|Date: 19 May 2002||Occasion: Summer Course||Place: Brindavan|
The tongue is the cause of truth and prosperity.
The tongue also earns for us friends and relatives.
It is the tongue that brings bondage and death.
Embodiments of Love!
The words of man earn him wealth and riches. The words of man cause bondage. Hence, words are cause for good and evil. It is better to speak every word only after due rumination and reflection. Words help us a lot in life.
The power of words
Man should use his words with utmost care and caution. It is important that we should use words after weighing pros and cons. We should not be hurt, nor should we hurt others. Words give life and take away life.
Words are dainty delicacies.
Words are aromatic fragrance.
Words are the essence of nectar.
Words are sweet honeybees.
The words uttered by Rama were sweet and delicious. Words should be pleasant, and they should be used in moderation. Words were the cause of Rama's exile into the forest, Kaika's infamy ,and Dasaratha's death. Since words contain potent sounds, we should use them with utmost care and caution, discretion and discrimination. The words of promise given by Dasaratha to Kaikeyi at the time of battle brought sorrow and suffering to him. So we should use words with utmost care.
Life is impermanent.
Impermanent are wealth and youth.
Kith and kin are also important.
Only truth, good, and reputation are permanent.
The four sages Sanaka, Sanandana, and Sanatkumara, and Sanatsujata live in human beings and render help to them. They come to the rescue of human beings in time of dangers and ward off calamities. The four noble sages are eternal benefactors who work for the welfare of humanity, day and night.
When Rama was about to leave for the forest, Kausalya said to her son, "Rama! The four sages Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara, and Sanatsujata will be with you always and protect you as eyelids protect the eyes."
Before Kausalya gave birth to Rama she had a daughter named Shanta. Since she was a female child and was not qualified to succeed to the throne, he gave her in adoption to a sage. The sage brought her up and gave her in marriage to sage Rishyasringa.
Dasaratha invited noble sages to attend the putrakameshti yaga (a sacrificial ritual) on the advice of his minister Sumanta. Dasaratha invited sage Rishyasringa to come and grace the function. Rishyasringa was a noble sage. There were timely rains, peace, and prosperity, and people lived in joy and plenty wherever Rishya sringa set foot. Sumantha went to Rishyasringa and asked him to be the chief rithwik for the yaga.
Rishyasringa replied to him, "I can't come alone. I agree to be the chief rithwik, but my consort Shanta should come with me. She shall also function as a rithwik."
Sumanta agreed to this. Shanta and Rishyasringa reached there. As soon as she reached Ayodhya, Shanta did prostrations at the feet of Dasaratha and Kausalya. Dasaratha wondered who she was, since she looked like a rishi. Wherever she set foot, drought vanished, making place for timely rains. When the parents wondered who she was, Shanta had to reveal her identity to Dasaratha and Kausalya. She said "I am your daughter ,Shanta". Dasaratha and Kausalya were overjoyed when they realised that she was Shanta, whom they had given away in adoption to a sage.
Rama and Lakshmana, led by sage Viswamitra, reached Siddhashrama. Both brothers guarded the yaga with great care and killed the demons that tried to disturb the yaga. They kept strict vigil over the yaga without food and sleep. Viswamitra was very happy on the successful completion of the yagna. Rama and Lakshmana prayed for permission to go back to Ayodhya. Viswamitra had promised Dasaratha that he would send them back hale and healthy. At that time, a messenger came from Mithilapura with a message for him. Janaka sent a message to Viswamitra, praying to him to come and attend the function,where the bow of Siva was to be lifted and strung.
After getting Janaka's message, the venerable sage said to Rama and Lakshmana, "You should go to Mithila to see the bow of Shiva". As the two brothers were interested in the bow of Siva, they obeyed the command of the sage and went to Mithila with him. Rama broke the bow, but he refused to marry Sita without the permission of his parents. Rama said to Viswamitra, "We have come with you for the protection of the yaga and not for entering into marital relationships. We won't take a step further in this regard without the permission of our father." Viswamitra somehow wanted to convince Rama and Lakshmana for the marriage.
Once upon a time, Viswamitra was a great emperor. He wanted to take away Shabala, the sacred cow, from the ashram of Vashista without his permission. A fierce battle ensued between the army of Viswamitra and the army created by the cow. Viswamitra was defeated in the battle, and all his sons died. Realizing that material wealth was no match to spiritual wealth, he became an ascetic.
Viswamitra asked Rama and Lakshmana to marry without waiting for permission of Dasaratha, but Rama and Lakshmana were very firm. They said to the sage, "O! Master, the descendents of Ikshvaku always observed the command of their parents. They would not do anything without the permission of the parents. Hence, it is not proper on our part to act without the permission of our parents." Rama was steadfast in His adherence to Truth. He always spoke Truth and never swerved away from it. It is said,
The world is born of Truth.
Everything merges in Truth.
There is no place in the world,
where the power of Truth is not felt.
This is the pure Truth,
which all of you should know.
