The following discourse has been translated into English from Bhagavan's Telugu speech as heard on this festival's ashram audiocassette. It is a complete, literal translation made with the objective of preserving Bhagavan's precious original poetic style as much as possible.
Discourse By Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
SRI RAMA NAVAMI
tastier than the essence of curds (butter),
so much more tasty than matured honey,
uttered and uttered with the mouth,
it seems like Amritha (nectar).
Therefore, remember that excellent and eternal Name of Rama.
O mind! O mind!
Remember that excellent and eternal Name of Rama!
(Swami sings a Telugu poem)
Embodiments of Love!
Ayodhya was the capitol city in the country of Kosala. There was no chance for any enemies to enter into it. Therefore, they gave it the name of ‘Ayodhya’. This village of Ayodhya was the village that emperor Manu built.
The Divine resolve in heaven became a flow towards the world. Such a resolve arose from the manasa sarovar (lake) of the mind. Therefore this flow got the name of ‘Manasa Sarovar’. One part of that flowed near Ayodhya. This was called Sarayu River.
The emperor who ruled such a sacred Ayodhya was King Dasaratha. Even though all comforts, all conveniences and all joys were there, the sorrow that he had no children gave him a lot of suffering.
Sumantha (Dasaratha’s chief minister), who was virtuous, pure, selfless and had a sacred heart, came one day near to Dasaratha and said, “Lord, I am submitting a small resolve of mine regarding your sorrow. An Aswamedha Yaga (horse sacrifice ritual) is essential for the kingdom. It is also essential to perform the ritual of Putrakameshti (ritual to fulfill the desire for a son) for your individual life. So, perform the Putrakameshi Yaga and after the sons are born, numerous joys may be given to the country. Dasaratha commanded, “If so, the suitable type of arrangement should be done for it.”
Sumantha prayed, "Sir, there should be one head priest. There are so many priests who perform rituals. But there is one important, main and leading force for the Putrakameshti Yaga. He is Rishyasringa (a sage). Call Rishyasringa and have him perform the Putrakameshti Yaga.”
Rishyasringa and Padmapada were in the region of Anga. There was a famine in Anga. Padmapada also resolved that the ashanti (lack of peace) that arose due to famine in his region must be destroyed by inviting Rishyasringa. Padmapada, Sumantha and Dasaratha - the three got together and journeyed to the place where Rishyasringa was. They prayed to him to come, brought Rishyasringa, and Dasaratha performed the Aswamedha Yaga and the Putrakameshti Yaga.
As the Yaga was going on, a radiant form holding a vessel came out from the midst of the flames. That vessel was the container of payasam (milk pudding). That radiant form brought the container and gave it to Vashishta, who described about it well to Dasaratha, and said to give it equally to his three wives.
Distributing the Payasam
However, regarding the process of distributing the payasam, each Ramayana described it in a different way: “Kamba Ramayana” in one way, “Tulasi Ramayana” in another way and “Valmiki Ramayana” in still another way. However, these are not the correct answers. Ordinarily in man’s life, the resolves that arise should be based upon the situation and acted upon.
When Vashishta gave the payasam to King Dasaratha, King Dasaratha came and poured it into three cups for the three queens. He gave equally. This is because whether then or now, when it is distributed, equal-vision should be developed. He told them that they should go, have a head bath and return; then drink the payasam in the presence of Rishyasringa.
Kausalya was ecstatic. Kaika was blissful. But Sumitra was not happy. She didn’t like to disobey the command of her husband. But her mind did not accept at all to leave the prasad (consecrated food) that Vashishta gave without drinking it.
She took a head bath. As it was warm on the palace top, meaning on the upper portion, she sat drying her hair. She kept the cup to one side and thought to herself, “What is the use of drinking this? The first-born will gain the kingdom (be crowned king). The son of the principal queen will gain the kingdom. As the promise was given to the King of Kekeyi (that his daughter Kaika’s son would be crowned King), the son of Kaika will gain the kingdom of this land of Kosala. I have no basis at all. What is the use even if such a Sumitra has sons?” Due to thinking this, without hope, being disheartened and shedding tears, she put that cup there and sat combing her hair.
The servants came running and said that Dasaratha was calling, saying to come. Just as she tied up her hair and was about to take that cup, an eagle came and flew away with the cup. More than the sorrow that she had, this suffering was a thousand times more! “How will Dasaratha get angry? What curse will Rishyasringa succumb me to? How will Vashishta chastise me?” All of these thoughts came, one after the other, mixing together, and gave her even more suffering.
She went running and she informed this to Kausalya and Kaika. “Sisters! This is the mistake that I did. Due to my negligence, an eagle came and took away that cup. I did not resolve this at all, wanting it to happen.” The co-wives of those days were mutually very close. They felt they were all daughters of the same mother.
Kausalya said, “Sister, don’t feel badly.” Saying that, she went inside and she brought a cup like that. She poured half of her share into that cup. Kaika also poured half of her share. The three, with equal portions, took these cups into the worship room.
