Festivals - Shri Ram Navami
Date: March - April
Legend: Shri Ramchandra was born as a potent liberator advocating
Dharma about 5000 BC. "When Rama was passing through the forests,
with Sita and Lakshmana, the hermits who recognized Him as Divine gathered
around Him with a prayer that they be initiated by Him and given some
Mantra (sacred formula) which they could repeat for spiritual uplift and
victory. Rama replied that He was a prince in exile, wandering in the
forests, and so He could not presume any authority to initiate hermits
into the spiritual path. He moved on along the jungle tracks.
Watching Him walking fast, with Sita immediately behind Him and Lakshmana
following in the rear, an aged hermit exclaimed, "Friends! See Rama
is initiating us! He is awarding us the Mantra! God is leading. Nature
(Site, His constant companion, His shadow) is following. The Jeevi (individual),
part of the Lord, the wave of the ocean, is in the rear [Lakshmana]. He
can see the Lord only if the deluding Nature is propitiated or by-passed.
This is indeed a silent lesson in Sadana (spiritual discipline)."
"Believe that Dharma or Moral Rectitude will never play false; it will
ensure greater joy than can be gained through all other means. Rama
destroyed Ravana; it was victory of one head over ten; concentration
over distraction. Ravana craved for Prakriti (Sita), discarding the
Purusha (Spirit) which gave it value and meaning, viz., Rama. If you
crave for Prakriti, the objective world, you degrade yourself, you deny
your reality, and you join Ravana's brood. Do not also imagine that
the Lord is outside Prakriti, or even of you, who are really a part
of the objective world. He is in you, behind you, beside you, before
you. He is the eye of your eye; the I of your I. Yearn for the yoga
or union with Him, through the unwavering awareness of His being the
real you. Yearn for yoga; and whatever bhoga (pleasure) you really need
will be offered to you in due course. If on the other hand, you yearn
for bhoga itself, you are gone! You are blessed only with roga (disease),
"What are the inner meanings of the name "Rama"? The three syllables
'R', 'A' and 'Ma' indicate the three causes for human birth, namely,
the sins one has committed, the troubles one experiences and one's ignorance
(Papa, Tapa, Ajnanam).
- "Ra" represents the root letter Agni;
- "Aa" represents the letter for Moon;
- "Ma" represents the letter for Sun.
What does Agni (fire) signify? It destroys everything and reduces it
to ashes. The letter "R" has the power to destroy all the sins committed
by man. The letter "A" (symbolizing the moon) has the power of cooling
the fevers man suffers from, and that of conferring peace on him. "Ma"
represents the Sun who dispels the darkness of ignorance and confers
the illumination of wisdom. Hence the word "Rama" has the triple power
of destroying sins, conferring peace and dispelling ignorance.
When you utter the word "Ram" you first open the mouth with the sound
"Ra". All your sins go out when the mouth is open. When you utter "Ma"
by closing the mouth, the entry is barred against the sins that have
gone out. Everyone should recognise the sweetness, the sacredness and
the Divinity enshrined in the name "Rama". Tyagaraj sang: "Contemplate
on the name of Rama, with full awareness of its power".
Last updated: Jul 17, 2000
Legend from Sanathana Sarathi, Apr 1992, p. 59
Quotes from Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 4, p 50 and
Discourse: "The Name that Redeems", Ram Navami Sandesh, Kodaikanal,
Apr, 14, 1989