Friday, February 27, 2009

Symbolic meaning of Rama - 6

Three persons were aware of Rama principle

There were three persons who were aware of the Rama principle. They were Hanuman, Sumitra and Viswamitra. Hanuman was no ordinary person. He was a high-minded, powerful figure endowed with immense knowledge and wisdom. He was well aware of the divinity of Rama. Kausalya despite her Satwic (serene) nature, was not aware of Rama's divine power as much as Sumitra. Kausalya shed copious tears on hearing about Rama's exile to the forest. Sumitra, on the contrary, enjoined her son Lakshmana to accompany Rama and told him: "Wherever Rama is, there is Ayodhya, where Rama is not, that is the real jungle. Rama is verily Lord Narayana Himself. Go and serve Rama and Sita with my blessings." Sumitra explained to Lakshmana how he was an aspect of Rama from the circumstances of his birth.

Ramayana is a guide on human relationships

Among the four brothers there was boundless love and regard for each other. When Rama went to the forest and was in Chitrakuta, Bharatha came there to entreat him to return to Ayodhya and reign as the legitimate heir to the throne. Rama refused to return, saying that Bharatha should rule over Ayodhya in accordance with the promise given by Dasaratha. The argument between the two was ultimately resolved by Sage Vasishta who told Bharatha: “Do not cause any pain to Rama, who is Divinity itself and who has come down to protect the good-and uphold Dharma." Bharatha pleaded for taking Rama's sandals and administering the kingdom in Rama's name till he returned to Ayodhya. There are a series of episodes in the Ramayana to show how deep was the love between the four brothers and how devoted were the younger brothers to Rama. Such fraternal love is an example to the world for all time. The Ramayana is a guidebook on the ideal relations between mothers and children, between husband and wife, between brothers, between the ruler and the people, between the master and the servants and many other human relationships Rama showed compassion to the dying eagle Jatayu, which had fought with Ravana when he was carrying Sita away to Lanka and Rama gave refuge to Vibhishana, even against the fears expressed by Lakshmana. These are examples of Rama's supreme benevolence and magnanimity towards anyone who revered him or sought his protection. Rama declared to Lakshmana "Anyone who comes to me in a spirit of surrender, whoever he might be, is mine and I am his. I shall give him asylum. This is my vow." Rama was a man pledged to one word, to one wife and to a single arrow. Devotees should install Rama in their hearts and celebrate Ramanavami for achieving Atmic bliss. Going through the Ramayana epic they should reach the state of "Atma-Rama" (oneness with the Universal Spirit). In such a state there is no Ahamkara (ego-sense).

"When the road ends and the goal is gained, the pilgrim finds that he has travelled only from himself to himself, that the way was long and lonesome, but the God that led him unto it was all the while in him, around him, with him, beside him!"

Source: Discourse in the Prashaanthi Mandir on 7-4-1987.

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