( Jai Sri Ram )
शुक्ल अम्बरा धरां विष्णुं,
शशि वर्णं चतुर भुजं ।
प्रसन्ना वदनं ध्यायेत्,
सर्व विघ्न उपाशन्तयेत् ॥
( Shuklambharadaram vishnum,
Shashivarnam chaturbhujam |
sarvavignopshantayet || )
नमस्ते अस्तु भगवन् विश्वेश्वराय महादेवाय त्रियम्बकाय त्रिपुरान्तकाय त्रिकग्निकालय ,
कालाग्निरुद्राय निलकन्ताय मृत्युञ्जयाय सर्वेश्वराय सदाशिवाय श्रीमन् महादेवाय नमः ।
( Namaste astu bhagawan Vishveshvaraya, Mahadevaya,
Triyamabakaya Tripurantakaya Trikaganikalaya,
Kalagnirudraya Nilakantaya Mrityunjayaya,
Sarveshvaraya Sadashivaya Sriman Mahadevaya namah | )
श्रीमन् नारायणो विष्णु वसुदेवोभि रक्षतु ।
( Vanamali gadhisangi shanki chakri cha nandaki,
Sriman Narayano Vishnu Vasudevobhi rakshatu | )
After telling the story, Narada left to heaven. But Valmiki could not forget the story and his heart was filled with Sankshepa Ramayana. It was noon time. Valmiki called one of his favourite disciples named Bharadwaja and said, " Lets us go to tamasa river for sandhya vandana.". Sandhya Vandana is a ritual that is practised in the pradosha time. Pradosha time means dawn(about 4:00 A.M- 6:00 A.M) and dusk(4-6). Tapasvis or religiously oriented do it at noon time as well. In Tretha Yuga, people used to be religious, so generally people performed Sandhya Vandana in noon time as well in Tretha Yuga. Sandhya vandana means praying to sun with gayatri mantra with water. It is ideally done at a river or a flowing water body. So, at noon time Valmiki left to tamasa river which was near his ashram along with one of his disciples who carried fresh clothes for his guru(teacher). Once they reached the river, Valmiki said,"Bharadwaja, look at this beautiful river whose water are so clean just like a good man's heart." The smiley used by Rishi Valmiki here "like good man's heart" shows us that his heart is still influenced by the Ramayana story he heard from Narada. Valmiki had just listened to a story of a great man, a good man(named Rama). This shows us how attentively Valmiki had listened to Narada and now his heart is still full of that story. Valmiki said that and was happy seeing the beautiful waters. He was enjoying watching the nature. He was in a blissful state of mind. He entered the waters and did his sandhya vandana and wore the fresh clothes brought by his disciple. His heart was still over-joyed. He happily looked at his sorroundings. He saw a pair of Krouncha birds. One male and the other female. They were fearlessly and happily playing with each other. The rishi saw them both and it made him more happier. But suddenly the male krouncha bird was hit by an arrow released by a hunter. The male bird was instantly killed and the female bird started crying in a very moving voice. This scene made the rishi very angry. He cursed the hunter in the following manner:
maa nishhaada pratiSThaamtva | magamaH shaashvatiiH samaaH |
yat krau~Ncha mithunaat eka | mavadhiiH kaama mohitam ||
This means, "Oh hunter, you have killed a male bird when it was involved in a lustful play with its wife, your deed will be remembered by the world(for its cruelty)."
It is said that Ramayana is born in this shloka. This shloka was meant by Valmiki to be a curse. But it can be interpretted in so many ways. One more meaning to this verse is, " O man(Vishnu), you killed the male(Ravana) who was living his life only through his kama(desire) leaving aside dharma. This has caused grief to female(mandodari, Ravana's wife). Your deed will be remembered by the world(for its greatness)."
Another ways of interpretting it makes this verse give the entire story of Ramayana briefly. It is said that this verse briefly summarises all the 7 Khandas(units) of Ramayana. This is a very celebrated verse and is said to be the begining of Ramayana. So this was the begining of the great Ramayana.
Rishi Valmiki returned to his ashram but could not forget the verse that he meant to be a curse. He thought," This verse has great qualities, it is poetic, music can be composed to it, it can be played on musical instruments.How can such qualities be present in a shloka that is meant only as a curse?" At moment, Brahma came to visit Valmiki in his divine vehicle. (Narada is son to Brahma. Brahma created Narada by mere thought, so he is Brahma's son.) First Narada came and tested Valmiki by telling him the story. After seeing how much the story had made a mark on the Valmiki's heart and seeing the soft heartedness of Valmiki(because he could not even tolerate the death and sorrow of a bird), Brahma himself came to visit Valmiki. Brahma ordered Valmiki to write Ramayana. Now, here we may get a doubt: Valmiki did not know the Ramayana before, so he asked Narada. Narada told him the story,but if Valmiki writes the story told by Narada only, then the real author would be Narada not Valmiki. But Valmiki is the author, how?
Because Brahma ordered Valmiki to write the Ramayana and along with it gave a boon to him to be able to see into the past, present and future and also read the thoughts of the people involved in the story. So, Valmiki wrote the story by seeing it directly and also he knew the minds of all the people involved according to elders. Therefore, Valmiki Ramaynam alone is considered to be authentic. Valmiki Ramayanam is called ithihasam. Ithihasam means " it happened like this".
So, now Rishi Valmiki started the Ramayana and finished it. It contained twenty-four thousand verses. Valmiki then thought who could really recite this wonderful poetic story. He found that the most suitable disciples were none other than Sitadevi's(and Sri Rama's) sons Kusha and Lava who were living incidentally in his ashram at that time along with their mother. So, Valmiki taught this Ramayana to Kusha and Lava so that they could spread this great story because it contained the essence of dharma and the story of purshottam(best among men). Rishi Valmiki declared that he had given three names to this story:
-Sitayaha Charitam Mahat. (Sita's character/story is great)
-Ramayanam.( Rama's ayanam meaning Rama's journey/story. It can also be interpretted as Ramaa's ayanam meaning Ramaa's journey/story. Ramaa means sitadevi. So, Ramayanam means Rama's journey of life or Sita's journey of life)
-Poulatsya Vadha(death of Poulatsya. Poulatsaya is one is born in the vamsha(dynsaty) of Poulomi. Poulatsya here refers to Ravana. So, it means story of Ravana's death.)
Now, this story was learned by Kusha and Lava. Kusha and Lava started spreading it by singing it in main cities where people gather. Once, it so happened that Sri Rama himself saw these two kids singing Ramayna and was impressed. Rama had not seen his sons before, therefore did not recognise them. Rama was impressed by the ramayana being sung by Kusha and Lava and invited them to sing it in palace. They went to palace and started singing it:
Once upon a time there was a huge Kingdom named Khosala, whose capital Ayodhya was situated at the banks of the river Sarayu. It was built by Manu who was born in Ikshavaku. It had lot of big roads and small roads which were well decorated and kept cool by spraying waters. It had great forts and ditches to protect the forts. Many great warriors were stationed in these forts. Ayodhya was filled with foreigners who came to do business, tourists sprawled at this city and many kings came to pay tax to the emperor. The kingdom was ruled by Emperor Dasharatha. The people of the city were well versed in warfare but they had some rules of fighting. They never killed those who did not have parents or children. They never killed those who begged for forgiveness or those who were running away from battle. They hunted down animals in all ways possible. The Emperor ruling the kingdom was Dasharatha, he was rajarshi of the standard of Maharshi. He was a great warrior. He had done a lot of great yagams. He had gained influence over intellectuals by giving them great gifts. He had collected lots of riches and other articles of attraction. He followed dharma. He had great wisdom and was able to calculate the future events with his sharp intellect. He had subdued his enemies. He had a lot of friends who were powerful. He had gained control over his senses. His rule was dharmic.
In that city of Ayodhya, not even one person was atheist, not even one person was not an intellectual, not even one person was lobhi(One who desires everything that he lays eyes on), not even one person was only kami(one who is guided by only his desires). Everyone in that city had a clean heart. Not one person was present in that city who did not wear a mukut(a headgear made of gold and other expensive jewels), not one person was present in that city who did not wear ear-jewelry(men also), not one person was present in that city who had less-luxuries, not one person was present who did not wear expensive necklaces,clothes and lockets. That means everyone was rich and were having extra-ordinary luxuries. Also everyone was dharmic. Such a great rule was possible because of good ministers of Dhasharatha. He had 8 ministers. He had Vashishta and Vamadeva as his purohiths(religious scholars). Vashishta was also guru(teacher) of Ikshvaku Kings including Dasharatha. Those eight ministers were knowlegable and unbiased. They were rich and had control over their senses. They administered in a very transparent manner. They were well-skilled, and respected their teachers and parents. They ignored the bad qualities of their teachers and parents but followed their good qualities.
Thus, the kingdom was being administered in a perfect way. But there was one sorrow for Dhashratha, he had no kids. He thought that he had no kids because of some papam(bad karma) of past. So, he decided to perform ashvamedha yagam to remove his papam. He ordered his servants to call purohiths. Vashishta, Vamadeva..etc purohits came and met Dasharatha. Dasharatha told them about his wish to his teacher Vashishta and other purohiths. They all were pleased and gave him their blessings. Dasharatha ordered his servants to build yagya vatika(stage) at the banks of Sarayu River. Ashavamedha yagam is a very difficult yagam to perform, thats why not many kings perform it. Then Dasharatha went to antahpuram(palace of queens) and told his queens about his decision to perform Ashvamedha Yagam to remove his papam, so that they could beget kids. The queens were very pleased.
One of the ministers named Sumantra came to antahpuram and told Dasharatha that he wanted to talk to him. Dasharatha seated him and allowed him to talk. Sumantra told that there was a great person named Rishi Shrunga who could head the Yagam. Sumantra advised Dashratha to go himself to invite Rishi Shrunga. Dasharatha did as advised and went himself to invite to Rishi Shrunga to the Ashvamedha Yagam. Dasharatha prayed to Rishi Shrunga to head the yagam. Rishi Shrunga agreed to head the yagam. Rishi Shrunga along with his wife Shanta came to Ayodhya. All the women of antahpuram came to welcome Shanta. Rishi Shrunga and Shanta entered antahpuram.
Today, the place where Rishi Shrunga had performed tapasya(meditation), is called shringeri. Jagadguru Shankaracharya has established a peetam in Shringeri.
( Jai Sri Ram )
राजराजेश्वरी बाला श्यामला ललिता दशा ॥
( Ganga Bhavani Gayatri Kali Lakshmi Saraswati |
Rajarajeshwari Bala Shyamala Lalita Dasha || )
कर चरण कृतंवा कर्मा वाक् कायजंवा,
श्रवणा नयनाजं वा मानसंवा आपराधं,
विहितम अविहितं वा सर्वं एतत् शमत्स्व,
शिव शिव करुणाब्धे श्री महादेव शंबो ।
( Kara charana kritamva karma vak kayamjam va,
shravana nayanajam va manasamva aparadham,
vihitama avihitam va sarvam etat shamatsva,
shiva shiva karunabdhe sri mahadeva shambo | )