Short Topics from Kumbh Ram Katha: Learnings from Kevat and Maa Kaikeyi’s stories and the strange word ‘I’

What do we learn from Kevat’s story in Shri Ram Charit Manas

On the seventh day of Shri Ram Katha, Pujya Bhaishri spoke on the episode of Kevat from Shri Ram Chant Manas.

When Kevat brought Lord Ram, Lakshman and Sitaji across the river Ganga, Lord Ram presents a gold ring to Kevat in return for his favour. However, Kevat does not accept this saying that all his sorrows and poverty have now vanished. “All my desires have been fulfilled, therefore with your grace, I do not want anything my Lord,” says Kevat.

“I have worked hard in labour all my life but never gained what I have attained today,” says Kevat.

Then, what was the outcome for Kevat?

When one’s desires are destroyed, one becomes the king of kings. When you desire something, put this forward to God and you attain it, this is God’s ordinary grace upon you. However, when you are free from desires totally, this is extra-ordinary grace by God upon you.

There is a rule that you reap what you sow. However here, we see that Kevat has performed an action out of devotion for Lord Ram but does not want the fruit from the outcome. Then did Lord Room let Kevat go empty- handed?

Tulsidasji clarifies that that is not the case. Lord Ram gave Kevat the boon of devotion. Hence this teaches us to perform our actions without attachment to the results.

Did you know why Lord Ram Himself requests Maa Kaikeyi to stop His coronation and make Him go to the forest?

This is a beautiful incidence in Shri Ram Charit Manas whereby Lord Ram Himself requests mother Kaikeyi to let Him go to the forest.

When King Dashrath declared the coronation of Lord Ram, Lord Ram approached Maa Kaikeyi and reminded her that she had promised Lord Ram to ask for whatever He wants when He wishes so. Lord Ram tells Maa Kaikeyi that only she is capable of giving what He wants.

Lord Ram says, “Now that the talk of my coronation is widespread, only you can put off an emperor’s decision. Please do something so that I go to the forest instead of becoming a king”.

Kaikeyi shockingly asked Lord Ram why she would do such a thing when she would not even dream of it!

Ramji then explains to Kaikeyi the reason for this. He says, “Mother, my father is known as an emperor, right? This power is in threat as another powerful empire of Daśānan (Ravan) is rising against it. There cannot be two emperors in this world”.

Lord Ram says to Kaikeyi that He needs to travel to the forest in the South where ordinary people do not have the basics of food and shelter. This will worsen due to the evil ideology of Daśānan which simply is to enjoy material pleasures selfishly.

There are two ideologies: one of Dashrath and the other of Daśānan. Explaining the ideology of Dashrath further, Pujya Bhaishri says that Dashrath is the form of Veda. Dashrath means this body in the form of chariot which consists of ten senses (i.e. ten horses).

The intellect is the charioteer, the mind is the rein and the soul is the person sitting in this chariot. The chariot is moving but it is being controlled with the reins by the charioteer so that the horses do not wander everywhere. Thus, the intellect, with its discrimination and the reins of the mind control the senses so that they travel in the right direction of the goal of our well-being.

On the other hand, where the leader of the ten senses is Ravan, meaning, attachment to material pleasures, it’s only motive is to eat, drink and be merry with its ten mouths.


The word ‘I’ is strange

There is great strangeness in the word ‘I’. From morning to evening, a person utters ‘I’ many times. Several issues arise due to ‘I’. The surprising thing is that to resolve these issues risen from ‘I’, a person continues to use ‘I’.

The root cause of violence and distress is ‘I’. Life can be blissful and a celebration but one’s ego is a barrier. Reliance and continuous use of ‘I’ makes one stone-hearted, whereas life is beautiful through kindness, humility, love and compassion.

‘I’ means imprisoning oneself and denying oneself from the freedom of the sky.

Remember one thing, freedom from ‘I’ is the only solution to liberate yourself from your problems.

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