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Blessed Self,
Hari OM and Namaste!


Symbolism of Ramayana - 3 - By Swami Chinmayananda!

We all know that Sita was abducted and taken away. But look at the beauty of it; Valmiki decides that she should no more be a citizen of Aryavarta. She may be the consort of Rama, yet she does not deserve to continue to be a citizen of this hallowed and cultured land any longer. She will be given a place in Lanka, another island, no doubt very near, but altogether another land. Even there she was exiled.

     She realized she had fallen down and to prevent a further fall, she firmly said 'No' to Ravana and remained in the garden under an Asoka tree. Soka means sorrow; Asoka, therefore, means devoid of sorrow. You and I will have sorrow but we do not recognize it. This is the Asoka state. Under the tree of non-recognition of sorrows, when we want to remain steadfast in character, we will doubtless be tempted and put under a lot of strain. But in that Asoka attitude, we should remain steadfast, constantly remembering Rama.

     Sita was constantly and vigorously thinking of Rama. And we cannot say that Rama did not respond. In the Ramayana, we will find that the scene is alternately changing - once Lanka is shown, the next moment Rama is shown in the jungle. This shows that there is secret communication between them. The more intense Sita's cry, the more frenzied does Rama's search for her become. He weeps like an ordinary mortal, not because He is attached to her, but because of His longing to help a devotee.

     The spiritual essence in man can kill and destroy Ravana, the ten-headed monstrosity of extrovertedness. It can do it with the army of monkeys. The monkey has two qualities - 'asthiratva' and 'cancalatva' - instability and restlessness. The thoughts in the human mind have these two qualities. They cannot remain sthira - stable. The monkey cannot remain on one branch; it jumps from one branch to another and from tree to tree. If it gets tired and sits on a tree, it will still be restless, and scratch all over. Thus, it cannot keep quiet even for a minute.

     So too our thoughts. They can never remain quiet but keep jumping from topic to topic.
We are all at this moment 'Sitas' in exile. Should we give into sensuality? To gain back our original Ayodhya, what should we do? We should do exactly what SIta did.

With Prem and OM
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Chinmaya Mission Austin · 12825 Burnet Road · Austin, TX 78727 · USA