rakñaù-svasur vyakåta rüpam açuddha-buddhes
jaghne caturdaça-sahasram apäraëéya-
kodaëòa-päëir aöamäna uväsa kåcchram
While wandering in the forest, where He accepted a life of hardship, carrying His invincible bow and arrows in His hand, Lord Rämacandra deformed Rävaëa’s sister, who was polluted with lusty desires, by cutting off her nose and ears. He also killed her fourteen thousand Räkñasa friends, headed by Khara, Triçira and Düñaëa.
såñöaà vilokya nåpate daça-kandhareëa
jaghne ‘dbhutaiëa-vapuñäçramato ‘pakåñöo
märécam äçu viçikhena yathä kam ugraù
O King Parékñit, when Rävaëa, who had ten heads on his shoulders, heard about the beautiful and attractive features of Sétä, his mind was agitated by lusty desires, and he went to kidnap her. To distract Lord Rämacandra from His äçrama, Rävaëa sent Märéca in the form of a golden deer, and when Lord Rämacandra saw that wonderful deer, He left His residence and followed it and finally killed it with a sharp arrow, just as Lord Çiva killed Dakña.
rakño-‘dhamena våkavad vipine ‘samakñaà
bhräträ vane kåpaëavat priyayä viyuktaù
stré-saìginäà gatim iti prathayaàç cacära
When Rämacandra entered the forest and Lakñmaëa was also absent, the worst of the Räkñasas, Rävaëa, kidnapped Sétädevé, the daughter of the King of Videha, just as a tiger seizes unprotected sheep when the shepherd is absent. Then Lord Rämacandra wandered in the forest with His brother Lakñmaëa as if very much distressed due to separation from His wife. Thus He showed by His personal example the condition of a person attached to women.
PURPORT by His Divine Grace A C Bhakti Vedanta Srila Prabhupada
In this verse the words “stré-saìginäà gatim iti” indicate that the condition of a person attached to women was shown by the Lord Himself. According to moral instructions, “gåhe näréà vivarjayet”: when one goes on a tour, one should not bring his wife. Formerly men used to travel without conveyances, but still, as far as possible, when one leaves home one should not take his wife with him, especially if one is in such a condition as Lord Rämacandra when banished by the order of His father. Whether in the forest or at home, if one is attached to women this attachment is always troublesome, as shown by the Supreme Personality of Godhead by His personal example.
Of course, this is the material side of stré-saìgé, but the situation of Lord Rämacandra is spiritual, for He does not belong to the material world. Näräyaëaù paro ‘vyaktät: Näräyaëa is beyond the material creation. Because He is the creator of the material world, He is not subject to the conditions of the material world. The separation of Lord Rämacandra from Sétä is spiritually understood as vipralambha, which is an activity of the hlädiné potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead belonging to the çåìgära-rasa, the mellow of conjugal love in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world the Supreme Personality of Godhead has all the dealings of love, displaying the symptoms called sättvika, saïcäré, viläpa, mürcchä and unmäda. Thus when Lord Rämacandra was separated from Sétä, all these spiritual symptoms were manifested. The Lord is neither impersonal nor impotent. Rather, He is sac-cid-änanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], the eternal form of knowledge and bliss. Thus He has all the symptoms of spiritual bliss. Feeling separation from one’s beloved is also an item of spiritual bliss. As explained by Çréla Svarüpa Dämodara Gosvämé, rädhä-kåñëa-praëaya-vikåtir hlädiné-çaktiù: the dealings of love between Rädhä and Kåñëa are displayed as the pleasure potency of the Lord. The Lord is the original source of all pleasure, the reservoir of all pleasure. Lord Rämacandra, therefore, manifested the truth both spiritually and materially. Materially those who are attached to women suffer, but spiritually when there are feelings of separation between the Lord and His pleasure potency the spiritual bliss of the Lord increases. This is further explained in Bhagavad-Gita (9.11):
avajänanti mäà müòhä
mänuñéà tanum äçritam
paraà bhävam ajänanto
One who does not know the spiritual potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead thinks of the Lord as an ordinary human being. But the Lord’s mind, intelligence and senses can never be affected by material conditions. This fact is further explained in the Skanda Puräëa, as quoted by Madhväcärya:
svarüpo ‘sau yato vibhuù
ato ‘sya räma ity äkhyä
tasya duùkhaà kuto ‘ëv api
sétäm äsét smarann iva
jïäpanärthaà punar nitya-
sambandhaù svätmanaù çriyäù
pratyakñaà tu çriyä särdhaà
rämo rämo räma iti
sarveñäm abhavat tadä
yadä rämas tv apälayat
It was actually impossible for Rävaëa to take away Sétä. The form of Sétä taken by Rävaëa was an illusionary representation of mother Sétä—maya-sétä. When Sétä was tested in the fire, this mäyä-sétä was burnt, and the real Sétä came out of the fire.
