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Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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REMEMBER THE NAME OF RAMA FOR EVER
Photos & report: Sri Rama Navami Celebrations, 27th March 2007,
Embodiments of Love!
Thousands of years have passed since the advent of Treta Yuga, yet even
now everyone; right from children to elderly people remember the name of
Rama. The glory of Rama’s name is such that it has not diminished even a
bit with the passage of time. This truth should be recognised by all. Rama
is the name given to a form, but the name of Rama is not limited to a
form. Atma is Rama, and its true name is Atmarama. Therefore, wherever and
whenever you remember the name Rama, Rama is there with you, in you,
Embodiments of Love!
Rama is one, whether you identify it with the Atma or with the form
installed in your heart. Every year comes the festival of Sri Rama Navami.
But we have not so far understood its true significance. You identify Rama
with a form. But Rama is not limited to any particular form. It is the
name that is latent in your heart. Many changes and variations keep
occurring in the world, but the name of Rama is immutable, is eternal,
unsullied and everlasting. Rama was not an ordinary individual. He was
verily God who incarnated on earth for the welfare of mankind. People call
God by many names like Rama, Krishna, Easwara and Mahadeva. They are all
the names of one God. You should recognise the glory of this name. Sage
Vasishtha said, “Ramo Vigrahavan Dharma” (Rama is the personification of
Dharma). Dharma itself incarnated in the form of Rama. You should follow
Dharma. Which Dharma should you follow? Do not follow the Dharma
associated with your mind. Follow the principle of Dharma which comes from
Sita became the consort of Rama who was the personification of Dharma.
Wherefrom did Sita take birth? Sita was born out of the womb of the earth.
When King Janaka was ploughing a field in the process of the performance
of a Yajna, he found a box in it. When the box was opened, a small baby
was found in it. Considering this as the boon of God, he took the baby
home and brought it up with great care and affection. This baby was given
the name Sita. Since she was the daughter of the King of Videha, she was
also called Vaidehi. This name had great significance since it meant one
who transcended the illusion caused by body attachment.
Once Sita was playing a game of ball with her companions in her house.
There was a big box in the house of Janaka, which contained a huge bow. As
her playmates were playing with the ball, the ball went under the box. It
was not possible for anyone to move this box. Sita went there and put it
aside with her left hand. Seeing that act of Sita, King Janaka decided
that very day that Sita’s power should be made known to the world.
Thereafter he organised a Yajna and made a declaration: “Whoever strings
the bow of Lord Siva, I will give my daughter Sita in marriage to him.”
Kings of many countries came there. All of them thought it was a great
good fortune to marry Sita and to become the son-in-law of King Janaka.
They came one after the other and tried to lift the bow but all of them
failed in their attempt. In that assembly, Rama and Lakshmana were also
present accompanied by Sage Viswamitra. As per the direction of the sage,
Rama went forward. Rama walked with great humility to the delight of one
and all. His speech, His actions and His demeanour was full of sweetness.
He went near the bow, lifted it with His left hand and bent. It broke with
a thundering sound. Everybody expressed their happiness with a loud
applause. People thought it would be very difficult to lift the bow; but
what is difficult for Rama? His mere Sankalpa (Will) could do any
stupendous task. Viswamitra went near Rama and said, “Rama! Today You have
demonstrated Your divine power. Certainly it is not a human power. It is
Everyone praised Rama and started garlanding Him. Then King Janaka brought
his daughter Sita. As she came, Rama did not even look in the direction
from where she was coming. Why? He did not want to look at her without the
command of His parents.
King Janaka conveyed the good news to King Dasaratha at Ayodhya. He
requested all of them to come after deciding the Muhurtham (auspicious
time) of the marriage. He said, “Your son has achieved success in the
competition organised by me. Therefore, all of you are requested to come
prepared to celebrate the marriage of Sita with Rama.”
Welcome to all for Rama’s wedding;
together we shall witness the joyous scene.
Many have gathered already,
decked up in all their finery.
With necklaces the ladies are adorned
of jewels pure and gleaming.
Rama shall tie the knot today
to beauteous Sita, oh what a fine match they make.
The women of the Kingdom came to participate in the wedding and joyfully
sang the song:
Come let us go and see the marriage of Rama and Sita,
The sight shall confer great merit.
Blessed are those who see this scene.
Oh come one and all, watch with joy the sacred marriage. (Telugu Song)
In this manner when the women came from one direction, men came from
another direction singing joyfully, “Come, let us go and see the
marriage.” Dasaratha along with his queens and his sons Bharata and
Satrughna and his ministers arrived in Mithila with great enthusiasm. It
appeared as though the entire Ayodhya had come to Mithila. King Janaka
extended a royal welcome to them with great honour.