Dasaratha and his three consorts Kausalya, Sumithra, and Kaikeyi agreed to the marriage. After the marriage, as they were returning to Ayodhya, Sage Parashurama encountered them. "Who is the stupid person who broke the Siva's bow?", roared Parashurama. He challenged Rama to a fight. Rama defeated him, and Parashurama submitted his two kalas (splendours) to Rama, who was endowed with twelve kalas. Rama shone with his own twelve kalas, two kalas from his brothers, and other two given by Parashurama. That is how Rama shone brilliantly with sixteen kalas.
Rama defeated Parashurama with love. Parashurama gave away his powerful weapons to Rama and said to Him, "Rama! You are now shining with sixteen kalas." He praised Rama and uttered the names of the Lord, and at the very end, he said "Ramaya Namaha (Salutations to Rama)". Parashurama was an embodiment of Truth and divine powers. Parashurama surrendered to Rama, who was Truth par excellence. With the surrender of Parashurama, Rama's power became full and complete. Rama became Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent.
Once, sages and men went to Dasaratha and told about the atrocities performed by Ravana. Dasaratha asked them to go to Brahma and pray for his help. They went to Brahma, accompanied by sages Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatkumara, and Sanatsujatha.
Brahma said to them, "Ravana shall die only at the hands of a human being, since I gave the boon that he would not be killed by gods and demons."
Moved by the prayers of sages and people, Vishnu said to them, "I know all about your sufferings. Very soon, I will be born as a son to Dasaratha, and then I will relieve you of your sufferings." Vishnu fulfilled His promise, which he had given to the sages, by killing Ravana ultimately.
When Hanuman was about to enter Lanka, Lankini, who was guarding the gates of Lanka, said to him, " It won't be possible for you to enter Lanka without my permission. I am the guardian of Lanka." Saying these words she moved forward to hit at Hanuman.
When she was about to hit him, Hanuman lifted Lankini with his left hand and threw her down. Then Lankini remembered the prophecy, "It was the beginning of the doom of Lanka when a monkey hit her". Further she said, "Your touch has sanctified me."
Darshanam Papa nashanam,
Sparshanam karma vimochanam,
Sambashanam sankata nashanam.
The vision destroys all sins,
the touch frees a person from consequence of all actions, and
the conversation eliminates all troubles.)
Lankini said these words and received all blessings from Hanuman. "It is time for me to leave my body." Saying so, she breathed her last.
Kausalya felt sad that she was not able to experience Rama's divinity. "I will regard Rama as a human till He shows me the sign of His divinity." --that is how Kausalya was treating Rama as a human.
One day, Sumithra came and said to her, "Sister, Rama is not an ordinary boy. Lakshmana, Bharatha, and Satrughna also are not ordinary mortals."
Sita was firm in her decision to follow Rama into the forests. She said that it was her bounden duty to follow Rama to the forests. Sita went with Rama and Lakshmana in the forests.
Bharatha settled at Nandigrama, twelve miles from Ayodhya. He installed the padukas (sandals) of Rama and worshipped them with great devotion. The four brothers were the incarnations of the four Vedas. Rama was Yajur Veda; Lakshmana, who would always chant the praises of Rama, was Rig Veda; Bharatha, who would always sing the glory of Rama, was Sama Veda; Satrughna, who wielded the weapons for protection of Ayodhya and his brothers, was Atharvana Veda.
Bharatha lived in Nandigrama, devoting himself entirely to the contemplation of Rama, forgoing even food and sleep. His wife Mandavi was also a great devotee of Rama. She also lived in Nandigrama for fourteen years, serving her husband. Since Bharatha was immersed in the contemplation of Rama, He shone like Rama. When he entered Ayodhya with Rama, people could not distinguish between Rama and Bharatha. "Yad bhavam tad bhavathi (You become what you think)."
Mandavi was a virtuous lady, who was devoted to her husband. She payed due obedience to the mothers-in-law and her husband. She shone as an ideal to others. She too became like an ascetic, with only one plait of hair. When Rama was entering Ayodhya followed by three brothers and their wives, people could not distinguish between Sita and Mandavi.
Sita shone like an ascetic due to fourteen years of contemplation of Rama. Mandavi also shone like her ,since she was always immensed in the contemplation of the Lord. Bramhavid Bramhaiva Bhavati (The one who contemplates on the Brahman becomes brahman.). As all the brothers had oneness of thought and feeling, their four consorts also had the same. All of them constituted an ideal home.
The other day, the lady from Greece mentioned about vishwakutumba (universal family). God is universal. The people of the universe are his kith and kin. The four consorts of the four brothers were the embodiments of virtues and ideal conduct. In fact, women are greater than men for, men have only three powers whereas women are endowed with seven powers. Since they have four powers extra, they shine with greater splendour.
Wasn't Savitri, who revived her dead husband, an Indian lady?
Wasn't Chandramati, who extinguished the consuming flames by the power of her truthfulness, an Indian lady?
Wasn't Sita, who leapt into the burning fire to prove her chastity, an Indian lady?
Wasn't Damayanti, who burnt the wicked hunter burn to ashes, an Indian lady?
Bharath, surrounded by seven seas and sanctified by the women of chastity,
A land of noble culture, was indeed the teacher to the entire world.
Can you find chaste women like Savitri, Damayanti, etc., anywhere in the world? India is a great nation. Many eminent men took birth in this country, lived noble lives, and stood as examples to the entire mankind. The Ramayana is full of ideal men and women who shone as examples to humanity.