Rama-Prince and Principle

The name ‘Rama’ is the essence of the Vedas. The Story of Rama is an Ocean of Milk, pure and patent. It has provided inspiration to the poetic imagination of every language and country. It is the greatest treasure inherited by his good fortune by every Indian. There is no Indian who has not imbibed the nectar of Ramakatha, the story of Rama.

The Ramayana, the epic that deals with the story of the Rama Incarnation, is a sacred text that is reverently recited by people with all varieties of equipment, the scholar as well as the ignoramus, the millionaire as well as the pauper. The name that the Ramayana glorifies cleanses all evil; it transforms the sinner; it reveals the Form that the Name represents, the Form that is as charming as the Name Itself.
As the sea is the source of all the waters on earth, all beings are born from ‘Rama’. A sea sans water is unreal; a being sans ‘Rama’ is without existence, now or ever. The azure Ocean and the Almighty Lord have much in common.

The Ocean is the abode of the Almighty, as myth and legend proclaim; they describe Him as reclining on the Ocean of Milk. This is the reason behind the title given by Valmiki, the great poet who composed the epic, to each canto, Kaanda. Kaanda means water, an expanse of water.

Sweetness

Taanda also means ‘the sugarcane’. However crooked a cane may be, whichever section you chew, the sweetness is unaffected and uniform. The stream of Rama’s Story meanders through many a curve and twist; nevertheless, the sweetness of Karuna (tenderness, pity, compassion) persists without dimunition throughout the narrative. The stream turns and flows through sadness, wonder, ridicule, awe, terror, love, despair and dialectics, but the main undercurrent is the love of Dharma (Righteousness, Morality) and the Karuna (Compassion) it fosters.

The nectar in the story of Rama is as the ‘Sarayu river’ that moves silently by the city of Ayodhya, where Rama was born and where he ruled. The Sarayu has its source in the Himalayan Mansarovar, as this Story is born in the Manasa-Sarovar (the Lake of the Mind)! The Rama stream bears the sweetness of Karuna; the stream of Lakshmana (his brother and devoted companion) has the sweetness of Devotion, (Bhakthi); as the Sarayu river joins the Ganga (Ganges) and the waters commingle, so too, the streams of tender compassion and devotion (the stories of Rama and Lakshmana) commingle in the Ramayana. Karuna and Prema make up, between them, the composite picture of the glory of Rama; that picture fulfils the heart’s dearest yearning for every spiritual striving.

The effort of the individual is but half the pursuit; the other half consists in the Grace of God. Man fulfils himself by self-effort as well as Divine Blessings; the fulfilment takes him across the dark ocean of dualities, on to the Immanent and Transcendent One.

Avatar’s Message

The Ramayana has to be read, not as the record of a human career, but as the narrative of the Advent and Activities of an Avatar (Incarnation of God). Man must endeavour with determination to realize through his own experience the ideals revealed in that narrative. God is all-knowing, all-pervasive, all-powerful. The words that He utters while embodied in the Human form, the acts that He deigns to indulge in during his earthly sojourn, these are inscrutable and extraordinarily significant. The precious springs of His Message ease the Path of Deliverance for mankind. Do not look upon Rama as a scion of the Solar Dynasty, or as the sovereign of the kingdom of Ayodhya, or as the son of Emperor Dasaratha. Those correlates are but accessory and accidental. This error has become habitual to modern readers; they pay attention only to the personal relationship and affiliations between the characters of the story they read about; they do not delve into the values they represent and demonstrate.

To elaborate this error: the father of Rama had three wives; the first was such and such, the second was of this nature, the third had these traits! Her maids were of this ugly type… …The wars fought by Dasaratha, the father, were characterized by these peculiarities… … those specialities……In this manner, fancy leads man astray into the region of the trivial and the colourful, making him neglect the valuable kernel. People do not realize that the study of history must enrich life and make it meaningful and worthwhile, rather than cater to the appetite for paltry facts and petty ideas. Their validity and value lie deep within the facts and fertilise them like subterranean water. Wear the glasses of Bhakthi (Reverent Adoration) and Sraddha (Steady fancy leads man astray into the region of the trivial and the colourful, making him neglect the valuable kernel. People do not realize that the study of history must enrich life and make it meaningful and worthwhile, rather than cater to the appetite for paltry facts and petty ideas. Their validity and value lie deep within the facts and fertilise them like subterranean water. Wear the glasses of Bhakthi (Reverent Adoration) and Sraddha (Steady Dedication); then, the eye will endow you with the pure Wisdom that liberates you and grants eternal Bliss.

Human Too

Tod, when appearing with Form for the sake of upholding Dharma, behaves in a human way. He needs must! For, He has to hold forth the ideal life before man and confer the experience of joy and peace on men. His movements and activities (Leelas) might appear ordinary and commonplace to some eyes. But, each of these will be an expression of beauty, truth, goodness, joy and exaltation. It will captivate the world with its charm, it will purify the heart that contemplates it. It will overcome and overwhelm all the agitations of the mind. It will tear the veil of illusion (Maya). It will fill the consciousness with Sweetness.

The story of Rama is not the story of an individual; it is the story of the Universe! Rama is the Personification of the basic Universal in all beings. He is in all, for all time, in all space. The story deals not with a period that is past, but with the present and future without end, with beginningless eternal Time! No ant can bite, without Rama’s Will! No leaf can drop from its branch, without Rama’s prompting! Sky, wind, fire, water and earth—the Five Elements that compose the Universe—behave as they do for fear of Him, and in tune with His Orders! Rama is the Principle which attracts the disparate elements in Nature. The attraction that one exerts over another is what makes the Universe exist and function. If there be no Rama, there will be no Panorama (Universe).

- Excerpts from Poojya Baba’s writings.
Sri Satya Sai Baba

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