Tag Archives: Ramayana

Sri Rama Paduka Pattabhisheka

Sri Rama along with his consort Seeta and brother Lakshmana went to the forest in exile for 14 years to keep up the promise king Dasaratha, his father had made to his wife, Kaikeyi. Unable to bear the seperation from his son, Dasaratha breathed his last. At the unusual turn of events, Guru Vashishta urgently summoned Bharata who had gone to visit his maternal uncle. Bharata returned to Ayodhya only to find the city of joy absolutely silent. People looked lost and sad. Strange! The situation in the palace was no better. He quickly made his way to his mother, Kaikeyi’s chamber. On enquiring, she narrated everything to him, and finally said, “the throne awaits you, my dear son. Get ready for your pattabhisheka!”

Bharata was stunned. He was overwhelmed with grief and pain. In a fit of anger, he totally disowned his mother. Because of her, he had lost his father. His brother Rama whom he loved, adored and worshipped had been sent to the forest, along with Seeta and Lakshmana. He wept bitterly and cried his heart out at the feet of Rama’s mother, Kausalya. The gracious mother of Rama was sad and grief-stricken at the loss of her husband and seperation from her son; but felt happy to see the devotion and loyalty that Bharata had towards his elder brother, Rama. 

After the final rites of his father, Bharata was called upon by Guru Vashishta to ascend the throne and take up the responsibilities of the kingdom. In the royal assembly, Bharata with tears in his eyes, yet, surely and firmly, told everyone, that Sri Rama alone was the rightful heir to the throne and there was absolutely no question of him becoming the king. He pleaded innocence and said that he had nothing to do with his mother’s devious plans. He requested everyone to accompany him to the forest to convince Rama to return to Ayodhya. He made all the necessary arrangements to crown Rama as the King of Ayodhya in the forest itself and bring him back! Kaikeyi understood the devotion and reverence Bharata had for Rama, and repented sincerely for her wrong doings. 

Bharata and his brother Shatrughna, Sage Vashishta, the queen mothers and the people of Ayodhya proceeded to the forest, and reached Chitrakoota where Rama, Seeta and Lakshmana had settled down. The moment Bharata saw Rama, he ran forward and fell at his brother’s feet, weeping profusely for all the hardships that Rama had to undergo in the forest. He totally blamed himself for it. Unable to reconcile with what had happened, he was just inconsolable. Rama tenderly lifted him up and held him in a tight embrace. That hug was enough to pacify, console and calm down Bharata’s agitated mind. Yet, in his mind was the fear whether Rama would accept his proposal and return to Ayodhya. 

Next day, an assembly was arranged in the forest. Along with the others, King Janaka was also present. All eyes were on Bharata. Every one was anxious to see the outcome of the meeting. Bharata put forth his humble request and tried to convince Rama to return. When Rama did not yield, he respectfully pleaded, later he gently argued and even lovingly debated with Rama! Sri Rama was equally firm on his decision to keep up his words. All those present were overwhelmed at the love and affection that Rama and Bharata had for each other. Guru Vashishta and King Janaka put forth their views on the duties and responsibilities of a King. Kaikeyi stepped forward and unconditionally withdrew the demand she had made. But for Rama, there was no question of going back on his words.

Not losing hopes, Bharata pleaded, “How can I ever sit on the throne that belongs to you, dear brother? You alone are the rightful heir to the kingdom and can handle its huge responsibility, I simply cannot.” He even told Rama that he would substitute for him and stay in the forest for 14 years on his behalf, and that Rama should go back to Ayodhya. The Lord understood Bharata’s feelings. Rama replied, “Alright! I accept the kingdom from you. As the King of Ayodhya, I now declare you as king-in-charge. You will rule and look after the kingdom for 14 years on my behalf. After the completion of the exile term, I promise to come and take back the kingdom from you.” 

Bharata was sweetly adamant! He said, “O! Rajendra, give me your PADUKAS, which shall be worshipped in the kingdom. I shall serve both – your padukas and the people till you return. In your absence, they shall adorn the throne in your place, not me! I shall as a mere sevak of yours, execute and discharge my duties and responsibilities towards the people of the kingdom as best as I can, keeping in mind your honour, dignity and glory (paduke dehi rajendra, rajyaya tava pujithe; tayo sevam karomyeva, yavath agamanam tava ~ Adhyatma Ramayana).”

