Yagna on ‘Talks on Glory of Surrender’ – April 2018

Talks on “Glory of Surrender” – by Swami Abhedananda

(Gyan Yagna conducted from 1st April till 6th April, 2018)

Key Points from the Discourses

Day 1

With the start of the April Monthly Gyan Yagna, the spiritual thirst of the devotees was quenched by Swami Abhedananda’s captivating talk. On the first day of the talks Swamiji enamored the audience by explaining the significance of Sharanagati and how currently we too like Vibhishana are trapped in the glamorous yet deceiving city of Lanka. We bring to you some snippets from Swamiji’s talks:


  • ‘Surrender’ is a very big requirement of our life. Unfortunately, due to Maya we are deluded, and thus we don’t understand how essential it is to have surrender in our lives.
  • We wrongly interpret ‘surrender’ as something very difficult and highly impractical. If we are told to earn money, or to marry, or to gather external qualifications, all these appear quite practical and logical. But if somebody says we should have surrender, then it seems impractical, and meant only for the saints or the sannyasis. This is because we don’t know the real meaning of ‘Surrender’.

What is Surrender?
Surrender has two essential aspects in it: ‘Oneness of all desires’ and ‘Sharan’

  • Oneness of all desires
    • All our desires should be for the Lord. Even worldly actions should be done for the Lord. This is the first condition of surrender. In Ramayana, Goswami Tulsidasji says to Bhagwan Ram, “Oh Lord! You go and reside in the heart of those people who ask for only one fruit for all their actions, and that is – love at Your lotus feet (sab kar mangahu ek phal ram charan rati hoi).”
    • This world is not a desire fulfilling center. When one goes in the world to fulfill his/her desires, they are bound to feel hurt and bruised. The more a person is unintelligent or foolish, the more time he takes to understand this. The only purpose of fulfilling any worldly desire (be it for money, or family, or fame) should be that – one must come to realization that the worldly desires are not worth pursuing.
    • We need to be honest to ourselves in analyzing that no person, place, money or position can be a source of great joy for us. The world is not meant to be our goal. Human birth is for knowing the Truth and for wanting the Lord. But we have many scattered and multi-pointed desires and therefore our efforts are divided and un-focused.
    • When we say that we are tired of this world, it is our unfulfilled desires that tire us, our attitude and our ego (ahankaar) that exhausts us. The moment this is realized, then our attitude towards the world changes and our work becomes a purifier. World is meant to be used as a very good means for purification and refinement of one’s mind.
    • Our mind is meant to be fully employed in the pursuit and discovery of the Lord and in the realization of the Self. Upanishads, Gita, Ramayana, Bhagwatam, all echo the same sentiment throughout.
  • Sharan
    • The word ‘Sharan’ in Sanskrit has two meanings: i) one, a house and ii) second, that which protects. The implication here is that we should not have a lot of worldly support in our life. We should not have ‘ashraya budhhi’ on any person or object in this world because they themselves are dependent on others for support. ‘Ashraya budhhi’ means having the sense that some person or thing can give us peace and support when needed.
    • In everybody’s life, difficulties and problems erupt from all sides, both outside as well as inside. But instead of taking refuge in the Lord, we wrongly take support of money, talents, husband, wife, children, relatives, or our intellect, and none of these can truly help us. Therefore, Arjun says to Lord Krishna at the end of Bhagwat Gita, “karishye vachanam tava” – “Whatever You say, I will do that!”. Arjun had realized that he wants to become an instrument at God’s hand (nimitta matren).
    • Everybody has emotions but our emotional nature is a source of lot of troubles for us as there is no one big to hold onto. That is why, Sharanagati or surrender is our biggest demand.

Ramayana – The Mirror

  • Ramcharitamanas can be read as history, but at the same time it can be read as the story of our lives too. There are two things, one is photograph while the other is mirror. A photograph tells us something about the past but a mirror tells us about our present. When we read Ramayana (Ramcharitmanas) as a history we are seeing it as a photograph but when we read it as something happening in our life, we are looking at it as a mirror.
  • While reading Ramayana, we can enjoy the photograph (history) – the nature of Bhagwan Ram, the story of Vibhishana meeting Bhagwan Ram, etc. But we must constantly view it as a mirror so that we don’t miss to see where we currently stand. Our reading will be incomplete if we don’t see where we are and what is our goal. Saints say that Vibhishana Sharanagati (surrender of Vibhishana) resembles Jeeva Sharanagati (surrender of a jeeva).

Vibhishana in us
Before understanding Vibhishana’s sharnagati (surrender), let us examine the Vibhishana present in seekers like us.

  • Firstly, Vibhishana was not a total samsaari (worldly person) but at the same time he was not a total Bhakt (devotee of God) too. As Ravana protected Vibhishana, he was not completely devoted to Lord Ram. He loved Lord Ram also and at the same time he loved Ravana also. His love was divided, his priorities were divided, his loyalty was divided. We are also like that! There is a Vibhishana in us too.
  • We hear satsang because we have some love for the Lord, for the Truth, but at the same time, we love our ahankaar (ego) also, we love money also, we love our children also, we are attached to our house also.
  • The irony of Vibhishana is that he performed the puja of Lakshmi Narayana, but even when he knew that Sita was brought to Lanka and she is Goddess Lakshmi herself, he did not visit her even once nor did he try to help her. This was Vibhishana’s state of mind. Therefore, it is said that the Sharangati of Vibhishana is also the Sharanagati of a Sadhak (seeker) like us.

Grace of the Lord

  • When Bhagwan witnesses the seeker loving Him and yet being emotionally dependent on the world, God performs an operation to bring the seeker closer to Him. Such operations are painful but it helps the seeker to recover quickly from his false attachments. The situations that shake our attachments towards the world are a gift from the Lord.
  • Bhagwan Ram did two things in Vibhishana’s life – firstly, He sent a Guru (Shri Hanumanji) in Vibhishana’s life and secondly, He created a situation where Vibhishana would receive a kick from the place of his attachment (from Ravan).

