Jungian Analytical & Clinical Review on Indian Philosophy
Character to be explored: Philosophy of Jalaram Bapa.
Author Identifying Statement:
Name: Dr. Kevin Pravinbhai Patel
Institute: Smt. NHL MMC, VS Hospital, Ahmedabad.
Degree: 3rd year Resident Doctor
Address: 7/B, Brahmanand Society, Opp. Umeshnagar, Sardar chowk, Meghaninagar, Ahmedabad- 380016
Email id: [email protected]
Introduction to Jalaram Bapa’s Philosophy:
Jalaram Bapa was a Hindu saint born in Virpur, Rajkot district, Gujarat, India born in 1799. He was a great devotee to Hindu God Rama. There are many incidents in his life in which he served everyone who came to his home ; saved lives of many of his devotees which later on became the examples of his generous philosophy. Majorly whole of his philosophy moved around his activity of “Sadavrat” in which Bapa ; his wife Virbai Ma served food to any guest coming to there home with a slogan of “Dene ko Tukdo bhalo, Lene ko Hari ka naam”. He even sacrificed his wife on a Request of an old saint to serve him which in turn was an exam of his dedication, honesty, purity taken by Lord Rama as believed in Indian Philosophy. The main shrine is located a Virpur at present and is actually the complex where he lived during his lifetime.
It derives from a natural habit of constant preoccupation and care about child/others. Jalaram Bapa is therefore personification of Lord Rama’s Father complex.
Jalaram Bapa lived his whole life to protect and care for others only. He served any person coming to his home whether Hindu or Muslim; whether rich or poor without any expectation in return. He dedicated whole his life in this purpose only. “Savrat” is a live example of it still continue in which they serve food to all devotees vcoming to temple running twice a day for whole year in temple at Virpur. It is only of its kind temple in world not accepting any form of offerings.
The Wise Old Man:
As being a famous saint in Saurashtra region, Jalaram Bapa used to deliver speech about his God Lord Rama & other Hindu mythology to his devotees. He also guided his devotees in any problem or ill health etc.
The Syzygy: The divine couple
Jalaram Bapa & his wife Virbai Maa made a couple who selflessly served people. They dedicated their life to Lord Rama & to serve people who needed help. To help a old saint, on his request the couple immediately took decision and Virbai Maa went with him to serve him for his lifetime which in turn proved their “Agnipariksha” by Lord Rama himself.
Key Words: Archetypes, Carl Jung, Complex, Jalaram Bapa, Virbai.
History of Philosophy of Jalaram Bapa:
History of Jalaram Bapa began even before his birth.His father Pradhan Thakkar was a known businessman & mother Rajbai was a religious, kind housewife who was very fond of serving sadhus and saints. One day siant Shri Raghuvardasji and his disciple monks arrived in Virpur on way to pilgrimage of Dwarka. Due to their credit in Virpur village, the saints reached to Rajbai’s home to have their dinner. Rajbai and Pradhan Thakkar heartily welcomed them. She cooked dinner for them in no time and fed them. The saints were thoroughly satisfied. Happy with the hospitality, saint Raghuvirsaji blessed her saying, “Mother! All good to you! Another son will be born to you. He will be a great devotee and will salvage your 72 generations. His name will be written in golden letters n history of Bharat”. With blessing , they left for Dwarka. Another son(2nd son) was born to Rajbai after sometime. He was Jalaram. Shree Jalaram bapa was born in the town of Virpur near Rajkot, Gujarat State on 14th November 1799 (Vikram Sawant 1856, Kartik Sud 7).
There was one significant and miraculous event, which took place, when Jalaram was still a
child. An old saint came from Ayodhya. He was on his way to the holy Girnar. He called at
Pradhan Thakkar’s house and asked Rajabai to bring to him and show him Jalaram, their
second child. Even as he was telling this, the child Jalaram came there, leaving his toys with
his friends and fell prostrate at the feet of old sanyasi. The latter asked Jalaram, “Do you not
recognize me, my son?” As the saint said this, in Jalaram’s mental vision, the memory of the
whole life of his previous birth flashed itself before his eyes. His eyes beamed with an
expression of recognition of the old saint. After the prostration, by the time he raised himself
the old saint was gone. But the link had been forged with his previous life, and the chant of
‘Ram Nam’, which he used to do without any intermission in his previous life, caught up and
started on again as unceasingly as his breath.
