In Search of Sanjeevani, Once Again - 1

"God is nowhere," The man said. "No" said the seer, “He is now here, He is everywhere, put your heart when you call him." The man then said, “God, where are you?” and a canary sang. The man ignored. The man then bellowed, “God, talk to me” and the thunder swayed across the sky. The man didn’t hear. The man looked about and said, “God, can I see you?” and a star twinkled brilliantly. The man didn't see. The man yelled, “God, show me your miracle,” and, the plant sprouted out of the soil, but, the man didn't notice. So, the man sobbed out in anguish, “Touch me God, and let me know your presence,” at which, God reached down and touched his hand. He looked at the butterfly on his hand, fluttering its wings. He brushed it away and walked on. God is dead, he thought.

Kousalya supraja Rama poorva sandhya pravarthathe,
Uttishta Narasardula karthavyam dhaivamanhikam //1//

(O beloved son of Koushalya, Dawn is about to break,
O lion amongst men, Wake up , and perform the duties of the day).

That is the first shloka from Venkatesh Suprabhatam in praise of Lord Balaji, but it starts with a morning salutation to Shri Ram. In the evenings, it is a time for chanting Ramraksha Stotram before putting the first morsel of the dinner in the mouth. During the day Shri Rama, the supreme personality of godhead and his consort Bhagavati Shri Sita Devi (the Swarupa-Shakti of Shri Rama) is remembered by his innumerable Naames such as (1) Rama: Param-brahman The absolute and ultimate reality, The original personality of godhead,(2) Ramchandra: Rama, the full moon like, (3) Raghav: The supreme personality of Godhead 'Rama' who was born in Raghu-race, (4) Raghunandan: The delighted prince of Raghus, the enhancer of the joy of Raghu, (5) Raghuveer: The hero with great might, born in the clan of Raghus, (6) Raghunath: The protector of all worlds among Raghu, (7) Raghupati: the lord of Raghu's (8) Raghavendra: The king like Indra among Raghus, (9) Raghuvar: The chief among Raghus, (10) Raghunayak: The hero of Raghus' clan, (11) Raghuvansh-Bhushan: The one who is jewell of the Raghu's race, (12) Raghuvansh-maNi: The gem of Raghu dynasty, (13) Raghuvansh-natham: The protector of Raghus, (14) Raghurai: The lord among Raghus, (15) Janaki-Shyam : The lord of Janaki, (16) Sita-Pati : The consort of Sita, (17) Janaki-nath: The lord of Janaki (18) Janaki-Jivan: The life of Janaki, (19) Janaki-Vallabh: The husband of Janaki, (20) Siya-Piya : The sweetheart of Siya, (Sita),(21) Rama-Nivas : The abode of Rama (Lakshmi) i.e. Shri Rama, (22) Shri-Ramana: The one who delights in Shri (Bhagavati Sita), (23) Rajivlochan: The Rama whose eyes are akin to full-blown lotus(24) Rajivanayan : The one who has eyes like lotus, (25) Raghukul-Nayak: The hero in the race of Raghus, (26) Raghupungava: The excellent Man among Raghus, (27) ShriRang : Shri Rama, the lord of Shri Devi,(28) Sita-Raman: The one who delights Sita or one who delights in Sita,(29) Janaki-Raman: The one who delights Janaki or who delights in Janaki,(30) SitapraaN-Vallabh : The one who is dear to Sita as like her life,(31) LakshmaNaagraj : The elder brother of LakshamaNa,(32) Bharatagraj: The elder to Bharata, (33) Kharari : The eliminator of demon 'Khara', (34) RavaNari: The eliminator of demon king Ravana, (35) Avadhesh : The king of Ayodhya, Shri Rama, (36) Suresh: The God of Gods, (37) Ramesh: The god of Shri Ramaa (Lakshmi), (38) Purushottam : The best among men, The Supreme personality of Godhead, (39) Purusha : The Supreme person, (40) Ajaanubahu : The one having long arms, (41) Raghukul-tilak : The crown of Raghu's race,(42) Kakutstha : Rama of Kakutstha dynasty,(43) Dasarathatmaj: The son of Dasharatha, (44) Dasharathi: Rama of Dasharatha, (45) Raghushreshtham: The supreme man of Raghu dynasty. This is how the day is spent in the Hindu household.

