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"Suklambaradaram Vishnum Sashivarnam
Chathurbhujam Prasanna Vadanam Dhyayeth
One who wears a white dress; One who is omnipresent;
One who shines like the Moon; One who has four hands;
One who has a beautiful and shining face;
One who wards off all obstacles. I meditate on Him.
is the Birthday of Rama who is Dharma itself. He is Veda Dharma in Human
Form. He is Anandaswarupa and Dharmaswarupa. On this holy day of Ramnavami
you must immerse yourself in the Atma as Dharmaswarupa as the motivator of
the moral life. Rama is "Atma Rama" in every being. There is no place where
Rama is not. He is imminent and eternal. Rama for you should mean the Path
He trod, the ideal He held aloft, and the Ordinance He laid down. They are
eternal and timeless. Now you worship His Form, you repeat His name;
ignoring His orders. Without practicing the discipline laid down by Rama to
purify the mind, all else is mere show, empty rituals. Contemplate on this
unique day to obtain Godhood. Use it not for feasting, picnics, hikes,
watching films, playing games, gambling, etc. The Immortal had come in the
form of Rama to show the way to Immortality.
brothers Rama, Lakshmana, Bharatha and Satrughna represent the Rig, Yajur,
Sama and Atharva Vedas. When man neglects the Divine aspect of their natures
and the awareness of the Omnipresent and Omnipotent OM, he falls prey to the
impulses and instincts dominated by the ego and develop faith in material
gains. He spends his life in amassing wealth, power and authority over
fellow-beings and believes that holding others under his sway is a desirable
achievement. If there were a vacancy in Heaven, he would surely apply for
the position of God, for he believes that he has all the necessary
THE Ramayana has a deep undercurrent of significant meaning. Dasaratha means: he
who rides in a chariot of ten, that is to say, Man. He is tied up with three
Gunas or three wives, as in the Ramayana. He has four sons, the Purusharthas;
Dharma (Rama), Artha (Lakshmana), Kama (Bharatha) and Moksha (Satrughna).
These four aims of man have to be systematically realised, always with the
last one, Moksha, clearly before the eye. Lakshmana represents the Buddhi or
intellect and Sita is Truth. Hanuman is the Mind and the repository of
courage, if controlled and trained. Sugriva, the master of Hanuman, is
Discrimination. With these to help him, Rama seeks the Truth and succeeds.
That is the lesson of the Epic to every man.
Dharma personified. "Vignahavak Dharmah". Rama is the Supreme Exemplar of
the Virtues that man must cultivate so that he might live as a master,
husband, son, brother, friend or even foe. The other three brothers of Rama
personify the other three ideals. Bharatha is the embodiment of Sathya;
Satrughna of Shanti; and Lakshmana of Prema. Study the Ramayana with the aim
of imbibing from it the ideals for happy living, for making this life
worthwhile and you will be amply rewarded. Then you can deservedly style
yourselves "Devotees" of the Lord.
THE Ramayana is a guidebook, a sacred text, an inspiring scripture for every man
in all lands, whatever his creed or condition might be. It imparts poise,
balance, equanimity, inner strength and peace. Peace is the best treasure,
without it power, authority, fame and fortune are all dry and burdensome.
Thyagaraja has sung that there can be no happiness without inner peace.
WHY is it
that the world reveres Rama and revolts at Ravana? Rama is not the uncle's son
or Ravana the step-mother's child! It is the kinship of the spirit, innate
goodness, responding lovingly, adoringly to the goodness in Rama; and
reacting revoltingly to the wickedness of Ravana. It is not enough, nor is
it essential that you should repeat the name of Rama loudly; respect it in
the fullness of love and admiration. If you have no spring of love in you,
dig into your heart with external instruments like Puja, Stotra, etc. and it
will start to flow.
