This is my ‘Thank You Note’ to the magical universe. For manifesting a dream.
‘Angad ka pair’ : This is a popular saying in Hindi heartland. Prince of Kishkindha- young Angad, planting his foot firmly on the durbar ground and challenging Ravan to move it even the tiniest bit; well, that has been the stuff of legends. It has been described with great awe in the Lanka Kanda by Goswami Tulsidasji. I find it very inspiring.
Yesterday, I met a wonderful woman who epitomised Angad’s willpower and has given me new life goals.
She suffered from some sort of stroke and had pain in feet and hands in her late fifties. Then she took up walking and running in that order. Today, she has run many marathons and half-marathons and stood before me as the shining example of what a focussed mind can achieve.
This is a toast to Angad’s foot and so many who live that power everyday of their lives!
Yuddhakanda aka Lanka Kanda is getting designed. Bless the artist and the publisher…They are simply wonderful.
May my Hanumanji lead us on….as always.
Shrota tribidh samaj pur gram nagar duhu kool/
Santsabha Anupam avadh sakal sumangal mool//
Three types of listeners habitate the neighbourhood, the village and the city situated on both shores of the river; and the convergence of the sages form Ayodhya which is the root of all auspicious prosperity.
Rambhagati sursaritahi jayi/ Mili sukeerati saraju suhayi//
Sanuj Ram samar jasu pavan/ Milevu mahanadu son suhavan//
The beautiful Sarayu, glorious and healing merge in the Gangaji which epitomises deep devotion to Lord Rama. Into this confluence, flows the great river Son which represents the glorious victory of Sri Ramji along with his brother Lakshman, in the war with Ravan.
Jug bich bhagati devadhuni dhara/ Sohati sahit subirati bichara//
Tribidh taap trasak timuhani/ Ram saroop sindhu samuhani//
Amidst the Sarayu and Son, the Ganga of bhakti flows, radiantly representing wisdom and detachment. The holy river, with three parts, drives away all three forms of worldly sufferings and proceeds to merge in the ocean called Sri Ramji.
Manas mool mili sursarihi/ Sunat sujan mann pavan karihi//
Bich bich kadha bichitra bibhaga/ Janu sari teer teer ban bagaa//
The origin of Sarayu is Sriramcharitmanas and it merges with the Gangaji of devotion to the Lord. The good souls who listen to it will find their minds purified. The stupendous stories studded inside the narrative are like the enchanting forests and groves by the riverside.
Uma mahes bibah baraati/ Te jalchar aganit bahubhanti//
Raghubar janam anand badhayi/ Bhawar tarang manohartayi//
The entourage of Lord Shiva’s marriage procession, all of them, are the various creatures thriving in the waters of this holy river. The ecstatsy triggered by the birth of Sri Ramji can be seen as the beauteous springs and ripples of the water.
Balcharit chahu bandh uke banaj bipul bahuranga/
Nrip rani parijan sukrit Madhukar baari bihanga//
The childhood pranks and stories of the four brothers are the gorgeous, colourful lotus flowers blossoming in the river. The good fortune of Raja Dasradh, his queens and family members are the bees and waterbirds fluttering around those.
Seey swayambar kadha suhayi/ Sarit suhavani so chabi chayi//
Nadi naav patu prasn aneka/ Kewat kusal utar sabibeka//
The beautiful story of Sitaji’s swayamvar is the cool shade which is palpable near the river. The philosophical questions which are deep and lovely are the boats bobbing along the waters and the discerning, remarkable answers are the alert boatmen who guide the boats to safety.
Suni anukadhan paraspar hoyi/ Padhik samaj soh sari soyi//
Dhor dhar bhrigunadh risani/ Ghat subadh Ram bar bani//
The discussions which happen on listening to this story, are used to garner radiant wisdom by the pilgrims following the river’s path. The untrammelled fury of Parasu Ram symbolises the deadly whirlpools in the waters and Sri Ramji’s great, serene, wise words are the ghats on either sides which control the flow of the waters.
Sanuj Ram bibah uchahu/ So subh umaga sukhad sab kahu//
Kahat sunat harshahim pulakahim/ Te sukriti mann mudit nahahim//
The enchanting swell of this river is caused by the euphoria surrounding the marriage of the Lord and that of his brothers. Those who are entranced at listening and singing this story, take a dip in this river, and are truly elevated souls.
Ram tilak hith mangal saaja/ Parab jog janu jure samaja//
Kayi kumati kekayi keri/ Pari jasu phal bipati khaneri//
The conglomeration of devotees around the river brings to mind the celebrations of the Lord’s impending marriage. But the twisted mind of Kaikeyi is like a deadly whirlpool causing many misfortunes in its wake.
Saman amit utpat sab bharat charit japjaaga/
Kali agh khal avaguna kadhan te jalmal bagh kaga//
Bharat’s illustrious character is akin to the great yagya where the Lord’s name is chanted, which cleanses all the accumulated , innumerable forebodings and evils. The slush of the river and the ill-auguring crows and cranes, are equivalent to the sins of Kali Yuga and the rampant evil doings of the wicked therein.
Keerati sarit chahu ritu ruri/ Samay suhavani pavani bhuri//
Him himsailsuta siva byahu/ Sisir sukhad prabhu janam uchahu//
This celebrated, ausipicious river is beautiful in all the six seasons. It is always bountiful and extremely pure all through the flow of time. The wedding of Shiv and Paravatiji is the pre-winter season (Hemanta); and the birth of Sri Ramji is the much awaited, gladsome winter (Sishira).
