Ramchari Charcha XXXVIII

II Shri Guruvey Namah 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

Goswami Tulsidas, dwelling on the Saryu river’s effects and impact, says that when one has an occasion to touch, bathe, or drink its water, or even have its Darshan (glimpse or look), the benefits like annihilation of sins of past and of the disinclination to commit any more sin is naturally an effect.

This has been confirmed in Vedas and Puranas. We know that bathing or even seeing water bodies of clean and pure water makes men cheer up and relieved. This river, on banks of which Ram played out his Leelas surely bring back the memories of such Leelas to an alert mind. Since such Leelas of Ram have been highest bench mark for the religious conduct, naturally the conscience becomes awash with these desirable traits.

Tulsi is ready to let this argument be given a mystic touch by saying that even the Godess of learning i e Saraswati who has pure and pious mind and intellect also can not tell its glory i e the whole logical connection is difficult to be established in cause and effect relationship. Its not so that it doesn’t have or can’t be established but his whole point in saying is that who are ordinary people may take it without stressing their minds on strength of faith. For spiritual progress, the Gurus sometimes lay stress on just taking word as final, so that mind is less stressed of stretched, when the wisdom dawns everything will become crystal clear, even logically.

After praising the river, now Tulsi says the glory and grace of Ayodhya , the city of Ram’s birth. As told earlier, the Ayodhya town itself has similar power. Peopel don’t die in waters but on land, hence who happen to die in Ayodhya’s land get to be free of the cycle of life and death. Tulsi further says that not only the humans but all the species in four broad categories (mammals,reptiles,birds and insects) have a similar fate.

One may wonder how the lower lives can have salvation but its explanation is that who have some little fault in previous life have had the misfortune to take birth on that account get born in Ayodhya and hence this last birth of theirs when no further sins can be accumulated the salvation happens. Another point is that Ayodhya literally means an state of mind and heart which has no animosity towards any one and hence is fully calm at the time of death and being in Ram’s remembrance, the Mukti is a definite outcome.

Tusli begins this Ram Katha which kills all desires, hang over and egoistic tendencies and names it Ramcharimanas. He invites people to have ultimate state of satisfaction and comfort by listening to it. As an elephant burning in the fire of the forest gets relief after taking dip in a pond, so does the mind, it gets calmed by taking dip in the pond of purity that is Ram Katha when the jungle of objects for pleasure for sense gratification, makes it agitated and burning with desires.

Tulsi lays no claim of being the one to author this Ram Katha and says that Lord Shiva had first discovered the whole treasure of spiritual messages and idea about religious duties that Ram’s Leelas as Avatar had to convey. This Ram Katha therefore has capacity to remove poverty, misery and misplaced understanding. It can take care of all types of inflammations resulting from natural calamities, bodily troubles and ill fate. Ram Katha is detrimental to the effects of Kaliyug which tarnish character of a person in very many ways.

The legend is that Lord Shiva had constructed the whole edifice of Ram Katha and had been keeping it concealed in his own heart and mind but when he found a competent listener in Parvati his wife after Sati who has burned herself in Yagna fire. Parvati is the same Sati who got reborn as daughter of Himvan, a king mountain, and got married to Shiva but with a heart to absorb the Ram Katha’s finer points with faith.

Because Lord Shiva had it concealed in his mind which is called as Manas in Sanskrit, this was named as Ramcharit Manas by Lord Shiva with due consideration and with pleasure. Tulsi is now set to tell it for pleasure of listeners and expects them to give due attention in receiving it.

Before coming to tell the Ram Katha, Tulsi has preferred to tell some stories, about how this Katha came to light, got public’s attention, got praised etc, with remembrance and invocation of Shiv Parvati in his heart.

I hope you have appreciation for what Tulsi said and the way I put it before you, with my limited understanding. Please read the original line of Manas below:

दरस परस मज्जन अरु पाना। हरइ पाप कह बेद पुराना।।
नदी पुनीत अमित महिमा अति। कहि न सकइ सारद बिमलमति।।
राम धामदा पुरी सुहावनि। लोक समस्त बिदित अति पावनि।।
चारि खानि जग जीव अपारा। अवध तजे तनु नहि संसारा।।
सब बिधि पुरी मनोहर जानी। सकल सिद्धिप्रद मंगल खानी।।
बिमल कथा कर कीन्ह अरंभा। सुनत नसाहिं काम मद दंभा।।
रामचरितमानस एहि नामा। सुनत श्रवन पाइअ बिश्रामा।।
मन करि विषय अनल बन जरई। होइ सुखी जौ एहिं सर परई।।
रामचरितमानस मुनि भावन। बिरचेउ संभु सुहावन पावन।।
त्रिबिध दोष दुख दारिद दावन। कलि कुचालि कुलि कलुष नसावन।।
रचि महेस निज मानस राखा। पाइ सुसमउ सिवा सन भाषा।।
तातें रामचरितमानस बर। धरेउ नाम हियँ हेरि हरषि हर।।
कहउँ कथा सोइ सुखद सुहाई। सादर सुनहु सुजन मन लाई।।
दो0-जस मानस जेहि बिधि भयउ जग प्रचार जेहि हेतु।
अब सोइ कहउँ प्रसंग सब सुमिरि उमा बृषकेतु।।35।।

(You may have noticed that the lines after Doha 34 and before Doha 35 have mentioned “Ramcharitmanas” three times. This is symbolic in many ways. Tulsi has told us how it works at removal of three types of afflictions etc. He has gone at length that it is universally advantageous etc . What do we do with any worldly object or thing; we see it (Daras) , we feel it/touch it (Paras) and we consume it (Pana), he expects us to also visualize/reflect on what is told in Ram Katha, have subtle understanding of what is told and connect with various situations in life, and then the wisdom of Ram Katha so revealed should be placed right in the heart. There is no dearth of it since its like a perennial river with endless supply of that wisdom. The significance of three times mention of the name also tells that there are three levels of every thing to cover the whole i e the past, the present and the future (Trikaal); this world, the world we came from and the world we will go to (Trilok);the right, neither absolutely right nor absolutely wrong and the wrong (Satya, Satyasatya and Asatya); before the enjoyment/experience, the moment of enjoying/experiencing and the experience. Our faculties of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting which have connection with five elements i e light, sky, air, earth and water, have limited capacity like some lights, some sounds, some smells, and some tastes etc can not be experienced due to higher or lower frequencies or intensity, only the within a range these experiences can be had. It is therefore indicated by Tulsi that in all conditions, at all planes and at all times which are covered wholly by three variations as explained above, the epic ‘Ramcharitmanas’ i e the Ram Katha is relevant. You will find such methods of very intricate connections in Ramcharitmanas of Tulsi and therefore it is dimensionless and the Kathavachaks can only say what they have been able to discover.)

Hari Om,
Krishna Khandelwal

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