Hi,

Ram Charit Manas — Ram : The Almighty God, Charit : His Character : Manas : The Lake / The Spiritual Mind.

  
Today, I would like to share with you, my observations from one of the most inspiring books that mankind has witnessed. It does not propogate any religion or community. What it does is suggest all of us a way to lead an ideal life. People would object to this and it is their right to do so. My humble request to them, Give ramayana a chance. Today, when we have targets to chase, deadlines to meet and infinite expectations to meet and exceed, we forget that this wild chase will remain forever. I still recall my first bicycle and the craze made me drive it from Sarojini Nagar to Nanak Pura (In New Delhi); then a bike, then a car, and now thinking of a bigger car. But what was common to all of them was the law of diminishing marginal utility. They stopped making me happy one day and something replaced their contribution to my happiness. What does that have to do with Ramayana ? Well, this book seems to have lesser or no signs of diminishing marginal returns. Infact, it seems to be inversely proportional….

Coming back to the learnings which exist for all categories, classes and cadres.  The protagonist here, Shri Ramchandra, has been called MARYADA PURUSHOTTAM ( The best among men /  Man of Best Principles). Now, the question you might ask, “He was a king, but we have real important things to do.” Let me tell you that his position as a king made him more accountable than what we have at our offices. We have problems commanding our teams and he commanded humans and monkeys with uttermost ease. How he did that, let us probe.

Bhaye Kumar Jabhin Sab Bhraata, Dinha Janeu Guru Pitu Mata,
Gurugraha gaye padhan raghurayi, Alp Kaal sab vidya aayi.

When the brothers reached adolecence, they were sent to Guru’s Ashram to obtain education and they were fairly quick learners.

Jaaki sahej swas shruti chari, so hari padh yeh koutuk bhari
Vidya Binay Nipun Gun seela, Khelanhi khel sakal nripa leela.
Verse 203 Baalkanda part 2

Vedas were as obvious as breathing to them, but they still learnt them. They excelled in Knowledge, Humanity, Qualities and Calmness. They played games that depicted king’s (Leadership) activities.

Praatkaal uthi ke raghunatha, matu pita guru naaviye maatha.
VERSE 204 Baalkanda, part 4

The verse says, that every morning for him would start with paying respectful greetings to his father, mother and the teacher. After obtaining education, Rama led the role of an obedient child. He would seek permission and then take on several tasks to help people.

During childhood,he was sent to guru’s ashram to obtain education.

Then, came the swyamvar. Rama alongwith Laxman and guru Vashisht went to King Janak’s palace to participate. As anticipated, Rama broke the Shiv Dhanusha with ease. This was a good omen for all but Parshurama. To aggrevate the situation further, Laxman made a series of careless remarks to excite Parshurama further. Lord Rama then took the onus to pacify him and this is how he does that:

Humahi Tumahi Saribari Kaisi Natha, Kahahu Na Kahan Charan Kahan Matha
Raam Matra Laghu Naam Humara, Parsu sahit Badh Naam Tumhara
Dev Eku Gun Dhanush Humare, Nav Guna Param Punit tumhare
Sab prakar hum tumh san Hare, Chamahu Bipra Apraadh Humare.

Lord Rama said, “What comparision my master ? Is there any affinity between the head and the feet ? My name is Rama (Very Small) whereas you are PARSU-Rama (beholder of a bigger name). While I have been blessed only with one quality, dhanusha, you are the master of nine quality which are : Purity, Supreme Knowledge, Faith in God, Tranquility, Restraint, Penance, Straight Forwardness, Knowledge and Forebearance” Being inferior to you in everyway, I seek forgiveness.

This verse is a tremendous lesson for conflict management. Someone as angry as Parsurama, another avatar of God, was pacified. What was required was sheer patience, being honest and being humble. Cotrary to Laxman, who made things worse by inciting Parsurama time and again, Rama, acted upon with politeness and respect. On ocassions like these, many of us choose a path that is easy like Laxman did. And the worst part is that we are not a millionth part of what Laxman was.

Ramayana lays down a great emphasis on the principles of family life.

During Sita’s Vidaai (Farewell) Queen Sunayna said

Kari Binay Siya Ramahi Samarpi Jori Kar Puni Puni Kahe
Bali Jaun Taat Sujaan Tumh Kahun Bidit Gati Sab Ki Ahe
Parivar, Purjan Mohi Rajahi Pranpriya Siya Janib
TulsiSees Seelu Sanehu Lakhi Nij Kinkari Kari Manibi

With humble submission I commit Sita to lord Rama and prayed repeatedly, ” I offer my sacrifice to you, Many you know that Sita is as dear as life to the whole family, the entire population, much more to me and the king. O lord of Tulasi, treat her as your maid-servant, considering her meekness and affection.

