Sri Raama Navami

Rama, Sita, Lakshmana & Hanuman

Bhagavan Baba holding materialized statue of Hanuman carrying the Sanjivi Hill

Rama is the indweller in every body. He is the Atma-Rama, the Rama (Source of Bliss) in every individual. His blessings upsurging from that inner spring can confer peace and Bliss. He is the very embodiment of Dharma, of all the codes of morality that hold mankind together in Love and Unity. The Ramayana, the Rama story, teaches two lessons: the value of detachment and the need to become aware of the Divine in every being. Faith In God and detachment from objective pursuits are the keys for human liberation. Give up sense objects; you gain Rama. Sita gave up the luxuries of Ayodhya and so, she could be with Rama, in the period of 'exile'. When she cast longing eyes on the golden deer and craved for it, she lost the presence of Rama. Renunciation leads to joy; attachment brings about grief. Be in the world, but, not of it. The brothers, comrades, companions and collaborators of Rama are each of them examples of persons saturated with Dharma. Dasaratha is the representative of the merely physical, with the ten senses. The three Gunas - Sathwa, Rajas and Thamas - are the three Queens. The four goals of life - the Purusharthas - are the four sons. Lakshmana is the Intellect; Sugriva is Viveka or discrimination. Vali is despair. Hanuman is the embodiment of courage. The bridge is built over the ocean of delusion. The three Rakshasa chiefs are personifications of the Rajasic (Ravana), Thamasic (Kumbhakarna) and the Sathwic qualities (Vibhishana). Sita is Brahmajnana or the awareness of the Universal Absolute, which the individual must acquire and regain undergoing travails in the crucible of life. Make your heart pure and strong, contemplating the grandeur of the Ramayana. Be established In the faith that Rama is the reality of your existence.

Rama Katha Rasavahini - The Sweet Story of Rama's Glory

The Birthday of Rama is celebrated in order to remind us of the ideals which He stood for. We have to ponder over the ideals set before us by Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna and also by Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi. Sage Vasishtha declared, Ramo Vigrahavan Dharmah (Rama is the embodiment of Dharma). He described the Divine form of Rama saying, Pumsam Mohana Rupaya (one whose form enchants all). "Rama, the beauty and handsomeness that You are endowed with are not limited to Your physical form alone. Your infinite love and compassion give You this blissful form. Even men are attracted by the blissful form of Yours. You are the very personification of Sat-Chit-Ananda." Thus Sage Vasishtha extolled the glory and majesty of Rama. It is your good fortune that you are able to listen to the sacred story of Rama and sing His glory.

The Ramayana teaches the principles of Dharma and the path of duty to every individual. Though ages and aeons have passed by, the Ramayana remains ever fresh guiding humanity on the path of truth and righteousness. Even today we think of the characters of Ramayana with respect and reverence. You can very well understand its greatness. There is no morality higher than what is depicted in the Ramayana. The Ramayana should be the subject of our Parayana (worship). You should install the principle of Rama in your heart and experience bliss. Practise the teachings of Ramayana in your daily life. Obey the command of Lord Rama. It is to understand and assimilate the principle of Ramayana that we are celebrating the festival of Rama Navami today. It is not enough if the celebration is confined to merely partaking of sweet pudding and other delicious items.

The story of Rama is not an ancient one. It is eternal and ever new. It is full of auspiciousness. May you fill your heart with the sacred ideals of the Ramayana! May you give up hatred and all differences! May you live in peace and harmony! When you contemplate on Rama incessantly, you derive great joy and delight.