From mother Rajbai he learnt respect, patience, self-sacrifice, duty and
grace. Jalaram worked first for his father and later his uncle Valjibhai’s business but was criticised by both for his extreme generosity to Sadhus and to the poor. Bapa’s desire was to devote himself to God without the ties of family, business or material possessions.
Seeing that Jalaram was more inclined towards sadhus and saints his father feared that he
would perhaps be a saint himself. So he sought to bind him with the worldly ties.
At the tender age of 16, Jalaram married Virbai, daughter of Thakkar Pragji Somajia.
Even after that Jalaram not much inclined to live household life. He was mostly engaged in serving sadhus and saints, thus indulging into “Ram-Naam”(devoting himself to Lord Rama).
Jalaram was fortunately accompanied by his wife, Virbaima who also decided to follow the path of Jalaram. So, when Jalaram decided to go for a pilgrimage for holy places, Virbaima followed him. Virbai Ma proved to be an asset to Jalaram in his work among the poor
and without her support, encouragement and hard work, he would have found many more difficulties in his path.
The First Miracle:
The first miracle of his closeness to God was occurred in 1817 (Vikram Sawant 1983). Virpur is on the way to Girnar, the holy pilgrimage centre, and all pilgrims and sadhus used to make a halt at Virpur for their food and rest. They used to ask for foodgrains at the shops in the village and used to cook their food on own. One day it is so happened, all the other shops were closed. Valjibhai’s shop alone was open. Hence all the saints went to Valjibhai’s shop for alms where Jalaram was handling shop. He was so delighted to see so many saints come to him. He gave them dal, rice, flour, ghee, sugar oil and
many other items, whatever they asked for. Further when he saw some of the saints
in torn clothes, he gave away new clothes also from the shop. Some of the people of the village who were jealous and envious of Jalaram because of his uncle’s
fondness for him, went and complained to Valjibhai who become very furious on Jalaram. He came threateningly to the shop. He said he wanted a complete check to be made in the shop of all the things and materials. Bapa felt frightened and started praying to God to save him from his uncle’s wrath. As the uncle went on checking, every bag was full with the contents, there was no shortage of the cloth even. The uncle was amazed, and instead of taking Jalaram to task, complimented him profusely. Jalaram also wondered how did the above miracle happen? From this experience, Jalaram would have surmised that Almighty God was protecting him. His renunciation in worldly affairs would have deepened; he would have felt that God’s blessing would be with him in whatever he did.
As all great saints of India, Jalaram started his life’s journey with pilgrimage to holy places to satisfy their quench for religious knowledge. At the age of 17, he went on a pilgrimage to Hindu holy places along with wife Virbai Ma. He visited Gokul, Mathura, Hardwar, Kashi, Gayaji, and
Ayodhya, Jaggannnath Puri in South India and Badrinarayan in the Himalayas.This pilgrimage, from 1816 to 1818, was in the days when there were no trains or cars and a large part would have been done on foot. During this pilgrimage, Jalaram had opportunity to meet many sadhus and saints which added more religious colour to his spiritual journey.
Towards end of his pilgrimage Jalaram Bapa accepted Shree Bhojalram from Fatehpur village near Amreli, Gujarat as his guru(teacher) and was given a “Guru Malaa and Mantra” in the name of Shree Ram.
With blessings of his guru and support of Virbai Ma, he started “Sadavrat”, a feeding centre at his home on On Monday 18 November 1820 (Vikram Sawant 1876, Maha Sud 2), a place where all sadhus and saints as well as the needy people could have food without any distinction of caste or religion. Nobody returned from that place without having food. Sada=forever;
vrat=oath, promise. This means a promise to last for ever to serve people . All this he did single handed with Virbaima assisting him. When the grain that they had grown ran out Virbai Ma was happy to give up the gold jewellery that she had received from her parents at the time of her
marriage in order to provide food to visitors to the ashram. Jalaram ran the Sadavrat until he went to heavenly abode in 1881; after his passing, his descendants have continued to run to this day since last 198 years.
Jalarambapa’s devotion started to spread everywhere like scent. There are also many miracles associated with Jalaram’s story. He did these miracles not to impress people but because the individuals concerned were in difficulty and needed his help. He helped everyone without discrimination of any religion. He helped a Muslim’s son to survive from death with his blessings and that person told, “Jallah so Allah ” meaning Jalaram is God. Like this many examples are there in which Jalaram took his own life to risk to save his disciples. There are multiple examples of such miracles.
