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ARANYA KAND

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					Part III: In to the Forest (aranya Kand)


One day Seeta and Ram were sitting pretty on a crystal rock amidst the
enchanting environs of Chitrakoot, when Jayant, son of Lord Indra foolishly
thought of testing the mite of Ram. Turning into a crow he bit the feet of
Seeta. As it bled, Ram shot a shaft of reed from his bow which chased
Jayant. Refused entry obviously by his parents, he ran helter and skelter in
different parts of the universe, till on the advice of sage Narad he
surrendered before Ram. By way of punishment, he had to lose one of his
eyes.

Hospitality of Sage Atri and Anusooya :

Ram decided to move into the forest, so as to avoid visitors. He had the
hospitality of sage Atri who eloquently worshipped him, extolling the bliss
through devotion in Him, the Supreme Brahm.
       Ukekfe Hkä oRlya A d`ikyq ’khy dkseya AA
       Hktkfe rs inkacqt A vdkfeuka Lo/kkena AA
     fudke ’;ke lqanja A HkokEcqukFk eanja AA
     izQqYy dat ykspua A enkfn nks"k ekspua AA
     izyac ckgq fodzea A izHkks·izes;        oSHkoa AA
     fu"kax pki lk;da A /kja f=yksd uk;da AA
     fnus’k oa’k eaMua A egs’k pki [kaMua AA
     equhanz lar jatua A lqjkfj o`an Hkatua AA
     eukst oSfj oafnra A vtkfn nso lsfora AA
     fo’kq) cks/k foxzga A leLr nw"k.kkiga AA
     uekfe bafnjk ifra A lq[kkdja lrka xfra AA
     Hkts l’kfä lkuqta A ’kph ifr fiz;kuqta AA
     Ronaf?kz ewy ;s ujk% A Hktafr ghu eRljk AA
     irafr uks Hkok.Zkos A fordZ ohfp ladqys AA
     fofoä okflu% lnk A Hktafr eqä;s eqnk AA
     fujL; bafnz;kfnda A iz;kafr rs xfra Loda AA
     resde˜qra izHkqa A funhgehÜoja foHkqa AA
     txn~xq#aa p ’kkÜora A rjh;eso       dsoya AA
     Hktkfe Hkko oYyHka A dq;ksfxuka lqnqyZHka AA
     LoHkä dYi iknia A lea lqlsO;eUoga AA
     vuwi :Ik Hkwifra A urks·geqfoZtk ifra AA
     izlhn es uekfe rs A inkCt Hkfä nsfg es AA
     iBafr ;s Lroa bna A ujknjs.k rs ina AA
     oztafr uk= la’k;a A Ronh; Hkfä la;qrk% AA Nan [1 to 12]/4

Anusooya, the wife of the sage chatted with Seeta, discussing the virtues of a
devoted wife. That our commitment to ethics, our virtue of patience and the
unflinchingness of our friends and the spouse are tested in the hours of
crisis.
      /khjt /keZ fe= v# ukjh A
             vkin dky ifjf[k vfga pkjh AA¼4½@5

It was so enchanting to witness the celestial trio on foot traversing the jungle
path. In between Ram (the Brahm) and Lakshman (the Atma), Seeta was
shining as `Maya’ (the Illusion in the form of the universe, created by the
Lord).
      czã tho fcp ek;k tSlh AA(2)/7

On the way, demon Biradh was killed by Ram. Ram fulfilled the desire of
sage Sharbhang by visiting him. Being blessed with constant devotion in
Ram, he left his physical form.

Ram took a vow to eliminate the entire race of demons, when he saw the
piled up skeletons of sages, devoured by the demons.

Visit to Sage Agastya :

Suteekshn, a disciple of sage Aagstya was totally devoted to Ram. The
thought of getting a glimpse of the Lord filled him with the ecstasy of love
in Ram. As a result, he lost his consciousness of the physical world and
started dancing and singing the song of the Lord. Ram blessed him by
appearing in his heart. It was the fulfilment of the `Dhyan Yog’ (meditation)
practised by the sage. So much so, that Ram had to physically awaken him.
Ram also appeared in his heart in the form of Lord Vishnu in order to accord
him celestial bliss. He worshipped Ram as the Supreme Brahm and Ram
blessed him by residing constantly in his heart.
      fnfl v# fcfnfl iaFk ufga lw>k A
             dks eSa pysm¡ dgk¡ ufga cw>k AA
      dcg¡qd fQfj ikNsa iqfu tkbZ A
             dcg¡qd u`R; djb xqu xkbZ AA(6)/10

      fuxZq.k lxq.k fo"ke le :ia A
            Kku fxjk xksrhreuwia AA
      veyef[kyeuo|eikja A
            ukSfe jke Hktua efga Hkkja AA(6)/11

