Category Archives: Ramayana

Dussehra : Sri Rama’s victory over Ravana!

Seeta, Lord Rama’s wife had been abducted by the ten-headed Ravana. She was held captive in Lanka. Rama and Lakshmana along with the army of vanaras headed by their King Sugreeva, his wise minister Hanuman and others crossed the ocean and reached Lanka and waged a war against Ravana. When Ravana lost all his mighty warriors, his brother Kumbhakarna and his sons, he finally came to the war-field to fight Lord Rama. There was a fierce battle between the two of them which was incomparable. A divine chariot and charioteer descended from the heavens for Lord Rama. Every time Rama cut off one of Ravana’s head, another one manifested in its place! Ravana countered Rama with all his might and strength.

When Rama became exhausted, Sage Agastya came forward and taught the “ADITYA HRIDAYA” (a powerful invocation glorifying Lord Surya Bhagavan) to Sri Rama. As instructed by Sage Agastya, Lord Rama invoked Lord Surya by chanting the ADITYA HRIDAYA. With the grace and blessings, the power and strength of Surya Bhagavan, Rama was able to defeat and kill Ravana. Accompanied by Seeta and others, Rama went back to Ayodhya. He was crowned the King of Ayodhya. RAMA RAJYA was established.

Significance: Rama represents the INTELLECT and Lakshmana represents the MIND. Seeta stands for ABSOLUTE PEACE. The ten-headed Ravana is the EGO in the seeker with the ten heads representing the five sense-organs of perception and five organs of action. All of them are turned outward and hence Ravana is known as DASHAMUKHA. To conquer and destroy the EGO is extremely difficult. When one head is cut off, another one appears. When one sense impulse is conquered, another one gets strengthened. At that point of time, the Guru (Man of Realization) represented by Sage Agastya appears. Agastya Rishi is “Kumbhodbhava” (born out of a pot). Kumbha represents POORNATVA or “fullness”. He points out, directs and guides the advanced seeker to the “INNER (Hridaya) CONSCIOUSNESS (Aditya)” – Aditya Hridaya!

At this stage, the process of INTELLECTION is taken over by INTUITION and the seeker is able to liquidate the EGO (Ravana) within himself. This is the real DUSSEHRA or DASHA-PAPA-HARA which happens within the spiritual seeker and bestows on him the ETERNAL and EVERLASTING VICTORY – the VIJAYADASAMI. INNER PEACE (Seeta) is restored back. The couple SEETA-RAMA represents a Man of Inner Quietude or a Man of Realization. He alone can reach the REALM OF NO-CONFLICT (Ayodhya or A – yudha). Seated on the SEAT OF DHARMA (simha-asana) within himself, he is able to establish RAMA-RAJYA within! The VICTORY of GOOD over the EVIL within oneself and over the external circumstances is the real CELEBRATION OF DUSSEHRA!

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Hanuman: The Music Maestro!

Sage Narada was a great musician. And he also played the veena beautifully. He became proud of his talent and thought he was the best musician in all the three worlds.

One day, as Narada was moving across the skies singing the Lord’s glory, Hanuman and his mother Anjana Devi saw him. She pointed out to Hanuman and said, “there goes Narada who is the best exponent of music!” Narada heard this and became even more proud of his talent. Hanuman came to know of Narada’s pride. The Sage’s ego had to be destroyed. Hanuman jumped into the sky, caught hold of Narada’s feet and pleaded with him to bless him. Narada replied back saying that there was no blessing that Hanuman did not have, because all the devatas had bestowed upon him their grace and blessings as requested by his father Vayu, the wind God. However, when Hanuman insisted, Narada said that since no one had blessed him with the gift of music, he, Narada – the great musician, would bless him to be one of the best musicians.

Narada had no idea that Hanuman was already an accomplished musician. After showering his blessings, Narada decided to move ahead, but Hanuman would not leave him. He told Narada that since he had now been blessed with the gift of music, he would sing and Narada had to hear and judge him. Narada was reluctant. He thought he would be wasting his time listening to and judging a novice. But Hanuman would not let him go. Finally Narada agreed. He sat down comfortably, placed his divine veena on a rock in front of him and asked Hanuman to sing. Hanuman sat in front of Narada, closed his eyes, invoked the Lord and started singing. He sang so beautifully that all the devatas stationed themselves in the sky above him to hear his music!

Even Narada was overwhelmed with the flow of naada. The rock on which the veena was placed started to melt with Hanuman’s music. And the veena started to sink into the liquid rock. After some time, Narada who was listening with closed eyes asked Hanuman to stop so that he can now proceed further. The moment Hanuman stopped singing, the rock froze and became solid. Narada got up and tried to collect his veena, but it would not move – it had got stuck in the rock. Narada had already realized the glory of Hanuman’s music, but he was astonished to see that his music had even melted inert stones! Narada’s ego was crushed – he was totally humbled. He realized that he was after all not the best musician. Narada also realized that it is devotion that ultimately adds beauty and divinity to music. He pleaded with Hanuman to sing once again. This time when Hanuman sang, the rock melted, and Narada collected his veena. He acknowledged and praised Hanuman as the best musician in all the three worlds and with a pure heart devoid of ego and filled with devotion, he went his way singing the Lord’s glory.
Hanuman is Kavya – Nataka – Sangeeta – Naada – Paripoorna!! 

