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Spiritual Significance of the Ramayanam
(Excerpt from message of Shri Datta Swami)

The Rāmāyaṇam provides guidance in worldly life (pravṛtti) and it internally shows the path of spiritual life (nivṛtti) also because the name of Rāma is recognized as the path of total salvation (tāraka mantra). There are three levels of souls. These levels are linked with the qualities of the souls and not with the form of the physical body. These three levels are:

1)   Duṣpravṛtti: It is the level of total injustice and is found in animals.
2)   Pravṛtti: It is the level of total justice and is found in human beings.
3)   Nivṛtti: It is the level beyond justice and injustice. It is full divine love and is found in divine personalities, called as God-Men.

Hanumān and Nandi are animals, Garuḍa and Haṁsa (the divine Swan of Lord Brahmā) are birds and Ādiśeṣa is a serpent. But all of them belong to the divine level. On the other hand, Duryodhana was in a human body, but he was in the first level of animals, called as duṣpravṛtti.

This is a very important concept because every human being thinks that he or she has already attained the human level looking at his or her own human body. People feel that now they only need to attain the next higher level called as nivṛtti. This is a fundamental mistake. Almost every human being is in the level of animals. Yet they all think that they are already in the human level and that they are meant to put all their efforts to attain the third ultimate divine level of nivṛtti. The human being thinks that he is not in the lowest level of animals, but that he is in the second higher level of human beings already. He feels that that the level is related to the form of the body, which is false. This is because the actions of the human being are not full of justice but instead are full of injustice. Thus, almost every human being is only in the level of animals and not in the next higher human level. The reason is the absence of the quality of justice, which alone decides in which level a soul belongs.

Animals follow no justice in earning their food and in their sexual life. The basic expected nature of the human level is to have justice in earning (artha) and in sex (kāma) as per scholars (Apyarthakāmau tasyāstāṁ dharmāyaiva). In earning, you shall not hurt other living beings. The animal kills other weak animals for food. The present human being does a lot of corruption, causing suffering to others, even though he has sufficient food. Both animals and present human beings are involved in illegal sex. Hence, the present humanity is in the level of animals (duṣpravṛtti), thinking that it is in the human level (pravṛtti) already. It is their misunderstanding that their level is linked with the form of their bodies. Scholars say that such a human being with the qualities of an animal is a two-legged animal (dvipāda pashuḥ).

Bhagavān Shri Satya Sai Baba tried His level-best to bring these so-called human beings from the level of animals to the second level of real human beings. He questioned “How can you think of the third divine level, when you have not even left your present animal-level and reached the second human level?” He interpreted the Rāmāyaṇam according to the second pravṛtti-level of leaving injustice and following justice. In fact, the main program of Rāma was only to preach to human beings regarding the second human level. Rāma is called as the Ideal Human Incarnation since He preached the ideals of human life through His own practical example as an ideal human being (Ādarśamānuṣāvatāra).
In the pravṛtti-level, legal family bonds are given importance compared to illegal family bonds. Giving importance to the legal bonds, surpassing illegal bonds is pravṛtti. The disappearance of both legal and illegal bonds is nivṛtti. Giving importance to illegal bonds is duṣpravṛtti. Rāma proved Himself to be an ideal son, ideal brother, ideal husband, ideal friend and so on, to establish an example of an ideal human being, which is the goal of pravṛtti.

In the first level of animals, the worldly bonds are strong and this leads to injustice. Due to the lack of intelligence, animals do not know the significance of the destruction of worldly bonds in attaining the grace of God. Human beings have intelligence, but are still unable to completely destroy the worldly bonds. They are expected to at least attempt to weaken their worldly bonds so that they can at least leave injustice and follow justice. In this second human level, the soul is expected to not earn wealth or involve in sex in an illegal manner. In this level, one can earn legally and enjoy legal sex. In this second level, worldly bonds are not destroyed, but are weakened. When the worldly bonds are weakened, it is called as success in pravṛtti. When the bonds are naturally destroyed due to the strong bond with God, it is called as nivṛtti. For both weakening the worldly bonds (pravṛtti) and destroying worldly bonds (nivṛtti), a bond with God is essential. When the bond with God has partial strength, the worldly bond is weakened. When the bond with God has full strength, the worldly bond is destroyed. Hence, for success in both pravṛtti and nivṛtti, forming a bond with God is the starting point. With this starting point, you can travel in a train straight to nivṛtti. In fact, you will cross the intermediate station called pravṛtti even if you sleep in the train! Alternatively, you can travel up to intermediate station (pravṛtti) and then catch another train going up to nivṛtti. In any case, the train is only the bond with God. The strength of the bond with God decides whether the train is a slow passenger train or a fast express train. In any case, your initial effort must be to get onto the train, which is developing a bond with God.

posted by: surya (disciple of swamiji)

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