Thursday, August 20, 2009

BG 18.21

Koojantam ramarameti maduram maduraksharam
Aruhya kavita sakan vande valmiki kokilam |
Valmikermuni simhascha kavitavanacharina:
shrunvan ramakatha natham konayadi parangatim ||
These slokas describe the glory of Valmiki and his Ramayana epic. On the top of the tree of Vedas, cuckoo Valmiki sat and sang Ramayana to delight all devotees! Valmiki taught his epic Ramayana to Lav and Kush, sons of Sri Rama. Lav and Kush sang Ramayana all over the world and spread its glory. Finally, they also sang Ramayana before Sri Rama! After Sri Rama, Lava - Kusha ruled Ayodhya and made the people of Ayodhya, devotees of Sri Rama. Today's [21st August 2009] lecture is from Valmiki Bhavan.

We find Valmiki with his disciples Lav on his right and Kush on his left.

See full size image

In Ayodhya, Valmiki Bhavan is an important spot. It is built as a large building. The entrance itself speaks of the grandeur of the building. Inside is Maha mantap, which is very large, capable of accommodating about 5,000 persons to conduct Bhajans and lectures. Ground floor is very large. There is an upper floor. All are built with marble stones. In every pillar's base, Acharyas' pictures are carved. Pictures of all Acharyas' of India are here. Valmiki wrote 24,000 slokas and each sloka is valuable in millions. All these slokas have been carved on the walls of the two floors. Like a child feeling happy in the laps of its mother, we are also happy to be amidst all slokas in this building! There is a large Library in this building. It contains Thousands of books and all the translations of Ramayana in every language. Another feature is that from Himalayas to Kanyakumari, many people write 'Ram', 'Sri Ram', 'Sri Sitaram', 'Sri Jayaram', 'Sri Ramajayam', etc., and all those books and notebooks are collected here. During Kumbhmela or during Sri Ramanavami, collected books are presented to Sarayu river, by immersion. Kulasekara Alwar, in one of his pasurams, says that Sri Rama heard and enjoyed His own story from the singing by His own children. At that time He desired to know the author of Ramayana. He then met Valmiki and Sri Sita. Later, Sri Sita joined Mother Earth and reached Sri Vaikuntam. Those visiting Ayodhya can come here and worship Valmiki and feel the divinity slokas here. What is the use in seeing those slokas here? The advantage is that we will never attain what we are going to see in the Two slokas we are to see today! We should attain Satvika Gyana to do Satvika Karma and be Satvika Karta. We have no use for Rajasa and Tamasa Gyana. We should abandon Rajasa and Tamasa Karmas. We should never be Rajasa and Tamasa Karta! The Lord is describing about different types of Karmas. We have already seen various Gyana and Satvika Karma. We will now see Rajasa Karma and Tamasa Karma together in Two slokas. First, sloka 24:

yat tu kāmepsunā karma sāhaṃkāreṇa vā punaḥ
kriyate bahulāyāsaṃ tad rājasam udāhṛtam 18.24

Tat = that [karma] is, rajasam udahrtam = called Rajasa [Karma]. Yat tu = which, karma = action or deed, kamepsuna = performed with desire [in results], sa ahamkarena = with ego [that is with the attitude I-am-doing], va = also [that is both desire in results and ego], puna = again, kriyate = performed with, bahula = enormous, ayasam = efforts. How can we find fault with Karmas being performed with enormoue efforts? After all, every action requires efforts. Then, why criticize that? Here the Lord objects to great efforts, as putting in such efforts would create ego and feeling of I-am-doing. The moment we think all efforts are His, we will never feel those efforts to be great. We will never feel tired, with such thinking. It is like with a lever we are able to lift huge objects with very little effort. Therefore, great efforts means Rajasa Karma. With Bhakti in Him, same Karma can be performed with smaller efforts and becomes Satvika Karma. Therefore, Rajasa Karma is one with any or all of the following:
  1. Desire in results.
  2. Ego [or Kartrutva buddhi].
  3. Enormous efforts.
Now, sloka 25, about Tamasa Karma:

anubandhaṃ kṣayaṃ hiṃsām anapekṣya ca pauruṣam
mohād ārabhyate karma yat tat tāmasam ucyate 18.25

Tat tamasam ucyate = that [karma] is called Tamasa [Karma]. Yat = that [in which], anubandham = [sorrow] follows. After performing a karma if sorrow still folllows, it is Tamasa Karma. Ksayam = decline [of wealth due to wasteful expenditure], Himsam = hurting [performer and others]. Ravana performed many karmas, inflicting sufferings on himself and on others. He deputed his son Akshaya Kumar to fight Hanuman, and lost his son. Similarly, he sent his son Indrajit to fight Lakshmana and lost him also. To peak all these, he also got perished in pursuit of his desire. In fact entire Rakshasa community was lost. Paurusham = [human] capability. One should indulge in activities, where his capability could be shown. Anapeksya = beyond or exceeding. One should not try in activities beyond one's capability. Mohad = with delusion, arabhyate = commenced [karmas]. That is the performer thinks, he is doing and not understanding thet the Lord is the actual Doer. Following aspects, any or all, constitute Tamasa Karma:
  1. Agony continues even after performing karma.
  2. Wasteful expenditure.
  3. Hurting others and self.
  4. Exceeding one's capability.
  5. With delusion.
Valmiki taught Lav and Kush, Ramayana. Did he expect any reward? He knew, who the children were and knew Sri Sita well. But he introduced Sri Sita as a Van Devta [forest angel] to all others. In fact Shatrugna had travelled via Valmiki's Ashram. Valmiki was not in Ayodhya. We are yet to see the actual place of Valmiki Ashram. We may know about it, when we visit Naimisharanyam. Lav and Kush also sang Ramayana not with any expectations. But, finally, they attained all they deserved. So, we should do any karma prescribed by Shastras, with the Three types of Tyaga and be happy as having performed Satvika Karma. All other Karmas will never stop our misery and will hurt others and ourselves.

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