Shri Prabhakar Rao is a retired Senior Executive from a MNC. He lives in Singapore. He has an abiding interest in the Hindu Tradition, Culture and the ancient Scriptures. He has special affinity for Valmiki Ramayana. Purely as a service, he runs classes for Children and Adults teaching Ramayana from the original work of Valmiki.
He delivers lectures on Ramayana, Madhwa Granthas, Dasa Sahitya and other Scriptures. He facilitates Ramayana Research Studies under a forum that he and his wife run with the support of like-minded friends. He hails from Triplicane in Chennai.
“Those eventful 39 years of Sri Rama' is a nice book. What is there in those 39 years? Why they are so significant? Why had all the Kavis chosen to describe only of those 39 years of Rama who lived much longer? If we closely read the content, Valmiki's focus is not even on those 39 years as a whole. He narrates only the events belonging to that of just 15 months. What is there in those auspicious 25 days? In those crucial 45 days? In those painful 10 months? In those extraordinary 3 days? In those victorious 2 months? In those Divinely final 7 days? Why these 15 months are focused on again and again by the Kavis throughout the several millenniums?
Those auspicious 25 days are the days of education. Therefore they are important. In these 25 days the extraordinary sage Vishvamitra brought the royal children out of their palace and showed them the external world. He answered all the questions asked by the curious children patiently. He explained about many rivets, mountains and regions. He took them to the great Kings like Sumati and Janaka. He gave chance for them to show their prowess in archery. He gave many missiles to them. Finally he even made matrimonial arrangement. This is the education presented by Ramayana which was revealed in those 25 days. These days are named as auspicious because education and marriage are auspicious.
Those crucial 45 days are the days of sacrifice. Sita sacrifices all materialistic wealth due to her chastity. Bharata sacrifices the Kingdom due to his ideal brotherhood. Lakshmana sacrifices his wealth due to his devotion. Guha is ready to sacrifice his wealth for the sake of friendship. Sumantra is ready to sacrifice for the sake of servitude. Subjects of Ayodhya sacrifice their comforts due to their devotion to Sri Rama. Dasaratha sacrifices his own son who is more to him than his own life for the sake of truth. Sri Rama sacrifices his Kingdom for the sake of Truth and devotion to 'his parents. Sacrifice, sacrifice and sacrifice! Selflessness, selflessness and selflessness! Is the epitome of these 45 days which set the role model for the mankind forever.
Those painful 10 months are the months of Love. Rama and Sita bear extreme pain for the sake of love. Rama could have gone back to Ayodhya and got married to some other woman after a short search in the forest. But he never gives up. Though Ravana promises to transfer whole of his property of Lanka to Sita, she treats everything to be a straw and stood steadfast in her Dharma of love.
The one day which reveals the most of the potential of Hanuman is the day when Hanuman searched for Sita in Lanka. Hanuman himself glorifies this day as "Sujaatamula subhaga keertimaalaa yashasvini" the night which is grounded well in auspiciousness, which is auspicious, which wears the garland of glory and which is glorious ". Today we admire Hanuman, we worship him and we are even mad after him mainly due to this night in which almost all potentials of Hanuman, his intelligence, his dexterity, his patience, his emotional intelligence, his compassion and his love and devotion - everything is revealed. Really, we should be thankful to that night.
The three days, the extraordinary three days teach us who Hanuman is.
Those victorious two months are significant because they determine the triumph of Dharma. Valor in the epic is not just bowed for an ego boost. The valor of Rama is Dharma based. It is to conquer the evil. Thus these two months are important as they put an end to terrorism.
Sri Prabhakar Rao has meticulously worked and researched on these times of the Timeless Rama- 'Na cha Kaalavashaanugaha'. Though Valmiki did give the information here and there throughout the epic, he left the work of gathering those information systematically to the up coming researchers. Sri Prabhakar Rao has gathered all those scattered information from Ramayana carefully and presents them in this work. May we enjoy this nectar of exploration of those 39 eventful years.
