Holy Lake of the Acts of Lord Rama, Part 6


Lord Rama
Trichinopoly, Tamil Nadu c. 1820

Jan 11, 2012 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of Tulasi das's 'Ramacaritamanasa'.

[Doha 31.] The story of Rama is the river Mandakini, and the pure heart is Citrakuta; and sincere love is the forest where Sita and Raghubir roamed. [Chaupai 32.] The acts of Rama are a beauteous talisman and adorn the wisdom of the saints as charming ornaments a woman.

The sum of Rama's virtues is a blessing to the world, granting release and wealth, the performance of duty on earth and salvation in the world to come; a true instructor in the ways of knowledge, detachment and austerity; a divine physician to cure the dread disease of transmigration; father and mother to beget love for Sita and Rama; the seed of all strict vows and religious rule.

Hanuman's Obeisances to Rama and Laksmana
Trichinopoly, Tamil Nadu c. 1820

They still the storms of sin, affliction and care; they are our loving guardians in this world and the next; doughty ministers of wisdom, their king; Agastya to drink up the boundless ocean of greed; lino-cubs to slay the elephants of lust and anger and foul sin in the forest of the minds of the faithful; Purari's worshipful and most beloved guests, and clouds that at desire extinguish the forest fires of poverty. A very precious spell are they to counter the snake of sensual desire; potent to delete the lines of evil destiny graven on the forehead, hard to efface; like the sun's rays to scatter the darkness of ignorance, and quickening Rama's servants as the rain-burdened cloud brings life to fields of rice. Like the generous tree of Paradise they grant the heart's desire; like Hari and Hara, easy of access to those who serve them and bringers of joy; like stars that shine in the autumn sky of the good poet's mind; abundant life to Rama's faithful votaries. They are like the full enjoyment of the fruit of all good deeds; like saints who work sincerely for the welfare of the world; cleansing from sin like Ganga's flood.

[Doha 32a.] The sum of Rama's perfections burns up all heresy and carping criticism and evil habits and the deceit, hypocrisy and insincerity that mark this Kaliyuga, as a blazing fire consumes its fuel.

[32b.] The acts of Rama are like the rays of the full moon, bringing joy to all, and of special comfort and great gain to the souls of the faithful, as the moon to the lily and the partridge.

Coronation of Rama and Sita
Trichinopoly, Tamil Nadu c. 1820

[Chaupai 33.] I shall now repeat in substance the questions that Bhavani put and Samkara's detailed answers, reciting the story in varied styles. Let not him who has not heard this story before be astonished when he hears it; wise men who hear this marvelous story are not astonished, for they realize that there is no limit to the number of Rama's stories in the world. This is what they believe, that Rama has come down to earth in many forms and that there are a thousand million Ramayanas of measureless length. High sages have sung in different aeons and various ways the glorious acts of Hari; bear this in mind and doubt not, and listen to the story of reverence and love. [Doha 33.] Rama is infinite and his perfections infinite, and boundless the extent of his stories; so men of clear understanding will not wonder when they hear them.

[Chaupai 34.] Thus banishing all doubt and placing on my head the dust of my guru's lotus feet, once more with folded hands I make my prayer to all, no fault may attach to my telling of the story. Now I bow my head with reverence to Siva and tell the sacred tale of Rama's virtues. In the Samvat year of sixteen hundred and thirty-one I lay my head on Hari's feet and write the story; on Tuesday, the ninth day of the month of Caita, in the city of Avadh, I begin this story of his acts. It is the day when Rama was born, and on that day – so say the Vedas – all the holy places gather together at Avadh; demons and serpents, birds, men, sages and gods come and do reverence to Raghunayak, the wise men celebrate the birthday festival and sing the high renown of Rama. [Doha 34.] Great companies of devotees bathe in Sarayu's purifying stream; they meditate on Rama's beautiful dark body and repeat his Name.

Trichinopoly, Tamil Nadu c. 1820

[Chaupai 35.] Veda and Purana declare that sin is washed away by the sight and touch of the river, by bathing in its stream and drinking of its water. Very holy is the river and of greatness immeasurable; not even Sarada for all her cloudless genius can describe it. The glorious city of Avadh grants men entrance to Rama's home; it is renowned throughout the world and very holy; the countless creatures in the world, of all four modes of birth, if they put off the body at Avadh, enter no more the cycle of mortality. Because I hold this city to be altogether lovely, granting all success and source of every blessing, I have here begun this sacred story, destructive of all lust and pride and hypocrisy in him who hears it.

Its name is the Holy Lake of Rama's Acts, and those who listen to it are refreshed; a soul that burns with the fever of worldly desire, like an elephant in a forest fire, is happy if it plunge into this Lake. Sambhu composed the Holy Lake of Rama's Acts, a pure and lovely poem that delights the sage, subdues the faults of mind and thought and speech, and pain and poverty, and puts an end to wicked ways and all the sin of the Kaliyuga. Mahesa composed it and stored it up in his own mind, and at the fitting time recited it to Parvati, and that is why Hara, rejoicing to see it in his own heart, gave it the fair name of the Holy Lake of Rama's Acts. That same delightful, glorious story I repeat; hear it, yet faithful, with reverence and attention!

Hanuman's Service
Trichinopoly, Tamil Nadu c. 1820


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