Holy Lake of the Acts of Lord Rama, Part 18


Lord Rama's Lotus Foot
19th c. Patna

Feb 28, 2012 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of Tulasi das's 'Ramacaritamanasa'.

As soon as Sambhu reached Kailasa, all the gods returned to their own spheres. Sambhu and Bhavani are the Father and Mother of the world; therefore I say nothing of their amorous dalliance. They dwelt on Kailasa with their attendants in the enjoyment of every luxury. Hara and Girija experienced ever new delights, and in this manner a long time passed. Then was born their six-headed son, who slew the demon Taraka in battle. The birth of the six-headed is famed in the Vedas and the Agamas and the Puranas, and all the world knows the story.

[Chanda 17] All the world knows of the birth of the six-headed, his exploits, his splendour and his mighty courage; and that is why I have spoken but briefly of the acts of Siva's son. All men and women who recite or sing of this marriage of Uma and Sambhu win the blessings of success in all their works and the joy of a happy wedded life.

[Doha 103] (The acts of Girija's lord are like an ocean that not even the Vedas can cross; then how can a dull-witted boor like Tulasi Das describe them?)

[Caupai 104] When he heard the glorious, romantic story of Sambhu's acts, the sage Bharadvaja was delighted. He longed to hear more and more; his eyes filled with tears and he trembled with emotion. He was speechless for very love. When he saw his state, the wise sage was glad and said: Blessed indeed are you, great sage, in your birth, for Gauri's lord is dear to you as life! Those who are not devoted to Siva's lotus feet can never dream of pleasing Rama; a sincere love for the feet of Visvanath is the mark of Rama's votary. Who like Siva has ever kept his vow of faith in Raghupati, seeing that for no fault in her he put away such a wife as Sati? By accomplishing his vow he proved his devotion to Raghupati. Who, my friend, is so dear to Rama as Siva?

[Doha 104] So far I have told you the acts of Siva and have discovered the secret of your heart, that you are a sincere and altogether faultless servant of Rama. [Caupai 105] I have learnt that you are good and true. Now listen while I tell you of Raghupati's divine play. Believe me, sage, I cannot tell you how happy I am to have met you today. The acts of Rama, great sage, are altogether immeasurable; a thousand million Sesas cannot recount them. However, as I have heard them, I recite them, thinking on the Lord who bears the bow and inspires the goddess of speech. For Sarada is like a puppet, and Rama who knows the thoughts of all holds the strings; and in that poet's heart to whom as a faithful servant he grants his grace he makes the goddess dance as on a stage. To that gracious Raghunath I do obeisance and repeat the story of his stainless perfection.

Kailasa is the noblest of mountains and very delightful, and there Siva and Uma perpetually dwell. [Doha 105] There, too, dwell adepts, penitents and ascetics, gods and Kinnaras and anchorites, all meritorious, doing service to Siva, the source of joy. [Caupai 106] But those who are at enmity with Hari and Hara and are indifferent to religious duty cannot hope to approach it. On that mountain is a spreading banyan tree, always fresh and beautiful in every season. There blow cool, mild and fragrant breezes, and very cool is its shade, a tree beneath whose branches Siva takes repose, as the Vedas tell. One day the Lord went to rest beneath that tree and was delighted to behold it. With his own hands the gracious Sambhu spread a tiger-skin on the ground and sat there at his ease, his body fair in hue as the jasmine or the moon or the conch, long-armed and clad in hermit's garb. His feet were like newly-opened lotuses, rose coloured, and the brightness of their nails would scatter the darkness of faithful hearts. Snakes and ashes were Tripurari's adornments, and his face outshone the brilliance of the autumn moon. [Doha 106] On his head were Ganga and a crown of matted hair; his large eyes were like the lotus; a treasure-house of beauty, with blue throat, and, bright on his forehead, the crescent moon.

[Caupai 107] There sat Love's enemy like Tranquility incarnate, Parvati – Bhavani the Mother – seized the opportunity to approach him. Hara welcomed her as his own dear wife with great respect and seated her on his left. She took her seat beside Siva with great joy and bethought her of all that had happened in her former life. Uma felt that her husband's love was even greater than of yore, and smilingly addressed him in affectionate terms; for Himalaya's daughter wished to ask him of that story that brings blessing to all the world.

Sri Sri Sita-Rama
19th c. Patna

'O Lord of the universe,' she said, 'my husband Purari, throughout the three worlds your majesty is known. All things, moving and unmoved, serpents , men and gods do reverence to your lotus feet. [Doha 107] Lord, you are Siva the all-powerful, all-knowing, home of all sciences and virtues, storehouse of ascetic practice, wisdom and detachment, and your name is a tree of Paradise to the suppliant. [Caupai 108] O essence of bliss, if I have found favour in your sight and you believe me to be your loyal servant, then, Lord, dispel my ignorance and tell me the various stories of Raghunath. How could he whose dwelling is beneath the tree of Paradise suffer pain that is born of poverty? Reflect on this, O moon-decked Lord, and remove my sore bewilderment. Those sages, Lord, who speak of spiritual truths call Rama the Absolute that knows no origin; and Sesa, Sarada, Veda and Purana all sing of Raghupati's perfection. You too, O foe of the Bodiless, reverently mutter "Rama, Rama" day and night. Is this Rama the son of the king of Avadh or some other unborn, impersonal, invisible being?

[Doha 108] 'If he be the prince, how can he be the Absolute – and an Absolute distraught by the loss of a wife? When I consider his story and at the same time hear of his greatness, I am utterly perplexed! [Caupai 109] If it be another who is all-pervading, almighty and without desire, tell me, husband, and explain. Think of me as ignorance and be not angry, but do what you can to remove my bewilderment. I beheld in the forest the sovereign power of Rama, but I told you nothing because I was sore afraid; nevertheless, so dense was I that I guessed not the truth, and in full measure I paid the penalty! And still I feel some doubt; be gracious to me, I beseech you with folded hands. Lord, at that time you did your best to instruct me; do not be wroth, my husband, when you recall it. My perplexity is not now what it was, for I long to hear the story of Rama. Tell me the sacred story of Rama's perfections, O Lord of heaven, bedecked with the Serpent King!

[Doha 109] 'I lay my head upon the ground and do homage to your feet, and with folded hands make humble petition; extract the essence of scriptural doctrine and tell me of Raghubar's spotless glory.

[Caupai 110] 'Though I am not worthy to hear it because I am a woman, yet am I your servant, in thought and word and deed. The saints do not conceal the deepest mysteries when they find one who would hear them in time of sorrow; and, O king of heaven, it is in deep distress that I question you; have mercy on me and tell me the story of Raghupati.


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