Sree Rama, Rama, Rameti, Rame, Raame, Manorame
Sahsra Nama tattulyam, Rama Nama Varanane.
MY BELOVED HERO:
The Culture of the Land Of India introduced to me several personalities and Cultural Icons and I tend to develop a relationship with them and each of my relationships exists in a particular context. Shiva is my protector and the Master who guides my intellectual functions. I describe Lord Krishna as my “GURU”, the Guru who guides my actions and I name Prince Karna as my favorite Hero as he is the “Salt of Life.” Rama describes himself in the following words. On the occasion of Princess Seetha’s ordeal by fire at the end of the epic battle, Rama says to Brahma (The Lord of Creation) who appeared there among others:
आत्मानं मानुषं मन्ये रामं दशरथात्मजम् || ६-११७-११
सोऽहं यस्य यतश्चाहं भगवंस्तद्ब्रवीतु मे |
11. manye = I think; aatmaanam = of myself; maanuSham = to be a human being; raamam = called Rama; dasharathaatmajam = the son of Dasaratha; bhagavaan = you; as a gracious Divinity; braviitu = tell; me = me; tat = that; saH aham yasya = which I as such really am; aham yashcha = and why I am like this.
“I think of myself to be a human being, by name Rama, the son of Dasaratha. You, as a gracious Divinity, tell me that which I as such really am like this.”
“I regard myself only as Rama, son of Dasaratha, an ordinary human being. Who I am in reality, where I belong, why I took birth, are matters on which you may enlighten me, and I do not know.”
In the personality of Rama, the course of human conduct and the Dharma governing it come linked together. My love for Rama could be mostly attributed to the story that is revealed in Book II, ‘Ayodhya Kanda’ of Valmiki Ramayana. We should view the events described through imagination and actually experience the emotional state of each character as the story is enacted in front of our eyes. It is claimed that, wherever Rama’s tale is told, Hanuman himself joins the gathering and reverentially stands with tear-filled eyes, listening. This has been my personal experience. Whenever I read the story about this ordinary human being, my eyes fill up with tears. I rechecked my emotions while preparing to write down this entry. When I read Ayodhya Kanda, my eyes can not resist from filling up with tears. For having experienced this emotional connection, I claim that Rama is my Beloved Hero.
My desire to speak about Rama is provided by Rama himself and I did mention about it in the very first entry of my blog posts. I give credit to the Telugu poet Bammera Potana whom I acknowledge as my ‘mentor’. Potana proclaims that he wrote his poems with the help of the creative spirit inspired directly by Rama. My Master Shiva gives the consent to entertain this idea that Rama is my resource for creative writing, my Guru Krishna approves my actions to express my sentimental attachment to Rama, Saraswati gracefully provides the ability to pen my thoughts, Hanuman certifies that my tears are genuine and Ganesha blesses my effort and lets me post this entry.
In the Indian tradition, the Life Journey is described as a perilous and tedious swim without navigational aids and floatation devices across an unknown and uncharted ocean. I stay afloat while I cross this ocean and the name ‘RAMA’ is like a life jacket, a flotation device which would guide me to get to the destination and gives me the hope to reach the shore. I live in a universe which is a reflection of “MAYA.” I find no better way to know the Ultimate Reality. I prefer to cling to the two-letter ‘MANTRA’ of RA-MA. I would just be happy if I could find the way and end up in the company of others who lived before me placing their trust in this Name.
Mother Kaikeyi spoke prophetic words when she said Rama’s dutifulness would bring him glory undying. That glory she said will continue as long as the Himaalaya stands and the waters of Ganga flow and as long as the ocean-waves beat on the solid earth.
May everyone that reads the Chapter XV of Ayodhya Kanda receive by Rama’s grace the strength to bear the sorrows that have to be faced in life.
I would have loved to share these thoughts with my mother and I shed tears reading Rama’s story while remembering her.