He took them to the cottage of sage Agastya. Ram requested the sage for the
hymn which could help eliminate the demons. Agastya laughed it away and
instead impleaded for Ram to reside in his heart. The sage revealed that
though he knew that the Supreme Brahm can be conceived through
meditation (`Anubhav Gamya’) yet he was more enchanted by the physical
(1sagun’) Brahm.
      t|fi czã v[kaM vuark A
             vuqHko xE; Hktfga tsfg lark A
      vl ro :Ik c[kkuš tkuš A
             fQfj fQfj lxqu czã jfr ekuÅ¡ AA(6&7)/13

The Cottage at Panchvati :

As suggested by sage Agastya, Ram went over to `Panchvati’ in the midst of
the `Dandak’ forest. Having made friends with Jatayun, the vulture king,
Ram and Lakshman erected a cottage on the bank of river Godavari.

When Lakshman became inquisitive, the Lord revealed to him that on his
own, man is oblivious of the reality about Soul (Aatma), illusions (Maya)
and God. That there are two types of `Maya’. Malevolent and benevolent.
That because of the former, man is not able to realise his true self amidst the
transitory world. The benevolent `maya’ is manifest in the different qualities
of people or things, being pious, pleasurely and unpleasurely. That `maya’
is cast by the God which has taken grip over men but which has no power of
its own. That the different types of pleasures of our organs, including the
mind are the manifestations of `maya’. The sense of mine and thine is due to
`maya’. In contrast, the ascetic is one who gets over this differential state
and who rises above the desire for material gains and success. The wise
(Gyani) don’t suffer the pranks of ego and discern the same god innate in al
beings. That ethical conduct leads to asceticism while the next stage of
wisdom is attained through `yog’. That according to scriptures, wisdom
(gyan) leads to salvation (Moksh). But Lord Ram gives the secret that God
can fastest be realised through devotion (Bhakti) in Him. That `Bhakti’ is not
lower than `Gyan’ or `Vigyan’ and that it is independent of and distinct from
that. That `Bhakti’ is unique for realisation of God which can be attained
through the help of saints. That the path of Bhakti is comparatively easy and
simple. One should first engage himself in his given vocation during youth,
and thereafter he should gradually distance himself from the sensory
pleasures, thus achieving `vairagya’ (detachment). Then he can devote
himself fully to God. He should keep the company of saints, serving them
physically. He should be a whole timer devotee, engrossing himself mentally
and physically as well as singing the divine song. He should have complete
trust and reliance on God, treating Him alone as the parents, the master or
husband, the preceptor (Guru) and the divine Lord. This `bhakti’ (devotion)
is pure and spiritual and is not aimed at securing any material gains. The
devotee has no trace of ego, conceit or sexuality.
     Fkksjsfg eg¡ lc dgm¡ cq>kbZ A
       lqugq rkr efr eu fpr ykbZ AA
     EkSa v# eksj rksj rSa ek;k A
     tsfga cl dhUgs tho fudk;k AA
                          xks xkspj tg¡ yfx eu tkbZ A
                                lks lc ek;k tkusgq HkkbZ AA
       rsfg dj Hksn lqugq rqEg lksÅ A
             fc|k vij vfc|k nksÅ AA
       ,d nq"V vfrl; nq[k:ik A
             tk cl tho ijk Hkodwik AA
       ,d jpb tx xqu cl tkdsa A
             izHkq izsfjr ufga fut cy rkdsa AA
       X;ku eku tg¡ ,dm ukgha A
       ns[k czã leku lc ekgha AA
 dfgv rkr lks ije fcjkxh A
       r`u le flf) rhfu xqu R;kxh AA
nksŒ& ek;k bZl u vkiq dgq¡ tku dfgv lks tho A
  ca/k eksPN izn lcZij ek;k izsjd lho AA15AA

