|SALUTATIONS to Lord
Rama, an Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who is
measureless, who is of the nature of pure.
Consciousness and bliss, who is the consort of
Sita, Master of Sri Hanuman, and the Lord of the
three worlds, who took His birth at His own will
in order to establish righteousness, destroy the
wicked and protect His devotees.
the birthday of Lord Rama falls on the 9th day of
the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra
(March-April). Rama was the Lord Hari Himself,
incarnate on earth for the destruction of Ravana.
He was well accomplished, beautiful and endowed
with royal marks. His glory and prowess were
unlimited. He was peerless on earth. He was free
from malice. He was gentle. He was the protector
of all His people. He always addressed them in
gentle words. He never used any harsh words even
when somebody provoked Him. He held sway over the
Let Sri Rama be your ideal. Ideals are
remembered and adored for the purpose of adopting
them in your own life. The Ramnavmi celebration
or the Vasanta Navaratri every year is an
opportune period for us to saturate ourselves
with the spirit of Lord Rama. We love and adore
our ideals because we express thereby our
yearning to unite with them. In our worship of
God it is implied that we should be virtuous,
good and perfect even as God is. Hence the wise
instruction: "One should become divine in
order to be able to worship God". One cannot
be a real worshipper of Lord Rama unless one
makes an honest attempt to grow in the virtues
that the Lord represents. On the other hand,
worship of Lord Rama is itself the surest means
to develop such virtues.
One who approaches Sri Rama with love and
worshipfulness becomes large-hearted, pure in
spirit, good-natured and dispassionate in
thought, word and deed. A true devotee of Lord
Rama is His representative, with His power and
Lord Rama was the prince of the Ikshvaku race.
He was virtuous and of manly strength. He was the
Lord of the mind and the senses. Brave and
valiant, He was yet gentle and modest. He was a
sage in counsel, kind and sweet in speech, and
most courteous and handsome in appearance. He was
the master of all the divine weapons, and a great
warrior. Ever devoted to the good and prosperity
of His kingdom and His subjects, He was a
defender of the weak and the protector of the
righteous. Endowed with numerous wondrous powers
of the mind, He was well versed in all
sciences--in military science as well as the
science of the Self.
Deep and unfathomed like the ocean, firm and
steadfast like the Himalayan mountains, valiant
like Lord Vishnu, He was the joy of Kaushalya.
Though fierce like fire on the battlefield, He
was calm like the cool breeze of the Mandara
Hills, patient like Mother Earth, bounteous like
the god of wealth and righteous like the lord of
justice himself. In the pains and the griefs of
His people, His heart swiftly sympathised with
the sufferers. In the festive scenes which held
them in joy, He like a father, shared their joys.
By His honour and heroism, as well as by His
gentleness and love for His subjects, He greatly
endeared Himself to the hearts of His people.
Such a great person was the Lord Rama!
Lord Rama was the best of men with a sterling
character. He was the very image of love. He was
an ideal son, an ideal brother, an ideal husband,
an ideal friend and an ideal king. He can be
taken to embody all the highest ideals of man. He
led the ideal life of a householder to teach the
tenets of righteousness to humanity. He ruled His
people so well that it came to be known as
Ram-Rajya, which meant the rule of righteousness,
the rule which bestows happiness and prosperity
The noblest lesson embodied in the Ramayana is
the supreme importance of righteousness in the
life of every human being. Righteousness is the
spiritual spark of life. Cultivation of
righteousness is the process of unfoldment of the
latent divinity in man. The glorious incarnation
of the Supreme Being in the form of Lord Rama has
exemplified the path of righteousness. Let
mankind follow His footsteps and practise the
ideals cherished by Him, for it is only thus that
there can be everlasting peace, prosperity and
welfare in this world.
None but the righteous can be truly happy.
None but he who has the correct sense of duty and
the will for its implementation can be said to
live worthily. One must be imbued with a definite
conviction about the supremacy of moral
principles, ethical values and spiritual ideals.
These ought to guide one's day-to-day actions and
serve as powerful means for the culture of the
human personality. That is the purpose of life.
That is the way to Self-realisation. That is the
message and the mission of Lord Rama's fife on
To a devotee, Sri Rama is not simply a good
and a great person, but God Himself. Rama was the
son of King Dasaratha of Ayodhya, but He is also
the divine omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient
God. The destruction of the ten-headed Ravana
signifies the annihilation of the mind or the ten
senses. Worship of Lord Rama is worship of the
all-pervading Godhead Himself. Read the prayers
offered by Mandothari and Brahma in the Yuddha
Kanda of the Ramayana. They refer to Rama as the
one Creator of the universe, the God of all, the
Ruler of the universe.
Devotion to God is not a simple emotion. It is
the result of intense dispassion and purity of
heart and attitude. You should strive your utmost
to possess the good qualities that are extolled
in the Ramayana and exemplified in the life of
Lord Rama. Otherwise, emotion may rise up in you
temporarily to a kind of ecstasy, but you will
not experience divine consciousness thereby.
