This is my ‘Thank You Note’ to the magical universe. For manifesting a dream.
The cover-page of Aranya Kanda… a dream come true!
Everything begins as a thought. Then it turns into reality. May the Lord inspire us to the most elevated thoughts which would manifest as the most beautiful realities.
A big thank you to the publishers and my friends.
‘Yad Bhavam, Tad Bhavanti’
As you think, so it manifests…
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.
Kadin kusang kupandh karala/ Tinh ke bachan baakh hari byala//
Grih karaj nana janjala/ Te ati durgam sail bisala//
The horrifying wrong path is the companionship of the wicked. Their words are like tigers, lions and serpents. The multiple challenges of daily household life appear like unconquerable huge, mountains.
Ban bahu bisham moh mad mana/ Nadim kutark bhayankar nana//
Desire, vanity and pride are like dangerous forests; and the accusations and wrong arguments are the terrifying rivers.
Je sraddha sambal rahit nahim santanh kar saadh/
Tinh kahu manas agam ati jinhahi na Priya raghunadh//
Those who do not have faith, and are not supported by sages; and for whom Sri Ramji is not dear, they will find access to Manas impossible. (Without devotion to Lord Ram, faith and satsang, one cannot access Manas).
Jaum kari kasht jayi puni koyi/ Jatahim need judayi hoyi//
Jadata jaad bisham ur laaga/ Gayehu na majjan paav abhaga//
Even if a human reaches the lake of Manas even after much ordeal, the sleep shall catch him unawares; and the heart fills with stupid and foolish thoughts and consequently the unlucky one will not be able to take a dip in Sri Ramcharit Manas’ holy waters.
(Note: The undeserving shall be kept away from relishing the nectar of Manas. Without the Lord’s blessings, nobody can relish this beauty.)
Kari na jayi sar majjan pana/ Firi aavayi samet abhimana//
Jaum bahori kovu puchan aava/ Sar ninda kari tahi buchava//
Such a person returns, filled with hurt pride, not having taken a holy dip or tasted the holy waters of Manas. If someone were to enquire about his experience, instead of speaking about his misfortune, he shall mock the Manas and try to justify his experience.
Sakal bighna byapahim nahim tehi/ Ram sukripam bilokahim jehi//
Soyi sadar sar majjanu karayi/ Maha khor traytap na jarayi//
But on whom Sri Ramachandra’s gracious, bountiful glance is cast, all these troubles never bother a true devotee. He takes a dip in these divine waters and escapes being scalded by the Tri-taap: Spiritual, Mental, Physical.
Te nar yeh sar tajahim na kavu/ Jinh kem Ram charan bhal bhavu//
Jo nahayi chah ehim sar bhayi/ So satsang karavu mann layi//
The devotee whose heart is filled with love for Sri Ramji’s lotus feet shall never leave the lake of Manas. Whoever wishes to take a dip in this holy lake should cultivate ‘satsang’ aka companionship of the good and wise souls intentionally.
As manas manas chakh chahi/ Bhayi kabi buddhi bimal avagaahi//
Bhayavu hridayam anand uchahu/ Umagovu prem pramod prabahu//
After seeing this divine Manas through his heart’s eyes and diving delightedly into it, the poet’s intellect has become pure; the heart is full of enthusiasm and bliss; and the whole body is filled with great joy.
Chali subhag kabita sarita so/ Ram bimal jas jal bharita so//
Sarju naan sumangal mula/ Lok bed mat manjul kula//
In such a manner flowed the waters of beautiful poetry which is filled with the pristine glories of Sri Ramji. The name of this poem-river is Sarayu; which is the root of all prosperity. The voices of the world and Vedas form the two shores of the river.
Nadi puneet sumanas nandini/ Kalimal trin taru mool nikandini//
The daughter of the beautiful Manas, river Sarayu is very pure; and shall uproot all the small and big sinful shrubs and trees epitomising the burdens of Kaliyug easily.
Bhagati nirupan bibidh bidhana/ Chhama daya dam lata bitana//
Sam jam niyam phool phal gyana/ Hari pad rati ras bed bakhana//
Multiple interpretations of devotion, patience, compassion, and mastery over the senses are the cluster of leaves. Vanquishing the mind, Yam (Non-violence, truth, celibacy, faith, non-hoarding nature); Niyam (Cleanliness and hygiene, happiness, meditation, self-knowledge, surrender to the Lord); are the flowers; wisdom is the fruit; and untrammelled devotion at Sri Hari’s lotus feet is the nectar of the wisdom-fruit. That is what the Vedas expound.
Auravu kadha anek prasanga/ Teyi suk pik bahubaran bihanga//
Shri Ramcharitmanas has many anecdotes and stories which are akin to gorgeous parrots and cuckoos.