Sumitra was somewhat happy with this. She felt very happy thinking, “My co-wives treated me kindly in this way. They helped. How fortunate I am! How fortunate are these sisters!” All of this happened naturally. If it had happened in an artificial way, thinking, “So much share of this payasam and that much share of that payasam” - that would only be mathematics.
He Was Born
The three partook of the payasam. Nine months passed after that. A son was born to Kausalya. But at what time? He was born at a time when the five elements were in a state of balance. The mother was very eager to give a lot of joy to that child.
Before they knew this news, labor pains came to Sumitra and Kaika too. A son was born to Sumitra - Lakshmana was born. Then after a few minutes, Sathrughna was also born and she was joyful with these two sons. A son was born to Kaika; he was Bharata.
The four Vedas were born to Dasaratha as the four sons. The four Vedas were born as four sons. They told everyone, and on the tenth day they performed the naming ceremony.
The son who attracts people in all ways, keeping them safe and giving them joy, is one who raminchu (attracts); therefore, he was named Rama. Not only this. In many ways, just as a reflection is seen in a mirror, he used to behold the Atma in each one’s heart. Hence, he used to behold radiance in all. How was that light seen? It was seen in every heart as the form of the moon. He used to feel that wherever he looked, he was seeing the moon. For that reason, they called him by the name of ‘Ramachandra’.
The four of them spent the time joyfully in many ways, playing and singing. However, when newly born, Sumitra’s sons did not sleep at all. They didn’t drink milk. They didn’t take any food at all. Both kept crying from the moment they were born. Sumitra kept crying along with them! “Due to my misfortune, I keep crying. Even the sons who were born to me were born crying. What is my bad luck?” Thinking this, she suffered a lot.
Noticing a time when no one was around, she went to Vashishta and said, “Guruji! (Respected Teacher!) I don’t need to be given anything by these children. It is enough to live in peace. What is the reason for their crying? They have no difficulty. They have no bodily pains. They have been crying ever since they were born. What is this ailment?”
Vashishta closed his eyes and was immersed in meditation. Then he said, “Mother Sumitra! You are fortunate. You have equal vision and are friendly to everyone, so your name is ‘Sumitra’. You don’t need to cry. Do one small thing. Go to Kausalya and Kaika and ask their permission for something. Lay Lakshmana in Rama’s cradle. Lay Sathrughna in Bharata’s cradle. Keep them both like that. They will eat, they will sleep and they will experience bliss in all ways.”
When Sumitra asked for permission, Kausalya and Kaika were very happy. “Sister, bring him. He is my son and the other is my son. If all of them are together, it is joyful for all of us.” She took Lakshmana and laid him in Rama’s cradle. She took Sathrughna and laid him in Bharata’s cradle.
From the very moment that she laid them there, neither one cried anymore. They were so joyful playing, singing and moving their hands and legs. Sumitra saw this scene. She was so joyful thinking, ‘How lucky I am! Even though my son doesn’t do anything else, he is playing comfortably and joyfully. That is enough.”
At one time, when Vashishta was observed to be all alone, Sumitra asked him, “Swami, what is the reason for both of them to be put there? What is the reason for Lakshmana to go near Rama and for Sathrughna to go near Bharata?”
Vashishta answered, “Sumitra, you have a heart of truth. You have good conduct and good qualities. You know no deceit. Your heart is pure, unwavering and selfless. It is not as if you do not know.”
Praising her like that, he said, “When your cup of payasam was taken away by the eagle, both of the others helped. Due to pouring a little from Kausalya’s portion and a little from Kaika’s portion into your cup, the part from Kaika’s portion is Sathrughna. He has joined with Bharata. The portion of the payasam from Kausalya’s share is Lakshmana. He has joined with Rama. So whatever part, they join with that part.”
In the Bhagavad Githa also it is said:
Mamaivamsho Jeeva Loke
Jeeva Bhuta Sanathanaha.
The Eternal Atma in all beings
is a part of My Being.
All are My forms.
Likewise, the part of Rama joined with Rama and the part of Bharata joined with Bharata. From that day, the boys spent the time playing and singing.
Viswamitra Has Come
The age of youth arrived. Dasaratha made the resolve that they should be married. But right at that time, a messenger came and prayed, “Sir, Viswamitra has come.” All was correct for that time. God arranges everything depending upon the time and situation.
Dasaratha himself got up, went to the door and brought Viswamitra inside. He said, “Swami, my good fortune has fructified! Today I made the resolve to arrange for the marriage of my sons. I have your blessing. I am so happy that you have come.” He asked, “What is the reason you have come?”
Viswamitra said, “One should not say too much. The reason I have come is for the protection of my yagna. I have to take Rama and go.”
It was like a big atom bomb fell on the heart of Dasaratha. “For so many years I performed sacrifices and rituals like this, and I have gained this son. Now he is taking him to the yagna. What can Rama, who has not seen anything, do? He never went to the forest. He has not seen demons. He has never fought. He has no hatred for anyone. He is equal-minded. He has an auspicious (blessed) heart. How can I send one like this to the harsh forest?”
Suffering thus, Dasaratha said, “Oh sage! My son is a boy. He hasn’t even reached the stage of youth. How can I send a child like that?” Viswamitra had only one word, “Will you fulfill your word (to grant whatever I ask), and will you send your son with me? So far, there is not even one person who has gone against their given word in the family line of Ikshvaku. Dasaratha, you are going against the given word. This will bring bad reputation to your fame.”
However, Dasaratha also thought a lot. What to do? He called the Guru. Vashishta came. When Vashishta came, Dasaratha said, “Viswamitra is asking like this. What will be my fate?” Vashishta said, “Dasaratha, you don’t have natural sons. They are gifts that have been granted to you by the resolve of God. They are four Suns of Wisdom that arose out of fire. No harm will happen to them. No dangers will happen at all. Therefore, send them according to your given word.”
Yet, one small point has to be recognized here. Viswamitra only asked for one boy, Rama. Rama got prepared and he was going with Viswamitra. Nobody called Lakshmana. His mother and father did not command him to go and Vashishta did not say to come. But Lakshmana also started off with Rama…a part. (He was a part of Rama.) Just as the reflection goes along with the image, that reflection was also going. Viswamitra thought that things happen due to the commands and resolves of God. (So he accepted Lakshmana also coming.)
However before going, Viswamitra gave a promise to Dasaratha. He said, “Dasaratha, there are no powers that are not in me. There are all powers in me. There are all powers of wisdom regarding moral, physical, dharmic, spiritual and worldly aspects. However, after I sit in the yagna, the one who accepts the discipline (vow) of the yagna should not do harm to anyone. I should not even kill demons. That is a rule in the vow of the yagna. Or else, why should I want your son? I wouldn’t need him otherwise.”
The Protection of the Yagna
They went and the protection of the yagna was done. When going, they went to the banks of Sarayu River. Viswamitra said, “Rama”. He was calling Rama but didn’t call Lakshmana. He said, “Rama, come here.” Rama went near and sat down. Even though Viswamitra didn’t call, Lakshmana also went and sat near.
He said, “Dear, this is a yagna that is being performed in the forest. Ours is ‘Siddhasram’. It is not possible to do any kind of cooking here. There are only rishis (sages), rishi’s wives and students. So dear sons, you are the king’s sons; you are ones who eat nice meals; you live comfortable lives. You are coming to protect the yagna, so I will teach you a manthra.”
Why a manthra for Rama and Lakshmana who are able to protect the yagna? This means that Viswamitra said that for the sake of physical and external actions. Viswamitra said, “Dear one, I am saying this manthra: ‘Bala, Atibala’. This will make sleep and food unnecessary. How many days will you have to protect the yagna? Sleep should not come. You should not crave food. Both of these should be sacrificed. Remember this manthra and you can remain without sleep and food.” They repeated the manthra and spent time without hunger or need for sleep.
War occurred. Maricha (a demon) came. In a moment Rama shot him. Maricha was thrown with force somewhere and fell down. As soon as this happened, Thataki (Maricha’s mother) came. She came, making a big noise. Rama asked Viswamitra, “Swami, what is this sound? It is like mountains breaking!” Viswamitra answered, “It is not mountains, son. Her voice has that kind of sound. Due to the sound of her voice, all are frightened. Thataki is coming.”
Viswamitra said, “Rama, get ready (to kill her).” Rama had a doubt. “Swami, women should not be killed, isn’t it so? This is a woman. How can I kill her? It is not the dharma of Kshatriyas (the warrior caste) to kill a woman. My father did not command it. Only you are commanding. How can I undertake this?”
Then Viswamitra said, “At the time of protecting the yagna, there is no difference at all between a woman and a man.”
Yallabdhva Pumân Iccharamo Bhavati
Trupto Bhavati Matto Bhavati
Having attained ‘That’,
Man gets total satisfaction, intoxication
ecstasy of the Self.
Viswamitra continued, “All are Atma Rama (the Divinity within). There are no worries for him (one who realizes this). “So you should not think at all about differences between women and men.” Thinking, “All right, it is the guru’s command, isn’t it?” Rama killed her. She did not die in just a moment. Such a big fight ensued. However, we don’t need to bring that up.
The Bow of Siva
After she was killed, Siddhasram was supremely peaceful, full of joy and laughter. The gods sprinkled a rain of flowers. While it was like that, a messenger came from Mithila with a letter. What was in that? Janaka sent an invitation saying, “We have begun a yagna in which the Bow of Siva will be lifted. You must come.”
Viswamitra started off. Rama and Lakshmana were renunciates. They weren’t married, so there wasn’t any need to do packing. Viswamitra took a cloth and wore it, and said, “Rama and Lakshmana, are you also coming?”
Rama answered, “What for? My father sent me to protect your yagna. I don’t know about this other yagna. I don’t understand at all about the yagna that will be performed by King Janaka.”
Viswamitra said, “It is a very great yagna!” In order to give enthusiasm to those boys, Viswamitra gave this kind of encouragement. “No one has the power even to lift the Bow of Siva. No one can move it. His daughter Sita lifted such a thing like this. From that day, King Janaka resolved that he would give his daughter in marriage to the one who lifts this Bow of Siva. So today, they started the yagna regarding the matter of lifting that Bow of Siva.”
All the people from the town of Mithila came. All kings from different regions came. Everybody came. Hence, Ravana also came to this yagna. Ravana had a mighty form. He had a big, great body. He came, first and foremost, to lift the Bow of Siva. When his arms and legs were moving, all the kings that saw him were very surprised. They thought, “How could Janaka give the gentle Sita to this vulgar individual?” Even his face was disgusting. His form was observed to be so atrocious. Thinking, “Okay, let anything happen,” each one remained in their place.
Ravana came and put his left hand on the Bow of Siva. It didn’t move. He grasped hold with two hands. It didn’t move. He used all of his strength. It didn’t move. Finally, he lost his balance and fell down. Seeing his own plight, he was unable to bear the humiliation. When there is ego, it always brings about humiliation in assemblies. It is said:
The people themselves will humiliate a man who has so much ego. Respect and courtesy will never be obtained or kept by him. The suitable result for ego is humiliation.
He fell down. Alas! Seeing the attempt of Ravana, everyone was surprised. Each one told himself in his mind, “Then no one else will be able to do it” and they were afraid to get up.
Viswamitra saw Rama. He made a sign with his eyes. Rama got up. He was a very young boy, only fifteen years old. When that boy came walking, that walking itself was seen to be so joyful. In that radiance, such an intense power was observed. It seemed as if all powers were coming as his shadow. He was coming peacefully. All the people and kings also who had come there were only seeing the radiance of that boy but they never had the thought of, “What is he going to do?”
Rama came and smiling, adjusted his upper cloth. He held the Bow of Siva with his left hand. As soon as he held it, it rose up. However, it should be strung. It should be bent (in order to string it). If picking it up is so difficult, to bend it is even more difficult.
He bent it with his left hand. He strung it. When it was bent, that Bow of Siva broke. When that Bow of Siva broke, a tremendously huge sound was heard. Everyone trembled. They sat thinking, “What is this amazement? What is this power of Rama?”
Immediately Sita came with her maids, holding the garland. (To garland Rama would mean that he had won her hand in marriage.) Viswamitra said, “Rama, are you ready?” Rama said, “Swami, my father sent me to protect your yagna. I protected the yagna in Siddhasram. I didn’t have my father’s permission to come to this yagna. I am not ready for this until my father gives his permission.”
Viswamitra went and said something into the ear of Janaka. Janaka was also one who followed the ethics of kings, therefore he accepted. He sent messengers to Ayodhya. They described to Dasaratha in detail everything that had happened and they said that all of them should come.
Massaging His Own Foot
This took three days (for Dasaratha and his party to arrive). For those three days Rama and Lakshmana sat in a room. There was a small joke that happened there. Rama put one leg upon the other, and he was softly massaging one foot.
Narada saw this. Narada went there. He saw from a small passage. “Poor thing! A prince, a delicate boy, came walking so far. He never exerted so much before. Maybe his feet are hurting, so he is massaging his own pain.”
Thinking that, Narada was surprised. He called Lakshmana. Lakshmana opened the door and saw. No one had any objection for him to go to his elder brother. Lakshmana sat at Rama’s feet and was massaging them.
Rama said, “Lakshmana, I don’t have pain. This is a drama that I am doing to show (set an example to) the people.” Lakshmana also knew that Rama had no suffering at all, and that no suffering could come to him.
So, three days passed. King Dasaratha came with a large army battalion. Not only that, Bharata and Sathrughna were also coming. All of their friends were coming. In all, thousands of people were coming. They came and they got down. Each one arrived and was very happy. Each one was kissing the top of the head of the other (an expression of affection).
Bharata, Sathrughna, Rama and Lakshmana, all four came together in one room. So much happened. The fourth day was the marriage. I told you many times about how this marriage was celebrated.
First and foremost, the bride has to be given to the eldest son. There was the eldest daughter of Janaka (Sita). She was found in the ploughing of the land. Urmila was the eldest (biological) daughter of Janaka. He brought both of them. Why? This is because both Rama and Lakshmana came, isn’t it so?
The second day, both Bharata and Sathrughna also came. Seeing these four (his four sons), Dasaratha was overflowing inside himself, thinking, “I am so lucky!” There were two brides for Bharata and Sathrughna also. Mandair and Srutakriti, they were the daughters of Janaka’s brother. It was all well suited. It was suitable - the four daughters for the four sons.
They stood. Then the garlands should be put on. When they were to put the garlands on, Rama was very tall. He stood and garlanded her. However, Sita was a little short. She wasn’t capable of garlanding someone so tall as Rama.
Then, though so much time passed, Rama thought, “I am one who bent the Bow of Siva. It would be very humiliating to bend my head in front of so many brave warriors.” Then also the characteristic of his masculinity was demonstrated. “It is not the dharma of kings to bend their heads. That too, for me to bend my head among so many people only for a single woman is very humiliating.”
Rama stood straight. She was trying a lot. She didn’t know where his head was and where the garland should be put. The women of those days didn’t used to look at others. So she was looking down and trying to garland him. Yet it did not reach his head.
Rama slowly moved his head and made a sign to Lakshmana. He said, “Lakshmana, this is a job for you.” (As Lakshmana was Adi Shesha who held up the world, Rama asked him by a sign to move the earth a bit so Sita would be taller.) Lakshmana answered by sign, “If the earth were raised, everyone would come up. It isn’t only Sita who would become taller.”
Observing and observing, all the people were getting wearied. “Why isn’t he bending his head? She is not putting the garland around his neck. What is the reason for this?”
Lakshmana, who noticed this strange and amazing thing, ran up and fell on Rama’s Feet. The one who fell on Rama’s Feet did not get up. Rama waited for so much time saying, “Lakshmana, get up!” Rama bent over like this (to lift him up). Sita understood this time and situation, and immediately she put the garland around Rama’s neck. (Applause) This is the intelligence of Lakshmana. Even Thyagaraja said:
Could a monkey cross the ocean?
Could a lady (Yashoda) tie Him to a stone used for pounding?
Would Lakshmana serve Him?
Would Lakshmi Devi love Him?
Bharatha with subtle intelligence,
Looking and looking, would he bow down?
How very great is devotion to Rama!
(Swami sings a Telugu song)
No one can understand the power of this supreme devotion.
The marriage was completed. Then everyone came with great festivity to Ayodhya. In the middle, conflicts also happened. (This is referring to the appearance of Parasurama on the way to Ayodhya. Parasurama wanted Rama to show his strength and Rama was victorious.)
Pleasure is an interval between two pains.
Between two joys, a trouble also comes.
Rama Should Be Crowned King
Then Rama was victorious and they reached Ayodhya. After arriving, after a few days had passed, Dasaratha had a dream in the early morning at 3am. The faith of Dasaratha was that the dream that came at 3am would become absolutely true.
What came? (What was the dream?) That he was old, his hands and legs were trembling and that many bad omens were happening. He got up feeling very badly. He thought to himself, “I won't be alive much longer. Rama should be crowned King.” He made a resolve at that very moment.
When a king has a thought, what dearth is there (to fulfill it)? No arrangements are necessary. So Dasaratha said that it should be done. He called Vashishta. He also took the command (permission) from him.
However, Rama’s sense of equality and social fairness began from that very day. He thought, “Everyone should be equal. There should not be any high and low levels at all. No chance for differences should be given. All should lead an equal life. All beings are One. God is One. So, God is One, but life forms are many.” Rama felt that his most important aim was to make diversity into unity.
Vashishta accepted Dasaratha’s resolve. Dasaratha called Rama near. “Rama, I have resolved to make you the Crown Prince (the next King). Be ready tomorrow.” Rama is omniscient; he has all powers, is omnipresent and full of good thoughts. He thought, “There is no need for one to tell.” Yet, thinking that it is not right to give an answer (to oppose) father, Rama sat thinking.
(Bharata and Sathrughna were in their maternal uncle’s kingdom at that time.) Then Rama said, “Father, Bharata isn’t here, right? Sathrughna is not here, isn’t it so? Hence, they should (first) come, right?” Dasaratha said, “That is all unnecessary for you. Obey my order.”
Rama answered, “Good. Yet, the four of us were born under the same star. We were born from the same bowl of payasam from the yagna. Initiation into learning the alphabets was done for all four of us equally. Names were given to all equally. Bestowing of the sacred thread was done for all equally. The marriage also was done for all equally. However, why should the Coronation be performed only for Me? Perform the Coronation on all four at once!”
Then Dasaratha was very upset! He said, “Dear son, the kingdom is one; the King is one. So it is not possible to perform the Coronation for all four.” Rama suggested, “Separate the kingdom into four parts and give a part to each of the four brothers. Hence, the Coronation should be performed for all four of us at once.” Dasaratha said that it was not possible to be done at different times.
Dasaratha’s head reeled! He said, “Rama, go and come back after some time.” He sent Rama away. He called Vashishta and consulted him. Vashishta also said, “I will try to convince Rama.” Dasaratha said, “For generations and generations, our kingdom had only one King. But now, due to the resolve of Rama, it would become necessary to divide the kingdom up into several parts.” It was not really dividing; it was simply to give each part to one of them. In this way, when it was decided that it was not possible to divide the kingdom, Rama did not accept.