A further understanding to be derived from this example is that a woman, however powerful she may be in the material world, must be given protection, for as soon as she is unprotected she will be exploited by Räkñasas like Rävaëa. Here the words vaideha-räja-duhitari indicate that before mother Sétä was married to Lord Rämacandra she was protected by her father, Vaideha-räja. And when she was married she was protected by her husband. Therefore the conclusion is that a woman should always be protected. According to the Vedic rule, there is no scope for a woman’s being independent (asamakñam), for a woman cannot protect herself independently.
Lord is the Supreme Enjoyer
This morning’s reading of Srimad Bhagavatam begins with sister of Ravana, who is a very great and powerful raksasi, and how she was very anxious to enjoy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Of course, we know that Supreme Lord is the supreme enjoyer and we are meant for his enjoyment; everything that exists within this creation is an expansion of his divine self. As Krishna explains in Bhagavad Gita, this material energy, the spiritual energy, everything is emanating from him. That he is within everything, he is everything and yet at the same time he remains the separate cause and source of all that exists. As the sun is the source of the sunshine and the sun is personally present within every ray of the shine of the sun, but yet at the same time the sun remains the separate source, so in the same way the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Hari expands himself into everything that exists both materially and spiritually. Therefore everything is simply an expansion of his own self yet he remains the separate source, always independent.
“Daiv hy eñ guëamay mama mäy duratyayä.“ When we come under the control of this material energy we are forcibly obliged to act according to the three modes of material nature. Everyone in this world who is under illusion is the servant of the senses but Krishna explains in the Gita that he is always independent controller of the modes of material nature, he never falls under the power of the three modes of material nature. Therefore, Krishna is always the enjoyer and our eternal, constitutional position is to be enjoyed by Krishna. Krishna is the eternal predominator and we are eternally meant to be predominated. Krishna is the master “Jévera ‘svarüpa’ haya-kåñëera ‘nitya-däsa’” and we are eternally his servants and the very root, the basis of all bondage and suffering is when we are not willing to accept our eternal position—when we want to be the predominator,when we want to be the controller, and when we want to be the enjoyer. Here we find that Ram who is the enjoyer of everything he was being attacked by the sister of Ravana, who wanted to enjoy him. She wanted to fulfill her lusty desires by exploiting him. Of course, as we explained, this entire creation is the expansion of his energy, he is within everything, so factually anyone who is in this unfortunate condition of being enjoyer and wants to enjoy any of the property of God is more or less in the same position as the sister of Ravana, Suparnaka.We are attacking Ram to fulfill our own lusty desires. When we see the objects of senses, we are overcome with the desire to enjoy that. We should know that this is the property of Ram. Just as Ravana was lusty for Sita and his sister was lusty for Ram—there is no difference, everything is the energy of God—Sita is the divine energy of the Lord. Anything we are attracted to in this world for our own enjoyment we are taking the position of Ravana and his sister; we want to be the enjoyer of the Lord. Therefore Krishna Consciousness is a consciousness which is utterly opposite to what is propagated in this material world. In this world from the day we are born we are taught that goal of life is to enjoy. People are educated sometimes 20 years in school they are taught that through this educational process you will enjoy. This is the grand illusion. Therefore Bhakti Vinod Thakur explained in his beautiful song vidyare vilase that I have labored for so many years in school and I have studied and studied and studied so many books, various literature and the conclusion of all this is that I have become the foolish ass; because all I have been taught that how by this process I will enjoy. This is material conciousness, but Krishna conciousness is teaching the very opposite concept that you are meant to be enjoyed.
