In the previous episode, we had witnessed an extended discussion on the all-important aspect of “Dharma” called “Aasyam”, wherein we had seen how Hanuman was an epitome for this point. We saw how Hanuman was totally devoted to Bhagawan Rama 24*7, right from “day-1” of his meet with Bhagawan. From that moment onwards, as Hanuman saw how Lakshmana was ardently devoted to his brother in his selfless service, he too thought thus, “Oh! I should also render my services selflessly to my Bhagawan just like how Lakshmana is rendering!” This thought triggered Hanuman to do whatever he did to Bhagawan Rama and there was no looking back from there on! Finally too, we witnessed when Bhagawan Rama was transcending to Vaikunta after all His duties were over, He made sure that Hanuman is called up to accompany Him. However, Hanuman wasn’t ready to come along, as he was solely devoted to His Bhagawan Rama in this world itself! Hanuman explained his stance to Bhagawan Rama that he would live in this world as long as Bhagawan Rama’s divine names are being chanted. This moved Bhagawan Rama to tears and thus He transferred all His divine powers on to Hanuman as He transcended to Vaikunta! Such was Hanuman’s ardent following of the “Dharma” called “Aasyam” and this is exactly what Sage Sukhaachaarya is also explaining here.
Moving on thus, we now come to the last aspect of “Dharma” as narrated by Sage Sukhaachaarya to King Parikshit. Here he talks about an important aspect called “Aatma-Samarpanam”. Readers must note that this is the thirtieth aspect of “Dharma” that we’ve discussed so far till this point, ever since we commenced the eighth “Skandha”. This is the final aspect of “Dharma” that Sage Sukhaachaarya is explaining here. So what is this “Aatma-Samarpanam” all about? It simply means that we (both our physical body and our Atman) are together Bhagawan’s property and not ours! It is Bhagawan who has gifted us this physical body and the Atman to serve His purpose and cause. We should always remember this as we move forward with our life. This is why we emphasize time and again that whatever actions we perform in this human birth, should be all those which Bhagawan likes. We should use our Atman and physical body to think and execute all possible actions that would add happiness, satisfaction and contentment of Bhagawan, rather than fulfilling our selfish needs.
Having said thus, are we putting this principle into practice every passing day? The answer is a big “No”! Day in and day out, we are so engrossed only in activities that we see pleasure in. Early in the morning, we start out for work, spend the whole day in earning money and enjoy with whatever money that we’ve earnt during the remaining time. Moreover, in due course of our busy professional life, we’ve totally forgotten the fact that our physical body is meant to service Bhagawan’s wishes. We’ve rather started investing in “beautifying” our physical body in innumerable ways, just to satisfy our wishes and pleasures! Of course, I’m not saying that we should shun all of these. Of course, when we walk into a professional set up, we should maintain ourselves in a neat fashion. In fact, Bhagawan too emphasizes this only. At all times, we should be neat, tidy and pleasing in appearance. But that doesn’t mean that we spend excessive time and money in maintaining our physical appearance. This is where we get carried away! Thus the important point here is that, we should be able to maintain a fine balance between what is required and what is excessive in life. If we go too much behind worldly pleasures and needs, we’re going to move away from Bhagawan’s divine grace slowly and steadily. We should never create a situation like this. Thus, maintaining our balance between what is required and what is excessive is exactly called “Aatma Samarpanam”. Through this “Dharma”, Sage Sukhaachaarya explains clearly that we should realize that this “Atman” and physical body is owned by Bhagawan and not by us. We are just in this physical form on a “rental basis” and Bhagawan is the owner!
Another extended aspect in which we can look at this “Dharma” called “Aatma Samarpanam” is that, if we’re claiming possession of something that is not ours, we would be considered as a “thief” isn’t it? Now who is a thief and who is not? Normally we say that if someone involves in burglary or pick-pocketing, or any such crimes, we brand that person as a thief. But in reality, there is an extension to this definition. The moment we start claiming ownership of any object in this world, including our own Atman and physical body, all of us are thieves! This is because, as we’ve just witnessed, all of these objects in the world are owned by Bhagawan, who is the “Supreme landlord”. Afterall we are just “tenants” to our “Supreme owner”! This is exactly what we should understand from this aspect of “Dharma” called “Atma Samarpanam”.
Thus, the point here is that, we should make sure that we do not end up being thieves of Bhagawan’s property! We should realize that nothing in this world is ours and should surrender ourselves wholeheartedly to Bhagawan’s lotus feet. We should make sure that we render our services selflessly to Bhagawan with this divine thought. So for today, let us understand this important “Dharma” of “Aatma Samarpanam” and let us try to implement this in our daily lives as well. We shall wait till the next episode to move forward with the next narrative of Sage Sukhaachaarya! Stay tuned! 😊