The Biggest Test:
It is also said that Lord Rama came to test Jalaram Bapa. God in the guise of an old saint told Jalaram to send Virbai Ma to serve him because of his age. Jalaram asked her and with her consent sent her with the saint. But after walking some miles and reaching a nearby forest, the saint asked Virbai to wait for him. She waited but saint did not return. Instead, she heard and Akashwani stating that it was only to the test the hospitality of the couple. Before the saint disappeared, he left a Danda (staff) and Jholi Cloth bag , with Virbai. Virbai return home to Jalaram as instructed by the celestial voice with Dand & Jholi. This Danda and Jholi are still at Virpur and kept on display in a glass enclosure
Devotee jalaram donates his wife to a monk
He continued to serve the people throughout his life without any secondary gains. Jalaram Bapa took “Samadhi” on 23 February 1881 (Vikram Sawant Maha Vad 10). After Bapa’s passing, his grandson Hariramji Maharaj took charge, followed by GirdharRamji Maharaj. Today the centre is run by his grandson Shri Raghuramji. And the great tradition of Sadavrat established by Jalaram Bapa continues.
The main shrine of Jalaram Bapa is located at Virpur. The shrine is actually the house complex where Jalaram lived during his lifetime. The shrine housed the belongings of Jalaram and the idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman worshipped by him. It also has on display the Jholi and Danda said to be given by God. But the main attraction is the portrait of Jalaram Bapa. There is also an actual black and white photo of Jalaram Bapa, taken one year before his death.The temple is one of a kind in the world in a way that it has not been accepting any offerings or donation. Currently on an average 4000-5000 people have Prasad of ganthias, bundi, sabzi, and khichadi-kadhi at temple daily, 365 days a year.
As per Jungian perspective, I will try to explore Jalaram Bapa’s life under the following Archetypes. I also, wherever applicable included other points like Socio-cultural aspects, Positive-Negative manifestation, Use of it in Psychiatric disorders, Relationship problems and its clinical Management under respective headings.
Basic Explanation of Archetype:
Described by Carl G. Jung, the Caregiver archetype is to provide structure to the world through service not control. The goal of archetype is to help others, to serve, to focus attention on other people, not on oneself. Here, the focus is on making people a priority and making a difference in their lives. The Caregiver is by their nature, nurturing, good example of which is Mother.
The Caregiver generally shows qualities of compassion, generosity and protectiveness. They can be known saint, parent, doctors. The Caregiver is the archetype that is energized and fulfilled by taking care of others. A Caregiver is moved by compassion and a genuine desire to help others through generosity or dedicated assistance. The Caregiver is of the peaceful type and therefore they strive to keep himself and those he loves away from harm. There are different levels of the Caregiver archetype:
Level 1 of the Caregiver archetype includes caring for one’s dependents
Level 2 is finding a balance between caring for oneself along with caring for others
Level 3 speaks to an altruistic concern for the world at large
Relation of this Archetype with Jalaram Bapa’s Philosophy:
Same as Care-Giver archetype, Jalaram Bapa lived his whole life to protect and care for others only. As I mentioned in History portion, he served any person coming to his home whether Hindu or Muslim; whether rich or poor without any expectation in return. He even put his life at risk for sake of others. He dedicated whole his life in this purpose only. A good Example of it is “Sadavrat”, in which he served food to all persons coming to home. In his words his basic motto was,
“Dene ko Tukado bhalo, Lene ko Prabhu ka naam”
Meaning, if one wants to give, then give piece of food to the needy, and if one wants to take, then take God’s name.
Thus, Bapa is in a long line of saints
like Gautam Buddha, Sankracharya, Vallabhacharya, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Tulsidas, NarsinhMehta, Mirabai, Lord Swaminarayan, Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vikekananda, SaiBaba of Shirdi, Sant Tukram, Sri
Aurobindo and hundreds of others who have graced the soil of India through the centuries.Socio-cultural Implications:
India is country of religions. In each and every religion, such Saints accomplish role as a Care-Giver. In Hindu, they have saints, in Muslim, they have Maulana, in Christian, they have Priest and so on. People worship them, rely on them. Thus, along with religion they form integral part of a person’s life. Indeed worshiping them, visiting temples, celebrating their festivals are one of socio-cultural Anti-Depressants for people. In society, Caregiver archetype is usually found in teachers, doctors, nurses, and at organizational levels.
Example: Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Pope Francis.
Also, such archetypes can be used in brand advertising. Archetype create mental shortcuts to help person make decisions when faced with similar options. By using archetype, it tap into collective unconsciousness by appealing to universal human needs intuitively. For example, using Caregiver Mother in brand advertisement of Johnson & Johnson, Pempers, Surf Excel.