People whatever they do they have a very strong inclination to be glorified. Glorification is like tying a rope around your own neck to strangle your own spiritual propensities. But our natural inclination is never to be glorified but to glorify Lord Krishna. Unless you take the most humble position you cannot glorify another with your heart. The glorification of this world where one person compliments another is not a real glorification, is more of a business transaction that I am saying nice compliments to you because I know in the process I will be complimented even more either by you or by someone else. I will get something very nice out of it. We are complimenting someone else thinking through this process what I get in return I will enjoy. So it is not at all glorification; it is just the expression of our own ego. But Krishna conciousness, the Supreme Personality of Godhead teaches us trinad api sunicena, taror api sahishnuna, in order to truly glorify the Lord, first you have to take the completely humble position; you have to expect no honor for one self, not even respect for oneself. Honour is one thing but respect another.We all feel we are entitled to some extent of respect in this world, but the devotee of the Lord cares not even for this. A devotee simply does not have time to think how I am respected; he is too busy respecting everyone else. He is too busy offering respects to every living entity seeing the Supreme Lord the enjoyer of all, his life, within their hearts. This is Krishna Consciousness, to be conscious ofKrishna everywhere and in everything and to glorify him everywhere and in everything and to be his humble servant and to seek ways to give him enjoyment in every situation in life. That is the transcendental position of the conciousness .What do we care what our position is as long asKrishna is enjoying. Whether we are in the prison house or whether we are on the top of the Himalaya Mountains wandering free or whether we are in cities with thousands of loving devotees or whether we are on our death bed if we are acting forKrishna’s enjoyment then we are peaceful, we are transcendental, and we are joyful.
Hanumanji’s Dedication and Determination to serve Lord’s mission
We are not considering the condition of our own body and mind. We are not considering the conditions of the surroundings around us. We are only considering one thing that we have time for considering only one thing, “how is Krishna enjoying, how is Krishna finding pleasure, how am I offering my conciousness in grateful devotion to his lotus feet.” If that is what we do, we are giving him enjoyment, by accepting his mercy with grateful heart and offering whatever much or little we have in his devotional service, he will enjoy, he will find pleasure and that is our business to give him pleasure. But if due to certain situation which is undesirable if we become morose, what does that mean? It means only one thing that we think we are the enjoyers, that we want to enjoy the situation. But if we are truly living for Krishna’s enjoyment then there is no power in this world that can disturb our consciousness. Therefore, this is the true state of spiritual awakening of not to be God but to be only thinking of how to please God in every situation of life. We see Hanumanji, his only thought was how to please Ram and he just didn’t have time to consider anything else. When he was attacked by rakshas and rakshaksis as he was crossing the Indian Ocean, he did not have time to deal with them beyond what was just required to go on with his business. Even when that great mountain, Mainaka Mountain, came out of the sea to give him the resting place—please be comfortable and enjoy—he could not consider his own enjoyments and comforts. He could only consider one thing–Ram’s mission. Therefore, he was so much engrossed in fulfilling the desire of Sri Ram that he forgot any limitations what he could do or what he could not. Not only that but also he was so much immersed in the urgency to fulfill the desire of Ram that he fulfilled perfectly what Krishna explains in Bhagvad Gita, that Hanuman is such a great soul, he does not know what is happiness or distress, honor or dishonor, pleasure or pain. This may seem impossible to us because these influences us so overwhelmingly when they come upon us, but Hanuman showed us that if you are so much busy for Krishna’s enjoyment you simply do not have time to think about these things. It is not some mystical secret. It simply means to be fully engaged in devotional service with your body, mind and words and on the other hand we have Ravana’s sister, she was just the opposite, she wanted to enjoy Ram. Therefore the conclusion was her nose, her ears were cut. She had to suffer great humiliation. Everyone is humiliated in this world whether you are Mr. Hitler or Mr. Napoleon ,Mr. Churchill, Aurangzeb. The greatest conquerors in this world , they all are embarrassed by getting old, getting diseased and dying .Ultimately they are defeated and it is very humiliating for someone who is the conqueror to be defeated. But who is not defeated in this world by the force of time in this most humiliating and painful world? This is the situation.
