Ramayana, is one of the oldest Epic. I find peace studying it, the peace that I can not explain, I guess it has connections with my upbringing, but its always been my source of inspiration. The essence of Ramayana is not only in Lord Rama killing Ravana, its a lot more. Its about Love, truth, hardships, devotion, struggle, values, courage, patience and lot more. Its more than just a story. Its an institution, that teaches as every aspect of life.
The essence of Ramayana, lies in understanding what it tries to teach us, implementing it in our day to day life. That’s why it is followed religiously. Whatever your situation might be you will found an example from the Ramayana.
Every person plays several roles in his/her life, be as a kid, parent , student, teacher and etc. Ramayana , discusses the importance of each role, Be it that of a King, A father, a son or whatever role you found yourself in, you will find an answer from the great epic. Some day later I will discuss each role and how it has influenced me and my life. What i have learned from the great Epic.
The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 20 August and 15 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).
Legend From Shiv Purana
The most popular legend associated with Lord Ganesha can be found in the Shiv Purana. It says that Lord Ganapati was created out of the dough that Goddess Parvati used for her bath. The Goddess wanted a door-keeper, to prevent the coming of any visitors when she took a bath. So, she created a doll from the dough and breathed life into him. The day she did this came to be known as the birthday of Lord Ganesha, which we today celebrate as Ganesh Chaturthi.
On day, while Goddess Parvati was taking her bath, Lord Shiva happened to visit her. Ganesha did not know him, so he did not allow the Lord to enter the house. This made Lord Shiva angry and he beheaded Ganesha. Later, when he came to know the truth, he fixed the head of an elephant in place of Ganesha’s head. With this, the appearance of Lord Ganesha changed and he came to have the head of an elephant.
Legend From Skanda Purana
There is yet another popular legend associated with Ganesh Chaturthi, arising from Skanda Purana. It goes that once Ganesha was invited for a feast in Chandralok. He ate many Ladoos and later, as he got up to walk after the meal, he could not balance himself, because of his huge stomach, and slipped. His stomach burst and all the laddoos came rolling out. Seeing this, the moon could not control himself and began laughing. Ganesha got angry and cursed the moon that it will vanish from the universe.
Because of moon’s absence, the whole world began to wane. The gods asked Lord Shiva to get Ganesha to change his mind. The moon also apologized for his misbehavior. Finally, Ganesha modified his curse saying that the moon would be invisible on only one day of a month and would be partially seen on Ganesha Chaturthi. He also added that anyone who watches moon on Ganesha Chaturthi would face a false accusation. This is the reason why, even today, it is considered inauspicious to look at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi.
The traditional form of greeting in India is based on a profound philosophy of non-arrogance or negation of ego.
NAMASKAR is made of three words:
NAMAH + OM + KAR = NAMASKAR
NAMAH literally translated means NOT ME. It is a negation of one’s identity and hence of one’s ego or arrogance.
OM is the sound of life. It is believed that to begin with there was only the sound of OM and the whole world evolved from it. OM is used often in meditation. The whole cosmos is summed up in word OM.
KAR means shape/form of or manifestation of. OMKAR hence means manifestation of OM. OMKAR means the whole of UNIVERSE / COSMOS. The totality of the Universe is like a System taken as a whole without dividing it into divisions and sub-divisions. OMKAR can be called by various names such as BRAHMA, SHIVA etc. In a way, OMKAR is similar but not identical to GOD. OMKAR is omnipresent and omnipotent. Though OMKAR may take a human form but OMKAR is not necessarily human.
The above interpretation of NAMASKAR as NAMAH + OMKAR has been questioned by some experts on the ground that the disappearance of the sound of O is inexplicable. Grammatically speaking, the objection seems tenable, even though the above interpretation is popularly accepted. In view of this objection, the following interpretation is proposed.
NAMASKAR is made of three words:
NAM + AS + KAR = NAMASKAR
NAM is the root form of NAMAH and has the same meaning as NAMAH – NOT ME.
AS means “To Be” or “To Exist”. Another word derived from the same root is Astitva which means existence.
KAR means doer or one who makes or creates. For example, KAR can be seen in the words Kalakar, Chitrakar, Karmkar, Charmkar. In the above words, the suffix kar leads to the meaning of one who creates art or painting or work or leather.
ASKAR would hence mean the the creator of all that exists or the one who causes the property of being or existence.
NAMASTE is also used as a greeting.
Namaste is made of two words: NAMAH + TE = NAMASTE
In Sanskrit, Te means they. The literal meaning of NAMASTE hence is “Not me, they”. The word they refers to all the Gods. NAMASTE is hence a philosophical statement affirming that the doer of everything is not me but the Gods.