Not only this, Dasaratha had become elderly. After becoming aged, the intellect becomes confused. He was not able to understand the right meaning of all of these thoughts. So Rama said it in a way that Dasaratha would understand. He said that Bharata and Sathrughna should come. It would take fifteen days for them to come. Therefore, due to this delay of time, he said that one might think about it to any extent. Rama could thus spend the time (delay the Coronation).
The power and capability of Rama, Rama’s logic and stratagem were very amazing and wonderful. “All should be equal.” That is the first truth of the culture of Bharath.
Sarva Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu.
Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu.
May all the worlds be happy.
May all be happy.
All should be happy. He followed ancient culture like this.
The Coronation Was Stopped
So, then the Coronation was stopped. Then Bharata and Sathrughna were called. In this also, what kind of sacred scenes were there?
People are reading the Ramayana. They bring very big books that are like big pillows. What is the use? They learn it by heart but they cannot grasp the essence even a bit. All people become so much surprised about Ramayana.
People say that Kausalya is a very virtuous lady. She is the main queen. She has many good qualities and all will have to obey her command. The last (youngest) wife is Kaikeyi. There is no obstacle in the way of her orders at all. Even Dasaratha, if she says to sit, he must sit; and if she says to get up, he has to get up! So Kaika was keeping the power in her hands and playing this kind of drama.
When it was going on like this, no one would talk with Sumitra. No one is able to describe the character of Sumitra and Sathrughna as ‘like this’ or ‘like that’.
At one time, Rama was going away to the forest. The Coronation was not performed. Kaika desired that Rama should be sent to the forest for fourteen years. Therefore, he was going away. He went to do Namaskaar to Kausalya. She was crying loudly. The entire inner apartments were crying. There was no joy anywhere.
Afterwards, Lakshmana said nothing to anyone but he went to do Namaskaar to Sumitra. She only said one thing to him. She said, “Dear son Lakshmana! Don’t feel badly that you are going to the forest. That is not a forest. Ayodhya devoid of Rama and Lakshmana is a forest. The forest where Rama and Lakshmana live is Ayodhya. So, although you will be living in the forest, feel that you are living in Ayodhya. Rama is your father and Sita is your mother. See that there is no obstacle in your service to them.”
Will any mother say like that? She (another) would stop it by saying, “According to the promise given, they may be sent to the forest; but you don’t need to go.” But no mother will say like that (as Sumitra did). The good qualities of a mother were seen in Sumitra.
Afterwards, Lakshmana also thought to tell Urmila, alas, thinking, “It is not possible to come again for fourteen years, isn’t it?” Urmila was the first daughter of King Janaka. She was a greatly virtuous woman. No one had her sacrifice and generosity.
She was sitting and painting. What was the painting? She was painting the Coronation that would be held the next day and the close relationship between Sri Rama and Sita. She resolved to send it to her father, Janaka. She was painting that, poor thing!
Lakshmana said, “Urmila!” She got up suddenly all at once. When she got up, that paint and that picture were ruined. The paint fell on that painting. Even the painting was ruined. “Oh dear! I have ruined it!” She felt badly.
Then Lakshmana said, “Don’t feel sad. Kaika spoiled the Coronation of Rama. Your husband Lakshmana ruined your painting of the Coronation. Therefore, there is no need to feel badly about this. I am going.” Urmila asked, “Where to?” He answered, “I am going to serve Rama.”
She felt only joy. She didn’t make any fuss saying, “I will come! You are going; you should also take me along.” Instead she said, “Lord, my mother-in-law had you and your brother in order to serve your brothers. Sathrughna is born to serve Bharata. Lakshmana is born to serve Rama. So, do your seva. Fulfill your duty.”
She only added one thing: “Don’t think of me for even a moment at any time during the fourteen years.” Will any wife say like this? No one will say that! They would not resolve that. “Don’t think of me for even a moment. It will obstruct you from doing the seva of Rama and Sita. Think of Sita and Rama, and protect them without any obstacle. Just forget me completely for fourteen years.”
Lakshmana shed tears listening to that broad feeling. “Urmila, I didn’t think that you had such broadmindedness. Hence, I will keep your broad mind in my heart.” Then Urmila said, “Don’t even think of this broad heart. Remember the broad heart of Sita. Follow Rama’s commands.” Saying that, she succeeded to help Lakshmana be without any obstacle in the way of service to Sita and Rama.
Virtuous wives like Urmila and mothers like Sumitra cannot be seen, not only in this world, but also in any other world either.
They were all sent to the forest. That all was over.
