[Advaita-l] Ramayana Soudaryam - to revel on Shree Ramanavami.

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 27 07:25:25 EDT 2018

Ryan - PraNAms and thanks for your kind words. The write-up is somewhat based on Swami Tejomanandaji introductory talk many years ago.
Hari Om!Sada 

   On Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 11:36:50 AM GMT+5:30, Ryan Armstrong via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote: 
 धन्यवाद Sadananda ji
This is an excellent and astute observation on beauty and the deeper
meanings of Ramayana

Kind Regards

On 25 March 2018 at 08:06, kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Ramayana Soundaryam
> Soudaryam means beauty. What do we mean by beauty? When do we say that
> something is beautiful? To start with, when an object appeals to our eyes,
> we say it is beautiful. Beauty is that X-factor that makes us admire, that
> which makes the object to stand out from its surroundings, that which is
> aesthetically appealing to our vision, that which seems to have a
> perfection, an order or a structure. For example, not many people can
> appreciate the modern art, where deeper thinking may be required to
> appreciate the message depicted by the artist – which has more appealing to
> the intellect than the mind. In contrast, a beautiful object appeals
> immediately to our emotions. Subsequently, we may also admire
> intellectually the creator of that beauty and appreciate the intelligence
> behind that creation. Soundaryam or beauty has immediate mental or
> emotional appreciation, as our experience shows. Beauty is that which melts
> our hearts and fills our heart with noble sentiments. For example, when we
> see the beautiful flower that is in full blossom with all its fragrance,
> which is radiating with the brilliant colors and textures, our vision gets
> arrested, at least for few seconds. In those moments of admiration, we
> forget the rest of the world, and we even forget ourselves since there is
> no other thought that arises, other than emotional identity with that
> beauty. The mind itself becomes silent, with no words to express or
> verbalize it – other than some meaningless mantras – Oh!, Wah!, or What a
> beauty!, etc. The intellect may step in later with some critical analysis
> involving comparisons and contrasts with the things that were seen in the
> past, with gradations in the scale of beauty, with a desire to own it, or
> to be proud of it if it is already owned, or to be jealous of the person
> who owns it . We do not understand what is satyam and jnaanam but we
> understand sundaram, beauty and ananda or joy associated with it; the total
> fulfillment even for few moments of joy in the vision of the beauty.
> Thus, when there is a beauty, the mind is attracted to it. Hence
> attraction is the expression of soudaryam, that which is beautiful. The
> perfection or the order that exists in the object manifests as an
> attraction towards it, which in turn invokes love and passion. This may
> degenerate later into the desire to possess the object. Before the desire
> arises, there is an emotional identification with the object of love, which
> is the object of attraction, which is the object of beauty. There is a
> saying that the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Thus beauty causes
> attraction and expresses as love for the object; and that love involves an
> identity with oneself bridging the gap between the seer and the seen, at
> least for those moments. No words can reach to express that beauty, that
> love, that happiness. Every object of beauty is a creative expression or
> vibhuuti of the creator, the supreme.
> At the sense level of perception, a thing of beauty is seen through the
> order in the created object, expressing at the mental level as the love
> that provides the momentary fulfillment, and thus happiness of one's own
> ananda swaruupa, of the self itself. Those who are tuned intellectually
> also can appreciate sometimes the beauty of the order in logic, where the
> beauty expressing as admiration and then love that involves identity. In
> essence, I love what gives me happiness; and in that love, the duality or
> separateness of the subject and the object of love ceases. In a sense,
> soundarym is different from aiswaryam, where aiswaryam means glory. In
> contrast to love, Aiswaryam, invokes an intellectual admiration, a respect
> or reverence; and sometimes may degenerate to even jealousy. There is a
> gulf of distance between the subject and object. To bridge that gulf, the
> subject may surrender to the object of reverence, only if the attitude of
> reverence combines with the attitude of gratitude. This is the relation
> between a disciple and his teacher, or between a devotee and his deity.
> The story of Rama, every Hindu knows – from a child to the adult. Yet, one
> still gets fascinated in hearing that story again and again. It is not
> history but it is HIS story. When someone shows us their personal photo
> album, we do not show much interest. Because of obligation we see through
