Learn from Rama -13 – Know how to earn well and how to spend well

सत्संग्रहप्रग्रहणे स्थानविन्निग्रहस्य च |
आयकर्मण्युपायज्ञः संदृष्टव्ययकर्मवित् ||  (वा। रा। २-१-२६)

Lord Rama could identify pious men and protect them. He knew the men worthy of reprimand. He knew the method of tapping source of income, (without oppressing people) and also knew the art of spending money, as mentioned in shastras.

Sri Rama was expert in gathering and patronizing pious men and would protect them. As a King, He also knew whom to control and punish. For a King, it is important to generate sources of income to the Kingdom, but by righteous means and not by oppressing the citizens. Rama knew the ways of getting income without hurting His men and without burdening them with taxes.

Not just gathering money, spending money is also as important as earning it. Every rupee that is spent should be tracked down. Lord Rama, knew the economic shastras and was well versed on the ways of spending money carefully – neither by being a miser nor by being a spendthrift. This applies not just to a King, but to every common man.

Srimad Bhagavata says:

धर्माय यशसे-अर्थाय कामाय स्वजनाय च | पंचधा विभजन् वित्तं इहामुत्र च मोदते || (८।१९।३७)

A person should divide his wealth into 5 parts and spend it: 1) For Dharma, 2) for fame, 3) for earning more wealth, 4) for enjoying pleasures and 5) for maintaining his people. Such a person will rejoice in this life as well as beyond.

Today many suggest spending money. But Rama, teaches us through His behavior that one should know how to earn without hurting others and spend such wealth carefully and righteously.

Let such Rama, bless us to earn all the purusharthas and spend the well-earned money on noble deeds.

Learn from Rama -12 – Read the shastras well; be judicious

शास्त्रज्ञश्च कृतज्ञश्च पुरुषान्तरकोविदः |
यः प्रग्रहानुग्रहयोर्यथान्यायं विचक्षणः || वा।रा। २-१-२५

Lord Rama was well-versed in shastras/sacred literature. He was thankful for the services rendered by others. He understood the differences among men/He could read people’s minds. As a King, as a judge, He could discriminate judiciously and knew whom to protect and whom to punish.

Rama, being omniscient, does not have to study the shastras when He takes avatar on Earth. But, He is teaching us here that we should study the shastras keenly – learn the tenets from our shastras and adhere to them (Refer to ‘Learn from Rama-8’ for more). We MUST include this in our busy schedule – Spend, at least, few minutes every day reading our shastras. (Gita, Ramayana, Bhagavata, Mahabharata, Puranas to start with)

Rama, as a judge, could discriminate whom to punish and whom to protect. He would identify good men and protect them. He would punish the people worthy of reprimand. Rama had no vengeance against anybody, but, as a King, it was Rama’s duty to punish those who were wrong and protect the righteous ones. Rama knew this exact way of discriminating as per the principles of judiciary.

Let such all-knowing Rama, make us read the shastras everyday and bless us to take right decision.

Learn from Rama -11

Shun the company of the unworthy; Know the strength/weakness of self & others

दृढभक्तिः स्थिरप्रज्ञो नासद्ग्राही न दुर्वचाः |
निस्तन्द्रिरप्रमत्तश्च स्वदोषपरदोषवित् ||  (वा।रा २-१-२४)

Lord Rama had a firm devotion and had a stable mind. He did not have the company of unworthy people, nor did he speak foul words. He was free from laziness and was ever alert. He knew his own faults and those of others.

Every verse about Lord Rama, from Valmiki Ramayana, has been teaching us many things. Here too, Rama is teaching us multiple things and one among those is – not to have bad company, the company of unworthy, the company of durjanas. This is of utmost importance for a King because a King with bad company, would fail in his duties, despite him being worthy. It is true with people in good position too. (How many times have we said this? “He is a great person, but he is surrounded by unworthy folks”) So, it is important for oneself to be truthful, devoted to Lord and to have a steadfast mind. It is more important to shun the bad company. Wrong people with a person, spoil all the virtues the person has.

One more teaching from Rama is to understand the strength and weakness of others, to understand the faults and virtues present in others. The analysis of other’s weaknesses, and strength helps at every stage – home, office, playground, with friends, with competitors, with family. While it is very easy to find faults in others (we love to do it and we excel there, don’t we?), we are so bad in identifying our own weaknesses. Rama says, not just that of others, every person should know his/her own strength and faults. Only then, can a good judgement be made at every situation. Rama, of course had no faults – He is nirdosha. But He is teaching this to the mankind for leading a successful life.

Let such perfect Rama, remove our faults, and take us away from the company of unworthy.

Learn from Rama -10

Don’t expose your emotions; Know when to give and when not to

निभृतः संवृताकारो गुप्तमन्त्रः सहायवान् |
अमोघक्रोधहर्षश्च त्यागसंयमकालवित् || २-१-२३

Rama was modest. He did not let His emotions appear outwardly. He kept His thoughts/forethoughts, a secret. He helped others. His anger and pleasure were unfailing. He knew when to give and when to withhold.

