Jai Shri Ram
"Hari anant Hari katha ananta, kahahi sunahi bahu vidhi sab santa" - Lord Ram is infinite and so are His pastimes.. His stories have been narrated by many saints in many ways.
"Ram naam gun charita suhae, janam karam aganita sruti gaye" - The charming names of Shri Ram, as well as His virtues, stories, births and deeds have all been declared by the Vedas to be beyond number.
"Nana bhati Ram avatara, Ramayan sat koti apara" - There have been numerous Ram avatars.. And thus the Ramayan has been written many times in different ways.
Lord Ram's naming ceremony
According to the Ramcharitmanas:
- King Dashrath requested Guru Vasistha to name his children.
- Guru Vasistha said, "Their names are many and unique, yet I will declare them according to my own lights."
- Guru Vasistha said, "The elder boy of yours, who is an ocean of felicity and embodiment of joy, a particle of which fills the three worlds with delight, has for His name 'Ram', the very home of bliss and the comforter of all the three worlds. Your second son, who sustains and supports the universe, will be called 'Bharat'; while whose very thought destroys one's enemies is celebrated in the Vedas by the name of 'Shatrughana'. He who is the abode of noble characteristics, the beloved of Shri Ram and the mainstay of the whole universe will be called 'Lakshman'."
- Guru Vasishta said that all four brothers are the essence of the Vedas. Of them Shri Ram is the sages' treasure, the devotee's all in all and Lord Shiva's very life.
The Valmiki Ramayan gives us additional information that Guru Vasistha performed the naming ceremony on completing eleven days after the birth of Lakshman and Shatrughan took place or thirteen days after the advent of Lord Ram (which took place two days earlier).
Lord Ram reveals his marvellous infinite form to Kaushalya Ma : Ramcharitmanas
- One day, Kaushalya Ma washed and adorned Ram and put Him to sleep in a cradle. Thereafter she bathed herself in order to worship her kul ishtdev. Having worshipped the deity she offered Him food and then returned to the kitchen. When she came back to the place of worship, she saw Ram eating the food that had been offered to the lord.
- Frightened at this, Kaushalya Ma went to her boy and saw Him asleep in the nursery. Coming back once more to the temple she still saw Ram there. She now trembled with fear and her mind found no rest. She saw two Rams - one in the temple and the other in the nursery.
- Then Lord Ram revealed to His mother His marvellous infinite form, every pore of whose skin contained millions of universes. Closing her eyes, Kaushalya Ma bowed her head to the Lord's feet. Seeing the mother struck with wonder the Lord assumed the form of a child again. She was unable to utter praises and trembled at the thought that she had looked upon the Father of the universe as her own child. Shri Ram comforted His mother in many ways and said, "Listen, my mother: please do not reveal this fact anywhere."
Kakbhushandi's devotion : Ramcharitmanas
- Whenever lord Ram appears in Human form and performs numberless leelas for the sake of His devotees, Kak Bhushandi goes to Ayodhya to watch these bal leelas. He goes there to witness the grand festival of lord Ram's birth and stays there for full five years. To witness these Bal leelas, Kakbushandi takes the form of a small crow. Whenever Lord Ram is in His Bal-roop, Kak Bhushandi flutters close to Him. He picks up the crumbs that fall from baby Ram's mouth and eats them up.
- In one particular Ram avatara, baby Ram was playing with Kakbushandi. Ram went to catch him, but he flew away. Then Ram showed Kakbushandi a piece of sweet cake. When Kakbushandi came near the Lord, He smiled. But the moment he flew away, the Lord started crying. Seeing the Lord play like an ordinary child Kakbushandi was overcome by bewilderment and wondered, "What! are these actions in anyway worthy of Him who is knowledge and bliss personified?" The moment this doubt entered his mind, Kakbushandi fell under the spell of Lord Ram's Maya.
- Lord Ram stretched out His hand to catch him. Kakbushandi flew up to Brahmalok but when he looked back, he saw Lord Ram's hand behind him. He flew to all seven folds of the universe but still the Lord's hand followed him to catch him.
- In terror he closed his eyes and when he opened them again he found himself in Ayodhya. Shri Ram smiled to see him back. Kakbushandi began to laugh but got instantly driven into Lord Ram's mouth. In the Lord's belly, Kakbushandi saw multitudinous universes with many strange spheres each more wonderful than the rest. He saw numerous Brahmas, Shivas, Oceans, Rivers, Yamas, Gods, Sages, etc.
- He stayed full 100 years in each of those universes. Each universe had its own Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Each universe also had its own Ayodhya with its own Sarayu and its own men and women. Shri Ram's parents - Dasartha and Kaushalya, His brothers were all different in each universe. Kakbushandi witnessed the descent of Lord Ram in each such universe. But all the Rams in the different universes were the same.
- Kakbhushandi's soul was utterly bewildered and he was lost in a maze. He spent over 100 kalpas in the Lord's belly.
- Baby Ram suddenly laughed and Kakbhushandi came out of His belly. Baby Ram again started playing with him. Kakbushandi lost conciousness and said, "save me, save me, O Lord." He started praying to the Lord.
- Lord Ram was highly pleased with Kakbhushandi's devotion and told him to ask Him for a boon. Kakbhushandi asked the Lord for a boon of Hari Bhakti - that he shall always remain devoted to Lord Ram's feet. Thus, the lord was pleased and gave him this boon.
- Kakbushandi is one of the greatest devotees of Lord Ram and has witnessed numerous Ram avataras.
Education of Lord Ram : Valmiki Ramayan
Lord Ram's education at Guru Vasishta's ashram is not mentioned in the Ramcharitmanas. However, it is indirectly mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayan. The Valmiki Ramayan says:
- Guru Vasishta performed (from time to time) with respect to the four princes all rites commencing from the Jatakarma and ending with Upananyana.
- The eldest of the brothers, Shri Ram, proclaimed the greatness of His race like a flag and proved to be the delight of His father.
- All the four brothers turned out the be masters of the Vedas and great heroes, and all were intent upon doing good to the people. All were endowed with wisdom and all were adorned with virtues. Shri Ram, however, was exceptionally glorious of them and possessed of true unfailing prowess. Like the full moon in a clear sky He was the beloved of all the people and was esteemed in the art of riding on elephants and on horseback and in the various processes of driving a chariot. He took delight in the science of archery and was devoted to the service of his father. [This gives us a hint that Lord Ram along with His four brothers went to Guru Vasistha's ashram for their education. His education at the ashram is probably mentioned in detail other Ramayanas written by different authors.]
Edited by harianant - 21 August 2012 at 12:17am