Guru burns our Lanka

  • Goswami Tulsidasji explains in Vinay Patrika, Lanka represents, ‘pravritti durg’ – the false conviction in our mind that something of the world is very important to us. Lanka represents a fort of our extreme engagements and involvements. We are constantly engaged in this world, to fulfill our desires and increase our attachments. This is our Lanka.
  • Lanka was built by Mayadaanav, who represents our mind. It is our mind which weaves Lanka for us and builds the conviction that a certain thing is very good and we need it. The beauty and importance of the world is only an imagination of our mind. Inherently we are free, we don’t need the world!
  • The King of Lanka is Ravana, who represents moha (delusion) and whose brother is Kumbhakarna, who represents ahankaar (ego). Kumbhakarna means one whose ears are like a pot, representing one who likes to constantly hear his praises. It was in such a Lanka that Vibhishana lived.
  • Shri Hanumanji as a Guru burns the Lanka in us. Hanumanji is ‘Vairagya Swaroop’ (dispassion personified). By dispassion, we ascertain that we don’t need the objects of the world; there is no joy or essence in them. It is through such dispassion alone that the Lanka in our mind can be burnt.

Process of Sharanagati
A Jeeva trapped in the Lanka of his mind goes through the process of Sharanagati, just as Vibhishana.

  • Vibhishana was not completely loyal to Bhagwan Ram. With the teachings of Hanumanji, he goes to Bhagwan Ram. Just like Sugreeva became the King of Kishkinda after Bali was killed by Bhagwan Ram, Vibhishana aspired to become the King of Lanka. Like Vibhishana, we also go to Bhagwan with our vasnas.
  • Vibhishana, having witnessed the Lord’s infinite love, admits that initially he had some vasna but because of Bhagwan’s love, that vasna went away. The beautiful point here is, Vibhishana’s mind was eventually detached from Ravana and got attached to Bhagwan Ram. Thus, the Sharangati of Vibhishana went through a complete process.
  • Shri Hanumanji’s sharanagati never went through any process; Shri Lakshmanji’s or Shri Bharatji’s sharanagati never went through ups and downs because their sharanagati was ‘Siddha sharanagati’ while Vibhishana’s sharanagati was ‘Sadhak sharanagati’. Like Vibhishana, our sharanagati also goes through many process, it goes through many births and then ultimately we reach the Lord.

Day 2

We bring to you some highlights from the second day of ‘Vibhishana Sharnagati’ Yagna, where the devotees were treated with yet another spiritual delight by Swami Abhedananda. Below are some snippets from Swamiji’s enlightening satsang.

Our Loyalty towards God

  • We all agree that we have got a lot from the Lord. The air that we breathe, the body that we have, the knowledge that we cherish – everything comes to us by God’s grace alone. But when it comes to loving and dedicating our life to God, we chose our ego (ahankaar), family and money over God. How many of us can claim that we are loyal towards God and living for God alone?
  • We surely have some love for God, otherwise we won’t be listening to satsang, but our love is not to the extent as it should be. This was the problem with Karna too. Karna was dependent on Duryodhana and Vibhishana was dependent on Ravan – see the analogy here. To both Karna and Vibhishana, Bhagwan went to explain whom they truly belong to and whom they should be loyal to. But Karna refused Bhagwan’s advice because Karna thought that his loyalty needs to be more towards Duryodhan than towards the Lord. Karna did not relent and therefore he had a sad end. Duryodhana may have helped and supported Karna in one birth, but what about the Lord who had been nurturing and supporting Karna for many births together? Contrary to Karna, Vibhishana was wiser, because he immediately understood that his loyalty should be towards the Lord and not towards Ravan.
  • Spiritual life, in its truest sense, does not contradicts with family life, or professional life, or social life. One can do everything but one should remain loyal to Bhagwan. Just as a husband’s demand from his wife is that she should remain loyal to him no matter where she goes, similarly, Lord’s demand is that we remain loyal to Him and seek Him alone while performing all our actions.
  • Our selfish desires and egocentric actions don’t let us remain loyal to the Lord. This is where Lord’s messenger in Hanumnanji’s form comes to transform the Vibhishana in us. It is written in Vinay Patrika that everyone (jeeva) has a Vibhishana hidden in them and this Vibhishana has to cross the ocean of samsara (world) to reach the Lord (Bhagwan Ram). This is the kind of sharanagati (surrender) which we should aim for. The ocean that we have to cross, as jeeva, is the ocean of ‘body identification’, the wrong notion that ‘I am this body’.

Shri Hanumanji – Messenger of Bhagwan Ram

  • Searching for Mother Sita
    • It comes in Sundarkand that when Hanumanji reached Lanka, he started searching for Sitaji everywhere. We too have Lanka around us and there is a Ravan inside us as well. Hanumanji demonstrates that – this world (Lanka) is meant to search Sitaji – Bhakti (devotion). There is no other purpose of this world, of the people around us and of the family other than to use them for increasing our devotion, for finding out how we can love God and how we can dedicate and surrender ourselves to God.
    • We should go out in the world to not just earn money. Money is like a byproduct, our main goal should be Bhakti (devotion). While living, and interacting in the world, we should keep checking – Has our devotion increased, has our ego lessened, has our attachment gone? When this becomes our criteria of gain, then life becomes much quieter. All disturbances in life are because Ravan (delusion) within us is still winning and Hanumanji is not allowed to enter.
  • Meeting with Vibhishana
    • In the process of searching Sitaji, Hanumanji came across Vibhishana’s house and when he was passing by, Vibhishana woke up. Similarly, when a Guru (Teacher) comes in our life, then only we wake up. Goswamiji says, ‘In this delusory night we all are deep asleep.’ Sleeping here means being deluded – seeing something that is not there. Having my-ness, I-ness, relations, ego, attachments etc. – all are the result of our delusion. Dispassion (waking up) happens only when Hanumanji (Guru) comes in our life.
    • When Vibhishana first met Hanumanji, he inquired if he was a servant of Bhagwan Ram or Bhagwan Ram Himself. A devotee should be such that his presence itself should be his introduction, just as Hanumanji.
    • Hanumanji was the son of Wind God (Pavan Putra). Wind has three main characteristics: it does not have Kartrutva-asakti (doer-ship), does not have Phalasakti (enjoyer-ship) and does not have Atma-pradarshan (tendency to show-off). Thus, these characteristics were naturally absent in Hanumanji.
    • Like the breeze which takes the fragrance of the flower everywhere; and upon getting that fragrance, people notice the flower but no one notices the breeze which carried it. Similarly, Hanumanji carried the fragrance (glory) of Bhagwan Ram everywhere and while thus carrying the fragrance of Bhagwan Ram, he never highlighted himself.

