"Place the name of RAMA as a jeweled lamp at the door of your lips and there will be light both inside and out. Those who repeat this name absorbed in contemplation will acquire supernormal powers. Those who repeat it when burdened with affliction will be freed from all troubles. Those who repeat it with full faith and detachment will enjoy the incomparable felicity of God"
Ramayana of Sri Tulsi Das
O Vanamali !
Wilt Thou dance with me?
Wilt Thou walk beside me on the shore of Infinity?
Wilt Thou partner me in the dance of Eternity?
Wilt Thou hold my hand on stony paths and thorns?
Wilt Thou teach me to play the game of the soul?
In the Rasalila of life, wilt Thou dance with me?
My forever partner!
My sole support, my only friend,
Wilt Thou guide me thru' the tragedy of life?
Thru' the comedy of death?
Into the deathless realm.
Where the game and players merge into One
My only love!
Wilt Thou dance with me?
"Meditate on the long-armed Sri Ramachandra,
Who is cloud blue in colour, has matted hair,
And is adorned with all accountrements.
Who wears yellow cloths and is holding,
The bow and arrow and is sitting in the lotus pose.
His lotus petal eyes are turned to the left,
And are gazing at the lotus face of Sita".
"He who protects himself with the name of Rama, can never be harned by the denizens of the nether world".
"This story of Sri Rama has millions of verses, each word in capable of freeing us from terrible sins".
"The beauty of this book is that it is written by one who has great love and devotion for Sri Rama. It touches some subtle chords in the reader's heart and makes him ecstatic. The more we read it, the more devotion we develop".
Sri Swami Satchidanandaji Maharaj
"This book is a novel service to the religious community in expounding the involved meanings of the Ramayana text and making it attractive to the modern mind with beautiful English expressions".
Swami Krishnanadaji Maharaj
"Divine Life Society"
By His Holiness Sri Swami Satchidanandaji Maharaj
After once reading the earlier book, Shri Krishna Lila, by Mata Devi Vanamali, we read it again and again, as it was so charming and inspiring that every reading gave added joy.
So, when the author telephoned to say that she was bringing out her next book and that I should write a foreword for the same, I was filled with joy; more so because the book was entitled, "Sri Rama Lila", and I would be able to go through the manuscript in the near future.
I am supremely happy that Devi Vanamali was inspired to write "Sri Rama Lila" also. Anyone who reads this wonderful book cannot but be moved to tears, unlike "Sri Krishna Lila". Though the book deals with the life of an avatara, who played the part of a perfect person, upholding dharma at any cost, the trials and tribulation He had to pass through during the entire period of His sojourn on this earth except for a few years of His childhood days and a few years of His wedded life, were so sever and heartbreaking.
As the author mentions, the Ramayana is a love story. Sri Rama loved Sita Devi dearly. He had great love for His father, mothers brothers and His subjects. But His love for dharma, surpassed everything. He sacrificed everything including His wife, father and brother for the sake of upholding dharma. Such incidents which are many in the Ramayana are brought out by the author, painting the characters concerned in such striking colours that they leave a deep impression on our mind and stir the emotions so much, as to make us feel that the entire scene is enacted before us. We feel we are moving with Sri Rama right from Ayodhya to all the places where the original scenes were enacted.
Many readers of the Ramayana are perplexed when they face some of the controversial issues, like why Sri Rama abandoned His wife, Sita Devi, whom He loved most. Before leaving Ayodhya for the forest He had told His agitated wife, Sita Devi, folding her in His arms, kissing her tears away, "Not knowing the strength of your purpose, O Janaki, I tried to deter you, not because I wanted to leave you but only because it was my duty to point out to you the dangers of forest life. You know that I cannot bear to cause distress to you, my lovely princess. O beloved Sita, even heaven has no charms for me without your bewitching presence. I too would love to sport with you in the woods and glades of the forest and on the mountain-tops, so make haste to gift away all your jewels and costly clothes and proceed to prepare yourself for a sojourn in the forest with me".
