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The Fruits of Pravrutti and Nivruitti
#1
(Excerpt from message of Shri Datta Swami)


The ultimate fruit granted by God for succeeding in pravṛtti by leaving injustice and following justice, is that the soul reaches the third world called as heaven. The soul enjoys this world only for some time; it is temporary. Dharmarāja succeeded in pravṛtti. But he could not leave justice and vote for God over justice. He did not tell a lie even though God Krishna forced him to tell that lie. When Krishna asked Bhīma to tell the same lie, Bhīma did not hesitate. He announced it boldly. Bhīma was more spiritual. He had so much faith in Krishna that he voted for God even if it meant voting against justice. Hanumān, Bhīma and Madhva are considered as divine spiritual personalities and hence, Bhīma is greater than Dharmarāja.

The fruit of success in nivṛtti is the attainment of the seventh world called as Brahmaloka, which is said to be the abode of God, since God exists there permanently in the form of Energetic Incarnations. Hanumān reached this Brahmaloka. The Gopikās surpassed every devotee in nivṛtti and were given the topmost special world called as Goloka. Without succeeding in pravṛtti, a soul can never enter nivṛtti just as without crossing the intermediate station, the final station cannot be reached.

If we take the case of Rāvaṇa, who is supposed to be a great devotee of Lord Śiva, we might think that he was very good in nivṛtti, but he failed in pravṛtti. However, it is a mistake to say that Ravana is very good in nivṛtti because Rāvaṇa had never actually entered nivṛtti. He worshipped God Śiva only for attaining powers from Him. His devotion was not without aspiration for any fruit in return. He was in fact the worst soul, who even aspired for the divine mother Pārvatī, from God Śiva! Hence, he had not crossed pravṛtti to reach nivṛtti. Thinking that he was in the level of nivṛtti is simply not true!
 
Severe Testing of Hanumān and Lakṣmaṇa...

Both Hanumān and Lakṣmaṇa were severely tested by God Rāma. During the years of forest-exile (expulsion to forest), Rāma would be enjoying with Sītā in the hut whereas Lakṣmaṇa would be constantly going around the hut at night like a watchman without sleep. Lakṣmaṇa was also a young man like Rāma and was also married like Rāma. Rāma was watching the mind of Lakṣmaṇa to test if Lakṣmaṇa had any negative feelings about his situation. But Lakṣmaṇa never had even a trace of any negative feelings! He never thought why he should be a watchman while Rāma is enjoying with His wife in the hut. He never regretted that he left his wife back home in Ayodhya city, just to be a watchman in the forest! This test of Lakṣmaṇa continued for about fourteen years!

When Sītā scolded Lakṣmaṇa in the forest that Lakṣmaṇa had followed Rāma into the forest, since he had an evil eye on Sītā, Lakṣmaṇa did not report it to Rāma at anytime. Of course, from the words of Sītā, we should learn that nobody should aspire for the power of God. Sītā, the wife of God Rāma, represents the power of God. Rāvaṇa aspired for the power of God and it led to his destruction. But the omniscient Rāma punished Sītā for her unjust and harsh words. He too spoke similar words to her after the war and later also left her in the forest based on the same type of allegation.
Towards the end of the Rāmāyaṇam, when Rāma gave a death sentence to Lakṣmaṇa, Lakṣmaṇa simply followed it by entering into the Sarayū river. Lakṣmaṇa excelled all in this aspect. On the other hand, Bharata had also tried to commit suicide but it was not on the order of Rāma. He had put pressure on Rāma and compelled Him to return to Ayodhyā from the forest-exile (expulsion to forest), in the stipulated time of fourteen years. While searching for Sītā, Hanuman had also tried to commit suicide upon not being able to find Sītā. But He soon realized His mistake that if He were to end his life, His service to Rāma would be disturbed. Sītā also committed suicide in the end, but it was against the wish of Rāma. Daśaratha also died in his love for Rāma. But if he kept Rāma in the highest place, he should have controlled his wife Kaikeyī, from being unfair to Rāma.

The testing of Hanumān is even more severe. Hanumān did not marry at all! He was a celibate (bachelor). Yet God Rāma ordered Him to search for Sītā, the wife of Rāma! Let us assume that Hanumān was serving Rāma for the welfare of the society by freeing society from the injustice of Rāvaṇa. It was expected that Rāma would kill the wicked Rāvaṇa, who had stolen Sītā. If we had been in the place of Hanumān, we would have got a powerful heart attack, when Rāma told Rāvaṇa on the first day of the war that if Rāvaṇa returned Sītā, Rāma would withdraw from the war and go back to Ayodhyā city. That would leave the world in the sinful clutches of Rāvaṇa. This declaration of Rāma meant that Rāma was so selfish that He would go back with His own wife and not bother even if Rāvaṇa were to seduce others’ wives in the future! Hanumān could have left the service of Rāma after this declaration. But He gave the topmost importance to Rāma alone; not to social service. Mere social service, which may give temporary heaven, is useless without devotion to God.

Sugrīva forgot the help done by Rāma and immersed himself in pleasures. This shows that we often forget God after getting help from Him. Vāli had done a lot of injustice by forcing his brother Sugrīva’s wife to become his wife even though his brother was alive. Previously, when Sugrīva had returned to the kingdom after the battle with a demon, he had thought that his brother Vāli had died. So, Tārā, the wife of Vāli, became the wife of Sugrīva without any force. This was because, in the monkey-clan (tribe) of Sugrīva and Vāli, there was a custom of the wife of a dead brother becoming the wife of his living brother (devara nyāya). When Vāli returned alive and saw that Sugrīva had occupied his throne and taken his wife, he exiled (expelled) Sugrīva and forced himself on the wife of Sugrīva. Vāli had a divine boon that half of his opponent’s strength would come to him in battle. Due to this boon, he became very proud and committed several sins. Rāma shot him dead by hiding Himself behind a tree. This means that the omniscient God will certainly find a way to punish a person who becomes proud of his achievements and commits sins, no matter how smart the person may think he or she is. Even if his achievement is the result of a divine boon, he cannot escape punishment. Hence, pride of any achievement is forbidden.

posted by: surya (disciple of swamiji)
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