Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why do we write Sri Rama Jayam in the beginning?



Most people have the habit of starting a letter
with some writing at the top.
Particularly school students have this habit
of writing in their answer sheets
hoping to get some extra luck from the deity that is supposed to be
indicated by this writing.

In most cases it is Tamil letter 'vu'.
I think this is the mutated form of pranava
or AUM in sanskrit.

Some write the name of their beloved deity followed by a term in Tamil, "thuNai",
seeking protection from that deity.

But the most common word is SriRamaJayam,
which is written by people from all parts of
India.

Another speciality of this name is
that many people take a vow to write
SriRamaJayam for some lakh times
and do so religiously and sincerely
hoping to get blessings of Lord Rama.

The question I wish to address here is
what actually SriRama Jayam means or stands for.


With my very little knowledge of Sanskrit,
I somehow dare to venture into the meaning of this
and I invite corrections / additions
from readers,
so that we can understand better why this practice
of writing SriRamaJAyam has been encouraged.

My first thought is that SriRamaJayam stands for
Sri Ramo jayathe, which is like declaring
that Rama is victorious.
It is like satyam (eva) jayathe –Truth (only) triumphs.
But I am not convinced of this.

Who are we declare that Rama is always victorious?
He is victorious always.
It is unlikely that such a declaration can be a kind of japa,
written or uttered for countless times.

Next,
if we say "Sri rama jayathe bhava",
it is to say "you become Rama's victory."
This reminds me of
Krishna, not Rama
who wanted Arjuna to be His "instrument" (Gita - nimittha maathram bhava),
or any jIva as His instrument, in this world of puppetry.

But Rama's victory is His.
He is victorious always
and we the jivas (souls)
are not His victory,
but His protected subjects.

But in my opinion Rama jayam is not used as verb.
(In the above derivations, we used jayam in verb form)
It is a noun such
as
Krishna- vijayam (6th case)
That is, Jayam of Rama.
If jayathe is to be brought in, it would be `Rama: jayathi',
not Ramajayam.

As a noun, Rama jayam
conveys `Ramasya jayam' (Tamil equivalent is "vettri vudaiya Raman")

Here again I think the stress is not on Jayam or victory or vettri,
but on Rama.

I can quote some verses from Ramanuja's Vedartha sangraha,
to substantiate this.

In verses 214 and 215, he gives the derivation and meaning and
implication of terms satyakama and satyasankalpa.
These words are nouns.
Even though the characterisation expressed in these names are
about
kama (desires) and
sankalpa (will),
the stress is on the Supreme Brahman.

Similarly even though the characterization expressed in
Sri Ramajayam is about triumph of Rama,
the stress must be on Rama.
Because
the object of worship here is Rama, not jayam.
By meditating on
the "victorious Rama",
the worshipper seeks victory in his own endeavours.

In Tamil too, it is appropriate to think of this as
`vettri udaiya Raman' than
`Ramanukku vettri' or `Ramanudaiya vettri'.
In the former, the stress is on Raman and in the latter,
the stress is on jayam.
The first one is acceptable in that the meditation is on Rama
and not on his vettri.


I think there is another appropriate derivation for Rama jayam.
'RamENa jayathE' is RAma jayam.
This means 'victory by Rama.(3rd case)
In Tamil this is 'Raamanaal vettri.'

By writing Sri Rama jayam at the beginning of any write-up
and writing it many times with specific goals of accomplishing something,
one seeks victory or success by Rama's grace.
By another interpretation,
it is Rama who brings out such accomplishments and success.

Therefore,
my conclusion is
Sri Rama Jayam means or stands for
"victory by Rama"
or
"Ramanaal vettri"


Related posts:-

When was Rama born?

Thoughts on Sri Rama Navami. (open letter to Sri Rama)


14 comments:

Paul said...

I too always write Sri Ramajayam when I feel like doodling. I dont when this habit comes from. I think it is because I think Rama is great because of his alrutism and unselfishness. Maybe this is just my way of showing my admiration to Rama.

venkat said...

Hi,

Can you please tell me "Sri Rama Jayam" mantra. You can email me at venkat369@gmail.com when you get chance....

Thanks,
Venkat.

jayasree said...

Thanks Mr Venkat for asking this.

The easiest and best way is naama ucchaadana.

