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Author Topic: HINDUISM - THE RAMAYANA  (Read 1115 times)
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« on: July 05, 2007, 01:45:57 pm »


Fact or Fiction

Throughout the great epic of the Ramayana, the Adi-kavi, Sage Valmiki, the foremost poet and the first author of the Ramayana represents Lord Rama as an avatara of God. But at several places in the same work, the great sage alludes to Rama, merely his human character, with human limitations. Yet he has unfolded the manifold excellences of Sri Rama’s wonderful character, the various aspect of his life that one should dwell upon. Rama, from his very boyhood prepared himself and his companions for the unique part they had to play in the Divine Drama. Sometimes the sage heightened his character, and often glorified him in this cosmic play.

In all the Ramayanas, so far I have gone through, the life of Rama has been painted as of a great heroic personality, a virtuous person a man of ideals and principles, possessing exemplary character and fine conduct, righteousness, serene, brave, bold yet gentle and a king who took great care of his subjects and their views; and in some places as a Superman with Divine Attributes. The story of Lord Rama is even now prevalent in several South East countries especially in the islands of Java, Sumatra and Bali of Indonesia—of course in different versions and with variations.

In India, the term ‘pre-historical age’ was invented by modern historians during the British rule, declaring the Ramayana at best as a myth. Whereas the reality is something else, and the facts differ. Even the myth which floats in a country, forms the real backbone of theology. Saint Goswami Tulsidas is a man of history and his views and ways cannot so easily be discarded by saying that he talks of ‘pre-history’. He never attempted to write or compose Shri Ramcharitmanas till the age of 78 or 87. Tulsidas, after having the darshan of Hanuman at Chitrakut and inspired by him, starts composing the Hindi Mahakavya, famous as Shri Ramcharitmanas from Tuesday, the 30th March, 1574 A.D. in Ayodhya, the holy abode and capital of Lord Rama during his incarnation. He held Lord Rama to be one with Lord Vishnu and at a place as an incarnation of Parabrahma.

Humanity, especially Indians, should be grateful to Sant Tulsidas, who raised the historical Rama to the highest Divine status in order to share his realisation with one and all, for the benefit of millions in India in particular, and of humanity in general. It is not merely an imaginative fiction but something divine based on facts and his own experience. If one takes care to study the holy Ramcharitmanas with devotion and faith, he is sure to reap the same fruit.

The advent of an Avatara, the incarnation of God upon the earth planet, is a law of nature. In fact, it is the descent of God for the ascent of the Divine Ray of the Cosmic Mind or the Cosmic Prana, the Life Force, and the One Ruler of the Universe, Iswara. There is a very firm and faithful declaration that whenever righteousness decays and unrighteousness prevails wildly, God incarnates Himself to vindicate the superiority of righteousness. For Sant Tulsidas ‘Rama’ was his “Lord” of the heart, the deity—an incarnation of the Supreme Being. Hence his Manas has influenced the hearts and the thoughts of a whole people, not those alone who have been able to read his work but those unlettered millions of our countrymen who have always been there, even during the earlier days of our culture.

Apart from the Ramayana of Sant Tulsidas there are several other works of the saints of Bengal, South India and Maharashtra. The holy book of Samarth Guru Ramdassji Maharaj has its own place who has retold the story of Lord Rama after having his darshan.

On the completion of the Navratri Puja, Hindus celebrate Sri Vijaya Dasami, which is mostly called Dussehra in Uttar Pradesh, and is preceded by “Ramalila” for ten days and even in villages of Uttar Pradesh. And it ends with the burning of the gigantic effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarana, and Meghanatha. You will wonder to observe that the entire countryside bursts into life and activity with Ramalila fairs and plays held and performed at thousands of places, even after Dussehra, for many days. These Ramalilas continue with joy and glory.

This is an occasion for the people to express their regard, respect, love and reverence for Lord Rama by presenting dramas and pantomime shows depicting scenes from the great Ramayana. I at least, do not feel happy to see in these days that the holy and inspiring Ramayana is often misrepresented, misinterpreted and the occasion is misused by some people for insinuating non-religious or even irreligious motives behind the nobler intention of the celebrations.
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