Barnab Ram bibah samaju/ So mud mangalmay rituraju//
Greesham dussah Ram banagvanu/ Pandhkadha khar aatap pavanu//
The eternal, joyous, prosperous spring (Basanth) is the description of the crowds during the marriage of Lord Ram. His departure to the forest is the intolerable Grishma(summer) and the story of the journey epitomise the blistering heat and harsh winds.
Barsha khor nisachar raari/ Surakul saali sumangalkaari//
Ram raj such binay badayi/ Bisad sukhad soyi sarad suhayi//
The war with the rakshasa can be understood as the monsoon season (Varsha); which is welcome and augurs prosperity for the harvest called devas. The peace, humility and greatness of Ram-rajya illustrate the pure, good, cool season of autumn (Sharad).
Sati siromani siya guna gadha/ Soyi guna amal Anupam padha//
Bharat subhavu suseetaltayi/ Sada ekaras barni na jaayi//
The illustrious story of Mata Sita’s qualities form the pure and incomparable waters of this divine river. The coolness of the waters spring from Bharat’s sweet nature; which is always unflappable, steady and ineffable.
The publisher is putting the finishing touches to the third translation/transliteration from Shri Ram Charit Manas : Aranya Kanda. I was fortunate to complete Aranya Kanda and Lanka Kanda in 2021. The kind hearted editor informs me that the artist has now started working on Lanka Kanda/Yuddha Kanda. I simply express my heartfelt gratitude for their commitment and sincerity. The Lord works through us: when we submit the results at His beautiful lotus feet.
I recollect the struggle of the days when I was completing these two translations. Perhaps, the words, page by page of grueling work, saved me from slipping into the morass of depression.
Today, when we discuss the publication, I wish to bow my head in reverence again to that ineffable loving energy which guides, protects and embraces all seekers. By whatever name we hail the Lord, in whichever manner we choose to pray…He is my light and signpost…the spark in my soul. May He allow this insignificant speck of dust to cling more to Him.
May my beloved Hanumanji bless this book too.
Sab bidhi puri manohar jani/ Sakal siddhiprada mangal khani//
Bimal kadha kar keenh arambha/ Sunat nasahi kaam mada dhambha//
Knowing that Ayodhya is beautiful in all ways, grants all siddhis and is the seating place of all prosperity, I started writing this pure story. If anybody listens to it, all desires, ego and pride (kama, mada, dhambha) shall be cleansed from within.
Ramcharitmanas ehi nama/ Sunat shravan payia bishrama//
Mann kari bishay anal ban jarayi/ Hoyi sukhi jaum ehim sar parayi//
The name of this work is ‘Ramcharitmanas’. On hearing it with one’s ears, it leads to peace. The elephant called mind, which is burning in desire’s fires, shall find itself cool and blissful when it steps inside the lake called ‘ Shri Ramcharitmanas’.
Ramcharitmanas muni bhavan/ Birachevu sambhu suhavan pavan//
Tribidh dosh dukh darid davan/ Kali kuchali kuli kalush nasavan//
The Ramcharitmanas is beloved to sages. This beautiful and pure story was told by Lord Shiva. It destroys three types of doshas, sufferings and penury; and all the hypocrisies of Kaliyuga and all forms of sins.
Rachi mahes nij manas rakha/ Payi susamavu siva san bhasha//
Tatem Ramcharitmanas bar/ Dharevu naam hiyam heri harashi har//
Lord Shiva conceived the story and it stayed within his mind until he narrated it to his wife Parvati. Since the Lord’s story was gracing his heart (manas), Lord Shiv was pleased and named it ‘Ramcharitmanas’.
Kahavu kadha soyi sukhad suhayi/ Sadar sunahu sujan mann layi//
I am going to narrate the same beautiful, blissful story of Lord Ram. Devout souls, listen to it with sincerity.
Jas manas jehi bidhi bhayavu jag prachar jehi hetu/
Ab soyi kahavu prasang sab sumiri uma brishketu//
Now, remembering the divine Uma and Mahesh, let me describe how the Ramcharitmanas was created and which reason it spread across the world.
Sambhu prasad sumati hiyam hulasi/ Ramcharitmanas kabi tulsi//
Karayi manohar mati anuhari/ Sujan suchit suni lehu sudhari//
Due to Lord Shiva’s grace, intelligence dawned, and Tulsidas became the poet of Shri Ramcharitmanas. He has created it as beautiful as his intelligence could endeavour. Yet, devout souls, by listening to it with pure hearts, kindly modify any mistakes.
Sumati bhumi dhal hriday agadhu/ Bedh puran udadhi khan sadhu//
Barashahim Ram sujas bar bari/ Madhur manohar mangalkari//
Clear, pure intelligence is like earth; the heart is a place within; Vedas and Puranas are the oceans, and the sages and saints are the rain filled clouds. These clouds shower us with the rain waters of Lord Ram’s glorious, beautiful, sweet, wondrous and ever bountiful grace.
Leela sagun jo kahahim bakhani/ Soyi swachhata karayi mal hani//
Prem bhagati jo barni najayi/ Soyi madhurata susselatayi//
The elaboration of all the wonderful lila of the Lord forms the pure waters of Sri Ramji’s glory; which annihilates all evil. The ineffable loving devotion to the Lord causes the sweetness and coolness of the above said divine waters.
