|| Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram ||
If you are a believer of God, spirituality and goodness in general, you should know this. Well, when we utter the name of Samartha Ramdas Swami, his many literary works emerge before the eyes; but Dasbodh tops the list. Those who have read Dasbodh can tell how much more they started adoring this divine saint of Maharashtra, after the read. The read has turned the magnanimous atheists into devotees. The read has changed the negative life of many into a continuous stream of positive energy. The read has given many a chance to see their life in different perspective and has allowed them to be detached from worldly things, despite running the household successfully.
Today there is great necessity of a saint like Samartha Ramdas. If not, at least his teachings should be propagated in every nuke and corners of the world, in order to make this universe a peaceful yet powerful abode. Why it has become so much necessary for his teachings to be accepted worldwide? Let’s discuss briefly.
1) Stress has taken its toll on all of us-
We all reason out our stress factors. We blame it on our work, family problems, intolerant kids, and what not. It is sort of becoming a fashion statement. If a man or woman is working, he or she has to have stress. People without stress are joked about! But inside we all know how detrimental this stress has become in our life! It is not letting us live for a moment happily. Perhaps running behind so-called happiness is the main reason behind this stress.
And Samartha Ramdas tells us how foolish we are to see everything in the light of stress. When we first read Dasbodh, actually we feel shy at times to read ahead. This is because, this visionary saint has pointed out our foolishness so intricately that we ‘fit the bill’ almost in every sentence.
He tells us how foolish it is to think that we are governing this world! It is the biggest mistake to think of the fruit of our labor. Raam-karta (God does) is the sootra he binds us with. What is in the hands of a man? Do we govern over birth and death? Can we avoid death just because we have so much scientific prowess? That however does not mean we shouldn't work hard. Samartha Ramdas Swami gives high emphasis on targeted hard work. He rubbishes off the lazy guys who are worth nothing. He puts enough stress on physical well being, which in turn nullifies stress according to modern health sciences. Having known that, if we start looking at our regular work as the “work given by God”, we tend to visualize His footsteps in success as well as failure, thus without attaching oneself to that. It’s a matter of practice for sure. When this attitude is imbibed again and again, stress vanishes in the thin air. Be it any act; consider Him (God) as the Karta (doer) of that! Isn’t this teaching necessary in today’s scenario that we discussed above? Quite introspective!
2) Nullifying the Ego-
Perhaps this is the first step in our journey towards the “true wisdom”. European philosophers have given a nice name to man. They say- “What is Man? Man is God playing the fool!” See the analogy behind this. Samartha Ramdas, while stressing the “Sohambodh” tells us that we human beings carry excess ego inside us, considering WE as the creator and destroyer of day to day works and activities. This is nothing but the wrapping of our TRUE BEING with Maya. It happens because- “What is true of macrocosm is true of microcosm”. God is the highest power; we humans imitate him because we are not only part of him but Him! One needs to study this aspect of Dasbodh very deeply to understand.
Even if we leave the philosophical part, we can say that shedding this EGO is nothing but coming out of the imaginary spell of Maya. This is not applicable only on spiritual plane but in day to day life. Samartha always told people to integrate spirituality with their daily life. Only then one can attain the Ultimate Peace. How important it is today! Everyone is trying to pull down someone else to climb up. Whom are we trying to pull down? Where are we reaching by doing this? Nowhere! When this ego is shed and one embarks on the philosophy of “Ekoham Bahusyaam” (Only one God has taken different forms in the universe; you and me are but Him!), you see God in every living and non-living being! The whole world seems a beautiful place governed by the Super-Power that takes care of us.
Samartha Ramdas insists on vairagya. This however does not mean abandoning the world or household. Samartha stresses on vairagya (detachment) of mind and psyche. Raja Janak had loads of pleasures in terms of huge empire and monetary gains but he is always remembered as a viraagi who did not have any attachment to the worldly things. Shri Ramchandra had ahead of him the lure of whole empire but he left it without thinking twice.
Here it doesn’t mean one shouldn’t strive for success or money. But it means, one should not give highest importance to these material things and should know about the temporariness of these things. Samartha stresses on the fact that nothing in this world is fixed or permanent except death. When this is true, why bother so much about the material possessions that bring lot of stress and insecurity with them? Instead, by keeping our thoughts on the spiritual path, we can stay away from the miseries that failures bring to us. We can mold ourselves into contented human beings that have only peace inside them.
Also Samartha teaches “Vairagya with Viveka”; that is, while having the balanced detachment from worldly things, we should have the strong conscience working for us. “Do what you feel like; everything is ok” has become today’s motto. No wonder we are witnessing so many mishaps world-over. If we practice this teaching, far less people will fall prey to the tactics of show off. Today we are doing all the things far more than necessary; be it eating, buying unnecessary things, celebrating money in the name of rituals, etc. Samartha’s Vairagya and Viveka can help us to be on the right track and get others on the same!
Through the same principle emerges the “Mumukshutwa” Samartha teaches through Dasbodh. Before one becomes Sadhaka (one in the pursuit of ultimate wisdom), one has to attain mumukshu-state. It is nothing but realization of one’s mistakes deeply, while correcting them. We all realize our mistakes at times. But we do not correct them always and keep moving ahead. But in this fashion, we can never attain the ultimate peace. That’s why we are suffering from so much turmoil in our lives. Samartha says, one should always be cautious. Every step of life should be taken with much precaution and considering all the pros and cons of the situation. If your inner mind is telling you it’s not right; don’t do it. It’s actually simple! Always have this conscious guiding you through the thick and thin of life. This will save you from many future hassles. This is however on worldly plane. In spiritual path, the mumukshuttwa is further important. It guides your conscious and keeps it away from blunders on the path of attaining perfection. This actually leads you to the right spiritual Guru, who gives re-birth to the NEW YOU and rides you through the apparently unknown territory of spiritual wisdom.
Last but not the least, samartha ramdas Swami’s stress on Bhakti (Devotion) is unmatched. In all the sects of spirituality, maximum insistence has been found on devotion. Without it, you are nothing. It is the means as well as the goal. Today its implication is far more important. As young adult residents of this world, we don’t have many good idols. There are very few people left whom we can devote ourselves to. But they are there. When we learn the importance of such devotion, only then perhaps, we can learn devotion or utter surrender to God. Searching the right spiritual Guru and learning under him is the necessity of time. Devotion is something that is beyond the realms of worldly matters. “Devotion for the sake of Devotion” is what we can learn from Samartha’s Dasbodh, Manobodh, etc.
Today people are praying to God, visiting various temples, and donating gold ornaments to God, so as to make God happy and hoping that God will return this favor by imparting some material pleasures in their life. Samartha strongly objects to this and tells us about the grave consequences of such worldly pleasures. He cautions us that only through utter devotion and vairagya, it is possible for us to be truly happy.
There are many more aspects of Samartha Ramdas’s Teachings but considering today’s scenario, the above four seem to be more relevant and appropriate to be followed world over. Samartha’s teachings are not bound by any religion, caste and creed. They are universal doctrines that have been verified by many stalwarts in the spiritual path again and again!