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Sri Rama Navami falls on April 19 : Eternal relevance of the Ramayana

Sri Rama Navami falls on April 19 : Eternal relevance of  the Ramayana
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YV Ramakotaiah The Ramayana shows the way to whichever pleasure(s) one seeks, said Sri Chidatma Chaitanya once while giving an interpretative...

YV Ramakotaiah

The Ramayana shows the way to whichever pleasure(s) one seeks, said Sri Chidatma Chaitanya once while giving an interpretative discourse on the Ramayana at Chinmaya Aadhyatmika Kendra in Hyderabad

Man by instinct is a seeker of pleasures which are of three kinds: 1) worldly pleasures 2) heavenly pleasures, and 3) eternal pleasures. A The Ramayana shows the way to whichever pleasure(s) he seeks, said Sri Chidatma Chaitanya once while giving an interpretative discourse on the Ramayana at Chinmaya Aadhyatmika Kendra in Hyderabad.A We derive worldly pleasures from our contacts with men and matters, and also from our mental make-up. But these are fleeting pleasures. Therefore, we should not make worldly pleasures the aim of our life.

The second category is heavenly pleasures. It means man's desire to be happy in the "after life" when the soul leaves this body and migrates to the Pitru Loka. In this material world we are not able to enjoy pleasures as we wished due to several physical and mental hurdles. Man craves for such pleasures and comforts at least in other world where there will be no maladies like ageing.

By means of Yagnas, charity, penance and such rituals one can experience heavenly pleasures. No doubt, these heavenly experiences are better than the ones we experience on earth. However, even the heavenly pleasures are not everlasting or eternal in nature, because they are directly proportional to the good deeds man does on earth.

It means the moment man's good deeds on earth are compensated through enjoyment of pleasures in heaven, he will no longer stay there. He will be shifted to the mortal world. Te tham Bhuktwaa Swargalokam Vishaalam Ksheene Punye Marthya Lokam Visanti, says the Gita.

[Having enjoyed the vast Swarga-world, they enter the mortal world again, on the exhaustion of their merit (punya). Therefore, man should strive to attain eternal pleasure or comfort. This is the bliss eternal. The mundane and heavenly pleasures are attainable by means of 'Dharma'. A But the third one is attained only by means of the Knowledge of the Supreme Being (Paramatma). The Ramayana is the harmonious blend of these two categories of pleasures.

Rama in the 'Ramayana' is the embodiment of Dharma in the worldly sense (Ramo Vigravan Dharmah), says Valmiki Maharshi. A If we go into the heart of the matter, Rama is Brahma Swaroopi (the semblance of Brahman). To drive home this point, Sri Chidatma Chaitanya recalls a passage from "Rama-Hanuma logical argumentation."

When Hanuman met Rama for the first time he asked him who he was. "Who do you say I am?" Rama asks Hanuman. A In his reply, Hanuman says: "You are the Parabrahma; the embodied soul of the formless Supersoul. You are the Emperor and protector of the universe. You are the Essence of Knowledge --- Knower of everything."

On hearing this, in an affected posture of thoughtfulness, Rama says: "Why do you say this? I am not Parabrahma. Parabrahma has no form. But I have a form. I have a name. My name is Rama. I am the son of Dasaradha. Therefore, I am not the Parabrahma as you say. I am not the embodied soul of the formless Supersoul. It is erroneous even to think that I am the emperor as I have been sent out of my own Ayodhya. How can I be called protector of the universe at a time when I am not able to protect my own wife? Not knowing her whereabouts I have been traversing the forests, dales and mountains. And you call me the Essence of Knowledge and Knower of everything. What an irony!"

Look! What we need to learn here is: Paramatma depicts Himself as an ordinary person. As ordinary human beings we need to cultivate such humility eschewing ego, pride and prejudice. This is the first and foremost quality we need to learn from the Ramayana, said Sri Chidatma Chaitanya highlighting the qualities of Rama and the relevance of the Ramayana to this ultra modern atomic age.

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