So jal sukrit saali hith hoyi/ Ram bhagat jan Jeevan soyi//
Medha mahi gath so jal pavan/ Sakili Shravan mag chalevu suhavan//
Bharevu sumanas sudhal dharana/ Sukhad seet ruchi charu chirana//
The waters of Sri Ramji’s glorious story are very beneficial for the rice crop of good deeds; and is the very life of Ram devotees. The pristine waters of Sri Ramji’s story fell on the earth of intelligence, flowed through the ears, and entering the ‘Manas’ or heart, stayed still therein. Residing there forever, it became beneficial, cool, sweet and beautiful.
Sudi sundar sambad bar birache buddhi bichari/
Teyi ehi pavan subhag sar ghat manohar chari//
The four enchanting and glorious conversations interwoven within this story ( Kaka Bhushundi-Garudji, Shiva-Parvatiji, Yagyavalkya-Bharadwaji, Tulsidas-Sages) form the four ghats of the immaculate and lovely lake.
Sapt prabandh subhag sopana/ Gyan nayan nirakhat mann mana//
Raghupati mahima aguna abadha/ Barnab soyi bar bari agadha//
The seven sopans (cantos) are the seven steps of this gorgeous lake of Ramcharitmanas. Gazing at which, through eyes of wisdom, the mind becomes pleased. The description of SriRamji’s nirguna (transcending all qualities) and unique greatness ushers in the depths of the graceful waters.
Ram Siya jas salil sudhasam/ Upma beechi bilas manoram//
Purayini saghan charu chaupayi/ Juguti manju mani seep suhayi//
The glories of Sri Ramji and Janaki are like amrit. The metaphors in the poetry are like the play of waves. The beautiful chaupayis are like lotus blossoms in the lake; and the poetic references are the sea shells holding pretty pearls.
Chhand sorada sundar doha/ Soyi bahurang kamal kul soha//
Aradh anoop subhav subhasa/ Soyi parag makarand subasa//
The beautiful play of words (Chhand, Sorada, Doha) is like an ensemble of vibrantly coloured lotus flowers. The incomparable meaning, spiritual elevation and exquisite language are the pollen, honey and fragrance of these flowers.
Sukrit punj manjul ali mala/ Gyan birag bichar marala//
Dhuni avareb kabit guna jati/ Meen Manohar te bahu bhanti//
The gathering of punya is like a flock of blue bees. Wisdom, detachment and contemplation are the swans. The intonation, word play, quality and character of the poetry are like beautiful fishes swimming about the waters.
Aradh dharam kamadik chari/ Kahab gyan bigyan bichari//
Nav ras jap tap jog biraga/ Te sab jalchar charu tadaga//
Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha: these four purusharthas, the wisdom and practical knowledge ingrained within, the nine rasas of poetry, recitation of the Lord’s name (jap), tap or meditation, yoga, and affirmations of detachment- these are all the enchanting creatures which thrive in this water body.
Sukriti sadhu naam guna gaana/ Te bichitra jalbihag samana//
Santsabha chahu disi avarayi/ Shradhha ritu basant sam gayi//
The pure souls, sages and songs eulogizing Sri Ramji are the scintillating water birds around. The groups of sages are like the mango orchards surrounding the lake and the prayerful dedication shines like the spring season.
Ramkadha Mandakini Chitrakoot chitt charu/
Tulsi subhag saneh ban siya Raghubeer biharu//
Tulsidasji says that Sriramji’s story is like the pure river Mandakini; a beautiful, pristine heart is like Chitrakoot, and true love is the forest where Sri Ramji moves about graciously.
Ramcharit Chintamani charu/ Sant sumati tiya subhag singaru//
Jag mangal gunagram Ram ke/ Dani mukuti dhan dharam dham ke//
Sri Ramji’s blessed story is the wish-fulfilling, gorgeous jewel ‘Chintamani’. It adorns the woman embodying the wisdom of the sages. Sri Ramji’s good qualities grant prosperity and joy to the world; and bestow salvation, riches, dharma, and access to the Vishnu dham.
Sadgur gyan birag jog ke/ Bibudh baid bhav bheem rog ke//
Janani Janak siya Ram prem ke/ Beej sakal brat dharam nem ke//
The story of Sri Ramji is the sadguru for attaining wisdom, detachment and yoga. It is akin to the twin brothers, Ashwini Kumaras, (who are the vaids of devas) when it comes to vanquishing the dreadful disease of worldly sufferings. The story acts like progenitors for creating love towards Sri Ramji and is the seed of complete penance, dharma and all laws.
Saman paap santap sok ke/ Priya palak parlok lok ke//
Sachiv subhat bhupati bichar ke/ Kumbhaj lobh udadhi apar ke//
Sri Ramji’s beautiful story ends all sins, sufferings and disappointments. It looks after this world as well as the next. If wisdom was embodied in a king, then the story is his courageous minister. It is like Agastya who can dry up the oceans of greed and worldly desires.
Kam koh kalimal karigan ke/ Kehari savak jan mann ban ke//
Atithi pujya priyatam purari ke/ Kamad ghan darid dawari ke//
The story of the Lord is like the young lions which kill the elephants called kaam (lust), krodh (fury), and other Kaliyug’s sins (lobha/moha/mada/matsarya-greed/ desire/ego/competition et al) which dwell within the minds of devotees. The Lord’s story is the beloved and venerated guest of Lord Shiva; and is like the rain filled clouds which douses the flames of poverty.
Mantra mahamani bishay byal ke/ Metat kadin kuvank bhal ke//
Haran moh tam dinkar kar se/ Sevak saali paal jaldhar se//
The story acts as the divine mantra and precious stone for removing the venom of the snake called sensory desires. Sri Ramji’s story can remove even the toughest fate lines (Prarabdh : accumulated karmas of previous births). It is equivalent to the sun’s rays in destroying the darkness of ignorance. It is also like rain clouds when it comes to taking care of the devotees who are like the rice saplings.
Abhimat daani devtaru bar se/ Sevat sulabh sukhad Hari Har se//
Sukabi sarad nabh mann udgan se/ Rambhagat jan Jeevan dhan se//
Sri Ramji’s divine story is like Kalpataru (Kalpavriksh-the tree which bestows whatever the devotee desires) in fulfilling the devotee’s wishes. It is like Vishnu and Shiva when it comes to answering prayers and bestowing happiness. The Lord’s story is like the stars illuminating the mind-sky of the good poet called autumn season (Sharad); and is the very life-line of Sri Ramji’s devotees.
Sakal sukrit phal bhuri bhog se/ Jag hith nirupadhi sadhu log se//
Sevak mann manas maral se/ Pavan gang tarang maal se//
The divine story results in great punya; akin to the royal feast offered unto the Gods. The story does unpretentious good to the universe just like the sages and saints. The Lord’s story is like the beautiful white swans swimming about in the Manasarovar Lake of the devotee’s mind and purifies one like Gangaji herself.
Kupadh kutarak kuchali kali kapat dambh pashand/
Dahan Ram guna gram jimi indhan anal prachand//
Sri Ramachandra’s great qualities shall burn down all the wrong paths, malicious arguments, wrong behaviours, the hypocrisies, arrogance, pretentiousness of Kali Yug like a fiery flame enhanced by fuel.
Ramcharit rakes kar saris sukhad sab kahu/
Sajjan kumud chakor chitt hith biseshi bada lahu//
Sri Ramji’s story is appealing and joyful to everyone like the light of a full moon. However, for good souls, it is extremely precious and especially benevolent like moonlight is to water lilies and Chakor birds.
Keenhi prasn jehi bhanti Bhawani/ Jehi bidhi sankar kaha bakhani//
So sab hetu kahab mai gayi/ Kadha prabandh bichitra banayi//
The way in which Paravtiji asked the question ( about Lord Ram) to Lord Shiv, and the manner in which he answered elaborately, I shall be singing about the unique, wondrous tale now.
Jehim yeh kadha suni nahim hoyi/ Jani acharaju karai suni soyi//
Kadha aloukik sunahim je gyani/ Nahim acharaju karahim as jani//
Ramkadha kai mithi jag nahim/ Asi pratiti tinh ke mann mahim//
Nana bhanti Ram avatara/ Ramayan sat koti apara//
Those who have not heard of Sri Ramji’s story, please do not be astonished on listening to it. The wise souls do not get surprised that the story of Sri Ramji is infinite and never ending. They deeply believe that Sri Ramchandra has appeared in many avatars and the narrations of Ramayana – the saga of Lord Rama- is innumerable (hundred crore and more).
Ram nikayi ravari hai sabahi ko neek/
Jaum yeh saachy hai sada tau neeko tulseek//
‘Sri Ramji, your good heartedness showers grace on everyone.’ If this is true, Tulsidas is also blessed by the Lord’s grace.
Ehi bidhi nij guna dosh kahi sabahi bahuri siru nayi/
Barnavu raghubar bisad jasu suni kali kalush nasayi//
In this way, by speaking about one’s good and bad deeds, and bowing to everybody, I shall start narrating the pure glories of Sri Ramji. By listening to His story, all the sins accrued in Kaliyug gets removed.
Jagbalik jo kadha suhayi/ Bharadwaj munibarhi sunayi//
Kahihavu soyi sambad bakhani/ Sunahu sakal Sajjan sukhu mani//
The beautiful story which Sage Yagyavalkya narrated to Sage Bharadwaj; I shall be reciting. The good folk may listen to it and experience happiness.
Sambhu keenh yeh charit suhava/ Bahura kripa kari umahi sunava//
Soyi siv kagbusundihi deenha/ Ram bhagat adhikari cheenha//
Lord Shiv was the one, who first compassionately narrated the story, to Uma. Then Lord Shiv told it to Kakabushundi, knowing him to be a true servant of Ram and deserving to be told the great story.
Tehi san Jagbalik puni pava/ Tinh puni Bharadwaj prati gava//
Te shrota bakta samseela/ Samvadrasi janahim Harileela//
Kakabushundi then passed on the story to Sage Yagyavalkya. He told the story of Ram to Sage Bharadwaj. Both the speaker and the listener (vakta and shrota) were of same spiritual nature and similar in their philosophical outlook; knowing the playfulness (lila) of Sri Hari very well.
Janahim teeni kaal nij gyana/ Kartal gat aamalak samana//
Auravu je Haribhagat sujana/ Kahahim sunahim samuchahim bidhi nana//
The two divine sages are ‘Trikalagyani’ (knowing the three time zones) and like a gooseberry on one’s palm, they can see what’s happening in any time-zone in front of them. They are great devotees of Sri Hari (deeply cognisant of Hari leela); and they narrate , hear and understand this beautiful story in many ways.
Mai puni nij gur san suni kadha so sukarkheth/
Samuchi nahim tasi balpan tab ati rahevu achet//
I heard this story in the realm of Varaha avatar from my blessed Guru. However, since I was very immature, I could hardly discern the depths of the beautiful story.
Shrota baktha gyannidhi kadha Ram kai gudh/
Kimi samuchaum mai jeev jad kali mal grasit bimoodh//
The narrator and listener of Sri Ramji’s glorious story has to be the treasure house of wisdom. How could someone like me, swathed by all sins of Kaliyug, stupid and foolish to the core, lifeless and barren, ever hope to decipher the enigmatic story?
Tadapi kahi gur barahim bara/ Samuchi pari kacchu mati anusara//
Bhashabaddh karbi mai soyi/ Morem mann prabodh jehim hoyi//
When my Guru repeated the story of the Lord many times, I started comprehending it partially. Now what I have understood, I shall narrate in the vernacular language, so that my mind becomes happy.
Buddh bishram sakal jan ranjani/ Ramkadha kali kalush bibhanjani//
Ram kadha kali pamnag bharni/ Puni bibek pavak kahu arni//
The story of Sri Ramji rests the minds of the learned; delights everyone who listens to it. It vanquishes all the sins accrued in Kaliyug. Sri Ramji’s story is the female peacock which kills the snake embodying Kaliyug. It is also the ‘arni’ (the wood used to kindle holy sacrificial fire) which shall kindle wisdom and discrimination. (Through this story, inner wisdom shall arise.)
Ram kadha kali kamad gaayi/ Sujan sajeevani moori suhayi//
Soyi basudhatal sudha tarangini/ Bhay bhanjani bhram bhek bhuangini//
In Kaliyug, Sri Ramji’s beautiful story is like Kamdhenu, the divine cow who bestows whatever you desire. For the good folk, it is like the life-giving Sanjeevani herb, which acts as the elixir of life. On earth, it is like a river of amrit; it destroys the fear of life and death; and is like the female serpent which eats the frogs of illusions.
Asur sen sam narak nikandini/ Sadhu bibudh kul hit girinandini//
Sant samaj payodhi rama si/ Biswa bhaar bhar achal chama si//
The Ram Kadha is like Durga, who vanquishes the narak equivalent to an army of asuras; and protects the sages and their clan. For the milky ocean (ksheer sagar) embodying the society of saints, the story of Sri Ramji is like Lekshmi herself. For carrying all the burdens effortlessly, the story acts like Mother Earth (Prithvi)herself.
Jam gan muh masi jag jamuna si/ Jeevan mukuti hetu janu kasi//
Ramahi priya pavani tulsi si/ Tulsidas hith hiyam hulsi si//
To combat the Yamudoota (to put ink on the face of Yama’s messenger, literally), the story of Ramji is like the dusky Yamuna herself. For salvation of the soul, Ram kadha acts like Kashi. Narrating his story is beloved to Sri Ramji like tulsi. And as for Tulsidas, the story of the Lord does good from the heart; like ‘Hulsi’ herself (his mother’s name).
Sivapriya mekal sail suta si/ Sakal siddhi sukh sampati rasi//
Sadguna surgana amba aditi si/ Raghubar bhagati prem parmiti si//
This story of SriRam is as beloved to Shiv as Parvati (Narmada) herself. It augurs all siddhis and prosperity. The story is like Mata Aditi in birthing and looking after the devas called good qualities. The ultimate horizon of the love and devotion to the Lord is encapsulated in his story.
Dhyanu pradham jug makhbidhi duje/ Dwapar paritoshat prabhu pujem//
Kali keval mal mool maleena/ Paap payonodhi jan mann meena//
In the first Yuga, Satya Yug, by meditation one can cross the bhav-sagar; in Treta Yuga it is through yagya (sacrifices); in the Dwapar Yuga, it is by means of puja (prayerful rituals). However, in Kali Yuga, sins have enveloped every mind and is deep rooted. The human minds are like fishes swimming in the ocean of sins in Kali Yuga. (Hence meditation, sacrifices and prayerful rituals do not become effective)
Naam kamataru kaal karala/ Sumirat saman sakal jag jala//
Ram naam kali abhimat data/ Hit parlok lok pitu mata//
In this Kaliyuga which is formidable and fearsome, the Name of the Lord is like Kalpavriksha-which grants all which the heart desires. Remembering the Lord’s Name, all worldly desires and sufferings are burned to cinders. Ram Naam gives everything which is benign: in this world it protects like one’s own parents; and grants access to Vishnu Dham in the yonder world (parlok).
Nahim kali karam na bhagati bibeku/ Ram naam avalamban eku//
Kalnemi kali kapat nidhanu/ Naam sumati samaradh Hanumanu//
In Kali yuga, there is neither karma, nor devotion, or discrimination/wisdom. The sole refuge is the Name of Ram. The Lord’s Name is the capable and intelligent Hanumanji who can kill the embodiment of all sins of the wicked Kaliyuga called Kalnemi.
Ram naam narkesari kanakakasipu kalikaal/
Japak jan prahlad jimi palihi dali sursaal//
Ram’s divine Name is the Narsimha avatar; the sins of Kaliyuga is Hiranyakashipu; and the devotee chanting the Ram Naam is like prince Prahlad. The Ram Naam kills the asura called Kaliyuga and protects the chanters of the Lord’s Name.
Bhayam kubhayam anakh aalasahu/ Naam japat mangal disi dasahu//
Sumiri so naam Ram guna gadha/ Karavu nayi Raghunadhahi madha//
Whether you utter the Lord’s Name with love, hatred, anger or even laziness, the auspiciousness/goodness spreads across the ten directions. I remember that blissfully divine Ram Naam, bow my head before Sri Ramji and shall sing about his great glories.
Mori sudharihi so sab bhanti/ Jasu kripa nahim kripam aghati//
Ram suswami kusevaku mosu/ Nij disi dekhi dayanidhi poso//
Sri Ramji’s compassion is indescribable; He shall correct all my life’s fault-lines (Grace me with abundant blessings). Such a great Lord like Sri Ramji and such a lowly servant like me! Even then, that embodiment of kindness, has taken pity on me and guards me with compassion.
Lokahu beda susahib reeti/ Binay sunat pahichanat preeti//
Gani gareeb gram nar nagar/ Pandit moodh malin ujagar//
In the world, and in the Vedas the ways of the good king are stated thus: on hearing the polite request, he recognises the love and sincerity. Whether rich or poor, illiterate or sophisticated, pandit or fool, notorious person or famous man…
Sukabi kukabi nij mati anuhari/ Nripahi sarahat sab nar nari//
Sadhu sujan suseel nripala/ Ees ans bhav param kripala//
Good poet or bad poet; all men and women praise the ruler as per their intelligence. The sage, the wise, the good natured one and the king, formed from a part of Brahma himself…
Suni sanmanahim Sabahi subani/ Bhaniti bhagati nati gati pahichani//
Yeh prakrit mahipal subhavu/ Jaan siromani Kosalravu//
(They…as mentioned above) Listen to everyone and discerning the words, devotion, humility and sincerity answer with sweetness and grace each with rewards. Now, this is the nature of ordinary good rulers, whereas Lord Sri Ramchandra is the crown jewel of all wise kings!
Reechat Ram saneh nisotem/ Ko jag mand malinmati motem//
Sri Ramji is pleased only by the purest love. But in this world, where is a fool and sinner bigger than my own self?
Sadh sevak ki preeti ruchi rakhihahim Ram Kripalu/
Upal kiye jaljaan jehim sachiv sumati kapi bhalu//
But the generous, compassionate Sri Ramji will still bless this wicked servant (and indulge his imperfect love and devotion to the Lord). After all, He is the one who made stones float on the ocean and anointed monkeys and bears as his wise counsel of ministers.
Hauhu kahavat sabu kahat Ram sahat upahas/
Sahib Sitanadh so sevak tulsidas//
Everybody says that I am Ram’s servant ; and I too, losing all shame and hesitation, do not dare to correct them. The great Lord tolerates this indignity of a wicked man like me being the servant of the incomparable Sri Ram!
Ati badi mori didayi khori/ Suni agh narakahu naak sakori//
Samuchi saham mohi apadar apnem/ So sudhi Ram keenhi nahim sapnem//
There is no limit to my stubbornness and sins that even the Narak has no place for a sinner like me. I am horrified by myself, yet the kindest Lord, Sri Ramji simply ignores all my multifarious faults and sins.
Suni avaloki suchit chakh chahi/ Bhagati mori mati swami sarahi//
Kahat nasayi hoyi hiyam neeki/ Reechat Ram jaani jan jee ki//
After listening and seeing all my faults with his pure eyes, Lord Ram is pleased with my devotion and acumen! In spite of whatever one says, what matters is the purity of a devotee’s heart. The Lord gazes inside one’s heart and showers His abundant graces.
Rahit na prabhu chit chuk kiye ki/ Karat surati saya baar hiye ki//
Jehim agh badhevu byadh jimi bali/ Phiri sukand soyi keenhi kuchali//
The good Lord never remembers the sins of the devotees and only retains the memories of their good deeds. Indeed, the sin which Bali committed and which made Sri Ramji kill him like an animal; Sugreev continued to commit the same! (Take the brother’s wife as his own)
Soyi kartooti bibheeshan keri/ Sapnehu so na Ram hiyam heri//
Te Bharatahi bhentath sanmane/ Rajsabham Raghubeer bakhane//
Vibheeshan too committed the same sin; but not even in his dreams did the Lord take affront. When he returned to Ayodhya, he praised his brother Bharat with such generosity of spirit in the royal court.
Prabhu taru tar kapi dar par te kiye aapu saman/
Tulsi kahu na Ram se sahib seelnidhan//
Is there any comparison between the supreme Lord Ram and the monkeys frolicking on the tree branches? Yet, the Lord treated them as equals. Tulsidas vouches that there is nobody as kind or good hearted as the embodiment of compassion Sri Ramji.
Ram ek tapas tiya tari/ Naam koti khal kumati sudhari//
Rishi hith Ram suketusuta ki/ Sahit sen sut keenhi bibaki//
Sahit dosh dukh das durasa/ Dalayi namu jimi rabi nisi nasa//
Bhanjevu Ram aapu bhav chapu/ Bhav bhay bhanjan naam pratapu//
Sri Ramji gave moksha to Ahalya. But His ‘Name’ ensures that crores of wicked souls are shown the right way. For the benefit of Vishwamitra Sri Ramji killed the daughter of Suketu (Tataka) and his son Subabhu along with the army. But His ‘Name’ ensures the extinction of all miseries, faults and bad desires of the Lord’s devotees just like the sun conquering the night. Sri Ramji broke the mighty bow of Shiva. But His ‘Name’ destroys all the fears in the universe.
Dandak banu prabhu keenh suhavan/ Jan mann amit naam kiye pavan//
Nisichar nikar dale raghunandan/ Namu sakal kali kalush nikandan//
Sri Ramji turned the fearsome Dandakaranya into a welcoming place. But His ‘Name’ has purified the hearts of innumerable people. Sri Ramji killed scores of asuras. But His ‘Name’ can destroy the root of all sins committed in Kaliyuga.
Sabari geedh susevakani sugati deenhi Raghunath/
Naam udhare amit khal bed bidit guna gaath//
Sri Ramji granted moksha to Sabari, Jatayu and many great souls. But His divine ‘Name’ has converted countless wicked into good people. The Vedas eulogize the greatness of the Lord’s Name.
Ram sukand bibheeshan dovu/ Rakhe saran jaan sabu kovu//
Naam gareeb anek nevaje/ Lok bed bar birid biraje//
Sri Ramji granted refuge to two: Sugreev and Vibheeshan. But His ‘Name’ has granted happiness to countless of needy souls. The world and Vedas are replete with the beautiful stories relating to the Lord’s Name.
Ram bhalu kapi kataku batora/ Setu hetu shramu keenh na dhora//
Namu leth bhavsindhu sukhahim/ Karahu bicharu sujan mann mahim//
Sri Ramji had to equip an army consisting of monkeys and bears; and their toil to build the bridge across the ocean was not small. But on taking his name ‘Ram’ the whole worldly ocean of sufferings dries up instantaneously! Now, good folk, ruminate on which is greater? (The form or the name of the Lord)
Ram sakul ran ravanu mara/ Siya sahit nij pur pagu dhara//
Raja Ramu avadh rajdhani/ Gavat guna sur muni bar bani//
Sevak sumirat namu sapreeti/ Binu shram Prabal moh dalu jeeti//
Firat sanehu magan such apnem/ Naam prasad soch nahim sapnem//
Sri Ramji killed Ravan and his clan in the battle; and returned to his kingdom with Sitaji. Sri Ramji reigned as the king of Ayodhya and the devas and sages sing about his glories. On remembering Ram’s name with pure love, the devotee vanquishes the army of desires in a moment. He is immersed in bliss, and by remembering Ram’s divine name, nothing disturbs his mind even in dreams.
Brahma Ram tem namu badh bar Dayak bar dani/
Ramcharit sat koti mah liya mahes jiyam jani//
The name of the Lord is thus more powerful than Nirguna Brahma and Saguna Ram. It can give boons to the boon giver himself! That is why Lord Shiv chose ‘Ram’ as the quintessential divine name to recite amongst the crores of descriptions of the Lord.
Naam prasad sambhu abinasi/ Saaju amangal mangal rasi//
Suk sanakadi siddh muni jogi/ Naam prasad brahmasukh bhogi//
It is because of the blessings of taking the Lord’s name that Lord Shiva is indestructible and though dressed in a non-propitious manner, is the Lord who showers abundant grace.
Narad janevu naam pratapu/ Jag priya Hari Hari Har Priya aapu//
Namu japat prabhu keenh prasadu/ Bhagat siromani bhe prahladu//
Sage Narad knows about the greatness of reciting the Lord’s name. The universe adores Hari, Hari in turn adores Hara (Shiva), and Narad is beloved to both Hari and Hara. When young Prahlad took the Lord’s name with utter devotion, the Lord showered his grace instantaneously. We know that Prahlad is eulogized as the crown gem of all devotees. (Bhaktshiromani)
Dhruv sagalani japevu Hari navu/ Payavu achal anupam davu//
Sumiri pavansut pavan namu/ Apne bas kari rakhe Ramu//
When little Dhruv recited the name of Hari with pain (having been hurt by his step mother’s words) he attained ‘Dhruv-Lok’, due to the power of the divine name. By remembering Sri Ramji’s name devoutly, Hanuman has captured Ram within his own heart!
Apatu ajamilu gaju ganikavu/ Bhaye mukut Hari naam prabhavu//
Kahaum kaham lagi naam badayi/ Ramu na sakahim naam guna gayi//
The wicked Ajamila (He called out his son’s name ‘Narayana’ and his sins were forgiven as he breathed his last), the elephant (Gajendra moksha), and a fallen woman- all received salvation by taking the name of Sri Hari. How much can I (a mere mortal) elaborate on the greatness of the Lord’s divine name; even Ram ji himself will not be able to laud to perfection, the greatness of Ram’s name!
Namu Ram ko kalpataru kali kalyan nivasu/
Jo sumirat bhayo bhang tem tulsi Tulsidasu//
In Kali yuga, reciting the name of ‘Ram’ is like a kalpataru (tree which grants every boon) and the residence of all joy and prosperity. By remembering the Lord’s name, the lowly Tulsidas (as lowly as bhang/ marijuana/ intoxicant) has attained the purity of Tulsi (basil leaf).
Chahu jug teeni kaal tihu loka/ Bhaye naam japi jeev bisoka//
Beda purana sant math ehu/ Sakal sukrit bhal Ram sanehu//
(It is not just in Kali yuga) In all four yugas (Satya, Treta, Dwapara, Kali), three time-zones, three worlds, the living being (jeev) becomes free of sufferings by reciting the Lord’s name. The vedas, puranas and sages extol that the ultimate punya is to love Sri Ramji (be devoted to Ram Naam).
Naam jeeh japi jagahim jogi/ Birati biranchi prapanch biyogi//
Brahmasukhahi anubhavahim anoopa/ Akadh anamay naam na roopa//
The Yogi who has completely detached from this world (of illusion) created by Brahma, by reciting the ‘Name of the Lord’, awakens into deep spiritual wisdom and experiences Brahma-sukh, eternal bliss which is beyond name and form, incomparable, ineffable, perfect.
Jaana chahahim goodh gati jevu/ Naam jeeh japi janahim tevu//
Sadhak naam japahi lay layem/ Hohim siddh animadik payem//
The one who wishes to know the cryptic ways of the creator, needs only to recite the name, ‘Ram’ to become aware of it. The one who wishes to attain worldly fame and name (siddhis) need only to light a lamp and recite the name, ‘Ram’ in order to attain all the siddhis.
Japahi namu jan aarati bhari/ Mitahim kusamkat hohim sukhari//
Ram bhagat jag chaari prakara/ Sukriti chaarivu anagh udara//
The ones who cry out his name ‘Ram’ to seek refuge from the pains and troubles which ail them, find that all their heavy miseries are immediately removed and attain peace and joy. There are four types of Ram devotees/Ram Bhakts in this world. ( Ardharthi: Those who wish for prosperity and prays to the Lord; Aarth: those who pray to free themselves of worldly sufferings; Jigyasu: those who wish to gain insight into the nature of the Lord; Gyani: those who understands His beautiful nature and lovingly prays to Him) All the four are sinless, pure souls and generous.
Chahu chatur kahu naam adhara/ Gyani prabhuhi biseshi piyaara//
Chahu jug chahu shruti naam prabhavu/ Kali biseshi nahim aan upavu//
All the four types of devotees have one foundation called ‘Ram Naam.’ Of these, the Lord’s favourite is the Gyani bhakt. In all four yugas and all four Vedas, the power of the ‘Ram Naam’ is high; but it is highly significant in Kali Yuga. Because, in Kali Yuga, there is no other alternative other than recitation of the Lord’s Name!
Sakal kaamana heen je Ram bhagati ras leen/
Naam suprem piyush hrid tinhahu kiye mann meen//
Those who are immersed in the bhakti of Ram, without any desires, (of material prosperity or even salvation), have made their minds akin to fishes that swim about every moment; in the loving, beautiful amrit-filled lake of Ram Naam.
Agun sagun duyi brahma saroopa/ Akadh agaadh anaadi anoopa//
Morem mat bad naamu duhu tem/ Kiye jehim jug nij bas nij butem//
Nirguna and Saguna are two forms of Brahma- both are indescribable, deep, without origin, and unique. But in my opinion, the ‘Naam’ of the Lord is bigger than both, since they dwell under its power.
Praudi sujan jani janahim jan ki/ Kahavu pratiti preeti ruchi mann ki//
Eku darugat dekhiya eku/ Pavak sam jug brahma bibeku//
Ubhay agam jug sugam naam tem/ Kahevu naamu bad brahma Ram tem//
Byapaku eku brahma abinasi/ Sat chetan ghan anand rasi//
The good folk should not mistake my words as stubbornness or even poetic logic. I am speaking about my mind’s faith, love and interest. The knowledge about both Nirguna and Saguna Brahma is like Agni or fire. Nirguna is like the sparks of fire inside the embers; essentially invisible; and Saguna is the flame itself. (Both are same in principle.) To distinguish between them is still very difficult. Only through by means of the ‘name’ or ‘Naam’, does the venture becomes easy. That’s why I exposit that the ‘name’ is bigger than Nirguna Brahma and Saguna Ram.
Brahma is omnipresent, unique, indestructible; and is the treasure house of power, radiance and happiness.
As prabhu hridayam acchat abikari/ Sakal jeev jag deen dukhari//
Naam niroopan naam jatan tem/ Sovu pragatat jimi mol ratan tem//
Though they reside in the heart of the Nirguna Brahma, the mortal creatures of the universe are fretful and unhappy. The preciousness and value of a gem is understood by a person on hearing its name. In the same way, by taking the ‘Naam’ or ‘name’ of the Lord, the Brahma appears to the devotee.
Nirgun tem ehi bhanti bad naam prabhavu apar/
Kahavu naamu badh Ram tem nij bichar anusar//
In this manner, the ‘Naam’ is bigger than Nirguna Brahma. Now, I state as my belief that the ‘Naam of Ram’ is bigger than Saguna Ram too.
Ram bhagat hith nar tanu dhari/ Sahi sankat kiye sadhu sukhari//
Namu saprem japat anayasa/ Bhagat hohim mudd mangal basa//
Lord Ram took the human avatar for the good of his devotees. He bestowed happiness to the sages while suffering much pain during his life time (the miseries of a human life). Now, the devotees simply chant his beautiful name and amass all joys and prosperity! (That is the power of Sri Ram’s divine name!)