Saints – Manifested form of God’s grace

  • After listening to Hanumanji, Vibhishana says, ‘I am demon by nature, I have not done any Sadhna, I don’t have that much of love for Bhagwan, is it possible that Bhagwan Ram will come to me? But there is a silver lining too, you have come to me and it is only because of Ramji’s grace’.
  • The situations in our lives are not tailored according to our wishes. One cannot get good food, good spouse, good children unless the Lord wishes. Similarly, unless the Lord wishes, we cannot hear about Him. One cannot get to know about the Lord, simply by self-effort.
  • Chanting Hanuman Chalisa is easier, but to know the glory of Hanumanji is difficult. Hanumanji won’t tell it. He will send some saint for us. Krishna lila is not told by Bhagwan Krishna, we need Shukdevji for it, we need some saint to tell us about the Lord.
  • The biggest fortune of a person is, having someone in his life who persuades him to love the Lord alone. Japa, Puja, Tapa, all these means can increase Punya, but can’t give the Lord to you. We need a saint to introduce the love of Bhagwan to us.
  • Saints are the ones who put faith in us and convince us that our real relationship is with the Lord and not with the wife, husband, children, money, power etc. They instill faith in us and repeatedly teach us that our relation should not be with the finite things of the world.

Get connected to the Supreme Lord

  • Hanumanji then addressing Vibhishana as brother enquired about Mother Sita. Vibhishana was shocked to be addressed as brother. There was a strong samskaar in Vibhishana that he was the brother of Ravana. Even when Vibhishana crossed the ocean to meet Lord Ram and Sugreev asked his introduction, Vibhishana said, ‘I am the brother of Ravana’, instead of saying, ‘I am the devotee of Lord Ram’. Hanumanji tried to take away this identity of Vibhishana by addressing him as his brother.
  • We all belong to the Supreme Mother (Sita) and Supreme Father (Ram), we must get connected to them and not to the delusionary mother, father or brother.
  • When Meerabai was tormented by her relatives and she asked for advice from Tulsidasji, he wrote, ‘Those who do not love Ram and Sita, leave them at once as they are your enemies in spiritual progress. Prahalada left his father, Bharat left is his mother, Gopis left their husband. Let all your relations be through Ram alone!’ Lord should be our first priority in life and all our relationships should take us to Him alone.

Who is your Lord? Who protects you?

  • When Hanumanji took leave from Vibhishana to meet Mother Sita, Vibhishana did not join Hanumanji since he still believed that everything in his life was because of Ravan alone. Vibhishana was highly inclined towards the prabhaav and swabhaav of Ravana. ‘Prabhaav’ is influence and ‘swabhaav’ is nature.
  • When after meeting Mother Sita, Hanumanji was captured by Meghnad and taken to Ravana. Ravana ordered that the tail of Hanumanji should be set on fire as he had killed his son and soldiers. Soon after the tail was set on fire, Hanumanji, taking a small form jumped across the houses of Lanka and set every house on fire, except for that of Vibhishana. As though Hanumanji asked Vibhishana, ‘Who is your Lord? Who is protecting you?’
  • In life, some incidences are required to shake our incorrect notions. The episode of Hanumanji burning Lanka disillusioned Vibhishana. All our relations are good but God alone protects us. He alone is our refuge. This conviction was now built in Vibhishana. Here, as if the Lord conveyed to Vibhishana – ‘Don’t take refuge in Ravana.’
  • Saints, when eating, walking, working, sleeping, in every menial or big action feel that everything is provided to them by the Lord alone. He alone protects!
  • Further, the notion of Vibhishana that Ravana had a lot of prabhaav was now null and void. Yet Vibhishana believed that the swabhaav (nature) of Ravana was good towards him. He felt, it is Ravana who loved and cared for him. This notion of Vibhishana regarding the swabhaav of Ravana will also be broken by the Lord which will accelerate his process of Sharanagati towards Bhagwan.

Day 3

On the 3rd day of the Monthly Yagna, Swami Abhedanandaji wonderfully depicted how Vibhishana was deluded and how Hanumanji helped in breaking his delusion and he gets enlightenment. It is through the story of Vibhishana that we (seekers) are told our own story. Presenting below some illuminating pointers from yesterday’s satsang:

Delusion of a Jeeva

  • The problem of our life is more subjective than objective; and the reason is that, we as jeeva, have made ourselves side with delusion and not with the Lord. What it means is that – our sense of joy is in the world, in its objects and people, and not in the Lord. Most disturbances in life are because our attachment and ego get crushed from time to time due to this wrong notion of seeking joy in the world and that is called as ‘Moha’ (delusion).
  • Ravan represents ‘Moha’ (delusion) and Vibhishana represents ‘jeeva’. The literal meaning of word ‘Ravan’ is – that which makes others cry. Moha is bound to give us sorrow and jeeva, who gets associated with Moha all the time, ends up crying. This was the problem of Vibhishana as his allegiance was with Ravan (delusion) instead of God.
  • We must remember that other than the Lord, jeeva has no relation with anyone else. Reflected consciousness (jeeva) should be related to the pure consciousness (Ishwar) alone and not to the medium or other reflected consciousness (other jeeva).
  • We wrongly relate ourselves to the world due to our sense of joy in it, and we forget our main relation with the Lord. For Vibhishana, Ravan was a source of joy and therefore he was not able to give himself whole-heartedly to Bhagwan Ram, which he wanted to do. This is the tug-of-war of a seeker, where he keeps holding on to the world and is not able to reach God.

Need for Dispassion

  • Although Vibhishana was deluded, but by the fruit of his sadhana, Hanumanji came to his rescue. Hanumanji is the form of ‘Vairagya’ (dispassion). Vairagya shows ‘dukh buddhi in moha’ (sense of sorrow in delusion) and ‘sukh buddhi in Ishwar’ (sense of joy in the Lord). So Hanumanji’s work was to expose the real nature of Ravan in front of Vibhishana and also to glorify the nature of Bhagwan Ram.
  • Goswami Tulsidasji says – ‘Dispassion’ is like a shield which protects our love for the God and the Guru. If the shield is not there in front of a warrior, he will die in the battle; similarly, if the seeker is without the shield of dispassion, his beautiful emotions for the Lord and his love for the Lord will eventually die.
  • Important thing in life is to ensure that one’s higher thoughts and emotions are always well guarded. They are the biggest asset of a person. This higher thought of love for Bhagwan Ram in Vibhishana’s life was not able to manifest fully because he did not have dispassion. It was Hanumanji who gave Vibhishana the shield of dispassion. Through his leela, Hanumanji showed Vibhishana how he should have his sense of joy in Ramji and not Ravan.

