II Shree Guruvey Namah II
Jai Shri 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
We completed study of Balkand in Ramcharit Manas of Tulsidas ending it with the last post (No. CCCXXIV). Goswami Tulsidas first laid a firm foundation of understanding about what are the matters that count, what are possible pitfalls in the spiritual journey, how to avoid those pitfalls and how to set on course of discovering Ram Tattva. He has particularly given the cue that the Ram Katha shouldn’t be taken as an historical account of life of a prince, he convinces us that it is far beyond it, it contains the ultimate knowledge which gradually descends in hearts of those who ponder over the Ram Katha after listening it from the mouths of saints with full faith and firm belief in the word of the Guru. The Ram Katha is endless, no one person can claim to tell all of it or all about what it proposes to say. It was first conceived and kept in his Manas (the mind) by Lord Shiv and was later related to Uma which was over heard by Kakbhushundi (the sage in form of a crow) and who took up on himself to spread it among all the people interested in it. Even Lord Shiv, the original thinker/philosopher didn’t think to have discovered all aspects of Ram Katha and preferred to listen to Ram Katha from other masters like Kumbhaj Rishi. Now we move over to next chapter, the Ayodhya Kand.
यस्याङ्के च विभाति भूधरसुता देवापगा मस्तके
भाले बालविधुर्गले च गरलं यस्योरसि व्यालराट्।
सोऽयं भूतिविभूषणः सुरवरः सर्वाधिपः सर्वदा
शर्वः सर्वगतः शिवः शशिनिभः श्रीशङ्करः पातु माम्।।1।।
Goswami Tulsidas begins Ayodhya Kand (the second chapter) of Ramcharit Manas doing Pranaam to Lord Ganesh (the god who removes obstacles).
Then he prays Lord Shiv, saying, “May the one in whose lap shines the daughter of the mountain (the rivulet emanating from higher regions of Himalaya), which comes out of the toe of the Lord Vishnu but rests right on head of Shiv (made to pass through the long hair-locks), on whose forehead rests the crescent moon, who drank the poison (to save the world and gods) but didn’t let it go down the throat and held it in neck region, who is adorned by the king snake as his ornament, whose body is smeared with ashes (like a cosmetic application), the same superior among gods, Lord of all, the deathless one, the cause of destruction, permeating all, the ensurer of welfare, shinning like moon, such a one i e Shankara may protect me.”
(Lord Shiv represents the assimilation of all the knowledge of the world, this knowledge descends from the Supreme God in a constant flow, this knowledge has to be coolly absorbed and applied, its great flow has to be controlled and contained before making it useful, this flow of sacred and meaningful thought is like the Ganga that Lord Shiv is believed to hold on his head.)
प्रसन्नतां या न गताभिषेकतस्तथा न मम्ले वनवासदुःखतः।
मुखाम्बुजश्री रघुनन्दनस्य मे सदास्तु सा मञ्जुलमंगलप्रदा।।2।।
पाणौ महासायकचारुचापं नमामि रामं रघुवंशनाथम्।।3।।
Tulsi now sings praises of Shri Ram, he refers to the equanimity maintained by Him in extreme circumstances, of being granted a grand status and then expected to renounce every thing a short while later. Tulsi says, “the brilliance of the face of Raghunandan Shri Ram was not any brighter on account of the impending crowning as emperor of Ayodhya nor it diminished when the possibility of suffering in jungles emerged, that lustrous elegance may ever be the source of my cheerful well-being.
“I do bow down to the Lord of Raghus, Shri Ram, whose body is soft and bluish like the blue colored lotus flower, on whose left side Sita is seated, who holds the nice bow and a sharp arrow in His hands.”
(Tulsi has meant to convey that if we can maintain an unperturbed posture in face of adversity and attitudinize to remain moderate and sober in times of great achievements and rewards, it shall always keep us cheerful and settled. Tulsi recalls the sight of Shri Ram holding bow and arrow along with merciful and mother like Sita, expecting to be protected at all times and tender touch when hurt.)
दो0-श्रीगुरु चरन सरोज रज निज मनु मुकुरु सुधारि।
बरनउँ रघुबर बिमल जसु जो दायकु फल चारि।।
Tulsi says that he will clean mirror of his own mind with help of the dust of lotus feet of respectable Guru and then only would find himself capable of describing the unsullied, pure and glorious qualities which only lay the ground for achieving four-way reward in one’s life.
जब तें रामु ब्याहि घर आए। नित नव मंगल मोद बधाए।। भुवन चारिदस भूधर भारी। सुकृत मेघ बरषहि सुख बारी।।
रिधि सिधि संपति नदीं सुहाई। उमगि अवध अंबुधि कहुँ आई।। मनिगन पुर नर नारि सुजाती। सुचि अमोल सुंदर सब भाँती।।
कहि न जाइ कछु नगर बिभूती। जनु एतनिअ बिरंचि करतूती।। सब बिधि सब पुर लोग सुखारी। रामचंद मुख चंदु निहारी।।
मुदित मातु सब सखीं सहेली। फलित बिलोकि मनोरथ बेली।। राम रूपु गुनसीलु सुभाऊ। प्रमुदित होइ देखि सुनि राऊ।।
दो0-सब कें उर अभिलाषु अस कहहिं मनाइ महेसु।
आप अछत जुबराज पद रामहि देउ नरेसु।।1।।
In Ayodhya, since the time Shri Ram returned after getting married it had new kind of merry making, afresh celebrations and exchanges of greetings every passing day. In all the fourteen spheres, on the high mountains the clouds of good deeds began to shower the waters of bliss and enjoyment (this means that the marriage of Sita and Ram i e the togetherness of Maya and Brahman is the responsible factor behind the creation of the worlds and the enjoyment and blissfulness emanates only when the proper course of living i e balanced and co-operative existence is adopted). The rivers of sumptuousness, divine accomplishments and wealth thus created flowed in to the ocean like Ayodhya (the abode of Sita and Ram, an equivalent of Ksheer Sagar where Laxmi and Vishnu reside, they become pleased only when righteous living practices are adopted by Jivas).
The citizens of Ayodhya were like precious jewels of high quality, the superior born were of valueless disposition and exuded beauty of every kind i e displayed high character. The riches and grandeur of the city was beyond expression, it seemed that the creator exhausted all his capacity in trying to build a city like this. All of the people in Ayodhya were happy in every way when they looked at the moon like face of Lord Shri Ram, the mothers and their companions and friends were similarly happy finding that the wine of their desires (regarding their sons’ progress, strength, virtues and marriage etc) had borne fruits. The king was happy to notice the virtues of Shri Ram and His attractive persona and decent behavior, when he listened others praising Shri Ram mentioning all these qualities he was happy all the more.
All the citizen were now nursing a secret desire in their hearts and were pleading and appealing Mahesheshwar Shiv for its fulfillment and it was that the king become pleased to grant irrevocable status of Crown Prince of Ayodhya to Shri Ram.
We have now covered up to Doha 1 of Ayodhya Kand in Ramcharit Manas of Tulsidas.
Bhavani Shankar Ki Jai!
Shri Janaki-vallabho Vijayatey!
Sant Sant Samaj ko Pranam!
Goswami Tulsidas Ki Jai!