Holy Lake of the Acts of Lord Rama, Part 19


Rama, Sita and Laksman Worshipping Shiva-linga
Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, c. 1826

Feb 29, 2012 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of Tulasi das's 'Ramacaritamanasa'.

'First, consider and tell me the reason why the impersonal Absolute assumed a personal form. Next, tell me, Lord, of the descent of Rama, and then the story of his innocent childhood. Tell me how he married Janak's daughter and for what fault he was banished from the realm. Tell me of the mighty works he did when he dwelt in the forest, my husband, and how he slew Ravan. Tell me of all his sportive acts when he sat upon the throne of his kingdom, O Samkara, Very Joy!

[Doha 110] 'Then again, O Lord of grace, tell me of the marvellous act of Rama, how the jewel of the race of Raghu passed with his subjects to his own dwelling-place. [Caupai 111] Then, Lord, explain that profound truth in the knowledge of which wise sages rest absorbed; faith, intuition, wisdom and detachment – all these explain, each with its several parts. Tell me, husband, of any other mysteries of Rama's being, for your wisdom is unclouded; nor hide from me, Lord of compassion, aught I may have left unasked. The Veda declares you to be the guru of the three worlds; what can other base creatures know of these mysteries?'

Sri Sri Sita-Rama Enthroned
Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, c. 1826

When Siva heard Uma's sincere and guileless questions, he was pleased. Hara recalled all the acts of Rama, and his eyes filled with tears in ecstasy of love. The very form of the Lord Raghunath entered his heart, and he felt supreme happiness and measureless delight. [Doha 111] For some time Mahesa remained absorbed in blissful contemplation, then he brought his mind back to the world and began with joy to tell of Raghupati's acts.

[Caupai 112] 'To him who knows not Rama the false appears the true, as a rope is mistaken for a snake. To him who knows Rama the world is naught, as the illusion of a dream vanishes on waking. It is that same Rama as a child to whom I do homage, by repeating whose Name all perfections are easily attained. May he who played in Dasarath's courtyard, the abode of bliss and vanquisher of misery, show me his favour!'

Tripurari did reverence to Rama and joyously continued his ambrosial speech: 'Blessed, blessed are you, O daughter of the Mountain King! None brings such blessing to the world as you! For you have asked for the story of Raghupati that cleanses all the spheres as Ganga purifies the world. You love the feet of Raghubir, and have put a question for the whole world's good.

Rama Procession
Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, c. 1826

[Doha 112] 'It is my belief, Parvati, that by the grace of Rama not the least anxiety or perplexity or doubt or error remain in your mind, [Caupai 113] but you have put forward this old doubt that all may receive blessing by the recital and hearing of the story. The ears of those who have not heard Hari's story are like the holes of snakes; the eyes of those who have not seen the saints are like the marks on peacocks' feathers; the heads of those who bow not before the feet of Hari and the guru are no better than bitter pumpkins. Those who have given devotion to Hari no place in their hearts are like dead men though yet alive. Those tongues that sing not the praise of Rama's virtues are like the tongues of frogs. Hard as a thunderbolt and unfeeling is that heart that does not rejoice when it hears of Hari's acts. Listen, O Girija, to Rama's mysterious deeds, a blessing to the gods and to the demons a delusion.

[Doha 113] 'The story of Rama is like the cow of heaven that grants all joys to those who tend her, and the assembly of saints is as the abode of all the gods; who that knows this will not listen?

Shiva and Parvati Enthroned
Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, c. 1826

[Caupai 114] 'The story of Rama is the pleasant clapping of the hands to scare away the birds of doubt; the story of Rama is an axe to fell the tree of the Kaliyuga. Listen with reverence, O daughter of the Mountain King. Scripture has hynmed the glorious Name of Rama, his countless virtuous acts, his lives and all that he has done. As Rama, the Blessed Lord is infinite, so are his stories, his renown and manifold perfections without end. Yet – for I mark your great devotion – I will tell the story as I have heard it and as far as I understand it. Uma, the question you have asked is simple and sincere, profitable and after the saints' own hearts and pleasing, too, to me. But, Bhavani, there was one point that pleased me not, though you only suggested it because you were perplexed, in that you said that Rama whom scriptures hymn and sages contemplate must be some other.

Lord Rama, Reclining on Darbha Grass
Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, c. 1826

[Doha 114] 'It is the base who utter and listen to such lies, possessed by the devil of delusion, heretics, opposed to the worship of Hari, who know not what is true and what is false. [Caupai 115] It is the ignorant and unlearned, the blind and unblest, the mirror of whose souls is clouded by the film of sensibles, the lewd, deceitful and very evil, who never dream of visiting the assembly of the saints – it is they who say such things as have no warrant in the Veda. They know not what is good for them or ill; the mirror of their souls is sullied and they have no eyes to see. How can such wretches behold the vision of Rama's self? Those who have no clear understanding of the impersonal and the personal prate of all kinds of fantastic notions; misled by Hari's illusive power they wander astray in the world; what wonder, then, they babble? Deranged, devil-possessed, drunken, they speak without thinking; when men have drunk deep of the wine of delusion, one should shut one's ears to their ravings.

[Sloka 115] 'Ponder this in your heart and put away doubt and worship the feet of Rama. Hearken, O daughter of the Mountain King, to what I am about to say, dispelling error as the sun's rays scatter the darkness.


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