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  1. #1
    RamanujaVR is offline Newbie
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    Sri Lanka's Ramayana Trail

    Hello Friends,

    Recently I came across a special pilgrimage that traces the places associated with Ramayana in Sri Lanka. A Tamil friend of mine in Colombo is organising this yatra with the cooperation of Sri Lanka Tourism Board. I liked it so much that I wanted to share it with our members in this forum. The following presentation will highlight the significance of this yatra.

    "Sri Lanka’s Ramayana Trail

    The ancient Hindu scriptures such as Padma Puranam, Markandeya Puranam and Brahma Vaivarta Puranam show that the universe in which we live today is 196,08,53,115 years old. They attribute the creation of the universe and human beings to Lord Brahma, the first of the Trinity of Hindu Gods and the Creator. The second is Lord Vishnu, the Protector and the third is Lord Shiva, the Destroyer. Lord Brahma is not worshipped directly but Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are the main deities for Hindus, with temples all over the world.

    Among these three Gods, Lord Vishnu has taken ten avatarams or incarnations to protect the good people and destroy the evil powers. Krishna says in Bhagavat Gita, “Paritranaya Sadhunam Vinashaya Sadushkritham, Dharma Samstapanartaya Sambavami Yuge Yuge”, which means “I will be born Yugam after Yugam to protect the pious people, to destroy the evil forces and to establish righteousness.” They are Matsyavataram, Kurmavataram, Varahavataram, Narasimhavataram, Vamanavataram, Thrivikramavataram, Parasuramavataram, Ramavataram, Krishnavataram and Kalki avataram. People worship Varaha, Narasimha, Thrivikrama, Rama and Krishna with separate temples for these five incarnations.

    Among these five avatarams, Rama is considered to be the epitome of how human beings should live. Valmiki Ramayanam elaborates how Rama lived a life of Dharma or a life of righteousness and showed by example how people should conduct themselves under various circumstances. The abduction of Sita by Ravana and the destruction of the demon by Rama in Lanka is the triumph of the good over the evil. Hence, Rama is not just an incarnation of Lord Vishnu but a God in his own right and there is not a single Hindu, who does not recite the name of Rama at least once in lifetime. Unlike other religions, Hinduism is not just a religion but a way of life and Rama is the example how to live one’s life.

    People from all over India come to Rameshwaram, the temple built by Rama for Lord Shiva. However, very few people know that Rama built another three temples for Lord Shiva and that they are located in Manavari, Thirukonamalai, and Mannar in Sri Lanka. As Hindus who worship Rama, all of us should visit these three temples also along with Rameshwaram. Further, around 50 sites related to Rama, Sita, Hanuman and Ravana are still present in Sri Lanka. A Yatra or pilgrimage covering all these holy places is appropriate for all devout Hindus.

    Muslims have their annual Haj Yatra to Mecca, Christians visit Jerusalem as their holy place and Buddhists come to Bodh Gaya to pay obeisance to Buddha. Is it not our duty to visit the four temples that Rama built and also go to the important landmarks from the time Rama arrived in Lanka until he left Rameshwaram to go back to Ayodya?

    The Sri Lanka’s Ramayana Trail helps you to see all these historic places at the most affordable costs and with all facilities and amenities such as air travel, road travel, accommodation and food (cooks of different types accompanying each group to provide preferential food) and transportation back to home. The Yatra takes care of everything from start to finish."

    I personally feel that this yatra is quite interesting and important for all Hindus, especially Brahmins devoted to the name of Lord Rama. Contact me and I will help in arranging a group tour to witness these historic places with your own eyes and have a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    RamanujaVR.
    Ph: 91-9965813536.
  2. #2
    RamanujaVR is offline Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by renuka View Post
    Dear Sir,

    Nice to read about your pilgrimage and your experience.

    But just slight correction...Muslims do not have an annual Haj to Mecca.

    It is one of their tenets of their religion to at least have 1 visit in a lifetime..trips to Mecca are not cheap and not everyone can afford them..to the my best of my knowledge...even the super rich do not go annually.

    Just to add Hinduism does not have one designated place of pilgrimage and as far as I know there is no compulsion......so I would not want to say that it is our duty to visit the temples you have recommended even though it is nice of you to share your experience with members here..

    Please do not get me wrong...the point I wanted to highlight is that no one specific pilgrimage spot is mandatory in Hinduism so calling it our duty sort of makes it sound compulsory..at the end of the day..one can visit anywhere but bear in mind the best pilgrimage spot is when we look within.

    Making a visit to a pilgrimage spot sound as a "compulsory duty" for Hindus just makes it seem very commercialized.

    BTW thank you for letting members know about this place.
    Hello Ms. Renuka,

    You are 100% right. I stand corrected. I should not have used the word 'duty'. Sorry that I was a bit overenthusiastic. Still, I personally feel this pilgrimage is somewhat unique, since it takes us to places mentioned only in Valmiki Ramayana but long forgotten. Anyhow, thanks for being so frank. I really appreciate it.
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