Ravana's own brother, chastised him for his willfulness and lust and urged
him to save himself, his kingdom and his kith and kin by restoring Sita
unharmed to her Lord. When Vibhishana went over to Rama, Rama knew that he
had a pure heart and that he could not survive the poisonous atmosphere of
Lanka. So He took him and saved him. The Lord likes to be called "Aarthathraana-paraayana"
more than any other name, for He is most happy when He rescues those in
YOU talk glibly of Ramarajya, but how can it be established if you do not emulate Rama? He was "Vignahavaan Dharmah", the very Embodiment of Dharma. He never deviated from it. Dasaratha means one who is master of the ten Senses, the five Karmendriyas and the five Jnanendriyas; that is to say, the successful Sadhaka. Such a person can have the holy progeny of the four Purusharthas-Dharma (Rama), Artha (Lakshmana), Kama (Bharatha) and Moksha (Satrughna). Become a Dasaratha and save that holy progeny as a gift from God.
succeeded in coordinating his thought, word and act. Therefore he had the
unique distinction of being great in physical strength, mental stability and
virtuous character. He shines as an invaluable gem among the personalities
of the Ramayana. He was also a great scholar, who had mastered, of all
things, the six schools of grammar. He knew the four Vedas and the six
Sastras. The Gita says that a scholar is one who sees the same Divine force
motivating everyone. "Pandithaha Samadarsinha". Hanuman was a good example
of this outlook.
HANUMAN spoke to the brothers in sweet, gentle and pleasing words. Rama was struck by the grammatical accuracy of his sentences. They readily answered all his queries; and Hanuman was satisfied with their bona fides. He offered to take them to his Master and Monarch. The Darshan (sight) and first Mana of Rama had removed all his sins; their Sparshan (touch) burnt away all the consequences of his deeds in previous lives; and their Sambashan (conversation) filled his mind with joy. That is the experience of all who welcome the impact of Divinity.
became the messenger of Rama. There are three classes of messengers: those
who do not understand the orders of the Master or do not care to understand
and who operate to the detriment of the work assigned them; those who do
only just as much as the order literally communicates; and those who grasp
the purpose and significance of the orders and carry them out unflinchingly
until the purpose is achieved. Hanuman belonged to the last category.
some one parade all of a sudden some -ism- as new and revolutionary
socialism, for example. Socialism, which means, recognising the equality of
every individual with every one else was in fact practiced in India long
ago. Rama, undisputed Sovereign of a vast Empire, gave heed to the flippant
scandal uttered by an irresponsible laundry-man during a quarrel with his
wife, and sent his Queen, the very dear person for whom had waged a war of
tremendous carnage, into exile, regardless of the fact that she was pregnant
at the time. Every one's voice was given equal weight in the empire ruled
over by Rama.
while building the bridge across the ocean, carried huge boulders on their
heads repeating Rama-Nama all the while; and that made the rocks weigh less.
It is even said that they wrote the name on the stones and that made them
float. Each time they handled or lifted a stone, they sang Rama-Nama in
unison and so they were a happy lot doing Puja, not work, which is
unpleasant. Rama's Grace helped all to overcome obstacles. Take the name and
make your work light: that is My advice to you.
I INSIST on your seeking and remaining in good company, Satsang. Being in the midst of such spiritual heroes, you can fight against evil with a greater chance of success. Once, when Garuda the sworn enemy of snakes went to Kailas, he saw the snakes that Siva wore round His neck, His arms, His waist, and His Feet. The snakes were safe now and they hissed with their puffed hoods at the celestial bird, which could not do them any harm since they were in such Divine Company. Garuda said: "Well! Glide down from the Body and I shall kill everyone of you"! That is the value of the Sath one has reached. Satsang is valuable, for it is like keeping a pot of water inside a tank of water; there will not be any loss through evaporation.
PRIDE is one of the worst sins in the spiritual field. If you feel conceited that you are Bhakta of Hare, He will "hare" (destroy, in Telugu) you. Remember, Sharanaagathi should be like the attitude of Lakshmana. Rama said: "Take Sita and leave her in the forest". Implicit obedience! There is no other way. That is Lakshmana. That is Sharanaagathi; the rest deserve, only of "Sarangathi", the arrow of Rama.
queen Kaikeyi persuaded her husband to agree to her two requests -
enthroning her son Bharatha as the Crown Prince and sending the legitimate
heir, Rama, into exile for fourteen years - Lakshmana, another brother of
Rama and Bharatha, did not acquiesce tamely. He argued that man must meet
every little crisis with courage and self-reliance and that he should not
yield craven-like to the machinations of intrigue. He boasted that his arrow
could avert the crisis. But the arrow is an inferior weapon, even a
negligible weapon when compared with the efficiency of Love. Rama heard him
coolly and advised him to desist from that hasty Karma, "Dharma must guide
Karma"; then alone can it be praise-worthy and successful.
THE path of spiritual discipline, which is most beneficial to man, is laid down in a simple and sweet manner in the great Scriptures of Ancient India. They explain, through example and precept, the Divine Principle inherent in the Universe and inspire mankind to gaze with awe and reverence at the handiwork of God and His inscrutable Leela (sport). They prompt man to march along the pilgrim road of sacrifice in the happy company of Sages, so that the body feels the vision of the Eternal, which can be gained and enshrined in the heart forever.
Rama decided to end His Avatar career and walked into the flooded Sarayu
River, a dog too followed the concourse. When asked why it had attached
itself to the entourage, it said, "I desire to enter Heaven with you all. I
was in my previous life a full-fledged Yogi; but I slipped and fell from the
straight path of self-control. I became the slave of conceit. I expounded
the Vedas as my fancy dictated, in strange but attractive ways. So, I have
now become this animal that takes delight in barking, biting and baying. The
persons who encouraged me then by praise are now the fleas and the flies
that crowd on my skin and pester me. Help me, Lord, to escape from the
disgrace. I have worked my Karma; I have lived out my sentence".
is installed in the heart, every thing will be added unto you - fame,
fortune, freedom, fullness. Hanuman was a mere monkey-leader until he met
Rama. He was a Minister in the Court of his Master. But when Rama gave him
the commission to seek Sita, that is to say, when Rama was installed in his
heart as Guide and Guardian, Hanuman became immortal.
DASA means "ten" and Ratha means "Chariot". Hence Dasaratha (the father of Rama) in fact symbolizes "man" who operates with his ten sense organs such as the eyes, the ears, the nose etc. His three wives symbolize man's three Gunas (attributes) and his four sons, the four Purusharthas (purposes). Lakshmana also represents the Buddhi (Intellect) of Rama. Hanuman is the mind, the repository of courage, while Sugriva stands for Discrimination. With these to help him, Rama succeeds in finding Sita, the lost Truth. This is the lesson of the Ramayana to everyone.
many who spend much time in mechanically reciting the name "Rama" or
systematically reading the Ramayana according to a fixed time-table, or who
worship the images of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman as a daily ritual,
with noisy pomp and pedantry; but like a person who puts a foot forward only
to draw it back again, these persons do not progress at all as the years
elapse. Without gaining purity of thought and intention, compassion and the
urge to serve, these outward expressions and exhibitions are but ways of
cheating yourself for having society applaud you as a great devotee. Your
sight must become an insight; it must be turned within and used to purify
and clarify your mind.
THE greatest formula that can liberate, cleanse and elevate the mind is
Rama-Name, the Name of Rama. Rama is not to be identified with the hero of
the Ramayana, the Divine offspring of Emperor Dasaratha. The Court-Preceptor
named him Rama because it was a Name, which was already current. Vasishta,
the Preceptor, said that he had chosen that Name since it meant: He who
pleases. While everyone pleases the self, nothing pleases the caged
individualized self more than the free universal individualized self. The
self is therefore referred to as Atma-Rama, the self that confers unending
was ordered to discover the whereabouts of Sita and he implicitly, without
question, obeyed and succeeded. He did not calculate the dangers of the
journey and hesitate; and he did not feel proud that he was chosen for the
high adventure. He listened; he understood; he obeyed; and he won. The name
Rama Dootha, Messenger and Servant of Rama that he earned thereby has made
him immortal. You must earn the name, Sai Rama Dootha. Have fortitude and
self-control; use good and sweet-words; and examine each act of yours on the
touch-stone of My preference.
THE toughest fiber is anger. It is the stickiest dirt. When you get angry, you forget mother, father and teacher; you descend to the lowest depths. You lose all discrimination in the excitement; even Hanumantha set fire to the whole of Lanka when the Rakshasas who set fire to the tip of his tail incensed him; and he lost sight of the fact that Sita was in the Asoka Vana. It was only after he had exulted in achievement for a little while that he remembered it and then he started condemning himself for his anger.