/keZ rsa fcjfr tksx rsa X;kuk A
  X;ku eksPNizn csn c[kkuk AA
tkrsa csfx nzoš eSa HkkbZ A
  lks ee Hkxfr Hkxr lq[knkbZ AA
lks lqra= voyac u vkuk A
  rsfg vk/khu X;ku fcX;kuk AA
Hkxfr rkr vuqie lq[kewyk A
  feyb tks lar gksb¡ vuqdwyk AA
Hkxfr fd lk/ku dgm¡ c[kkuh A
  lqxe iaFk eksfg ikofga izkuh AA
izFkefga fciz pju vfr izhrh A
  fut fut deZ fujr Jqfr jhrh AA
,fg dj Qy iqfu fc"k; fcjkxk A
  rc ee /keZ mit vuqjkxk AA
Joukfnd uo Hkfä –<+kgha A
  ee yhyk jfr vfr eu ekgha AA
lar pju iadt vfr izsek A
  eu dze cpu Hktu –<+ usek AA
xq# firq ekrq ca/kq ifr nsok A
  lc eksfg dg¡ tkuS –<+ lsok AA
ee xqu xkor iqyd ljhjk A
  xnxn fxjk u;u cg uhjk AA
dke vkfn en naHk u tkdsa A
  rkr fujarj cl eSa rkdsa AA
nksŒ& cpu deZ eu eksfj xfr Hktuq djfga fu%dke A
    frUg ds ân; dey egq¡ djÅ¡ lnk fcJke AA16AA
Killing the demons Khar & Dushan :

Soorpanakha, the unmarried sister of Ravan fell for Ram and Lakshman.
Disguised as a very pretty girl, she tried her best to entice them. Her real
identity could not be a secret to the divine duo. Ram light heartedly diverted
her to Lakshman. On being frustrated, she regained her real form and wanted
to injure them. Therefore, with silent assent of Ram, Lakshman cut off her
nose and ears. Bleeding, she approached her cousins, Khar, Dooshan and
Trishira for reprisal. They attacked with a fourteen thousand strong army.
Lakshman accompanied Seeta to the cave, while Ram alone faced them.
First, they were enchanted by the unique looks of Ram. But on being
challenged by Sooparnakha, they ultimately mounted an armed attack which
was instantly foiled by Ram. The three demon brothers lost their lives. Ram
had taken it so lightly that he played a joke. The demons saw one another as
Ram and thus killed each other.

In the context o Sooparnakha’s sexuality, Tulsidas says that if a woman falls
for a handsome man, she even forgets the prohibited degrees of him being
the father, the brother or the son. He also says that there is no point in
building a castle in the air, particularly when we desire something which we
simply do not deserve. A beggar cannot expect respect from others; one
given to passions like gambling etc. cannot be rich; the immoral cannot have
a happy ending of life; the avaricious cannot have a good reputation; and the
conceited will not attain all the four desires of wealth, sex, ethics and
salvation (Arth, Dharm, Kaam and Moksh).
      Hkzkrk firk iq= mjxkjh A
           iq#"k euksgj fuj[kr ukjh AA(3)/17

      lsod lq[k pg eku fHk[kkjh A
            C;luh /ku lqHk xfr fcfHkpkjh AA
      yksHkh tlq pg pkj xqekhuh A
            uHk nqfg nw/k pgr , izkuh AA(8)/17


Seeta Haran :
Sooparnakha incited Ravan against Ram and spoke of Seeta’s unique beauty.
Ravan thought it over whole night. It became clear to him that no mortal
could have killed Khar & Dooshan, who were not less mighty than Ravan.
That the God had taken incarnation. Therefore, he decided upon such a
course of hostility that would lead to his death in the hands of Ram, thus
setting him free from the life of a demon. That if Ram was not the it was
worth killing him and taking away his pretty wife.

Ram, on the other hand, entered into a pact, behind Lakshman’s back, who
was away at that moment. This was to further the objective of eliminating
demons like Ravan, for which He had taken birth. Seeta created an image of
herself while she entered into the fire ignited by yoga to return after the
mission of Ram was accomplished.