Now, the word that excites most of you here might be maid servant. but the meaning of the Maid Servant here means someone who is all commited to you. Underlying Veda’s preachings, she duplicated by insisting that a wife’s prime responsibility is to take care of the family, which starts from her husband, reaches to In-Laws and then the kids. Sita, obviously, would not have been asked to perform mean jobs but still her mother brougt her up in a way to live through any circumstances. Unfortunately, today, comfort is of such a prime importance that divorce has become an easier choice than commitment. And a major reason being the way daughters are being brought up nowadays. Mind you, daughters were as much loved in those days as well, but tolerance was something they were trained upon. But today, the punch line is,” Don’t worry, the moment you feel comfortable, come to us, we are there and will manage.” Moral of the story : Train your daughters as much as you love them.

And mind you Ramayan being a fair book, it suggests the way of keeping daughter-in-laws also:

Badhu Larkini Par Graha AAyeen, Raakhehu Nayan Palak Ki Nayyi.

This verse was said by King Dasarhata to his queens when his sons arrived in Ayodhya after marriage. It says that ,”Our Daughter-In-Laws are very young girls and have come to a stranger’s house. They shall be taken care of, just as the eyelids take care of our eyes.” But unfortunately, the people in the same country are these days known for cruelities on women and episodes of Dowry killing etc are a common sight. Am sure, you must be wondering now if Ramayana had things of this sort !!

The ultimate sacrifice for a mother was highlighted by Laxman’s mother Sumitra

Taat Tumhar maat baidehi, Pita Raam sab Bhanti Sanehi
Awadh Tahan Jahan Raam nivasu
Tahaeen Diwasu Jahn Bhanu Prakasu
Jau Pey Siya Ramu Ban Jaahi
Awadh Tumhar Kaju Kuch Naahi

Sumitra Suggested that Vaidehi (Sita ) is just like your mother and Rama is like your father. Ayodhya is where Rama dwells just as the sunlight being present only where the sum is. If Sita and Rama are going to be in the forests, there is no point of you being here. And it is a matter of good fortune that your heart and soul has taken abode in Rama’s feet.

This verse comes out with two principles, one which is sacrifice. The ultimate sacrifice that a mother makes by sending his son as a caretaker of his half son. And the another highlight here is the way brothers should exists. The elder brother should take care of the youngers like the father does it for their kids. similarly, the younger brother is supposed to obey and respect his elder brother the way he treats his father. Amazing, amazing lesson this. I wish I had a brother, younger or elder🙂

Even while bidding good bye to Rama, Laxman and Sita, King Dasaratha ordered his servants,

Jau Nahin Firahi Dheer Dou Bhai, Satyasandh Dridhbrat Raghurai
Tou tum binay karehu Kar Jori, Feriya prabhu Mithiliskishori
Jab Siya kanan dekhi derai, Kahehu Meri Seekh awasar Paayi

In case, the two princes refuse to return home after three-four days, (Rama being a man of his words) you request them to atleast send Sita back. In case you get a chance, please convey my message to Sita suggesting her father-in-law and mother-in-law want her back. In case, she also doesn’t come, he will die. What concern for a daughter-in-law ? King Dasaratha strongly believed that his son was subjected to all hardships caused by his father, but Sita should be kept away from all discomfort and cruelities.

THE ART OF GETTING WORK DONE:
Chuat sila bhayi nari suhayi, Pahan te na Kaath Kathinayi
Tarniyu Muni Gharni  Hoyi Jayi, Baat Pari mori Naav Udaayi
Ehi Pritpalau Sab Parivaru, Nahi Janeu Kachu aur kabaru
Jou Prabhu par awasi ga chah-hu, mohi pad padum pahavan keh-hu

At your touch, the stone turned into a woman, your feet have great powers. The wood of my boat is softer than the stone so I cannot risk my boat. However, if you wish to cross the river, please allow to to wash your feet before you embark. We have heard of a tribe called Kewat. He was a boatman who used to ferry on the river Ganga. This verse shows us how cleverly Kewat managed to convince Rama to allow him what he wanted. If Kewat, being a tribe could project his desires in a favourable manner, I am sure today’s MBA graduates will not faulter. What is required though, is the commitment to that task. At times, it is how badly we desire a thing, that affects the result. It was kewat’s utter devotion which made it possible for him to accomplish a feat that even the gods are envy of.

THE RELATION BETWEEN THE GOD, SOUL AND MAYA

Aage Rama Lakhan bane Paanche, Tapas Besh Birajat Kaanche
Ubhay Beech Siya Sohati Kaise, Brahm Jeev Bich Maya Jaise

Sri Rama walked in thr front and Laxman followed in the rear. Between both, Sita appeared like MAYA (Divine Energy / Worldly Desires) between the GOD and the SOUL. How true, what lies between the soul (an individual) and the god is Maya. Similarly, she shone like Rohini (Lunar Asterism) between Budha (Mercury) and the Moon.

Ramayan being such a vast source of information, allow me to continue in the coming sessions…..I have covered part of Baal Kanda and parts of Ayodhya Kand till now. Will keep updating while I go through the remaining parts in the near future.