Letter to My Children

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Letter to My Children

Youtube Dharma: Mother’s love on Mother’s day 2010

hat does Youtube have to do with Dharma? Ever since I started writing about Dharma as the Standard in our life I have been searching for a good example to write and discuss it. Now, thanks to Youtube, I have found one set of lyrics that partly illustrates my point about Dharma-the ideal for a human to behold and keep moving along to the path to enlightenment.

I invite you to listen to the melodiously sung lyrics by Vikram Hazra on Youtube, entitled, “Bhajan_ Achyutam Kesavam” “ kaun kehta hai bhagwan atae nahi”. The lyrics are in Hindi but the rendition is overpowering. The lyrics are simple and ask simple questions followed up with seemingly simple answers with a deeper meaning that cannot be written out easily. Of course one has to know the legends behind each question to understand the context and then gain entry into mystery of the meaning of the word Dharma-as the Standard.
One questions posed is,” kaun kehta hai bhagwan khate nahin, baer Shabri ki tarah jo khilaye nahin”:-who says that God does not eat? But then, have we served the Lord as the Shabri fed Lord Ram?”. The legend has it that Shabri , a devotee of Lord Ram, waited a long time for Lord Ram to come by so she could offer him the choice berries she had collected. Shabri had a quality controller in place for the berries-herself. She would pluck the berries, dutifully bite and taste each one and keep aside the sweeter ones for Lord Ram! When Lord Ram came by He ate the pretested and pre-tasted berries with gusto!! Therefore, having a quality controller for our daily karma would be nice- and we do have our Self. Do we use it? If we do, we can also serve the Lord the perfect way! Not that easy!

Then the lyrics ask the question: “who says God does not answer the call of the devotee? But then have we expressed our devotion with the same intensity as Meera did?” Meera was a 16th century Rajput princess in India who chose the life of a wanderer in ‘virtual marriage’ with Lord Krishna. She was one of the saints of the ‘bhakti movement,’ espousing devotion to Lord Krishn as the ultimate recipe for union with the Supreme. Although a princess, Meera forsake the comforts of life and became a mendicant dancing in ecstasy of love of the Supreme, and wrote poems filled with longings and prayer for the Lord. Her renunciation of the comforts of life is reminiscent of what Buddha had done several centuries earlier. Unfettered passionate devotion by Meera for Krishn is the Standard to follow for our passion. Meera’s name has become immortal because of her unwavering passion expressed in her lyrics, and Buddha’s passion attained Him Nirvan! How many of us can claim that!

Finally, just to remind us of Mother’s day (May 9, 2010) the lyrics pose, ‘ who says God does not like to rest (in our lap) - but then does our devotion, love, and affection towards Krishn measure up to the gentle love of His mother Yashoda”? Might it be that God does not rest and live in our bosom, because our love and affection does not come close to that of mother Yashoda? Our problem is not be the lack of love or affection towards our Lord or our allotted duty, but how can one match the love and affection of a mother towards her child! This improbability, I think, gives us the real clue into the nature of Dharm as the ideal, unattainable Standard of duty in life. No matter how much we try, Dharm remains the elusive Ideal- a mathematical function of “approaching infinity”.
*Omanand Koul is a Kashmiri from Anantnag, a graduate of the Banaras Hindu University, and a professor at the University Of Massachusetts, Worcester(USA).
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