With all that has been happening in India regarding Ayodhaya, the following are excerpts found in talks and in letters from Swami Chinmayananda…
The world needs this Rama-Blast to Bliss-out the sorrows and tensions of baser living! – Swami Chinmayananda
What is the Ramayana?
The RAMAYANA supplied the rich melody that modulated the heart and moulded the muscles of Indian Culture. Even now, it can work this magic!
Spiritual glory, mystical quiet, moral splendour and physical valour are the essential stamps of the Hindu life. And all these were at once generated, nourished and kept blazing in the Bharatiya character, through the constant study of this world famous Epic, RAMAYANA. It can now repeat its magic!!
Sage Valmiki who wrote Ramayana, not only wanted to give his readers, a complete picture of an ideal human being facing every possible situation of life with utmost inner equipoise, but he also had his own experience of the Self to express. Valmiki was not mere author and publisher. He was essentially a Man of Realisation, a champion of the scriptures. These inner symbolisms and significances of the Ramayana are generally lost sight of by the students who are charmed away by the minute beauties in the workmanship of his pen!
Anatomy of a classic
A “Classic” must contain geography, history, social customs, people, beliefs, superstitions, moral values etc. It is showing a mirror to that time. But the hero is an “Ideal”, “Perfect”, “Master” — in that Culture. RAMAYANA is a Mystical poem of classical dimensions recorded in classical form.
RAMA, the ideal perfect one, is made to play life on a stage as filthy as the world that is the common lot of all of us. Criss-crossing through its exhaustive drama are the tensions of passions, emotions, jealousies, pride, lust and greed, the madness of power, the hunger for wealth, the thirst for pleasure and the delusions of attachments.
There are the tender narrations of innocent childhood, heroic descriptions of irrepressible youth, and learned discourses upon the wisdom of old age. Every incident here is an illustration of “Dharma-in-action.”
In short, RAMAYANA is a picture gallery where each picture is perfect. Yet, the entire gallery is confusing with its own variegated colours and rich profusions. Just like the picture of the world around us!
Ramayana is a necklace of priceless gems, each gem dazzling with the divine brilliance of the ideal personality of Lord Rama; in a vivid story form, it clearly demonstrates not only the brilliant charm of living in the enduring moral values (Rama) but also how one’s life can become a dark and dreary tragedy if, in spite of one’s prosperous wealth and glory, might and power, one has not cultivated moral-values (Ravana) to live and enjoy one’s life.
Ramayana – dive deeper and deeper into it, discover Rama, as One who revels in all, and invoke Him to express through you so that the veiled and hidden Rama in all may wake up and reveal Himself!
An educational tool
In the Ramayana, we find many high ideas and ideals “concretised” as it were, and presented in the characters like Rama and Sita, Bharata and Hanuman. Many a Hindu has drawn inspiration from one or the other of these ideal personalities. In the lives and precepts of these mythic characters, the entire ethics of Hinduism lies shining like a Pole Star.
To bring the story of RAMAYANA to our growing children at home is the best EDUCATION that parents can give to their sons and daughters, — an education that can instill into them a reverence “for life,” and a sense of moral beauty and spiritual alertness “in life.” Every child must get a chance to grow up in an atmosphere of inspiring ideals, helping it to form it’s own personal “vision-in-life.”
In and through them all, SRI RAMA stands out, the Kodandapani, bearing his righteous bow, ever in the defence of honour and truth, of justice and peace. He also has a dash of frailty, which makes him truly human. And yet, in his divine glories, he stands out distinctly as a colossus of beauty – a mighty titan of strength – a soaring peak of Olympus.
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