Yagna on ‘Shri Lakshman Sharanagati’ – May 2017

Talks on “Shri Lakshman Sharanagati” –  by Swami Abhedananda

(Gyan Yagna conducted from 1st May till 6th May, 2017)

Key Points from the Discourses

Day 1

Hindu scriptures are full of great characters. Uniquely, there is one where the greatness is not apparent, there is much more than what meets the untrained eye. This character is of Shri Lakshmanji, who is the pinnacle of service & sacrifice. Like all good things in this world, Lakshmanji’s character is also cryptically hidden and needs a saint to unveil it for the rest of us.

Day 1On the first day of the monthly yagna on ‘Shri Lakshaman Sharanagati’, Swami Abhedananda led all those present in the Brahmaloka auditorium of Durban Ashram to a journey of discovering Lakshmanji’s fragrant character. We bring below a few nuggets from the day’s discourse:

Lakshmanji’s Form as ‘Kaal’ (time):

  • Tulsidasji, in his introductory prayers in Ramcharitmanas, describes Lakshmanji as ‘Sesh’, meaning the one who remains even after the whole creation dissolves. ‘Sesh’ means time or ‘kaal’. Everything in the world is governed by kaal. It is the kaal that marks the beginning of any work and it is the kaal that ends the work.
  • Everybody is afraid of kaal because no one has any control over it; there is fear of the uncertain! One may have a good body, money, house etc. but kaal reduces everything to ash. Not only material things, if Kaal enters our thoughts, we don’t know what we may think next!
  • Tulsidasji further describes that this kaal is ‘Sahastra-shesh’, meaning it has thousand hoods, thus implying that it may come from anywhere at any time and gulp us. If disease has to come, it would come at anytime, no matter how many medicines you take.
  • As it comes in Ramcharitmanas, when Parshuramji went to Sitaji’s Swayamvar with extreme rage to kill the person who broke Shivji’s bow, Lakshmanji approached Parshuramji, and as if insulting him, said, “Listen Muni! When I was a small child, I broke many bows, but you never came and became furious like that. Why are you so attached to this bow?” These words of Lakshmanji imply that many times this cosmos has been created and dissolved (srishti and pralaya) by ‘kaal’ and many times the whole earth has been wiped-off. The power of kaal is such that it finishes everybody; it swallows everything. This is Lakshmanji’s first form.
  • Any power is provoked by kaal and the kaal is controlled by the wielder of kaal. So there are three things, one is Kaal, other is Shakti, and the third is Shaktimaan. In the macrocosom, the power of creativity which is called Maya or Shakti, is provoked by kaal and the wielder of kaal is Ishwar. Ishwar holds the kaal and provokes the power of creativity in the Maya. Kaal belongs to the powerful. This Powerful is called Ram, this kaal is called Lakshman, and this power is called Sita.

Lakshmanji’s Form as ‘the Pole’:

  • Goswami Tulsidasji, while describing the second form of Lakshmanji, says, “Raghupati keerati bimal pataka…” This represents a simile – ‘the Flag and the Pole’. The glory of Bhagwan Ram is like the flag and Lakshmanji is like the pole on which the flag flutters. Pole is always hard because it has to hold the cloth and cloth is very soft as it has to flutter and wave. Lakshmanji always wanted that the people may understand him as hard or bad so that they can understand Bhagwan Ram as soft and good.
  • When Lakshmanji talked with Parshuramji in a hard manner, people said, “Elder brother is very good but the younger brother is very rude.” That was what Lakshmanji wanted to hear. He always wanted to give all glory to Bhagwan Ram.
  • As the story comes, when Sugreev forgot that he had promised to help Ramji in finding Sitaji, Ramji called Lakshmanji and said, “After getting kingdom, wife, treasure, Sugreev forgot about his promise. Oh Lakshman! That arrow with which I had killed Bali, I will kill Sugreev also.” Listening to this, Lakshmanji became very serious and said, “Oh Bhagwan! I will go to Sugreev. You please remain soft, I will become hard. If You go, people will say that Bhagwan Ram killed Sugreev, but if I go then the people will say that Lakshman killed Sugreev out of his angry nature.”