> the pages turning them as fast as we can. However, if it contains our
> picture, then we are attracted to see. Even after many years, if it is our
> picture, we do not like to throw that picture and would like to preserve it
> for our later seeing. We do not lose interest to see it again and again –
> because it is our picture, not others. In essence, if it is something that
> is ours, we do not lose interest to hear or to see; that is called
> mamakaara. If so, why do we want to hear the story of Rama again and again?
> The love for Rama is the expression of love for oneself too. It is not
> Rama’s story – it is our story.
> Rama means one who revels in everyone and He is the one in whom everyone
> revels. The one who revels in everyone is the Lord himself -I am in the
> heart of everybody says the Lord, heart being the seat of love. In essence,
> it is the self that is the core of one’s individuality. The story of Rama
> is the story of righteous over evil, the story of Dharma over adharma, the
> story of success against all odds, the story of the self, which we cherish,
> which we ourselves would want to be. Rama was the beauty incarnated.
> Bhagavan Tulasidasji describing the beauty of Rama, says his eyes are like
> a lotus flower, his face is like a lotus flower and in fact his every organ
> was like a lotus flower, so delicate, so full with fragrance. Why is the
> analogy with lotus, we may ask? Lotus is that which grows out of muddy
> waters (pankaja, born out of mud). Yet, in spite of it, it stands out with
> all its beauty and fragrance untouched by the surroundings and even
> glorifying them. Rama’s beauty was so captivating that even the Rakshasas
> like Khara and Dushana said that they have no heart to fight with him. The
> name is so captivating and glorifying that even the chanting of it in
> reverse as mara, mara,.., converted a butcher into a sage (Valmeeki). While
> the presence of Rama had blessed the people of Ayodhya as well as many
> sages and saints at that time, but the name has is become even more
> powerful, since it has been blessing millions since then. Such is the
> beauty of Rama, in name and form.
> Many have written on Ramayana. One famous poet says- it is not famous
> poets who wrote on Ramayana, but the ones who wrote on Ramayana became
> famous poets - that is the glory of Ramayana. The sage Valmeeki, when he
> first saw a hunter killing one of the two birds that are in love, he could
> not contain the sorrow or shoka. Words came out of his sorrow and become
> the first sloka. The shoka (sorrow) is transformed into sloka (poem), even
> to the surprise of the great Rishi, and made him ultimately into a poet, in
> fact as the first poet. As he was pondering on the sloka, getting concerned
> of why he cursed the hunter in the form of sloka, Brahmaji appeared, and
> blessed the sage, saying that Goddes Saraswati herself expressed in the
> form of Sloka. He advised him that he should compose the story of Rama that
> he heard recently from the Sage Narada.
> Rama means the one who loves all and also the one whom everyone loves.
> That is the very self within. Pujya Gurudev described a Vedantic
> significance for the story. He is born in ayodhya, meaning where there are
> no internal conflicts, to Dasharatha, meaning the one in whom all ten sense
> organs (five sense organs and five organs of action) are fully under
> control. He has to leave ayodhya when conflict arose, to dwell in forests
> where meditative sages are there contemplating on the self with a pure
> heart. The whole of ayodhya was trying to follow Rama.
> In the forest of the world, the mind (Sita) gets carried away or gets
> side-tracked with the fascinations of the glittering world that lures in
> the form of a golden dear, gets lost and gets captured by the sense
> indulgence even deceptively in the form of Dahshamukha, the ten-headed
> monster (five sense organs and five organs of action), whose whole life is
> all the time centered in stomaching all those enjoyments, by hook or crook.
> When the mind later repents and longs for Rama, the self within, He has to
> come as a teacher and destroy the ego with Brahmaastra or aham brahmaasmi,
> aiming at the stomach which is the center of indulgence. Sita, the mind,
> after the complete purification by fire of spiritual sadhana joins back
> with Rama, the self within. Thus Ramayana has inspired many authors where
> the purpose of life is being pointed – it is not just a story that
> fascinates children but a message of the very purpose of one's life, the
> story of dharma, the story of the longing mind which is in search of one's
> own love, the happiness that one is, and uniting with that source of
> happiness. It is the story of duty bounded by love, the story of a message
> to whole humanity for its evolution.
> ------------ ---
> Based on the introductory talk by Swami Tejomayanandaji on Sundara
> Ramayana during mahasamadhi camp in LA in 2010.
> Hari Om!
> Sadananda
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Ryan Armstrong
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