Episode # 120 – Real meaning of being a “BHAGAWD-DASA” – Illustration of Hanuman!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on how the “Atman” should be viewed differently from the “Deham”. In these lines, we’ve witnessed an interesting question pertaining to what is real “freedom”. We had an argument that all of us have obtained freedom in the year 1947, and how can we still be slaves? Why should we be slaves to Bhagawan or the Paramatma? We had an interesting answer to these questions and the important point here is that, according to our Sanaatana Dharma, there is no question of obtaining any sort of freedom from the Paramatma. All of us, “Jeevatmas” are “Bhagawad Daasas”, which means we’re all slaves under one universal leader called Bhagawan. However, there is a difference here. Unlike how the British and the erstwhile muslim kings treated us, Bhagawan is not going to to torture us in any way. Bhagawan doesn’t know the language of beating, shooting, punishing, etc. unlike few people today. He is an embodiment of compassion and love towards all His children. Given this unique characteristic of Bhagawan, it is we who’ve to “modify” our mindset that instead of being “slaves”, why don’t we voluntarily surrender to His divine lotus feet and accept Him as the universal leader? There’s nothing wrong in this, isn’t it? Of course, Bhagawan is not asking us to do all this. It is only we who should voluntarily come forward to surrender to Bhagawan’s feet. 

In fact, as we’ve seen many times earlier as well, Bhagawan is constantly waiting for us to come towards Him, birth after birth. He’s indeed giving us so many opportunities so that we can mend our ways and walk the path laid by Bhagawan. However, as normal people in this world, what is that we’re doing? We’re everytime getting carried away by the worldly pleasures that are there in this world, and are totally forgetting who Bhagawan is! We’re indeed forgetting the fact that Bhagawan is yearning and waiting for our presence with Him. Thus, unlike other “Autocratic” leaders that the world has seen, Bhagawan is a “silent spectator” and is watching all the gimmicks that we’re doing in this world, except surrendering to His divine lotus feet. Of course, Bhagawan gets upset if we do not come to Him, but due to His unending compassion, He just remains silent and keeps waiting for us endlessly. How do we account for this enormous patience exhibited by Bhagawan? Hence, we should understand here that we’re not talking about “slavery” in the way of torture, but in the context of “Bhakti”. Slavery in the form of “Bhakti” is the highest level of spiritual attainment that a “Jeevatma” can obtain. Thus, we can firmly conclude that the “Atman” is the “Daasa” of Bhagawan and all the “Jeevatmas” are connected to the “Paramatma”, which is Bhagawan Himself. 

Moreover, we can infer yet another valid reason as to why we should be the “Daasa” to Bhagawan, rather than being a “Daasa” to somebody else. It is always worth of being Bhagawan’s “Daasa” because it was He who created us in the first place. It is He who has given us a sense of purpose in this life. It is He who has given us a good family, good education, good job to earn a decent living, fair amount of time and opportunities to lead a spiritual and a peaceful life. It is He who has made sure that we’re safe and secure amidst so many things going on around the world. Moreover, above all of these things, Bhagawan is an epitome of charm, handsomeness and beauty. If we see Bhagawan in front of us when we go to a temple, can we ever have the heart to take our eyes off His beautiful form? This is why we say that rather than forcing ourselves to be a Bhagawad Daasa, if we look at Bhagawan, the very charming beauty of His, would automatically make tears fall from our eyes. This itself means that we’re surrendering unconditionally to Bhagawan, isn’t it?

We can witness a beautiful anecdote from the Ramayana to illustrate this point. When Hanuman sees Bhagawan Rama for the first time, what happens to Hanuman at this point? Initially when Sugriva and Co. spotted two handsome young men walking towards the Rishyamukha mountain at Kishkinta, he got scared and thoughtful as to who these two men were. Thus, Sugriva sends Hanuman to find out details of these two young men. Hanuman sets out for the mission, not with his original form – He initially disguised himself to be a “Sanyasin” (Saint) and approached Bhagawan Rama and Lakshmana. Hanuman’s thought process was very simple – He should obtain all the details from these two young men, but he shouldn’t disclose an inch of his and Sugriva’s identity at any cost. However, what happened when Hanuman came in direct contact with Bhagawan Rama was something ironic and exactly the opposite of Hanuman’s agenda. The first reaction of Hanuman after seeing Bhagawan Rama in front of him was that he was moved to tears of joy! Something was attracting Hanuman towards Bhagawan Rama and he directly fell on Bhagawan’s divine lotus feet! The first words that Hanuman spoke was, “I’m Hanuman, minister of Sugriva!” We might wonder that Hanuman’s agenda was never to disclose who he was, but now what has happened to him after he saw Bhagawan in front of him? He was moved with devotion and at that moment itself, Hanuman became “Rama-Dasa”! From that day till today, Hanuman remains the same and indeed he feels proud of being a “Rama-Dasa”, isn’t it? 

Thus, we’ve to ask a question here – Is Hanuman forced to be a “Rama-Dasa”, or is he voluntarily being a “Rama-Dasa”? The answer is very simple from the above explanation – Hanuman is voluntarily being a “Rama-Dasa” out of his love and devotion towards his hero, Bhagawan Rama. At every instance after this, Hanuman had embedded Bhagawan Rama into his heart, isn’t it? This is the real meaning of being a “Bhagawad Dasa”. So for today, let us understand this point clearly with the Hanuman example, and let us wait till the next episode to continue this point further! 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 Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, 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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