Shri Hanumanji’s Leela – Ushering Vibhishana to Bhagwan Ram

  • As the story goes in Sundarkand, when Hanumanji was taken to Ravan, tied in a naagpash, Hanumanji said, “Ravan, if you keep the lotus feet of Bhagwan Ram in your heart, you can rule Lanka forever.” Ravan ignored Hanumanji’s advice but Vibhishana paid attention to it because there was vasana (desire) in Vibhishana to rule Lanka. Thus, a thought was planted in Vibhishana’s mind that – Lord’s grace has immense potential.
  • After further conversation between Ravan and Hanumanji, when Ravan got very irritated and ordered to kill Hanumanji, Vibhishana intervened and advised that a messenger should not be killed. Ravan listened to Vibhishana, after which Vibhishana got very happy thinking that – ‘My brother Ravan loves me and thus he didn’t kill Hanumanji.’ Hanumanji wanted to correct Vibhishana’s wrong conclusion and to snub Vibhishana’s love for Ravan, Hanumanji did some more leela.
  • When Ravan ordered to burn Hanumanji’s tail, with fire on his tail, Hanumanji jumped from house to house, and everything in Lanka got burnt except for Vibhishana’s house. This sowed a seed of doubt in Ravan’s mind and he thought Vibhishana was a traitor. Provoked by this thought, Ravan resolved to punish Vibhishana at the earliest opportunity; and this is what Hanumanji also wanted. Lord wants that we should get snubbed from the place where we are too attached in this world, because then alone we start walking towards the Lord. Thus Hanumanji helped in creating circumstances that ushered Vibhishana towards Bhagwan Ram.
  • Why Hanumanji’s tail didn’t burn? ‘Tail’ here represents ‘attachment’ (mamta). Hanumanji’s attachment was with Bhagwan Ram and not with the world. Mamta towards the world can be burnt but mamta towards the Lord cannot be burnt, and hence Ravan couldn’t burn Hanumanji’s tail.

Vibhishana’s Teachings to Ravan

  • Vibhishana, after having listened to Hanumanji’s words and seeing His leelas, gathered courage to express his thoughts in front of Ravan (for the first time). Vibhishana decided to say something against the principles that Ravan followed.
  • Vibhishana started explaining to Ravan, ‘Those who want their goodness and auspiciousness, those who want good name, good buddhi, and good gati (end state), they should not eye other’s wives. Amongst the various sins this is one of the biggest sin’.
  • Vibhishana also added that even if somebody is the ocean of all virtues, but if there is little selfishness or kaam (selfish desire) in him, then such a person is not respected anywhere. Thus, Vibhishana tried to explain to Ravan to give up his desire for Mother Sita.

Three gateways to hell
Vibhishana further explained to Ravan the three negative qualities which are sure gateways to hell. Though, Vibhishana told it to Ravan, this message is mainly for us to understand and emulate. This is because there is a Ravan in us too; there is delusion, attachment, ahankaar (ego) in us too.

  • Kaam (Selfish desires):
    • Ego-centric self-deluding desires are the worst enemy in a person’s life. Even one selfish desire is enough to make our life a hell.
    • Desire, by itself, is not completely a bad thing. In Gita the Lord declares, ‘dharmaviruddho bhutesu kamosmi bharatarshabha’, ‘I am the Kaam (desire) which is not opposing dharma’ (Gita 7.11). If you have a self-less desire which is as per your dharma, then God makes sure that you attain that self-less desire. If you have a desire to serve Lord, serve Guru, to do papa, puja etc., your desire will be fulfilled by the Lord.
    • Desire is bad when it is selfish and when its fulfilment does not benefit others or bring happiness to people around. Such desires are sure to disturb a person.
  • Krodh (Anger):
    • Krodh is an expression of kaam. Gurudev used to say – ‘Obstructed desire is anger’. Anger makes a person delusional, ‘krodhaat bhavati sammohaha’ (Gita 2.63). In anger, a person fails to understand what is right and what is wrong, what should be said and what should not be said, what should be done, and what should not be done.
    • When anger comes, we cannot give our best to the work at hand. We respond negatively thus creating negative karma-phal (fruit of actions) which bring further negative situations in future. Thus, Krodh is a definite gateway to hell.
  • Lobh (Greed):
    • Ravan was very greedy; he looted everything he found good and beautiful. He looted the Pushpak viman (aerial chariot), he looted Lanka, and he looted every woman whom he heard was beautiful. Therefore, he went in pursuit of Sitaji too.
    • Lobh is an emotion where a person has a lot, but still he wishes for more. A greedy person is never able to enjoy what he already has and he constantly desires for more. That which are not meant for us, we don’t have them; we must be assured and satisfied with what the Lord has given us.

Bhajan of the Lord

  • Vibhishana then gives an imperative to Ravan that – ‘Life is not meant to be wasted, it is meant to do Bhajan of the Lord. It is meant to take the Lord’s name, and to get associated with the Lord.’
  • We must not be seeking that which are finite. Finite things have never given complete joy to anybody in this world. We must discover that our attachment should be towards the Lord alone and not with the changing world.

Going to the Lord

  • Vibhishana explained to Ravan, ‘Don’t think Ram to be an ordinary human being, He is the Lord of the Lords. Don’t be inimical to Him and please return Sitaji to Him. Even if you go now He will not see your faults. Go and ask forgiveness to Him. Even if somebody has the sin of rebelling against the whole world, he will not be forsaken by the Lord.’
  • Vibhishana could say all this to Ravan because of his personal experience. He thought, ‘I am not good, I have vasna of becoming the King, I am attached to Ravan, I didn’t help Sitaji, but still, only because of my little sharanagati (surrender), Ramji sent Hanumanji to me.’ With this conviction Vibhishana tried to persuade Ravan to return Sitaji to Bhagwan Ram.
  • Bhakti (of the Lord) is like our Mother. Mother does not leave the child if he is not clean, instead the mother lifts the child and cleans him herself. The Lord, therefore, does not reject any person who surrenders unto Him. This is the principle of Sharanagati.

Day 4

Another memorable day of spiritually elevating satsang welcomed the devotees of Durban to Chinmaya Shivam ashram, as they reveled in Swami Abhedanandaji’s talks on Vibhishana Sharnagati. Below are some of the snippets from the discourse on Day-4 of the Monthly Yagna.

