Thursday, October 11, 2007

Adorable Lord Rama

Lord Rama, the seventh of the Dasavatharam (Ten Incarnations) of Lord Vishnu, is the most worshipped God in the country, with more epics written in his name of which the Valmiki Ramayana in Sanskrit and Kamba Ramayana in Tamil being the two most prominent ones. Those great epics were not just because Lord Rama was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, but also for the qualities and the character Lord Rama possessed. A loving son to his parents, a kind brother to his younger brothers, a loyal husband to his wife, a generous and great king to the subjects of his kingdom, a merciful but brave warrior to his enemy - Ravana, A true friend to his friends, A wise guide to his disciples (Hanuman) and so on. The qualities that Lord Rama embraces are the most liked qualities of everybody. A man with these qualities having epics written in his name is no wonder to us. And also the man possessing these divine qualities can be considered God. People have realised this and have sung many songs, of which the ones that inspired me a lot are from Kambar and Sivavaakiyar. Yes, Sivavaakiyar he wrote Sivavaakiyam and then became a Vaishnavite and his name was called Thirumazhisai Azhwar, which is when he sang the song about Lord Vishnu and his avatars.

The following two songs are by the Kavi Chakravarthi Kambar

"Naadiya Porul Kaikoodum Gnanamum Pugazhum Undaam
Veediyal Vazhiyadhagum Veriyankamalai Nokkum
Neediya Arakkar Saenai Neeru Pattazhiya Vaagai
Soodiya Silayiraaman Tholvali Kooruvaarukkae"

meaning, The people who chant and praise the valiant Lord Rama's adorned with the Vaagai flower garland after defeating and decimating the great army of demons, will attain the things that they went in search of; They will attain all the knowledge and fame; Their home and family will be in good welfare; Goddess Lakshmi will bestow her blessing and good wealth.

Naadiya - Search, Reach
Porul - Things
Kaikoodum - Materialise, be fruitful
Gnanam - Knowledge
Pugazh - fame
Undu - Exist, happen
Veediyal - Veedu (Home, Family) + Iyal (Discipline, Order, Welfare)
Vazhi - Path
Kamalai - Goddess Lakshmi
Nokkum - Bestow, See
Neediya Arakkar - Large Demons
Saenai - Army
Neeru - Ash
Pattazhiya - Decimated
Vaagai - The garland that the warriors used to adorn when the win in a battle
Soodiya - Adorn
Silayiraaman - Lord Rama
Tholvali - Strong shoulders; The valiance is always measured my the breadth and the strength of one's shoulders
Kooruvaar - People chanting, uttering

"Ramanaai Vandhu Thondri Raavanan Thannai Veeti
Tharathalam Muzhuthum Kaathu Thambiyum Thaanumaagap
Paraaparamaagi Nindra Panbinai Pagaruvaargal
Narapathiyakip Pinnum Namanaiyum Velluvaarae"

meaning, He incarnated as Lord Rama and defeated Ravana. Saved the entire planet from Ravana. Then He and His brother Lakshmana stood as Divine Omnipresent Beings. And those who chant these qualities of Lord Rama, will become Kings and will even win Yama, the life taker.

Ramanaai - As Lord Rama
Vandhu - Coming, Incarnating
Thondri - Come into existence, being born
Raavanan - Ravana
Thannai - Pronoun refering Ravana
Veeti - Defeating
Tharathalam - The earth
Muzhuthum - fully
Kaathu - Save
Thambi - Brother
Thaanum - pronoun referring Lord Rama
Paraaparam - Divine Omnipresent Being
Nindra - Exist, stood
Panbu - Characteristics
Pagaruvaargal - People who chant (Pagar) the name of Lord Rama
Narapathi - King/Leaders of humans
Pinnum - Later
Naman - Yama
Velluvaar - Win over someone

There is legend that Lakshmana is considered to the incarnation of Lord Vishnu's 5 headed snake mount called Adhi Sheshan. Adhi Sheshan wished to be near Lord Vishnu in his Rama avatar so he was born as Lord Rama's brother Lakshmana

This song is by Sivavaakiyar

"Andhikaalam Uchchi Moodrum Aadukindra Theerthamum
Sandhi Tharpanangalum Thapangalum Sebangalum
Sindhai Mevum Gnanamum Thinam Sebikkum Mandhiram
Yendhai Rama Rama Rama Vennum Naamamae"

meaning, The three time periods during the day (The dawn, the dusk, the noon); The bathing sacred waters; The offerings to the ancestors offered during dawn and dusk; The divine chantings; The knowledge the resides in the mind, all of these chant the only mantra, the name of my dear Father like God, Rama Rama Rama.