Lakshmanji wanted that Bhagwan Ram should remain soft and he himself was ready to take the hardness. This is the work of the pole – to spread the glory of the flag.
Lakshmanji’s character is so full of sacrifice; it is so incognito and it is difficult to describe. Just as, when you watch a theatre, it’s made pitch dark so that the film is projected in all its vibrancy, similarly Lakshmanji puts darkness on himself so that the light of Bhagwan Ram manifests much more!

Day 2

On the second day of the yagna, Swami Abhedananda continued to describe the many qualities of the beautiful character of Shri Lakshmanji. Each attribute of his nature that Ramayana brings to life inspires us all as a shining example of how selfless, effortless and flawless should be our service to the Lord. Below are a few take-aways from the discourse:

Day 2Projecting the Lord’s glory:

It is not easy to be like Lakshmanji whose sole objective was to glorify Bhagwan Ram. Most of us want to blow our own trumpet. We want our talents and our goodness to be known to everyone and so the glory of the Guru, the glory of the Lord doesn’t propagate through us. There have been great mahatmas like Swami Vivekananda and Swami Chinmayananda who have hoisted the glory of their country and the glory of scriptures all over because they never desired their own fame.

Glory of Lakshmanji made known by Rishi Vishwamitra:

It comes in Bal-Kand that in order to kill the demons who were troubling the rishis in the forest, Vishwamitraji approached Dashrathji and requested him, ‘Please give Ram along with Lakshman. This would not only help kill the demons but I too would be fulfilled.’ Ramji was enough to kill the demons, but he requested for Lakshmanji too. This was because Bhagwan Ram had a lot of sheel; He was very quiet, tender and shy. If Bhagwan Ram alone was there, nobody would have known His glory.

Multiple roles taken up by Lakshmanji:

  • Lakshmanji fitted in any role Bhagwan Ram wanted him to perform. When Bhagwan Ram wished to talk about the scriptures (in Aranya-Kand), Lakshmanji became a good and able disciple and asked appropriate questions. That gave birth to ‘Ram Gita’.
  • Not only this, when Bhagwan Ram went to pluck flowers in Pushpa Vatika for His Guru and when He heard the sounds of Sitaji’s bangles and anklets, Bhagwan Ram started describing His feelings to Lakshmanji and at that time, Lakshmanji became a very good and patient listener. There was no inhibition during the whole description of Shringar-ras by Bhagwan Ram in front of Lakshmanji. Lakshmanji was fully ‘one’ with the mind of Bhagwan Ram.

Selflessness of Lakshmanji:

  • Lakshmanji’s beautiful character also came up during Sitaji’s Swayamvar, when none of the great kings and stalwarts were able to break the bow. At that time, Janakji became very sad and said, “Now I know that there are no brave men in the whole world.” Listening to Janakji, Lakshmanji started shivering, he got-up in a huff and said, “Please listen everybody, if Bhagwan Ram is sitting in a congregation, you can’t utter such words. How can Janak say such inappropriate words? What is this small bow? If my brother orders me, I can break it into many pieces like a lotus stem or a mushroom.”
  • Some people say that Lakshmanji crossed his limit, but he didn’t. Lakshmanji thought that Janakji was a Gyani (realized person) and he would have known that the Shakti (Sitaji) and the Shaktiman (Ramji) are always one, and their marriage is not dependent on the breaking of the bow.
  • Listening to the words of Lakshmanji, Vishwamitraji was very happy; even Bhagwan Ram smiled, and all the saints were also happy. Nobody is happy with an impulsive action, but Lakshmanji was not impulsive, he was highly balanced. A selfless person is always balanced; it is selfishness which makes a person unbalanced.
  • Then Vishwamitra said, “Ram! Get up. Please break the bow. Destroy the sorrow of Janakji.” But it was Lakshmanji who made the situation. Lakshmanji takes bad name on himself to give great name to Bhagwan Ram.
  • Lakshmanji is mentioned by the word ‘Udaar’ (magnanimous). Lakshmanji is magnanimous because he thinks, ‘In the presence of my brother’s fame, I don’t bother about my fame.’ Such was the selflessness of Lakshmanji. When Bhagwan Ram got up to break the bow, Lakshmanji smiled thinking that everybody would then see the glory of his brother. He only wanted that his brother’s glory should spread.
  • Lakshmanji’s selflessness was seen again when after the breaking of bow, Parshuramji came and Lakshmanji provoked him by his harsh words while Ramji tried to pacify him. Lakshmanji’s words made Parshuramji very angry, so Parshuramji went to Bhagwan Ram and Ramji said to him, “Please don’t be angry. Either give me compassion or tie me and kill me. My head is in front of you, you do anything so that your anger goes away. I am your follower. I am your servant, you are my master.”
  • Lakshmanji did everything not to tease Parshuramji; he had no intention to make fun of Parshuramji. All Lakshmanji wanted was to show Bhagwan Ram’s beautiful nature to everyone. He created a situation to show how calmly Bhagwan Ram responds even in provocative situations. And thus Lakshmanji is called as ‘udaar’, magnanimous in giving-up his fame.