Rama’s heart melted in the warmth of Bharata’s love and devotion, his steadfastness and loyalty. Overwhelmed with joy, the Lord exclaimed, “Bharata, I am indeed fortunate and blessed to have a brother like you!”. The Lord agreed to Bharata’s loving insistence and readily handed over his Padukas to him, with an assurance that he will be back in Ayodhya exactly after 14 years. Still not satisfied, Bharata added that the very next moment, after 14 years, if he failed to see the divinely charming face of Sri Rama, he would consign himself to flames. Rama assured him that he would be back exactly after 14 years.

Carrying Sri Rama’s Padukas reverentially on his head, and the Lord’s loving assurance in his heart, Bharata returned to Ayodhya along with the others. The people of Ayodhya witnessed a unique and grand PADUKA PATTABHISHEKA! Sri Rama’s Padukas adorned the throne. Ayodhya without Rama was unthinkable for Bharata. He stayed in Nandigram on the outskirts of Ayodhya. He gave up all the royal luxuries and lived a life of tapas, and discharged his duties from there, ably supported by Shatrughna. With Bharata in-charge and for full 14 years, SRI RAMA’S PADUKAS ruled over the kingdom of Ayodhya! As promised, exactly after 14 years, the Lord came back from exile. With a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, Bharata handed over the kingdom to its rightful heir. Bharata’s kingdom was verily at Lord Sri Rama’s lotus feet!!

“O Rama, clarify this doubt of mine. Which is greater? Your lotus FEET or your blessed PADUKAS? The rishis who worshipped your FEET gained your abode; but to Bharata who worshipped your PADUKAS you gave Yourself!”~ Thyagaraja Swami

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Sri Rama Pattabhisheka – the Significance!

SRIMAD-RAMAYANA represents the spiritual yatra of a seeker – the AYANA (journey) of a spiritual seeker represented by RAMA. Hence it is known as RAMAYANA. Ramayana is also a treasure house of VALUES to be inculcated and practised at every stage in life. The Epic also highlights the various relationships amongst the different characters, and the need and importance to nurture, nourish and maintain these relationships at individual and social level. Lord Rama and his consort, Seeta as well as all the other characters through the various incidents, situations and circumstances demonstrate the journey from the realm of mortality to the State of Immortality. These incidents, situations or circumstances (each and every one of them) are “dynamic pictures with enormous significance” which are to be clicked on our mental screen and contemplated upon for they carry “life transforming” messages for us! 

One of these pictures which is very familiar to us is the SRI RAMA PATTABHISHEKA. In fact, whether in the temple or in our puja room, Lord Rama whom we invoke and worship is the “Pattabhisheka Deity – SRI PATTABHIRAMA”. The great musician-saint, Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar has composed a kirtan on the “Pattabhisheka Scene” which is beautiful and vividly captivating, complete and extremely significant! 

“O, Pattabhi-Rama, who adorns the Seat of Sovereignty and whose auspicious and sacred name, RAMA, is glorified by the ever-victorious Maruti (Hanuman), protect me. Rama, the Pure and the All-perfect, who is supremely contented and ever fulfilled, carries the Kodanda-bow in His hand and is the personification of Auspiciousness. The Lotus-eyed Lord belongs to the illustrious Raghu dynasty. Rama whose feet are soft and tender, is of dark complexion resembling the rain-bearing clouds. Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrughna are attending upon and serving their brother, Sri Raja Rama with the royal umbrella (chhatra) and the chamara (fly-whisks). Vibhishana, Sugreeva and others are offering their obeisance to the Lord. Sri Rama, son of Dasaratha is the recipient of the blessings of the great Rishis like Atri, Vasishta and others. In a gem-studded navaratna-mantapa, Sri Rama, along with his consort Seeta adorns the beautiful bejewelled suvarna Simhasana. Lord Sri Rama of exemplary character and conduct (the embodiment of Dharma), is extremely dear to Guruguha (Lord Subramanya). He is like the beautiful moon to the ocean of the solar dynasty. He is verily the Ruler and Protector of the whole Universe, SRI RAMACHANDRA!”

