What I want to share from my experiences is that love conquers everything.It is my hope that it will inspire the readers to open their hearts to the Divine. If we can try to understand that we all are equally part of the Divine and are here to achieve this greater Truth and to realise our Self - if we make this our goal and do everything with Love…then everything will be lovely and you will always be happy.


Sri Swami Vishwananda

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sri Swami Vishwananda tells us a very beautiful Story today......

It is said that to Realise God, one has to have complete trust, one has to have complete dedication to what one really wants, because if we give ourselves halfway, God will also give Himself halfway. But if we give ourselves fully to Him and call sincerely from our heart to Him, He will respond back to us. Tulsidas was a saint who lived in the 16th century in India and his love for Lord Rama was so great that, wherever he looked, he would see only Rama. He was an orphan and he came from a very low caste. At that time in India – but also now - people followed the caste system. The Brahmins were the highest caste and the Sudras belonged to the lowest caste. But Tulsidas´ love for Rama was so great that he always carried a small statue of Lord Rama with him. When his parents died, nobody looked after him and wherever he would go, the people went away from him, because he was from a low caste. One day Tulsidas´ Guru took him to his ashram and said to the people “You people, who always think that you know God, you know Him only through scriptures; you know only what is said in the books, nothing else. But the Lord Sri Hari is above all this. He loves everybody and everybody is equal to Him. He is with anybody who calls Him with sincere heart.” So the Guru took Tulsidas under his care and looked after him. When Tulsidas grew up, he became well versed in Sanskrit and his main aim was to give the Ramcharitmanas, which means The story of Lord Rama, to the people in their own language. He started to compose poems. He, also, sang the Ramcharitmanas in Marathi, his own native language. The Brahmins didn’t like this at all, because they said that Sanskrit is the language of the Devas, of the Gods - well, some people think also that God speaks only Latin* - but Tulsidas´ main aim was to translate the Ramcharitmanas and give it to the people, to everybody, equally. Through that he had many enemies. When it came time for Tulsidas to get married, one of his brothers was against him and said “No, I have to get married to that girl and not you!” But it was the girl´s father who wanted Tulsidas to get married with his daughter, Ratnavali, and finally he got married with her, and they were very happy. They, also, went to get the blessing of the Guru, who took the small statue of Rama, which Tulsidas had bought in the ashram when he was very small, and gave it to him and said “I don’t have anything to give you on this special day, but take this statue of Rama and never forget about Him!” Tulsidas replied “Guruji, how could I forget about Rama?” He took the statue of Rama at home, he put it on the altar and at that moment he completely forgot about Rama, because his mind was focused only on his wife. He got so obsessed by his wife that she became everything for him. Every moment, day and night, he wanted to be just next to his wife. They had a shop, because when they got married his father-in-law gave him a shop. One day he had to go to another town to get some clothes for the shop. So, in the morning, he said good bye to his wife and went to the other shops to buy his stuff. But, at the same time, his wife got a message that her father was not well and he would like to see her for the last time before he died. So she rushed quickly to the father’s place. When Tulsidas came home and didn’t find his wife, he became mad. He found a note on the bed saying, “I have gone to my father’s place. I need some time for myself, because I have seen how obsessed you are about me and also because my father is ill.” Tulsidas could not bear this and he went to his father-in-law´s place. On the way there was a big storm and he had to swim across the river. When he finally arrived, he saw that the door was locked and he was wondering what to do and how to go inside. So he started climbing over the wall of the house and some people who saw it thought that he was a thief. They started running around and calling everybody “There is a thief around, come, let´s catch him!” But Tulsidas managed to get inside the house and when the people came inside they saw that it was him and they asked him “Why did you climb over the wall like this? It’s your own father-inlaw ´s house, you can use the door.” They understood that he was madly in love and they went to the wife and said “Do you know what kind of husband you have? He is so much in love with you that he cannot let you go like that.” The wife became very angry. She went to Tulsidas and said to him “Listen, I do appreciate whatever you’re doing for me, but I will tell you one thing: if you would have this kind of love for Rama, for sure you would get liberation, He would liberate you. If you would have such a Love for Him, He would always be with you. Instead, toward me, you are just looking at me for your own pleasure, with your lustful eyes. You desire only my body, which is just a bag of bones and it can give you satisfaction only for some time. So have such Love for Rama and he will liberate you from this.” Then she left and her words stayed in Tulsidas´ mind: he was thinking and