Day 3

The silent yet prominent demand of each family, society, nation, profession is to give, give and give! In a world diseased by ‘Me’, ‘Myself’ and ‘I’, the character of Shri Lakshmanji sets the gold standard of giving selflessly.

On the third day of the monthly yagna, Swami Abhedananda described Lakshmanji’s beautiful character as a shining example of how life is actually meant to be lived – egoless, selfless & desireless. Below are a few excerpts from the discourse:

Day 3Right thought pattern:

  • In order to live a contented and happy life we need certain thought patterns, certain values, certain ideals and certain attitude in us. Our feeling of sadness or helplessness is nothing but the lack of right thoughts. Like a diseased body, our mind also has certain infection; failing to detect this, we attribute our sadness, anger etc. to others.
  • We are extremely aware of what our body needs, be it food, water, clothes, exercise etc. but we are not completely oblivious to the needs of our mind! The needs of the mind are more important than the needs of the body. The needs of the mind are being free from anger & expectations, be pure & selfless etc.

These needs of the mind can be discovered in the study of great characters like Shri Hanumanji, Shri Lakshmanji, Shri Bharatji and Shri Shatrughnji. We must pray to God to reveal to us their glories.

Myness of Bhagwan Ram with Lakshmanji:

  • In the metaphor of pole and flag, it is both cloth and the pole that constitute the flag. The cloth is thus dependent on the pole for its glory. The glory of Lakshmanji is that, Bhagwan Ram’s character cannot be described without Lakshmanji.
  • Lakshmanji was the only character in Ramayan whom Bhagwan Ram was extremely comfortable with, He did not have any shyness with Lakshmanji. When there is no shyness present, then alone the person can serve and take service in all ways. In Seva, it is very important that whom we are serving should not feel distanced from us. In Lakshmanji, there was no sense of difference between him and Bhagwan Ram.

Relationship between Lakshmanji & Bhagwan Ram:

The relation between Bhagwan Ram and Lakshmanji was not that of brothers, but of a baby and a father. The portion of Ramayan when Bhagwan Ram was told to go for exile describes what their relationship was:

  • When Lakshmanji heard that Bhagwan Ram was going for 14 years, Lakshmanji ran to Bhagwan Ram and with his eyes tearing, he straight away held the feet of Bhagwan Ram and said, “Ram bhaiya! Please don’t leave me. Please take me with you. In front of you, my body, my house, my family, all are like the blade of grass.” His state was similar to a fish which has been taken out from the water.
  • Bhagwan Ram lifted Lakshmanji and tried to convince him that he should stay in Ayodhya. Listening to Bhagwan’s words Lakshmanji started crying inconsolably and said, “You told about my dharma, but I don’t know my Guru, I don’t know my father, I don’t know my mother. Bhaiya Ram, for me you are everything.” This was ‘ananyata’ (single-pointed love) of Lakshmanji. If Lakshmanji had any myness anywhere, it was only at one place; he was identified to only Bhagwan Ram; he had emotions only for Bhagwan Ram.
  • Lakshmanji said, “main sisu” i.e., “I am Your baby.” Like if a mother leaves her baby, the baby will cry and cry and scream, similarly, Lakshmanji as if indicated that if Bhagwan Ram leaves him, he will cry and cry and may even die.
  • The oneness of sevak (servant) and swami (master), the identity that ‘my lord should not feel different from me; I should not possess anything to make him feel distanced’, this identity only Lakshmanji had.

Egoless & Selfless nature of Lakshmanji:

  • When Hanumanji met Bhagwan Ram for the first time, at that time Bhagwan Ram praised Hanumanji by saying, “I love you double than Lakshman.” Lakshmanji was standing nearby but he didn’t feel bad or hurt because he didn’t have any trace of ego. Bhagwan Ram was totally comfortable saying like that because Lakshmanji was one with Him. Only in front of an egoless person, one can dare to say like that.
  • An egoistic person immediately wants return. He wants that no one should be bigger and better than him and no one should supersede him. Lakshmanji, on the contrary, was the one who neither wanted praise, nor fame; he neither wanted that he should be given priority; he didn’t even want that Bhagwan Ram should look at him. Such a great character!

Desire-less nature of Lakshmanji:

  • If a person has his own desires, he cannot serve. It is written in Ramayan that all 14 years, Lakshmanji never remembered his wife or mother or kingdom even in his dreams. Lakshmanji had no desires and hence no independent identity apart from Bhagwan Ram’s sevak.
  • When Sitaji was taken away by Ravan, Bhagwan Ram started weeping badly like an extremely passionate person. Ramji used to think and talk about Sitaji when Sitaji was gone. At that time, Bhagwan Ram praised Lakshmanji by saying, “Lakshman, how could you live for so many years without your wife? I can’t live for a few days without Sita. You remain totally undisturbed.” Lakshmanji represented complete desireless-ness.

At all times, Lakshamanji stood beside Bhagwan Ram as a dynamic sevak, full of dispassion, ever ready to give love and joy to his beloved brother Lord. Bhagwan Ram never felt the need to give attention to Lakshmanji, a mere eye contact was enough to convey everything!

Day 4

Amidst the daily hustle-bustle of life, if one wants to take a moment and tune into something much higher than himself, then here’s your chance.

Swami Abhedananda’s wonderful explanation of the epic characters of Shri Lakshmanji and Sumitraji would take you deeper within and would make you taste selflessness, purity and desireless-ness in the truest sense. Sharing below some valuable nuggets from Day 4 discourse:

Day 4Importance of Desireless-ness:

  • Lesser we have desire for ourselves, more we can fulfill the desire of the Lord. A person’s personal desire is an impediment and obstacle for any kind of good role he can play in life. Lesser are the wants of a person, richer he is; while, more are the wants, poorer he is.
  • The secret of achieving the state of desireless-ness is in being fulfilled within. Everyone’s desire is for joy and the joy that we want is already present inside. This was the source of Lakshmanji’s desireless-ness; he had a lot of fulfillment within. One good desire cuts all the other desires; Lakshmanji had tremendous desire to serve Bhagwan Ram and therefore he could become a great tyagi (renunciate). To play any role well, we must develop the bhaav (emotion) of giving without desiring.

Mother Sumitra – Foundation of Lakshmanji’s sacrificing character:

  • Sumitraji, mother of Lakshmanji, is the foundation of Lakshmanji’s sacrifice. When Lakshmanji went to seek permission from Sumitraji to go to the forest with Bhagwan Ram, she said, “You shouldn’t have come to take permission from me, your mother is Sita and father is Ram; I don’t want to become an obstacle between you and Ram.”
  • She then said, “Don’t think that Bhagwan Ram is leaving Ayodhya; wherever He will go, that place will become Ayodhya. Lakshman, there is no purpose of you being here if Ram is not here. See to it that Ram gets all the joy. Guru, father, mother, brother, devatas and master should be served like one’s own pran (life) and one should give everything to them.” This was the mahamantra of Sumitraji.
  • Sumitraji then advised Lakshmanji, “It is your fortune that Ram is going to the forest. Don’t get attached to anybody other than Him, don’t become angry, don’t have jealousy and don’t have pride. Leave all the smallness of mind and with your speech, action and mind, do seva of Ram..”

Such deep words said by Sumitraji were the very foundation of Lakshmanji’s highly selfless character.