Pulak batika bagh ban such subhihang biharu/
Mali suman saneh jal seenchat lochan charu//
The thrill on hearing this story is the garden, orchard, forest; and the joy experienced is the sanctuary of the birds. The pure mind is the gardener. The loving tears flowing from the beautiful eyes water the greenery.
Je gaavahim yeh charit sambhare/ Teyi ehi taal chatur rakhware//
Sada sunahim sadar nar nari/ Teyi surbar manas adhikari//
Those who sing this story slowly and carefully are the keepers of the four ghats. The men and women who ardently and devoutly listen to the glorious tale are the ideal gods and goddesses who are in possession of this sundar ‘Manas’.
Ati khal je bishayi bag kaagaa/ Ehi sar nikat na jahim abhagaa//
Sambuk bhek sevar samana/ Iham na bishay kadha ras nana//
The wicked and sensual souls are like the unfortunate cranes and crows who never venture near this beautiful lake. Because, inside this Manas-Sarovar or Lake of Shri Ramcharitmanas there are no frogs, grass et al., which epitomise the sensual stories preferred by the five senses.
Tehi karan avat hoyam hare/ Kami kaak balak bichare//
Aavat ehim sar ati kadinayi/ Ram kripa binu aayi na jaayi//
Consequently, the helpless crows and cranes (folks who are caught in the sensual world) get demotivated and disheartened on arriving near this lake. There are many obstacles in arriving at this destination. Without the grace of Sri Ramji, one cannot arrive here.
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.
Kalpabhed Haricharit suhaye/ Bhanti anek munisanh gaye//
Kari ana samsay as ur aani/ Sunia kadha sadar rati maani//
In different yugas, sages have sung about the glorious stories of Sri Hari. Do not have any doubt in your mind, and with due respect and love, listen to this story.
Ram anant anant guna amit kadha bistar/
Suni acharaju na manihahim jinh kem bimal bichar//
Sri Ramji is infinite, and his qualities are also infinite; hence his stories also are countless. Those whose thoughts are pristine and pure shall not be surprised at hearing this story.
Ehi bidhi sab samsay kari duri/ Sar dhari gur pad Pankaj dhuri//
Puni sabahi binavavu kar jori/ Karat kadha jehim lag na khori//
In this manner, after keeping all apprehensions at bay, wearing the dust of my guru’s lotus feet on my head, I pray with folded hands to everybody, so that no blemish occurs in the narration of this story.
Sadar sivahi nayi ab madha/ Barnavu bisad Ram guna gadha//
Sambat sorah sai ekteesa/ Karavu kadha Hari pad dhari seesa//
Now I prostrate myself before Lord Shiva and begin the pure and beautiful story of Sri Ramji. In this year 1631, after bowing my head at the feet of Sri Hari.
Naumi bhaum baar madhumasa/ Awadhpurim yeh charit prakasa//
Jehi din Ram janam shruti gavahim/ Teeradh sakal taham chali aavahim//
On the Navami of Chaitra, on Tuesday, this story began in Ayodhya. The Vedas say that on the day of Sri Ramji’s birth, all the divine rivers flow towards Ayodhya and reach the divine city.
Asur nag khag nar muni deva/ Aayi karahim Raghunayak seva//
Janma mahotsav rachahim sujana/ Karahim Ram kal keerati gaana//
Asuras, Nagas, birds, humans, sages, devas all reach Ayodhya and serve Sri Ramji. The wise people celebrate the Lord’s birth- festival and sing about his great glories that day.
Majjahim Sajjan brind bahu pavan saraju neer/
Japahim Ram dhari dhyan ur sundar syam sareer//
On that day, the devotees take bath in the pure waters of Sarayu, and meditating on the blue-hued Lord, keep reciting his divine name ‘Ram’.
Daras paras majjan aru paana/ Harayi paap kah bed purana//
Nadi puneet amit mahima ati/ Kahi na sakayi Sarada bimal mati//
The Vedas and Puranas say that seeing, touching, taking bath or drinking the holy waters of river Sarayu vanquishes all sins. This river is very pure, and its greatness is ineffable, which even the brilliant Saraswatiji cannot describe fully.
Ram dhamada puri suhavani/ Lok samast bidit ati pavani//
Chari khani jag jeev apara/ Awadh tajem tanu nahim samsara//
This radiant Ayodhya puri grants access to Vishnu Dham. Indeed, it is a holy place and is famous across all worlds. Of the four forms of life on the universe (Andaj (born of egg), Uddhibhaj( born of the earth) Swedaj (Born from excreted elements) and Jarayujj (Born of wombs), if its death occurs at Ayodhya, there is no return to the unending cycle of births and deaths in this world.
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.