Devotion is a fruit which ripens gradually
through the processes of self-restraint and
virtue. Without intense dispassion there can be
no real Sadhana for Self-realisation. Only after
detachment from the world of things, is it
possible to attain the Supreme Godhead. Remember
Devotion has absolutely nothing to do with
age, caste, creed, position or sex. Generally,
the worldly-minded people say: "We will
practise meditation and devotion when we retire
from service." This is a serious mistake.
How can you do serious Sadhana after squeezing
out all your energy in working? How will you be
able to practise the strict Yogic discipline in
your old age? Is there any certainty in life? No,
the spiritual seeds of discipline and devotion
must be sown in you while you are young, while
your heart is tender and untainted. Then only
will it strike a deep root, blossom forth and
bear fruit when you become old and retire. Only
then can you bravely face the god of death and
meet him with a smile!
I shall tell you the means of attaining the
final release from the great cycle of births and
deaths. Devotion to Lord Rama is a great purifier
of the heart. From devotion arises knowledge.
From knowledge comes the realisation of the pure
Self. Knowing this perfectly, one goes to the
Supreme Abode and merges in the Supreme Self.
Without first developing devotion to Rama who
is the Self, who lives in the hearts of all
beings, who is all bliss and who is peerless, how
can man cross the ocean of worldly life which has
sorrow, pain and misery for its waves?
Do thou therefore worship Lord Rama who is
Vishnu and the consort of Sita who is Lakshmi.
Abandon all foolishness and enmity. Take to the
service of Lord Rama.
The Lord is extremely fond of those who have
surrendered themselves to Him. He has given this
promise in the Ramayana: "To anyone who once
takes shelter under Me and solicits 'I am Thine',
I bestow fearlessness from all beings. This is My
Even a great sinner who is full of evil
qualities and who is fond of other people's
wealth, is freed from all kinds of faults that
pertain to worldly life if only he remembers the
Lord always. He attains purity and goes to the
supreme abode of the Lord.
The Name of Lord Rama is the greatest purifier
of the heart. It wipes away all one's sins. Not
only this, but it wipes away the sinful
tendencies as well. The Name is sweeter than the
sweetest of objects. It is the haven of peace. It
is the very life of pure souls. It is the
purifier of all purifying agencies. It quenches
the consuming fire of worldly desires. It awakens
the knowledge of God. It bathes the aspirant in
the, ocean of divine bliss. Glory to Sri Rama and
O Devotee! recite His Name, sing His glory and
serve His Lotus Feet. Enthrone in your heart Lord
Rama of dark hue, whose image is reflected in the
heart of Lord Shiva. Blessed is the pious soul
who uninterruptedly drinks the nectar of Sri
Rama's Name which has been churned out of the
ocean of the Vedas, which removes the impurities
of the Kali Yuga or the iron age, which lives
constantly on the lips of Lord Shiva, which is a
sovereign remedy or unfailing specific to cure
the disease of worldly existence and which is the
life of Mother Sita.
Ram-Nam burns ignorance, passion and sin. With
or without knowledge, correctly or incorrectly,
when the word "Rama" is pronounced it
showers a rain of good upon the devotee. Sri Rama
is Brahman who takes one across the ocean of
worldly existence. Rama is one in across whom the
Yogis sport, that is, the Self within.
Lord Shiva tells His consort Parvati:
"This Ram-Nam is equal to the Lord's
thousand Names, or repetition of the Mantra a
I call this the anti-gossip tonic. When you
find that you are wasting your time in gossip,
repeat His Name several times. You can make up
for the time lost, and the mind will be slowly
weaned away from the habit of gossiping.
Sri Rama is also a wish-fulfilling tree. He
will bestow upon you whatever you want! Just read
what Lord Shiva further says:
"The seat of all good things, the
destroyer of all impurities of this age of
darkness, purer than purity itself, the food
for the journey of aspirants on the path to
salvation, their only resting place, the very
life-breath of virtuous men, is the Divine
Name of Sri Rama. So say the sages".
On the auspicious Ramnavmi day take a firm
resolve that you will repeat Ram-Nam with every
breath and that you will endeavour to lead a
Ramnavmi is one of the most important
festivals of the Vaishnava sect of the Hindus.
However, even those who adore Lord Shiva
celebrate the occasion. Some observe a strict
fast on the day. Temples are decorated and the
image of Lord Rama is richly adorned. The holy
Ramayana is read in the temples. At Ayodhya, the
birthplace of Sri Rama, a big fair is held on
In South India the Sri Ramnavmi Utsavam is
celebrated for nine days with great fervour and
devotion. Those talented in the art of
story-telling narrate the thrilling episodes of
the Ramayana. The Kirtanists chant the holy Name
of Rama and celebrate the wedding of Rama with
Sita on this great day. It is an extremely
colourful ceremony, highly inspiring and