Ugadi is once again upon us. The present Vijaya Samvatsara comes to a close on 30th March and the new Jaya Samvatsara starts on 31st March, Ugadi day, the first day of chaithra month. It is a time to renew hopes and aspirations and to leave behind the small and big frustrations of the year past which came in the way of our realizing our full potential. The celebrations take several hues. People are dressed in their best, preferably new clothes, greet and wish each other in gathering, pray at home and temples, prepare customary food items and eat meals together.
Rama Navami follows faithfully after nine days of Ugadi, this year on 8th April, as a timely reminder to the resolutions taken on Ugadi, through remembering Sri Rama, the avathar of the Supreme Lord among humans.Valmiki has given a wonderful portrayal of characters in Ramayana, through whom the great Sri Rama by personal example, demonstrated to the people at the time and to all posterity, how human beings should carry themselves and interact with one another.
By renouncing the throne which was indisputably his, and going to the forest to abide by his father’s promise to his step mother, without self pity, remorse and ill will, he set an example for all how to obey parental commands and wishes, even at great personal distress. His long sojourns in the forest gave myriad opportunities to rishis, different types of men and women, animals and birds to get benefited by the benedictions and goodwill from the Supreme Lord.
There is no parallel anywhere to the love and affection which he showered on his brothers Lakshmana, Bharatha and Shatrughna. Surely this is a great pointer to how brothers should conduct themselves. Contrasting with this above dealings, we also see how ruthless he can be in eradicating and putting down evil forces. Vishwamithra certainly took this advantage and help of Rama in curbing such evil forces. This tells us to show zero tolerance to all evil forces.
In the character of the great Hanuman, we have a noble example of committed servitude to the cause of good, how one should serve the master, the guru and the Supreme Lord without respite till the goal his reached without heed to the inconvenience or imminent peril, without getting diverted from the central mission of pleasing the Lord. No wonder then that Hanuman is regarded as the universal guru of all.
Was it difficult for the Supreme Lord to disable Ravana in his mission to abduct Seetha; or to recover the abducted Seetha from Ravana’s clutches? . Not at all. But the drama unfolding enables a host of characters such as Maricha, Sugriva, Vali, Vibhishana, Jatayu and countless others to play their respective parts in the extinction of the evil Ravana. Here again we have a great canvass to show how there can be no compromise with evil.
Seetha is another character which portrays the nobility of Indian women and her utter faith in her Lord and husband Sri Rama. The Supreme Lord and His consort, Rama and Seetha in this case, are an inseparable pair. Ravana tried to separate this pair, wanted only Seetha but not Rama, and he ultimately paid the price of his folly.
Let us not forget that Ravana was a learned brahmana and great devotee of Lord Shiva he represented learning, wealth, brute force, greed and lust all lumped together. Ravana represents the evil present in all of us which wants to exploit Prakruthi, to wrest her away from the Lord and enjoy the same in private. Devastation of the equilibrium in the environment for the private enjoyment of a few, disregarding the inconvenience cost to others is the act of Ravana. That is why Ravana needs to be burnt down.
I have put together above a few thoughts on Ramayana which occurred to me on this occasion. I am sure many of you have your own takes on Ramayana. Please feel free to share the same with the all please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Also please do not forget to participate on 31st March Ugadi day and 8th April Rama Navami day at Bangalore Sri Kashi Math. Wishing you all a happy new Jaya Samvathsara.