The “Rama Pattabhisheka” Scene or the Picture represents a MAN of REALIZATION – a Jivanmukta. Ayodhya is “A – Yudha”. It means “No conflict”. Therefore, it represents the Inner State of Absolute Peace and Bliss – the State of Mukti or Enlightenment. In this State of Bliss, Lord Rama and his consort Seeta are seated on the royal throne – the Simhasana. ASANA means “seat” and SIMHA means “Dharma”. Therefore, SIMHASANA means the “Seat of Dharma or Righteousness”. Sri Rama and Seeta together represent the “One State” beyond the aspects of Purusha and Prakriti – the State of Jivanmukti. The Man of Realization is one who has attained the Dimensionless State of Infinitude – he is VIRAT. He is a Master of the external world (Samrajya) as well as the inner world (Swarajya). Such an individual is a real SAMRAT and SWARAT. When he is working for the welfare of the community, he is ever rooted in and established in Dharma. There alone is the true RAMA RAJYA. Therefore, Sri Rama who is the embodiment of Dharma represents a Jivanmukta. Rama is surrounded by his brothers, the Rishis, Hanuman, Sugreeva, Angada, Vibhishana and others. All the characters represent one of the noble traits or virtues to be developed within us.

Alternatively, Seeta and Rama represent a well-integrated Mind and Intellect equipment. Lakshmana represents Karma Yoga, Bharata represents Vairagya or Dispassion, Shatrughna stands for the Ever-victorious and Hanuman signifies unconditional Surrender and total Devotion (there are different interpretations as to what each character stands for). Therefore the entire picture with all the characters of SRI RAMA PATTABHISHEKA is ONE WHOLE SPIRITUAL message for us!!

Keep within RAMA-MAYAM as Sadhana. To see RAMA-MAYAM is Sadhya; the former the Way, the later the Goal. Merge into Rama. Disappear in Rama!! “When will this be?” What a question! “When you choose to be,” is the scriptural answer!! Go beyond the famous “Coronation Picture” of Sri Ramachandra into the Ocean of “Rama Tattva” behind His Golden Throne. Through Rama to “Rama-Tattva”; through names and forms to the “BEYOND!!” ~ Swami Chinmayananda

रामो राजमणिः सदा विजयते रामं रमेशं भजे
रामेणाभिहता निशाचरचमूः रामाय तस्मै नमः ।
रामान्नास्ति परायणंपरतरं रामस्य दासोस्म्यहं
रामे चित्तलयस्सदा भवतु मे भो राम मामुद्धर ॥ (Sri Rama Raksha Stotra)

महारत्नपीठे शुभे कल्पमूले
      सुखासीनमादित्यकोटिप्रकाशम् ।
सदा जानकीलक्ष्मणोपेतमेकं
      सदा रामचन्द्रम् भजेऽहं भजेऽहम्  ॥ (Sri Rama Bhujanga Stotra)

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Rama Nama Likhita Japa ~ Swami Chinmayananda

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[Excerpts from letters & articles by Swami Chinmayananda]

JAPA is a training of the mind to fix itself to one line of thinking. We cannot say a word without a thought-form rising immediately; nor can we have a thought-form without its corresponding name. Try! In this close connection between ‘name’ and ‘form’ lies the underlying principle in the technique of Japa. Japa is a training of the mind to fix itself to one ‘name’ and ‘form’. 

MAHAMANTRA is the “invocation of the Rama” in us!….Start today LIKHIT JAPA of “OM SRI RAMA JAYA RAMA JAYA JAYA RAMA”. Devotedly write “Om Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama”, one or two pages a day, in any script. With steady concentration, let the hand write, the eyes watch, in murmurs the mouth repeat, and the ears listen to the sound of the mantra. Thus, more than one sense-organ is brought into one and the same act. See that your heart is empty of any personal desire. Attention should be given for the cleanliness of the page, the symmetry of the letters, and the sanctity of the book. Let there be a Rama picture on your table and an incense stick burning in your room.

….From this day onwards write your Mantra in a note book for half an hour daily. This is to be done as though it is a great Yagna. No talking in between; no looking either to your right or left. Eyes glued to the page, in slow steady hand, write your chosen Mantra; repeat it loud enough for you to hear. That is, let the eyes see the Mantra; the ears hear it; the mouth utter it. Thus the mind is full of it! There is no greater practice to hasten the growth of DHARANA (concentration). This is one of the most effective exercises to develop concentration and devotion to the Spiritual Essence in life.

