- Religion and Philosophy
Ramayan - In depth Part - 2 Ram
Who Is Ram ?
I started a series on Ramayan. This is second part of this series. In this part we will deal with the question - who according to Ramcharitmanas is Ram ?
As posted in first part. Though there are many books based on story of Ram. But we are doing this series based on Ramcharitmanas. Which is popularly known as Ramayan. And is considered a holy scripture by Hindus. This one is written by Goswami Tulsidas ji. And a little background we explored in first part of this series.
On bases of this very Ramayan, people believe that Ram was an avatar of one deity called Vishnu. And thus He is worshiped. But did Goswami Tulsidas ji meant to say this ??
Rishi Valmiki in His Sanskrit Ramayan categorically depicts Ram as an avatar of one of the three powers – Vishnu. But Goswami Tulsidas ji never meant to say that Ram is manifestation or an avatar of one Deity called Vishnu. The Ram he speaks about is way above one Deity, of one universe. He is even above millions of Deities of millions of universe. In many places when ever Ram’s real identity is specified Ramayan specifically says – that Ram is above millions Tridevas. ( Three powers main in Hindu mythology – Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. )
So how is Ram above Deities ? Even above Vishnu ?
Goswami Tulsidas ji starts telling us about Ram with these lines --
बिनु पद चलई सुनई बिनु काना। कर बिनु करम करई बिधि नाना। ( Hindi Script )
Meaning - In this complete passage, Tulsi Ji goes on to say – Ram is that creator who doesn’t have feet, but can still walk. Doesn’t have ears, but can still listen. Doesn’t have mouth but can still relish every kind of taste. Doesn’t have voice, but can speak. Doesn’t have body, but can touch. Doesn’t have eyes, but can still see. Doesn’t have nose, but can still smell everything. And can't stop myself from giving this similar example -- Those who know about Adi Granth or popularly known as - Shri Guru Granth Sahib, can recall these lines of Shri Guru Angad Ji -
आखि बाजों वेखणा, बिन कन्ना सुनना। ( Hindi Script )
Meaning - God can be seen without physical eyes. Can be heard without physical ears.
Then through out Ramayan, there are many incidences, where Tulsi Ji doesn’t leave any opportunity to tell us who Ram is, in passages like –
शंकर सहस विष्णु अज तोही, रखही न साकी राम कर द्रोही। ( Hindi Script )
Meaning - Thousands Shiva or millions of Vishnus can not save that person, who makes RAM his enemy.
शंभू बिरंचि विष्णु भगवाना। उपजही जासू अंस ते नाना। ( Hindi Script )
Meaning - With single drop of RAM’s power millions of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnus are created.
विष्णु कोटि ( billions) सम पालन कर्ता, रुद्र कोटि (billions) सत सम संहर्ता। ( Hindi Script )
Meaning - RAM has more powers of nourishing creation then billions of Vishnus. And more power to end the creation then billions of Shiva.
Ramayan in many places keep mentioning that Ram is above millions or even billions of Vishnus, Shivas and Brahmas. Still we keep on insisting that Ram is manifestation of one single Vishnu !!! Ramayan even differentiate between Ram and Kaal. In the incidence where Hanuman is tied with rope. And brought in front of Ravan. He tries his best to make Ravan see the reality of Ram’s power. He tells Ravan that Ram is that Dayal Purush, ( Ultimate power ) from whom even that Kaal Purush ( Intermediary power) is also scared, who is otherwise powerful enough to eat whole creation full of many kind of creatures, including – deities, demons and other demi Gods.
Interestingly when Ram is getting married to Sita. After winning her in Swayamvar ( a kind of promise bound marriage, where the one who fulfills the condition or contest for marriage, wins the hand of bride ) . Ramayan here narrates the beauty of preparations made of marriage ceremonies. Here comes the most important guests who secretly come to attend Ram and Sita’s wedding--- Brahma with His wife – Saraswati. Shiva with His wife – Parvati. AND VISHNU WITH HIS WIFE - LAKSHMI !!
Makes one wonder, how Ram is manifestation of Vishu attending His own wedding as Ram too ?? Though I am sure, those who believe otherwise. Can justify this possibility too. That too with ample logic.
Even in one incidence in Ramayan Kaakbhushundi ( an enlightened crow ) acknowledges this fact. He narrates the incidence, when he went inside the mouth of Ram as a child. Inside He saw millions of Trilokis ( Universes) . Every Universe needs administration. So with every universe He found one set of Tridevas. Which means, with millions of universes he saw millions Tridevas, including millions of Vishnus. Then He goes on to say --- He saw only ONE RAM above all universes. He found out that though there are millions of Tridevas administering millions of universes and countless other deities through out these universes. RAM is ONE. He says --
लोक लोक भिन्न विधाता , भिन्न विष्णु भिन्न मनु द्रीसिताता। ( Hindi Script)
Meaning of this line is explained as above.
The Ram Ramayan talks about is above all. And there are many incidences proving this in Ramayan. If I go into that kind of narration the post will be too long. Even in one incidence when Sati with Shiva’s permission, takes Ram’s test. She finds Ram, crying for Sita like an ordinary man. And she becomes skeptical, how can this be God ? If He cries like an ordinary human being ? While testing Ram, as taking the form of His wife - lost Sita, she finds millions of Vishnus worshiping Ram. While He smiles at Sati and let’s her know, that even though He is playing the drama of human life. And right now He is crying like an ordinary human being for His lost wife, but He still remembers His actual identity. He is not like us, who have forgotten our true identity. While immersed in this drama called life. He knows He is playing just a drama. And He remembers who or what His true identity is.
