Contact Information

1.44 The Spiritual Significance Of The Ramayana And The Gita

Yogi Khem Jokhoo
 
This commentary will discuss the spiritual relationship of the Ramayana and the Gita. This comparison may assist students and devotees to place these scriptures in context of time, age and occurrence. The commentary will begin with an over-simplified version of both the Ramayana and the Gita to further develop their similarities.

The Ramayana is the story of Rama and Sita. This story brings out very clearly the battle of the vices and virtues. The Ramayana relates its messages with many stories, punctuated with metaphors and parables and in numerous instances ends abruptly. The Gita on the other hand relates how God was able to persuade Arjuna that it is possible to live the life of a householder and yet live a life of purity. The Gita outlines the methods how to live a virtuous life and lists the attributes necessary to overcome the vices through the four pillars of yoga, meditation, inculcation and service. The Gita is very specific in the methods of renunciation and transformation, but it is very subtle in time and history of its revelation.

It is important to note early in this commentary, that the Gita directions are written in the first person and are the direct versions of God. The Ramayana history however is written in the third person and it is mainly the praises of God in the form of the stories of Rama and other characters depicting good over evil. Most of the stories are based on separation in family, surrounded by grief and attachment. The Gita teaches renunciation of the vices and promotes cooperation, honesty, unity and purity in family life based on pure actions.

The names of the main personalities in both the Gita and the Ramayana are attributive in character. This simply means that the names were derived mainly from the virtues and attributes of their character and personality. Both the Gita and the Ramayana have similar structures on which the essence, teachings and stories are built.

The Gita’s structure is based on the incarnation of Trimurti Shiva and his creation of the three functionary, subtle deities in Brahma, Vishnu and Shankar to perform His three aspects of creation, sustenance and transformation respectively. The Ramayana is based on the incarnation of Rama as divinity together with the birth of Lakshman, Bharath and Satrughn as the three aspects of the duty. Their functions as well as the attributive aspects of their names when translated will show the subtle spiritual similarities of these two notable incarnations.

 

There are other notable scriptures and stories related to the Ramayana and the Gita that brings out their spiritual relationships. For example, the essence of the Mahabharat scripture is the war between the vices and virtues. The benefit of the mahabharat war is that it opens the door to liberation and salvation. One chapter of the Mahabharat deals with the Gita. Secondly the story of Sudama in the path of devotion brings out his charitable nature and the rewards associated with this virtue in the material sense. However, the Gita teaches the more subtle acts of charity in terms of pure thoughts, sweet words and elevated actions in the mode of selfless motivation leading to the inheritance of liberation and salvation. Also very significant is the story when Mother Earth was suffering from the effects of too many wicked human thoughts and deeds and the Devatas called on Lord Vishnu for help. He advised them to churn the milky ocean to attain the nectar of immortality. In the path of devotion, it is said that Shiva drank the poison and Vishnu appearing as Mohini distributed the nectar of immortality that made the Devatas strong to defeat the demons. This story is the knowledge of the Gita. The Gita advises to imbibe and inculcate the innate virtues by churning deep in the ocean of knowledge and with constant practice you will conquer the five sense organs and the five vices. Then you will attain the nectar of knowledge and immortality and become the masters of the world.

 

Incorporeal and Corporeal Aspects

 

The Trimurti associated with the Gita is the incorporeal aspect of the Supreme Soul who is bodiless, whereas the Trimurti of the Ramayana establishes the corporeal version in an effort to encourage devotees to visualize, identify and relate with something physical. This is the major contrast between the Ramayana and the Gita. They both have their setting on battlefields. The Ramayana shows a physical battlefield with a jungle setting, decorated with fighting and killing in gruesome proportions nurtured by the vices of anger, greed, ego, lust and attachment as selfish motivation. The Gita on the other hand describes a subtle battlefield with the mind and intellect in conflict between body and soul. The war here is between the vices associated with the five sense organs of the body and the innate virtues of the soul. The Gita says that if you follow the vices of the senses, the outcome is temporary happiness in an atmosphere of immense sorrow, whereas if you adopt the innate virtues of the soul, the reward is unlimited peace, purity and prosperity in a realm of happiness.

 

The armies described in the Ramayana are physical and consist mainly of men outfitted with an array of weaponry, the most potent being the ‘Brahma Astra’. Brahma was non-violent and hence the ‘Brahma Astra” is not a physical weapon. The ‘Brahma Astra’ is the combination of ‘Gyan and Yoga” that Brahma used to destroy the five evil spirits or vices known as Rawan or maya. It is not the bow and arrow. The army on Rawan’s side was doubly violent motivated by lust, greed, ego and anger with absolute power as the goal through selfish motivation. However there was a tiny element of sanity and positivity in this doubly violent army in the characters of Vibishan and Mandodari, Rawan’s brother and wife. The army on Rama’s side was motivated by love and contentment, but there was an element of greed and jealousy coming mainly from the sprinkling of women, mainly Mantara and Kakayei.