Jeeva’s Delusion and Ego

  • We have seen till now how Vibhishana, because of his close association with Ravan, couldn’t surrender himself completely to Bhagwan Ram. Now we will see how Vibhishana’s association with Kumbhakaran was also a hindrance in his devotion for the Lord.
  • As the story goes, all three brothers, Ravan, Kumbhakaran and Vibhishana were close to each other. Unlike Ravan and Kumbhakaran, Vibhishana wanted pure devotion towards the Lord but his weak point was his love for Ravan and Kumbhakaran. Here Ravan represents ‘moha’ or delusion, Kumbhakaran represents ‘ahankaar’ or ego, and Vibhishana represents ‘jeeva’. If the jeeva is close to moha and ahankar then his love will always be divided and he can never love Bhagwan completely.

Delusion (Moha)
Delusion means – seeing something which is not there. Ravan’s actions clearly exhibited that he did not accept Ishwar and interpreted things wrongly. For instance, when Ravan found out that Khar and Dooshan (demons equally strong as Ravan) were killed by some human named ‘Ram’, Ravan realized that it must be Bhagwan alone who could have done that. His thinking was correct but instead of accepting that thought, he digressed and decided to test Ramji. Thus Ravan represents moha; and if a devotee has moha, then he sees the world as a source of joy and because of this wrong notion, he is not able to go closer to Bhagwan.

Ego (Ahankaar)

  • Kumbhakaran represents ‘ahankaar’. It is said in Ramayan, when Kumbhakaran was woken up by Ravan to fight against Bhagwan Ram and his army, Kumbhakaran went without any chariot or army. He was very hefty and big, and in front of him all the monkeys appeared minuscule. He started picking the monkeys by his hands and started eating them relentlessly. Whole army of Lord Ram was in chaos. Seeing the plight of His army, Bhagwan Ram went in front of Kumbhakaran and cut his hands, then cut his ears, and then put arrows in his mouth.
  • The metaphorical meaning behind this is that ‘Ahankaar’ or Ego (Kumbhakaran) does not need any vehicle. Ahankaar by itself is enough to eat all our punya and merits (which are represented by the monkeys). Even if ahankaar is sleeping for some time, one should be alert because as soon as it wakes up, it can consume one’s hard-earned merits in a split second. Just as Kumbhakaran after waking-up from a six months long sleep, could eat as much as one could eat in six months.
  • This can be understood by another example – if somebody loves and serves you for six months and if he gets very angry one day, then all what he has done earlier goes in vain.
  • If an ‘ahankaari’ person has even little goodness, he brags about it everywhere and shows off his greatness and thereby all his punya goes away. His ahankaar rises very easily at every instance when he is not acknowledged for his work or if someone else is praised instead of him.
  • The literal meaning of word Kumbhakaran is ‘one who has ears (karan) like a pot (kumbha)’. This represents that an ahankaari person is very fond of listening to his praise to boost his ego. And therefore, when Bhagwan Ram faced Kumbhakaran, He first severed his arms, so that his sense of doer-ship is eliminated.
  • The problem with an ‘ahankaari’ person is that he demands his own personal joy and maan (respect). Such a person becomes incapable of giving joy to the Lord. Moment one wants his personal joy and personal value, he loses all the joy and value that he had.
  • When someone does regular sadhana, japa, puja, or does some good work, and if he develops ahankaar and starts thinking himself as better than others, then he will never feel gratitude for having gotten the opportunity to serve or do puja etc. Such a person considers himself even bigger than the Lord and develops forgetfulness towards the higher power operating through him.
  • Ahankaar makes the person hard from inside. Vibhishana became harder because of his association with Kumbhakaran. It was thus important for Vibhishana to leave Lanka, and dissociate himself from Kumbhakaran and Ravan. As long a the jeeva holds on to moha and ahankaar, there will be a vast ocean for him to cross to reach Bhagwan.

Elaborating on the chaupai ‘Sumati kumati sab ke ur rahahi’ from Sundarkand, Swamiji wonderfully emphasized on some quit-essential pointers of life. Then Swamiji depicted the incident how Ravan kicked Vibhishana out of Lanka and how that enabled Vibhishana to drop his attachment with his brother and surrender completely to Bhagwan Ram.

Sumati (Good Intellect)

  • In every heart, there are some good thoughts and some bad thoughts. Rising of thoughts is not a problem, but what is important to know is what kind of thoughts our intellect favours. ‘Sumati’ refers to that mati (intellect) which favours dharma. The biggest source of sumati is company of saints and satsang.
  • For instance, when Bharatji was given the throne of Ayodhya, he could have easily taken the throne and there would have been nothing wrong in that because everybody (his father, brother, mother, Guru) wanted him to do that. But Bharatji didn’t take the throne, instead he decided to live in Nandigram because he knew that the glory of a person is in his ability to renounce and not in bhog (indulgence).
  • On any issue, one must have the right thinking which favours dharma and sacrifice. The intellect (buddhi) which favours the wish of God and wants to renounce & serve – such a budhhi is called ‘Sumati’.
  • When Bhagwan Ram had to go for exile, Lakshmanji was not told by anyone to go to the forest, but still he went to serve Bhagwan Ram and Mother Sita. He left his mother, his wife, and all the comforts of the palace without a second thought. That was the Sumati of Lakshmaji which favoured surrender over bhog.
  • Shreyas (actions prescribed by one’s dharma) and Preyas (actions as per one’s likes/dislikes) both come in our life; it is our choice what we chose. It is our Sumati that tells us that we are not born to be desirous or indulgent; rather we are born to serve and surrender.

Kumati (Evil Intellect)

  • A striking example of ‘Kumati’ is Manthara. When Manthara saw the preparations for Lord Ram’s coronation, instead of rejoicing, she got angry and provoked Kaikeyi. It was she who suggested that Ramji should be sent for exile… such was her Kumati.
  • Kumati is to experience sorrow or jealousy by seeing somebody else’s joy and progress. Selfishness, kaam (lust), krodh (anger), ego-centric desires, seeking material gains – all are the result of our Kumati.

Ravan humiliating Vibhishana

  • Vibhishana tried all the means to convince Ravan to give Sitaji back and to surrender to Bhagwan Ram, but Ravan didn’t heed to his advice. Instead Ravan got so infuriated that he told Vibhishana, ‘I think your death is very close. I gave you food all life and you are favouring the enemy. You think I can’t conquer him? Stop calling him Bhagwan, he is an ordinary man.’ Saying so, Ravan kicked Vibhishana.
  • Even after getting hit by Ravan, Vibhishana prostrated at Ravan’s feet and pleaded him again to seek refuge in Bhagwan Ram. This was the saintliness of Vibhishana. Goswamiji says that the greatness of a saint is that even if somebody does harm to him, he still wishes well for the person who did the harm.
  • When Ravan asked Vibhishana to leave, he said, ‘I am now going to Bhagwan Ram, and I am going to surrender to Him totally.’ The moment Vibhishana left, everybody in Lanka lost their lustre and glow. It is said, one person’s punya (merits) holds the goodwill of many around him.
  • Vibhishana was not angry on Ravan after he was kicked, this shows the balance of his personality. He had no animosity towards Ravan.

