21 lessons from Ramayana

Dear readers,

I hope you all are having a wonderful week. It is a great pleasure to be able to share with you all again yet another inspiring blog this week.

I wanted to post this on Rama Navami however I did another blog instead, so I felt this week would be a nice time. For those of you who are not familiar with the stories from the Vedas, I’ll be sharing 25 lessons today from the Epic story of Ramayana. This is the story of a young prince who is banished to the forest; a night before he is made king, due to the desires of a step mother. I definitely cannot tell the full story here however these lessons are great tips for everyone in life.

Without further ado, I present you 25 life lessons from the Epic Ramayana;

Power of Bad association: It was a known fact that Kaikeyi loved Lord Rama more than her own son, then how did she become so evil. It was due to her association with the maid Mantara.

Attachment to service and not to the position: Lord Ram was willing to become king as a service to Maharaj Dasarath, he was also willing to go to the forest as a service to his father.

Mission of Life should be to vanquish demoniac tendencies in our heart: Lord Rama’s purpose to kill the demons was fulfilled by his banishment to the forest.

Even extreme reversals if taken in the proper spirit will help us fulfill our mission in life: For example the law of gravity is only in effect in the Earth’s sphere and not beyond. So also laws of material nature act only when we are on the level of the modes of material consciousness and not in spiritual consciousness.

Rama or Aaram: A test for every seeker or spiritual practitioner, citizens of Ayodhya wanted to go with Lord Rama to the forest and leave behind the comforts (Aaram) of the city.

Alertness in Spiritual life: Lord Rama leaves the citizens when they are asleep. If one is inattentive or lazy, one will lose taste in Bhakti.

Sometimes saintly people may cause pain to others not to hurt them but to benefit them: Just as a Doctor may cause pain (operation) to cure a patient.

The Supreme Lord is the proprietor: Bharat ruled the kingdom on behalf of Lord Rama, keeping the Lord’s shoes on the throne. We are only caretakers, He is the real proprietor, he gives and can take away. The caretaker must act according to the will of the owner.

Anyone can make a show of greatness: The reversals tests who we really are. When laksmana cuts the nose of the witch demoness Surpanaka, her charming form disappeared and she assumed her real form which was ugly. One’s greatness is tested by one’s ability to tolerate provoking situations.

Bhakti (Sita) cannot be achieved by Deception: Ravana wanted to kidnap Sita by deception but all he got was the Maya Sita or illusory Sita. Greed and Lust never satiates, they lead to arrogance and envy. Attachments create traps and make us suffer. Marichi takes up a golden deer form which Sita develops attachment for. We should always see things through the eyes of the scriptures.  The spider web is very attractive to the fly, but it is also a trap.

Maya knows our weakness: She can make our strength a weakness and then force us to take shelter of learned souls. Ravana uses Sita’s knowledge of sastra to make her disobey Laksmana.

Always stand by what is right: Jatayu’s integrity is forever remembered. Real success is to please the Lord. Jatayu lost his life fighting for Lord Rama but achieved the purpose of life which is to please the Lord.

Patience, determination and enthusiasm:  Shabari was told by her Guru to wait and receive Lord Rama, while the Guru and others ascended to heaven. She waited for years and showed enthusiasm by cleaning the cottage everyday while waiting for the Lord to arrive. She had complete faith in the words of the Guru and waited patiently with determination.

The Lord reveals himself only when he wants: We cannot put a façade before the Lord. Hanuman tries to disguise himself before Lord Rama, but the Lord Knew who he was. The Lord knows us from within, who we really are and we have to be honest to receive the Lord’s mercy.

Obstacles on the path of Bhakti: The demons who tried to stop Hamunan as he crossed to Lanka are like obstacles on our path of bhakti. Mainaka (the golden Mountain) – Temptation to seek comfort before achieving our real purpose. Simhika (The Shadow catching demoness) – While striving for Bhakti people will chastise us, criticize us, we should be willing to tolerate. Surasa (The Serpent) – Being envious of people in higher positions and trying to stop their progress. By engaging in devotional service we can devour these demons.

Arrogance: The world is a mirror of our consciousness. Ravana thought Mandodari was envious of Sita, while he was actually envious of Rama. When we think we know, we are not willing to listen to good counsel. Spiritual progress means simplicity and humility.

Big or small we can swim the ocean of repeated birth and death: By chanting the names of the Lord we can stay afloat in the ocean of Samsara (repeated birth and death).

Hearing about the Lord: Revival of our dormant love for God is achieved by hearing about him. The Lord in the heart or Ravan knew his thought and could have killed him but he went through these ordeal to give us the opportunity to sing his pastimes.

Righteousness: Even though all the Monkey soldiers were against him, Vibhisan was willing to be misunderstood to take shelter of the Lord.

Counsel and Advice against the battel of illusion: In the battle against illusion, at every stage we need the association of devotees to put us straight, otherwise we will fall off. Even Lord Rama took counsel of Vibhisan.

The grace of a Saint is important: Agastya Muni had a divine arrow which he gave to Lord Rama to help kill Ravana, the arrow was used to pierce the heart of Ravana.

As we continue our daily battle with the darkness in our lives, may the Lord grant us the courage to fight the good fight. Till next week, read, share and follow for more.

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