Ram's Naame and narrative has always been a portal to the almighty. To get through a crisis, Ram's Naame, the Ram - Naam, in various ways is sung constantly. Ram represents life, with all of its demands, wants, and fates. Ram's serene demeanor in the face of tribulations, as depicted in the Ramayana, has earned him veneration, admiration, respect, and worship. Ram's story has reached the masses throughout, not only in Bharat but wherever Bhartiya diasporas is dispersed and in Southeast Asia, not through the arrays of Sanskrit writings, but through theatre, music, and dance performed in local languages. Each of these Ramayana retellings has its own twists and turns, as well as its own symbolic outpouring and gestures, and each is valid in its own context. Who am I to write a word about Him, merely a tiniest speck in this vast, unending universe, in which He, Shri Ram dwells!

Within infinite myths and stories lies the Eternal Truth,
Who sees it all? Valmiki has but a thousand eyes,
Indra, a hundred And I, alas! have only two.

Rama has filled the very existence of mankind for ages and will remain to do so. He is real because he was born, flesh and blood, some 5000 years ago. Is Rama real? Or a myth? These are the questions asked even after 5000 years , by the persons from the learned and erudite categories, and as such exhibit their ignorance about his existence.

There are shlokas in Ramayana from Bal Kanda, chapter 18, as below:

Tatasca dvadase mase caitre navamike tithau..1.18.8..
Naksatreditidaivatye svoccasansthesu pancasu.
Grahesu karkate lagne vakpatavinduna saha..1.18.9..
Proyamane jagannatham sarvalokaNaamaskr̥tam.
Kausalyajanayadrama, sarvalakṣaṇasanyutam..1.18.10..
Visnorardham mahabhagam putramaiksvakuvardhaNaam.
Kausalya susubhe tena putrenamitatejasa..1.18.11..

It says: Six seasons (one year) passed after the completion of the sacrifice. In the twelfth month of Chaitra on the ninth day (of the bright fortnight), with Aditi as presiding deity when the star Punarvasu was in the ascendent and the five planets Sun, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus, were exalted in their own house in karkata lagna, when Brihaspati was in conjunction with the Moon, Kausalya gave birth to a son: a facet of Visnu, Lord of the entire universe who received obeisance from all the worlds and was adorned with all auspicious signs, the venerable one to perpetuate the Ikshvaku race..

When the above facts are checked with the Planetarium software, it provides the date: Navami–10th January 5114 BCE–Birth Day of Rama, Observation at 12.30 p.m.

And then:

bhaye pragat kripaala, deenadayaala, kausalya hitakaaree.
harashit mahataaree, muni man haaree, adbhut roop bichaaree.,
lochan abhiRama, tanu ghanasyaama,nij aayudh bhujachaaree
bhooshan baNaamaala, nayan bisaala,sobhaasindhu kharaaree.,
kah dui kar joree, astuti toree,kehi bidhi karoon anantaa.
maaya gun gyaanaateet amaana,ved puraan bhanantaa.

(From Ramcharitmanas: Balkanda 192, by Saint Tulsidas)

(And then He appeared, The merciful one, The benefactor of the downtrodden, And Kausalya was blessed, The mother beamed, Sages and Rishis were unable to describe His beauty, Bewitching eyes, Dark skin, Four armed (Chaturbhuj), With a garland of flowers, And large eyes, reflecting the beauty of the oceans, the slayer of demon Kharari, With folded hands I pray, O Infinite one, How do I worship You? And sing Your praise? Vedas and Puranas say You are beyond Maya, Guna, and Gyan).

Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, took birth as the son of Ayodhya king Dashratha and his chief queen Kaushalya in Treta Yuga. Lord Rama, the eldest and favourite son of Dashratha, was sent for fourteen years of exile by the Dashratha's second wife, Kaikeyi. Long ago, Dashratha had granted Kaikeyi two boons which Kaikeyi demanded, first, fourteen years' exile into the wilds for Rama, and the second, the throne to her son Bharata. Forced by his firm loyalty to his given word, Dashratha agreed to Kaikeyi's demands. Rama accepted his father's verdict with absolute compliance and willpower and went into exile, together with Sita and Lakshmana. Lord Rama put an example of an ideal life for all mankind on Earth.