Vibhishana’s Joy

  • When Vibhishana left to meet Bhagwan Ram, he was overjoyed by the thought that he would now have the darshan of the lotus feet of the Lord. These are the same feet which when touched the stoned Ahilya turned her back into a woman; the same feet which were worshipped by Janakiji; the same feet whose paduka Bharatji worshiped and the same feet on which Lord Shiva contemplates upon.
  • Vibhishana’s heart became full of love thinking about the Lord – How he will meet the Lord, what will he say first, how the Lord would look at him, what words would he utter first etc. He was so lost in his thoughts for the Lord that he forgot all what had happened in the past.
  • Vibhishana’s mind became pure once his relation with delusion (Ravan) and ego (Kumbhakaran) was cut. He was now ready to fully surrender to God alone. All his love was now for Bhagwan Ram. He had nothing else to hold onto. His ashraya buddhi (sense of refuge) was in Bhagwan alone. Thus, he was able to cross the vast ocean that stood between him and Bhagwan, both literally as well as figuratively.

Sharanagati of Vibhishana (Surrender)

  • Every jeeva has a long past, full of actions and fruits-of-actions of numerous births, which are not always good. If the Lord accepts only good people with good actions then we would never be accepted by the Lord. But that is not Lord’s criteria to accept someone. To be accepted by Him, we need to have total surrender and this is the only condition of Sharanagati – Be ready to drop everything!
  • The moment Bhagwan sees that the seeker is confessing and has become soft, and all the thoughts of the seeker are for Him alone then Bhagwan accepts him.
  • When our demand that ‘Oh Lord! Accept me, I surrender to You, I will do everything for You, I am ready to leave ego (Ravan)’ becomes powerful, then Sharanagati is bound to happen.

Day 5

On the 5th day of the Gyan yagna on ‘Vibhishana Sharnagati’, devotees were treated once again to the priceless wisdom of Swami Abhedananda as he unraveled the divine import of Ramcharitmanas. Here are some of the takeaways from the discourse:

Softness towards Negative tendencies

  • Previously we saw how Vibhishana’s Sharanagati was facilitated by Ravan’s kick. We, as seekers, also need kick (experiences) in our life, so that we too can surrender to the Lord. All his life, Vibhishana had a soft corner for Ravan and considered Ravan as his well-wisher.
  • Ravan used to take good care of Vibhishana and all the other demons in Lanka, by providing them best of facilities (food, house etc.). But his intentions were impure and selfish; he wanted them to be loyal to him alone. All the demons (out of ignorance) considered Ravan very close and favorable to them.
  • Similarly, we are also very close to our negativities and delusion. We justify our selfish desires and wrong attachments in this world because we derive some immediate and short-lived joy from them.
  • We have softness towards our negative tendencies like attachment, expectation from family and relations etc. We protect these negativities and falsely believe there is nothing wrong in having them. But in life, we realize later that our negativities alone give us a lot of problems.

Lord alone epitomizes softness

  • It comes in Ramcharitmanas (in Lanka Kand), when the fight between the two armies was going on, Ravan’s army of demons got injured badly and they started pulling back. Ravan, who was standing in the back mocked them, saying ‘For this day only I fed you, go fight and die, you cannot return!’ So, bleeding and limping, they went back to the battle to fight and died. Thus, eventually all the demons realized how hard-hearted Ravan was.
  • On the other side, when the monkeys in Bhagwan Ram’s army got tired while fighting with Kumbhakaran, Bhagwan Ram Himself asked them to retire and He offered to fight. So much was Ramji’s softness. It is said that at night after He had killed Kumbhakaran, the monkeys felt bad for abandoning Him. But Bhagwan Ram, the epitome of compassion and softness, said to the monkeys, ‘No, you didn’t abandon me. You all made Kumbhakaran tired and that is why I was able to kill him.’ This made the monkeys even closer to Bhagwan Ram.
  • In due time we too discover that the Lord alone is soft towards us. Our vasanas and attachments, which we try to protect, they don’t come to our rescue. It takes time for a seeker to realize who is soft with him and who is hard.

Compromised Life – one of the biggest enemies of a seeker

  • When a seeker realizes that his sorrow is because of his own mental expectations and negativities and it is his softness towards Moha (Ravan) and Ahankaar (Kumbhakaran) that is the cause of his problems, he decides to go to Bhagwan Ram and surrender, like Vibhishana did.
  • Before surrendering to Bhagwan Ram, Vibhishana lived a compromised life. Compromised life means – ‘I seek the higher as long as it doesn’t disturb my lower.’ For instance, ‘I will come to satsang as long as I have no other engagement. I will do puja if I am free from other worldly commitments.’ This is called living a compromised life.
  • A person leading a compromised life is never fully devoted to the Lord. As soon as his ahankar (ego) or attachment get bruised, he leaves the Lord. This compromised life is the biggest enemy of a seeker.
  • Example of such a person who led a compromised life is King Dasharath, even though he was a great person. He wanted to coronate Ram but he also wanted to protect his love for his queen, Kaikeyi. He could have refused to fulfil the boons Kaikeyi had asked, but he wanted to keep his words and at the same time did not want Bhagwan Ram to go to the forest.
  • On the other hand, in Bharatji’s life there was no compromise. Even when everyone told him to take the throne, he chose not to, instead he took care of the kingdom as a servant of Lord Ram, only to return it back to Him.
  • Vibhishana was devoted to Bhagwan Ram but he was also attached to Ravan and Kumbhakaran, and therefore there was so much of delay in his Sharnagati. The delay was because he was leading a compromised life.

Single-pointed love for the Higher

  • We must remember that as long as the love for the higher is not single-pointed, the dividends will always be less.
  • All our energy should be spent towards destroying Kaam (lust), Krodh (anger), Ahankaar (ego), Moha (delusion) etc. God alone has the power to destroy these negativities in us but we never approach Him.
  • When a person lives his life with single-pointed attention towards Bhagwan, his Sharanagati becomes easier and faster.