sakRd Eva prapannaaya tavaasmi iti cha yaachatE I
abhayam sarva bhoothEbhyO dadaami Etad vratam mama II
rakSHita jeevalOkasya dharmasya parirakSHita I
rakSHita svasya dharmasya svajanasya cha rakSHita II
Shri gurubhyO namaha
It is extraordinary that while Rama had lived on this earth for 11000 years, Ramayana the great epic authored by Sage Valmiki covers just the first thirty nine years of his earthly life. And these thirty nine years are full of amazing events, which time and again bring out Rama's innate love for Satya (Truth) & Dharma (Righteousness), the principles which guided his earthly life through and through. His majestic behaviour, his steadfastness in holding on to his principles, his lofty ideals, the higher plane in which he moves all the time, his abundant Grace which embraces even the evil Ravana, his heroic deeds are all shining forth luminously in the various events which take place within that short span of time viz., thirty nine years. Generally every devotee of Ramayana focuses on the episodes and enjoys every nuance of probity, every intricacy of dharma, every minute perspective of the depth and width of the Ramayana characters revealed by these episodes. To a casual reader of Ramayana these finer and deeper aspects do not reveal themselves. To a devoted reader many of these get revealed gradually. And the commentaries by Scholars are an invaluable ally in our getting a deeper insight into these subtle and finer aspects buried in the innocuously simple looking slokas of Adikavi Sage Valmiki.
In addition to enjoying the deeper insights of this great epic, I got an urge to understand when exactly, in those thirty nine years, each event of significance took place. I am not referring to the historical dating of Ramayana and its episodes. Great Scholars and giant minds have gone into these aspects over the years. In recent times, this has been accomplished by well-known scholars such as Sri P.V.Vartak and Sri Pushkar Bhatnagar.
But, in my own tiny squirrel-like manner, I would like to make an attempt to drill deep down to that specific year of Rama's life (by way of his age in years), specific month, specific day and specific time of the day (where ever appropriate) when each of those events have taken place. With this objective this study has been undertaken by me. This is not an easy task. But I intend doing it as far as possible for my humble mental faculties, praying for Divine Grace and Guru's Grace in this endeavour.
As one dwells deeper and deeper into Ramayana one can sense a gradually increasing respect for Valmiki. The Sage who has started off this epic with the auspicious word "Tapas" (austerity) has in fact injected the very soul of Dharma so strongly in this grantha, with the power of his Tapas, that the epic is inspiring millions and millions even after thousands of years. He has done a remarkable recording of every minute detail that he saw with the special vision bestowed on him by Brahma. He has portrayed each character for what they are. Recorded what they spoke. What they did, without any subjectivity on his part. He has displayed a high degree of objectivity. Sitting in a forest somewhere near Ayodhya, he has been extremely precise in writing the geographic details of the trail followed by Rama. Not only that, in a couple of engaging sargas, he amazingly describes the geographies to the east, west, north and south covering thousands of miles which even the first modern Indian might not have ventured to till the middle of the first millennium of the CE. He has given very pointed details about the flora and fauna of the various lands visited by Rama. Modern Scientists are doing research into the given botanical details, thanks to the Maharishi.
Maharishi has provided fantastic astronomical details at many places in the epic. Historical Scientists are able to cull out the historicity and astronomical dating of Ramayana, utilising these details.
However, when it comes to exact months, days and time of various events, which is the objective of my study, it looks as if Valmiki has enjoyed teasing the future researchers by just throwing clues here and there and leaving it to their inferential approach to try to pin the details down. Such a precise Chronicler that he indeed was, he has been surprisingly vague about these data. Seriously speaking, I can only assume that the great Adikavi did not feel it important since he was not writing a diary of events but a grantha of Dharmasastra and about the life of The One with all the perfect qualities, the very embodiment of Dharma.
Hence, I have done this study eagerly grasping those clues that Valmiki has thrown around in the epic. I have complimented the study with the details culled from the writings of Sri Srinivasa Ayyangar, Sri Ranganji and the studies done in terms of Astronomical dating of Ramayana by Shri Pushkar Bhatnagar and Shri P.V.Vartak.
The result of the study is recorded in this book, with the sincere hope that this proves interesting to some of its readers and pulls them into a deeper study of Ramayana. The intention is to instil in the reader an abiding interest in Ramayana and to spread the message of Dharma contained in sloka after sloka of this profound epic.
I am not an academician. I am just a retired corporate executive, having deep interest in our scriptures and with a special affinity to Rama and Ramayana. This study is taken up by me purely out of an abiding love of Ramayana and out of my curiosity. I owe a special thanks to Sri Ranganji, who has injected in me an inspiration to study deep into Valmiki Ramayana. His own dedicated approach to Ramayana and my discussions with him at various times over the years have been significant factors behind my motivation to get into this particular study. The affectionate and caring encouragement that I have received from Sri Hariji has also proved very energising in this endeavour.
I am also thankful for the repeated encouragement and blessings received at the hands of Sri Maharanyam Muralidhara Swamigal of Namdwaar, for the Ramayana Forum activities.
With my head bowed in humble pranams to my Lord & Master Sri Sitaram, Rama Bhakta Hanuman and my Guru Sri Raghavendra Tirtharu, let me commence this book.
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