Kshemam & Yogam

Kshemam & Yogam are both concepts in Sanatana Dharma Literature (Hinduism) where in Kshemam means to retain the happiness and the sense of safety one already possesses. Yogam means to expect happiness and security that does not already exist. An individual in Gruhastu Ashram(am) should desire both Kshemam and Yogam in ones live. One must question this crucial fact, just because we desire something, is it guaranteed? If we have the ability to retain our happiness, then why do some people lose it? As we discussed in in the topic of papa(m) & punya(m) that there are no two separate entities in Sanatana Dharma, one to give and one to take. It’s obvious that while giving or taking there is no prejudice or favoritism. If retaining happiness is not in a person’s control, what can anyone do about it? This is something we can learn from the topics on this portal. One can gain a state of happiness for certain reason or by an event, but another event can change that state. Can one be happy all the time, is that possible, especially in this reality? Well, the answer is not straightforward, as per Shastra(m) the very reason a species comes to existence in this loka is to shed both papa & punya and its vasana. If a jiva accumulates only punya then that jiva will go to Swargaloka (Swarga:lokam), if that jiva accumulates only paapa then it goes to Narakaloka (Narka:lokam), but if both paapa and punya are in certain ratio then they come to Bhuloka (Bhu:lokam) to shed it. While shedding one’s karma, one could accumulate more in the cycle of karma, or shed both and walk towards Ishwara (Ishvar) in the path of dharma. There is a total of seventeen lokas, seven are considered higher lokas and seven lower, a specific set of punya or paapa leads a jiva to traverse through these lokas. Indra is the title of kingship over Swargaloka, Sri Vishnu directed King Bali to Satyaloka (Satya:loka), there are many such examples in Purana explaining various lokas. Coming back, when one chooses a life of gratitude during good times, and a life of tolerance during tough times, one can achieve anything, because they have Ishwara’s support. This statement doesn’t necessarily mean to walk in the path of dharma for few days and hope things to change spontaneously.  Many envision achieving things in their lives, but with the support of Ishwara there is no limit to what one can achieve. How does one gain such strength? A resolve to exploring and reciting Shastra and/or an extraordinary composition like Kanakadhara will result in Ishwara cultivating such strength in us.

In Sri Valmiki Ramayanam, Sundara Kanda, book 5, Sarga (Chapter) 36, Sloka 19, Sita Devi says to Hanuma:

“कच्चित् आशास्ति देवानाम् प्रसादम् पार्थिव आत्मजः |
कच्चित् पुरुष कारम् च दैवम् च प्रतिपद्यते ||”

“kaccit aashaasti devaanaam prasaadam paarthiva aatmajaH |
kaccit puruSha kaaram ca daivam ca pratipadyate”

(Valmiki Ramayana. S.K. n.d.)

Meaning, Sita Devi is asking Hanuma if Rama is urging the anugraham (grace) of Ishwara along with His own will and strength, and with the understanding of the role played by fate.

Hanuma meeting Sita Devi in Lanka and Sita giving Her ring for Ram (Event from Sundara Kanda, Valmiki Ramayan) (2008)

With this understanding, if one wishes to retain one’s happiness and acquire new happiness in life, two things need to be acknowledged. First, accept that one has performed adharma (dushkarma) and dharma (satkarma) in past or previous lives, which lead to the current human state, without which one would not have attained this unique life as a manusha (human being), especially when there are more than eight million species on Earth. Second, with this consensus, conclude that all Karma (actions) be entwined with dharma/devotion (bhakthi), why? Because when one realizes that everything is owned and created by Ishwara, and hopes to cultivate the same compassion shown by Ishwara, then such a living, results in harmony with others and with nature. Such a life, with the recitation of Kanakadhara (and or Shastra), can achieve Ishwara’s anugraham (grace), which in return results in Kshemam and yogam. It also might lead to Ishwara steering us to a well-established position and lifestyle, making us an example and a tool to help and support others.

An excellent example would be the book ‘Wings of Fire’ written by A.P.J Abdul Kalam, former President of India. Mr. Kalam, who initially desired for a career, rather was selected for a different position in Indian Air Force. Depressed with this news, he lied down in an Ashram lawn. A sage passing by noticed his sadness and asked for a reason. On hearing Mr. Kalam, the sage stated the reason to be God’s will, for you to excel and be used as a tool to help and uplift many. The Sage then suggested Mr. Kalam pursue this position with confidence in God, and wait for its glory to manifest. These words gave Mr. Kalam the confidence that has made him a pioneer in the satellite technology and the nation’s defense security, eventually to emerge as the President of India. After his Presidential term, Mr. Kalam spent the rest of his life teaching and spending time with students, which he loved and long aspired. Those words of the sage and his confidence in God shaped his glorious and proud future. A life lived with the satisfaction considering a tool of Ishwara, one can excel in any career. It’s to be noted that the passion to choose the desired career is not discriminated here, but just passion, without confidence in Ishwara  to be the ultimate guide will raise us to higher conscience. It’s to be noted that irrespective of our choice, Ishwara will always have the same compassion since He owns no favoritism.  (Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.10)

REFERENCE ENTRY (APA Style citation)

Sri Chaganti Koteshwar Rao (Orator). (n.d.). Kanaka Dhara Stotram [Audio Part 1-19, Recorded by Srichaganti.net]. Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India. Retrieved from http://http://www.english.srichaganti.net/KanakaDharaStrotram.aspx

Valmiki Ramayana. (n.d.). Sundara Kanda. Retrieved from http://www.valmikiramayan.net/utf8/sundara/sarga36/sundara_36_frame.htm

Hanuma meeting Sita Devi in Lanka and Sita giving Her ring for Ram (Event from Sundarakanda, Valmiki Ramayan). (July 6, 2008). Wikimedia Commons.
File: Hanuman taking Sita’s ring.jpg. Retrieved from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a1/Hanuman_taking_Sita%27s_ring.jpg