Kaam, Krodh & Lobh (Desire, Anger & Greed):

In our scriptures, there are three things that have been strongly censored, namely kaam (desires), krodh (anger) & lobh (greed). But these three become very good when they are for Bhagwan, like in Lakshmanji’s case. Let us see how:

Lakshmanji’s Kaam (Desire):

In the Pushpa-vatika prasang, Lakshmanji, who was dispassion incarnate, supported kaam and was absolutely happy and quiet with it. When Bhagwan Ram started telling Lakshmanji that hearing the jingles of Sitaji’s anklets and bangles, He feels as if kaam-dev is attacking Him, at that time Lakshmanji smiled. Kaam independently is very bad but when kaam comes through the feet of devotion (Sitaji), then it is very good and therefore Lakshmanji welcomed it. It is said that after hearing Ramji’s feelings, Lakshmanji decorated Bhagwan Ram with flowers, leaves and peacock feather. This implies that dispassion decorates that person who is for bhakti (devotion).

Lakshmanji’s Krodh (Anger):

  • Lakshmanji had anger too but his anger was on those who under-estimated Bhagwan Ram (like Parshuramji or the Ocean) or those who delayed the meeting of Bhagwan Ram and Sitaji (like Janakji). There is not even a single instance when Lakshmanji’s anger was because his own desires were disrupted or unfulfilled. In prayers to Lakshmanji, Goswami Tulsidasji has used the word ‘seetal’ meaning ‘one who is cool’.
  • Anger is an emotion which comes due to obstruction of one’s desires. And so there is no question of anger when one doesn’t have his own desires like Lakshmanji.
  • When Parshuramji got angry because the bow was broken, Lakshmanji said, ‘Your anger is useless because nothing can happen now once the bow is broken, it cannot be mended.’ On the contrary, Lakshmanji’s anger was useful anger because that anger prompted Vishwamitraji to instruct Bhagwan Ram to get-up and break the bow.
  • Positive or useful anger in our lives is that when we get angry on ourselves on not doing our sadhana regularly (puja, japa etc.). Such anger is required because it makes us disciplined and committed. Behind the austerity of a person is his anger towards his laziness and indolence.

Lakshmanji’s Lobh (Greed):

  • Lobh or greed is a terrible emotion. But it was good in Lakshmanji’s case because he had the greed for Bhagwan Ram. He was very greedy to hear good words and praise for Bhagwan Ram.
  • In our lives too we should have greed but our greed should be – how much can we serve, how much faith can we build, how many times we can take Lord’s name, how much can we give to our Guru and God.

So Lakshmanji’s kaam (desire) was only for Bhagwan Ram. His krodh (anger) was for any obstruction to Bhagwan Ram and his greed was to hear more and more glories of Bhagwan Ram. Such beautiful was Lakshmanji’s character.


Day 5

On the penultimate day of the monthly yagna, Swami Abhedananda elaborated on Lakshmanji & other great characters from Ramayana who have set benchmarks in showing the way to us all on the path of selfless service. Below are a few excerpts from the day’s discourse:

Day 5Getting over our Weaknesses:

  • As human beings, we have many weaknesses such as anger, jealousy, over-dependence, fault-finding in others, over-sensitivity, lust, passion, fearfulness, and the list goes on and on! However, all these weaknesses are dependent on one fundamental weakness: ‘abhimaan or ahankaar’ (egotistic tendencies).
  • Shri Lakshmanji’s character tells us that one can be above these weaknesses by following seva-dharma. His character is the epitome of qualities depicting answers to many questions like – What should be our attitude towards service? How we should serve so that we don’t fall here and there? How should we serve so that our negativities go away?

Shri Lakshmanji – Foundation of All:

  • Thought not the youngest, but during the naming ceremony of the four brothers, Lakshmanji was the last one to be named. The reason was that Lakshmanji was the base of all; the foundation for all, and hence he was mentioned by Goswamiji as ‘adhaar’ (support).
  • Just like a strong foundation holds a tall skyscraper, wherever anything big has been accomplished, there has been a strong and tolerant foundation underneath. Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda’s efforts are the foundation to this massive Chinmaya Mission which is represented by 300+ centers worldwide.
  • Behind Bhagwan Ram’s smile was the foundation called Shri Lakshmanji and that foundation was made out of selflessness, sacrifice and forgiveness.

Countries, institutions, or even a house is sustained not because of a lot of money or resources, but because of the value system based on sacrifice and forgiveness. If there is no forgiveness, no relations can sustain. There is no one who doesn’t make mistakes. The foundation of the student’s life is the teacher who goes through a lot to bring the best out of the students, to chisel continuously to transform an ordinary stone into a beautiful figurine. That is the glory of the foundation stone.