In Oriental culture a greeting is an affirmation of one’s belief and is a recitation of the name of the Lord, as one sees Him. The utterance of the name of the Lord is said to be sufficient to make the day / morning / evening good for both the persons – the person conveying greetings and the person receiving greetings. Some examples are as follows:
RAM-RAM or JAI SHRI KRISHNA or HARE KRISHNA or JAI SHRI RAM or JAI SIYA RAM are some of the common greetings in Hindus. All of them have name of a deity and either proclaim the victory of the said deity or declare the said deity to be GOD.
Sikhs say SAT SHRI AKAL, which means that Truth is the God and is timeless. Sikhs also say WAHE GURUJI KA KHALSA, WAHE GURUJI KI FATEH. This is a declaration that the ultimate victory will be of the Guru and his followers.
Muslims say KHUDA HAFIZ, which means Khuda is the Protector.
In all the above Oriental Greetings, persons exchanging greetings, invoke a principle or thought or belief, which forms a bondage between the persons. In no case, does one make a direct wish to the other. Both persons start with a common premise which is generally a negation of their own egos and identities. Their individual egos and identities are submerged in the identity of Larger than Life Reality which both persons accept as sacred. Being a part of the same larger than Life Reality, gives a sense of oneness and is the beginning of a harmonious relationship.
While wishing you NAMASKAR, Samarth Bharat proclaims a complete absence of arrogance. We accept that we are virtually nobodies while the Cosmos is the Ultimate Being. We see ourself in mathematical terms as “Limit tending to Zero” while the Cosmos is all pervading and is infinite. We see ourself as a part of this Infinite. The reality is this infinity and role of each one of us is only a small beep on this time-space continuum.
sri guru carana saroj raja nija mana mukura sudhar,
varanaun raghuvara vimala yasa, yo dayaka phala chara
“Having cleaned the mirror of my mind with the dust from the lotus feet of my Guru, I sing the pure glories of Lord Ramachandra, who bestows the four fruits of life: religion, wealth, pleasure and liberation.”
buddhina tanu janike sumiraun pavana kumara,
bala buddhi vidya dehu mohin, harau klesa vikara
“As I know I am an ignorant fool, I meditate on the Son of Wind, Hanuman, and pray him to give me strength, wisdom and knowledge, purifying me from all defects and bad things.”
siyavara ramachandra ki jaya,
pavanasuta hanumana ki jaya,
umapati mahadeva ki jaya
“All glories to Mother Sita, all glories to Lord Ramachandra, all glories to the Son of the Wind, Hanuman, all glories to Lord Shiva, consort of Parvati.”
jaya hanumana jnana guna sagara, jaya kapisa tihun loka ujagara,
rama duta atulita bala dhama, anjani putra pavana suta nama
“Glory to Hanuman, ocean of knowledge and good qualities. Glory to the lord of the Vanaras. His fame echoes through the three worlds. Glory to the divine messenger and servant of Sri Rama! He is known as Pavana Suta, son of the Wind and Mother Anjana, and his prowess is invincible.”
mahavira vikrama bajarangi kumati nivara sumati ke sangi,
kanchana varana viraja suvesa, kanana kundala kunchita kesa
“O Hanuman, you have unlimited courage and strength, you destroy ignorance and grant wisdom. Your complexion is golden, your hair is curly and you wear ear-rings.”
hatha bajur aru dhvaja virajai, kandhe munja janeu sajai,
sankara suvana kesari nandana, tej pratapa maha jaga vandana
“In one hand you hold the divine Vajra weapon, in the other you have the flag with your emblem. Your shoulder is decorated with the holy thread. You are the son of Lord Shiva and Mother Keshari. Your great prowess is famous all over the world.”
vidyavan guni ati chatur, rama kaja karive ko atur,
prabhu charitra sunive ko rasiya, rama lakshmana sita mana basiya
“You have the greatest wealth of divine knowledge. You are virtuous and intelligent, always ready to serve Lord Rama, and your greatest pleasure is listening to His glories. Rama, Laksmana and Sita always reside in your heart.”
suksma rupa dhari siyahin dikhava, vikata rupa dhari lanka jarava,
bhima rupa dhari asura sanhare, ramachandra ke kaja sanvare
“You appeared before Sita in a very small form, but you burned Lanka with a terrifying form and a killed the demons with a gigantic form. In this way you always serve Lord Rama.”
lae sanjivana lakhan jiyaye sri raghuvira harshi ura laye,
raghupati kinhi bahuta badai, tum mama priya bharatai sama bhai
“You brought the medicinal herb to revive Lakshmana, and overcome with joy Rama embraced you and glorified you, saying that He loves you as much as He loves His own brother Bharata.”
sahasa vadana tumharo yasa gaven, asa kahi sripati kantha lagaven,
sanakadika brahmadi munisa narada sarada sahita ahisa
“Sesanaga with his thousands mouths is singing your glories: with these words, Rama embraced you. Even the Kumaras, Narada, Sarasvati cannot complete describe your glories.”
