Satsang at The Ashram
Shree Peetha Nilaya, 10 November, 2019
In this answer by Paramahamsa Vishwananda, He speaks about Lord Rama and what Lord Rama really knew about the events of that lifetime. He describes the limited perceptions of the mind and tells the story of the parrot who understood the Master.
Question: I’d like to understand why Lord Rama doesn’t know He has two sons. He is God. My mind says He must know it.
You see, when an avatar incarnates, He has to act a certain way. Like that, when we look at the Ramacharitamanas, for example, we see many instances like when they were building the bridge, and Hanuman would throw the stone [and it would float] but when Rama would throw the stone, the stone would sink. People think, ‘But He is an avatar, how come?’ But an avatar has to act, and an action of an avatar is not known. I will not say that Rama didn’t know that He had children, because He is Antaryami, which means He knows everything. But for that particular lila to enact itself, He must act as if He doesn’t know about it. Because the Sampurna Ramayana is so beautiful in itself. When we look at the story, Rama Himself is a reminder of our daily lives. So, for that particular lila to manifest itself, He had to act as if He didn’t know about it. That’s why, if you look properly, He sent Hanuman; He sent everybody. Normally, the king should go to whomever captures the horse, but He didn’t go straight away. He sent His brother Shatrughna, He sent Hanuman, He sent Lakshmana, and then finally He went. And they had the fight, a very big fight with the children. But it was equal, so…
When we look at Krishna’s life, we also see similarities. But it’s so well planned. So many times you will look at the action of an avatar or a saint, or a sadhu, and you will understand it with your own perception. When you understand that action in your own perception, you understand it in a very limited perception. That is when you start judging, criticising, gossiping, and so on. But behind that, you don’t perceive that this is actually a greater blessing.
I’ll tell you a story:
Once there was a student who wanted so much to take initiation from a sadhu. So, every day he would beg the sadhu, ‘Please, Maharaj, initiate me!’ And the sadhu finally after so many times of asking said, ‘Okay, fine, I initiate you. Now, you must stay in the ashram. When you get initiation, you have to stay in the ashram.’
So, he was very happy and stayed in the ashram. After a few days, his mind started to become judgemental. He started to observe the guru and said, ‘Wow, that sadhu is very famous, but I think he is a fake.’ Inside his mind, he started to criticise and analyse it from his own perspective. When you come from the world outside, you see everything with a limited perspective. You don’t know the magnitude and the possibilities of the spiritual world. Actually, the spiritual world has endless possibilities, but you are limited to only one possibility. So, seeing the sadhu he started to think, ‘I made a mistake.’
One fine day the sadhu called him and said to him, ‘My dear child, go and ask for alms; go and ask for bhiksha.’
And he said, ‘But, Maharaj, I don’t know how to ask for alms. Please, teach me.’
And the Maharaj said to him, ‘When you go, say you have found your guru and, “Please give me something”.’
So, saying this, he went around in the village. He was asking everyone, ‘I found my guru, please give me something.’
He went to a certain house. There was a bird in a cage and the parrot spoke and said, ‘Oh, you, I heard your guru liberates. He frees prisoners. Can you ask him how can I get freed?’ A very interesting question from a parrot!
He said, ‘Okay, I will ask when I see my gurudev.’
He came back to the ashram that night, and, as he was pressing the feet of his gurudev , the guru asked him, ‘How was your day?’
He said, ‘Ah, Maharaj, I have a question for you...from a parrot.’ He said, ‘The parrot wants to be free and he is asking how to get freed.’ Hearing that question, the guru started shivering and fainted. And when he gained consciousness, the guru just walked away silently.
So, the next day the disciple went to the village again for alms and as he was passing by the same house, the parrot asked, ‘What did your Guru Maharaj say?’
The disciple was very angry and said, ‘You know, I think he is a cheater. When I asked him your question, he started shivering and he fainted. And then when he got up, he just walked away. Don’t have faith in him.’
But the parrot was very happy with the answer, said, ‘Thank you very much! Goodbye!’
The parrot understood. As the owner of the parrot was passing by, the parrot started shivering and pretended to faint. The owner opened the cage and took the bird outside, thinking that it was sick. Meanwhile the disciple was watching everything that was happening, and as soon as the owner took the parrot outside, the parrot flew away.
So, then the disciple realised that gurus know what they do, but how people interpret it can be easily misunderstood. The Master knew perfectly and had given the answer, but not everybody can understand what lies behind that.
The same thing with your question about Ramaji. It’s not that Rama doesn’t know about His sons. He had come for a specific mission. If you analyse from the beginning till the end of His life when He disappeared in Sarayu, He knew everything. You can say He went to the forest and didn’t know that Ravana would kidnap Sita. But it’s not true. He did everything according to the whole of nature.
You see, Sriman Narayana has created the whole universe. He has put everything in a plan and He would never destroy His own nature. So, whenever He incarnates, He abides to His own rules of nature. According to the rules of nature, if He has incarnated as a human being, He has to act as a normal human being, even if He is Purushottama: He knows everything, He is the Almighty. But still, He has to act in a very human way.
An avatar does that, a saint does that. Because this is the learning process of life itself. They act in a certain way so that you can cross over the limitations of your mind which you have put upon them. Because, to transcend the mind, like Swami Anashuya was just saying earlier [in Temple satsang], is not an easy thing. To perceive the Divine in His omnipresence is not possible. That’s why, out of His mercy, He has given different forms for you all to focus your mind upon. But the mind always wanders around. The mind wants to understand things it can’t comprehend.
That’s the reason we said the mind is fluid: your mind always takes a form which you put your mind upon. So, if your mind is fluid, and you are putting your mind upon something which is incomprehensible, it is very difficult for the mind. That’s why whenever you are reading the Bhagavad Gita, or Ramayana, the explanation of things is very important.
Your question is very beautiful. What an avatar does, what a sadhu does, what a saint does, is incomprehensible for the mind, because the mind is in between the gross and the subtle. It flows in between. So, the mind can’t comprehend either. You can understand certain things with the mind outside, but yet, the mind is still limited.