The name of the second daughter of King Janaka was Urmila. His younger
brother had two daughters, namely Mandavi and Srutakeerthi. It was decided
to give Urmila to Lakshmana, Mandavi to Bharata and Srutakeerthi to
Satrughna in marriage. Everyone was happy that all the four pairs were
going to be married at the same time.
When everyone was seated in their respective places, the marriage ceremony
started. Sita, Urmila, Mandavi and Srutakeerthi stood in front of Rama,
Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna respectively. First Sita put the garland
around the neck of Rama. Thereafter, the other three brides garlanded
their respective bridegrooms. All the people joyfully hailed the occasion.
It is not possible to describe the leelas and glories of Rama. After the
marriage function, all left for Ayodhya. On the way they heard a deafening
sound. When they looked around to find where the sound had come from, they
were confronted with Parasurama in his fierce form. All of them were
perturbed to think, “What is this great hurdle after the glorious
celebration of the marriages?” Good and bad always follow each other.
After experiencing great joy in Mithila, they were confronted with a great
difficulty on their way to Ayodhya. Dasaratha and others became
fear-stricken. Parasurama came forward and asked, “Who has broken the
bow?” “It is I who has done it,” said Rama.
“If that is so, let us see if you can break my bow,” saying so he gave his
bow in the hands of Rama. Rama broke even that bow with his left hand.
Seeing that Parasurama offered his salutations to Lord Rama and went away.
Experiencing the joy of victory, all of them returned to Ayodhya and
participated in the festivities held in Ayodhya with great joy and
enthusiasm. The people celebrated functions with great joy to propagate
the power of Rama and the devotion of Sita to the world.
Manthara became jealous to see all those festivities. You can find people
like Manthara everywhere. Manthara became very angry when King Dasaratha
decided to crown Rama instead of the son of Kaikeyi; she started poisoning
the mind of Kaikeyi by fabricating many false stories against Rama.
Hearing this evil talk of Manthara, the mind of Kaikeyi changed. Though a
queen, she was influenced by the words of her servant and became
responsible for the exile of Rama. Afterwards she repented, realising it
was the conspiracy of Manthara. In reality Kaikeyi loved Rama very much.
It was Kaikeyi who taught many things to Rama. Rama also loved Kaikeyi
more than his mother Kausalya.
Manthara pleaded with Kaikeyi: “Mother! I am your servant. From your very
birth, I have nursed you and brought you up. Kindly fulfil a desire of
mine. King Dasartha has decided to crown Rama. But as per the promise
given to you earlier, he should crown Bharata. Rama should be sent to
exile for fourteen years.”
Both Sita and Rama were ready for the coronation wearing yellow coloured
silk clothes. All were waiting in the royal court to extend welcome to
them. Meanwhile, Rama went to mother Kausalya and said, “Oh mother! I am
going to forest. Kindly permit Me.” Then Kausalya asked, “Why my dear one!
Why do you want to go the forest now, as this is the time of Your
coronation.” Rama said, “Mother! It is the command of My father that I
should stay in exile in the forest for fourteen years; I have to uphold
the promise made by My father,” saying thus, He saluted His mother and
went to meet Sumitra.
Sumitra was the second wife of Dasaratha. Prior to his marriage with
Sumitra, Dasaratha sought the consent of Kausalya. Kausalya replied, “Our
Kingdom needs an heir, isn’t it? Hence, you may marry a woman of your
choice. I will also participate in the marriage.” Dasaratha was very happy
and pleasantly surprised. Such women are also there in the world who go by
the wishes of their husbands!
Sumitra was one of great virtues. True to her name “Su-mitra” (good
friend), she was the friend of all. She went to Kausalya and spoke words
of great encouragement. “Dear elder sister! Why should you worry? What do
you think of Rama? He is Lord Narayana Himself. How does it matter to Him
whether He is in Ayodhya, or in a forest? Wherever He is, He is always
with us. For Rama, Ayodhya and Aranya (forest) are one and the same.”
Kausalya was somewhat comforted to hear the words of Sumitra. Her mind
also became peaceful. Sumitra added, “Dear elder sister, two sons were
born to me, while both you and Kaikeyi gave birth to one son each. Do you
know why? The reason is that both my sons will have the opportunity to
serve their elders brothers; Lakshmana will serve Rama, and Satrughna
Bharata. Therefore, pay attention to my resolve. Lakshmana will go to
forest with Rama and will protect Rama as the eyelids protect the eyes.
Therefore, do not have any fear.
Before proceeding to the forest, Lakshmana went to meet his wife Urmila.
So far she had not come to know that Rama, Lakshmana and Sita were going
to the forest. Sitting in her room, she was absorbed in painting the scene
of the coronation of Rama and Sita. At that time, Lakshmana went there and
called “Urmila” to draw her attention. “Yes, Swami”, said she, getting up
suddenly from her seat. As she got up, by mistake the paint got spilled on
the painted picture. Distressed at this happening, she exclaimed, “Oh! A
beautifully painted picture is spoiled.” Then Lakshmana said, “Urmila!
