Ramayana Mahathmyam

via HK Correspondent published on July 27, 2006

 This is the Ramayana month Let’s think of Sri Rama


Reading and preaching Ramayana during the month of Shravan brings peace and happiness all around.

One should daily recite the following two shlokas:

Kousalya supraja Rama poorva sandhya pravarthathe

Utthishta narasardoola karthavyam daivamahnikam (Twice)

Sri Rama! Kausalya’s endearing son! Wake-up, dear; You have to do your day-to-day duties; Do wake-up please.

Utthishtothishta Govinda utthishta garudadhwaja

Utthishta kamalakantha thrilokyam mangalam kuru (Twice)

Sri Govinda! All the three worlds are under your rule; they have to prosper. Wake-up, my child.

Holy Ramayana is one of the most widely read epics in India. In Kerala, the Ramayana month begins on the first karkadakam which falls on (July 17, 2006). In almost all the Hindu families one reads the holy Ramayana and other members listen. Due to rainy season many people don’t have much work to do. It is also considered as a month for preventive treatment. Elaborate arrangements are made in the temples to read Ramayana and preach the divine message to the people so that they can lead an ideal life.

Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham in his characteristic simple language has said, “There are two powerful Tarka Namas. One is Aum () and another is Rama. All mantras have to be prefixed with Aum for obtaining the benefits of those mantras, whereas there is no need to prefix Aum when the name Rama is recited because the name itself is Tarka Nama.” We do not seek a preceptor when we are not in trouble or when we feel that there is nothing lacking in us. The more we are besieged by troubles, the more often we go to worship in temples or seek the darshan and advice of great men. “Just as the Veda Purusha (Virat Purusha) was born as Dasaratha’s earthly son, the Vedas are born from Prachetasa (Valmiki) in the form of Ramayana.”

The Ramayana is the very form of the Vedas that have come down to us from the heavens to the earth. The Vedas are divided into four parts, viz., Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. Lord Rama is the embodiment of Rig Veda, Lakshmana, the Yajur Veda, Bharata, the Sama Veda and Satrughna, the Atharva Veda. The four Vedas became the four sons of Dasaratha. The Rig Veda and the Yajur Veda consist of mantras which are related to yajnas and yagas. That is the reason why Sage Vishwamitra took Rama and Lakshmana along with him to safeguard his yajna.

While Rama was in exile, Bharata left Ayodhya and stayed in a village called ‘Nandigrama’, all the time singing the divine name of Lord Rama for 14 long years. It is for this reason that Bharata is described as the personification of Sama Veda. It was Satrughna who safeguarded the places of sacred rituals like yajnas and yagas from the invasion of evil spirits and demons. Do not think that the Ramayana is different from the Vedas. In fact, it is the very essence of the Vedas. Rama exemplified three kinds of righteous behaviour (Dharma), namely, the dharmas relating to 1) the individual; 2) the family and 3) society. To uphold these three-fold dharma, Divinity manifested in a triangular flow, in the form of the Trimurtis (the triune form).

The Ramayana manifested to elaborate the human values. The period of the Mahabharata was well over 5,000 years ago and the Ramayana was enacted aeons earlier. Even after the passage of countless ages, if it is still occupying the hearts of the people at large, you can well imagine its importance.

There are two kinds of messages dominating Ramayana: One pertains to Rama and the other to Ravana. It is said aakarah vishnu vasaha that is to say in aakara resides Vishnu. In Aum, aakara leads and in Rama he resides. Lord Parameshwara says that by chanting Ramanama thrice one can obtain the benefit of having chanted the thousand names of Lord Vishnu i.e., Vishnu Sahasranamam. Such is the greatness of Ramanama. It is believed that breathing one’s last on the banks of holy Ganges in Kasipuri the mokshapuri, one gets mukti, moksha, for Lord Parameshwara is ever chanting the Ramanama here as Katyayini Kamukan in the ears of all people in Kasipuri. Listening to or uttering the name Rama at the time of death relieves everyone from sins and the jivatma obtains the mukti. Hence the Kasipuri has come to be known as mokshapuri.

Since the jevan transcends samsara to moksha, mukti by the Ramanama, the Ramanama is Tharakanama, Tharakamantra.

The Ramayana (The journey of Rama) belongs among the world’s oldest literature. Cherished throughout India and Asia for millennia, it has been faithfully preserved and passed on in varied forms of popular _expression, epic poems, folk tales, music, dance, drama, puppet shows, sculpture, painting and even films and comic books. Its story and characters have captured the hearts and minds of countless generations. It is quiet amazing that despite its popularity in Eastern cultures and even though it is recognised by many Western scholars as a literary masterpiece, most people in the West have never heard of Ramayana.

The story of Lord Rama is both a spellbinding adventure and a work of profound philosophy, offering answers to life’s deepest questions. It tells of a time when gods and heroes walked among us, facing supernatural forces of evil and guided by powerful mystics and sages.

Revered throughout the ages for it’s moral and spiritual wisdom, it is a beautiful and uplifting tale of romance and high adventure, recounting the odyssey of Rama, a great king of ancient India. Rama, along with his beautiful wife, Sita, and faithful brother Lakshmana, was exiled to the forest for 14 years, where Sita was kidnapped by the powerful demon Ravana. Along with his brother Lakshmana and a fantastic army of supernatural creatures, Rama embarked on a perilous quest to find his beloved Sita.

The Lord Himself says in Ramayana, “If one surrenders unto Me sincerely, saying, ‘My Lord, from this day I am fully surrendered unto You,’ I always give him protection. That is My vow.” Since the ultimate benefit of hearing the Ramayana is increased faith in Lord Rama, everyone will want to read this noble book.

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