In a string of run-on lines, Tulasidasji further describes the hypocrisy of the people then. Cheaters of another’s wealth are termed as “smart”. Those who blow their own trumpet, publicising themselves, are considered high profile personalities. Liars and glib talkers, and those that can entertain and amuse are called highly talented. The ones who have the daring to challenge the traditional wisdoms for the Shrutis, and propagate new theories are the intellectuals. Those who display unkempt long hair and overgrown nails are hailed as great ascetics! Inauspicious garments (filthy, vulgar, torn or black) and inauspicious ornaments and accessories (made of teeth, claws, bones, fur or skin) are the fashions of the times. Those who eat a lot and ravenously are worshipped as “yogis” or “siddhas” (perfect spiritual beings). The misrepresenters of facts who give out fake news in an amusing and entertaining manner are considered as great orators, not the wise and truthful teachers of wisdom. All men fall for honey traps and dance about like show monkeys to the orders of their mistresses. Desire ridden, men are possessed of greed and anger. Greed being the force that propels them, ethics take a backseat. Shastras forbid the acceptance of charity by those who earn through service. Regardless, in Kaliyug, all people accept donations, deserved or undeserved. The least educated have academic pretensions and have the temerity to argue down the intellectuals.
Women discard their handsome caring husbands, and live adulterous lives. Such women are termed “unfortunate”. Married women lack ornamentation and dress shabbily, while widows adorn themselves with the latest new jewellery and style. The gurus seem deaf, and the disciples seem blind. One does not listen and the other cannot perceive. A guru who usurps a disciple’s money but fails to liberate him from sorrow, goes to Hell.
Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi. Email: prarthnasaran@