Resilience and Ramayana

Lessons on overcoming difficulties

Is India just a land of spices and snakes? Ones who seek true treasure amid the adversities of this subcontinent do find their jewels of spirituality hanging at every chowk. Many eyes are still surprised at the Indian economy sustaining well despite uncertain global situations.

The westerners are sensing the awakening to the Vedic stories of this nation, but Indians are unable to understand their roots. The greatest tragedy is that every other citizen of this country is familiar with Lord Rama and Lord Krishna they continue to remain unaware of the true essence of their teachings. Although the modern history of India tells us tales of resistance over several invasions, the ancient history of Ramayan conveys to us a superior lesson: Resilience.

What is Resilience?

Google states resilience as the ability of a substance to spring back into shape. It is a capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. As stated before, nobody can predict how the Indian economy is still growing irrespective of the changes.

The locals term it as Jugaad, which means a clever trick or alternative to get work done. We can develop a method of problem-solving through simple resources available around. With the guidance of the time-tested Vedic wisdom of Ramayan, one can learn to hit that jugaad button inside him when life throws reversals. The best way to explain it would be the bridge of bridge across Lanka.

Power of Tolerance

In one sense, Lord Rama is teaching us through his pastimes that difficulties are sure to come. So, one must tolerate and find the best facility available to overcome them. He didn’t construct the bridge with a high-end architectural plan. He used a monkey army that has been the glory of this country as well. He was resolute in his purpose and accepted the trials without complaining about the kind of resources he lacked. It was achievable through tolerance.

But why must one tolerate such situations? The nature of unfulfilled desire is like a thorn in one’s foot. Your belly is full but, there is a thorn pricking your foot. It will not allow you to rest in peace. Such is this material world, full of dualities. It is not possible to avoid dualities. But when one’s fixed in his duty and fight against all odds with patience, he can find the right opportunities to overcome it.

True happiness for self is in selflessness

When Dasarath Maharaj was distressed about not having sons. The needed sacrifice took place, which leads to the pregnancy of three principal queens: Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi. Of all three, Sumitra took the blessed sweet rice at last with an intention to beget children who would serve the Lord, and thus Shatrugna was born who served Maharaj Bharata in Ayodhya and Lakshmana beside Lord Rama. The impressions of mothers affect their offspring. Servitude begets servitude.

Now, our world is overwhelmed with sense gratification, self-aggrandizement and accumulation. ‘How much can I get from others?’ becomes the focus. This type of selfishness breeds discontent and eventually unhappiness in every endeavour of ours. Whereas, from the story of Queen Sumitra, we can learn that our traditional culture is the basis of service and selflessness. Research states that the happiest people in the world are those who engage in selfless service. By giving, we receive. If performed otherwise, as we see the current situation, our thirst to acquire from others never gets satiated. It will merely cause distress and leave our cups empty.

God helps those who help themselves

The demigods of higher planets approached the Lord of Vaikuntha for relief from the torments of ten headed-monstrous demon King Ravana. The Lord instructed them all to take birth as monkeys on this earthly planet. They all had to give up their palatial palaces and make their attempts in assisting the Lord’s mission of killing Ravana.

Another example from Mahabharat, when Arjuna came across various challenges at the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna didn’t tell his friend Arjuna, “You take rest. I will take care.” No. Instead, he said, “You fight, and then I will help you.”

It teaches us irrespective of how humungous the task be one must make his little attempt at the start. One must have faith in the Supreme to accelerate the mission. The idea that everything is happening according to the will of the Lord, hence there is no point in performing one’s action, is born of ignorance. Every single living entity is here to be an instrument of God’s plan. With a higher purpose, if one decides to carry the mission of his spiritual master or the Lord, Lord himself conspires everything to make it happen. This complacent attitude of waiting for life to happen creates more challenges than solving them.

Importance of association

Associating with someone who plants the seeds of suspicion in our heart contaminates our consciousness in carrying out our activities with righteousness and clarity. Once your heart has been poisoned by someone, it is hard to purify it again. It hampers our trust and faith in people in our and society at large.

Well, known is the story of Queen Kaykeyi being tricked by her maid. She was the most revered queen of Dasarath Maharaj. But, because of her close acquaintance with evil-minded maid-servant Manthara, she too was taken over by the illusion of greed. Her ill-motivated actions had a great consequence on her family, drove her dear sons and daughter in law away to the forest, and worse, took the life of her loving husband. It is how significant the effect of people we spend time with can be. The right people can tremendously uplift our lives during difficulties whilst the wrong ones can throw us in a deep well of misery.

Be calm to face the storm

One of the best examples shown by Lord Rama from this grand tale is how he received the news of the cancellation of his coronation and the order for him to leave Ayodhya and live in the Jungles for the next 14 years. This devastating news came from the one he loved as his life.

Lord here is revealing to us the dualities of this material world and its highs and lows. He is telling us that the future is unknown and can change.

One day, he was in the epitome of success, and the next day he was in the forest without anything. In the age of Kali, people are untrained in tolerance and forbearance. Thus there is a deluded assumption that everything is moving under their control. Stay calm to make the right decisions as problems arise. Never make decisions in haste to stay calm.

Finally, this is how Lord Rama faced his distressing case. Queen Kaykeyi was awaiting Lord’s arrival to reveal this news. Lord Rama walked to her with such radiance and a calm aura. After she told him, he replied to her with such composure and sweetness, “Why do you have to tell me that Dasarath Maharaja is telling me to go to the forest? Even if you tell me to go, I will be more than happy to go to the forest. So, it is my great pleasure that I can fulfil your desires.”

He left with a magnificent radiance knowing the greater mission awaiting his journey. The ones who’re reading this blog are here for a higher purpose. Never lose hope, although the present is dark and the future seems bleak.

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