 

The army described in the Gita was spiritual and incognito. On the one side is a spiritual divine army and on the other side a devilish one. The spiritual army, though incognito, was mainly females and their weaponry comprised of the eight virtues, the eight powers and the eight relationships of the soul. These weapons were later depicted in the gross form namely the chakra, mace, conchshell, the lotus flower, the shul, the dand, the sword and the pasuor axe all worn or decorated on the deities. These weapons were only symbolic and represented the powers, relationships and virtues of the soul. Women comprised the majority of the army and earned the name called ‘the Shiv Shakti Army’. The few men in that spiritual divine army were even more incognito and were called ‘the Pandavs’. They were however the backbone of the ‘Shiv Shakti Army’. The devilish army on the other hand was also incognito and decorated themselves with the vices of anger, greed, ego, lust and attachment. They seek mainly physical wealth, power and they worshipped the trappings of science with the greatest pomp and splendor of maya. They changed ‘need into greed’ and created a massive imbalance in the world’s resources to the detriment of the environment. They arrogantly widened the gap between the rich and the poor, were slaves to maya and worshipped the elements. They remained in the bondage of materialism and became great lawyers, crusaders and defenders of mayic activities. There was great contrast in the end as the veil of maya subtly clouded their intellects and they could not distinguish right from wrong or good from evil. They were convinced that they were very clever to the extent they justified worshipping science as divinity. The sign of this era as written in the scriptures is when the subjects are ruling the subjects. They called this consultation with the people. The subjects created vicious lobbies and monopolies and shared power with the rulers and governments. This is the reason all the major scriptures predict that there would be great defamation of the “Divine Incarnation’. The masses would not be able to recognize the Incarnation for He would come incognito and ‘as a thief in the night’. Everyone would be looking for a corporeal divine manifestation and not the incorporeal, bodiless and incognito One who is not subjected to birth and death. For the masses, it would be too late when they get the realization of His revelation. It is written that only a ‘few in a million and a few out of that few’ would recognize Him.

 

Tulsidas Realization

 

Tulsidas recognized this duality between the vices and the virtues and cleverly revealed at the beginning of the Ramayana the most important ‘secret of the Creator and creation’ by writing quote”

 

               ‘Shiva drohi mama dasa kahawa.  Somar swapane mohi na bhava.’

 

This means that ‘If one does not have love for Shiva and wants to be a servant of Shiva, he would never ever experience that desire even in his dreams’. This is one of the deepest innermost secrets of the Creator. We calmly overlook it in search of scientific evidence. We must recall the story of the queen who searched all over for her necklace except on her neck and the deer who searched all over for the sweet smelling scent that emanated from under her navel. We ignore the fact that when Tulsidas rewrote the Valmiki Ramayana, he had no choice but to disguise his messages mainly because the rulers of the day persecuted those who propagated the hindu dharma. Even Nostradamus suffered a similar fate in France when he wrote his now famous predictions and revelations in ‘quatrain language’ soon after Tulsidas, some 400 years ago. Tulsidas opening message is also found in the direct versions of the Gita as spoken by God Shiva through Brahma in ch 4 v 3 of the Gita as follows:

 

        ‘The same ancient yoga has this day been imparted to you by Me, because you are my devotees and friend, and also because this is a Supreme secret.’ Chapter four of the Gita gives you the secrets of the creation.

 

Tulsidas and Valmiki Versions of the Ramayana

 

This year 1997 is being celebrated to recognize 500 years of Sant Goswani Tulsidas, the author of the Ramcharita Manasa. The edition produced by Valmiki is called the Ramayana, whereas the edition produced by Tulsidas is referred to as the Ramcharita Manasa. There are countless commentaries written on both editions, but no compelling evidence has turned up to show the era of the Ramayana or for that matter, the era of Valmiki. Dr. P.V Vartak said in the introduction of his work ‘Astronomical Dating of the Ramayana’ quote ‘It has been believed that there is no evidence to determine the dates of the events in the Ramayana era. Some historians of the past even refuse to acknowledge that Rama and the other characters from the Ramayana even existed. However, Sage Valmiki has recorded the dates of events in detail, albeit by describing the positions of the stars and planets’.  Dr. Vartak work on the astronomical dating can be referenced in his book ‘Vastav Ramayan’. He concluded by saying that ‘Archeological and literary methods can only provide approximate datelines and for determining the precise time of the Ramayana events, astronomical calculations may alone be useful’.

 

It is said that Valmiki wrote the Ramayana after a subtle realization that each person has to settle his own karmas. It is written in story form that Valmiki was a dacoit, a robber who sought a living by unfair advantage. The story relates that he was robbing some sages in the forest, when one of them offered him all his earthly possessions. However in return, he asked Valmiki to consider asking his family if they will assist him in settling his negative karmic accounts accumulated from stealing. Valmiki obliged and was pleasantly surprised on hearing that it was his responsibility to provide for his family and he was also responsible for settling his own karmic accounts. His family told him that each soul is responsible for settling their own bondages of karma. Valmiki immediately became distraught and retired into solitude and subsequently he wrote the Ramayana in Sanskrit. It is believed that Valmiki wrote the Ramayana long before the occurrence of the story. His edition was like a premonition.

