Holy Lake of the Acts of Lord Rama, Part 20
BY: SUN STAFF
Tiruchirapalli, 19th c.
Mar 10, 2012 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of Tulasi das's 'Ramacaritamanasa'.
[ ] Rama is the sun, True Being, Consciousness and Bliss, untouched by the shadow of the night of delusion. He is the Blessed Lord, whose being is Light itself, and in him is no place for a dawn of wisdom. Sorrow and joy, knowledge and ignorance, self-conceit and pride -- these are the lot of mortal man; but Rama, as all the world knows, is the all-pervading Absolute, Supreme Bliss, God on high from everlasting.
[Doha 116] That renowned Spirit, in whom all light abides, revealed as Lord of the whole sum of things, is my master, the jewel of the race of Raghu!' So saying, Siva bowed his head.
[Caupai 117] 'The ignorant do not understand their own error, but, fools that they are, attribute their delusion to the Lord; just as senseless men, when they see a curtain of cloud in the sky, say that it has hidden the sun, and a man who presses his eye with a finger imagines that there are two moons in sight. Such delusion, O Uma, is associated with Rama as the appearance of darkness, smoke or dust in the sky. Sensible objects, the senses, the deities of the senses and the individual souls each depend on the next in order for their conscious existence; but he who ultimately illumines them all is Rama, lord of Avadh, without beginning. The world is the illuminable, and Rama is he who illumines it; he is the Lord of illusion and the home of wisdom and virtue, by whose reality the order of unconscious nature, allied with illusion, appears to be real.
[Doha 117] 'As there appears to be silver in the oyster-shell and moisture in the rays of the sun, though these appearances are at no time real, yet no one can free himself from the delusion, [Caupai 118] in the same way the world is dependent on Hari. Though it is unreal, it does cause pain, as when a man dreams that one cuts off his head, and the pain persists till he awakes. He by whose favour such error is corrected, Girija, is that gracious Raghurai. Him whose origin and end none has grasped the Vedas have thus defined by inference as best they could; he walks without feet, he hears without ears, and without hands he performs his many deeds; without a tongue he enjoys all tastes, and without a voice he speaks most eloquently; without a body he touches, without eyes he sees and without a nose he smells every odour. So marvellous in all ways are his acts that none can speak of his greatness.
[Doha 118] 'He whom the Vedas and the wise thus hymn and whom the sages contemplate is that son of Dasarath who loves his votaries, the king of Kosala, the Blessed Lord. [Caupai 119] He by the might of whose name I grant liberation to those whom I see dying at Kasi is that same Raghubar, my lord and the master of all created things, who knows the secrets of all hearts. When men even involuntarily utter his name, the sins they have committed in all their lives are burnt up, and those who meditate on him with reverence pass over the ocean of birth and death as though it were a puddle. Rama is that Supreme Spirit, Bhavani, and that you should attribute error to him is most unfitting. It is by admitting such doubt into the mind that knowledge and detachment and all virtues are lost.'
When she heard Siva's enlightening words, all her critical doubts were resolved; she began to love and trust Raghupati's feet, and her grievous incredulity passed away. [Doha 119] Again and again Girija clasped her lord's lotus feet, and folding her lotus hands spoke sweet words steeped, as it were, in love:
[Caupai 120] 'Your speech is like the moon's cool rays, and when I hear it, the burning autumn heat of error no more torments me. You, gracious Lord, have resolved all my doubt and now I know Rama in his true form. Now, husband, by your grace I am no longer sad but am made happy by the favour of my lord's feet. Now, though I am a woman of foolish nature and unwise, believe me to be your servant, and if I have found favour in my lord's sight, answer the question I first put. If Rama be the Absolute, pure Consciousness, immortal, untouched by aught and yet abiding in the city of the hearts of all, why, Lord, did he take human form? Explain it to me, O Siva!'
When he heard Uma's very humble prayer and marked her pure delight in Rama's story, [Doha 120a] Love's enemy, the all-wise Samkara, was pleased and lavished praise on Uma. Then said the Lord of grace:
Lord Rama and Hanuman
Tamil Nadu, c. 1850
[Sundarakanda or Soratha 120b] 'Listen, Bhavani, to the sacred story, the unsullied Lake of Rama's acts, as Bhusundi told it and it was heard by Garur, the king of birds. [120c] I shall tell you later the manner of their noble converse; hear now the very beautiful and faultless story of Rama's incarnation. [120d] Infinite are the virtues and the names of Hari; his stories and his forms countless and immeasurable. I tell of them as far as I am able; do you, Uma, reverently listen.
[Caupai 121] 'Hearken, Girija! Many are the pure and beauteous acts of Hari, sung in the Vedas and the Agamas. The cause of Hari's descents cannot be told exactly. Listen, wise lady! I hold that Rama is beyond comprehension by reason, thought or speech, yet as saints and sages, Veda and Purana, explain in part, according to the measure of their understanding, so I, fair lady, tell you the cause as I understand it.
Whenever righteousness decays and demons, vile and arrogant, wax strong and work lawless deeds beyond the telling, and Brahmans and cows and gods and earth suffer hurt, the gracious Lord puts on various bodily forms and relieves the distress of his faithful servants. [Doha 121] He slays the demons and sets the gods upon their throne; he defends the bounds of his own Vedic Law and proclaims throughout the world his spotless glory! This is the cause of Rama's birth.
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