“Nama Smarana” (Japa) assists you in preventing the entry into your mind of various thoughts about the objects of the world around and helps to eradicate the flutterings of the mind. LIKHIT JAPA is very good for the early beginner — wherein at once the individual’s hand, eyes, ears and mouth are made to concentrate upon what is written in the Japa book. This brings about a certain amount of concentration in the students. While writing until the page is over keep “vow of silence.” Whisper the mantra as you write — this is a sacred Yagna. Try to do the Likhit Japa. Follow all the instructions. Write the Sri Rama Mantra a page-a-day and watch how the mind quietens by the end of the page! Watch for and experience a welling-up joy when you come to the last line of the page. Try to be regular all the days of Likhit Japa Yagna. 

Write Likhit Japa: the SRI RAMA MANTRA – WRITING YAGNA! Experience the texture of exploding silence and peace that happen in the mind on days when the page is completed. Just experience it — no questioning of why, how etc. Just BE in it for a moment before you close the note book. Invoke Him and learn to rest your mind on Him: SRI RAMA, who is the One Auspiciousness (Sri), that revels in all (Rama). Likhit Japa is either placed at the foundation of Temples built or offered to Mother Ganges.

श्री राम राम रामेति रमे रामे मनोरमे ।
सहस्रनाम तत्तुल्यं रामनाम वरानने ॥

यदावर्णयत्कर्णमूलेऽन्तकाले
      शिवो राम रामेति रामेति काश्याम् ।
तदेकं परं तारकब्रह्मरूपं
       भजेऽहं भजेऽहं भजेऽहं भजेऽहम् ॥ 
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Bell on Hanuman’s Tail!

Lord Rama along with his consort Seeta and brother Lakshmana went to the forest for fourteen years to keep up the promise his father had given to Kaikeyi. In the forest, Seeta was abducted by Ravana, the king of Lanka. Searching for her, they reached Kishkindha. With the help of Hanuman they were able to locate Seeta in Lanka. The huge vanara army under the leadership of Rama and Sugreeva were ready to proceed to Lanka. Rama assured the vanaras and their families that all the vanaras accompanying him would come back safely. They built a bridge across the ocean and crossed over to the other side. The battle between Rama and Ravana was about to start. The Lord told Sugreeva to take count of the vanaras who had accompanied him. 
The great battle started. Finally, Lord Rama killed Ravana and his brother Kumbhakarna. Seeta joined her Lord. Before leaving, Rama asked Sugreeva, the Vanara king to take count of the vanaras. They found a few vanaras missing. Rama called Hanuman and asked him to accompany him in search of the vanaras. Both Rama and Hanuman walked to the battlefield and carefully started searching for the missing vanaras – dead or alive.

When Ravana’s brother, Kumbhakarna came to fight with Rama, he rode in a chariot which had a canopy decked with golden bells. Since Kumbhakarna had a huge personality, his chariot, its canopy and the bells were also proportionately huge. During the battle, an arrow from Rama’s side struck one of the huge bells and it fell down. A few of the vanaras got trapped in it. They called out for help but nobody heard them. It was totally dark inside. A tiny hole near the ring of the bell kept them from getting suffocated. An old monkey told them not to lose hope but instead chant the sacred name of Lord Rama. He whose mere name was capable of preventing stones from sinking would surely save them from the grip of death. All the monkeys closed their eyes and fervently started chanting, “Sri Rama…Sri Rama…..Sri Rama”.

As Rama, Hanuman and others were walking in the battlefield looking out for the vanaras, Rama noticed the huge bell and stopped in front of it. He glanced at the bell and then looked at Hanuman. Maruti immediately understood the Lord’s intention and quickly came forward. He put his tail into the ring of the huge bell and lifted it up as easily as lifting up a flower! Lo! There trapped under the bell were the missing vanaras! The vanaras suddenly saw light and opened their eyes. They saw the Lord of Compassion standing in front of them. Overwhelmed at the turn of events, they all rushed forward and prostrated at the lotus feet of Sri Rama, who had saved them as promised. The count now perfectly tallied!

Lord Rama looked around for his dear devotee. Hanuman was standing at a distance, an embodiment of humility, head bent down with folded hands and eyes rivetted to the Lord’s feet. And on his tail was the shining golden bell! Rama was so pleased that he proclaimed, “whosoever in future worships BHAKTA HANUMAN WITH THE BELL ON HIS TAIL, will be blessed with Devotion, Dispassion and the brilliant Light of Knowledge which alone is capable of destroying the darkness of ignorance and bestowing liberation upon the devotee; just as the vanaras were delivered from darkness of death into the blissful light of life”.

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