 

Tulsidas Transformation

 

Tulsidas rewrote the Ramayan in hindi about 450 years ago. His background was similar to that of Valmiki. Tulsidas was very attached to his wife and succumbed to the excesses of the sensual urges and vices. In the wee hours of a cold and rainy night, Tulsidas braved and swam across the ferocity of a swollen river and entered the bedroom of his wife who was visiting with her parents. She promptly rebuked him by telling him that the lust he desired for her body can be transformed to the highest form of spiritual energy if only he would remember God Rama with the same diligence. Tulsidas felt ashamed that his wife of all people had to remind him that he was lustfully obsessed with her body which was no more than a bag of flesh and bones. He left very dejected and returned home. In deep introspection and even after a miraculous recovery of illness, he produced the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ and subsequently the retranslation of the Valmiki Ramayana now known as the Ramcharita Manasa.

 

Tulsidas as the story relates, had entered the bedroom of his wife by climbing on a hanging snake which he mistook for a rope. He then realized that the snake represented lust. He recalled that when a snake bites a person, the poison turns the body bluish dark before death occurs. He then concluded that if one is bitten by a snake and dies, the snake does not have the opportunity to bite that person again, but once bitten by lust, you are bitten again and again. Poison of any kind makes the body dark, the poison of the vices makes your mind and intellect dark. You become totally ugly in character when bitten by lust. This is illustrated by the well-known saying in the path of devotion;

 

       ‘Vishya vikar mitaawo, paap haro deva’ which means ‘Oh God, we are full of vices, desires and passions, we are sinners, please help us’. These vices make us into sinners and our intellect becomes blocked and we become foolish. This is again explained by the saying ‘ Mai moorack kal kaami’ which means that I am foolish because I am lustful person.

 

Irreligiousness and the Divine Incarnation

 

 It is with this deep introspection that Bhakta Tulsidas realized that Bharat was under the veil of irreligiousness and unrighteousness. Tulsidas then wrote that the Supreme Father, the Supreme Soul adopts an ordinary form, a saintly form to assist people to destroy irreligiousness, unlawfulness and establish righteousness. Tulsidas wrote in the Ramayana as follows:

 

‘Jab Jab ho-a dharam ki haani, Baarain (bare) asoor adham abhimani, Tab Tab dhara roop shareera.’ which means ‘When unrighteousness is spreading all over the world, when religion is being defamed, and when there is increasing devilish nature and personality, there will be an increase of arrogant people in the world. It is then the Supreme would come.’

 

It is then Prabhu adopts an ordinary form in an ordinary body because he does not have a body of his own. Prabhu in the path of Bhakti has many names, each name having great significance and symbolism. Pra means far beyond and Bhu means earth, so Prabhu means far beyond this land. It is similar as when they sing the Arti song ‘Par a brahm a Parameshwar swami’. Par means far beyond this land, brahm means the pure element of light, Param Ishwar means the Supreme God who gives all comfort and happiness. In the same way Parampita Paramatma means the Supreme father, the Supreme soul. Some people refer to God as Khuda that means the one who himself comes, the one who does not have a body of his own, the one who does not take birth, the one from afar. The same name Khuda is also Shambhu which is the shortened version of Swa-Yambhu, Shiv Shambhu, the one from afar. So Prabhu incarnates into an old ordinary body to destroy the darkness of unrighteousness and irreligiousness. He comes to help the poor, simple, kindhearted people and protect them from the devilish nature. This is the same thing that is mentioned in ch 4 v7 of the Gita as follows:

 

‘Yada Yada hi Dharm asya, Glanir-bhavati bharata, Abhyu-thha-nam Adharma asya, Tadat-ma-nam sujam yaham’. This has the same meaning as explained above ‘Whenever and wherever there is decline in religious practice and degradation of religion, in order to uplift righteousness, then do I descend and ‘body myself’, oh descendants of Bharat. Note the translation of manifestation to mean ‘body myself’ and not ‘take birth as humans’.

 

In the Gita, the versions are spoken in the first person. In the Ramayan, the versions are spoken in the third person and in the form of praise given of God. So the Gita are the direct versions of God while the Ramayan and other stories are sung much later in the cycle seeing the situation of the world.

 

The Incarnations of Shri Krishna and Shri Rama

 

The incarnations of Shri Krishna and of Shri Rama have similar stories attached to them. It is written that Devaki, the biological mother of Krishna and Yashoda his adopted mother, prayed to Lord Vishnu for a son by having great devotion, dedication, renunciation and meditation. Vishnu appeared before them and inquired of their desires. They asked for a son just like Vishnu himself. Vishnu told them that there was only one Vishnu and if he had to grant them that wish, then he himself would have to come and that was not possible. Vishnu however assured them that they would receive a son with similar qualities and attributes as he himself. Krishna was born to Devaki and raised by Yashoda according to the story. On the other hand and much later in the cycle, Kausalya, the wife of Dasarath also prayed to Vishnu for a son as the story goes. Vishnu again appeared and told her the same thing. Kausalya performed a yagya and it is related that blessed food was prepared and divided into four equal portions. Kausalya had one portion and had a son whom she christened Ramachandra. Sumitra ate two portions and had two sons named Lakshman and Satrughn. Kakayei had the fourth portion and had a son named Bharath. This was the incarnation of Shri Ramachandra together with his three brothers.

