Self-Growth by study of Ramayana - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    Sir: while I find your insights fascinating, I think it important to recognize that first and foremost Ramayana is a human story. Indeed, Rama himself denies that he is an Avatara of Vishnu, proclaiming himself only a human being. Sri Vaishnava acharyas describe how each incident in Adikavi Valmiki Ramayana covers the good qualities of Rama and how we as human beings - to be truly human - should cultivate these good qualities in ourselves to live a long and happy life.

    Consequently, as Mareecha himself said, Sri Rama is dharma incarnate, and our serving him in our thoughts and actions is the proper dharma for us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mraghavan View Post
    Sir: while I find your insights fascinating, I think it important to recognize that first and foremost Ramayana is a human story. Indeed, Rama himself denies that he is an Avatara of Vishnu, proclaiming himself only a human being. Sri Vaishnava acharyas describe how each incident in Adikavi Valmiki Ramayana covers the good qualities of Rama and how we as human beings - to be truly human - should cultivate these good qualities in ourselves to live a long and happy life.

    Consequently, as Mareecha himself said, Sri Rama is dharma incarnate, and our serving him in our thoughts and actions is the proper dharma for us.
    Sri mraghavan,

    You make an important point. There are voluminous commentaries on the qualities of Sri Rama that human beings can aspire towards. Bala Kanda opens with Aage Narada describing the virtues of Sri Rama to Adi Kavi Valmiki. That itself runs into many verses and commentaries on those verses can make up a voluminous text by itself.

    In this modest presentation I wanted to cover a not just the 'what' but a bit of 'why' and 'how' so that some of the messages may be realized by a sincere sadhaka.

    The point that Sri Rama is presented as a human being is a good segway to my next post.

    Thanks
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  4. #13
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    As a human being we feel complete even in a mundane sense when our sense organs are operating properly, our body and mind are healthy and that our intellect with associated wisdom is at our disposal. We cannot neglect any one of these faculties in our quest for self-growth.

    Without tapping into our unique capacity for discriminative thinking and wisdom, our intellect is at the whim of our sense of doer-ship (often incorrectly translated as ego). Ultimately, sustained liberation from a sense of limitation and sorrow is possible not by doing any rituals or by meditation etc. alone but by the knowledge of our true nature that we are indeed complete (Purnam पूर्णं) the way we are.

    Proper study of Upanishad and B. Gita under the guidance and blessings of a qualified teacher alone can lead to this knowledge. If someone Is well versed with Ramayana, it can provide rich metaphors to enable understanding of key concepts.

    To illustrate this point, let me just use two metaphors. The intent in this presentation is not to go through all available metaphors which are many.

    In Ramayana, Ravana is said to have 10 heads. While movies may portray an actor with 10 heads, in real life such a thing is not possible and even if 10 heads exist in a person, they are a nuisance and curse at best. In the story, if one head is severed another head is supposed to pop up.

    Metaphorically, the heads represent desires of the mind. As soon as we satisfy one desire, another one pops up. There is no way to kill all the heads (desires) because there seem to be an endless supply.

    The only way Ravana is killed is by a Brahmastra that pierces the heart of Ravana. Metaphorically, this means that the desires and fears of a person cannot be removed except by the Brahmastra of 'Tatvam Asi' knowledge in our Hridayam.

    Rama is portrayed as human being in the story. There is a significance to this as well in a metaphorical context. Ravana could not be killed by asuras and Rakshasas. Only a human being could finally slay him. This means that only a human birth endowed with a sense of discriminative wisdom is capable of achieving freedom from desires and fears leading to Moskha.

    In summary, the opportunities for personal growth is immense by the study of Ramayana.

    It teaches us

    1. The value of integrity and spoken word,
    2. The need to balance Vyashti and Samashti Dharma in our life,
    3. The power of meditation of Rama Nama
    4. Metaphors in our quest to understand Brhama Vidya.


    Saint Thyagaraja was one of the greatest Rama Bhkatha whose songs teach people about true Bhakthi. What may not be apparent is that his songs convey vedantic understanding with powerful verses. I want to conclude this thread with reference to a song that I like very much.

    It is rendered by Ranjani and Gayatri at the link below
    Gnanamosagarada-purvikalyani-rupakam-Tygaraja by Ranjani Gayatri



    Om Tat Sat
    ----------OM SRI RAM JAYA RAM JAYA JAYA RAM -----------------------------------------------------------
    Lyrics and meaning of the song referenced above:

    Ragam: Purvi Kalyani
    Talam: Rupakam
    Composer: Thyagaraja

    Pallavi:
    Jnaana Mosaga Raadaa Garuda Gamana Vaadaa

    Anupallavi:
    Nee Naamamuche Naa Madi Nirmalamainadi

    Charanam:
    Paramaatmudu Jeevaatmudu Padinaalugu Lokamulu Nara Kinnara Kimpurushulu Naaradaadi Munulu
    Paripoorna Nishkalanka Niravadhi Sukha Daayaka Vara Tyaagaraajarchita Vaaramu Taanane

    Meaning: (From TK Govinda Rao’s book)

    Lord! Should not (“raada”) grant (“mosaga”) me wisdom (“Jnana”) and redeem me?
    O the rider (“gamana”) on Garuda!
    Are you cross with me (“Vaada”)?
    Constantly chanting your (“nee”) name (“naamamu”) has made (“mainadi”) my (“naa”) mind (“madi”) pure and stainless (“nirmala”).
    So, cant you initiate me (“Vaaramu taanane”) into the ultimate advaitic doctrine so that I may realize and experience the unity of the Supreme Paramaatmaa (“Paramaatmudu”) and the individual Jeevatma (“Jeevaatmudu”); and identify myself with the entire creation of the fourteen (“padinaalugu”) worlds (“lokamulu”), human beings (“nara”) and celestials like Kinnaraas, Kimpurushaas (“Kinnara Kimpurushulu”) and sages (“munulu”) like Naarada?
    O Supreme and Perfect (“paripurna”)! O the Impeccable one (“nish-kalanka”)!
    Bestower (“daayaka”) of eternal (“niravadi”) Bliss (“sukha”)! The one prayed (“archita”) to by tyagaraja!

    From <http://www.shivkumar.org/music/jnanamosagarada.htm>
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  6. #14
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    I have felt that the VR is one of the greatest detective stories of all time. The process followed step by step towards locating Seetha, getting clues all along the way, until the final thrilling moment when Hanuman discovers Seetha under the Simsapa tree, is well worth savouring. That could be the reason why, the poet devoted the maximum lines in the trxt to the description of Seetha as seen by Hanuman. Nowhere else in the text is Seetha described!

    Another thing with the VR is, it teaches me that man can never achieve his aims without enlisting the support of others, especially our non-human friends. As I write this in the dead of the night, my sole companion around here is a street dog, man's eternal friend.

    Reading the VR, its interesting how the characters come in, have a powerful impact, and then abruptly leave. Rather like life, isnt it? In the introductory Kandas, it is Dasaratha and Bharata who dominate. Then they simply disappear, as we are shown various ashramas with their austere and pious worship. Names like Sutheekshna, Sarabhanga..... all stir our imagination, as possible major characters in older, bygone Ramayanas, who are now reduced to a chapter apiece in Valmiki's retelling. Ravana makes his appearance only from the middle. In the chapter where Seetha welcomes the Sannyasi-Ravana she refers to her age and that of Rama. Rama was 25 at the time of banishment while Seetha was 18 !
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