Principle of Karma-phal v/s Kripa-phal

  • When Vibhishana went to Bhagwan Ram to take refuge, he shouldn’t have been accepted by the Lord as his past actions were not all good, but still he was accepted whole-heartedly by Bhagwan Ram.
  • Ishwar can become ‘Karm-phal daata’ (one who gives the fruits of actions) like He did in case of Bali or He can become ‘Kripa-phal daata’ (one who bestows grace and compassion) like He did in case of Sugreev. Sugreev sought the refuge of Bhagwan Ram while Bali didn’t because of his ahankaar (ego).
  • As a seeker, are you invoking the compassionate God or the God who gives fruits of actions? If you surrender completely to Bhagwan and ask Him, ‘Don’t give me fruits of actions, but give me compassion,’ He will give compassion. Such is His principle!
  • When Vibhishana approached Bhagwan Ram, he seeked Bhagwan’s compassion. At that time, Goswamiji writes that Hanumanji exclaimed, ‘Sharanagat bachhal Bhagwana’. ‘Bachhal’ means ‘calf’; when a calf is born, it is very dirty and the cow, in her love for the calf, licks it and cleans it up. Similarly, the Lord also purifies and cleans the heart of His devotees who surrender to Him.

Lord – The Master Planner

  • When Sugreev suggested Bhagwan Ram to tie and imprison Vibhishana, the Lord said, ‘When a jeeva comes towards me, his sins of numerous births are destroyed. And if he truly is a real sinner and evil-hearted then he wouldn’t be able to come to me at all.’
  • Even for someone to go to an ashram and listen about the Lord, one needs a lot of punya (merits). To have Ramayana in our hands, we need a lot of punya.
  • It is the Lord who created conducive situations for Vibhishana to come to Him. It is the Lord only who had sent Hanumanji to Vibhishana’s house to instil faith in him and invite him to come to the Lord. It is the Lord alone who prompted Ravan to show his real nature to Vibhishana so that He could cut Vibhishana’s attachment towards Ravan.
  • Vibhishana did not just come to the Lord by his own efforts. It is the Lord, who on seeing the love in the heart of Vibhishana, created situations which prompted him to surrender completely to the Lord.

Confluence of Jeeva (Vibhishana) and Ishwar (Bhagwan Ram)

  • As Vibhishana went near Bhagwan Ram, he was overjoyed to see the beautiful face of Bhagwan and His long arms. He was so overwhelmed that he started crying. He said to Bhagwan, ‘I am the abode of all sins. But one thing I have heard – Anybody who comes to You, You forgive all his sins and accept him. Your glory is great!’ Saying so he prostrated to the Lord.
  • Bhagwan Ram on seeing Vibhishana’s love, ran towards him, lifted him and embraced him. It was as though the Lord said to Sugreev, ‘You asked me to tie him, I have tied him in my embrace!’
  • Let Bhagwan Ram and Vibhishana be in embrace in our hearts too, so that we too can get blessings from the Lord to be accepted like Vibhishana.

Day 6

On the last day of the Gyan yagna, Swami Abhedanandaji beautifully described the role of self-effort & Lord’s grace in life, and the relation between these two. Below are a few golden nuggets from the day’s discourse:

Invite the Lord to vanquish your demons (negativities)

  • It is mentioned in the Ramayana, when Bhagwan Ram crossed the ocean, he delayed going to Lanka. He was waiting to see Vibhishana’s eagerness to enter Lanka and get Ravan defeated & killed. Saints say, that the Lord comes in the heart of the jeeva (Vibhishana) only when He sees anxiousness from the jeeva.
  • This delay has a very significant role in the spiritual life of a seeker. We as seekers of Truth, who want to get rid of certain negativities and know that we are not capable of removing them on our own, need to show the Lord our eagerness, our desire, to have Him come in our heart and remove those negative tendencies. Then alone Lord comes.
  • But, somewhere our desire to get rid of our negativities is not that deep and intense. We somehow nurture them. We say what is wrong in having expectations and desires. We even justify them.
  • We somewhere secretly love our negativities, without realizing the serious harm they cause. When we sufficiently suffer and struggle because of them then we realize that Lord’s Maya is very strong.
  • Then begins our Sharanagati – when we want something intensely and we have total faith that Lord alone can give it to us.

Add intensity to your Sharanagati

  • Our prayers gain intensity when we desire something deeply and have ourselves failed miserably in the effort to get it. When we get convinced that we cannot do it alone, then we start depending on the Lord. This dependence on the Lord alone gives depth to our Sharanagati.
  • Lord wants us to go to Him, not only with faith but with all our intensity. Vibhishana had a halfhearted approach initially. Which is why, Lord created a situation and had Ravan throw Vibhishana out of Lanka. That really increased his intensity to go to Bhagwan.
  • Your desperation for wanting something and your inability at being able to get it, despite relentless effort, gives intensity to your prayer. This anxiousness in your prayer adds intensity to your Sharanagati.

Satsang: the Antidote for Doership

  •  As per the story in Lanka Kand, during the war Bhagwan Ram was shooting 30 arrows at Ravan. Twenty for his hands and ten for his heads. The hands represent ‘doer-ship’ in a person and the heads represent ‘attachment’ and ‘delusion’. Despite Bhagwan Ram severing Ravan’s heads and hands again and again, they kept reappearing.
  • The symbolism of the story is that, our doer-ship, attachment, delusion are very strong. When we listen to satsang, these negativities go away for some time by the knowledge acquired during the satsang (represented by Lord’s arrows), and we get inspired to change our behavior, actions and intentions. But the moment we step out of the satsang hall, everything comes back again.

Jeeva’s sincere efforts and Lord’s Grace

  • When Bhagwan Ram was unable to kill Ravan, He pretended to be exhausted and turned to Vibhishan for help. He is Ishwar, the Lord Himself, He didn’t need any help, but He wanted to see how eager Vibhishana was to get Ravan killed.
  • According to the story, as per Vibhishana’s advice, Bhagwan Ram shot thirty-one arrows, with one arrow at the nabhi (belly) of Ravan, finally killing him.
  • Saints say that the first thirty arrows, represent the ‘purusharth (self-effort) of the jeeva’. But the thirty-first arrow represents ‘the grace of the Lord’. It means that we can melt the Lord’s heart through our sincere efforts and then He will shower His grace upon us and vanquish our Ravan (negativities).
  • To receive grace we need to first put our sincere effort. Lord’s grace is always there but the recipient of the grace is not there because of the lack of our effort and intense prayers.
  • We are like the pot kept upside down, even if it’s raining, no water gets collected in such a pot. We have to open ourselves to grace, by keeping the pot the right side up.