 So who is Vishnu? What is the relationship with Krishna, Sat Narayan and Rama? In the path of devotion, devotees chant ‘Jai Sat Narayan swami ji’ and ‘Shri Krishna Govinda Hare Morare, hai Nath Narayan Vasudeva’. All these chants describe the deities as they visualize them from the memory of the intellect in the golden age. The image of Vishnu is also that of SatNarayan. Vishnu is the dual form of Lakshmi and Narayan, two hands each represents the male and female attributes. Maha Lakshmi is no different in meaning to that of Vishnu ji. Just for a one solitary moment, churn, why do we all worship and pray to MahaLakshmi at Divali time and not invoke Sita ji instead, when it is widely believed that Divali is associated with the return of Ramachandra and Sitaji to Ayodya.   All the deities of the golden age are adorned with the ornaments, but Ramachandra carries the bow and arrow. Why the bow and arrow? The meaning of these ornaments and their significance are explained as follows:

 

The Ornaments on Vishnu and the Deities

 

Deity Vishnu is adorned with four ornaments, one in each of these four arms. In the top upraised right hand is the “swa dharshan chakra” and the “mace or gada” in the lower right hand. In the top upraised left hand is the “conchshell or the shank” and the lotus in the lower left hand. The swadharshanchakra represents the lifestyles and spirituality of the four main ages. It is symbolic of the cycle of self-realization. One who knows the past, present and future of the cycle, one who knows where he came from and where he is going, one who knows his identity and who always has pure and positive thoughts is called “swadharsanchakadhari”. The mace represents the symbol of controlling power or authority. It is prominent on the speaker’s chair in the parliament. Hanuman and Bheem are famous for the mace. The conchshell or shank represents the dissemination of knowledge. Literally, the conch resides in the ocean and the shell is used for making a sweet sound when blown. Symbolically, God Shiva is the ocean of knowledge and the shank is symbolic of one with a sweet temper and knowledge. The conchshell is therefore symbolic of the dissemination of the knowledge of the Gita by Brahma as taught by Shiva. The lotus flower is symbolic of purity and a life of detachment. The lotus flower grows mainly in the swampy wetlands and yet it’s fragrance and beauty is but a wonder. It stands above the water level and welcomes the morning sunrise by opening it’s royal petals. This means one who can live a life of purity even in a degraded vicious environment.

 

Most deities are adorned with some sort of ornament, if not all, meaning that they are pure, perfect human beings and possessed that specialty in the confluence age. Krishna and Rama incarnations of Vishnu mean the incarnation of all the divine qualities in human life, because neither Krishna nor Rama had four arms. Therefore, incarnation with these ornaments means having these divine qualities in the corporeal form. When self-realization is present there is peace and sweet temper. So Rama is always shown as one with a calm mind and cool and gently life. Vishnu represents the dual form of Lakshmi and Narayan, because when you sing the praise of Sat Narayan ji, you chant ‘ Jai Lakshmi Ramana’. The name Sat Narayan itself means the perfect elevated man of Satyug with complete purity. The ‘bow and arrow’ is symbolic of one who was still battling with ‘gyan and yoga’ in the confluence age and hence the symbol carried by the katriyas in the form of the ‘bow and arrow’. Just for information, the merchant clan was those souls who believed that they could give donations and charity in exchange for blessing and fortune. The shudras were those who were always asking for blessing and forgiveness from God, but they continued the same old decadent life without any effort to change.

 

Difference between Shri Rama and Shri Ramachandra

 

 Shri Ramachandra was the son of Dasarath and Kausalya, the brother of Lakshman, Satrughn and Bharat and the husband of Sita. He was a silver age soul and ruled the moon dynasty or treta yug.  Ramachandra took a corporeal form. On the other hand Shri Rama was bodiless or as we say Nirakaar. He was the incorporeal, bodiless Rama, the one who incarnated to destroy irreligiousness and to reestablish dharma. Recall when people die, family and friends chant with great devotion the following,

 

            ‘Ram Naam Bolo. Ram naam satya hai. Satya bolo ghat hai.’  This simply means that at the time of death, if you keep chanting the name of God whose name is Rama, God will remove all obstacles in the journey of the departed soul. When they chant, they focus on the incorporeal God Rama and not Ramachandra, the corporeal one with the bow and arrow as evidence by the saying:

            ‘Ake Ram jo sab se nyaarra.  Ake Ram bhi sakal pasaraa.’ which means the one God who is distinct and beyond physical form meaning the incorporeal Rama who is Lord of all. It is clear as time progressed many stories got mixed up until people no longer understood that incorporeal Rama and corporeal Ramachandra are distinct and separate in time, age, purpose and duty.

 

Knowledge, Devotion and Disinterest (Gyan, Bhakti and Viragya)      

 

The terms gyan, bhakti and vairag are commonly used. When translated, they mean “knowledge, devotion and disinterest”. The ages of gold, silver, copper, and iron, together with the confluence age completes a cycle. The golden and silver ages were called the “kingdom of Rama” which was characteristic of purity, peace and prosperity and the reign and rule of the deities. The deities and the elements were pure and satopradhan and they followed the path of knowledge that they received at the confluence age. This knowledge is the teachings of the Gita as spoken by God Shiva when he incarnated in the confluence age. They had the awareness that they were souls and that they had to take another body at old age. They did not know about death because they had the knowledge of immortality. Going from one body to another was based on happiness for they simply had a vision when the time came to take another body and this was done through yoga or meditation. Procreation was by divine or yoga power in the kingdom of Rama, whereas procreation was by lust or physical contact in the kingdom of Rawan. This is the difference between a “divine birth” and one as they say to be “born of sin”. This was possible because the deities were of the “same image and likeness of God” meaning they had the “same pure qualities and attributes of God”.  This is the essence of the ‘Amar Katha’. Image does not mean idol or statue, it means a description of the divine godly qualities and attributes in artistic form called iconology.

