Ramcharit Charcha I

II Shree Guruvey Namanah II

Jai Sri Ram,

II Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram II

II Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram II

II Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram II

‘JEHI SUMIRAT SIDHI HOI GAN-NAYAK KARIVAR VADAN,

KARAHU ANUGRAH SOI BUDDHI RAASHI SHUBH GUN SADAN’

(i e the success is ensured just by remembering him, may that Lord Ganesh , whose wisdom and intellect is very abundant and who an abode of good qualities and traits, bless me).

Goswami Tulsidas (Tulsi) invoked blessing of Ganesh right in the beginning of the great epic Ramayana or as he called ‘Ramcharit Manas’ immediately after prayers in a few Sanskrit stanzas  because Lord Ganesh is the one who removes obstacle in the path of an auspicious work. I too pray in the same way and bow down to Lord Ganesh. Tulsi had been brought up since his childhood by the saints in an ‘ashram’ and was educated as well as got to study all the religious scriptures under guidance of knowledgeable Gurus. He was intelligent and had a good memory. He mastered the Sanskrit language also.
In spite of the knowledge of Shatras and Vedas he had not yet been enlightened in a way that a realized person is. He was married to Ratnavali and profoundly loved her. Ratnavali was an intelligent woman and may have realized that this infatuation of her husband may have been keeping him from progressing in his spiritual pursuits. She at one occasion told Tulsi that the intense craving and  interest which he had in her body, consisting of bone, flash and skin and filled with rotting stuff, if directed towards Lord Ram it would have liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Tulsi who had been knowing all this was awakened by this remark of his wife and turned his direction. With vision turned inwards and introspection, he could see the real message that Ram Katha had to give.

With wealth of knowledge and realization of truth, he wanted to give meaning to his literary out-pouring by singing praise of Lord Ram and cover his various Leelas (life events) as performed in his incarnation in human form as son of Dashrath and Kaushalya. While it was the practice in those times for the Pandits to write in Sanskrit (Dev Bhasha) he also decided to do the same. But, he had a dream in which he was ordained to write the epic in language of the ordinary people (Bhasha) and was assured about its acceptance as a master piece in the series of Ram Kathas by various saints from time to time.

Here it has to be understood and remembered that the Ram Katha is not just a historical account of a king’s life but its various nuances cover the gist of Vedas and Puranas . Tulsi understood this very well and beautifully wove all aspects of it at various levels of spirituality, philosophy, psychology, ethics and social order. The Ram Katha is therefore supposed to have an innumerable dimensions which reveal themselves according to one’s capacity to grasp it.

With this back ground, I would now go along the path of  RamCharit Manas (as Tulsi called his book) and tell you the relevant aspects as per my own little capacity and understanding. There will be gaps as I can’t claim to be having fullest understanding  because as I told you that the subtle messages keep coming according to ripeness and purity of the subconscious mind.

In any case what I would convey to you is what I could gather from various Katha Vachaks (the learned narrators of story of Ram) as also some angles that I could myself envision during course of repeated study of the epic. This is an endless process hence it has dimensions without boundaries.

Ram is embodiment of  ‘dharma’ hence to follow his foot-steps is desirable and we should have complete faith while doing so. This is what is of the essence for us ordinary mortals. Ram Katha also maps the whole path that a serious seeker of  ‘moksha’ has to follow. If you find that there is no value in what I propose to say, please let it be seen as my loud thinking and be excused for it. Those who are saintly and scholarly may consider this as a blabbering of a child. From the next post will commence the explanatory narrative from the very beginning of the poetic master piece of Goswami Tulsidas (the Ramcharit Manasas) presented in a simple manner which of course is limited to my own understanding without any claim that it will reveal all that Tulsi might have intended to convey.

HariOm, Jai Sri ram,

HariOm,

Krishna Khandelwal

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