Caregiver cultures are responsive, consistent, and trustworthy. The Caregiver culture creates sense of protectiveness to one’s mind helpful in maintaining a strong psyche. People maintain a desired way of behaving, staying away from nuisances. Indeed it is needed for a healthy and happy society. In some business model, they follow Caregiver culture to create a trustworthy and harmonious environment.
One of the downside of a Caregiver archetype is that they are unable to say no to others. Resentment can set in when too many demands are made of an overly compromising Caregiver. Some Caregivers have a hard time with balancing self-care with care for others and can work themselves and others until they drop resulting in self-negligence and health related issues. Some Caregivers might only help others for personal gain or fame, or even infer that they are the only means of helping others achieve health, almost like a savior complex. There is an insatiable need to fix everyone and make everyone happy are impossible tasks. Also, dependency, martyrdom, and sleepless nights from caring too much may signal a Caregiver shadow side.
Implication in Psychiatry:
The concept of Caregiver can be used in Family therapy to give the example of importance of loved ones’ support and its psychological benefits at large. Jalaram Bapa’s unconditional support to needy people without any expectation can be used to give example white doing Supportive Counseling of caregivers of patients of Dementia, Mental retardation, Autism, Chronic Schizophrenia in which they themselves suffer much stress and sometimes even depression and thus reducing caregiver burden. Also they should be explained how love, care and warmth of loved ones benefit patients psychologically thus preventing relapse in different psychiatric illness.
In Mother India, Nargis played character of Radha who fought against greedy moneylender to raise her kids.
Character of Oskar Schindler played by Liam Neeson in Schindler’s List. In movie he played a truly self-sacrificing Caregiver who risked his life everytime he helped a Jew escape from Germany.
In The Equalizer, Denzel Washington helped innocent victims of sex trafficking by using his James Bond-like spy skills.
The Wise Old Man:
Basic Explanation of Archetype:
When Carl Jung mentioned the archetype of the wise old man in his book, it was in connection to Jesus, the son God, this is due to the fact that Jesus offers words of advice or comfort while similar to the characters in fantasy who advise the hero on their mission.
The image of the wise old man is a human personification of the father archetype. In Jungian analytical psychology, “Senex” is specific term used for this archetype. and is an archetype of meaning or spirit. It often appears as elder, judge, grandfather, sage, magician, king, doctor, priest, professor, or any other authority figure. It represents knowledge, guidance, wisdom, cleverness, willingness to help, and moral qualities. His appearance serves to warn of dangers and provide protective gifts.
In man’s psychology, anima is related to the wise old man as daughter to father. In woman, the wise old man is an aspect of the animus.
Wise Old Man archetype is like just as a small lamp lightening a whole room. Even at much younger age he lighted the path for all generations to come.
He showed what a Divine Soul can achieve in life and what an example he can set to others.
He showed what an inspiration a truly selfless person can be to millions of human beings. He
showed a path of salvation to us; he appeals to the Divinity in all human beings and holds a
mirror to us against which we can compare our conduct and relationships with our fellow
humans and other living creatures. As being a famous saint in Saurashtra region, Jalaram Bapa used to deliver speech about his God Lord Rama ; other Hindu mythology to his devotees. He also guided his devotees in any problem or ill health etc.
Indian family structure is closely related to and mostly run on this archetype since hundreds of year. Every family has a elder person with experience, wisdom, responsibility who is considered a leader of family or community and represents the same. He is involved in taking decisions on behalf of family for their wellbeing. Such a person is also the most respectful in the family.
Positive ; Negative Manifestation:
Under guidance of Wise Old Man a family can run in a more disciplined and harmonious way. At the same time such persons can be accused of one-sided, judgmental, partial towards one party thus arising questions on their wisdom.
Implication in Psychiatry:
In psychiatric disorder Mania, a person moves upto possible unconscious level of Wise Old Man and starts behaving in a philanthropist way, giving others philosophical advises unlike to his usual nature. This archetype of Wise Old man can be compared to Erik Erikson’s Stage 8 of Psychosocial Development -Integrity versus Despair, of which virtue is Wisdom.
Albus Dumbledore from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series
Gandalf from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series
Ancient One from Doctor Strange
Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid
Morpheus from The Matrix
Professor X from the X-Men
Rafiki from The Lion King
Bhisma Pitamah from Mahabharat of Hindu mythology
Odin principal deity of Norse mythology
Tiresias from the Odyssey, Oedipus Rex, and other Greek myths
The Syzygy: The Divine Couple
Basic Explanation of Archetype:
It represent sacred duos, the Divine inner marriage—or the Syzygy—of the masculine/dynamic and feminine/magnetic. On another level, the Syzygy is comprised of the anima, the feminine aspect of the male psyche, and the animus, the male aspect of the female psyche. ?