In this next verse we find how Ravana kidnapped Sita and then Sukhdev Goswami explains that Lord Ramchandra he is showing us through his pastimes many wonderful aspects to be understood. One is that Lord Ram’s divine nature is to always increase the pleasure of his devotees. Sita is His ultimate supreme devotee. Therefore, to experience the divine sentiment of love in separation he allows Sita to be stolen by Ravana and we find how Sita was simply calling out the names of Ram in utter absorption day and night with tears flowing from the core of her heart and we find how Ramchandra, how he was wandering like a mad man through the forest calling out the names of Sita looking for her here and there and everywhere. So in this way, it is not that these things happen by accident. Sometimes Ram allows demons to appear to be victorious, to appear to be under control, it is actually Sita who was captured and she was imprisoned by the influence of Ravana. People ask, if a devotee is really a nice devotee how is it possible that such a nice person is overcome by demon and is put in prison. Some people ask like this. If they ask like this there are so many examples up to the point of Sita herself who is not different than Sri Radharani. How she came under the control of demon Ravana, is in the prison of Sri Lanka for one whole year practically! So sometimes Ram allows the demons to overcome his purest, greatest devotee but for what purpose.
Purpose of letting demons overcome devotees sometimes
It is described here by Sukhdev Goswami, there are two reasons categorically. One is the spiritual reason and that is to increase the feelings of separation, to increase the love between the Lord and his devotee .That feeling of separation only served to sweeten the lila of Ram and Sita. Love in separation, although it is very difficult to endure, it is the sweetest form of love. So Ram allows the demons to take away his devotees only to increase the love between devotee and himself. And the other reason as explained here is to give the moral lesson that on a material platform, not material but on a more practical platform of life, one should not become attached to the opposite sex because as soon as you become too much attached to the opposite sex by the laws of nature you will suffer. It is described in Bhagvatam that when man and woman become attracted to one another a hard knot is tied within the hearts and that knot is really difficult to undo and from that one’s attachments expand and expand and expand—attachment to body, attachment to relatives, attachment to children, attachment to wealth, attachment to prestige, attachment to family and the most attachment to property and it goes on expanding throughout your life. This is the condition. At the same time in Grihasta ashram we must know that one can have relationship with a wife, with a husband, but together we are cultivating attraction to Krishna not attraction to each other. To the extent we are attracted to each other without finding Krishna as the middle—after all how can a man and wife in Krishna conciousness not be attracted to each other, even two God brothers are attracted to each other—we are not talking about a sexual attraction, but we are talking about the attraction to each others very lives. In a relationship with our friends or our God brothers there is an attraction.
Without that attraction there is no love and trust. So similarly with a wife, how can you say there will be no attraction if you say she is your God sister or he is your God brother, how can there be no attraction? But that attraction is not that I am the enjoyer but that attraction is the attraction towards not an object of sense gratification but toward the devotee of God. And therefore, the relationship is always situated in service to God. This is the formidable rule of Grihasta ashram which maintains its sanctity–i.e. there must be this agreement; there must be this conciousness that we are ever together for the only purpose of glorifying Krishna, serving the mission of our spiritual master. But of course, the tendency is to become too much attracted and Ramchandra is here illustrating that if one becomes too much attracted then one must suffer .It is said in Srimad Bhagvatam that when we become attracted to the features of the opposite sex, all the miseries of material world follow right behind you like a tail of a dog .The dog might run and jump, do everything but he cannot escape from his tail following right behind.Correct! Similarly when we become attracted to the opposite sex for the purpose of sense gratification all the miseries, anxieties and sufferings of material nature will inevitably follow right behind you like your own tail. So therefore this is the great lesson that Lord Ramchandra is teaching and through his divine example. Through understanding, by the explanations, the purports by the great acaryas, there is so much deep knowledge and inspiration that comes from each and everyone of these wonderful pastimes of Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, by reading the Srimad Bhagvatam, the Ramayan, with the commentaries of the great souls we can continuously learn on a very practical level .We can learn in a way it is applicable to us in our everyday life the secret message of the Lord’s lila. And thus by participating in his lila, by hearing the commentaries of great souls, we could learn to live a life which goes always, progresses in purification towards loving sentiments of the Absolute truth Sri Krishna.
Thank you very much