Saturday, February 28, 2009

Seven Answers of Life

Tulsidas ji writes the seven critical answers of life very beautifully in Ramcharitmanas. This is depicted in lines of conversation between King of birds Garud and Sage Kakbhusundi in the 7th Sopaan, 'Uttarkand', Doha 120.

Garud ji says: नाथ मोहि निज सेवक जानी। सप्त प्रश्न मम कहहु बखानी।। (Dear lord, please answer my seven questions, knowing that your affection is on me and my services are for you.)
(१) प्रथमहिं कहहु नाथ मतिधीरा। सब ते दुर्लभ कवन सरीरा॥
First, tell me lord, what form of birth and life is rare and difficult to attain?

(२, ३) बड़ दुःख कवन कवन सुख भारी। सोउ संछेपहिं कहहु बिचारी॥
Tell me briefly about what gives greatest misery and greatest happiness to humanity?

(४) संत असंत मरम तुम्ह जानहु। तिन्ह कर सहज सुभाव बखानहु॥
Tell me what are essential virtues of a Saint and a Sinner?

(५, ६) कवन पुन्य श्रुति बिदित बिसाला। कहहु कवन अघ परम कराला॥
Tell me what is the greatest Virtue, as described in big vedas, and what is the greatest Sin for human beings?

(७) मानस रोग कहहु समुझाई। तुम्ह सर्बग्य कृपा अधिकाई॥
Hey kind and wise lord, tell me what are the bad thoughts, emotions and maladies of humanity?
Then, Kakbhusundi ji happily answers these questions and says:

(१) नर तन सम नहिं कवनिउ देही। जीव चराचर जाचत तेही।
नरक स्वर्ग अपबर्ग निसेनी। ग्यान बिराग भगति सुभ देनी॥
There is no other form of birth and life as good as the form (yoni) of a human being. All creation, animate or inanimate, desire to take birth as a human being. The human body is the ladder through which one can attain Hell, Heaven or Salvation. This human body also provides opportunity to attain Devotion, Vision/Self-Realization and Renunciation from maladies, the three most coveted virtues to attain salvation (मोक्ष).

(२, ३) नहिं दरिद्र सम दुःख जग माहीं। संत मिलन सम सुख जग नाहीं।
The poverty is the greatest misery for the humanity. The grace of a Saint is the greatest happiness for the humanity.

(४) पर उपकार बचन मन काया। संत सहज सुभाउ खगराया॥
संत सहहिं दुःख पर हित लागी। पर दुःख हेतु असंत अभागी॥
A Saint always does good to others in his thoughts, deeds and words and this is their natural habit.
While a Saint bears the pain in helping others, a Sinner bears the pain to give pain to others.

(५, ६) परम धर्म श्रुति बिदित अहिंसा। पर निंदा सम अघ न गरीसा॥
The purest virtue according to Vedas is practicing non-violence. On the other hand, no sin is greater than to speak ill of Others.

(७) मोह सकल ब्याधिन्ह कर मूला। तिन्ह ते पुनि उपजहिं बहु सूला॥
(Moh - used as 'Ignorance' above; but can also be illusion, affection, infatuation, fascination or, spell)

Moh is the root cause of all maladies and it generates many other troubles like desires, anger, greed, infatuation, vanity, pride and envy. Moh could take form of a blinding attachment in human relationships, strong infatuation with easy ways of life, excessive fascination with new ideas, ignorance about true and time-tested virtues or being spell-bound in self-righteousness.

Now, Tulsidas ji provides the remedy for these maladies:

नेम धर्म आचार तप ग्यान जग्य जप दान।
भेषज पुनि कोटिन्ह नहिं रोग जाहिं हरिजान॥
Even good conduct (niyam), religious duties, penance, realization, sacrifice, chanting, charity and other millions of cures cannot eliminate these seven maladies mentioned above.

जाने ते छीजहिं कछु पापी। नास न पावहिं जन परितापी॥
Just realizing the existence of these maladies in ourselves certainly makes them less effective, but these never go away totally.

राम कृपा नासहिं सब रोगा। जौँ ऐही भाँति बनै संजोगा॥
सदगुर बैद बचन बिस्वासा। संजम यह न बिषय कै आसा॥
The grace of lord Ram can eliminate all of the maladies, if the circumstances so arise. You just trust the words of a well-wishing curer and your restraint should be such that you don't desire the pleasures. Then, you shall becomes free of these ills in your life.

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