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Offline JR

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  • सांई की मीरा
    • Sai Baba
« on: February 19, 2007, 07:42:12 AM »
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  • The spirit of war and the love for celebrating festivals are in the human blood. The wars and festivals will therefore continue so long as the human race exists. Politicians and leaders of the nations will break their heads over the causes and effects of war; but we, the common people, will be interested only in the festivals and the reli¬gious minded people will be interested more in the religious festivals than in the social ones.

    On 1-4-74 we celebrated the birthday of Rama (Ramnavami) and on 6-4-74 we celebrated the birthday of Hanuman. Both Rama and Hanuman are very popular Gods, and both have got innumer¬able devotees throughout India and abroad. Their Birthdays are there¬fore celebrated on a Grand scale everywhere: but this is done only as a matter of course. These birthdays are celebrated more or less like other social festivals and very little thought is given to the real reli¬gious and practical teachings  which these celebrations are meant for.

    Thus if we start examining Ramayana from the above point of view, we find that Ramayana has got to teach us a good deal. The story of Ramayana begins with the life of Dasharatha. In the beginning he appears to be a very happy King having a large and prosperous Kingdom; but though he was having three queens he was unhappy in his family life, because he had no issue. A religious remedy of the sacrifice was suggested and after going through the same, he got four issues. The birth of these sons seemed to bring joy once again in the family and the life of King Dasharath really seemed to move smoothly.

    This smooth stream of life ruffeled once again when Dasharatha wanted to crown Rama as the King. The obstinate queen Kaikeyee came up at the eleventh hour requesting the fulfillment of the boons granted to her by the King in the past. This upset the whole of Ayodhya and it ultimately culminated in the death of Dasharatha and the stay of Rama in the forest for fourteen years.

    Though some other incidents can also be narrated from the life of Dasharatha, these two incidents are very important in his life as they gave a sudden turn to his life. These incidents are therefore worth noting as they create an ideal before the others. The first inci¬dent of performing the sacrifice shows that a man should always keeps faith in religion and in God and propitiate God by observing religion. The second incident shows how affectionate a father should be towards his children. The idea of Rama going to the forest and staying there for fourteen years so upsets Dasharatha that he said that a part of his heart is being torn asunder.

    The incident about the granting of boons to Kaikeyee shows how the behaviour of a person should be. It indicates that a person should keep his word and fulfil his promise at all costs.

    The behaviour of Rama throughout the whole epic is ideal. He first of all goes to the hermitage of Vishwamitra for learning the science of Archery. Here he proved to be an ideal student and after getting proficiency in archery he kills all the demons that were not allowing the sages to carry out their religious ceremonies and sacri¬fices . He therefore appears to be a protector of religion form his childhood.
    Then comes the incident of his crowning. He takes it up unruffled and only as a matter of course because he was the eldest of the sons of the King. He was not elated because he was to be crowned and he did not become dejected when he was uprooted and sent to the forest. The abode in the forest was accepted by him as a part of his duty towards his father, He was sure that by going to the forest he was helping his father in fulfilling his promise to his step mother. This high regard for his parents and maintenance of his balance of mind in prosperity and distress show how an ideal son should be and how a person should look upon this worldly life with unpertu¬rbed eye.

    The behaviour of Rama in the forest and thereafter when Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, shows the behaviour of an ideal husband, fully dutiful towards his wife. In the process of the search for Sita we find that Rama is pining away like a loving husband and all his expressions of sorrow will surpass those of a modern lover.

    As a leader of the army, Rama has done his job very well. A leader should always inspire confidence in the minds of his followers. They should always feel that their leader will be with them in thick and thin. They should always feel that they will get full co-operation from their leader. We find that Rama possesses all these qualities and hence he leads his army successfully against an enemy like Ravana, who had no small achievements in arms and followers.

    The same balance of mind which was seen in Rama in Ayodhya is again seen after he wins the war and releases Sita. Here also he is not at all vindictive towards his antagonists. He pardons them all though he is a conqueror. He never destroyed the culture or the edifices of the people of Lanka like the late Muslim or Portuguese invaders of India who took pride in carrying out mass massacres and destroying all old Indian Culture in whatever way possible.