Divine Discourse: Apr 11, 2003

There is no Amruta (Divine ambrosia) greater than Rama's Name. Today people have forgotten Nama Chinthana (contemplating on the Divine Name). They repeat the names of cinemas, but do not repeat God's Name. That is why the country is facing hardships. The educated, intellects and scientists do not think of God at all. Some people deem it below their dignity to apply Vibhuti on their foreheads. They have it on their foreheads when they are at home and rub it off the moment they step outside. This has become a fashion! Why should one be afraid of chanting God's Name? Let people talk as they like. You don't need to be afraid. Spread the glory of Rama's Name in every nook and corner of the world. You can chant any Name of your choice - Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Siva, etc. As people have forgotten the Divine Name, every home is in turmoil. There are conflicts even among brothers. As there is no purity within, unsacred feelings have crept in. People are running after money and power. Can money and power give you protection? You find so many in this world who have plenty of money and are occupying positions of authority. Are they able to enjoy peace and happiness? No, no. Only the Divine Name can grant you peace and happiness. One who neglects God's Name is bound to be ruined.

The letter 'Ma' is the life force of the Siva Panchakshari Mantra Om Namah Sivaya. If 'Ma' is removed from this, it reads as Na Sivaya, meaning inauspicious. Likewise, the letter 'Ra' is the life-force of the Ashtakshari Mantra Om Namo Narayanaya. The life-force of the Panchakshari Mantra 'Ma', and that of the Ashtakshari Mantra 'Ra' together have formed the Divine Name RAMA.

Divine Discourse: Apr 21, 2002

Rama exemplified three kinds of righteous behaviour (Dharma), namely, the Dharmas relating to 1) the individual 2) the family and 3) society. To uphold these three-fold Dharma, Divinity manifested in a triangular flow, in the form of the Trimurtis (the Triune form). The Ramayana manifested to elaborate the human values.

The Ramayana has very subtle truths embedded in it. The epic, first of all, expounds the duties of the individual. In the everyday world, any person's form is termed as the individual. The duties of the individual taught by Ramayana are not relating to this external form of the individual. The Unmanifest, immanent and hidden human values are the essence of the Ramayana. The inner reality and the divinity resident in the heart constitute the true individuality. Individual does not mean the form; the individual in action is the true individual. Rama was exemplifying such individual values to humanity. To uphold the promise of his father, He went through the inconveniences of forest life, but He did not look on these hardships as hardships. In this way, He upheld His family traditions also. It is well known that the scions of the Ikshvaku family do not swerve from their promises. Under any circumstances, to uphold the values of one's parents, relatives, wife and children constitutes this three-fold Dharma.

Chant the Name of Rama wholeheartedly. Install Him in your heart and sanctify your lives. Rama is present in every heart in the form of the Atma. That is why, He is known as Atma Rama. Atma is changeless and that is your true form. Develop the faith that you are Brahma (Aham Brahmasmi).

Divine Discourse: Apr 2, 2001

There is none in this sacred land of Bharat who is not aware of the epic Ramayana. The Ramayana sets ideals for the individual, the family and the society at large. Since ancient times, thousands have heard the story of Rama. But not many have tried to put His teachings into practice. Man by birth is a human being but he is not making any effort to understand humanness. He is achieving progress in various fields but his mind is not getting transformed. What is the use of man's existence if the mind does not undergo transformation? He is changing his dresses, not his mind. He would do well if he changes his mind instead of changing his dresses. All the spiritual practices like meditation, penance will prove futile if there is no transformation of the mind. Mano Moolam Idam Jagat (the mind is the basis for the entire world). Man is not making any effort to understand what is most important on the path of spirituality.

Today you are celebrating Sri Rama's birthday. No benefit accrues from celebrating the birthdays of noble personalities unless you put their teachings into practice. It is said, "Ramo Vigrahavan Dharma" (Rama is the embodiment of Dharma). His speech was suffused with truth and His conduct radiated peace. Can there be a greater ideal than this? All names and forms are His and He is the embodiment of Truth, Awareness and Bliss.

There is no point in going through the sacred text of Ramayana unless you put into the practice the ideals it demonstrates. You should try to understand the purpose behind each of Rama's actions and how He performed them. There is much more to Ramayana than Rama going to the forest, annihilating Ravana and ultimately being crowned as the king of Ayodhya. He incarnated in order to establish Dharma. What is Dharma? It is that which delights your heart. When man takes to unrighteous means, his conscience will not approve of his acts since every man is the embodiment of Dharma. He is born to practice Dharma. But as he gets carried away by worldly pleasures, he is afflicted with misery.

Divine Discourse: Apr 12, 2000

The story of Rama teaches us the threefold Dharma (code of conduct) pertaining to the individual, the family and the society. You have to make every effort to understand the duties of the individual, the family and the society. Rama is the ocean of compassion. He is love personified. It is possible to understand His divinity only through the path of love. Love is the undercurrent of human life. Man will be able to manifest his innate divinity only when he develops love within.

The Ramayana speaks of the true identity of the individual, the real significance of the family and the sanctity of the society. The Ramayana teaches the importance of human values. Today corruption is rampant in all fields such as business, education and politics. Under these circumstances, the principles of the Ramayana are very important. It explains in detail the relationship that should exist between brothers, the father and the son, the preceptor and the disciple.

The relationship that existed between the brothers of Rama is an ideal to the rest of the humanity. They lived in unity in spite of troubles and turmoil. Mother Kaikeyi wanted her son Bharata to ascend the throne of Ayodhya, but Bharata never had any such desire. He went to Chitrakoota mountain, fell at the feet of Rama and prayed, He, being the eldest, should take over the kingdom of Ayodhya. But, Rama did not yield to his request. Quoting the Vedic dictum Mathru Devo Bhava, Pithru Devo Bhava. He exhorted Bharata to obey the command of the father and fulfil the desire of his mother by becoming the king of Ayodhya. Rama promised him that He would render all help and support. That is why even today people extol Rama as Sathyavakparipalaka (one who adheres to truthful speech).

Rama stood as a shining example of upholding the moral values in the society. Even when he was asked to leave for the forest at a time when he was supposed to be coronated, he was not perturbed in the least. Sukhadukhe Samekruthva Labhalabhau Jayajayau (he is an equal minded one who treats the dualities of life pain and pleasure, victory and defeat, gain and loss - alike). Rama displayed this virtue of equanimity. Today, man aspires for positions of authority though he does not deserve them. But, Rama relinquished the position even though He deserved it. Rama was courageous in the face of adversities. He never gave any scope for weakness. He led the life of a Dheera (courageous one), not a Deena (weak-minded). Same is the case of one who is in His company. Hanuman, by contemplating on Rama incessantly, became a Dheera. He displayed this quality of courageousness in the court of Ravana. But the same Hanuman stood like a Deena (humble one) in Rama's presence. This drives home the point that one should be a Deena (humble one) in front of divinity and Dheera (courageous one) in the face of evil.

Divine Discourse: Mar 25, 1999

The term "Rama" has another esoteric significance. It consists of three syllables: Ra + Aa + Ma. Ra signifies Agni (the Fire-god). "Aa" represents the Sun- god (Surya). Ma represents the Moon-god (Chandra). The combination of the three letters constitutes the Rama name. Ra, representing the Fire-god, burns away all sins, Aa, representing the Sun-god, dispels the darkness of ignorance. Me, representing the Moon-god, cools one's temper and produces tranquillity. The name Rama has the triple power of washing away one's sins, removing one's ignorance and tranquilizing one's mind. How is the profound meaning of this sacred name to be imparted to mankind? This can be done only by the Divine coming in human form and demonstrating to mankind the power of the Divine. Rama's name signifies the harmony in thought, word and deed. Rama demonstrated this harmony by his thoughts, words and deeds.

In the Divine epic of the Ramayana there is a special profound message. That message is: man must lead the life of a human being, men must seek oneness with the Divine. Man should harmonize the three qualities in him (Sathva, Rajas, Thamas). In every human being all the three natures - human, divine and demonic - are present. But most men today ignore their humanness and divinity and foster only their demonic nature. Man, in fact, should strive to manifest his divinity, and not display his weakness or his demonic qualities.

