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Ramayana – the concept behind it

Excerpts from a speech delivered by Baba on April 2nd 2001, Rama Navami

 

Rama Navami: ‘Nava’ means nine.  Nine days are celebrated to commemorate Rama’s conquest over Ravana and His ascent to the throne after returning from the 14 year exile.

 

Sri Rama, the owner of ‘Venkatam’ is not a body.  Rama does not represent a physical form.  Rama is Light.  Rama is not a living entity.  Rama is a concept.

 

Where righteousness dwells, there resides Rama.  Where truth resides, there resides Rama.  Ramayana is the story of those who were waiting for Rama.

 

Ramayana is the story of the ‘Jeevathma’ called Sita waiting with tears in the Ashoka Vana of life for the ‘Paramathma’ called Rama. 

Ramayana is the story of Bharatha and Shatrugana who pleaded with Rama for his sandals and through it were establishing Dharma in Ayodhya and eagerly awaiting Rama's arrival.

Ramayana is the story of the boatman Guhan who was waiting for Rama, who had conquered him by His loving words, "We were four brothers, now we are five!"  

Ramayana is the story of the Rishis who were undertaking severe penance in the forest and waiting for Rama to establish Dharma in the forest areas.

Ramayana is the story of Rama's mothers who were desperately waiting in Ayodhya for 14 years for Rama's return from the forest.

Ramayana is the story of Ayodhya's residents who were waiting for the Paramathma Rama.

Sugreeva was waiting for Rama.

Sabari was waiting for Rama.

Agalikai, turned to stone by the curse of a Rishi was waiting for Rama to place His foot on her so she can become her real self again.

Janaka was waiting with his Siva Dhanus for Rama.

Parasurama was waiting with his Vishnu Dhanus for Rama.

Jatayu was holding on to his dear life and waiting to tell the truth to Rama.

 

All of them were waiting.  Wherever Rama was, He was also waiting protecting them.  They were waiting.  He was also waiting.  He was waiting and protecting them.

 

Ramayana is the story of Hanuman who was forever focussed on Rama's mission and was in perennial meditation, waiting for Rama, always chanting Rama's name.  Why, Ramayana is also the story of the absolute foe Ravana who was waiting with a heart filled with Rama's thoughts.

 

Ayodhya is not a town.  It is a place reverberating with the holy name of Rama. Only Samratchana is Ayodhya because, His sandals, His noble throne is there.  The symbols of His sovereignty, sceptre and umbrella and the devotees commitment to Rama's mission are found only here.  Dedicated service by devotees towards this mission exists only here.

 

So, whether Rama is physically present or if He is physically away on His mission, Ayodhya is that place where the Atma Rama's who have Him in their hearts always, serve Him and work towards the fulfillment of Rama's Mision.  So, all of you are all Atma Rama's.  This physical form of Siva Shankar Baba is purely a transportation means.

 

There is a song which goes like this..

“In a world desiring gold,  a life that desires me.

In a world searching for treasure, My life that searches for a loving heart!"

ùTôuû] ®Úm×m 骫úX, Guû] ®Úm×m Ko E«úW

×RVp úR¥ AûXÙm EX¡p, CRVm úRÓm Gu E«úW!

This is my message to you.

 

You are all practicing the right things and travelling the right path. “Pandureethi kolu theeya vaiya Rama…” (Rama, keep me always in thoughts of you.)  These were the verses sung by Saint Thyagaraja, a vocal exponent from Thiruvaiyaru, who has sung scores of songs on Rama.  If Rama had lead a normal life as a prince, there would not be so much greatness about the philosophies behind Rama’s life, he would have been another King like some other and gone.  But, even today, Rama is prominent and foremost for the principles he adhered to in His life.

 

There are many instances even in the recent past where Rama had come to the aid of His devotees whenever they thought of Him in prayer.  A British Collector at Madhurantakam was feeling helpless.  He prayed to God to safeguard the tankbund, as it was threatening to give way due to a heavy down pour of rain.  Rama and Lakshmana came there and guarded the bund throughout night.  When the Collector realized that his prayers were answered built a temple for Rama and named it as, ‘Aari Kaatha Raman’ (Rama, who guarded the bund).  This event happened just 150 years back.

 

When Ramanujar was to be liqidated by his Guru, he escaped into a forest.  Rama and Sita came there in the guise of a hunter and led Ramanuja to safety.  Before Ramanuja could realize who they were, he was in the threshold of Varadaraja Temple.  Rama and Sita came when a devotee was struggling for life.

 

Swami Vivekananda was travelling in a train, tired and famished.  When the train stopped at the station in Ayodhya, a stranger came running to the compartment with sweets, to offer it to Swami.  He told him that Lord Rama appeared in his dream yesterday and had asked him to take care of you and had given a description of Vivekananda’s idenitity.  This happened 100 years back.

 

Another incident in the life of Gopanna and Kabirdas.  Gopanna wanted Lord Rama to be his guest.  Rama accepted his invitation and came to his house in the guise of a buffalo.  Not realizing that the buffalo was Lord Rama, he trashed it up.

 

Badrachala Ramadas was imprisoned by Dhanesha.  Ramadas had used Dhanesha funds to

built a temple for Rama.  He underwent great ordeal for twelve years in jail.  He pleaded, ‘Rama, O Rama!  I have done this for You why am I suffering…  O Mother Sita!  Why is this happening to me’.  When Sita refers his prayers to Rama, Rama acknowledges that He is aware of it but he has to undergo the imprisonment as he had done the same to a parrot in his previous birth.  At the end of his tenure in prison, both Rama and Sita visit Dhanesha and offer the amount which is due to him from Ramadas.  Dhanesha was taken aback seeing the Lord Himself!  Hearing this, Ramadas lamented on why God chose to give His Dharshan to Dhanesha instead of him.  The reason being, Dhanesha was once an ardent devotee of the Lord, doing milk Abishekam every day, in his previous birth.  He once got so desperate that despite his prayers and call, the Lord has not given him Dharshan that he broke the pot of milk in God’s head in frustration.  A Dharshan was therefore due to him.  So, there are many incidents in which the Lord has made Himself relevent.  Samartha Ramadas, Saint Thiagaraja, Saint Thulasidas were few of the beneficiaries. 

 

To bring back "RAMA RAJYA" (The reign of Rama) what is that we have to do? 

Manusha Dharmam - Maintaining truth and righteousness in all situations like Lord Rama

Sesha Dharmam - Sacrificing one’s comforts for the Manusha Dharman like Lakshmana and serving the Lord.

Vishesha Dharmam – Always in the thoughts of the Lord irrespective of whether He is physically present near you and performing in the name of God, like Bharatha.  As a mark of respect, he ruled the kingdom by placing the footwear (padhuka) of Rama on the throne to ensure a righteous rule and performed his duty in the name of Rama.

Visheshadhara Dharmam – Serving those who serve the Lord, like Shatrugana who was serving Bharatha who was in turn performing the will of Rama.

Siva Shankar Baba is abiding by the Manusha Dharmam.  When we have other Dharmas relevant, Rama Rajya will blossom.  This is my Rama Navami message.