Sage Jabali is visited by God Ram, Sita, and Laxman as they travel to the site of their exile. Jabali was trying to convice Ram to defy his father’s desires and return to Ayodhya.
Curious Jabali earnestly asked, “Rama, you’re a wise man. Why do you choose to obey an unjust order from your father? Why endure hardships in the forest when you are already declared the king of Ayodhya and you can live comfortably in your king palace?”
Jabali continued, explaining his beliefs, “To me, there’s no god, heaven or hell. I don’t see father or mother or brother or wife as bondings, but illusions. The only reality to me is this world – where we’re born and die. We deserve to live a comfortable life for ourselves.”
After listening to Jabali, Ram responded, “Jabali, you’re a smart man, but you’re ruled by your selfish motives and thinking. Your argument dismisses the mysteries of life – of creation and destruction, good and evil – all of which logic cannot comprehend.”
He continued, “Jabali, you speak of attachment to the world full of sorrow and suffering, but fail to see the eternal and blissful part of our existence; our true self that is in unity with God.”
Taking a deep breath, he continued, “Duties, honors and seeking true self are not illusionary bonds for me, they are the essence of life. I will continue to obey my fathers order and fulfill my duty in this forest and preserve peace during my entire exile period.”
Stunned by Ram commitment, Jabali admitted, “I spoke those words to see if you were firm in your beliefs. I am a believer in God, but I pretended to challenge your principles.”
Rama acknowledged his confession calm-heartedly. “Stay true to your beliefs, Jabali. Your words hold immense power and should be used for nobler purposes.”
This conversation between Ram and Jabali always reminds me of the importance of being steadfast in your beliefs and duties, as they not only define your character but also guide you towards the path of righteousness and truth. Misusage of knowledge and reason can lead us astray. It is wisdom that helps us leverage them in the right direction.