Andhi - period of time referring to either dawn or dusk, usually dusk
Uchchi - Noon
Moondru - Three, in this context the three time periods
Aadukindra Theertham - The sacred water like rivers where people bathe
Sandhi Tharpanangal - Offerings to ancestors and Gods during the dawn and dusk
Sebangal - Chantings
Sindhai - Mind
Mevum - Occur, Reside
Gnanam - Knowledge
Thinam - Daily
Sebikkum - Chanting
Mandhiram - Mantra
Yendhai - My Father
Rama Rama Rama - Chanting in praise of Lord Rama
Naamam - Name

The next song is about the greatness of the two letter tamil word Rama (Ra, Ma)

"Nanmayum Selvamum Naalum Nallkumay
Thinmayum Paavamum Sidhaindhu Thaeyumae
Jenmamum Maranamum Indri Theerumaey
Inmayey Rama Endra Irandu Ezhuthinaal"

meaning, All the goodness and wealth will come to us; The pains and the sins will get defaced and erased; The tribulation of birth and death will get over; All just by uttering the two lettered word (in Tamil) Rama in this birth

These songs come out of a realised mind. In fact, some people have the practice of praying to Lord Rama and Lakshmana, when they go on a long travel. There is a belief when people pray and utter the names of Rama and Lakshmana when they go on a travel, they will return back safely without trouble. And that is backed by a legend in Ramayana, where Sage Vishwamitra uttered the name Rama and Lakshmana and took them to the forest to kill Thadagai, the female demon, and returned safely to the country.

Nowadays, many argue the existence of Lord Rama in the Treta Yuga, but it is an undeniable fact that the qualities described about Lord Rama, stand as a proof and as a guide and principle on how a man should lead his life peacefully. If not all, at least a few of those qualities will really make mankind to live peacefully and happily. And uttering Lord Rama's name has brought fame to many people who were unknown to the world before they chanted this Divine name. Valmiki for example was a thief and he uttered the name Ram in reverse MRa, the first time he tried to utter, but he was hailed for his great epic the Ramayana. And so is Kambar hailed has the Kavi Chakravarthi, just because of his work the Kamba Ramayanam. The devotion to this incarnation is a real great thing to be revered and chanted for time to come. And because Hanuman enjoys himself in hearing and being the disciple of Lord Rama, He is a Chiranjeevi (immortal). Let us get all the good things in our life by chanting the divine name "Rama"

More to come, until then...


Anonymous said...

Dear Prabhu,

A fine post on Sri Rama. On the protection from dangers that one gets by taking the names of Lord Rama and brother Lakshmana, there is a fine episode in Saint Tyagaraja's life. One version is like this:

A rich jamindar once gifted a lot of wealth in the form of gold and coins to Tyagarajar of Tiruvaiyaaru in appreciation of his musical genius. Tyagaraja, true to his name, refused to take any of the wealth. But the rich man would not listen to this and he forcibly packed all the wealth and loaded the luggage in the palanquin that was to carry Tyagaraja home. The party had to pass thru a forest and on the way some robbers who had an inkling about the wealth came to attack the party. But however much they tried to go near the pallakku, they were warded off by two exquisitely handsome warrior youth. After the party had passed out of the forest and into the town, the robbers, now transformed by the mere looks of the two young men who stood in protection of the pallakku during the journey thru the forest, fell at the feet of Tyagaraja and asked for forgiveness. A stunned Tyagaraja asked what for they were asking for forgiveness. Then the robbers narrated how their attempts to attack the party was foiled by the two young men. They wanted to know who they were and gave a brief description. But the pallakku bearers were not aware of anything . It was then that it dawned on Tyagaraja that it was the divine brothers Rama and Lakshmana that stood in protection and defended them throughout the journey. Now, Tyagaraja fell at the feet of the robbers saying: You are fortunate that you could behold the divine brothers. What a great sinner am i that i could not have their darshan!

There are other versions of the episode.

Just a small correction:
It is not Dvapara yuga but Treta yuga in which Lord Rama incarnated. Dvapara yuga is associated with Lord Krishna.

Thanks for the fine presentation.


R.Prabhu said...

Thank you very much Subbu! The story that you narrated is very good and indicates the devotion Thiyagarajar had. It is simply great to know about these magaans who lived on the face of earth.

And many thanks for the correction! I wrote Dvapar by mistake. Thanks once again for pointing it out. I have made the correction to the blog post.

Priya said...

nalla post prabhu avargale..
well.."raamanaai vandhu paatula" enaku oru interpretation thodhu..
" tharathalam muzhuthum kaathu- meaning earth"laya..- ravananai veezthi bhoomi maathaavaana seethaiyai kaathathaal-bhoomiyaiye kaathaarnnu artham vechukalaam dhaane!!!

well, romba arumaiyaa irukku paatu + unga explanation..unga kitta kamba ramayanam irukaa?? vaanganumnna endha padhipula enga vaanganum?

Priya said...

other facts about rama:
1. "rama"nna aanantham.
aananthamnaa- sandhsham illa..azhivillaadha, sandhoshathukkum thukkathukum apparpatta nilai..

2. Saint Thyagaraja - carnatic musicin thanthai- rama lakshmanarai koopitta podhu kaatu vandhu kollakaarkite irundhu kaatharaam

3. "kasi"la..anga irandhu poravarodha kaadhula sivaperumaane vandhu "rama naamam" solli dhaan vazhi anuparaaram!!

R.Prabhu said...


Unmaiya sonna, I planning to buy the Kamba Ramayanam yet, but don't know when. Those songs are those that I collected when I read some article somewhere. But will soon suggest you the padhippu.

Yes, boomithaaiyin magal seethaiyai kaathathaagvum artham kollalaam. Nice interpretation!!!

And indeed wonderful facts about Rama.

Point 2, is the story said by Mr. Subbu in the comment above.

point 3, that is the reason, people are going to Kasi :)

Priya said...

thank you thank you..

subbu voda comment ippo dhaan paakaren hee hee