 

Bhakti or Devotion

 

The deities were  “worship-worthy”. This is why the deities are called gods and goddesses and this brought great confusion in later ages and even more doubt today. At the end of the silver age, the purity of the deities declined to about 10-14 degrees celestial relative to the time they entered the cycle. By the beginning of the copper age, the deities were fast changing from being virtuous to being vicious. This is the reason that some of the deities are portrayed in nude and suggestive sculptors in many temples in India. The copper and iron ages are called the “kingdom of Rawan”. This was the beginning of bhakti were temples were constructed and images of the deities created and placed in the temples to be worshipped. Thus the same worship-worthy deities of the kingdom of Rama were now worshippers in the kingdom of Rawan. The first temples to be built were those of “Shiva”. The “Shiva Lingam” was created as an image of Shiva, whose form is an oval-shaped point of white conscient light resembling a twinkling star. This was pure unadulterated bhakti at the beginning of the copper age.  The Somnath temple was built with pure gold studded with diamonds in praise of Shiva. These temples were looted and ravaged, motivated by greed and power of copper and kali-aged people. Let me assure you, don't anger yourself, because all the stolen wealth of Bharat would be returned soonest.

The vices of anger, greed, ego, lust and attachment, also known as the ‘five evil spirits’ or Rawan first entered at the beginning of the copper age. Bhakti or devotion was pure at first and devotees worshipped Shiva directly with great love, but later people began to worship the deities Lakshmi and Narayan whose childhood days were those of Radhe and Krishna. Later they turned to worshipping the Shaktis such as Saraswati, Durga and Kali as well as Hanuman, Ganesh followed by Rama and Sita. Today in kaliyug, the elements, the planetary system and all things possible are worshipped instead of having yoga with God Shiva. Today, they have yoga with science and its trappings and God is remembered only when they are in sorrow. This is but the pomp and splendor of maya or Rawan.

 During the dark ages of copper and iron, Rawan has done such and excellent job of causing confusion in religion, dharma, people, languages and distribution of power and food. People are now totally confused and skeptical. They do not know who or what to believe anymore. This is the reason it is said that when the incarnation comes to free us from the jail of Rawan, He would receive great defamation. It is only at the end they would get this realization of the incarnation called the “Kalki Avatar”, but by then it would be too late. The words kalki, kalanki or eklangi mean defamation and hence the explanation of the ‘Kalki Avatar’. Tulsidas advised as he quotes:

“Seekh waakyo deeji-yay.   Jo ko seekhh sahaa-e-yay.

Seekhee bandar na deeji yay. Jo haani har kaara e yay”

 

This means when you wish to give people this knowledge, you have to be clever in knowing who will accept this knowledge. Give this knowledge too only those who will use it wisely for there are many who will use it to cause harm and defamation to you and others.

 

Viragya or Disinterest

 

The last 100 years of kaliyug is the auspicious confluence age or ‘purushottam sangam yug’. This period signals the end of ‘bhakti’ and the beginning of ‘vairag’ known as the period of disinterest. Disinterest means to burn the vices and to forget the trappings of science and this old world. It means to free yourself from the bondages of this old world and prepare for the new world by following the knowledge of the Gita or the elevated directions of God. The incarnation of Shiva in the confluence age is called Shivratri. To follow the directions of Shiva, the God of the Gita is to follow the most elevated path to receive the attainment of liberation and salvation. The Gita is the only scripture that is related in the first person as the direct versions of God, whereas all other scriptures are related in the third person and are in praise of God. This is the reason that the Gita is the only scripture preceded with the title ‘Shrimat Bhagavad’ and it is called the mother of all scriptures.  All the others are but the leaves of the Gita.

 

The Incorporeal Trimurti of Shiva and the Corporeal Trimurti Shri Rama

This section will show a relationship between the Trimurti Shiva in the “path of gyan or knowledge” and Shri Rama and his three brothers in the path of ‘bhakti or devotion’. The Trimurti is God Shiva together with his three functionary deities Brahma, Vishnu and Shankar. God Shiva is the Supreme Soul, the Supreme Father, who is bodiless, incorporeal and whose form is a point of oval-shaped conscient light. The Supreme Soul is not subjected to birth and death and his residence is in Paramdham or Brahmlok. God Shiva incarnates only once in a kalpa and that is in the confluence age and his descent is celebrated as Shivaratri. Shiva descends when irreligiousness and unrighteousness prevail.

 Shivratri launches the attack on Rawan and his vices. Shiva employs the assistance of Brahma for re-establishment of the new world order of Satyug. Shiva incarnates into Brahma and imparts the knowledge of the Gita to Brahma whose job is to impart this knowledge to humanity who is trapped in the jail of Rawan. This is why Brahma is called the “Father of Humanity”. Brahma employed the services of Saraswati and created the yagya of the sacrificial fire of knowledge of the “Rudra Gita Gyan Yagya”. Then the function of Shankar, also called Mahase, is to inspire the destruction of the evils perpetrated by Rawan. Shankar is always in a meditative posture creating the vibrations and atmosphere to fan the flames of the fires of Holika. He encourages the cooperation of the elements to perform “Shiva’s cosmic dance” to re-energize and purify the degraded environment by purifying the elements.

