An incident from the Ramayan showing the strength of self- empowerment

Our Sanatana Dharma is an encyclopaedia of life lessons. Our Dharma since the Vedic times has taught us valuable lessons and virtues which are relevant even in today’s modern times too. Virtues of truth, humility, courage, self-esteem, independent and innovative thinking are the ones on which the foundations of success lie and one such lesson of self-empowerment was taught by a simple Rishi who gave the success mantra to none other than Devraj Indr, in the Ramayan, and the same was acknowledged by Shri Ram as the mantra of success in life.

Rishi Sharabhang was one of faithful devotee who was awaiting the presence of Shri Ram. It was at the time when the noble Rishi had to leave the mortal world had arrived, that Shri.Ram arrives at his doorstep. For the piousness of the sage, Devraj Indr himself comes to escort the sage to the heavenly world. But, Rishi Sharabhang politely refuses the offer of Devraj Indr and mentions that it would be unfair of him to go against the rules of creation to leave the mortal world with the body. He believes no matter how big the position is, he would like to follow the rules and attain the divine place with his own virtues. He also mentions that more than he going to the heavenly world, it was more important for him to welcome Shri Ram who was coming to visit him which was his first duty. Sending Devraj Indr back, Rishi Sharabhang warmly welcomes Shri Ram to his ashram. He then offers Shri Ram certain miraculous powers which would make him powerful and also make his life easy in the forest.

However, Shri Ram quoting the Rishi itself as an example refuses the kind gesture. He mentions that Rishi Sharabhang himself had set a greatest example to mankind with his belief in himself and refusing the offer of Devraj Indr. The rishi was confident of his deeds and hence he knew that he would reach the abode of the Almighty without the help of any celestial. In the same way, Shri Ram too wanted to achieve the fulfilment of a human life with will power and belief in self, but not with any miracles which would make his life easy.

Shri Ram humbly only seeks his blessings in the path of Dharma and thus proves that belief in self is the greatest miraculous power a human has. Immensely pleased by Shri Ram’s words, Rishi Sharabhang blesses Shri Ram and leaves his mortal body and becomes a light of knowledge which merges into the Almighty.

One learns two lessons from the two great icons here. Rishi Sharabhang had two choices.

One was to achieve the name and fame as the Rishi who was escorted by Devraj Indr himself, or simply welcome Shri Ram, a wanderer of the forest and give him hospitality. The simple Rishi chose the second proving that when he has belief in himself, then he would reach the highest pinnacle of success, and needs no miracles.

Shri Ram teaches that in a life driven by choices, the wise person never chooses shortcuts, instead chooses the one which would drive the values of Dharma forever. Shri Ram simply proves that not only the destination of the journey, but the journey to reach the destination too is important with values of self-belief and self-empowerment.