    After his return from Lanka Rama is crowned as a King and here also we see that he is ideal as a King. Even today the best or ideal Kingdom is spoken of as Ram-Rajjya in our country, which signifies that the people were most happy in that Kingdom. Rama was very particular in seeing that his conduct was in no way criticised by his subjects. In English there is a saying that, "The Caesar's wife should be above suspicion". Similarly Rama also tried to keep his behaviour above the suspicion of every citizen of his Kingdom. His spies were going round every day and even by night and reporting to Rama the opinion that the subjects were expressing about his admini¬stration and about him as a person. When therefore he came to know about the remarks of the washerman regarding the character of Sita, who was in the house of Ravana for a number of days, he did not hesitate to discard her. How much Rama cared for the feelings of his subjects is expressed very well in the following Shloka :
    Here Rama has clearly stated that he will not feel sorry if he was to discard friendship, mercy, pleasure or even Janaki (Sita) herself in order to appease his subjects. Because Rama was caring so much for his subjects, the people call an ideal administration as Rama-Rajjya. In our country we are coming across public upheavals every day. The present administrators of our country have also perhaps much to learn from the administration of Rama. In short we may say that as an administrator also Rama proved to be ideal.

    Laxman and Bharat the two brothers of Rama are also ideal brothers. They have extraordinary brotherly feeling for Rama. Kaikeyee had requested Dasharatha to send Rama to the forest. She had not asked to send Laxman away ; but due to his love for his elder brother, Laxman volunteered to go to the forest. He said, "I have no right to enjoy when my brother is suffering" He therefore undertook to accompany Rama to the forest.

    According to the boon granted to Kaikeyee Bharat was to be crowned in place of Rama; but on coming to know the position clearly he declined to accept the crown. We see in our history, especially of the Mohammedans and the Moghals that they always vied with each other for capturing the throne. In some cases they did not hesitate even to murder or imprison their very close relatives who were likely to come in their way of acquiring the throne. On such a background the sacrifice of Bharat really seems to be unparallel.

    Here the throne was coming to him by the will of his father; but he refused it saying that it was the right of the eldest brother. He asked for the "Padukas" of Rama and during his stay in the forest he placed them on the throne and run the administration as a trustee. The story of both these brothers thus shows ideal and selfless brotherly love and duty towards their elder brother.

    The last male character of importance in Ramayana is that of Hanuman. He is the ideal devotee of Rama .He has spared no pains to help and serve Rama wherever possible. He is the leader of the army of the monkeys and is always at the forefront. During the war with Ravana he has even risked his life. These is a saying which says how difficult it is to serve anybody.

    The Yogis have full control over all their senses and hence they can practice anything but the above saying purports that the service is so difficult that even the Yogis find it difficult to practice it, but Hanuman is known throughout Ramayana as a very obedient, faithful and devoted servant. Hence by means of Hanuman, Walmiki has pictured an ideal servant.

    There are three main female characters in Ramayana. They are Kaikeyee, Sita and Urmila. Of course the first one viz. Kai¬keyee is an example of a woman who was fully selfish and as there are examples in Ramayana which are to be followed, we may say that this is a negative example. The example of Kaikeyee shows how a woman should not be.

    Sita and Urmila are the examples of ideal wives. Even when she was discouraged by Rama to come to the forest, Sita followed him to the forest like a dutiful wife. Her life is a life of misery. She has hardly enjoyed pleasure and peace of mind. While in the forest she was kidnapped by Ravana and even after the war when she came to Ayodhya, she did not enjoy life for a long time. She was discarded by her own husband and she had to remain in the forest; but in spite of all these sorrows which befell her throughout her life, she never forgot her duty as a wife, as a daughter-in-law and as a mother.

    Urmila the wife of Laxman is also a selfless lady. Sita being the heroine of Ramayana, usually the attention of all the readers is focused on her and Urmila is thrown in the oblivion: but her sacrifice in pining away for her husband for fourteen long years, is not of less importance. Because her husband was away in the forest along with Rama, she had to pass fourteen long years in loneliness and her exam¬ple also like that of Sita shows how an ideal wife should be.

    The people, who look upon Ramayana from historical point of view, have pointed out that the going of Rama in the south shows the invasion of the Aryans in the South. Those who try to look at the social aspects of the epic have pointed out that Hanuman and his followers though called "Wanar" they were not monkeys as they are taken to be. Wanar was a clan in those days and Hanuman and his army belonged to that clan.

    Apart from the above historical or social aspects of Ramayana the common man can learn how to behave as a father, as a brother and as a son and the women folk can know well how to behave as a mother, as a daughter, and as a dutiful wife. As already pointed out, Ramayana can also teach us how to behave as a servant. In the middle ages the Hindu preachers from India had taken Ramayana with them in the south East Asian countries and the temples of Rama and the stories from Ramayana are still current in the people of those countries. It must be because of this all pervading nature of the story of Ramayana that Shri Sai Baba must have started celebrating the Ramnavami in Shirdi. We as Sai Devotees must therefore always remember these teachings of Ramayana, which appears to be the object of Shri Sai Baba, and bring them into our practice whenever we are celebrating these religious functions.
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