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61. Ramacharitmanas: The Third Eye

Kama nervously approached Shiva who was majestically seated in perfect meditation.   Just has he had done with every living being on Earth, Kama assumed he could bring Shiva under his sway. He prepared his weapons of intoxication.

When he saw Shiva he began to tremble, he was awestruck, but it was too late to turn back now, he had to proceed. Invoking spring, Kama initiated the life giving season which is filled with sweetness.  Trees filled with fruits, plants flowered, sweet fragrances pervaded the land and the rivers and ponds sparkled beautifully in the most delightful way creating the perfect environment for passion.

But how can a being who is self existent such as Lord Shiva be drawn to act by worldly pleasures? He cannot be comprehended even by great saints.

Kama and his army executed every strategy they had to sway the Lord but nothing worked, he remained completely peaceful, finally he climbed a mango tree and shot arrows of enticement at Shiva’s chest.  Lord Shiva’s third eye, the spiritual vision, began to open. Immediately Kama, the embodiment of  passion and desire was reduced to ashes.

Rati, the wife of Kama was in dismay when she heard the news and ran to the abode of Lord Shiva.  She pleaded with him to bring back her husband.  Shiva said, ‘My dear child, Kama will continue to exist in the world but will be formless, he will continue to bring the world under his sway for many years to come.

The third eye of Lord Shiva, destroys all passion and desire, this is the message of Tulasidas here.  A being of true consciousness cannot be held to ransom by sensual desires. The third eye represents the ajna chakra which transcends our ordinary vision and represents our highest state of awareness.

Hindus apply marks to their foreheads in praise of this sacred vision and to remind themselves of this higher vision for our lives.

The third eye opens  the connection to meditation, enlightenment, and total bliss, unlike the worldly eyes which are like wild horses for worldly desire, the spiritual eye cannot succumb to the attractive call of cupids arrows. 

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