# Just chant Rama, Rama always.

# or do chanting for specific counts everyday - say for 108 times or its multiples.

# Write SriRamayayam in a note book. Keep a target, say a lakh times or a specific number everyday.

# The next two that I am going to give here are what I heard from elders.

One is chanting the 2-liner as japa or whenever possible or before stating a work. It is better you get into a habit of chanting it everyday for multiples of 9 times if you want get some 'presence' of Rama in you or your environs before you start a work.

Ramaya Ramabhadraya Ramachandraya Vedase/
Raghunathaya Nadhaya Sithayaha pathaye namaha//

# Another one is what Hanuman recited before he started the search in Ashoka vana.

Valmiki Ramayana, Sundhara khanda 13-59.

This verse is said to contain the explanation for ‘Rama’ mantra
as the basic mantra. This mantra contains the hierarchy of Gods starting from Rama as Parabrahmam.
For explanations, refer my post

http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.com/2008/03/many-gods-of-hinduism-and-pithrus-as.html


“namo astu raamaaya salakSmaNaaya |
devyai ca tasyai janaka aatmajaayai |
namo astu rudra indra yama anilebhyo |
namo astu candra arka marud gaNebhyaH || “ 5-13-59

Meaning:- "Salutation to Rama, together with Lakshmana Salutation to that Seetha, the divine lady. Salutations to Rudra the god of destruction, Indra the lord of celestials, Yama the lord of Death and the wind-god. Salutations to Chandra the moon-god, Arka the sun-god and all the hosts of Maruts, the strom gods."

jayasree said...

Personally I have identified a few verses from Valmiki Ramayana giving me supreme satisfaction in reciting everyday.

These verses were mouthed by none other than Seetha herself. In her conversation with Hanuman in Ashoka vana, she says that she has seen personally seen the valour of Rama and describes Rama's greatness. Let Hanuman bring such a Rama to her.


This is the plea that every jeeva must make. How much ever we think of reaching Him, it can not happen if He does not decide to accpet our prayers. He has to come to us rather than we go to Him.

The messenger is Hanuman and Seetha asks him to bring Rama to her. The verses pertaining to this are so meaningful to me that I recite them everyday. I have no goal other than Him coming to me. There is no personal ambitions or wants that I want Him to fulfill for me. The goal itself is Him only. He must come to me and take me in His fold. Those desiring this goal may recite the following.

From Valmiki Ramayana, Sundhara Khanda verses 63, 64, 65 & 66.

5-37-63:-

shrutaa hi dR^iShTaaH ca mayaa paraakramaa |
mahaatmanaH tasya raNa avamardinaH |
na deva gandharva bhujamga raakShasaa |
bhavanti raameNa samaa hi samyuge ||

("I have not only heard but seen myself about the strength of the high souled Rama destroying enemies in battle. Neither the celestials nor the divine musicians nor the serpent-gods nor the demons are equal to Rama in combat.")


5-37-64:-

samiikShya tam samyati citra kaarmukam |
mahaabalam vaasava tulya vikramam |
salakShmaNam ko viShaheta raaghavam |
huta ashanam diiptam iva anila iiritam ||

("Who can withstand seeing in battle that mighty Rama, dazzling like fire fanned by wind, wielding his conspicuous bow and having prowess equal to that of Indra the Lord of celestials, together with Lakshmana?")


5-37-65:-

salakShmaNam raaghavam aaji mardanam |
dishaa gajam mattam iva vyavasthitam |
saheta ko vaanara mukhya samyuge |
yuga anta suurya pratimam shara arciSham ||

("O the best of monkeys! In battle, who can endure Rama resembling the sun at noon-time, with his arrows resembling its rays, the destroyer in battle, stationed like a mythical elephant in rut, along with Lakshmana?)


5-37-66:-

sa me hari shreShTha salakShmaNam patim |
sayuuthapam kShipram iha upapaadaya |
ciraaya raamam prati shoka karshitaam |
kuruShva maam vaanara mukhya harShitaam ||

("O the excellent of monkeys! You, as such, soon bring my husband here along with Lakshmana, and the chiefs of army. O the best of monkeys! I am emaciated with grief about Rama since long. Make me now joyful.")

vinod said...

Hi,

I am Vinod, I have very little knowledge in English please excuse my spell mistake. I read your Sanskrit interpretation of 'Sri Rama Jayam'. In which you sugested to stress on Ram and not on jayam. But for me I took the other way.

