[Advaita-l] Re: happy rAma navamI !!

Amuthan aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Sat Apr 8 12:14:03 CDT 2006

namo.astu rAmAya salakShmaNAya devyai cha tasyai

dear shrI shrIdhar bAbu,

--- Sridhar Babu <sridhar_at_amritapuri.amrita.edu>
> Will you also be kind to share the most inspiring
> incidents in Rama's life?

i honestly feel that i'm presently not competent
enough to discuss shrI rAma's kalyANa guNAs to any
satisfactory level. unlike subjects like advaita which
are by and large impersonal and which have a standard
(shAstrAs) with respect to which discussions can be
gauged, bhagavad guNAnubhava and bhagavad bhakti are
intensely personal phenomena. added to this, it is
extremely difficult to express bhakti bhAvAs in
written form. one has to see it mahAtmAs and learn
from them. that seems to be the only way out.

shrImad rAmAyaNa, in particular, is meant only for
bhagavad guNAnubhava. one can give an overall vedAntic
interpretation to rAmAyaNa and i'll provide one such
traditional interpretation below, but it has to be
admitted that the most beautiful parts of rAmAyaNa are
those which deal with the indescribably beautiful
guNAs of rAma, sItA, lakShmaNa, hanumAn etc.. there is
absolutely no necessity to be an advaitin to enjoy
these and indeed, the sweetest descriptions of
rAmAyaNa don't have any 'advaitic components'. (so
much so that i've even seen a vyAkhyAna where the
commentator says that aj~nAna is a bhUShaNa for bhakti

even if such a task is attempted, this mailing list,
which is devoted to advaita vedAnta, is not the right
place. however, to satisfy your request within the
scope of this list, i'll provide one vedAntic
interpretation of shrImad rAmAyaNa below.

shrI sItA devI represents a jIvAtmA (AtmA with avidyA
as upAdhi). because of a longing (moha) for a
beautiful deer, She gets 'separated' from shrI rAma
(representative of the paramAtmA) and is caught by
rAvaNa. rAvaNa, with his ten heads, is symbolic of
this human body with five j~nAnendriyAs and five
karmendriyAs. thus, because of moha, we get trapped in
a body, whose nature is wholly different from our own.

the conduct of sItA devI at ashoka vana is the way we
are supposed to lead our lives. inspite of the
innumerable temptations of the comfortable life as a
queen of rAvaNa and all the attempts by rAvaNa to
seduce Her, She remained pure with her mind always
fixed on rAma and patiently bore all the humiliations
by the rAkShasI-s who were guarding her. a mumukShu
should similarly guard himself against all wordly
temptations and humiliations and fix his mind firmly
in the supreme self by directing it inward.

after rAvaNa set a deadline for Her life, She became
so vexed with Her miserable life that She attempted a
suicide by using Her long hair as the cord. at this
juncture, hanumAn, who represents the guru, appeared
and comforted sItA that She would soon regain Her
union with shrI rAma. if it were not for this, sItA
would have ended Her life that very day. after this,
hanumAn burnt the entire city of lanka and startled
rAvaNa thereby informing him of the future arrival of
rAma. in the intepreted version, when a mumukShu is
scorched by the heat of samsAra and when he is no
longer able to sustain normal life, a guru appears and
serves as the cool shade which protects him from the
fire of samsAra, by imparting the liberating
knowledge. after this, there is no more fear of

finally, after the news of sItA devI's whereabouts
reached rAma through hanumAn, He conquered lanka,
killed rAvaNa and took back sItA in His own lap. thus,
when the ever present AtmA manifests itself, the
ignorance which is the cause of the false
superimposition of the self on the body is destroyed
and the natural identity of the self with the supreme
is regained as it were. 

one important thing to note is that hanumAn did not
have any personal benefit in his mind at any point in
time. his sole aim was to see rAma as sItArAma and be
immersed in sItArAma rasAnubhava. in fact, in the
yuddha kANDa, one can see that after rAvaNa was
killed, it was only hanumAn who first volunteered to
deliver the good news to sItA devI. such is the
infinte compassion of a true guru. he does everything
that is necessary to remove our ignorance and yet
expects nothing from us. it is precisely for this
reason that we are forever indebted to our guru.

gurave hanumate nirhetukakRpAsindhave namaH!

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