People who witnessed Ram-Rajya and their descendants and successors spoke about Rama for centuries. They spoke about how ‌Rama taught respect for elders, fraternity, and equality to all, and how he lived the life of an ideal son, brother, spouse, father, king, and‌ a fine human being. He is known as the 'Maryada Purshottam Ram' because of these qualities. Ram is truth, Ram is soul, and Ram may be found in every atom, molecule, particle, or thing in the universe, whether it is life or non-living, they said. He is in all of us; all we have to do is look for him within ourselves. Ram Naam has great power as a symbol of truth and love, and in order to get a proper physical, emotional, intellectual and, holistic attitude, and above all, Nirvana and Moksha, one should always remember Lord Ram.

The oral Ballad of Rama's life and times continued after his Nirvana by travelling bards from one generation to the other for thousands of years. In the Dvapar Yug, when Bhagvan Krishna was born around 3228 BC, Rishi Dhaumya, the family Purohit (priest) of Pandavas used to narrate stories of Rama and his virtues to Yudhishthir and his four brothers in their exile. Stories of Rama continued through songs and tales that were so fascinating and inspiring for the classes and masses that approximately around the 5th century BC, Maharshi Valmiki took it upon him to pen down the Ramayana in Sanskrit and he composed around 24000 shlokas in Anushtubh Chhand (meter) detailing the trials and tribulations of Lord Rama while commenting upon his virtues and philosophies.

In the 3rd century BC, Mahakavi Bhasa, wrote two Sanskrit plays, Pratima and Abhishek ,based on Rama’s life.

During the 3rd century BC, Maharshi Vyasa, while penning down Mahabharat to bring historical facts about the life and times of Lord Krishna, wrote Ramopakhyan as a prologue. He also wrote Vishnu Purana during the same time.

In the 3rd century CE, Acharya Vimalasuri authored the first Jain text about the story of Rama titled Paumachari in the Prakrit language in Arya metre. Rama’s Name is Padma in this story and his life is described in 118 cantos.

Around the 4th century CE, Mahakavi Kalidasa wrote Raghuvansham, describing the Raghu dynasty, and its descendants.

Around the 5th century CE, Arya Sura wrote Dasharatha Jataka in the Pali language describing Gautam Buddha being Rama.

In the early 6th century, the Dashavatara Temple, in Deogarh, Uttar Pradesh which is a Vishnu temple, where images of Rama, Laxmana and Sita were found for the first time.

In the 7th century CE, Bhattikavya wrote Sanskrit Ramayana which lyrically retells Rama's travails. It is frequently regarded as the best of Sanskrit poetry.

In the 8th century CE, Bhavabhuti's drama Mahaviracharita is based on Rama's early life and was written in Sanskrit.

Between 800 and 1000 CE, Bhagavata Purana is written wherein the many incarnations of Vishnu are featured, the seventh incarnation being Lord Ram.

During the 8th and tenth centuries CE, Murari's Anargharaghava, a dramatised version of the Ramayana, is the only surviving work. A Brahmin court poet, he lived possibly in Orissa or neighbouring South India. This well-known epic account of Rama's deeds is told as a series of political intrigues and conflicts, with lyrical passages on love and war, pride and honour, gods and demons, rites and myths, ancient Indian regions and cities interspersed.

Raja Bhoj (reigned c. 1010–1055 CE), a monarch from the Paramara dynasty, wrote Champu-Ramayana, a re-telling of the Ramayana in a blend of prose and poetry.

In the early 12th century CE, a Tamil poet Kambar wrote Ramavataram, also known as Kamba RamayaNaam, which is a Tamil epic.

Around the 13th to the 14th century CE, Bhakti saint Ramananda wrote Adhyatma Ramayana, a Sanskrit work attributed to him.

Around 13th century, Ranganatha RamayaNaamu was authored by the poet Ranganatha, also known as Gona Buddha Reddy. This Ramayana is made up of 17,290 couplets (in Dwipada metre). Sri Ranganatha RamayaNaamu is one of the most notable Telugu adaptations of the Valmiki Ramayana, with four adaptations covering the full epic's narrative. Ranganatha Ramayana, Bhaskar Ramayana, Molla Ramayana, and Ramayana Kalpavriksham are the four Ramayana stories.

In the 15th century CE, Krittvasi Ramayan was written in Bengali by Krittibas Ojha. This is more than a rewrite of the ancient Indian epic; it's also a vivid depiction of Bengali society and culture. It is by far the most popular book in Bengal, called the Bhagavad Geeta of the Gangetic Valley's inhabitants.

About 14th century CE, Kaviraja Madhava Kandali's Ramayana is considered the earliest translation of the Ramayana into Assamese.