thinking. Then again this urge for Rama awoke in his heart. He left everything and said “How could I forget about You, Rama? I have forgotten about You because of this illusion of this world. For the sake of the bag of bones, I forgot about You, but as this bag of bones has become my guru, I look for You again, Rama: reveal Yourself to me!” For days and days he kept walking around, just repeating the name of Ram. Finally, he could not walk anymore and he fell down in a forest, but still he kept singing the name of Rama: Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram. He was singing and singing and singing, Rama. After some time, he heard a voice say “Tulsidas, you are such a great soul. I know why you are chanting the name of Rama and I will tell you how to find Him.” Tulsidas lifted his head up and looked around, but couldn´t see anybody. So he asked “Who are you? I can’t see you.” The voice answered “I am a ghost who lives in this tree. I became a ghost because of my own wish. I had a desire to have some Ganges water on the last day of my life, but I didn´t have any. Now I consider myself very lucky, because you have been chanting for nine days continuously the name of Rama next to me. I will reveal Him to you but, for that, you will have to bring some Ganges water for me.” Tulsidas agreed and went to collect one pot of water from the Ganges. He brought the pot to the tree and the ghost from the tree said “I am blessed and I got liberated, firstly, because you fulfilled my wish by bringing the Ganges water to me, and secondly, because I have heard the Holy Name of Rama continuously for nine days. So I will reveal Him to you. Go to Kashi. There you will find a priest who will be chanting the story of Rama. There will be an old man who will come first and he will also leave the last. He is Hanuman, the servant of Rama, and He will direct you to Rama.” Saying this, the ghost which was on the tree got liberated. Tulsidas went to this town. There he went to this place where the ghost had told him to go. As he was sitting there, the priest was reading the Ramcharitmanas in Sanskrit. And it was so boring that, one by one, the people fell asleep. And, one by one, they all would go away. After the singing, everybody was gone and only Tulsidas was left and he went to the priest and said “Priest, why do you do like that? Why are you singing the Ramcharitmanas in Sanskrit? Why don’t you sing it in their native language, in Hindi?” Then the priest, who was jealous of him, said “Oh, you can’t sing the Ramcharitmanas in any other language, because it would be blasphemy. You can sing it only in Sanskrit!” Then Tulsidas said to
the priest “If it would be in Hindi, it would be more interesting and people would not go away, but they would listen to you.” The priest became very angry with Tulsidas and pushed him away, but, as he was going away, he saw an old man sitting there. He went to this old man who said “Oh, you were right: it´s good that you said to him that it would be better to chant the Ramcharitmanas in the native language of the local people.” Tulsidas knew that this old man with white beard was Hanuman in disguise and he fell down at His feet and said “Please, reveal Rama to me!” The old man said “Me? How will I reveal Rama to you?” Tulsidas answered “You are Hanuman.” The old man said “Hah, Me Hanuman? No, no, no, no.” But Tulsidas insisted “Please, remove your disguise, show really Yourself! I know it´s You, the servant of Rama.” He was asking with so much faith and devotion that Hanuman appeared in His real form. He blessed Tulsidas and said to him “You will see Rama. Go to the Ganges tomorrow and you will see Rama there. Rama will
come to you.” The next day Tulsidas was sitting on the banks of the Ganges, where he was preparing some chandan paste. Two young princes came to him and said, “Holy man, give us some chandan.” Without even
looking, Tulsidas just took a little bit of it, put it on betel leaves and gave it to them. Of course, these men were in disguise. Poor Tulsidas, he could not know who was in front of him. His desire was to see Rama, but still, when Rama was in front of him he was too blind to recognise Him. At the same time, Hanuman appeared on the tree just above and sang “How blessed is Tulsidas to have the darshan of Lord Rama and Lakshmana who have come from Heaven to Him.” Hearing that, Tulsidas recognised that it was Rama and
Lakshmana who were standing in front of him. He bowed down to their feet and Rama blessed him without saying anything. Just the smile of Rama was enough. Later Tulsidas composed Ramcharitmanas, expanding the Ramayana and translating it into Hindi, and he had many, many, many people who would follow him. Many of the Brahmin priests changed and started to sing it in Hindi, but the jealous one tried everything to stop Tulsidas. He knew that Tulsidas had only one copy of the Ramcharitmanas, so he decided to steal it. He sent one man to steal it, but as the man was approaching the hut of Tulsidas, he saw Rama and Lakshmana guarding the gate of the place. When this man took one more step, Hanuman pulled him with His tail and started to beat him up with the tail. So the man rushed quickly back to the wicked priest and said to him “It is impossible. I got beaten. There are guards guarding the hut.” Later they tried to burn the hut, but all the fire merged into the Ramcharitmanas, into the book. It went inside the book and disappeared. In this way, they offended Tulsidas many times. Once, the son-in-law of the King of Kashi died and, during the