yama kuvera digapala jahante kavi kovida kahi saken kahante,
tuma upakara sugrivahin kinha rama milaya raja pada dinha
“Even Yama, Kuvera, the lords of the directions, poets and sages are incapable of fully describing your glories. You introduced Rama to Sugriva, causing him to become the king of the Vanaras.”
tumharo mantra vibhisana mana lankesvara bhae saba jaga jana,
yuga sahasra yojana para bhanu, lilyo tahi madhura phala janun
“By following your advice, Vibhisana became the king of Lanka: everyone knows this. You grabbed the sun, millions of kilometers away in the sky, taking it for a ripe fruit.”
prabhu mudrika meli mukha mahin jaldi landi gaye acaraja nahin,
durgama kaja jagata ke jete, sugama anugraha tumhare te te
“You crossed the ocean keeping Rama’s ring in your mouth as a token for Sita. You could perform such a miraculous task because with your grace even impossible tasks become possible and even easy.”
rama duare tuma rakhavere hot na ajna vinu paisare,
saba sukha lahai tumhari sarana, tuma raksaka kahu ko darana
“You always guard the door of Sri Rama, and without your permission no one can enter. By taking shelter in you, all the joys of life are obtained, and one under your protection has nothing to fear.”
apana teja samharo ape tinon loka hankate kanpe,
bhuta pisacha nikata nahin ave, mahavira japa nama sunave
“Your radiance is supreme, and the three worlds tremble when you move. You are the supreme brahmachari, conserving your energy. By repeating the name of Hanuman, all the ghosts and demons are chased away.”
nashai roga harai saba pira, japata nirantara hanumata vira,
sankata se hanumana churavai, mana rama vachana dhyana jo lavai
“All diseases and sufferings are destroyed by the constant repetition of the name of Hanuman. One who meditates on him with his mind, heart and activities is saved from all difficulties.”
saba para rama tapasvi raja tina ke kaja sakala tuma saja,
aur manoratha jo koi lavai soy amita jivana phala pavain
“Rama is the Lord of yoga, and all your actions are dedicated to Him. By your grace, all desires are granted.”
charon yuga paratapa tumhara, hai parasiddhi jagata uyjiara,
sadhu santa ke tum rakhavare, asura nikandana rama dulare
“In all times, you are famous for your prowess and talents, your glories are spread all over the universe. You protect the devotees and the sages, you destroy the demons, and you are Rama’s beloved.”
asta siddhi nava nidhi ke data, asa vara dina janaki mata,
rama rasayana tumhare pasa, sada raho raghupati ke dasa
“Mother Sita blessed you with the power to grant the eight spiritual perfections and the nine material prosperities, and Sri Rama gave you the power to heal. You are always His humble servant.”
tumhare bhajana rama ko pavai janma janma ke dukha visravai,
anta kale raghupati pura jay, jahan janmen hari bhakta kahai
“By meditating on you, one reaches Lord Rama, and eliminates the sufferings of many lifetimes. After death, your devotee will reach the abode of Rama, where he will always be a devotee of the Lord.”
aur devata chitta na dharai, hanumata sei sarva sukha karai,
sankata harai mitai saba pira, jo sumire hanumata balavira
“The other Devas do not care for the sufferings of the human beings: only Hanuman is the source of all joys, and by remembering him all sufferings disappear.”
jaya jaya jaya hanumana gosain, kripa karau gurudeva ki nain,
yah satavara patha kara jaya chhutahin band maha sukha hoy
“Victory and glory to lord Hanuman! O divine Guru, bless us with your grace. By repeating this mantra one hundred times, one is liberated by all problems and obtains unlimited happiness.”
jo yaha parhai hanumana chalisa haya siddhi sakhi gaurisha,
tulasidasa sada harichera kije natha hridaya mahana dera
“One who repeats this song with the glories of lord Hanuman obtains all the spiritual perfections. Tulasidasa, the eternal servant of the Lord, gives this promise in the name of Mahadeva, the lord of Gauri. O lord, may you always reside in my heart.”
pavanatanaya sankata harana mangala murti rupa,
rama laskmana sita sahita hridaya basahu sura bhupa
“O Son of the Wind, you destroy all difficulties. Your form is all auspicious, and you always reside in my heart together with Rama, Laksmana and Sita.”
siyavara ramachandra ki jaya,
pavana suta hanumana ki jaya,
umapati mahadeva ki jaya
“Glories to Sita Rama, glories to lord Hanuman, son of the wind, and glory to Shiva Mahadeva, husband of Uma!”
Tatra tatra kritha masthakanjalim;
Bhaspavaari paripurna lochanam;
Maarutim namata raakshasanthakam