There is no use in observing Sri Rama's birthday once in a year and being satisfied with a good feast. Every moment marks the Lord's advent, because human beings are being born continually. Every human being is an incarnation of the Divine. The Divine dwells in every being. Therefore, dedicate every moment to the thoughts of God. When you do this, in due course you experience the Divine. You will be free from delusions and you will be divinised. Man is born to merge in the grace of the Divine and not to immerse himself in mundane pleasures.

Let each one carry on his or her duties. Dharma protects its protector and destroys it destroyer. Strive to proceed from the human to the Divine.

Divine Discourse: Apr 5, 1998

The entire Ramayana is like a game of chess. The scene, in the Ramayana is a kind of battlefield. It is a battlefield where the forces of right and wrong are waging war. Rama represents righteousness and Ravana represents unrighteousness. The battle between the two is the war fought on the battlefield.

Ravana taught a great lesson to the world. He exclaimed: "Oh men! Do not live as I have lived and ruin your lives". " What is the root cause of Ravana's ruin?" Unable to conquer his desires, unwilling to get rid of his impulses, he ruined his entire clan. His sons were killed, his brother and other kinsmen were killed and ultimately his country itself was reduced to ashes. Ravana confessed: "In the end I ruined myself." This was the message Ravana gave to his countrymen in his last moments.

Only by suppressing desires does a man manifest his humanness. A man who is unable to put an end to his desires, puts an end to himself.

A good man by his good conduct achieves greatness. Ravana sought to achieve greatness but did not strive to lead a good life.

Divine Discourse: Apr 16, 1997

From time immemorial, every individual in Bharat has regarded Sri Rama's life as an ideal and has sought to sanctify every moment of his life by living up to it. Sri Rama's incarnation as a human being was for the purpose of promoting peace and happiness in the world. "Ramo Vigrahavaan Dharmah" (Rama is the very embodiment of righteousness). It was as if righteousness itself had incarnated on earth. Dharma and Rama are inseparable.

The word Rama has the triple power of destroying sins, conferring peace and dispelling ignorance. When you utter the word "Ram", you first open the mouth with the sound "Ra". All your sins go out when your mouth is open. When you utter "M" by closing the mouth, the entry is barred against the sins that have gone out. Everyone should recognize the sweetness, the sacredness and divinity enshrined in the name "Rama". Its is good to utter the name Rama with full understanding of all that it signifies. But even without that understanding the chanting of the name has the power to destroy all sins.

We must learn to chant the sweet name of Rama with a pure, unsullied heart, in a spirit of selfless devotion. Men should learn to speak sweetly and pleasingly. Sweet speech confers peace. It is the means to self-realization. It is in the heart of the man who is sweet spoken that Sri Rama loves to dwell. Wholehearted chanting of the name of Rama even once can destroy mountains of sins. But the chanting should not be done mechanically like playing a gramophone record. It should emanate from the depths of the heart. You must seek to redeem your lives, by living up to Rama's ideals and proclaiming them to the world. Remember the name of Rama with love. God can be realized only through love and no other means.

Divine Discourse: Apr 14, 1989

Hanuman, whose heart was filled with the love of Rama and Sita

Devotees should install Rama in their hearts and celebrate Ramanavami for achieving Atmic bliss. Going through the Ramayana epic they should reach the state of "Atma Rama" (oneness with the universal spirit). In such a state there is no Ahamkara (ego sense).

Divine Discourse: Apr 7, 1987

This day, the birth of Sri Rama is celebrated in all lands. Rama had deed, word and thought, body, speech and mind, ever pure, and totally free from blemish. Really speaking, one ought to revere the story of Rama as a profound allegory. Every act and actor in that story attracts attention and gets imprinted on the memory because the allegory is personal to each of us.

It is often said that Rama followed Dharma at all times. This is not the correct way of describing him. He did not follow Dharma; he was Dharma. What he thought, spoke and did was Dharma, is Dharma, forever.

Divine Discourse: Apr 18, 1986