Episode 45 – The second form of Bhakthi as per Valmiki Ramayana – “Paarathanthriyam”

rama-sita

In the previous episode, we discussed the deeper meaning of “Seshathvam”, a very important form of Bhakthi, and it’s applicability to modern day life. In the course of the discussion we also saw one of the main reasons why people today suffer from mental depression. We discussed the significance of giving equal priority to both the “Deham” (Physical body & materialistic activities) as well as our “Aathman” (The Inner soul & corresponding spiritual practices). We concluded the last episode by saying that to overcome mental depression, we need to be steadfast in our daily spiritual practices, which would rather lead us to strengthen our focus on our “Aathman” and therefore we would not get doomed very easily by materialistic losses that we might face all through our lives! Thus, this is the main purpose of Lakshmana’s incarnation in this world – To devote one’s life completely in the “Kainkariya” (Seva/Service) to the Lord.

Let’s extend this discussion even further today, before we go into the next form of Bhakthi. Here, a question may arise as to how much time do we devote for Bhagawan everyday? Let’s look at our modern day life schedule for a moment – Every passing day we wake up in the morning, prepare ourselves to go to our school/college/workplace, spend the whole day there and return home by late evening or night. This schedule continues throughout from Monday till Friday. During the weekends, we sleep longer, wake up late on the pretext of being “tired” after a long week of work, do some laundry, household chores, go out for shopping, recreation activities, etc. But what about a little time for Bhagawan, who has created us? Isn’t He entitled for atleast a little bit of our time? Here is someone who has given us everything in this world – A good family, a good job, good parents, etc. Some of you might ask immediately – How can you say that He has given me a good job? The answer here is very simple: There are countless number of people in this world who suffer because of unemployment, and at this stage, we all have good jobs that are good sources of legitimate income! This one answer is enough to put an end to this debate! However, some people might argue that, it is only because I had qualified myself enough and I’m having this job today – Let’s think for a moment here. How many youngsters who are well qualified and are still in the lookout for a decent job to make a living? There are aplenty! Thus, only if we explore in this way, we would realize that many a time in our life, we would never be able to justify that it is only because of our efforts that we have a luxurious life today! Indeed, we have to realize that we are blessed by Bhagawan to lead such wonderful lives, without many hassles! Hence it is very important for all of us to realize this point and allocate some time in our daily routine schedule for Bhagawan and perform our spiritual practices regularly! It is also important that we all need to bold and courageous to undertake the path of “Aatma-Chinthanam”. Our worldly life and spiritual life should find an amicable balance between each other, and if all these fall in place, I’m sure that none of us would suffer from any form of mental depression ever in our lives and we shall maintain our divine happiness always and forever!

Now let’s move on further. So far we’ve seen the significance of Lord Rama and Lakshmana’s birth. Now let’s see the significance of Bharata’s birth. Why did Bharata incarnate? What did he preach to the world? Bharata stood as an epitome of another form of Bhakthi called “Paarathanthriyam”! What is “Paarathanthriyam”? It means that we as devotees should be always associated with Bhagawan in all ways. Bharata lived in a way that he was ready to do whatever Bhagawan wanted him to do – He was ready to remain in Ayodhya even when Lord Rama undertook the fourteen years of exile. When Rama said to Bharata that he had to rule the kingdom of Ayodhya till Rama comes back, Bharata never spoke a word against it. Hence, we can see here that Bharata was devoted to the Lord in a way that he was ready to act only as per Bhagawan’s wish. He was ready to execute whatever Lord Rama wanted him to do! This form of Bhakthi is called “Paarathanthriya”. Lakshmana might not accept to this extent – Because, the moment Rama advised Lakshmana that he should remain at Ayodhya during the fourteen year period, Lakshmana was adamant and followed Rama to the forest. Thus here we can see the difference between the two forms of Bhakthi. When we talk about “Seshathvam”, Lakshmana was keen to be of service to the Lord blindly, whereas when we talk about “Paarathanthriyam”, we see that Bharata was keen to be of service to the Lord, “according to the Lord’s wish”! The difference needs to be noted very carefully here!

After knowing these two forms of Bhakthi, you may ask me as to which path of Bhakti to we follow in our everyday life? Which is better – Seshathvam or Paarathanthriyam? Which form of Bhakti does Bhagawan like the most? Let’s find out the answers in the next episode!

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