Meditation for Diwali - Part 2.
Conquering Lust - Excerpts from a lecture by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj
Submitted by Manoj
Lakshmi devi appeared as Goddess Sita. And everyone knows Sita is exclusively meant for Rama. What is the definition of love? Love means to assist Sita in her affair with Ram. Is that not what Hanuman, Sugriva, Lakshman, and the residents of Ayodhya did ? The only desire of the residents of Ayodhya was to see Ram and Sita happy.
They had no false ego. Their only desire was to see Sita and Ram together happy. So when they saw Ram and Sita happy, that gave them the most ultimate bliss, ecstasy and satisfaction in life. The residents of Ayodhya, their bliss, their happiness is in-comprehendable by material minds.
But Ravana, he wanted to take Sita for himself. That is called Kama or lust. In Caitanya Caritamrita, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami describes - love is that natural inclination of the soul to want to give pleasure to God. But when the natural affection for God is misplaced, in trying to enjoy the property of God for our own selfish desire, then that love is transformed into lust. Love and lust is the same energy. Same inclination within us. Prema is when that energy is placed toward God. When it is placed anywhere else, it is called Kama or lust.
So Ravana was very tricky. He disguised himself and stole Sita. And ofcourse we read from the Ramayan of Valmiki muni, how Lord Ram and His brother Lakshman looking for Goddess Sita made alliances with Sugriva nad Hanuma and together with a great army, they attacked the island of Sri Lanka. And Ravana was so powerful that no one could defeat him. Between Ravana, Indrajit, Kumbhakarna and the other Rakshasas, even the demi gods were totally robbed of any pride and were living in utter fear. They were totally unconquerable by any jivatma.
Ravana was the symbol of Kama. And know that any desire you have to enjoy separate from the lord is due to the presence of Ravana in your heart. Lord Sri Ramachandra wanted to really show to the world, how powerful Ravana was, how powerful lust really is. Everytime he cut off the heads of Ravana, another one grew. Doesn't that sound like our own material desires ? Everytime you do some yajna, sacrifice, puja
and you give up one material sinful desire and immediately another head grows.
And you perform penances, practice yoga, take vows, to give up this lusty propensity in your heart and finally you conquer it … and then … another head grows. Those who are on the spiritual path, know that as soon as you cut down one head, 10 more grows. It is an endless battle. Finally Rama shot His arrow into Ravana's heart. When the arrow pierced the heart, Ravana fell to the ground.
Rama is the only one who has this arrow. That arrow cannot be obtained by any mortal, any jiva, any living entity. It is the exclusive power of Ram. That is why Lord Krishna says in the Gita, This material energy is very very difficult to overcome. But one who surrenders unto me I take the war in my own hands. I will conquer lust. I will conquer Ravana within your heart. For me it is not difficult. He says, after many births and deaths of practicing various religious systems in the world, the mystic processes of Yoga, when one finally comes to the point of knowledge, he finally surrenders to Vasudeva.
Surrenders to Krishna. Surrenders to Rama. Knowing Him to the cause of all causes and the supreme of all that is. When you surrender to the Lord, you put your life under His protection. That is the difference between bhakti and other yoga systems.
The other yoga systems by meditation, pranayama, yoga asanas, discrimatory power of jnana or knowledge, we are trying to conquer Ravana within our own heart. By any yogic process, by our own endeavor, it is impossible for any length of time to conquer Ravana within our heart. But Krishna says, through the process of Bhakti, one can understand Me as I am. Abandon all yoga processes, abandon all varieties of religion, and just surrender unto Me and I will protect you. I will take care of you. I will kill all the demons in your heart, with My arrows. When we surrender to the Lord, Ram appears within our heart.
When we remember Krishna, when we remember Lord Ramchandra ji, He is non-different from that rememberance. The process of Bhakti is to always remember the Lord, to be His devotee, to always worship Him and to offer homage unto Him. Through this process Ram appears within our heart and with His mighty arrows, he shoots right into the heart of Ravana and all his heads and everything else falls and disappears from our life eternally.
Dussehra is the celebration of the grand victory of Lord Ramachandra over the mighty demon Ravana. And ofcourse this is a factual historical event that took place in Sri Lanka, during the Treta Yuga, but know that it is also a lila that can take place within your heart when you take shelter of Lord Ramachandra. And therefore on this day, in preparation for this day, we should truly meditate on what this lila truly means to us. What it means to our life. The symbol of kama, ravana who is dwelling in the heart of all living souls, and is the single deadly enemy of every living being can all be defeated by the mighty glory of Rama. By remembering Rama, He appears within our heart. By remembering Him, He kills all the demons within our heart.
Therefore Lord Kapila explains in all the scriptures throughout the world, there are so many vows, so many rituals, so much philosophy but it is all meant to bring us to one simple conclusion. To always remember Krishna and to never forget Krishna. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said Krishna is like the sun. And maya, ignorance, with all of her consorts, all these demons are like darkness. In the presence of the sun, darkness cannot exist. When we remember God, with devotion in our hearts all the bad qualities, all illusion and all ignorance is dispelled.