None can ever be the cause of fortunate or misfortunate of another. The karman which we have ourselves accumulated in the past, that alone is the cause of fortune and misfortune….It is therefore in vain that he rejoices or is aggrieved of a happy or an unhappy event, because the decrees of Destiny are inevitable even for demons and gods. Man can never escape pleasure or pain, because his body, which is a product of his good or bad actions, is by nature transient. After pleasure pain, after pain pleasure: creatures cannot escape these two, as they cannot the succession of day and night….It is, therefore, that the Sages knowing that all is but illusion, remain steadfast and neither are aggrieved nor joyous for events unhappy or happy. – from the “Adhyatma-Ramayana” (trans. Louis Renou).

The Adhyatma Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit poem which serves as a spiritual commentary on the Hindu epic poem “Ramayana.” Running to 4,200 double verses, the work is traditionally considered to have been penned by Vyasa, one of the characters to appear in the Mahabharata and a revered holy man in Hindu tradition. Presented as a dialogue between Shiva and his wife Parvati, the poem extols both the virtues of Rama, the subject of the “Ramayana,” and the proper principles of true religious devotion, philosophical knowledge and moral righteousness.

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