 And then Vishnu whose role is to provide sustenance for the tapasui souls and to transform those who are making effort to escape from the chains of Rawan. These three deities reside in the subtle region and have subtle and angelic bodies of white light. Of the three, only Brahma, before ascension to angelic status, walked this earth in human form. Vishnu and Shankar will never assume human form or walk the face of this earth for they are only symbolic. Vishnu is the symbolic combined form of Lakshmi and Narayan. The four arms represents the two female and two male arms of Lakshmi and Narayan. This is but the same form of MahaLakshmi, the female version of the four-armed image.  So Trimurti Shiva is incorporeal and cannot be seen with the physical eyes, but which can be visualized only with the spiritual eye or a divine intellect. The Shiva Lingam was created to portray Shiva, whereas all others are depicted in the corporeal human or subtle form. Shankar is an aspect of Shiva and they have different, distinct and separate roles.

 

The Story of Ramachandra and Sita.

Now we will examine Shri Rama and his family who are shown and related in stories with corporeal bodies. Let us look at the family tree with King Dasarath and his three queens Kausalya with Shri Rama as her son, Kaikeyi with Bharat as her son and Sumitra being the mother of Lakshmana and Satrughn. Mantara was the maidservant. Shri Sita was the daughter of Raja Janak and wife of Shri Rama. The word Janak means father and Raja means God. Thus Raja Janak is symbolic of the Supreme Father who is bodiless and incorporeal or “ videhi”. Vedihi means the one who does not have a body of his own. And who does not have a body of his own? God Shiva, Hanuman, Angad, Sugrim and Vali were of the Kapi tribe and depicted by the artists with features of that of monkeys. Rawan was the demon king of Lanka and shown with ten heads. Rawan was very clever but had great pride and ego and whose wife was Mandodari. Meghana was the son of Rawan, Kumbhakharna and Vibishan were Rawan brothers.

Who is Rama? Rama has two meaning. Firstly, Rama can represent the corporeal or sakar form in the name of Ramachandra as dialogued above. Rama also means one who gives comfort or “aram” similar to when we say Prahbhu, Ishwar, Allah, Raheem or Bandhu. Here Rama is bodiless, incorporeal or “nirakar” and one who do not take birth and rebirth.  Bharat means fullness, complete, the embodiment of contentment with sufficient and enough for all. Lakshman is one who had his mind fixed with a firm aim and object of the self and is the embodiment of all this qualities of divinity like Vishnu. Lakshman always remains in the company of Rama and performs the role of a brother, a friend and an advisor. Satrughn means one who destroys the enemy. 

The Ramayana speaks about Rama as incarnation. Rama incarnation was not alone. Rama incarnated with his three brothers, but none had the appearance with the four arms of Vishnu. However Rama was born with divine qualities and attributes worthy of divinity and he and his three brothers formed a corporeal Trimurti. Comparing the corporeal and incorporeal Trimurtis, Rama is like Shiva, Lakshmana role is that of Brahma who is always assisting Rama. Satrughna is like Shankara who destroys the enemy and Bharat as Vishnu who was always contented and gave sustenance.

 

 The main story of the Ramayana is that of Sita and Rama. Rama was going to be given the kingdom and Mantara planted a negative thought in the mind of Kaikeyi. Now Mantara played the role of the mischievous mind. She created division and separation by creating negative and vicious thoughts as the name suggests. Mantara means thoughts like the mind with negative and positive tendencies. Kaikeyi demonstrates a weak intellect that was easily influenced by vicious thoughts and demonstrated jealousy, one of the female vices of Rawan. Kausalya demonstrated pure divine wisdom and is symbolic of a divine intellect or buddhi. Sumitra is quiet, very neutral, very natural as one with a personality who is very gentle and causes very little trouble. She demonstrated detachment. Dasarath represents the body with five sense organs and five physical organs, rath meaning a chariot or body.  Sita represents the ‘soul’. It is said her birth was unnatural. Sita it is said appeared when her father King Janak was ploughing the field. This ‘field’ represents the field of action or “karma setra”. Raja Janak means the incorporeal one from far away. So Sita represents the lost or kidnapped soul. Who kidnapped this soul Sita? It was Rawan but it was not a physical kidnap.  Sita stepped outside the divine code of conduct as Rawan dressed as a Saddhu enticed her with the golden deer named mareechi. The golden deer is symbolic of the material trappings of the world.  This entire family tree represents the soul and its three faculties of the mind, intellect and personality and how they are influenced by the vices associated with the sense organs. It is said that all of Rawan’s children and relatives died before him. What this means is that Rawan represents ego and that is the last of the vices to leave when you are in a stage of body consciousness. Anger, greed, jealousy and others leave for different reasons but ego remains unmoved. This is the explanation of the five pandavs and the dog who melted away on the mountains. Ego was the major downfall of Rawan. After Ram gave him a chance to rest and return and fight another day, many tried to persuade Rawan to seek Rama’s forgiveness and blessing, but Rawan refused because of false pride. The dog that accompanied them to the mountains is symbolic of the ego in man that hangs on to the last. The melting body is symbolic of the slow ascent from conquering body consciousness to complete attainment of soul consciousness. The snowy mountain reminds one of the slow and incognito melting of the snow that starts at the base and cannot be seen.