RAMA is extolled as the ideal son who acted according to his father's wish regardless of his own happiness. But Bhishma is a better example in this respect. He acceded to a whim of his father and in so doing made even a greater sacrifice than Rama. Dasaratha made Rama an exile in the forest for fourteen years to satisfy the claims of Truth, while Santhanu made his son give up the throne as well as a wedded life to satisfy a sensual desire of his senile body. As a matter of fact, it is not the obedience to the father's whim that is important; it is the adherence to Sathya and Dharma, which is Rama's forte.
RAMANAMA Feast is cloying to some tastes, but it is something ever fresh that gives undying sweetness to the heart that is filled with the love of God. One single name will yield fresh sweetness and fresh joy every time it is rolled on the tongue. I have to tell you the things I have told you often before; for until digestion is well established, medicine has to be taken. The face has to be washed day after day. One meal is not the end of the story; you have to eat, again and again.
RAMATATWA is known only to Rama. What can the rest know? At best, they can have but a glimpse of Rama's grace; and even then, only if they are immersed in intense inner prayer for God. Think of Him. Call out for Him; He melts. Whatever form He may be shining in, that intensity will make you recognise Him. He may be a cowherd boy, standing under a tree with a flute at His lips. You will see Him and adore Him and place Him in your heart. You extol the Lord as Love, Mercy and Grace.
EVERY step in the career of the Avatars is fire-determined; Rama knew that the coming of Surpanaka was the prelude to the coming of Ravana He had asked Sita to enter the fire and remain in it as just an outer manifestation. Even before the human manifestation, the Lord had decided that the Shakti must also accompany Him. Ravana's Tapas were so strong that only a major sin could make the blessings he had won from the Gods null and void.
DO not ask God for anything. Let Him deal with you as He wills. Did Jatayu ask that Rama should come to him and perform the last rights? Did Sabari plead with Rama? Earn the qualifications - holiness, purity faith and universal love - then He will approach you on foot, to console, comfort and save. If you have purity of heart and mastery over the senses, His Grace is your right.
EGO plays all kinds of tricks in order to get unholy pleasure. During the construction of the bridge to Lanka to take the army across, Hanuman heaved a boulder on the raging waves of the sea as part of the bridge! It floated. Rama heaved another; it sank. Hanuman's ego was tickled, naturally. He laughed in derision; at that very moment, his boulder sank! And the boulder that Rama had thrown rose from the bottom of the sea and floated! Hanuman's ego was pricked into nothing. That was the purpose for which Rama had willed that His boulder should sink!
RAMA Nama will save you, if you have at least the Pithru Bhakthi and Mathru Bhakthi that Rama had. If not, Rama Nama is merely a movement of the lips. Meditate on the Rama Swarupa, the Ramaswabhawa, when you recite or write Rama Nama. That will give exercise to the mind; and it will be made healthy and strong in the spiritual sense. Make the Dharmaswarupa your Atma Rama on the Janmadina of Rama. That is My advice and My Blessing.
MAKARA Sankranti is a holy day because the day takes you from darkness to increasing light. From today, the sun enters upon the Uttarayana taking a northward direction for six months. When your Drishti (Sight) is on BRAHMAN and when you have Uttama guna it is Uttarayana, and when your Drishti is on Prakriti it is Dakshinayana. When you have fever, the tongue will be bitter. The bitter tongue is "Dakshinayana". When you are healthy, your sweet tongue tastes well, it is Uttarayana. The real Uttarayana is when you crave for the thought of the Lord and the company of the Godly. Bhishma spent days in bed with pain, as he felt death, when the sun starts towards north is auspicious. Bhishma yearned for the vision of Krishna in Uttarayana. Become fit for the vision of God, cultivating Prema in your heart, full of fragrance and uncontaminated by the pests of greed and egoism.
WITHOUT the flowers, the plant yields no fruit. Without the emerging fruit, ripeness cannot happen. Without intense Karma, Bhakti cannot emerge. Without Bhakti, how can Jnana be found? Somaka the wicked, spurned and suppressed the Veda. But did he reap any happiness? The ten-headed monster coveted and kidnapped another's wife. But did he achieve any gain? The close-fisted Kaurava refused a pinpoint of land to his closest Kin. But did he keep his loot? The terror-bound Kamsa sought out and slaughtered each newborn baby; but did he escape from death? Wicked men, even now, shall meet this fate. Take this Sai word as the word of Truth.