A King is expected to keep many of the activities related to administration a secret. Lord Rama, the best King on earth, maintained this confidentiality as and when needed. Even His emotions and feelings were concealed. Many a times, we expose our emotions externally – be it happiness, sadness, excitement, despair, pain. Rama teaches us to check our emotions and hold them from being outwardly exposed. Moreover, for a King, or head of the family, a leader, or even for a person who wants to become a role model, it is very important to keep emotions and feelings in control.  Balancing of the emotions is taught in Bhagavadgita too by Lord as Krishna (सुखे दुःखे समे कृत्वा …. )

Rama, as a King, also knew when to give to His subjects and when to withhold from giving. This is also an extremely important learning for everyone, especially elders/parents. They should know when to give what the children ask for and when not to. Even for a small kid, the mother should know when to feed and when to stop; when the kids grow up too, the parents should know when to spend for them and when to control. Lord Rama, as the father of the nation, knew exactly how to take care of His citizens – giving them when they need it and withholding when not necessary.

Let Sri Rama, tread us in the right path by blessing us to balance our emotions and providing us with what is necessary.

Learn from Rama -9

Keep your body and mind healthy; never misuse the weakness of others

अरोगस्तरुणो वाग्मी वपुष्मान्देशकालवित् |
लोके पुरुषसारज्ञस्साधुरेको विनिर्मितः || २-१-१८

Rama was youthful, was free of diseases and had a healthy-looking body. He was an effective speaker. He knew the right time and place for actions. He could grasp the worth of every individual. He was the one gentleman/pious soul born on earth.

Lord Rama had a disease-free, good body and a healthy mind. We must have both our mind and body be healthy to remain without disease. Many a times, we ignore one for the other. Rama is teaching us to remain so and lead a healthy and happy life.
Rama was able to grasp the essence of every individual appearing before Him. Rama knew the strength and weakness of every person. But the pious gentleman (sadhu) that He was, He would never use that weakness against them. This is another learning we should have from the Lord. Many of the modern strategies teach people to misuse the other person’s weakness for personal gains and for ulterior motives. But Rama teaches a high moral standard – that one should never misuse the weakness of a person against him.
Let such Rama provide us a healthy mind and body and make us follow His morals.

Learn from Rama -8 – Choose the good over the pleasant; never go against scriptures

नाश्रेयसि रतो विद्वान्न विरुद्धकथारुचिः |
उत्तरोत्तरयुक्तीनां वक्ता वाचस्पतिर्यथा || २-१-१७
Rama was uninterested in activities, which were not beneficial to auspiciousness/moksha. The scholar that He was, He had no taste in unholy talks – the ones that were against scriptures and righteousness. Similar to Vachaspathi, His eloquent speech contained a series of strategies for action, in support of His contention.

Lord Rama is teaching two extremely important and never to be forgotten rules – especially for saadhakas/those in the spiritual path.
First rule is that never do anything that takes you against the moksha marga; and the second rule is that don’t waste time in unwanted talks and particularly the ones that are not sacred, the ones that go against the scriptures and the ones that show irreverence to God.
We have heard about the Shreyas (the good) and preyas (the pleasant) from Kathopanishat. i.e., ones that help in moksha and the ones that give us material enjoyment. Rama, though being the prince living amid bhoga/enjoyment, was never interested in anything that went against Shreyas/moksha (Of course, He is the giver of Moksha). He is teaching us the same here – look for Shreyas (good) and not for preyas (pleasant)!
Similarly, Rama disliked anything that went against scriptures, that went against God. He would not show any interest even the talks that went against scriptures. Even in today’s world, we see innumerable things that go against the scriptures. An intelligent man must see what is going against shastras and eliminate such things from his being. Shun those talks, those little chit-chats that are against shastras, says Rama. Lord, as Krishna explicitly tells the same in Bhagavad Gita. (तस्मात् शास्त्रं प्रमाणं ते कार्याकार्य-व्यवस्थितौ.. 16.24).
Through His acts, Lord Rama, teaches us these prime concepts. Don’t go against shastras, don’t waste time in unwanted talks; always focus on the path of moksha. Let such Rama, the giver of Moksha lead us in the Shreyas marga and teach us the pious shastras.

Learn from Rama – 7

Rama with His citizens: Happy when others are happy; sad when others are sad.

व्यसनेषु मनुष्याणां भृशं भवति दुःखितः | उत्सवेषु च सर्वेषु पितेव परितुष्यति || २-२-४०

Rama feels very sad if any of His citizens are afflicted; and Rama feels delighted in all the celebrations of people during the happy occasions of child-birth and the like, just as their own father.
Continue reading Learn from Rama – 7

Learn from Rama – 6

Rama with His citizens: Mingle with your men

पौरान् स्वजनवन्नित्यं कुशलं परिपृच्छति | पुत्रेष्वग्निषु दारेषु प्रेष्यशिष्यगणेषु च ||
निखिलेनानुपूर्व्याच्च पिता पुत्रानिवौरसान् | २-२-३८

Rama enquires about the well-being of his people, as though they were his own, like a father does to his sons. He asks about their wives and children, about their servants and students, and in a perfect order.
Continue reading Learn from Rama – 6

Learn from Rama -5

Love your juniors; they will in-turn love you

न चानृतकथो विद्वान् वृद्धानां प्रतिपूजकः |
अनुरक्तः प्रजाभिश्च प्रजाश्चाप्यनुरज्यते || २-१-१४ (V.Ramayana)

The all-knowing Rama never spoke untruth. He used to worship elders and was receptive to them. People used to love Rama; and Rama used to love the people.

Continue reading Learn from Rama -5