Holy Lake of the Acts of Lord Rama, Part 9
BY: SUN STAFF
Lord of Baruna
Scenes from Indonesian Ramayana
Jan 21, 2012 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of Tulasi das's 'Ramacaritamanasa'.
You know well enough the sovereign power of Raghupati, for you are Rama's votary in word and thought and deed. I understand your cunning scheme; you want to hear the deep mysteries of Rama's perfections and so you have put your questions as though you were completely ignorant. Listen then, my friend, with reverence and attention while I relate the glorious story of Rama.
The story of Rama is a fearsome Kalika to slay the giant Mahisesa of deep delusion. The story of Rama is like the moonbeams, and the saints are the partridges that drink of them. It was just this kind of doubt that Bhavani felt, and then Mahadeva told her the whole story. [Doha 47] So now I repeat, as well as I can, the converse held by Uma and Sambhu; hear then, O sage, when and why it took place, and so shall you cease to despond.
The Struggle of Jatayu
[Caupai 48] One day in the Tretayuga Sambhu visited Agastya the seer; with him was Sati, Bhavani, the Mother of the world. The seer bowed down before him, recognizing him. [ ] The great sage related the story of Rama, and Mahesh listened with the utmost delight. Then the seer asked him of perfect faith in Hari, and Sambhu explained it, for he deemed him worthy. The lord of the mountains stayed there for some days, conversing with Agastya about the perfections of Raghupati; then, bidding farewell to the sage, Tripurari went home with Daksa's daughter. At that time Hari became incarnate in the family of Raghu, to relieve earth of her burdens; and at his father's command the immortal god left his kingdom and wandered as an ascetic in the Dandaka forest.
[Doha 48] Hara kept on considering how he might come to see him; for the Lord, he thought, has become incarnate secretly, and if he went to see him, everyone would guess the truth. [Sloka 48] Samkara's heart was much disturbed, but Sati knew not the mystery; he longed to see Rama, but though his eyes were greedy for the sight, his soul was afraid.
The Death of Subali
[Caupai 49] 'Ravan', he thought, 'has asked the boon of death at the hand of man, and the Lord wishes to bring Brahma's word to fulfillment. If I do not go to see him, I shall regret it.' But all his thoughts and plans were of no avail. While Siva was thus anxiously pondering, the Ten-headed went forth, taking with him the base demon Marica, who straightway disguised himself as a deer. Besotted Ravan practiced guile and carried off the princess of Videha; for he knew not the extent of the power of the Lord. Hari slew the deer and returned with his brother, and when he saw the empty hermitage, his eyes filled with tears. Raghuari was distraught by his loss as a mortal man might be, and the two brothers wandered through the forest searching for Sita. In him who had never known union or separation was manifested the grief of bereavement.
[Doha 49] Very marvelous are the acts of Raghupati; only the supremely wise understand them. Those who are dull of wit and under the dominion of illusion fancy something quite different.
[Caupai 50] It was at that time that Sambhu saw Rama, and his soul was enraptured. He gazed his fill on the ocean of beauty, but thinking it no fit occasion, he did not make himself known, but Love's destroyer went his way, crying, 'Victory to True Being, Consciousness and Bliss, that purifies the world!' So Siva, Lord of grace, departed with Sati, trembling again and again with ecstatic emotion. When Sati saw Sambhu's state, a great doubt arose in her mind. 'Samkara', she thought, 'is Lord of the world and worthy of all men's worship; gods, men and sages all bow the head before him. Yet he did obeisance to a prince, calling him True Being, Consciousness and Bliss, and Spirit Supreme; and when he saw his beauty, he was so absorbed in it that even now nothing can check his devotion. [Doha 50] Can the Absolute, which is all-pervading, passionless, unborn, indivisible, desireless, without parts – that which even the Veda knows not – take bodily form as a man? And even if Visnu should take human form for the sake of the gods, [Caupai 51] yet is he omniscient like Tripurari; then how should he, in whom all wisdom dwells, the lord of Sri, the foe of demons, be searching for his wife as though he lacked knowledge? Yet again, the word of Sambhu cannot be untrue, for all know Siva is omniscient.'
The Demand of Kaikayi
Such was the deep doubt that troubled her mind and her heart could find no solution. Though Bhavani said nothing openly, yet Hara who knows the secrets of all hearts could read her thoughts. 'Harken, Sati,' he said; 'you are just like a woman; such doubts should never lodge in your heart. He whose story the seer Agastya told, and faith in whom I taught the sage, is my own chosen deity, Raghubir, whom steadfast sages ever reverence. [Chanda 2] He whom steadfast sages, ascetics and adepts continually contemplate with unsullied soul, he whose fame Vedas and Puranas and Agamas sing, naming him "Not thus", that very Rama, all-pervading Absolute, Lord of all the worlds and master of illusion, has come to earth to save his faithful people, ever self-subsisting, jewel of the house of Raghu.'
[Sloka 51] Though Siva declared this many times, his teaching took no hold upon her heart. Then Mahesa, knowing full well the might of Hari's illusive power, said with a smile, [Caupai 52] 'If you feel such doubt, why do you not go and put the matter to the test? I will stay here, sitting in the banyan's shade will you come back to me. Do your best to be rid of your grievous ignorance and error, but act with circumspection.'
Sati went off at Siva's bidding, considering how she should act, while Sambhu thought to himself, 'Daksa's daughter will come to no good. If her doubt is not dispelled by all that I could say, then fate is adverse and ill will come of it. As Rama has decreed so shall it be; then why make a long argument about it?' So saying, he began to repeat the name of Hari.
Hanuman Met Sita
[Doha 52] But Sati approached the Lord, the abode of bliss. After pondering her course again and again, she took the form of Sita and went forward on that road by which the king of men was coming. [Caupai 53] When Laksman saw the guise that Uma had assumed, he was astonished and dumbfounded; in his profound perplexity he could say nothing; steadfast of soul, he knew the power of the Lord. The Lord of heaven penetrated Sati's disguise, for he sees all and knows the secrets of all hearts. He, by the very thought of whom ignorance is destroyed, is that omniscient Rama, the Blessed Lord.
Now see what a woman's nature can make her do! Even in his presence Sati would hide her guile! But Rama, realizing the might of his own illusive power, addressed her with a smile in gentle tones. The Lord greeted her with folded hands and told her his name and the name of his father, and then said, 'Where is he on whose banner is blazoned the bull? Why are you roaming the forest alone?'
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