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Seetha Rama Kalyana Mahotsavam : Part 1

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sun Mar 17 1996 - 20:43:41 PST

Dear Members of the Prapatti Group and the 
Dakshina sampradhaaya Bhajana group of Buffalo:

It is a great honor for me to participate in the Kalayana
Mahotsavam of Sri Janaki Maata and Sri Rama Prabhu,
even if it is in a vicarious fashion..

This most auspiciuous event has been CELEBRATED  by 
great poets and Bhagavathas such as Sri Valmiki  in 
Srimad Ramayanam, Sukha Brahmam in Srimad Bhagavatham,
Our Azhwaars in Divya Prabhandham ,Adi sankara in
Raghavaastakam, Vaishnavite  Achaaryaas like 
Sri Vedanta Desika in Raghu Veera Gadhyam,  
Kambha Nattazhwaar in Kambha Ramaayanam, Tulasidas 
in his Ramacharitamanas ,Samartha Rama Das of Maharastra
and Shivaji"s guru in  his Daasa Bhodha , Kabir Daas,  
Sri Narayana Bhattadhiri in Srimad Narayaneeyam, 
Bhakta Ramdas of Bhadrachalam , the Aparaavathaara of Valmiki,
Saint Thyagaraja in many of his  krithis, Sri Mutthuswami Deekshitar 
in Sri Ramaashtakam , Arunaachala Kavi Rayar in 
Rama Natakam, OOthukkadu Kavi in his Kalyana Vasantha 
krithi  and many other Bhkthas and Bhagavataas .

I will use this opportunity to reflect on  their works and 
prepare myself for the Sri Rama Navami of Dhatu Samvatsaram.

We will start with a question and  answer verse of Stotra Ratna of 
ALavAnDAr to understand the significance  of  Seetha and Ramaa.
Our Acharya asks the question and then explains  the eternal
and sacred  principle of the Divya Dampathis this way:


ALavandhaar asks: " Who is the Lord of Sri Devi? What  is the 
resting place of  Satva Gunas? Who is the Lotus eyed Lord?
Who is called  the Purushottaman by the Smrithis and Sruthis?
Who is the one in whose  crore of a part the entire universe 
with its Chetanas and Avhetanas find their dwelling? He answers 
these rhetorical questions subaequently and says :
O Narayana! Tvadhanya: Ka: . There is no one  
besides  You that deserves these Naamas and attributes. That
Narayana took the incarnation of Rama and was born as the 
son of Dasaratha. The Devas at the end of the destruction of 
Ravana in the battle field offered their saluttions to VIJAYA RAGHAVAN 
and acclaimed Him as " Bhavaan Narayanoh Deva: ". He replied 
modestly this way concealing His Narayana Swaroopam :
"Aatmaanam Maanusham Manyeh, Ramam Dasarathaatmajam ."
Thus we know that Rama is Narayana and Narayana is Rama .
We also know  by deduction that Sita Devi , Rama"s consort is none 
other than Mahalakshmi (Sri Devi ). The story of marriage of Sita and
Rama is therefore very sacred for us to reflect and benefit.

We will undertake Pratakshina Yaatra of Bharata Desa following the 
sign posts established by the above Bhaktas and Bhagavatas and
offer our own Deepa Pratakshinam in the Bhajana Paddhati around the 
illustrious ,Svayam Jyothi of the Divya Dampathis . 

Kabir Daas the weaver  uses the metaphor
of the warp and the woof to explain the Rama
principle , which we are celebrating today this way:

" Weaver, weave the name of Hari, on which Gods,
Men and Munis(sages ) are meditating .He stretched the
warp and took the shuttle. The four Vedas are the wheel.
One Beam is RAMA NARAYANA  fulfilling the proposed work.
He made the ocean of the world a trough; therein , he kneads
the starch--- Moon and Sun , they are two treadles; in mid-ocean ,
the warp is made. As the Lord of the Thirubhuvana (thre worlds)
brushed on the starch, Syama joined the broken ends. He set
the pegs,and when he took the reed, then RAMA  was bound.
As the reed beats up the warp, the three lokaas were bound.
None he left free.The three  lokaas were made one loom.
The warp worked up and down.The eternal purusha made 
me to sit beside him; Kabir entered into light."

 We will offer our salutation to RAMAA , the consort of RAMA 
a la Saint Thyagaraja before we participate in the Vivaha 
Mahotsavam of the divine couple. 

1.Sriranjani Kriti of the Saint: Sariy ev vareh? Sri Janaki Nee.

Here the Saint says: "O Janaki Maata! There is no one to
match your auspicious qualities. You have qualified yourself 
perfectly in associationg with Paramaatmaa Sri Rama to serve Him 
by constantly keeping Him in prosperity . You chose to follow Him
in the fearsome forest and offered Him royal comforts and pleasures
there. Who can match your Kalyana Gunaas? "

2.Kalakanti Krithi of the Saint: Sri Janaka Tanayeh! Sritha Kamalaalayeh!

"O Daughter of King Janaka! the Goddess of fortune to 
those, who resort to You! O Consort of Sri Raghu Rama, 
bedecked with shining jewels and ornaments !
Pray Protect me always. You are the wind that destroyed 
the clouds of demons like Ravana.You are the indweller 
of the hearts of devotees( Natha Maanava Maanasa 
satsadaneh ).Your feet shine with the lustre of gems 
set in the crown of Indra."

3.Sahana Kriti of the saint: Dehi Tava Padha Bhakthim Vaidehi!

Here he asks Vaidehi, the redeemer of the fallen to
vouchsafe him constant  devotion at  Her  Lotus feet !
He says: " Oh ,the giver of temporala nd spiritual 
beenfits and the mothe rof Brahma and Manmatha!
Oh, Devi  born of the milky ocean, adorned with golden 
jewels and  delighted by the musical chanting of Agasthya!
Oh, The consort of Sri rama! The whole universe is your 
form(Akhilanda Rupini) ! Your hair is beautifully black 
like the bumble bee (Alikula nibha Veni) . You ar ethe queen 
of the protector of the Yaga of Viswamitra. You are the cause
of my fortune(Mama Bhagya Karini). You protect those, who
take refuge in You (Saranaagatha Paalaneh). You are the 
destroyer of the arrogance of the ten-headed Ravana.You have 
beautiful ,red lotus eyes and you reside in the heart of Thyagaraja .

4. Kambhoji Krithi : Maa Jaanaki chetta Bhattaga-maharaja Vaidevi

Here , Saint Thyagaraja reveals the secret behind the glory of
Sri Ramachandra. He says: " Oh, Rama! You have become great 
and famous by taking the hand of our Sita in marriage . You have 
acquired as a result the glory of bearing the name as the vanquisher
of Ravana. She accompanied You to the forests , as ordined by You ,she 
left Her real form beside Agni (the fire) and tooka  Maya form to follow
the Rakshasa, Ravanaa. She stayed in the Asokha Vanam waiting for you
to rescue Her. Though She was offended by the words of the evil 
Ravanaa, She desisted from killing him (by Her indignant look ) and
wanted to leave the credit of killing him to You. Oh, Rama! You have
became famous and great by marrying our Sita . "

We will now move on to celebrate the Seetha Rama Kalyaanam .

Oppiliappan Koil Varachari Sadagopan