Ravan went to Mareech who resided on the sea-shore and requested him to
be an accomplice. Mareech strongly advised against it. he knew that Ram
was an incarnation. He hadn’t forgotten how effortlessly Ram had thrown
him 800 miles away, while He was protecting the `Yagya’ of sage
Vishwamitra. He said that even if Ram was a mortal, he was so brave that
they couldn’t face him. But Ravan had not gone to him for advice. Ravan
got infuriated at the unwillingness of Mareech. Therefore, Mareech
preferring death in the hands of he Lord rather than that of Ravan agreeì
of Seeta: Go to Pampa pond in another forest on Rishyamook mountain
where Sugreev will help. The forest was extremely enchanting, which all the
more heightened the pangs of separation from Seeta in mortal Ram. While
the two brothers were resting on the bank of the sprawling pond, sage Narad
felt guilty that this agony to the Lord had been caused due to his curse. He
therefore appeared there and pleasing the Lord obtained a boon that the
`Ram’ name of the Lord will be more virtuous than His other names. Narad
wanted to know why the Lord hadn’t allowed him to wed the pretty princess
for whom Narad totally fallen.

Ram explained that sex was the worst distraction from the path of devotion.
That He fully protects His devotees because they are totally dependant on
Him, just as the mother protects the infant child, not allowing him to catch a
snake or put his hand in the fire. But He treats the wise (Gyani) as adults
who can protect themselves. Indeed, the wise don’t totally bank on God, as
they are conscious of their powers as well. That neither the devotees nor the
wise are able to control sex and anger. So it is better to be both a devotee
and wise.
     nksŒ& dke Øks/k yksHkkfn en izcy eksg dS /kkfj A
       frUg eg¡ vfr nk#u nq[kn ek;k:ih ukfj AA43AA

      Hktfga ts eskfg rft ldy Hkjkslk AA(2)/43

     djm¡ lnk frUg dS j[kokjh A
            ftfe ckyd jk[kb egrkjh AA(3)/43

     eksjs izkS<+ ru; le X;kuh A
      ckyd lqr le nkl vekuh AA(4)/43

     tufg eksj cy fut cy rkgh A
      nqgq dg¡ dke Øks/k fjiq vkgh AA(5)/43

Ram admits that the saints can do through Him whatever they want. That
their qualities cannot be enumerated, which mainly are:

                     control over six distractions: sex, anger, lust, attachment,
                      conceit and __________ (eRlj)
                     devoid of desires, pious and not sinning, equipoised, self
                      abnegation (akinchan), blissful, extremely wise, dieting,
                      truthful, poetic, scholarly and a yogi
                     alert, self respecting, non-egotist, patient, ethical and
                      proficient in conduct and behaviour.

That they are an ocean of virtues who have attained detachment from the
material world and who are so much engrossed in the Lord that they have
become detached to their bodies and homes.

That they relish the praise of others and detest listening to their own praise.
That simple, soft and cool by nature, they are affectionate to all and that they
are unflinchingly just. That they observe the ordained life of an ascetic,
having devotion in the preceptor and the God. That their virtues are:
reverence, compassion, forgiveness, friendliness. blissfulness, selfless
devotion in God, detachment, wisdom, humility and Divine Knowledge.
That they are free from conceit and ego, and dare not take to wrong path.
That they help others not for any quid pro quo and that they are always
singing or listening to the song of the Lord.
      fut xqu Jou lqur ldqpkgha A
             ij xqu lqur vf/kd gfj"kkgha AA
      le lhry ufga R;kxfga uhrh A
             ljy lqHkkm lcfg lu izhrh AA
      ti ri czr ne late usek A
             xq# xksfcan fciz in izek AA
      J)k Nek e;=h nk;k A
             eqfnrk ee in izhfr vek;k AA
      fcjrh fccsd fcu; fcX;kuk A
             cks/k tFkkjFk csn iqjkuk AA
      naHk eku en djfga u dkÅ A
             Hkwfy u nsfga dqekjx ikÅ AA
      xkofga lqufga lnk ee yhyk A
             gsrq jfgr ijfgr jr lhyk AA(1-4)/46

Tulsidas says that we should reign in sex and conceit. That our mind is like
the insect which cannot resist destroying itself by burning into the fire of the
lamp, which is like the body of a young woman. That we should keep good
company and be a devotee. That for constant devotion, listening to and
singing the song of the Lord is sufficient; no extra effort by way of quitting
home, recitation of the hymns (mantra) or meditation (yog) is necessary.
     nksŒ& nhi fl[kk le tqcfr ru eu tfu gksfl irax A
       Hktfg jke rft dke en djfg lnk lrlax AA46(B)

        jkoukfj tlq ikou xkofga lqufga ts yksx A
        jke Hkxfr –<+ ikofga fcuq fcjkx ti tksx AA46(A)

				
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