There is story in the yoga vAsiShTha: Rama,
after listening to the advaita teaching which
states that everything is mithyA, wanted to test
vAsiShTha, his guru. As he was coming to
the palace, he sent a wild elephant to chase
vAsiShTha muni. Obviously, vAsiShTha ran
away to avoid getting hurt. Rama then questioned
him as to why he had run away, when the elephant
was only mithyA. vAsiShTha answered that his
running away was also mithyA.
The point is that mithyA does not mean ‘unreal’.
It is real within its sphere of operation. It is not non-existent
as is a vandhyA putra [a son of a barren woman]. It is not
absolutely real either, since what is absolutely real is that
which never undergoes any change.
Hence Shankara says: All that you see (or experience) is mithyA,
since there is seer-seen distinction which keep changing. That
which you see is not non-existent, since non-existent things
cannot be experienced.
Kidnapping and terrorizing is not new - it occurred in Krishna's
time and Rama's time. Only the actors are different and the mode
of operation is different.
Stand apart and look at the space-ship earth rotating itself
and around the sun at incredible speeds. It will continue on
its course irrespective of the drama happening on the ground.
It has been doing so for millennia and will continue to do so
for many more. Generations have come and generations have
gone. Civilizations have come and gone. yuga-s have come and
gone. From the point of view of the absolute, all is simply
the drama that occurs - incredible drama.
At the local level, selfishness broods and gives rise to these
kinds of terrorist activities. That does not mean that
you have to stand apart as mere bystanders. Rama did not
keep quiet, nor did Krishna. Every Hindu God is fully equipped
to deal with the situation; it is called positive goodness -
not inert goodness like a door-mat. The Lord has given
us the capacity to fight back and to establish dharma - a universal
dharma which is expressed by the prayer:
sarve bhavantu sukhinaH sarve santu nirAmayAH
sarve bhaDhrANi pashyantu mA kashchidH duHkhabhAgbhavet
May everyone be happy. May everyone be free
May everyone see prosperity and let it be no
to be in misery.
That is the vision of the great sages. Let
us invoke their blessings in these devastating
moments to give us the strength and intelligence
to fight back to establish that universal dharma.
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