In the war, Lakshmana fell down and fainted. Seeing Lakshmana who had fainted, Rama was in much anguish. “Lakshmana! If one searches this world, one can get a wife like Sita. But I cannot get a brother like Lakshmana. I can't get one, can't get one! I have lost Lakshmana! Then why should I live?” Saying that, he was suffering so much.
They brought a doctor who was there and he said, “Bring the Sanjeeva Mountain.” Hanuman came. He jumped up once. He went up Sanjeeva Mountain. No one knew where that tree was (containing the herb to revive Lakshmana). So Hanuman took the whole mountain.
He took the mountain and he was coming over Nandi village. Alas! Bharata was in the village of Nandi. He saw Hanuman in the sky. Thinking, “It is some demon. He is taking away that mountain,” he released an arrow. Hanuman fell down along with that mountain.
All the people also gathered there as Hanuman, who had fallen down, was doing Namaskaar. The people of Nandi Village and the people of Ayodhya all came running. They saw the scene.
When they saw, Hanuman did Namaskaar to all. He said, “Bharata, your brother Lakshmana has fainted. To bring him back to life, all the doctors of the town of Lanka said to bring this Sanjeeva Mountain. There is a tree on it called the Sanjeeva Tree. I don’t know that tree, so I am taking the whole mountain.”
Bharata asked, “For what?” Hanuman replied, “Lakshmana has fainted.” When they all heard that Lakshmana had fainted, everyone shed tears. “Is Lakshmana like that? Seeing him, is Rama feeling sad? What are these bad situations? What is the reason for falling into such situations during this time?” Thinking like this, everyone was suffering a lot; then, it is not necessary to tell of the plight of the women!
Hanuman watched it all. Tears were falling from everyone’s eyes. But only one woman there wasn’t crying. Who? She is Sumitra. She didn’t shed a tear. “Why cry about this? Rama will not have any suffering. No suffering will ever happen to my son, Lakshmana, who remembers the Name of Rama. My Lakshmana is always saying, “Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama.” The Remembrance of the Name of Rama is completely in every atom and in every cell. So there will not be any suffering for my son or to Rama.” She was courageous.
The Devotion in Urmila
Seeing this courage, Bharata took Hanuman to Urmila, that is, Lakshmana’s wife. She didn’t come out anywhere. She vowed that she would stay in the same room she was in when Lakshmana left until Lakshmana comes back again. She would not leave that room. Urmila kept to such a determination (vow).
Bharata went, “Sister-in-law, look here! He is Hanuman.” She was keeping her head down and was listening. “Where did he come from?” Hanuman said, “There is a war going on between Rama and Ravana. Lakshmana became unconscious during that. Rama is feeling badly. “Lakshmana, Lakshmana, Lakshmana! Why should I live without you?” Saying that, Rama is suffering a lot. To protect Lakshmana’s life, I am bringing the Sanjeeva Mountain.”
All at once, Urmila laughed outright. “Hanuman, you are the son of Vayu (the Wind god). You resolve everything. Don’t you even know this much? The Name of Rama is contained even in Lakshmana’s breathing. Will any danger happen to him, having that Name? There’s no chance at all for it to happen. So there is no danger to Lakshmana at all.”
She asked one question. She asked at that time, “What is Rama doing and what is Lakshmana doing?” Hanuman answered, “Rama is suffering. He is shedding tears. Lakshmana is closing his eyes and is supremely peaceful.”
Then Urmila said, “Because my husband does not have any suffering, he is closing his eyes and is supremely peaceful. All the weapons that Ravana and the demons are throwing are hitting Rama; therefore Rama is feeling sad.”
So, in this way, the characteristics of devotion and surrender in Urmila and Sumitra were not shown anywhere in the Ramayana. Due to there being such sacred women and men like that in those days, the Mother was considered the embodiment of dharma, the embodiment of Love and the embodiment of Truth.
Urmila and Sumitra: these two protected the whole world in all ways. So all should be friends. Her very name is friendly. (‘Sumitra’ means ‘good friend’.) All of you should also have a friendly nature. All should be Sumitras. All should be good children. That is what the country needs today.
In the ancient times, there was no one in the country of Bharata who hadn’t heard the story of the Ramayana. Though thousands of years have passed, today also, the story of Rama has not disappeared at all. Every now and then, Ramayana is developing as a new one (new explanations are given).
There will be no more rebirths for the one who remembers the Name of Rama and for the ones who behold the Form of Rama. For that reason, in the world, Valmiki described so much of the power of Rama and the Name of Rama. He described it so wonderfully!
(Bhagavan chanted the bhajan,
No Nectar Greater Than The Name of Rama
Embodiments of Love!
There is no nectar greater than the Name of Rama. Today the people are forgetting remembrance of the Name. They are only saying cinema names. No, no! (That’s not right)! The country has fallen to such a state because of that. Wherever and whatever individual it may be, however great a person, they don’t even think of ‘Rama, Krishna’ (the Names of God).
