On commitment…

लक्ष्मीश्चन्द्रादपेयाद्वा हिमवान्वा हिमं त्यजेत्।
अतीयात्सागरो वेलां न प्रतिज्ञामहं पितुः।।2.112.18।।

lakṣmīścandrādapeyādvā himavānvā himaṃ tyajet।
atīyātsāgaro velāṃ na pratijñāmahaṃ pituḥ॥

The Moon might lose its splendour, snow might abandon the Himavat mountain,
the ocean might overstep its shores, but I (Shri Ram) shall not forsake the promise made to my father.

The pada above may seem to some as an overkill, an exaggeration of reality.

We all say things, but how many of us manage to stick my them? Forget the mundane statements that we make, we even fail to keep simple promises.

Oh what does it matter? One might say. One can always change words according to circumstances.

Yes, we can. We are human. And this is why Sri Rama is revered. Because he came in human form, but he showed us the benchmark of what a person who follows Dharma is like.

He showed us that a commitment, once made, is stuck to, regardless of the consequences. Regardless of the fact that he had to relinquish his throne and be banished to the forest for 14 years.

Why couldn’t he just turn around and say – this condition is not valid anymore because it is unfair? Promises are meant to be broken isn’t it?

But if he had done that, he would not be known as Sri Rama, and worshipped by millions around the world even today.

So is commitment. One should aim to not make a commitment, unless one is absolutely sure of it. And once made, one should not step away, no matter what the consequences.

Easier said than done, so what? Let’s at least try?

Someone told me about the power of vāk shakti. What we speak, whatever we speak, remains in the universe and reverberates till the end of time. It has repercussions, some big, some small, but it stays. An immutable record of our numerous utterances. And so we have to be careful of what we speak, and once spoken, we should abide by it.

Very simple, very powerful and almost impossible for us to follow. The ones who are able to however, can move mountains. They become “shreshta purusha”.

यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जनः ।
स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते ॥ २१ ॥

yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

Srimad Bhagawad Gita 3.21