaktvena tu yaj jñānaṃ nānābhāvān pṛthagvidhān
vetti sarveṣu bhūteṣu taj jñānaṃ viddhi rājasam 18.21
Tat jnanam = that knowledge or Gyana, rajasam = [emanates] from rajo quality, viddhi = understand. Sarvesu bhutesu = in all living beings, prthakvena = differences [in bodies or by birth, etc.], prthakvidhan = [and] difference in characters, nanabhavan = various groups of living beings. That is seeing or viewing in all living beings differences such as birth, gender or species, and other physical properties, and differences in characters. This knowledge is Rajasa Gyana. Instead of seeing atman and recogonizing all are identical, by seeing the bodies and mental buildup, differences are understood. We should never see the differences, but the equality of all. Our view should penetrate into the body and see atman. Then we can understand the equality of all. But a person with Rajasa Gyana, sees the differences in the physical characters, and assumes, those of atman also. Instead of seeing same type of atman is in lion's body and human body, he thinks lion has lion atman and man has human atman. He does not understand that atman is same in all, and resides in bodies, which are different. Next the Lord explains Tamasa Gyana in sloka 22:
yat tu kṛtsnavad ekasmin kārye saktam ahetukam
atattvārthavad alpaṃ ca tat tāmasam udāhṛtam 18.22
Tat = that [Gyana] is, tamasam udahrtam = called Tamasa [Gyana]. Yat tu = that Gyana, which [is different from what had already been explained in the last slokas]. Here, He attributes Two aspects of Tamasa Gyana. This Gyana is very inferior; and, the result of such Gyana also is very inferior. Ekasmin karye = in some action or karma, krsnavad saktam = full rewards or results will be found. That is, this person worships demons and manes, and believes superior results. Krsnavad means complete. Many karmas like Jyotish homam, etc., are performed, which yield complete rewards. This person believes that in the inferior karmas, he is performing, he would get same complete superior results. His enthusiasm in such karmas is Tamasa Gyana. For this involvement, ahetukam = [he has] no reasons. That is without any reason, this person has wrongly understood and involving in such inferior karmas. Atattvarthavad = based on false knowledge. He has wrongly understood that such inferior karmas would reward him with superior results. Alpam = [such knowledge is] inferior. Thus the Gyana and the rewards both are inferior, and should be avoided. We should also avoid Rajasa Gyana, and seek only Satvika Gyana.