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HINDUISM - THE RAMAYANA


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Bianca
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« on: July 05, 2007, 01:47:38 pm »







VII




Rama Gita




The inspiring and illuminating story of Lord Rama in several recensions is known the world over and is a part of life in every Hindu home in India. It is a vast ocean, very deep, and it is not possible for this humble sevak to discuss the sacred story in a little book like this. I have, therefore, touched upon some of the points and spots of the huge volume. My heart flows out to the modern man, whose scepticism about Ramayana is understandable due to the impact of science and distance of centuries between Lord Rama and us. No wonder, Einstien the greatest scientist of our times had recorded the life of Gandhiji in these words: “Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a one in flesh and blood ever walked on the earth.”

Before wisdom is able to achieve its goal of self-realisation it has to pass through tedious tests posed by Satanic forces. Remember the evil dose of Mara when the Buddha was bent upon achieving self-realisation under the Bodhi tree. So was the case with Jesus on the mount. Hence it is necessary to look into the Ramayana as to what it teaches. Apart from the lessons which we can derive from the instances and characters of the persons, there is much more in the Ramayana which we can call as direct teaching, constituting the most impressive portion of the Ramayana, well-known as the Rama Gita—the upadesa given at different places to different people, at different times. Revered Gurudev Shri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj has referred specifically about this illuminating portion of Rama Gita in his book titled Essence of Ramayana. The following extracts are reproduced from the same book like a few dew drops from the sky for the benefit of the readers:

“Thereupon Rama imparted to Lakshmana that knowledge which is declared by the Vedas for the eradication of ignorance. The aspirant should first perform in a disinterested manner without caring for fruits all those duties which are enjoined upon by one’s own caste and order, and purify his mind. He should acquire the necessary qualifications or the four means of Salvation viz. Viveka (discrimination between the real and the unreal), Vairagya (dispassion), Shad sampat or the sixfold virtues viz., Shama (control of the mind) Dama (control of the senses), Uparati (cessation from worldly work), Titiksha (power of endurance), Sraddha (faith), Samadhana (one-pointedness of mind) and Mumukshutwa (burning desire for liberation).

All actions lead to rebirths. Man does good and bad actions (dharma and adharma) and reaps the fruits of his actions viz., pleasure and pain. Karma produces body and from body arises work. In this way the course of worldly life (samsara) revolves like a wheel without an end.

The root-cause of it is ignorance (avidya or ajnana). Removal of ignorance is the only means for destroying this course of worldly life. Knowledge alone is capable of annihilating this ignorance. Action (Karma) cannot destroy it, because it is born of ignorance and is not its contrary or opposite.

Let the wise man, therefore abandon all work. There can be no combination of Knowledge and Work because knowledge is opposed to work.

As long as there is the notion of ‘I’, in the body and the like, due to the influence of Maya, so long one is bound by the injunction of the Vedas for work. Let the wise man sublimate or eliminate the whole of it through the doctrine of ‘neti, neti’ (nor this, nor this) and abandon all works, knowing the Highest Brahman or the Eternal.

When ignorance is destroyed by knowledge it cannot produce actions which lead to further births. When ignorance has been annihilated by knowledge which is pure and non-dual, how shall it again arise?

It is only the intellect of one who superimposes the Self (Atman) upon the non-self (Anatma) that entertains the idea of sin in the non-performance of action. The intellect of the sage has no such idea. Therefore, the wise should renounce action which is enjoined as obligatory. It is meant only for those, whose minds are attached to the fruit of action.

When the limiting adjuncts, viz., the pot and walls of the room are broken, the ether in the pot and in the room becomes identical with the universal ether. When the body-pot is broken by the dawn of knowledge, the individual soul becomes one with Supreme Self.

The crystal appears to be red when it is placed near a red flower. Even so this Atman appears to be of the form of the five sheaths because of its proximity to them. When one meditates on the saying of the Upanishads, “Asangoyam Purusha—this Purusha is unattached”—then he realises that the Atman is unattached, unborn and without a second.

This Atman is neither an actor nor a thinker. All these are due to the action of the mind and the Prana. Verily He is unattached. Dhyativa Lolayativa—He appears as if meditating, as if moving.

The conditions of the intellect (Buddhi) are threefold viz., waking, dream and deep sleep. They are due to its associations with the Gunas of satva (goodness), rajas (activity) and tamas (inertia). They are not the true conditions of the Supreme Self, because one of them is absent when the other is present. Therefore, they are all unreal. They cannot certainly be of the nature of the Supreme Self which is unity and bliss itself.

The Atman never dies nor is born. It is not subject to increase or decrease. It is never new, never old. It is beyond all additions to its greatness. It is of the nature of bliss, self-luminous, all-pervading and one without a second. It is illimitable and undecaying.

To the Yogi who has practised samadhi, who has completely withdrawn all his senses from their objects, who has conquered all enemies such as desire, anger, greed, delusion, fear and inertia, who has vanquished the lower self, who has subdued by his Bhakti, the Lord of six attributes says to such a yogi I reveal Myself.

Thus contemplating on his own Self day and night, let the sage abide free from all bonds till his Prarabdha Karma which gave him this present body is exhausted. He is absorbed in Me on the dissolution of his body.

Even though the sage lives in the world for the exhaustion of his karma he fully realises that the world is false like the appearance of snake in the rope, of silver in the mother-of-pearl, of water in the mirage or the appearance of two moons in the sky or the turning of the quarters through the defect of sight.

So long as one does not behold all as My own Self, let him practise devotion, let him be ever devoted to My worship. I do abide forever in the heart of him who has intense faith and devotion to me.

My dear Lakshmana! This essence of all the Vedas, this great mystery has been declared by me unto thee. The sage who contemplates upon it, is freed from his load of impurities that very moment.

My beloved brother, all this visible world is nothing but Maya. Withdraw the mind from it. Purify it through meditation on Me alone. Do thou be happy, free from all sorrow and full of bliss.

He who meditates on Me with pure mind, thinking of Me as above all attributes or thinks of Me as possessed of the attributes of Omniscience, becomes my own Self. He purifies all the three worlds by the dust of my feet, just as the Sun purifies the world by his light.

This wisdom which is the essence of all the Vedas, has been thus sung by Me whose glory all the Vedantins proclaim. He who reads it with devotion and faith in his preceptor and practises it attains the final emancipation. He attains to my own form if he has faith in My teachings.”

The above Immortal Teachings of Lord Rama, itself show that he was an incarnation of the Supreme Being, and not an ordinary man or a king alone. His holy Epic, the Gospel Divine, is narrated by so many sacred souls. This is the story of a struggle between right and wrong, good and evil, sura and asura hidden within us. The Epic struggle consists of controlling the senses and rising above tendencies like desires, indulgence, and evils like anger, jealousy, hatred etc., so that with the help of discrimination, knowledge may be converted into wisdom and human life may become worth living.

May the blessings of Sri Rama be upon all.

Hari Om Tat Sat!

OM SANTI, SANTI SANTI!



http://www.lakshminarayantemple.com/ramayan.html
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.


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