In combination, the anima and animus are known as syzygy (a word also used to denote alignment of planets), representing wholeness and completion. This combining brings great power. A perfect partnership between man and woman can occur when not only are our physical forms compatible but also the anima and animus.
The Syzygy consists of three elements:
the femininity pertaining to the man (anima) and the masculinity pertaining to the woman (animus);
the actual experience man has of woman and vice versa;
the masculine and feminine archetypal image.
Relation of this Archetype with Jalaram Bapa’s Philosophy:
Jalaram Bapa ; his wife Virbai Maa made a couple who selflessly served people. They dedicated their life to Lord Rama ; to serve people who needed help.Jalaram Bapa-Virbai Ma helped eachother at each and every stage of their life in toughest condition of life. When they mutually agreed that Virbai Ma would go with a sadhu (monk)to serve him both Jalaram and Virbai had reached that level of bliss and serenity which only comes to one who is devoid of maya (attachment) and who has, in this life, achieved Moksha. The great story of Jalaram would be surely remain uncompleted without Virbai Ma.
Socio-cultural Implications ; Positive Manifestation:
In Saurashtra part of Gujarat it is still given examples of Jalaram-Virbai as ideal couple ; newly wed couples are given blessings by elders to be like them. This links religious feelings to love of couple making it more pure and dedicated.also, such stories inspire couple to remain with each other in worst conditions of life.
Implications in Psychiatry:
Such examples of Divine couple can be given when doing Marital/ Couple Therapy in which the goal is to modify the ineraction of couple who are in conflict with each other over various parameters. Here the goal is to make patients understand the strength and benefits of staying together in any situation of life.
Shiva and Parvati in Hindu mythology
Hermes and Aphrodite in ancient Greek mythology
Christ and his bride, the Church in Christianity.
Basic Explanation of Complex:
It derives from a natural habit of constant preoccupation and care about child/others. It is a group of feeling-toned ideas associated with the experience and image of father.
The Father is an image of the mature masculine. This is very different from the patriarchal. “Patriarchy, in our view, is an attack on masculinity in its fullness as well as femininity in its fullness. Those caught up in the structures and dynamics of patriarchy seek to dominate not only women but men as well. Patriarchy is based on fear – the boy’s fear, the immature masculine’s fear – of women, to be sure, but also fear of men. Boys fear women. They also fear real men.”?Mature masculinity as seen in the positive father is characterized by the following traits: wisdom, ordering, authority in the service of protection, generativity, justice, discipline, and courage. The positive father is he who is not afraid to wield power when required, but will sacrifice himself to protect others if need be.
Relation with Jalaram Bapa’s Philosophy:
Just like mentioned above, Jalaram was also a figure of wisdom, protection, justice. He was like a Father to hem towards him his devotees can go whenever in trouble. We can also see that from examples given in miracles done by Jalaram as he always stood by his devotees whenever they needed him.
The positive aspect of the Father principle conveys law, order, discipline, rationality, understanding, and inspiration. In men, a positive father-complex very often produces a certain credulity with regard to authority and a distinct willingness to bow down before all spiritual dogmas and values; while in women, it induces the liveliest spiritual aspirations and interests. In dreams, it is always the father-figure from whom the decisive convictions, prohibitions, and wise counsels emanate.
Negative Manifestation & Socio-cultural Implication:
The negative father is often punitive, rageful, withholding, ineffective, or selfish. “Petty tyrant” is a phrase that many who grow up with a brutal, angry father use to describe him. Men in public life in positions of power or influence who use this for their own gain or prey on those who are weaker can be seen as examples of the negative father. The corporations which are to a large extent responsible for the heedless destruction of the environment are examples of the negative father energy in action. Politicians who capitalize on fear for their own gain are another example.
Indian philosophy has everlasting effect on our mind through which we can connect ourselves in our day-to-day life also. Jalaram Bapa was having “persona” of Ideal Saint who was a powerful person himself with high self-control, courage, dedication, devotion, loyalty, sacrifice, selflessness for his devotees and needy people. Though following it simultaneously he also had his “shadow” like not able to fulfill his role as a husband, son.
Jungian approach suggests that One presenting his persona to the outside world but he must acknowledge his shadow & only by compiling both the parts in his personality, one can aspire and fulfil his life.