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Ananda RAmAyaNam - VIII

From: Kalyani Krishnamachari (kkrishnamachari_at_lucent.com)
Date: Fri Jul 18 1997 - 01:58:39 PDT

                          Sri RAmajayam

                       Stories from ANANDA RAMAYANAM - Continued

This is the eighth posting in Ananda RAmAyaNam series:


Excerpts from YAtrA kANdam:

[YAtrA kANdam is written in the form of a conversation between Lord Siva 
and PArvati.  He explains how the original satakoti RAmAyanam was written and 
how in the future, many more RAmAyanams will come into existence and how they 
will all be called works of VAlmIki. He then proceeds to narrate the 
conversation between two bhaktas, RAmdAsa and VishNudAsa. This part covers
the details about the yAtra undertaken by SrI RAma.]

Lord Siva tells PArvati:

" VAlmIki originally created the satakoti RAmAyanam and the name and fame 
spread to all the worlds; The devas, yakshas, gandharvas, nAgas, sages and
others vied to keep the RAmAyanam for their own use. This resulted in total
chaos and fight between them. Lord Vishnu intervened and divided the
satakoti RAmAyanam into 3 parts of 33,33,33,333 granthams each (100
crore divided by 3).   He took the remaining one mantra (32 aksharas with 4 
quarters each with 8 aksharas - anushtup candas) and divided it into 3 parts 
with 10 aksharas per part.  Two letters (rA and ma) were left out of the work 
after this;  I received these 2 letters and I say them into the ears of those 
who die in KAsi (Benares).  He gave 1 part of the satakoti RAmAyanam
to the devas, 1 part to the sages of the earth and 1 part to the nagas
of pAtAlalokam."  

"In order to spread the bhUloka part of the RAmAyanam in the 7 dvIpams, VishNu  
divided it into 7 parts with 4,76,19,047 granthams each. 4 slokams 
(posted in the bhakti list under posting 7) were left over - Lord Brahma
learned them from VishNu; He then taught them to Sage Narada who taught them
to Sage VyAsar.  Out of the 7 divided parts, since Jambu DvIpam was is 9 
divisions - each division got 52,91005 granthams. Finally, the letter SrI
was left over - VishNu mixed the letter in all the 9 parts."

"The RAmAyaNa stories will be forgotten over a period of time - Sage VyAsa
will collect the remaining stories and form 24,000 slokams under 7 kandams
and add mangala slokams in the beginning and end.  Sage Agastya and other rishis
will make different RAmAyaNams out of this collection and make them famous
in bHarata kaNdam.  Learned men will consider all these to be as made by
Sage VAlmIki himself.  The SAra kANdam related by me to you is the sAram
(or juice) of VAlmIki's RAmAyanam."

"RAmAyaNAnyanekAni prthagAgre munIsvarAh
BhAghAdbhAratakhaNdAntargatAt kumbhodhdhavAdayah

Karishyamtyatra satasastAni sarvANi PArvati
VAlmIkIyAdvinA devi na jneyAni manIshibhih

SArakANdam purA devi yaduktam ca mayA tava
VAlmIkIyAchcha tachchApi sAramudrtya vai mayA"

[ The total number of slokams including BAlakANdam, AyodhyAkANdam, 
AraNyakANdam, KishkindAkANdam, SundarakANdam and YuddhakANdam comes to
20,728.  I am assuming the 7th kANdam - UttarakANdam has the rest,
bringing the total to 24,000.]
 
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Excerpts from YAga kANdam:  


YAga kANdam relates how Lord RAma did the Asvameda yAgham.  Detailed reports
are given about how the yAga horse is decorated and sent for BhU pradakshinam;
when the horse comes back victoriously (with no one to challenge), RAma
gets ready to do the Asvameda yAgham.  Sage Kumbodhara pays a visit to RAma
and offers his prayer in the form of RAma Ashtottaram (will be given in 
the next posting). All the kings who have come to witness the asvameda yAgam
perform dwajArobhaNam ( worshiping of the dwaja or flag pole and 
installing it in VishNu temple); an excellent slokam in praise of VishNu is 
given in this context (will be posted subsequently); RAma proceeds to Sarayu 
river to do "avabhrta snAnam" (a snAnam done at the completion of a yAga or
sacrifice) and completes the asvameda yAgam with pUrNAhuti.  In the end, RAma 
tells LakshmaNa to take all the sages to the treasury place and asks him to
order all the guards to leave the place, so the sages can take whatever
pleases them.  He also presents a lot of gifts to all the guests.  He
himself receives a golden throne from Kubera, a cool umbrella from 
VaruNa, a wonderful crown from Indira, a garland from Saraswati, bright
swords from Siva and PArvati, horses from Candran (Moon), sandals from
SUryadeva and a lot of blessings from the sags.  Lord Siva pays another 
visit and offers a prayer in honor of RAma (will also be posted subsequently).


More to come,

Kalyani Krishnamachari