Why Rama Did Penance After Killing Ravana?
Sadhguru narrates a beautiful incident in Rama’s life when, after slaying the 10-headed Ravana, he chose to do penance in deep regret for destroying that one head of Ravana’s which possessed great wisdom, devotion and generosity. As Sadhguru reminds us, we all have 10 heads or more to display at different times, but each individual has at least one head of love, beauty and compassion. Both in ourselves and in others, Sadhguru tells us, it is time that we learned to recognize and acknowledge the beauty of the roses among the thorns.
Sadhguru: A very beautiful incident happened in Ramayan. Rama – tch, too many unfortunate happenings in his life. Hmm? He is a king. For some reason, he loses his kingdom – or he gives up his kingdom, or whichever way, or he’s conned out of his kingdom, or he’s too gentle to protest – and walks away from it into the jungle, lives a hard life. Then his wife gets kidnapped by the LTT (Referring to the terrorist group LTTE, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) (Laughter) – oh I’m sorry, by Ravan, I’m sorry (Laughs) (Pauses) – no, by Ravan (Laughs). And then, having love for his wife and being despondent about the loss of her and being concerned what could be happening to her, he walks all the way down south, gathers an army of Tamil people (Laughter). Yeah, who else was in Tamil Nadu (Laughter)? And gets across to Sri Lanka, wages a war, defeats Ravan in the battle, slays him. As all of you know, Ravan had ten heads. With one, you’re struggling, hmm (Laughter)? He had ten!
So Rama went about, you know, ten slaughters so that the man is dead. Battle won, they’re coming back to Ayodhya. Rama chooses… He says, “I don’t want to go back to the kingdom. I want to go to Himalayas and spend some time in the cave of Agastya Muni because I want to repent for the great sin that I have committed. I have killed someone, who was pious, a great devotee of Shiva, a phenomenal scholar, a great king, a generous man.” The others were shocked. Lakshmana said… Lakshmana, his brother, said, “What are you talking about? Ravana kidnapped your wife.” So Rama said, “See, those are the other nine heads. In these other nine heads of his, he had greed, jealousy, lust, all kinds of things. But there was one head, which had great wisdom, knowledge, piety, devotion. I regret taking that head. I would have liked to leave that head alone, not kill the man. But there was no way to do it, so I had to do this. But I am in great repentance because I took away that one head.”
What this is trying to tell you is, all of you have ten or more heads – all kinds of things. Do you see? One day your head is in greed, another ray… another day in jealousy, another day in hatred, another day in love, another day in beauty, another day in ugliness. Yes or no? Or the same day you go through everything (Laughter). If I see you in a moment of jealousy, I’ll say, “This is a jealous one.” If I see you in a moment of greed, I say, “This is a greedy one.” If I see you in a moment of hatred, I say, “That is a hateful one.” If I see you in a moment of lust, I say, “That’s a lustful one.” No, no, everybody has ten and more heads. At different times, different heads are working. But everybody has head – at least one head – of love, beauty, generosity, compassion. At least one head, there is. So the biggest mistake you do in your life is that instead of identifying and condemning a quality, you condemn an individual person. This is what Rama is trying to say. “It doesn’t matter, he did so many horrible things, those are the other nine heads. But that one head I saw of tremendous possibility but unfortunately, I had to take that.”
I want all of you to follow this fundamental principle – in the ashram and wherever else you may be – that if you see something wrong in somebody, we will only condemn that, not him or her. If you bring this wisdom in this New Year, if you just bring this wisdom, this Bhogi, all the baggage will go. When you do this to others, the same will happen to you. There is no need to conclude, “I am this way, I am that way, or I’m like this only.” Well, that’s how you have been in some moments. In some moments, you’ve been a horrible creature, in some moments, you’ve been beautiful, in some moments, you’ve been ugly, in some moments, you’ve been wonderful. If you don’t empower the possibility and take away that which blocks your possibility, then you’re not a spiritual seeker. You are a, you know (Laughs)… We must make you a kangaroo court judge (Referring to a mock court in which the principles of law and justice are disregarded or perverted, and is often held to give the appearance of a fair and just trial, even though the verdict has in reality already been decided before the trial has begun), “She’s not okay, she’s not okay, he’s not okay, he’s not okay, he’s not okay, not okay. And there are a few new people here, whom we’re yet to know – they are beautiful,” (Laughter) you know (Laughs)?
That is a judgmental life. Otherwise, the more you get to know somebody, more love and compassion should happen because now you know all their struggles and problems and things and suddenly you know they’re bloody as human as you are (Laughter), yes (Laughs)?
Rama is doing penance for having killed a man, who kidnaps his wife and he’s done many terrible things. But Rama is still identifying, “There was one head, which was so beautiful. Tch, I shouldn’t have removed that.” This is a man of great wisdom. This is why he is worshipped.
if you see a rose plant, we call it a rose plants. Tell me, are there more roses or more thorns? More thorns but we call it a rose plant because we recognize the beauty. Maybe only one rose but 1000 thorns but we still call it a rose plant. If you see a mango tree, there’re more mangoes or more leaves? Definitely more leaves. We don’t call it a leaf tree, we call it a mango tree because we recognize the sweetness that it drops. Those drops… Oh! Am I teasing you too early (Laughter)? Those drops of sweetness… Full of leaf but that one mango – “Wow, mango tree!” Why don’t we see this in people? Hmm? If there is one drop of sweetness… Have you seen any human being without a single drop of sweetness? Have you seen? Then please do this. Before Pongal or Maattu Pongal comes, depending on which category you are (Laughter), please everybody around you, the people that you work with on a daily basis, people with whom you’ve been rubbing (Gestures) – no, not rubbing shoulders (Laughter), you know.
Just do this – the people that you… That horrible person, this terrible woman – just see that one drop of sweetness can you recognize because if you cannot recognize that, it will not reflect in you, you better know that. Terrible things that you see in other people will reflect in you. This does not mean you should become blind to everything. No. We see the leaf in the tree, we see the thorns in the rose bush, but we acknowledge the flower and the fruit. That’s all we need to do. Rama’s birthday is also coming in the couple of months. Let’s make this happen.