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Lord Rama and Kevat

Sri Rama started on his fourteen years of exile to the forest along with Seeta and Lakshmana, to keep up his father Dasaratha’s promise to Kaikeyi. He met Guha, the tribal chieftain and asked him to arrange for a boatsman (Kevat) to take them across the river Ganga. Guha sent for the Kevat and asked him to take them across the river. But the Kevat refused saying that unless Rama let him personally wash His feet, he would not allow them to enter the boat. Guha angrily asked him why. The Kevat told him that he had heard that by the touch of the dust of the Lord’s feet, an inert and hard stone had transformed into a woman. His boat was made of softer material and if it comes in contact with the dust of Rama’s feet, surely and definitely it would also get transformed into a woman. Not only he would lose the boat which helped in his livelihood, but he would also have to look after another woman along with maintaining his family! That would not be possible for him at all. Guha was wonderstruck at his innocence. Lord Rama smiled and agreed to His feet being washed.

The Kevat brought a small plate and asked the Lord to place His feet in them. The Lord put His right foot on the plate. There wasn’t much space for His left foot in the plate. The Lord looked at the Kevat. It would be difficult for Him to balance Himself with both His feet in the small plate! The Kevat looked up and asked the Lord to place His hand on his head, and then place His left foot in the plate. In doing so, He would be able to maintain His balance! The Lord understood the humble and simple desire of the boatsman. All that he wanted was Bhagavan’s hand on his head as a sign of blessing. Rama placed His hand on Kevat’s head and put both His feet on the plate. Kevat was overwhelmed, and with eyes brimming with tears, he lovingly washed the Lord’s feet using the waters from Ganges. When the Lord was about to place His feet on the ground and enter the boat, Kevat stretched out his hand for the Lord to place His feet on his palm, and then enter the boat! What a great devotee and what a blessing!

Rama, Seeta and Lakshmana got into the boat and the Kevat took them across the river onto the other side. They stepped out of the boat and the Lord had to give him something for rowing them across. The Lord looked at Seeta and she removed her ring from her finger and gave it to Rama. Rama offered the ring to Kevat for taking them across the river. Kevat politely declined the offer saying that there is no “give and take” between two people in the same profession! The Lord was surprised and asked him how both of them were in the same profession?

The Kevat very beautifully told the Lord, “I ferry people across the river. You ferry people across the ocean of samsara! Are we both not in the same profession?”

Every one there was surprised and amazed at the Kevat’s knowledge and devotion. He requested the Lord that on his return journey back from the forest after fourteen years, he should be again given the fortune of rowing them back to this side which the Lord promised.

 
The Kevat had ferried the Lord to and fro across the river. It was now the responsibility of the Lord to ferry the Kevat across the river of life!!

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Krishna visits Ayodhya on Sri Ramanavami to meet Hanuman!

When the purpose of His avatar in Treta Yuga was over, Lord Rama returned back to his abode – Vaikunta. Before folding back His manifestation, the Lord consoled and promised Hanuman that He would Himself come and give him darshan in Dwapara-Yuga.

To remove the burden of Mother Earth, to protect the virtuous, to annihilate the wicked and to re-establish dharma once again on the surface of the earth, the Lord once again manifested in Dwapara-Yuga as Vasudeva Krishna. The Sage Narada once paid a visit to Dwaraka to meet the Lord and His consort Sri Rukmini. He told Sri Krishna that Hanuman spent all his time meditating on a mountain and was waiting for the Lord to give him darshan. Narada even mentioned that he met Hanuman and told him to go Dwaraka and have darshan of Lord Krishna. Hanuman very well knew that the Lord who was Rama in Treta-Yuga had now manifested as Sri Krishna. Hanuman told Narada that he was only a humble servant of the Lord and it would be inappropriate to meet the Lord without the Lord Himself calling him, and he would wait till he gets a call from his Lord.

When Krishna heard these words from Narada, He decided to fulfill the wish of His dear devotee Hanuman. Sri Ramanavami was approaching. On this auspicious day every year, Hanuman would visit Ayodhya in disguise as a brahmana, offer puja to the Lord and would himself serve prasad (food) to all. Lord Krishna decided to visit Ayodhya to meet His dear devotee Hanuman. Narada had a doubt if Hanuman would recognize the Lord as He was Krishna in this birth. The Lord smiled and asked Narada to accompany Him and check for himself.

On the auspicious day of Sri Ramanavami, Krishna and Narada disguised as ordinary citizens went to Ayodhya to witness the grandeur of Ramanavami celebrations. They saw Hanuman disguised as a brahmana offering his puja and prayers to Lord Rama. He completed his puja, and it was time to distribute prasad (food). Hanuman asked all the devotees to sit in a line, and started serving food to all. In the midst of the devotees was Lord Krishna and Narada disguised as ordinary citizens. When Hanuman bent down to serve food to Lord Krishna, he saw the Lord’s feet and for a moment forgot everything and became motionless. Even though the Lord was in disguise, there was no mistaking – he for sure recognized his Beloved Lord’s feet! With tears rolling down his eyes he fell at the Lord’s feet.

He asked the Lord what mistake he had done that the Lord Himself had taken the trouble to come to Ayodhya. The Lord now gave darshan to Hanuman as Lord Rama. Rama said that it was Hanuman’s bhakti which drew him to Ayodhya. Indeed, the Lord had kept up the promise He had given to His devotee!

A true devotee in his Supreme Love recognises everything as the play of the "Lord-of-his-heart".... everything is to him sacred and divine. - Swami Chinmayananda

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