Balarama Dasa, ( 1474-1522) was an Oriya poet and litterateur during the Bhakti age of literature and wrote the Jagamohana Ramayana also known as Dandi Ramayana.

1398 CE born Kabir was a monumental bhakti saint who was a staunch devotee of Rama and eulogized Rama through his numerous couplets known as Dohe which are famously sung till this date.

The 16th century CE, bhakti poet Tulsidas (c. 1532–1623), composed the Ramcharitmanas, an epic poem in the Awadhi language. Ramcharitmanas literally translates to "Lake of Rama's Deeds." It is regarded as one of Hindu literature's monumental works. Throughout North India, Ramcharitmanas is a pious book and has a place in sanctum sanctorum.

Around 1574 CE, Mughal emperor Akbar (reign 1556-1605) established a council of academic mullahs and pandits that translated four painted versions of the Ramayana, three for members of the Mughal royal family and one for a Rajput ally.

Sant Eknath (c. 1533–c. 1599) wrote a variation of Ramayana, known as Bhavarth Ramayan in Marathi language.

Around 1500 CE, Narahari, a brahmin poet belonging to Torave village near Bijapur in Karnataka, composed Ramayana in the Kannada language and is known as Torave Ramayana.

Guru Gobind Singh (22 December 1666–7 October 1708), also known as Gobind Rai, was a spiritual master, warrior, poet, and philosopher who served as the tenth Sikh Guru. The Chaubis Avatar (24 avatars) section of his Gobind Ramayana or Ramavatar from Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji describes Vishnu's 24 avatars, which include Rama, Krishna among others.

In 1837 CE, Girdhar, a Gujarati poet known for his poetic epic Ramayana in Gujarati, is very popular. He based the plot on Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas and various other Puranic sources. His interpretation is clear and musical, as it is written in plain language and employs classic metres and melody.

In 1887 CE, Bhanubhakta Ramayana, commonly known as Ramayan, is the Nepali translation of Valmiki Ramayana by Adikavi Bhanubhakta Acharya. It is widely considered being the first Nepali epic.

In the year 1893 CE, Ramayana in the Kashmiri language was authored by Divakara Prakasa Bhatta, during the eight years of the reign of the Hindu king, Sukhajivana Simha, who came to the throne in 1786 CE.

In 1921 CE, there was a silent film, Sati Sulochana, who was the wife of Indrajit, the son of Ravana, who was annihilated by Lord Rama. The same film was made in the Kannada language in 1934 and in the Telugu language in 1962

A 1943 CE Hindi film, Ram Rajya was based on Valmiki Ramayana, and was the third highest-grossing Indian film of that year.

In 1955 CE, Geet Ramayan in Marathi was conceptualized. The Valmiki Ramayana's lyrical words were written by poet G.D. Madgulkar, while the music was composed by Sudhir Phadke. It has been translated into Bengali, English, Gujarati, Kannada, Konkani, Sanskrit, Sindhi, and Telugu and is considered a "milestone of Marathi light music." It has also been Braille transliterated.

In 1967 CE, Anant Pai started the Amar Chitra Katha comics, which are based on religious legends such as the Ramayan. The comic book series was created to educate Bhartiya children about their cultural background.

In 1987-88 CE, Ramanand Sagar produced a 78-part TV adaptation of the epic Ramayan.

On August 5, 2020, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed Puja at Ramjanma Bhoomi, Rama's birthplace, in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, where the Ram Mandir is being erected. Surya, Ganesha, Shiva, Durga, Vishnu, and Brahma will each have their own temple in the temple campus.

December 2023, devotees will ‌ be able to worship 'Ram Lala' in the new grand temple dedicated to Lord Rama, in Ayodhya.

And the saga continues………..

Continued to Next Page


More by :  Dr. Satish Bendigiri

Top | Spirituality

Views: 3854      Comments: 1

Comment Within infinite myths and stories lies the Eternal Truth,
Who sees it all? Valmiki has but a thousand eyes,
Indra, a hundred And I, alas! have only two

कुदरत की इस पवित्रता को तुम निहार लो
इनके गुणों को अपने मन में तुम उतार लो
चमका दो आज लालिमा अपने ललाट की
कण कण से झाँकती तुम्हें छबी विराट की
अपनी तो आँख एक है, इसकी हज़ार है ये कौन चित्रकार है ये कौन चित्रकार

Baldev Amin
24-Oct-2023 04:27 AM

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