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HH Shri Tridandi China Jeeyar Swamiji's Ramayana Pravachanam At Atlanta

From: Murali Kalvapudi (murali_chris_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Aug 10 2000 - 15:52:41 PDT

Jai Srimannarayana!

As requested by Shriman Mohan Sagar, I am posting this message, so that 
non-telugu speaking members get benefited from Shri Swamiji's upanyasam!

Please correct me for any mistakes/errors that I might have committed in 
summarizing the speech.

We were fortunate that day when Shri Swamiji has revealed the
inner meanings of the some of the episodes in Aranya Ka:ndam.

Swamiji said that even as the story is interesting so also the
philosophical message that comes out with it. One may think that
what philosphical message we can get from the story part where
mostly killing of deamons is the main theme. To our amagement,
Swamiji has brought out the similarities between the story and
human life in a very lucid manner, which I venture to summarize
to the best of my memory. I am sure this will benefit the rest
of the devotees who missed the great pravachanam and sweetness of it.

Shri Swamiji and all the knowledgeable persons on the mailing
list, please pardon all the errors in this summary and correct
me as soon as possible.

The main story of Aranya Ka:ndam is,  Lord Rama entering  Dandaka:ranyam,
Viradha vadha (a deamon who tries to kidnap Sita), meeting several
Rishis, living in Panchavati, Soorpanakha episode, golden deer episode,
Sita haranam, jata:yu episode, search for Sita, kabandha vadha and
sabari episode.

Swamiji has elaborated on the meaning of Vira:dha vadha, meeting
Sarabhanga maharshi, Kabandha vadha, and Sabari episode.

Swamiji said that in Sanskrit 'ra:dh' means generating
love and affection, "preethi" in our hearts. That is why we call
pooja as A:ra:dhana. Vira:dha is the opposite of that. One who
tries to make others cry with pain may be called Vira:dha. How
do we make others cry with pain?

Swamiji says it is one's ego, if forced on others then the other
person will feel the pain of subservice and it will be heartrending
for him. It is always this ego which controls emotions and actions
of human beings leading their downward slide from humanity to
animal/rakshasa behaviour in the present world.

If one is not in possession of a thing, one's ego will hurt if
someone else enjoys it and he will try to see that thing is taken
away from the other person too. One wishes that everybody should obey
whatever one says. If others does not listen to whatever one says,
one's ego will get hurt and he tries to mend ways for the other
person to suffer. One feels satisfied when the other person actually
cries with the pain. That is the height of egoism which is personified
in Vira:dha, and all the other deamons, Swamiji says. Rama has killed
Vira:dha when he tried to snatch away Sita, that is when that egoism
reaching alarming proportions.

Three kinds of beings live in Forest- Deamons, Animals
and Maharshis. We also have three kinds of people among us in this
world, sajjanas (or equivalent of Rishis), people who are having
deamon like behaviour and qualities, and people with animal cruelty
are also not very rare amongst us. Everyone of us belong to one
category or the other by the virtue of the acts we perform and
thoughts/wishes we cherish. One has to examine himself to get to know
which category he belongs.(Try before a mirror! Am I really...!!! Oh..No!)

When we closely observe, human life is also an aranyam, Dandaka:ranyam
more so. The path ahead is unknown, obstacles and hurdles are innumerable
and the final destination is undecided. Lord Rama's tour through
the forest gives us the way to behave, a model to follow in such
circumstances. What did Rama do? Not only he killed the deamons
(in our lives these are nothing but the evil qualities like ahamkaram,
egoism, I:rshya etc), he also visited all the Rishis in the
forest (in our lives we will discover and practice all the divine
qualities within and around us). Imagine how many rishis he visited?

He was visiting and staying 2/3 or a few days in each Rishi's Ashram
one after another contineously and by the time he took up residence
at Panchavati, as per Sage Agastya's suggestion, he completed more than
10 years of his vanava:sa period!

Many of the Maharshi's are Kulapathis, meaning that they run very
big ashrams having several younger Rishis allotted for different works
to take care of with number of disciples learning or practicing under
each of them. Sage Sarabhanga was one of the great kulapathis.

Swamiji says that if one follows his varna ashrama dharmas truely and
sincerely, even Gods will respect him, afraid of him and also come to
him to take help if necessary.

Lord Rama realized that when he was about to enter Sarabhanga Ashram.
He saw a divine chariot, with yellow horses and immediately recognised
that it belongs to Devendra. He was surprised that Devendra came to
earth to see a Rishi and overheard that Devendra came over to take
Sarabhanga to Swargam as Sarabhanga's life span here was complete.

Sarabhanga said that he has to see Rama before he can
come with Devendra and sends Devendra back. Rama was amazed at the
power of the great sage and humbly went to pay his respects to the
Great Rishi. Sarabhanga was very happy to see Rama and when Rama
said that he has killed Vira:dha, Sarabhanga felt even more happier.
He blessed Rama, wished him godspeed, generated yogagni and attained
swargam in that yogagni.

Swamiji reminds us of a saying from sashtras here. Whenever one visits
an elederly person, pregnant women,  kids,  God or Acharya, one should
not go with empty hands. One should always offer something to the other
person, which the other person likes and feel happy about. There are
certain laid down instructions in our sashtras on what has to be
presented in each case, like sweets, toys, money in the form of
dakshina etc.

When we visit God, what do we have to offer? Fruits,flowers, etc..?
God is having everything, what he likes the most? It is
our love and affection towards Him which he likes the most. If we
go to Him and say that I am yours, and whatever offering we take
with us, filled with our love towards God, then he accepts it with
great "preethi", as He said in Gita. (Patram Pushpam Phalam ...).

Similarly when we visit Acharyas or Rishis there is a rule that
we have to go as 'Samitpa:ni'.  There are two meanings here.
Samit means samidhas the small wood pieces required for Homam.
Rishis will perform homams on daily basis and all kinds of things that
are required to continue that ritual, will make them happy.
Samitpa:ni also means that going with both hands folded showing
respect and our belongingness to the Acharya or Rishi. He will be
more pleased if he can hear something which he can feel happy about
or if you can take away some problem which is hampering him.

Now Rama was about to visit Sarabhanga and according to tradition,
he should take something, which makes Sarabhanga feel happy.
What can Rama think of to give Sarabhanga! He does not need, samidhas
as he lives in forest and there are hundreds disciples to take care
of daily ashram chores, he does not need anything else as he is about
to leave to Swargam.

The only issue with him was the repeated attacks
by the deamons on the young and practising Rishis. Inspite of
restricting the deamons they are a big menace for all the Rishis
for Kulapathi Sarabhanga. Viradha was head of them all and knowing
he can not do any harm to Sarabhanga, he is teasing all the rishis
under him discouraging the practicing Rishis.

So when Rama went to Sarabhnaga and told him that Viradha was killed,
Sarabhanga felt immensely happy and blessed Rama. The only remaining
objective for Sarabhanga was to remove the rakshasa peeda for his
disciples and when Rama did it for him, his was joyous.

Killing of Viradha means that removing the evil ego from the face
of the earth. His ego was of monstrous proportions. One has to kill
that ego to be able to proceed further in one's life. Then only one
can realize hundreds and thousands of good qualities within us and
among ourselves. It is not so easy as said, but we can achieve that
with the help of God and Acharyas.

Jai Srimannarayana!


(.. to be continued)



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