Here, you are worrying that the picture is spoiled. There, Kaikeyi has
spoiled the coronation of Sri Rama which could bring about immense good to
others.” Lakshmana then informed her that he was going to forest with
Rama. Frightened at the news of Rama going to the forest, she asked
Lakshmana, “What do you mean by saying, Rama is going to the forest? A few
moments from now He is going to be crowned. Is it not so?” Then Lakshmana
apprised her of all that had happened. As she was endowed with a great
spirit of sacrifice, she was not at all perturbed by the thought of
separation from her husband. Overjoyed at the thought of her husband
getting the opportunity to serve Rama and Sita, she said to Lakshmana,
“Sanctify your time by serving Rama and Sita. Very few have such a great
fortune. Go happily.” Saying this, she bade farewell to Lakshmana.
Cautioning her daughter about the dangers of the forest, Janaka asked
Sita, “Sita! You are going to forest with Rama. Many fierce animals roam
about in the forest and frightening sounds are also heard there. Can you
bear all this without getting frightened?” Sita replied, “Where is the
scope for any fear of animals when Rama, a lion in the human form is there
with me? Rama is Lord Narayana Himself. Therefore, I have nothing to
fear.” In this manner, Sita, Rama and Lakshmana put at rest the fears of
everyone and proceeded to the forest. In the forest, Lakshmana protected
Rama and Sita with great care and engaged himself in their service.
After killing Ravana, when Rama returned to Ayodhya along with Sita, the
people of Ayodhya welcomed them enthusiastically hailing their return with
great festivity, “Rama has come. Mother Sita has come. Ayodhya is shining
in the effulgence of their glory. This is a great day for Ayodhya.” There
were many great celebrations on their return to Ayodhya and the people
were overjoyed to see Rama and Sita whom they revered as Lord Narayana and
Sita counselled Rama, “Transform this kingdom into a kingdom of joy where
everybody can lead their life happily. Even today people in every village,
every house and every hut of Bharat worship Rama. It is a common practice
among the people of Bharat to name their children as Rama and Sita. There
is no change in the name of Rama and Sita even after the passage of
thousands of years. The glory of these names is eternal and immutable.
There have been wars in many countries, but not in Bharat. People may
fight with each other due to their personal differences, but no war was
fought in this country. Not only that, there will never be any war in
Bharat. It is Rama Rajya. It is the land of peace. It is the land of love.
This land of Bharat has given birth to many noble women like Savitri who
brought her dead husband back to life; Chandramati who extinguished wild
fire with the power of truth; Sita who proved her chastity by coming out
of blazing fire unscathed and Damayanti who reduced an evil-minded hunter
to ashes with the power of her chastity. This land of piety and nobility
attained plenty and prosperity and became the teacher of all the nations
of the world because of such women of chastity.
Such great women took birth in the land of Bharat. Therefore, every day in
Bharat is a festival and an occasion for celebration. You know, when a
man’s wife dies he immediately makes efforts to marry again. But the women
of Bharat are not like that. Bharat is befittingly called the teacher of
the world. In this sacred land, Lord Narayana incarnated and redeemed the
life of the people by showing them His divine play and divine glory.
Every individual is the image of the Atma. The same truth was propounded
by Krishna: Mamaivamsho Jivaloke Jivabhuta Sanathana (the eternal Atma in
all beings is a part of My Being). All of you are the embodiments of the
Atma. You may be having different names, but the Atmarama in all of you is
the same. Therefore, do not think Rama is somewhere else. Your heart
itself is the temple of Rama. Therefore, constantly contemplate on Rama
who is immanent in your heart. Rama is there with you, in you, around you
not only in your waking state, but also in the dream and deep sleep state
also. He is eternally with you. Rama is not limited to a particular form.
He assumes innumerable forms. Though the forms are many but Divinity in
them is one. Therefore, whomsoever you see, offer your salutations to him,
considering him as the form of Rama. Now Swami is being extolled as Sai
Rama and Sai Krishna as He embodies the same principles of Dharma
(righteousness), Prema (love) and Santhi (peace) which Lord Rama and Lord
Rama is immanent in everyone; Easwara is present in all; Rama is within
you. In fact, you yourself are Rama. Establish this truth in your heart
firmly and spend your time profitably. Then your life will be filled with
everlasting bliss. Constantly recite the name of Rama.
Aeons have passed, yet the name of Rama has not been forgotten. Rama is
not separate from you. You are not separate from Rama. You may call a
person by his name, but it is Rama who is present in him. You may call Him
Sai Rama, Sita Rama or Ayodhya Rama or any other name, but do remember
(Divine Discourse delivered on the morning of 27th Mar 2007 at Prasanthi
Nilayam on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami)