Holy Lake of the Acts of Lord Rama, Part 5
BY: SUN STAFF
Rama Embraces Sugriva on Hearing the Mighty Deeds of the Gathered Monkeys
Kulu/Bahu School, c. 1700-1710
Jan 10, 2012 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of Tulasi das's 'Ramacaritamanasa'.
[C. 26.] By the grace of the Name Sambhu is immortal, an auspicious figure in inauspicious guise. Sukadeva and Sanaka and all the other adepts and sages and ascetics by the grace of the Name enjoy the bill of heaven. Narada knew the power of the Name, for all the world loves Hari, and Hari and Hara love Narada.
When Prahlada repeated the Name, the Lord showed him his favour and he became the chief of votaries. Dhruva repeated the Name of Hari in distress and won a place unmoved, incomparable. The son of the Wind thought on that holy Name and made Rama subject to himself. Ajamila the sinner, the elephant and the harlot were saved by the power of Hari's Name; but why should I any more extol the Name? Rama himself cannot sing the full perfections of the Name!
[D. 26.] In this Kaliyuga the Name of Rama is the tree of Paradise, the home of blessing, thinking whereon Tulasi Das, who was nothing but intoxicating hemp, has become [like] the sacred tulasi plant.
The Pastimes of Rama
Basohli School, Kulu c. 1680
[C. 27.] In all four ages, in time past, present and to come, and in all three spheres creatures have been freed from care by the repetition of the Name. Veda, Purana and saints agree that the fruit of all good deeds is the love of RAMA. In the first age the Lord is pleased by contemplation, in the second by the rite of sacrifice, and in the Dvapara by ritual worship; but the Kaliyuga is nothing but the source of sin, impure, and the hearts of men swim like fish in the sea of iniquity. In these dreadful times the Name is the tree of Paradise, and when one thinks on it, it stills all the world's disquiet. It is the Name of Rama that grants desires in the Kaliyuga, a father and mother in this world and a friendly guide in the world to come. In the Kaliyuga no works avail nor devotion nor knowledge; the Name of Rama is the only stay. The Kaliyuga is like Kalanemi, a demon full of deceit, and the Name a wise and powerful Hanuman to slay him. [D.27.] The Name of Rama is Narasimha, the Kaliyuga [is] Hiranyakasipu; the faithful who repeat the Name are Prahlada; these the Name will protect, but it will slay the foes of the gods.
[C. 28.] Whether one repeats the Name in love or hatred, wrath or idle mood, it brings felicity in every quarter. Dwelling on that Name, I bow my head to Raghunath and tell the story of Rama's virtues. He will correct all my mistakes, for his mercy never tires of showing mercy. So noble a master as Rama, and so wicked a servant as I! Yet for his own sake has the home of compassion been my refuse. It is the way of a good master to recognize devotion when he hears a humble prayer – so say the world and the Vedas. Rich and poor, villagers and townsmen, wise and foolish, infamous and famous, good poets and bad, men and women everywhere extol a king as best they can; and the king who is good and wise and beneficent, sprung from a part of God Himself and very gracious, hears and acknowledges their praise and devotion and humility and good intentions, and honours them all in courteous terms. If this is the way of ordinary kings, what of the lord of Kosala, the crown of wisdom? Rama is pleased with genuine love; but who in the world is so stupid and dull of wit as I? [D. 28a.] Yet will Rama regard the love and devotion of his foolish servant; for he is gracious who made the stones to swim upon the water and appointed monkeys and bears as his wise ministers.
[28b.] Sita's lord the master and Tulasi Das the servant! Everyone calls me so and I say so too, and Rama suffers the disgrace! Very great are my insolence and sin; [C. 29.] even hell spurned me when it heard of my wickedness, and when I realize it, I tremble and am sore afraid; but Rama has never for a moment taken my sins into account. Nay, when he heard them and considered them and looked on them with kindly eye, my master praised my faith and my intentions; though my claim sound ill, it is a sign of inward grace, and Rama is pleased when he regards his servants' motives. The Lord remembers not the sins we have committed, but dwells a hundred times upon the purpose of the heart. The very sin for which he slew Bali like a hunter Sugriva afterwards committed. Vibhisan too was guilty of the same crime, but Rama regarded it not at all; rather, Raghubir honoured him when he met Bharat and sang his praises in the royal court. [D. 29a.] [ ]
The Engendering of the Monkey Chiefs by Divine Beings
Basohli School, Kulu c. 1690
Nowhere is there a master kindlier than Rama. [29b.] O Rama, your goodness is a blessing to all; if this be true, than Tulasi's good is for ever assured.
[29c.] Thus I proclaim my merits and my faults, and once more bowing my head to all declare the spotless glory of Raghubar, the hearing of which blots out the guilt of the Kaliyuga.
[C. 30.] The beautiful story that Yajnavalkya told to the great sage Bharadvaja as they conversed I shall repeat; hear, then, all ye faithful and rejoice! Sambhu composed this charming tale and then of his grace told it to Uma; and the same tale he entrusted to Kakabhusundi, for he knew him to be Rama's votary and worthy to receive the gift. Next, Yajnavalkya received it from him, and later sang it to Bharadvaja. Those sages – both he who heard and he who told the story – are of equal virtue and equal insight and understand the mystery of Hari's sportive acts. By their own wisdom they comprehend all time, past, present and to come, plain to them as a plum held in the palm of the hand; and others too there are, Hari's votaries and men of insight, who tell and hear and understand the story in various ways.
[D. 30a.] Then I heard the same story from my guru at Sukarakhet; but at that time I was very young and unintelligent and I did not understand it as I should. [30b.] The story of Rama is mysterious and he who hears it and he who tells it must be inspired with divine wisdom; how should a stupid creature like myself grasp its meaning – an ignorant dolt, in the toils of sin of the Kaliyuga?
Rama and Sita bei
Kulu School, Shangri Style, Pahari Hills, 18th c.
[C. 31.] However, when my guru had repeated the story over and over again, I began partially to understand it, as well as I could. That same story I shall write in the vulgar tongue, to satisfy myself. According to the measure of my understanding and judgement, I shall tell the story with Hari's inspiration to aid. I tell a tale that will remove my doubt and ignorance and error, and carry me across the river of rebirth. The story of Rama brings peace to the learned and gladness to the faithful, and effaces the foul stains of the Kaliyuga. The story of Rama is a powerful spell to subdue the serpent of the Kaliyuga, and a stick to make visible the fire of wisdom. The story of Rama is the cow of plenty in this Kaliyuga, a welcome life-giving drug to the faithful; a river of nectar on earth; a tale to free from fear and to swallow like a snake the frogs of error. It destroys hell and gives aid to the saints as Parvati wrought the destruction of the demon host and saved the gods. It dwells in the assembly of saints as Laksmi on the Ocean of Milk, and bears the burden of the universe like firm earth. It is as the river Yamuna in the world to blacken the faces of the messengers of Death, and as Kasi to grant release to the living from the cycle of birth and death; dear to Rama as the sacred tulasi; cherishing Tulasi Das with heartfelt love like his mother Hulasi; as dear to Siva as the river Narmada, daughter of Mount Mekala; the sum of all success and joy and wealth; mother of all virtues, as Aditi of the gods; the furthest bound of love and faith in Raghubar.
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