Koojantham raama raamethi madhuram madhuraaksharam!
Aaruhya kavithaashaakhaam vande vaalmiki kokilam!!
Vaalmeeker muni simhasya kavithaa vana chaarinaha!
Shrunvan raama kathaanaadham konayaanthi paraagathim!!
Anjanaanandanam veeram jaanaki shoka naasanam!
Kabeeshamakshahantaaram vande lankaa bhayankaram!!
Manojavam maaruda thulya vekam jitendriyam buddhimataam varishtam!
Vaadaatmajam vaanarayoodha mukhyam shri raama thuudham shirasaa namaami!!
Aanjaneya madhipaatalaananam kaanjanaadri kamaneeya vigraham!
Paarijaatha tharumoola vaasanam bhaavayaami bhavamaana nandanam!!
Yatra yatra raghunaatha keerthanam tathra tathra kritamastha kaanjalim!
Bhaashpavaari paripoorna lochanam maaruthim namada raaksha saanthakam!!
Shri raaghavam dasharataatmajam aprameyam seethapathim raghukulaanvaya ratnadeepam!
Aajaanubhaahum aravindatalaaya daaksham raamam nishaachara vinaashakaram namaami!!
Welcome to the second blog series, titled “Life lessons from Shrimad Ramayana”!
Starting from today, we’re going to experience various lessons for life from our great epic Ramayana and also, our “Aatman” (Soul) should get involved into “Bhakti” or “Devotion”. The ancient and traditional culture of Bhaarata Desha (India) is centered on two main pillars – Vedaas/Vedaantas and “Veda-Upabrahmanas”. It’s known that the Vedas comprises of the four important sects – Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana. However, “Veda-Upabrahmanas” comprises of the “Ithihaashas” and the “Puraanaas”. All these texts signify the ways and means as to how a human being should conduct himself/herself in this world, right from the day of taking birth till the last day of life. Also, these texts convey the significance of the “Aatma”, “Paramaathma” and the relationship between the two, in a highly spiritual context.
Vedas are also referred to as the “Shaasthras”. The Sanskrit word “Shaastram” can be split as “Shaasanaad-Shastram”, which simply means, “Do this, and do not do this”. Hence we can infer that the Shaastraas are those texts that teach us what to do and what not to do in our lives. Also, it says how should a person behave and how not to behave in a society. Although there are rich teachings like this in the Shaastraas, how much can a human mind grasp, given its limitations in terms of learning and remembering all what has been learnt? To make things simpler and to set a precedent in the world in terms of setting the right example or a role model, the Lord comes to this world in the form of numerous “Avataars” or “Incarnations”. Hence, through the various incarnations of the Lord, we as human beings can observe, experience and learn from them to lead a happy life.
Of course, we need to learn the Vedas and allied texts understand them and try to implement the principles mentioned in them in our day-to-day life. Given the fact that the Lord’s incarnations teach us much more, then a question may arise as to why at all should we read the Vedas and the allied Shaastras? Also, should we read the Vedas or the Veda-Upabrahmanas, or both? If both, which one should be read first? Let’s see in a much deeper detail in the next episode!!