Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Verses in Ramayana I like most! (Rama Navami musings)

Personally I have identified a few verses from Valmiki Ramayana that give me supreme satisfaction in reciting every day. These verses were mouthed by none other than Sita herself.

In her conversation with Hanuman in Ashoka vana, she gently overrules the suggestion of Hanuman that he will carry her to Rama. Instead she says that it is more apt for Rama to come to her and take her with him. In this context she praises the greatness and valour of Rama. She has personally seen the valour of Rama and praises him in four verses. Let Hanuman bring such a Rama to her, says she.

These verses gain importance not only because they eulogise Rama in the words of Sita, but also because they exactly reflect what every Jiva must aspire for. The basic symbolism of the loss of Sita in the woods and the search of Sita by Rama is that the Jivas, like Sita are lost and Rama would not keep quiet but go about in search of the Jivas and take them back into his fold.

While Rama is going about searching for Sita, Sita is waiting for him to release her from the bonds and get united with him. During her wait, she is thinking of Rama only all the time. She would not accept any other way of escape from that bondage – but wait with fervent hope that Rama would definitely come to take her back. It is because ONLY Rama and nobody else is capable of giving her release from confinement.

 This is the plea that every Jiva must make. We, the Jivas are lost in the woods of samsara – of a continuing bondage of Karma. Through all the sufferings, we have to wait with an unshakable faith that He would come to us to release us and take us back to His fold. We may think that we can make this release possible by ourselves. Infact Sita was certainly capable of getting herself released from the confinement of Ravana. Just a curse by her would finish off Ravana.  But she didn’t do that for that is not the quality of the Jiva. Sita is the personification of the Jiva.

The Jiva must know that it is bonded and can only be released by the Bhagawan. For this the Jiva must be aware that Bhagawan is indeed great and valorous. Like Sita, we must become aware of the greatness of Bhagawan. But that is not enough; we have to wait for Him to come to us, because it is not in our capacity to go to Him. It is to show us the limitation that we suffer from, that Sita remained in confinement wailing and waiting for Rama.

(Picture courtesy:- Keshav, The Hindu cartoonist)

The essence of Vedanta as written in the concluding verse of “Vedartha Sangraha” by Acharya Ramanuja  is that “His (Bhagawan’s) form does not fall within the range of perception. No one sees Him with his eyes. He, whose mind has been brought to the state of Samadhi by determined effort, sees Him who is of the nature of knowledge, through Bhakthi.”

This is the highest level attainable by the Jiva, but for ordinary beings like us, this kind of Samadhi in mind and perceiving Bhagawan in the nature of knowledge is simply out of reach. We need a physical form which we can perceive through our senses and make a connect with that form through Bhakthi. That form is Rama, the easily perceivable hero who walked amidst our ancestors. Sita shows us the way about how to reach out to Him. Her simple prescription that she herself lived through in Ashoka Vana is given in these 4 verses.

The verses are so meaningful that I recite them every day. As I keep reciting, I realise that I have no goal other than Him coming to me. There are no personal ambitions or wants that I want Him to fulfil for me. The goal itself is Him only. He must come to me and take me in His fold.

Those verses are given below:

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

श्रुता हि दृष्टाः मया पराक्रमा |
महात्मनः तस्य रण अवमर्दिनः |
देव गन्धर्व भुजम्ग राक्षसा |
भवन्ति रामेण समा हि सम्युगे
|| -३७-६३

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.")


समीक्ष्य तम् सम्यति चित्र कार्मुकम् |
महाबलम् वासव तुल्य विक्रमम् |
सलक्ष्मणम् को विषहेत राघवम् |
हुत अशनम् दीप्तम् इव अनिल ईरितम्
|| -३७-६४

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?")


सलक्ष्मणम् राघवम् आजि मर्दनम् |
दिशा गजम् मत्तम् इव व्यवस्थितम् |
सहेत को वानर मुख्य सम्युगे |
युग अन्त सूर्य प्रतिमम् शर अर्चिषम् ||

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?)


मे हरि श्रेष्ठ सलक्ष्मणम् पतिम् |
सयूथपम् क्षिप्रम् इह उपपादय |
चिराय रामम् प्रति शोक कर्शिताम् |
कुरुष्व माम् वानर मुख्य हर्षिताम्
|| -३७-६६

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.")

In the last verse Sita asks Hanuman to bring her ‘husband (pati) to her. For all the Jivas Bhagawan is the Pati. All Jivas are in the nature of women and He alone is the only Purushotthaman. 


Satchitananda said...

Dhanyosmi. As we immerse ourselves in the Rama naamamrita, here is an old article of mine for all Rama bhaktas.


jayasree said...

Thanks for the link to the article Mr Satchitananda. It was informative.