Significance of Ramayana

Significance of Ramayana

One of the most beautiful explanations that underline the inner significance of the Ramayana was provided again by the late Sathya Sai Baba.

The name of Rama has exceptional power. The three syllables (rama) stands for fire, light and tranquility or Agni, Sun and the Moon. By chanting the name of Rama, sins are extinguished, darkness is lifted and emotional turbulence is replaced by peace and calm.
Invoking the name of Rama is to invoke both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The Ra is taken from Om Namo Narayanaya! (dedicated to Mahavishnu), while Ma is taken from Om Namah Shivaya! (dedicated to Lord Shiva).

The name Rama therefore suggests non-dualism as the supreme truth: there is no Vishnu without Shiva and no Shiva without Vishnu.

According to Sri Sathya Sai, the King Dasaratha symbolises us. All of us are given ten senses, including five of action and five of perception. The capital city of Ayodhya signifies a place where no enemy can enter. This means the human body. Permission from the mind is needed to enter the body.

The three wives of Dasaratha (Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi) represent the three gunas of purity, activity and indolence. The four sons Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna represent the four Vedas. Rama represented the Yajur Veda, Lakshmana represented the Rig Veda. Bharata represented the Sama Veda and Shatrughna represented the Atharva Veda.

They also represent the four objectives that every individual must strive to fulfil, including dharma or righteousness, artha or wealth, kama or desire and moksha or salvation.
Sita represents Brahma-jnana or absolute wisdom. She was fascinated by a golden deer and fell victim to wanting to possess it. This means jnana or wisdom is thwarted by desire. The result was separation.

When Rama went in search for Sita, he came to a mountain called Rishhyamukha which symbolises detachment. Rama seeks the friendship of Sugriva or discrimination and he needed the help of Hanuman or courage. Both qualities are essential to spiritual seekers.
Rama destroys Vali who represents wickedness and cruelty. Ahalya, wife of Gautama, disobeyed her husband and was cursed to become a stone. She regained human form when touched by Lord Rama. Such is the power of His name that it can transform a hard stone into something soft, gentle and tender.

Baba would often say that pain is but an interval between two pleasures and pleasure is but an interval between two pains.

Hanuman crossed the ocean of delusion (alternating between pain and pleasure) by chanting Lord Rama’s Name. He was the ideal son, the ideal brother, the ideal husband, the ideal friend, and even the ideal enemy. His name is therefore the sure road to salvation.

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