The same Rama in later years asked His brother, Lakshmana to take Sita Devi, who was pregnant, to the forest and leave her there alone. What a sacrifice! What for? Only for upholding dharma. Then the killing of vali etc. are all controversial points for those who give the epic only an academic valve, whereas devotees who love Sri Rama as the avatara and purusha will try to accept whatever the Lord has done as perfectly correct and no question bothers their mind. They know that our puny intellect cannot understand the ways of the Lord and therefore the best thing is to accept them, as He knows best. The author however has taken pains to beautifully explain such controversial subjects. Whatever Sri Rama did was for upholding dharma and therefore for the good of humanity.
They beauty of this book is that it is written by one who has great love and devotion for Sri Rama. It touches some subtle chords in the reader's heart and makes him ecstatic. The more we read it, the more devotion we develop. Those who have read "Sri Krishna Lila" will surely be eager to possess this book. Thus may it reach every house so that by reading it and listening to it and with the chanting of Sri Rama's glorious Name, pure love and devotion may overflow from the hearts of all to surcharge the entire atmosphere in the house with the fragrance of Sri Rama's eternal presence and make them live a life of righteousness?
Aum Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram!
The Ramayana of the sage Valmiki is a literary masterpiece in the Sanskrit language which excel in beauty, style and diction. It is believed that the twenty-four letters of the Gayatri Mantra are hidden in the Ramayana. The beginning letter of every thousand words starts with one word of the Gayatri. The Gayatri starts with the word, "Tat" and the Ramayana also starts with the same word. Each word of the Gayatri is found in a consecutive sequence at the beginning of every thousand verses of the Ramayana. The Holy Ramayana is believed to be the Veda itself "Vedab prachethiasath aseed sakshath Ramayanatmana". Valmiki wrote the Veda itself in this mighty epic. Spiritual seekers read it as a protective cover for all the problems of life, and it acts as a shield. It is a well known practice amongst spiritual seekers to make a regular practice and prowess of Hanuman. No one can really plumb the depths of the meaning of Vimike's Ramayana. Usually the reading of the Mahabharata is done in the morning, of the Ramayana in the afternoon and the Sreemad Bhagavatam in the evening. The Sanskrit verse which describes this is follows: "Good people engage themselves in dice play in the morning (meaning the Mahabharata), at noon they engage themselves in theft(meaning the Sreemad Bhagavatam)".
There are many controversies in the Ramayana such as the absence of Bharata during the coronation of Sri Rama, Rama's attacking Vali from behind a tree and finding fault with charges which do not seem feasible. Valmiki has produced in Rama, an aspect of human nature which is impossible to understand. He brings together in the same person the might of God and the frailty of man. This kind of presentation of the ideal man is either totally ignored by devotees or subjected to critical examination. Either way, the Ramayana is a great exercise in disciplining the mind in its attempt to bring God and man together in a single individual. Valmiki often refers to Rama as Narayana Himself. It is said that in his last moments, Ravana saw Rama as the mighty Vishnu or the God of the universe. The Ramayana should be studied diligently by everyone, for the dignity of the language in which it is written as well as the depth of the message it conveys. It presents before the reader the inscrutable manner in which God works and the fickle nature of all human decisions. Valmiki brings God to earth and raises the earth to Heaven. Since this type of blending is inconceivable to the human way of perception, by pundit, story-tellers and scholars. It is certain that an intensive study of Valmiki's Ramayana will fill the mind of everyone with inordinate strength and incalculable blessdness.Valmiki says that the glory of the Ramayana will remain as long as the sun and the moon last. The astounding descriptions of the rule of Rama and his administrative capacity reflect the very conditions of a life in Heaven Great are the Ramayana. Glory to the way of administration of Rama in every field of life in this world.
Mata Devi vanamali has done a novel service to the religious community in expounding the involved meaning of the Ramayana text and making it attractive to the modern mind with beautiful English expressions. This book is a companion volume to her book on Lord Krishna called, Sri Krishna Lila.