 

Rama in exile.

 

Let us look at the exile of Rama. He was banished in the forest and accompanied by Lakshman and Sita. While Sita was in the company of Rama and Lakshman, she is Lakshman Rekha, which is she was always disciplined and happy, but when separated there was immense sorrow. Lakshman Rekha simply means staying focused and keeping within the line or code of conduct. They all lived in the cottage called Panchawati. The cottage Panchawati is symbolic and means the body made up of the five elements, namely earth, water, fire, air and ether. The following saying captures the essence quote;

‘Chitti jal pawak gagan sameeran. Paanch wa kaie bana shareera.’ 

 

Temptation of the world separates the soul from Rama. Sita is symbolic of the soul and Rama is in search of Sita. Lakshmana accompanies Ram. Lakshman is symbolic of the fixed aim and object of the self. The jungle setting represents the kingdom of Rawan. All this symbolism simply means that the soul had become impure by rawanic influence. Paradise or heaven is now the jungle of thorns. The incorporeal Rama has come in the form of the Trimurti to rescue the “Sitas” trapped in the jail of Rawan and so Rama has hired the services of the Kapis headed by Hanuman, Angad and Sugrim to assist him. The Kapis here means the souls with monkey qualities who are transformed and are now assisting Rama. This is symbolic when it is said that Hanuman wrote the name Rama on every stone they began to float so that the army could cross to defeat Rawan. It is really the stone intellect of man now touched by the Shrimat of Shri Rama and now became divine in nature. The story of Ahelya is similar to this as it is said her husband turned her into stone but she regained her originality by Rama’s touch.

The Rudra Gita Gyan Yagya

 

 But there must be a yagya and this is where Vishwamitra, the sage and advisor of Rama and friend of the world enters the play. He creates the sacrificial fire of knowledge. But the yagya has been sabotaged by Mareechi and Subahu as in the story. When translated, Mareechi means the golden deer, symbolic of the trappings of the material world called maya. Subahu means the forces of ignorance, the darkness of evil, those who are greedy and deceitful. So the incarnation of Rama is only symbolic, for Rama here is but the incorporeal, bodiless Shiva. But why was it necessary to write the Ramayana in metaphors and parables that today there is so much doubt and confusion. When Tulsidas wrote the Ramcharitas Manasas, he wrote it to spread spirituality, to capture the politics of the rule at that time in the sixteen century and to send a subtle message to all the Hindus, especially the women. The story of Sita was meant to send a clear message to all the women that they should not submit to the forceful lustful tendencies of the male ruling class. At that time, men were allowed three and four wives and the character Dasarath and his three queens were created to send the message in the form of story. In doing so, Tulsidas stories of Rama covered life in all the ages but the people did not understand the metaphors and parables. The corporeal incarnation of Shri Rama and his three brothers of the Ramayana are the incarnation of incorporeal Shiva and his three subtle deities in the confluence age. Their missions are identical and their characters and functions were similar. Hanuman asked Rama who he was searching for to which Rama replied.

 

 ‘Y ha Hari niche chare videhi. Kojat a phirat ham awat teri'.

 

It means ‘In the dark night, the demons have stolen the soul. We are searching for that. We are searching for the souls kidnapped by Rawan’. The spiritual interpretation is that all souls have been stolen and are in the jail of Rawan. The whole of humanity is in the jail of maya at the end of kaliyug. Sita is compared to the lost soul and Rama, the incorporeal, bodiless One has descended in the dark night in reference to Shivaratri, to recapture all souls from the bondage of Rawan. The ‘ratri’ in Shivratri means the dark ages of copper and iron.

Tulsidas Rama is the incorporeal, bodiless Supreme Soul, Shiva.

 

 Rama destroyed king Vali and this was only possible by someone who was invisible as Vali reduced the power of any of his enemy by half. It is said Rama stood behind a tree and shot Vali but this is only symbolic. Rama here is incorporeal Shiva ‘the seed’ of the human world tree called the ‘Kalpa tree’. The seed of any tree is always underground and cannot be seen. Recall a similar story of the ‘boon and boast’ of King Hiranyakishapu and how he was invincible. The ‘boon’ stated that no man born of woman could destroy the king with any form of physical weapons, either inside or outside a house or in the day or night. This boon appeared to have made the king invincible. However, it was the bodiless Shiva also called Rama who destroyed him. Shiva, the Supreme Soul is bodiless and incorporeal and is neither man nor woman, as He is not subjected to birth and death or the bondages of karma. Shiva destroyed him at the confluence age, which is referred to as neither day nor night as the confluence age is referred to as the "dawn" of two kalpas. He destroyed the king with neither weapons nor force but with the power and shrimat of the Gita, referred to on the Ramayana as the ‘Brahma Astra’. Recall also, that Rawan and his brother Meghana resisted all other weapons, but it was only with the ‘Brahma Astra’, Rama was able to destroy them. All these comparisons show the spiritual similarity of these scriptures. It is but the stories and the rituals that fragmented all the worlds' religions.

