The Transcendental Boatman - Part 23

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled, "The Transcendental Boatman" wherein we have been meditating on the loving relation between Lord Rama and Guha (the hunter and boatman). We will see further on this topic.

24.Spiritual instructions of Lord Rama to Guha: We saw that Lord Rama blessed Guha with wealth to Guha and also gave some spiritual instructions. Below was the spiritual instruction given by Lord Rama to Guha. (Adhyatma Ramayana – 6.16.18,19)

tato guham samaasaadya raamah praanjalimabravit
sakhe gachcha puram ramyam shringaveramanuttamam
maameva chintayannityam bhunkshva bhogaannijaarjitaan
ante mamaiva saarupyam praapsyase tvam na samshayah

Rama next turned to Guha who was standing there with folded palms and said: "O my friend, now go to the beautiful place of Sringiverapuram. Always think of Me exclusively. And enjoy the fruits of your own earning in My remembrance. And in the end, you will attain a transcendental form like Myself."

Guha took these instructions to His heart and followed it sincerely. We can see from the life of Guha that He executed all nine types of devotional service. He enthusiastically listened to the glories of Lord Rama spoken by Lakshmana throughout the night while guarding the Lord (shravanam). When Bharata asked Guha to talk about Rama’s stay, he explained it with great enthusiasm (kirtanam). And as per the instructions of Lord Rama, he remembered the Lord and continued ruling Sringiverapuram and doing his occupational duties (smaranam). He also did great service to Bharata who is the devotee of Rama and also guarded Lord Rama (paada sevenam). He did worship (archanam) of the Lord by offering Him various food items and also feeding the Lord’s horses. He also offered nice words to the Lord and welcomed Him (vandanam). He did great service to the Lord by ferrying Him across the Ganges and also ferried Bharata (daasyam). He was in close friendship with Lord Rama (sakhyam) and he also offered his entire village to Lord Rama and asked Him to rule them (atma nivedanam).

Because of this sincere devotional service, when Lord Rama decided to wind up His earthly pastimes and return to the spiritual world, Guha also went with Him to the spiritual world. Lord Rama was merciful to take everyone associated with Him in transcendental love. The Bhagavata purana (9.11.22) confirms this point as follows.

sa yaih sprishto abhi' drishto vaa / samvishto ’nugato ’pi vaa 
kosalaas te yayuh sthaanam / yatra gacchanti yoginah

Lord Ramacandra returned to His abode, to which bhakti-yogis are promoted. This is the place to which all the inhabitants of Ayodhya went after they served the Lord in His manifest pastimes by offering Him obeisances, touching His lotus feet, fully observing Him as a father-like King, sitting or lying down with Him like equals, or even just accompanying Him.

We will see how Guha accompanied the Lord in His return to the spiritual world in the next offering, Krishna willing.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna das