The Story of Shri Ramcharitmanas

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.

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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’.

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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.

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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’.

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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.

Doha:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Doha:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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