The victory of the underdog

The victory of the underdog

By SWAMI SHANTATMANANDA | 29 October, 2017

Devotees would often ask Sri Ramakrishna as to how to overcome their apparently insurmountable obstacles and reach their ultimate spiritual destiny.  Sri Ramakrishna would show them the way using a beautiful example.  Once, there was a wrestling bout between Hanuman Singh, a lean and thin wrestler, and an opponent who was stout and well built.  From quite a few days prior to the date of the wrestling match, the stout and tall wrestler was busy consuming huge quantities of non-vegetarian food, etc and practiced relentlessly.  On the other hand Hanuman Singh spent a lot of time in prayer and meditation.  He was praying to Lord Mahavir, the patron deity of wrestlers.  Surprisingly when the bout actually took place, Hanuman Singh who was nimble footed cleverly outwitted his opponent and floored him.  Although it appeared he was physically no match to his opponent, yet his strategy gave him a huge advantage.  He won the match very easily.  Thus Sri Ramakrishna would say, quite often people think of reaching the spiritual destination using worldly means.  They succumb to the play of the senses and indulge in Bhoga or enjoyments.  But, true spiritual seekers are extremely focused.  They understand their limitations and try to do intense Sadhana by way of prayer, Japa and meditation.  They constantly practise Viveka or discrimination and Vichara or enquiry.  Slowly by the effort of their intense Sadhana they also start experiencing the grace of God and progress slowly but surely in their spiritual journey.  At one point of time they clearly understand that however much they might practise spiritual disciplines, they can reach the spiritual goal only through the intervention of God’s grace.  But, they continue to practise their disciplines with great sincerity and devotion.  However, because of their firm dependence on God they no longer feel any doubt about their spiritual destiny.  Finally they realize the Ultimate Spiritual Truth. 

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