Episode # 386 – Animals are a step higher than human beings in exhibiting “Bhakti” – Some illustrations!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed yet another important point on “Equality”, which was stressed by Bhagawan Krishna to Uddhava. Here, Bhagawan Krishna continues from where He left in His previous point on the “Kartruthva Buddhi”. He beautifully links this point with the next by saying that those who are able to treat all living beings equally are His ardent devotees, along with those who realize that they are mere instruments in His divine hands! Equality as a point is important here because we tend to differentiate between people in terms of social status, rich / poor, male / female, etc. quite easily and this is where Bhagawan Krishna keeps the check for all of us. All of us in this world are Bhagawan’s children and for Him, all of us are equal, just like our parents would treat all their children equally. This is an extremely important point because, with the normal way of life, due to our ego and various other reasons, we tend to differentiate between us and others in lot of ways.

In that way, one more thing can happen in terms of “inequality” – We even tend to brand others as “less devoted to Bhagawan than what we are”! Is this right on our part to brand people like this? We should think for a moment here – Are we “Mahatmas” who were born with ardent devotion? We too were straying around all this while and it is only now that we’re getting into the track of Bhakti and Bhagawan, isn’t it? Some of us might might have even had disastrous previous births and who knows, we might have even been the most hardcore aethists too! Just because today we’re so and so, doesn’t mean that yesterday and in our previous births we were the same, isn’t it? Hence, we’ve to realize this point and just because we see someone not as devoted to Bhagawan as we are today, we shouldn’t underestimate them in any way. If we’ve to go by the ideal condition that right from day one of our birth we’ve to exhibit ardent devotion towards Bhagawan unconditionally, very few people might be like that. Only Mahatmas and Aachaaryas would have such an ideal quality in them.

For instance, we’ve witnessed the case of Prahalaada in our previous episodes. We had witnessed how he was devoted to Bhagawan Vishnu right from the day of his birth. No matter how much he was tortured by his father, Hiranya Kashibu, neither he was unfazed, nor he got angry on his father for treating him miserably like that. Instead, Prahlaada only tried correcting his father towards Bhagawan Narayana. We’ve also witnessed that even when Prahlaada was in acute dangerous and life-threatening situations, he was totally immersed in his thoughts towards Bhagawan Narayana, in such a way that he did not even realize that he was in such a precarious situation. Now let us think here – How many of us are like this in terms of devotion, even as we “brand” ourselves as “more devoted to Bhagawan than others”? In reality, our devotion towards Bhagwan would increase only when we face problems and troubles. However, if we’re happy and smooth with our life, we wouldn’t even think about Bhagawan! We would conveniently forget that there’s someone called Bhagawan who’s making us live happy and contented. Such is the case of our devotion in most of our cases! Now, whatever I’m saying here, might be a little provocative to few of us as we read through, but unfortunately, this is the harsh reality and we’ve to accept it and correct ourselves as we move on.

Of course, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t seek Bhagawan’s help while we are undergoing a suffering in life. We should definitely do it. However, when we’re happy and contented, we should also have the heart to thank Bhagawan for whatever good things He had done to us. If we do not have this level of maturity within us, what right do we have to pin-point others who seemingly aren’t devoted much? Moreover, many a times, we might come to a conclusion just by looking at the external appearance of someone, or by just observing their behaviour for just one single day! This is a wrong thing to do. We never know how this person might be on other days and appearances can be deceiving too! Hence, the point here is that, when we talk about equality, we should first of all stop “branding” people to be bad, just because of one or two instances or appearance or actions that they perform. In fact, this is the first step towards following Bhagwan’s point on equality. Rest all other things would automatically be taken care of later. We should realize that all of us are equal under Bhagawan’s eyes and all of us are His children. We should first respect that in everybody around us.

Secondly, we should be able to extend this same aspect to animals and other living beings as well. Just because that living being would be a dog or a cat or a mouse or whatever it might be, it doesn’t mean that it is inferior to us in any way. Just like how we have our right to live our own life in whatever way we like to, those living beings also have the equal right to live their lives in their own ways. Thus, just because we tend to “think” and “talk” and “move around” much more freely than animals, it simply doesn’t mean that they are inferior in any way. In fact, we’ve witnessed in many instances in our “Sanaatana Dharma” literature that even animals have attained the highest “Moksha” along with human beings. For instance, we’ve witnessed this episode of “Gajendra Moksha” few episodes back, wherein we’ve seen how elephant Gajendra was an ardent devotee of Bhagawan Narayana and ultimately reached “Moksha” with its devotion. Similarly, we’ve witnessed in the Ramayana how monkeys, eagles and squirrils have attained “Moksha” because of their ardent devotion. We’ve witnessed the likes of Jatayu, Sampaathi, etc. who were eagles. They had devoted their entire lifes and even sacrificed their lives for “Rama Kainkarya” isn’t it? Similarly, we’ve witnessed how the squirrel helped the Vaanaras while building the Ram-Sethu bridge. Awestruck by it’s ardent devotion, Bhagawan Rama was moved to tears of joy, and He granted “Moksha” to that squirrel immediately! Similarly, there are innumerable instances wherein various animals were also part of the “Bhakti-Maarga”, along with human beings.

Thus the point here is that, even animals are in no way inferior to us when it comes to Bhakti. In fact, animals are a step higher than human beings in exhibiting Bhakti because they’re pure and innocent in nature. Their Bhakti is extremely blind and one-pointed! Whereas, we human beings have lot of doubts, prejudice, etc. while we practice Bhakti! Hence for today, let us understand that all living beings are equal and it is our duty as ardent followers of our “Sanaatana Dharma” to treat all living beings with love and compassion! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next important point! Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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