funeral procession, the king’s daughter was walking by the side of her dead husband. She was ready to be burned, as well, because at that time, when a husband died, also, the wife alive had to be burned. It is called sati. Actually they carried on with this tradition until the English occupied India. Also, Gandhi was one of the main opponents of this sati tradition in which the wife is burned on the pyre of her husband. So, during this procession, they met Tulsidas and when the wife was passing by him, he blessed her and told her “May you always be happy in your family.” When the wicked Brahmin priest heard this, he said, angrily, to Tulsidas “How can you bless her to always be happy in the family, when her husband has just died?” Tulsidas answered to him “I don’t know, I just blessed her because Lord Rama told me to bless her.” Then the Brahmin priest said “If your faith is really strong, it is said that through the name of Rama, one can bring her husband back to life.”Tulsidas started to pray to Rama and said to Him “Rama, if I am truthful to You, give back life to this man. You give the life to many people, You can, also, give life back to this dead man.” His Love and faith in Sri Hari Rama was so strong, his prayer was so strong that, when he was chanting: Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram, suddenly the man just started to breathe again. He woke up, after being dead
for a few days, and started to sing the name of Rama, but even this miracle didn’t change the mind of the wicked priest. Again, he tried to burn Tulsidas´ house, while Tulsidas was inside. At that time, when he did that, everybody tried to put off the fire from the Tulsidas´ hut, but they could not. By the Grace of God, by the Love that Tulsidas had for Rama, the fire ceased by itself. It became a ball of fire, which started to follow the wicked priest who ran to his wife and said, “Wife, save me!” Then the wife said to the ball of fire “Out of ignorance, my husband has offended your devotee, Lord. Please, have mercy on him.” Then she said to her husband “Go, and ask Tulsidas´ forgiveness. He will surely forgive you.” The priest went to ask Tulsidas´ forgiveness and became one of his devotees. He started, also, to chant the Ramcharitmanas in Hindi. Things carried on like that and one day the wife of Tulsidas came to Him and said “Out of anger, I sent you away, but now I’m calling you back. Please come back.” Tulsidas replied “No, I can’t come back, but I will do as you said, because you are now my Guru. Because you sent me away, I have got Ram. He is now completely seated in my heart. So whatever you say, I will do.” So the wife said “I will follow you, wherever you are, whatever you do. I will, also, do that. You want to live for Rama, I will live for serving you.” So, whenever the Ramcharitmanas is being read, the bhakti of Tulsidas is always mentioned. The first thing, before even reading the Ramcharitmanas, before even saying the name of Rama, is to bow down to Tulsidas, who gave the name of Rama to the whole world, and to Ratnavali, who let Tulsidas free, so that the name of Rama could be spread out. This story shows how one has to have complete surrender to God, complete surrender to one´s path, complete surrender to the Deity, which one feels inside his heart. One should, also, know that God is beyond everything and that He loves everybody equally. It’s not upon anybody to go and try to change somebody’s mind, saying “My way is right, your way is wrong.” Thinking like this is completely wrong. We say we have only one God, but we adore Him in His many forms until we reach a point to see this Oneness everywhere. The life story of Tulsidas or any Self-Realised saint is beyond the comprehension of the mind, because they live completely in God. And they are calling everybody to live completely in God, to live in the Love of God and to know that God is everywhere: God is present in everybody.
First we see the duality, the separation, and through that separation, God unites us and makes us one with Him. He makes us Realise His Divinity, then we stop talking about Him and we become completely quiet. As
long as we have not found God, as long as we have not come to the point of God-Realisation, Self-Realisation, we should never lose hope, we should never let go of God´s Name, we should never let go of whatever we are doing.
What lies behind this story is that one has to completely surrender to one´s path and, whatever obstructions or obstacles come on the way, one has to always say “No” to them. Your aim is to have God- Realisation, Self-Realisation. Until you have reached your aim, until you have come to the point of complete trust and faith in yourself and in God, keep trying! Don’t let anything come in the way! Many times the mind will come in the way and say “No, no, no, no, no, no, you should not do like that, you should do like this”, but if you listen to the mind, you will stop. You will become lazy. Only when you really, sincerely dedicate yourself and surrender to your path, surrender to what you really want, you will achieve your aim. The aim is to Realise this Love that you have inside and to become this Love so completely that every atom in your body will radiate this Love of God. And this Love, you will spread it around always. This Love is beyond everything: beyond the mind, beyond the body, even beyond the Spirit itself. It is this Love that we have to attain.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing story. I had never heard it before, not in all my travels. I am so grateful that you have shared it here!

It is exactly what i needed at this time. Thank You so much!