Though in the story
mentioned above reference is made to the devas and the asuras, Sri Sankaracharya in his
commentary on this passage of the Upanishad very permanently observe that the story
need not be taken literally. There are no gods or asuras other than men. Those among men
who are wanting in self-control but are other wise endowed with many good qualities may be
compared to the devas. Those who are selfish and greedy are the anushyas in the story, and
those who are cruel and inflict injury on others are the asuras.
Hence, it is that Prajapati meant this message for men alone because certain
men are observed to be lacking in self-control and certain others are selfish and others
are cruel. A reflection on this passage will convince every one of the greet emphasis laid
by our ancient classics upon the great virtues of charity, love and service.These virtues
are not regarded as merely praiseworthy qualities. but also ,as stepping stones to the
realisation of the Godhead.
In the Ramayana
By far the most popular Indian classic, which has been from time immemorial instrumental
in the matter of shaping and spreading culture among our people, is the Ramayana. This
epic has exercised a tremendous influence on the minds of Hindus for many thousands of
years. The hero of the Ramayana is Rama who is an avatar of Lord Vishnu. But he considered
himself as a human being and underwent many trials and tribulations like an ordinary
mortal. He was the embodiment of Dharma and attained perfection as a human being.