Such minute details that we miss while going through any scripture. Just because our mind is conditioned such. That we accept whatever is told to us. By those whom we consider experts. That we forget to use our own logic or intellect. And really observe the true messages ourselves.
So what then is true Chariot of Ram - The Dharam Rath that people argue about ?
So while we are talking about true identity of Ram, let's take this opportunity to learn about Ram's true "Dharam Rath " Or His Chariot. About which we fight so much.
While the war between Ram and Ravan started. Ravan was riding a huge fully equipped chariot. It was magnificent chariot. Which had no other example in world. While Ram was supposed to fight on feet. For He had no such luxuries of life. Vibhishan, Ravan’s brother, but Ram’s devotee. Who was with Ram in this war, becomes worried. How will RAM fight on foot while Ravan is sitting on such magnificent and huge chariot. He expressed his worry to Ram. How will You win this war on foot ?
Ram then told Vibhishan about the real chariot, that one needs to win this war. Now, we have to remember, that who is Ravan ? He is Kaal, who has whole creation and each Soul in his grip. Under his domain. This is a war to free the Soul, from his domain. This is not worldly war. This is Spiritual war. Ravan’s fully equipped chariot is his instruments, with which he keeps the Soul in his grip. Illusion, desires, incitements and vices, are his instruments. Against this, if one needs to win this war, what are the instruments one needs ?? How can one equip one’s own chariot against such enemy ? To ensure winning ?
Ram begins with – The Chariot that one needs to win this war is not made from materials of this physical world. That chariot is totally different, which we need to win. It is a spiritual chariot. And requires these things –
Inner strength and patience are the two wheels needed in this chariot. For it will always be easy to give up fighting against lures of Kaal. But inner strength won’t let us give up. Will urge us to keep fighting. While patience will equip us to wait for the day, when we will win. When one by one all enemies or Kaal’s instruments are defeated. Then there is always a flag on chariot. Telling us whom it belongs. This flag needs a stump to hold it. This stump should be made of Truth. Truth being the one, which never ends. Means the Supreme Consciousness ( Audible life stream ) This flag should be made of moral values and pious character.
I have always felt, that every scripture gives us two fold way to walk on spiritual path. One is moral values. Outer instruments that one needs. Which is always needed for success on this path. Like -- to abstain from – non-veg, alcohols and immoral living in society. And after giving us necessary moral values to follow. These being necessary for these values facilitate the growth in Spiritual path. They then give us -- second instrument - inner seeking. A way to Meditate. In this whole creation, every scripture gives us only two fold way to achieve union with GOD. But we concentrate on moral values. Or outer instruments only. And forget about inner seeking. Problem is we become too rigid in outer behavior. Moral values becomes dogmas. And origin of fight between religions. Anyways....
Ram then tells us about wheels and flag. Then He describes the four horses who drive this chariot. Intellect ( Vivek or power of discrimination) Kindness, Inner perseverance and Control on senses are the four horses needed to drive this chariot. These horses are bound by three threads to control them. These threads are – Forgiveness, Compassion and Samta—To see everyone as God's child, God's creation and honor each species as His essence.
Then there is one charioteer. Meditation is the only charioteer one needs for this Chariot. For only Meditation /charioteer can take our chariot towards right direction. Towards Truth.
Detachments from worldly pleasures is shield. And contentment is the sword to kill worldly desires or the pull we feel towards worldly pleasures. Doing charitable work like Sewa of Sant is the Ax to kill enemies like Karmas. Keeping our thoughts pure is the strongest arrow one can have. While using the Bow - which is - power of discrimination, born out of Satsang ( Or company of true Sant) Is strongest weapon one needs. There are no stronger weapon then these.
Concentrated mind is Quiver one needs to hold arrows of pure thoughts. Other arrows that one needs are – Sham, Yum and Niyam. Meaning – control on mind, Ahimsa – non violence in thoughts and deeds and keeping oneself moral/pure while surrendering to God. These are other arrows in Quiver.
Now one needs Body Shield too. Against the onslaughts of enemy. Ram says – Devotion to True Sant is the only body Shield one needs against Ravan/Kaal. There is no other support one needs to ensure complete win in this war.
In the last Ram says – Beloved Friend. The one who has such strongest chariot. Made of these things. No enemy can win from owner of such chariot. Even if the enemy is strong enough who has won all three realms. Still no one can dare to stand against the owner of this Chariot. For such owner even wins and go above the cycle of birth and death. Who can win such warrior ??
This is the teaching of Ram. The same Ram, in whose name we try to celebrate gala religious chariot Yatras. Outer chariots with His idol on chariot and gala dancing. And we also never feel afraid to shed blood in name of these chariot Yatras or Rath Yatra.
And the one in whose name we do such deeds, is asking us to be the owner of this spiritual chariot. He is gracefully teaching us --- That we can become that warrior, against whom no enemy can dare to stand. But only if we become the owner of this spiritual chariot. And then even Ravan/ Kaal will not dare to stand against us.
What more is needed to say ?? Let’s stop killing His real temples and try to find this Chariot for ourselves. One made of Audible Life Stream. Made of Light and Sound. And ride that chariot on strength of Meditation.
Rest all in next part....
© 2018 Roohi