HERE are the three vows that Krishna had taken; they are mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita for all humanity to read, know and believe: "For the protection of the good and the punishment of the bad, for the establishment of the Moral I shall concretize Myself, age after age. Whoever is wholly immersed in My contemplation, with no other thought, I shall be ever with Him; and I shall bear the burden of his welfare. "Surrender unto Me, giving up all the other duties and obligations. I shall liberate you from all sin; do not grieve". The armlets are reminders of these tasks on which He is set.
VYASA is the Loka guru, he is Divine Effulgence. Vyasa sought to bring home, through the Puranas, the need for mastering the egoistic impulses, as the Sloka says:
Ashtaa dasa puraneshu
Paapaaya para peedanam
Two statements can summarize all the eighteen Puranas composed by Vyasa. "Do good to others; avoid doing harm". Doing good is the drug; avoiding harm is the regimen that must accompany the treatment. That is the cure for the disease of suffering from joy and grief, honour and dishonour, prosperity and adversity and the dual thong that bothers man and deprives him of equanimity.
THE Lord will be the Guide of whoever installs Him as his Sarathi. He will not consider that position inferior. He is the Sanathana Sarathi, come to be the Sarathi of all. He is the Lord for all who seek a Master, a support. The Atma is the Master in every one; and Krishna is the "Universal Atma" personified.
THE moment Krishna was born, the chains that bound his father fell off; the doors that had been bolted flew open; and the prison guards were immersed in the Ocean of Bliss, so that they could not recognise any event or thing in the material world. The fire of hatred that was burning in them was cooled; and darkness gave place to the dawn of wisdom. The sky showered raindrops to soften the earth and lay down dust. How can the lament operate against the Divine Will?
KRISHNA has three separate meanings - (1) the word Karsh is one root from which the name is derived. It means, that which attracts; Krishna attracts hearts to Himself by His sportive pastimes, miraculous victories over the forces of evil, His charming conversation, His Wisdom and His personal beauty. (2) The word is also related to the root, Krish: to cultivate, a field, for growing crops. The word means, He who removes the weeds from the heart of Man and sows seeds of Faith, Courage and Joy. (3) It is related to the root Krish, meaning something above and beyond the three attributers and the three eras; and "na" means Sath-Chith-Ananda.
KRISHNA had taken three Vows
and the Kankans were symbolic of His determination to fulfill them. They
were, as mentioned by Him in the Gita: (1) "Dharmasamsthapanaya Sambhavaami
Yuge Yuge". (I shall incarnate myself, in every age, to revive and resurrect
Dharma) - (2) "Yogakshemam Vaham Yaham" (I shall bear the burden of
ensuring peace of prosperity for all who rely on me) - (3) "Mokshayishyami
maa sucha" (I shall save all those who surrender wholeheartedly to Me and I
shall liberate them from the cycle of birth and death).
KRISHNA dealt with the World as with a Sitar, pulling its heartstrings to arouse the melody of comradeship, heroism, love, affection, compassion and conviction. But, of these, the two emotions of love and compassion were characteristically His and His own. His breath was Love! His behaviour was Compassion! Adore Him, placing a garland of tears around His neck; washing His feet with tears, springing from joy at the contemplation of His Love! That very worship will endow you with the wisdom that Sages seek and the Bliss that the Books extol!
THIS is the genuine Bharathiya Vision to transform life into a pilgrimage towards the God resident in oneself; a steady march along the straight path to Bliss. There is no such steadiness now. Fancy and Fantasy rule the mind of man. You desire one thing in the morning; at noon you change over to something else. That desire will not persist until evening. If your desire is fulfilled, you praise God and parade your devotion. But if it does not prevail, you throw God overboard and parade your disbelief!
NARADA, who moves always by and with the Lord, feels that God is beyond his understanding; Balarama who came as His own brother could not fathom His personality. How then can you grasp My Mystery? How can those who strut about in well-ironed bush-coats fathom the Truth? I know some that are here, who sold their Faith to hollow men and started talking about My dress and My Hair! If you dare, seek My Truth. Come, surrender unto Me. Do not teach treason to your friends and to other seekers. Dress and manners have become polished now; but the inner man has deteriorated in virtue and faith!
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