Holy Lake of the Acts of Lord Rama, Part 21
BY: SUN STAFF
Thanjavur, c. 1830
Mar 11, 2012 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of Tulasi das's 'Ramacaritamanasa'.
[Caupai 122] 'Thus Rama's votaries sing his glory and cross the sea of birth and death. The gracious Lord puts on mortal forms for the sake of the faithful. Many are the causes of Rama's births, each more marvellous than the others. One or two of these births I relate; do you, wise Bhavani, listen with attention.
'There were two doorkeepers, Jaya and Vijaya, dear to Hari, as all men know. These two brothers were cursed by a Brahman and were born again as demons in bodies of darkness, Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa, born to crush the pride of heaven's king, as all the world knows. Victorious in battle were they, warriors renowned; one Hari slew, assuming the form of a boar; then, as Narasimha, he slew the other, and made known to all the glorious renown of Prahlada his servant.
[Doha 122] 'After that again they were born as demons, strong and mighty in battle, Kumbhakarna and Ravan, warriors who overcame the gods, as all men know. [Caupai 123] They had not won release, though slain by the Blessed Lord, for the Brahman's curse was to prevail for three lives. So once again the Lord who loves the faithful put on mortal form for the demon's weal. This time Kasyapa was his father and Aditi his mother, and their names were Dasarath and Kausalya. Thus in one aeon he became incarnate and performed holy deeds in the world.
'In another aeon Sambhu, seeing that the gods were in distress, because they were all being vanquished in battle by Jalandhara, fought strenuously against him; but the mighty demon could in no way be slain. The wife of the demon king was very loyal to him, and owing to her virtue Purari could not overcome him.
[Doha 123] So the Lord Rama by a trick caused her to break her marriage vow and thus accomplished the purpose of the gods.
[Caupai 124] When she discovered the secret stratagem, she was furious and cursed him. Hari, the Blessed Lord, gracious and full of sportive wiles, accepted the curse. In that aeon Jalandhara was born again as Ravan, and Rama slew him in battle and granted him final release.
Thanjavur, c. 1830
'This was one cause of his birth, one reason why Rama assumed the form of man. Hearken, sage! Each incarnation has its story, and three stories poets have sung in many ways. At one time Narada cursed him, and in one aeon he became incarnation for his sake.'
When Girija heard these words, she was amazed and said, 'But Narada is a votary of Visnu and a learned sage! Why did the sage pronounce a curse? What wrong had Laksmi's lord done? Tell me this story, Purari. It is astonishing that the sage should have been so misled.'
[Doha 124a] Then said Mahesa with a smile, 'No one is wise or foolish. As and when Raghupati wills a man should be, such at that moment he becomes.' [Sloka 124b] Listen, Bharadvaja, with reverence while I tell the story of Rama's perfections.
(Worship Raghunath, destroyer of birth and death, says Tulasi, and have done with all pride and self-conceit!)
[Caupai 125] 'In the Himalaya mountains there is a very holy cave, and near it flows the beauteous Ganga. When he saw so pure and lovely a retreat, the divine seer was delighted. As he gazed upon the hill and the river and the forest glades, he was filled with passionate love for the feet of Laksmi's lord, and when he thought on Hari, the curse was lifted and he feel into a trance; for his soul was by nature blameless. The king of heaven was afraid when he saw the sage's state; so he sent for Kama and addressed him courteously. "Go," he said, "with your assistants to do me service." Kamadeva went off delighted. In the heart of Indra was dire alarm lest Narada should desire to take possession of his city. The lustful and the covetous throughout the world fear everyone, like a crafty crow. [Doha 125] Just as a foolish dog runs off with a dry bone when he sees a lion, thinking in his folly that he may rob him of it, even so the Lord of heaven had no shame.
[Caupai 126] 'When Kamadeva reached the sage's retreat, he fashioned Spring by his magic art. All manner of trees burst into many-coloured blossoms; cuckoos uttered their notes, and there was a murmer of bees. A pleasant breeze sprang up, cool, mild and fragrant, fanning the flame of passion. Rambha and the youthful nymphs of heaven, all skilled in the arts of the peerless Archer, sang songs of varied pitch and modulation and played all kinds of games, ball in hand.
As he watched his assistants, Kamadeva was overjoyed and once again employed all manner of delusions. But the arts of Love influenced not the sage, and guilty Kamadeva feared for his own safety. Can anyone encroach upon his bounds whose mighty protector is Laksmi's lord?
[Doha 126] 'Terrified, the god of love and those who helped him acknowledged their defeat; he went and clasped the sage's feet and very humbly begged forgiveness. [Caupai 127] But in Narada's heart was no wrath at all; with loving words he comforted Kamadeva. Then, bowing their heads before the sage's feet, Love and his assistants took their leave and went their way. To the court of heaven's Lord he went and told the story of the sage's clemency and all that he himself had done. All were amazed when they heard of it; they praised the sage and bowed the head to Hari.
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