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The Advaitic Meaning In The Ramayana (Rama And Sita)

By Staff
Where a true miracle happens- alas! the average man has no eyes to see it. Only gross magical acts he recognizes as miracles. Jesus commanding a lame man to get up and walk, is a,miracle. But a fragrant beautiful flower blossoming out of a mere heap of dung, is just an accident! When summer clouds gather and dance in the skies, it is only a routine happening! The very Ramayana started as a miracle.

One day when Valmiki was going to the Gangas to take a bath, he saw a Krauncha couple (a pair of curlews) sitting on the branch of a tree. A hunter shot at one bird which fluttered and fell down dead. The tragic sight evolved in Valmiki, the composition of a poem, which in turn caused the gods to request him to write an Epic Poem. Thus came forth the Ramayana - a miracle in itself.

Ramayana came out in spite of man, through man. The poem was,written by a man well-established in the Ultimate Reality, who was expressing through his work, the pure Advaita Philosophy, the contents of the Upanishads. The glory of the poem is that the ideal states of living are expressed, the ideal brother, son, king, enemy, friend and the ideal man living in society. But all this is mere paraphernalia. The core of this poem is utterly divine which explains why the glorious story of Rama is so popular even today.

Rama, The Pure Self

'Rama' itself means "Sarveshu Ramante lti Ramah" that which revels in everyone of us, the pure light of Consciousness, the Atman, the Self, the Atma-Rama. This spiritual essence in us, can come out only as a son of Dasaratha, one who has conquered all the ten Indriyas -' five Gnanedriyas and the five Karmendriyas. It will be born in you and reborn only in Ayodhya (yuddha means conflict, Ayodhya means where there is no conflict meaning, where all conflict has ended). In that Ayodhya which is ruled only by the self-controlled man (the one given to self indulgence and pleasures can have no peace and tranquility) Dasaratha's son Rama is born.

Sita, The mind

Rama, the pure Self, cannot enter into any active participation in life unless wedded to the mind. Sita (the mind) is ready. She is not born to Janaka by wedlock. While ploughing the land, he finds Sita. If a girl is got every time the land is ploughed, agriculture would have ceased long ago! The mind appeared from the most inappropriate place ever. It is absurd to enquire deep into this. Later you find that the same Sita , disappears into Mother Earth. From Mother Earth she came, to Mother Earth she went back. From where mind comes, and where it disappears during samadhi, nobody can tell. This is Maya.

Wedded to the mind when Rama returns, he finds that he cannot live in Ayodhya. For, once the mind has come, you start expressing through it. You have to enter the forest of life, self-exiled as it were.
Some cause or other must emerge as one enters the forest of existence. So long as Sita was looking up to Rama, living in Rama, for Rama, by Rama, she never found any difference between Ayodhya and a jungle. But how long can the mind remain constantly centred in the higher divine potential in us? It has to become extrovert. And this is just what happened the moment Sita looked away from Rama. The golden deer was noticed.

The finite, ephemeral, ever-changing objects, start pulling you towards them. The mind demands them. Rama may argue, and all the scriptures , might also argue, that it is all Maya, that it is not real, that it is only a Rakshasa. Yet even Sita, Rama's own consort, will not accept it, and she will exile Rama in search of the sense-object. Once desire- polluted, you fall. When Rama goes, he winks at Lakshmana and they both understand that the poor deluded girl is suffering, Sita is left in Lakshmana's charge.

About the author

Swami Chinmayananda

Swami Chinmayananda's lectures were an outpour of wisdom. He introduced the Geetha Gnana Yagna. He wrote a lot of books on spirituality, commentaries to Vedantic texts, children books etc. He then started spreading His teachings globally.

Story first published: Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 15:41 [IST]
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