Show your helplessness to the Lord

  • Once Bhagwan Ram asked Vibhishana about the nature of his sadhana, whether it was Karma, Bhakti or Gyan yoga. To all, Vibhishana said ‘No’, he has not done any of those sadhanas. His only sadhana was the ‘experience of helplessness’.
  • More we express our helplessness in front of the Lord, more eager He becomes to come and help us. Just like the mother takes care of the needs of her little child because she knows that the child is helpless, similarly, helplessness is the biggest asset for increasing our bhakti, for bringing the Lord to us.
  • Vibhishana’s Sharangati is represented by his helplessness. He accepts in front of the Lord that the mind is too powerful. The anger, passion, ego, attachments, aversions, jealousies etc. are too powerful. He realizes he cannot take them out on his own.
  • Seeing Vibhishana’s helplessness, Bhagwan Ram accepted him, embraced him. If Bhagwan doesn’t have this compassion, we will not be able to do any sadhana and no jeeva can ever progress. Bhakti starts when you realize you got more than you desired and many of your faults have been forgiven and forgotten.

Bhagwan’s My-ness for devotees

  • Bhagwan Ram held Vibhishana’s hand and asked very lovingly, “Oh King of Lanka, are you fine with your family? It is very difficult to live where you lived with demons all around. How did you practice dharma? It is better to live in hell than to live in bad company.” Vibhishana was dumb-founded seeing Bhagwan’s concern and care for him.
  • Bhakti is based on ‘shanubhooti’ i.e., your sorrow and joy becomes Lord’s sorrow and joy. When you love someone and have my-ness on someone, you become concerned about him and his emotions become your emotions. Similarly in Vibhishana’s sharnagati, ‘My-ness’ for Vibhishana came in Bhagwan Ram. This is the success of a jeeva.
  • Success of Sharnagati is that – Ishwar should see me as His. Bhagwan started seeing Vibhishana as ‘Mine’. Therefore, in Ramayan it is said at one place ‘jadyapi sam nahi raag na roshu…’ ‘Although Ishwar is sam (equanimous), but He is not sam for His devotees’. Lord favors His devotees. Bhagwan Kirshna was not sam with Kauravas and Pandavas; He favored Pandavas at all instances.

Seeing Bhagwan’s love for him, Vibhishana was over-joyed and he expressed his emotions by saying some beautiful lines. As Bhagwan Ram witnessed the pure bhaav of Vibhishana, He not only gave Vibhishana the kingdom of Lanka, but also gave Vibhishana a place in His heart.

Winning over Kaam (Selfish desires)

  • Visbhishana says to the Lord, ‘A person cannot have mental quietness unless he leaves all his desires and does Your bhajan.’ Kaam or desire is the source of all sorrows. The only antidote to get free from all desires is my doing bhajan of the Lord.
  • A person desires the objects of the world because he feels he will get joy from them. But when he does Lord’s bhajan and derives joy from it, he no longer desires the world.
  • The joy of satsang and meditation is much more than the joy of indulging in the world. The joy of living with a saint is much more than the joy of living with the worldly people. The joy of desireless-ness is much more than the joy of fulfilling the desires. When one discovers this, his attachment towards worldly objects gradually decreases.
  • Vibhishana says, ‘O Lord, all the wicked thoughts prevail in the heart as long as You are not present in it.’ When Lord becomes big in our heart, all the worldly things appear very small.
  • Negative qualities of greed, delusion, jealousy, intoxication all prevail as long as we do not have the Lord in our hearts. This is because all the negativities are based on getting joy from outside, but when we get sufficient joy from inside then these vanish automatically.

Attachment and Aversion

  • Vibhishana then exclaims that ‘attachment’ is like a dark night. Attachment is an emotion which is completely based on ignorance. It is the feeling of ‘me (aham)’ and ‘mine (mam)’, which creates the whole samsaar (world) for us. In this world who is whose and for how long? With attachment comes insecurity, frustration, anger, ego etc.
  • He further says, ‘Raag (attachment) and Dwesh (aversion)’ are like owl (nocturnal), meaning which flourish due to ignorance (night). So, with raag and dwesh we see something which is not there. We see and project joy in those things which are not there. There is joy in saying, ‘He is my son, she is my daughter’, and our whole life goes in catering to these people. But the interesting point is, despite our best efforts we achieve nothing, there is no purification of heart and nobody is happy with us, including the ones for whom we did most. This darkness remains as long as the Lord is not present in our hearts.

Secret to Happiness

  • Vibhishana then says to the Lord, ‘When You become happy (conducive), then the person does not experience any pain or sorrow.’ It takes a long time to understand that only if the Lord is happy then alone we can be truly happy.
  • Our efforts must therefore be to make our intentions pure, to love the Lord, and to offer ourselves to the Lord. That should be the goal of our life. Happiness does not come by money, beauty, power, qualifications or by talents. Success of life should be measured by how much the Lord is happy with us. If the Lord is not happy, our mind cannot be quiet.

Lord’s Infinite Love

  • Bhagwan Ram then told Vibhishana, ‘If anybody is a rebel and yet he comes to me, after leaving four things – Mada (intoxication), Moha (delusion), Kapat (crookedness), Chhal (deceit), I will make him a Sadhu.’
  • The Lord further added, ‘If one takes all his attachments towards mother, father, brother, son, wife, body, wealth, house, friends etc., and offer them to Me and remains equanimous and devoid of desires, then he remains in my heart and becomes dear to Me as money is dear to a greedy person.’
  • We have many areas of attachments in our lives. Our love is multi-pointed and distributed and therefore, there is no strength in our love. All our love must be for the Lord. The world is a good means to love God and it should not be that the we make God our means to love the world. We should live in the world, live with relatives but attachment and love should be with the Lord alone.
  • Bhagwan then praised Vibhishana saying, ‘Saints like you are very dear to me!’ Bhagwan thus made Vibhishana a saint. This is the principle of Sharanagati.
  • We want the world, and at the same time we want to rely on the Lord as well and thus our life becomes full of struggle. The moment we have this thought that ‘I will live in the world to attain God; I will serve everyone whom the Lord has given me; my goal is to develop my-ness with the Lord,’ the Lord then accepts us in His heart. It is unfortunate that we have not yet understood this principle.
  • The Lord then said to Vibhishana, ‘I want to make you the King of Lanka.’ That Lanka which Ravan got by performing extreme tapasya, was offered to Vibhishana by Ramji. But besides getting the external Lanka, more importantly Vibhishana got place in the Lord’s heart.