The Origin of Hinduism

 

Having developed the spiritual connection of the Ramayana and the Gita and having shown that there is no difference in the spiritual teaching of the Hindu scriptures, the origin of Hinduism will be placed in perspective. First, each cycle consists of four major ages namely golden, silver, copper and iron in that order, each consisting of 1250 years each. The confluence age also called ‘purushshottam sangam yug’ meaning the most auspicious age. The confluence age overlaps the last 100 years in kaliyug and it begins with the incarnation and descent of Shiva and it is celebrated as ‘Shivratri. Shiva incarnates into Brahma and teaches him the elevated directions of the Gita that is necessary to destroy Rawan or maya. Brahma teaches this to others such as Saraswati and Hanuman. All those who imbibe and inculcate this divine teaching and become pure are mouth born progeny of Brahma and are called Brahmins. The Brahmins become the instruments of Shiva through Brahma to assist in the recreation and re-establishment of the new world of satyug or the golden age. The confluence age is the only time the ‘top knot’ Brahmins exist because their next birth is in the golden age and then they are known as deities.  These deities exists in the golden age and rule as Lakshmi and Narayan for eight dynasties as Lakshmi and Narayan the ‘first to the eight’ as the maximum number of birth is eight in this age. Lakshmi and Narayan childhood days were those of Radhe and Krishna who when they got married became Lakshmi and Narayan. The deities followed the ‘Adi Sanatan Devi Devta Dharma’ known as the ‘original ancient deity religion’.

Lakshmi and Narayan rule ended at the end of the Golden age. Ramachandra and Sita then ruled the silver age that consisted of twelve kingdoms, as the maximum number of births is twelve in this age. Those who take birth in this age were known as ‘katriyas’ or the warrior clan. They were non-violent but warrior means that their purity had declined by two celestial degrees because they were still battling with perfecting ‘gyan and yoga’ in the confluence age. Then the next age is copper and the birth of Abraham. At this time the end of the silver age, purity had further declined and the vices of anger, greed, ego, lust and attachment known as Rawan or maya had entered the cycle. This is the reason Abraham had to introduce spiritual law to arrest the decline in spirituality. It is here Abraham introduced Islam and the Judaic religions. The end of the silver age saw the change of the ‘Deity religion’ into what is now called the ‘Hindu Religion’. So the origin of the Hindu religion is the deity religion and the Deity religion was established by Shiva through Brahma.

After Abraham who introduced Islam, then came Gautama Buddha who introduced Buddhism. Abraham and Buddha came 500 and 300 years before Jesus Christ. Christ introduced the Christian religion and at that time they zeroed the calendar counting and it became ‘before and after’ Christ written as B.C and AD. After Christ came Mohammed and he placed definite limits on Islam and his followers were called Muslims or Mohammedans. This was 500 years after Christ. Many other religions were formed after that, but they were offshoots of the main four tubes that emerged at the beginning of the copper age. Today there are virtually thousands of religions coming from the main four religions and every day many more are being formed. So the origin of the Hindu religion is the Deity religion that began 3000 years before Christ and it was established by the Supreme Soul Shiva through Brahma. It is for this reason that Brahma is called the ‘Father of Humanity’, but Shiva is the ‘Father of all souls’ making all humans ‘brothers’ and hence the concept of ‘brotherhood’ with one Supreme Father.

For the records, the maximum number of births one can take in the copper and iron ages are 21 and 42 respectively. There is one birth in the confluence age making number of births in the cycle to be a maximum of eighty-four. This is the reason it is said in chapter 4 of the Gita, the secrets of the Creator and creation are revealed, but only a ‘few out of million and a few out of that few’ will have that realization because of the confusion in caste, class and religion that has been created by the vices or Rawan.

 The Ramayan written by Tulsidas was written with three main viewpoints. First it kept the spirituality. Secondly, it tactfully reported the political situation of Bharat at that time in an incognito way as the rulers then suppressed the practice of Hinduism.
And thirdly, he was sending a clear message to Hindu women not to subdue to promiscuous eyes of the ruling class, using Sita as example in the jail of Rawan. Tulsidas developed the story to create a virtuous hindu wife and an immortal heroine in the life of Sita. Sita was created to be a faithful wife to send a message to all the hindu women that it is better to die than disrespect their marriage vows and dharma.

Tulsidas explained that the Ramayana is a story written to teach morality, discipline, virtues and spirituality to when he wrote in the final chapter of the Ramayana quote:

 

‘Ayse adham manuj kalloo.  Satyug Treta nahi. Dwapar hoye kachook kupine’.

 

This means that degraded people like Rawan, Kardushan, Mareech and Subahu do not belong to the Golden and Silver ages. People of that devilish nature emerge in the cycle only in the copper age. Only a handful of people from this lot has the understanding of this. This is probably the most important explanation to clarify the many doubts and misconceptions of the order of the ages in the cycle. The incarnation of God, the concept of Rama and Rawan and the ascent and descent of mankind explains the true identity of Rama, Hanuman and Sita. This would also explain the true meaning of Hanuman which means the destroyer of ego or ‘abhiman’ with the ‘herbs of knowledge’ he carried called ‘sanjeevani booti’. There are so many contradictions in so many scriptures, it is no small wonder that we have so many major religions with so many branches, each one in war with each other. This is the main reason that over 80 percent of the wars are rooted in religious conflicts.

Achcha. Om Shanti.
Comments