Epitomes of Service – Shri Bharatji & Shri Lakshmanaji:

  • There are two great servants in Ramayana – Lakshmanji and Bharatji. We can’t say one is better than the other. Bharatji’s character is like the ocean which is deep and no one can see it. Lakshmanji’s character is like the big sky where you can see the numberless stars but you can’t count them.
  • One was serving Bhagwan Ram closely; and other was serving Him from a distance. Both are difficult. Serving from far is serving the ideal of a person, and serving from close is serving the body of a person. In serving from far, the challenge is ‘virah’ that is, you miss the person a lot because you don’t see him, you don’t get his responses; you have to experience the love from the within. Therefore, to live like Bharatji for 14 years was a great challenge. Bharatji’s greatness was incomparable.
  • Serving someone closely is also not very easy. Though we get immediate responses from the person, but we need to be highly alert and prompt. A sevak cannot be lazy and moody; he has to be completely empty from within. It is said that Lakshmanji did not sleep for 14 years and guarded the Lord all through the night. When we serve closely we have to be available at all times. More than the ability, availability matters a lot. Lakshmanji was ever available for the Lord.
  • When we are serving the ideal of a person, we must follow whatever is said, but when we are serving the body of a person, sometimes we may not follow the verbatim. When the Guru refuses to take seva, we can urge to do the seva longer as the intention of not following the verbatim here is to give more joy to the master and not because of our habit.
  • While serving from close, one may not always get the response from the master and thus one has to be highly selfless. Lakshmanji never expected any attention or response from Bhagwan Ram.

Beautiful characters of Sumitraji & Urmilaji:

  • In Adhyatma Ramayan it is said that Sumitraji represents Upasna Shakti. Upasna shakti is samarpan pradhan (centered on surrender). Therefore, Sumitraji even though had two sons, one she offered to Ramji and the other to Bharatji for seva.
  • As Ramji and Lakshmanji were leaving for the forest, Sumitraji did not come out to see them off. This was because she did not want Lakshmanji to see her crying before they left as that might have affected his seva for Ramji and secondly because Bhagwan Ram would have felt embarrassed as He was taking her son along.
  • There is very less mention of Urmilaji (Lashmanji’s wife) in Ramayan. Saints say that the renunciation of Urmilaji is so great that even if pages were filled, it would still be too little for her immense glory.
  • Every woman is described either by her father, husband or son, but in Ramayan, Urmilaji is addressed as Sitaji’s sister. This was because her only thought and aim of life was to give joy to Ramji and Sitaji.
  • Urmilaji used to worship Lakshmanji day and night, and prayed that he should be able to serve Bhagwan Ram with whole dedication.

There is no epic in the whole world which has characters such as Lakshmanji, Urmilaji and Sumitraji. Their only aim was to serve Bhagwan Ram and give Him joy! If this element of seva goes away from our lives, we all will collapse, whether it is our family, or an institution, or country, or even the whole world itself!


Day 6

We don’t know what we don’t know. The materialistic evolution of our society has somewhere lowered the spiritual standards and with that our expectations from ourselves on how our character should be! Thankfully, there are brilliantly shining characters like Shri Lakshmanji, establishing the benchmarks on how glorious one can become.

As if witnessing first hand, Swami Abhedananda unveils the many qualities of Lakshmanji for us to hear (read here), rejoice and adopt in our humble capacities. Take out a few minutes and plunge into the deep nectarine ocean of Lakshmanji’s character as captured in below points from the last day of CMSA’s monthly yagna:

Day 6 - 2Why develop higher thoughts?

  • In our life, we require very big thoughts. Sometimes thought of patience is required, sometimes thought of compassion is required, sometimes thoughts of peace, love and acceptance are required, and while sometimes thoughts of faith, fearlessness and purity are required. When situations come in life and over-power us we should have the right thoughts which are required by the situations.
  • Lakshmanji is the person who has all beautiful thoughts. And therefore he could serve Bhagwan Ram in a big manner. If we are weak, we can’t serve. To serve, we need higher thoughts; the thoughts of selflessness, angerless-ness, chastity, hard-work, desireless-ness, purity, patience and tolerance. If we lack any of these, we cannot be a good servant.
  • By serving alone one knows what qualities he lacks. Without serving, our personality doesn’t get purified. Without service, neither Bhagwan is pleased, nor do we get His love. Just as you can’t learn swimming unless you get in the water, similarly unless you serve, you won’t know what qualification is required to serve. Lakshmanji’s leela is for all of us. His sharnagati is a demonstration of how should one serve.