Greatly educated ones, great scientists, great, great intellectuals also are forgetting to put on vibhuthi (sacred ash). They put it on in the house and rub it off when they go outside! This type of fashion has begun. This fashion is killing man.
Hence, let anyone think anything. There’s no need to fear in any way. Why be afraid to say the Name of God? Therefore, the Name of Rama should be said in every corner, every street and every town in the world. Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, Siva, and Vishnu: whether the Name of Siva or the name of Vishnu or the Name of Rama, some Name should be repeated.
Today that remembrance is avoided. Due to there not being God's Namasmarana, tangles are coming out of every house. Even fights are beginning among brothers. What is the reason? Unsacredness enters in due to there not being sacredness.
Nowadays it is only money, money, money, money, money, money. High position, position, position, position, position, position. What are these ‘high positions’? What is this money? Do these protect us? Aren’t there so many rich people in the world? Aren’t there so many people in positions of authority in the world? Are they experiencing supreme peace? No, no! (They aren’t)!
That which gives happiness, bliss and peace to us is the Name of God and the remembrance of God. The ones who neglect this will be ruined. So we should never neglect. We should contemplate on every Name of God.
Siva is the personification of the Name of five letters (‘Namah Sivaya’). Vishnu is the embodiment of the eight-lettered Name, ‘Namo Narayana’. The praana (life force) in the embodiment of the five-lettered Name (Siva) and the embodiment of the eight-lettered Name (Vishnu) is contained in these Names.
Hence, God said that there is the letter ‘ma’ in the five-lettered Name and the letter ‘ra' in the eight-lettered Name. The unity of these two is ‘Rama’.
There is ‘ma’ is in the five-lettered Name. The five-lettered Name is ‘Namah Sivaya, Namah Sivaya’. If there were no letter ‘ma’ in it, it would be ‘Na-Sivaya’. That would mean inauspiciousness (‘na’ is negating, while ‘Sivaya’ is auspiciousness). If the ‘ma’ joins, everything is auspicious. Namah Sivaya. Na-ma, if the ‘ma’ is removed, Na-Sivaya, it is inauspicious. Namo Narayanaya. In that also there should be the letter ‘ma’. Without the ‘ma’, there would be inauspicious there also.
When both the ‘ma’ in the five-lettered Name, ‘Namah Sivaya’ and the ‘ra’ in the eight-lettered Name come together, it becomes ‘Rama’.
He Exists For Me
Hence, Students! Elders! Devotees!
Yet, there is nothing else that protects us more than God's Namasmarana. Let any position come. It comes today and goes away tomorrow. All are passing clouds, passing clouds, passing clouds. We should not struggle for this.
Position may come to anybody. Through what? Through politics! How long is the position that comes through politics? If one blows, it will go. So we should not struggle at all for the power that comes through politics. It should come from the heart. Whoever has God's Name in his heart is fortunate and meritorious.
The people who don’t like it may say, “No”. You should say, “You don’t want God, but I want Him. Rama isn’t there for you, but He is there for me. Rama doesn’t exist for you, but He exists for me. Who are you to say that my Rama doesn’t exist? Who are you? I have my Rama. I have my Siva. You say that He doesn’t exist: He may not exist for you, but He exists for me.”
No one has any right at all to deny your God. So we have to fight for this right. So God's Name should never be given up at any place or time.
Sarvada Sarva Kaleshu Sarvatra Hari
Contemplate on God everywhere,
all times and under all circumstances.
(Bhagavan ended His Divine Discourse by chanting the bhajan, “Rama, Rama, Rama Sita…”)
Sri Rama Navami Glossary
21 April 2002
Taken from "A Glossary of Sanskrit Words
from Sai Literature"
Ashanthi (pg. 41) Peacelessness
that is confounding the world
Guru: (pg. 150) One who dispels the darkness
of ignorance; The guru is God in human form. (Used generally to mean
Manthra: (pg. 220) Mystically powerful formulae
or sound symbols to be recited for spiritual upliftment
Namaskaar (pg. 243) Salutation, good wishes, from
namamakaara: “All that I am and
have is due to Your Grace”; or ‘na-ma’, ‘not mine’; A form of
salutation by folding the palms together and holding them near the heart
region. It symbolizes the touching of he Guru’s Feet or surrendering the
ego at the Feet of the Lord
Namasmarana: (Pg. 244) Repeating the Name of the
6) Praana (pg. 275) Praana means ‘vibration’ and it is the very breath of life; life force or vital energy; positive energy
7) Prasad: (pg. 279) Consecrated food blessed by God
8) Rishi: (pg. 298) A great saint, fully knowing the omnipresence of God; not one who is a great scholar or a ritualist, but one who is free from evil tendencies; (commonly understood to mean a sage).
Seva: (pg. 345) Loving or selfless
Vibhuthi: (pg. 404) Sacred ash, a manifestation
of Divine glory, power, might, splendor, majesty.
Yagna (same as Yajna) (pg. 416) Fire