How Rama got the name “Rama Chandra”

Baby Rama

The city of Ayodhya was joyously celebrating the birth of Lord Rama – the avatar of Lord Hari. Guru Vasishta gave the divine baby the name – RAMA. He picked up the letter “Ra” from the 8-lettered ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’ mantra and “Ma” from the 5-lettered ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ mantra, and combined them to give the most powerful Taraka Mantra: RAMA. Both the letters “Ra” and “Ma” are the very LIFE of their corresponding mantras. Without these letters, both the mantras lose their efficacy and the very capacity to bless.

Everyone including the Gods in the guise of human beings had come to have a glimpse of  the child Rama. The devatas, one by one slowly came up to the cradle to silently offer their prostrations to the Lord without being recognised. When it was the turn of Lord Sun (Surya), he reverentially thanked the Lord for having been born in the Solar dynasty. The All-knowing Lord in the form of an infant lying in the cradle smiled and acknowledged him. Next was the turn of Lord Moon (Chandra). He came forward with a very sad face. The Lord asked him what was the matter. Chandra Bhagavan answered that he was upset because he felt that the Lord had neglected and ignored him, and Surya Bhagavan had been given all the importance.

Lord Rama was born in the Solar (Sun) dynasty, in Uttarayan Punyakala (the bright six months of the year), in the bright month of Chaitra (just before summer), in the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha), during daytime, at noon (abhijit muhurtha) and punarvasu nakshatra — all prominently related to Lord Sun! Of course Chandra had been sidelined!! The Lord smiled from the cradle and consoled Chandra and told him not to worry, and in the next avatar of His, all prominence will be given to Lord Moon. In Sri Krishna Avatar, He will be born in the Lunar (Moon) dynasty, in Dakshinayana Punyakala (the dark six months of the year), in the dark rainy month of Sravana, in the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha), during midnight, and rohini nakshatra (very dear to Chandra) — all factors prominently related to the Moon. Still Lord Chandra was not happy — he was still sulking. When the Lord asked him what was the matter now, he said he had to wait for years and years, for Treta Yuga to get over and Dwapara Yuga to start. That was indeed a long….long…..wait!

The All-knowing Lord smiled and told him: “Okay, from today onwards, your name CHANDRA will be added to my name RAMA and people will address me as RAMACHANDRA — happy now”!!
Indeed, Lord Chandra was very happy and satisfied! That is how Lord Sri Rama became Sri RAMACHANDRA!!

Significance: MOON (Chandra) represents our mind. RAMA is the Lord, the very Source of life in us. RAMACHANDRA therefore symbolically suggests that we always enshrine the LORD in our MIND.

Rama means the One Reveller who revels everywhere in all the bosoms. Rama is the Self of all, of the nature of Peace-Auspiciousness-Beauty. - Swami Chinmayananda

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