Glory of Lakshmanji as a ‘Sevak’ (sevant):

  • There are three categories of sevaks (people who serve):
    • Those who do the work if they are asked to do.
    • Those who do whatever comes in the mind of their master even before the master says it.
    • The third is the rarest category, they are those who know what thought will be coming in their master’s mind in future. Lakshmanji belonged to this category.
  • Lakshmanji knew what Bhagwan Ram would be wanting in present and in the future. He knew that sometimes he had to make a thatched roof so that Bhagwan Ram and Sitaji are protected; he also knew that a time will come when demons may be there and Sitaji would need to be protected. Lakshmanji knew that Bhagwan Ram had the nature of satsang so somebody should be around to listen to satsang. In seva, a lot of anticipatory power is required; you need to gauge the needs of your master.
  • It is written in Valmiki Ramayan that sometimes when Bhagwan Ram and Sitaji walked, Lakshmanji walked ahead of them so that he could clear the thorns. Generally, we don’t show our back to the Lord or to the teacher, but at that time Lakshmanji’s seva was to clear the path.
  • The one who serves gets a lot of love. Lakshmanji was highly loved. In Ayodhyakand, Goswamiji says that Ramji and Sitaji were taking care of Lakshmanji just as the two eyelids protect the eyes.

Day 6Renunciation pays:

  • One who renounces a lot, gets a lot of love. The secret of getting love is – sacrifice a lot, without demanding. It is the law that If someone has sacrificed something, he cannot be overlooked, neglected or avoided. Therefore, Lakshmanji too was loved by Bhagwan Ram.

Quietness in Lakshmanji:

  • The quietness of Lakshmanji is seen in the Mareech prasang. In this prasang, Bhagwan Ram ran behind the golden deer (Mareech) and shot it, the deer died shouting ‘Ha Lakshman!’ making Sitaji very restless. Sitaji urged Lakshmanji to go and save Ramji. It was for the first time that Lakshmanji laughed a lot saying, ‘The one who is God, by whose very movement of the eyebrows creation or dissolution starts, how can He be in any trouble?’ Hearing this Sitaji who was very soft, spoke harsh words to Lakshmanji.
  • Lakshmanji was quiet and left. Later, when Ramji got furious on Lakshmanji for leaving Sitaji alone, Lakshmanji didn’t answer back, he fell at the feet of Bhagwan Ram and said, ‘It is not that I did not follow your words, I tried to follow your words’. He did not say anything about Sitaji’s anger.
  • Lakshmanji had served Sitaji and Ramji for thirteen years with single pointed devotion. One can see Lakshmanji’s egoless character that made him tolerant in this prasang. An egoistic person cannot tolerate a word, especially when he has served so much. Lakshmanji is therefore an epitome of quietness, ego-lessness and tolerance.

Ramji’s praise for Lakshmanji:

  • Ramji has praised Lakshmanji only once in Ramayan in the Lanka Kanda. When Lakshmanji was shot by Meghnad and he had fainted, Hanumanji was asked to get the Sanjeevani booti by the Sushen Vaidya. When Hanumanji did not return until midnight, Ramji wept badly for Lakshmanji saying, ‘Lakshman you couldn’t see my sorrow all these days, how are you seeing my sorrow now? For me you left your mother and father, tolerated the cold and heat. If I knew that you would be fainting like this in the forest, I wouldn’t have followed the words of my father.’
  • Ramji continued saying, ‘Just like cutting the wings of the bird, or taking away the gem from the snake, or cutting the trunk of the elephant, similar is my life without you, Lakshman.’ Ramji then cried unconsolably. That is when Hanumanji arrived with the Sanjeevani booti and Lakshmanji was saved.

If Lakshmanji was not there, we would not have known the meaning of doing seva being close to the master, the meaning of selflessness, sacrifice and surrender. To that great, brave, seva-veer (servant), we offer our prostrations and pray to him that we should also serve our Lord, with so much of depth and sacrifice so that Lord loves us too!