Its like ' Hey Ram my thoughts is been conqured by Kama, Asha, etc. save me from this by defeating these and take me in your fold.' So he is defeating Asha in my thoughts and gains victory.

Then is it wrong, me declaring him 'He is victorious always - refering your phrases'.


So I would like to stress on Jayam. and let him gain victory on kama and asha.

If we say "Ramanaal vettri" it will include only doings of Human body which will not include the soul. If we say "Ramanuku vettri" it means a victory on your asha which will pav way to Mukthi.


Therefore,
my conclusion is
Sri Rama Jayam means or stands for
" victory to Rama"
or
"Ramanuku vettri"
and not
"victory by Rama"
or
"Ramanaal vettri"



Thanks for spending your precious time in reading this.

Please get back to me on 'vinodvijay25@gmail.com'. All the above stated matter are purly my opinion only. And not intended to hurt anybody..

Venkat said...

The mantra I chat every day in morning goes like this.
"Jaythvi Balo Rama...."

Any one has MP3.

Venkat said...

Hi,

Can you please tell me "Sri Rama Jayam" mantra. You can email me at venkat369@gmail.com when you get chance....

Thanks,
Venkat.

Amritha said...

I write Sri Ramajayam whenever my mind is in turmoil. Magically my worries lessen as Sri Ramar gives arul. My mother wrote Sri Ramajayam for the birth of my sister to be well. By divine grace, she was born in Punarpoosam Nakshatram - the star of Sri Ramar.

For me the words Sri Ramajayam mean that Sri Ramar should live always. By saying Jayam to Him, we are asking him to always stay in our hearts and show us the write paths. I always add mentally after saying Sri Ramajayam that he should survive in the hearts of believers forever, especially in the Kali Yuga.

Sri Ramajayam

Kannan Santhanam said...

Sir,

Can you clarify whether we should spell the words as "Sri Rama Jayam" (with an "a" after J) or as "Sri Rama Jeyam" (with an "e" after J).

This doubt arises as in Tamil script, we write it as "Jeyam"

Thanks,

Kannan

Kannan Santhanam said...

Sir,

I have a question. When we write the words in English should we write with the letter "a" or the letter "e" after the letter "J" (i.e., Jayam or Jeyam).

My doubt arises because in Tamil script we write as if it is "Jeyam"

Thanks

Kannan

jayasree said...

Thanks for this question Mr Kannan.

In sanskrit there is no short sound "je" but only long sound 'jE". It is because there is no "ye, yE"(எ, ஏ) in the Sanskrit alphabets as in Tamil. In Sanskrit after "yE", "ai" comes, then vO and then aau,am, aha. So Jayam (ஜெயம்) is written with "Ja" (ज)not "Je" as that letter does not exist n sanskrit.

Coming to Tamil, Ja and sa sounds are not there in Tamil, but are written as Vada sol (வடசொல்). In pure Tamil it must be written as ச. That is Jayam in sanskrit must be written as சயம் in Tamil. But as per Tholkappiya sutra 1-2-29,

சகரக் கிளவியும் அவற்று ஓரற்றே
அ ஐ ஔ எனும் மூன்று அலங்கடையே.

This means letters ச,சை, சௌ do not appear in the beginning of a word. This was the rule during and before the period of Tholkappiyam. {But there is in existence many words sharting with these in sangam litt and Thirukkural showing that Tholkappyam was much antiquated.}

As ச or the vadasol ஜ can not appear n the beginning of a word, it is written as ஜெ.(ஜெயம்).

Likewise "ra" can not appear in the beginning of a word. The it must be written as இரா

Since it is written as "Sriraama" there is no need to write as ஸ்ரீ இராம but together as ஸ்ரீராம
So the correct way to write in Tamil is
ஸ்ரீராம ஜெயம்

If written together it is
ஸ்ரீராமஜயம்.

If written in English, it is Srirama Jayam as that is how it is written in Sanskrit.

Hope this clarifies.

harinee said...

Is "Jai Shree Ram" equivalent to "Sri Rama Jayam"? I have been writing the former.
Thanks

jayasree said...

Not sure. Traditional writing is "Sri Rama Jayam".

Hari said...

hi sir.. is there any rule to write sri rama jayam?