This is the story of the Lord's descent on earth as Rama, the seventh in carnation of Lord Vishnu, scion of the race of Raghu, pinnacle of human perfection. It is a story which has enthralled the minds of all who have read it, not only in India, the land of its origin, but in all the part of the world. The story of Rama has spread everywhere, including places like Tibet Turkey, Myanmar, South and South-East Asia, particularly Indonesia Malaysia and Thailand. In Bali and Thailand, as in India, Sri Rama is worshipped as God incarnate. This flow of the Ramayana outside India has been in four directions. One stream went north, as proved by Tibetan and Turkish manuscripts. The fact that it had spread to China can be seen from the Chinese translation of the two Buddhist works -Anamakam Jatakam and Dasarth Kathanakam. The second flow was to Indonesia. Stone carvings in two of the ancient fourteenth centaury Shiva temples in Jogjakarta and one in East Java at Pantaran depict scenes from the epic. Later both in Indonesia and Malaysia, Extensive literature on the Ramayana theme were composed. The third flow of the epic was to Indo-China, Thailand and Myanmar. Inscriptions dated from the seventh century show that the Valmiki Ramayana was very popular in those regions. The story of Rama which is widely read in Thailand is known as "Rama Kiyn". The Burmese version is based on this and is known as "Rama Yagan".
It is one the most important poetic composition of the country. The fourth stream of the Rama story is be found in the writings of the western travelers and missionaries who visited India from the fifteenth century on wards. These writings are found in much European language like English, French, Spanish and Dutch.
One may well marvel at the fact that this story, which is based on tao cast its spell through the ages. This is because the story is based on certain eternal verities, which appeal to the best in human nature. Indeed these values have such a universal appeal that the character of Sri Rama has risen above the limits of sect, religion, race and country. Obviously it is a tale which is capable of touching the human mind to a great extent. The Ramayana is an ancient chronicle, but it has a deep meaning even in modern times. We live in an age which is at loss to know the meaning of human existence, and which doubts the existence of God Himself. We are perplexed, as to how we can act with righteousness, when the whole world seems to have gone mad, when the meaning of truth and love cannot be found and when hate and self-interest seems to be the only rule of conduct, from the highest to the lowest. Answers to these perplexing questions can be found in the Ramayana, for human nature, as such, has hardly changed through the years. Situations may change, but human nature remains the same and that is why we find that many avataras have come and gone, yet humanity remains the same. But the individual can and must change if society is to progress, and the characters found in this book are worthy of emulation. Our lives may well take a turn for the better, when we read the heroic way in which Rama and Sita faced the trials and tribulations of their life. In fact, in this lies the greatness of Rama. When we read the life of Krishna we find that it is the story of a God- a divine person who was always the master of every situation and never the victim. That is why He is known as the poornavatara. In the case of Rama, however, there is a difference. In him, we see that God had taken on a human from, with all its frailties in order to show us how our aspirations for a dharmic life can be fulfilled; how we can surmount our frailties and become divine, if we are prepared to completely subjugate our ego and live only for the good of the world and act in consonance with the duties and obligation of our particular in society. Valmiki's Rama is the portrait of a man who becomes divine by shaking off the limitations of mortality by a strict adherence to truth and honour. If Rama,like krishna was above all human emotions, he would not have made such an impact on the Indian mind. Valmiki's Rama has all the qualities of average man - the attachment, the desires, the anger and the love, the compassion and the Serenity. The greatness of his character lies in the fact that he surmounted there obstacles in his character and perfected himself so that he became a superhuman, one who put his duty, above all personal considerations. This type of perfection is available to all of us, however weak we may be. Hence the popularity of the Ramayana. Rama is a character to be held up as an example to all men, as Sita is, to all women and each one of us when we their story, can identify ourselves with them and then try to perfect our own character as they perfected theirs.
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