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Raamaayana in Your Heart
Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Rama Navami, Shaanthi Kuteer,
25 April 1961
The vehicle of human life is drawn on two wheels by the senses which are driven by Buddhi (intellect), with Viveka and Vairaagya (discrimination and detachment) as the reins, the two wheels being the Kaala Chakra and the Karma Chakra (the wheels of time and action). The spokes of the wheel are the rules of Dharma, bound by the rim of Prema. The self is the rider and he will not come to harm if the axle is Sathya and the goal is Shaanthi.
Raama, whose birthday, Raamanavami, you are celebrating today was the exponent of the means of saving the self in this perilous journey from birth to birthlessness. Raama is the embodiment of Dharma; that is why He was able to re-establish Dharma. Today is a sacred day because you get the chance to recapitulate the glory of God and His relationship with man. As a matter of fact, if you go deeper into the Raamaayana, you will find that Raama is the universal Aathma, the Aathma in every being. He did not come down to kill the Raakshasa ruler, Raavana; he is not the son of Dasaratha or of Kausalya; nor is He the husband of Seetha, weeping for her loss and gladdened by reunion.
On the day when Raama was crowned emperor at Ayodhya, every personage got some present or other before leaving the city. Hanumaan alone refused any material gift. He asked Raama to explain to him the mystery of His life, which he had failed to understand inspite of the length and loyalty of his service. Raama then asked Seetha to slake the thirst of Hanumaan and reveal to him the secret of their careers. Seetha announced that she was the Muula Prakrithi (the primal nature), the Maayaa Shakthi (the energy which agitates in all matter), which transforms and transmutes it into all this variety that binds and blinds; the Raamaayana, she said, was nothing but the play she designed.
Sweetness of Raamaayana cannot be described
Raama is the eternal, unchanging Purusha (spirit). The Aathma in every being is Raama; hence the name Aathmaaraama. Raama is eternal and so the Raamamanthram is said to have been taken by Shiva Himself. Raama means that which showers Aanandha (bliss), that is all. Now, what can give greater Aanandha than the Aathma? Raama is Aanandham and He is Aathmaaraama, the Aanandham in your inner consciousness. You can understand the Raamaayana only if you keep this aspect in view. Orange has a form and a name; when you squeeze it and take the juice, the form is gone and the name, orange, too is gone. The taste alone remains. The sweetness, the flavour, the essence, these alone are experienced. It cannot be exactly described. It is beyond any vocabulary. Hanumaan understood from Seetha the formless, nameless, sweetness of Raama.
Raama, the Purusha, accepts Prakrithi, Seetha, and enacts the play, Raamaayana Seetha is Brahma-chaithanya, (consciousness) for Prakrithi or Maaya activates the pure existence of Brahman. Now see what happens! Brahmajnaana (knowledge of supreme reality) is lost and Raama wanders about in the jungle, wailing for Her. Of course, Lakshmana or Manas (mind) is always with Him, for Manas is the instrument with which liberation has to be achieved. Vaali is the spirit of despair and he has to be overcome with the help of discriminatory wisdom or Viveka, viz., Sugreeva.
Raamaayana is gone through in every one's Life
You see, it is Viveka that sends emissaries to the various corners to discover where Brahmajnaana is available. Hanumaan is courage. Courage won through unflinching faith, that alone can penetrate the darkness and bring the good news of the dawn. Then Raama crosses the sea of illusion; He destroys the demon of Thamoguna (quality of inertia), namely, Kumbhakarna; the demon of Rajoguna, (emotional quality) namely Raavana; and He instals on the throne, the Sathwaguna (quality of goodness), Vibheeshana. After this, Raama meets and receives Seetha, who has become now Anubhavajnaana (knowledge derived from experience), not merely Brahmajnaana. That is represented by the Pattabhisheka (coronation).
The Raamaayana is therefore not a story that had an end. In each one's life there is a Raamaayana being gone through: in the Gunas, the Indhriyaas (the senses), the search and the Saadhana. Raama is the son of Dasharatha - he of the ten chariots. What do you think are these ten chariots? They are the senses, the five Karmendhriyaas (sense organs of action) and the five Jnaanendhriyaas (organs of perception). Sathya, Dharma, Shaanthi and Prema are the four sons; of which Raama is Sathya; Bharatha is Dharma; Lakshmana is Prema and Sathrughna is Shaanthi. Take as your ideals these great characters depicted in the Raamaayana. You will see how your life is filled with peace and joy if only you dwell with these ideals. The Raamaayana in the heart is to be experienced; not investigated as a mental phenomenon. As you go on reading and ruminating, the inner meaning will flash on you when the mind is cleansed by the elevating ideas therein. Do not exaggerate the importance of things that have but material utility; they fade, even while you grasp them by the hand. Search for the Sath - that which suffers no change. Search for the Chith - the state of consciousness, which is unaffected by gusts of passion, which is pure, which is free from egoism or the desire to possess. Then alone can you experience the light, and illumine the path for others. Search for Aanandha, the Aanandha that emanates from Prema, love with no blemish of attachment. Be like bees hovering on the flower of the glory of the Lord, sucking the sweet nectar of grace, silently and joyfully.