A key performs both the functions of locking and unlocking the lock. When it is turned left, the lock gets locked; when it is turned right, the lock is opened. In man, the heart is the lock; mind is the key. When the mind is turned Godward, the heart develops detachment. When the mind is turned towards the world, the heart develops attachment.Thus both detachment and attachment result from the way the mind functions. When the mind is directed towards Prakruthi (Nature or the phenomenal world), bondage ensues. When you turn your mind towards Divinity, you experience Ananda (bliss).
Sri Rama Navami is the festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Sri Rama, the Avatar of the Treta age. It falls in the ‘Chaitra’ month in the Shukla Paksha Navami (ninth day of the bright fortnight) of the Hindu lunar calendar. Lord Rama is revered as being the very embodiment of Dharma (righteousness) and one whose life serves as an ideal for all mankind. The Ramayana, an epic poem composed by sage Valmiki on the life of Lord Rama, is one of the sacred scriptures of the Hindu religion.
“The Ramayana, the story of Lord Rama, teaches two lessons: the value of detachment and the need to become aware of the Divine in every being. Faith in God and detachment from objective pursuits are the keys for human liberation. Give up attachment to sense objects, and you gain Rama. Sita gave up the luxuries of Ayodhya so she could be with Rama during His exile. When she cast longing eyes on the golden deer and craved for it, she lost Rama’s proximity. Renunciation leads to joy; attachment brings about grief. Be in the world, but not of it.
Rama is the in-dweller in every body. He is the Source of Bliss (Atma-Rama) in every individual. His blessing, surging from that inner spring, confers peace and bliss. He is the very embodiment of Dharma, of all the codes of morality that hold mankind together in love and unity”.
– From ‘Ramakatha Rasavahini’ authored by Bhagawan Baba
On the occasion of Ramanavami a discourse delivered by Bhagawan on 11 April 2003 at Brindavan. In this profound clip, Bhagawan explains what is the essence of Ramayana and why we must not look up to Lord Rama merely as an Avatar and worship Him. It is important to understand that each individual is Lord Rama and live life drawing inspiration from the idealism portrayed in the Ramayana.
Rama is the indweller in every body. He is the Atma-Rama, the Rama (Source of Bliss) in every individual. His blessings upsurging from that inner spring can confer peace and Bliss. He is the very embodiment of Dharma, of all the codes of morality that hold mankind together in Love and Unity. The Ramayana, the Rama story, teaches two lessons: the value of detachment and the need to become aware of the Divine in every being. Faith In God and detachment from objective pursuits are the keys for human liberation. Give up sense objects; you gain Rama. Sita gave up the luxuries of Ayodhya and so, she could be with Rama, in the period of ‘exile’. When she cast longing eyes on the golden deer and craved for it, she lost the presence of Rama. Renunciation leads to joy; attachment brings about grief. Be in the world, but, not of it. The brothers, comrades, companions and collaborators of Rama are each of them examples of persons saturated with Dharma. Dasaratha is the representative of the merely physical, with the ten senses. The three Gunas – Sathwa, Rajas and Thamas – are the three Queens. The four goals of life – the Purusharthas – are the four sons. Lakshmana is the Intellect; Sugriva is Viveka or discrimination. Vali is despair. Hanuman is the embodiment of courage. The bridge is built over the ocean of delusion. The three Rakshasa chiefs are personifications of the Rajasic (Ravana), Thamasic (Kumbhakarna) and the Sathwic qualities (Vibhishana). Sita is Brahmajnana or the awareness of the Universal Absolute, which the individual must acquire and regain undergoing travails in the crucible of life. Make your heart pure and strong, contemplating the grandeur of the Ramayana. Be established In the faith that Rama is the reality of your existence.
Rama Katha Rasavahini – The Sweet Story of Rama’s Glory
“The Ramayana teaches the principles of Dharma and the path of duty to every individual. Though ages and aeons have passed by, the Ramayana remains ever-fresh guiding humanity on the path of truth and righteousness. Even today we think of the characters of Ramayana with respect and reverence. You can very well understand its greatness. There is no morality higher than what is depicted in the Ramayana. The Ramayana should be the subject of our Parayana (worship). You should install the principle of Rama in your heart and experience bliss. Practise the teachings of Ramayana in your daily life. Obey the command of Lord Rama. It is to understand and assimilate the principle of Ramayana that we are celebrating the festival of Rama Navami today. It is not enough if the celebration is confined to merely partaking of sweet pudding and other delicious items.
- Divine Discourse: April 11th, 2003
Sri Ram Prathishta
Installation Ceremony of “Sri Rama, Sita,
Lakshmana & Hanuman Idols in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam in 1999
This year 1999 was something special. Mr. Subramania Chettiar attained the Lotus’ Feet of Bhagavan Baba on 13th April, 99. But it was a cherished dream and desire of Late Chettiar to install a temple for Lord Rama Pattabhishekam. Swami had given his blessings for this project, and Sri. Chettiar was not to live that day and witness his great ambition coming true. His illustrious and loving son, Sri Srinivasa Chettiar, had taken over the mantle of the President ship of the Padhya Trust. He strived very hard to realise the dream of his demised father. It was proposed to install the idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman. Rama’s idol was to be about 6 feet in height. But Swami felt that this will necessitate a temple with very tall Gopurams and hence advised to restrict the height of the idols to about 4 ½ feet only.
The installation itself was shared with Divine suspense till be end. “Know and enjoy my uncertainty” is the dictum of Bhagavan Baba. True to this, the suspense prolonged till about a week of installation.
Swami had promised that He Himself will select a suitable Site for construction of the temple for Lord Rama. The days and weeks passed on, and there was no message from Swami on the selection of Site. Bhagawan Baba directed Srinivasan Chettiar to go back to Madurai to look after other arrangements. Finally, though all arrangements had been completed, it was realised that it was practically impossible to build a temple within the available short time. A strong foundation, sturdy pillar, a concrete slab, and then a Gopuram are all to be erected. It was humanly impossible. Just about 10 days before the proposed event of installation, Swami told Srinivasan Chettiar that Swami had made a choise of place where the idols are to be installed. The choice of the site was a grand one, as is always with Divine Sankalpa.
The newly extended area of the beautiful Sai Kulwant hall had encompassed the place where the 108 crores of Sri Rama had been inferred. Swami directed that a large Mandap be built in this site, suitable enough for the installation of Rama, Sita , Lakshmana and Hanuman. During installation ceremony, Bhagavan Baba created a small “Lingam” and directed Srinivasan Chettiar to insert the same in the small pit wherein the idol of Rama is to be installed. Swami mentioned that it is ‘Rama Lingam” which will attract devotees and activate Vibration inside Prashanthi Nilayam complex. The old Hanuman vighraham had also found a place in the same Mandap.
‘I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added luster. I have come to tell you of this universal, unitary faith, this spiritual principle, this path of love, this duty of love, this obligation to love. Every religion teaches man to fill his being with the glory of God and to evict the pettiness of conceit. It trains him in the methods of unattachment and discernment, so that he may aim high and attain spiritual liberation. Believe that all hearts are motivated by the one and only God; that all faiths glorify the one and only God; that all names in all languages and all forms man can conceive denote the one and only God. His adoration is best done by means of love. Cultivate that attitude of oneness between men of all creeds and all countries.
That is the message of love I bring.
That is the message I wish you to take to heart’ … Sathya Sai Baba
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba in a Letter to V.R. Krishna Kumar, 1946
‘Sa’ means Divine; ‘ai’ or ‘ayi’ means Mother and ‘Baba’ means Father. The Name, Sai Baba means Divine Mother and Father. Sai’s descent is to achieve the supreme task of uniting the entire mankind as one family through the bond of brotherhood and to affirm and illumine the Divine (Aathmic) Reality within each and every being. The Divine takes the form as Avatar to reveal Himself as the basis for the entire Cosmos, and to instruct all to recognise the common divine heritage that binds everyone; so that human beings can work hard to rid themselves of animalistic qualities. I am the embodiment of Love; Love is My instrument. I reveal truth about Myself for, I desire that you should contemplate on this and derive joy. Also, may you be inspired to observe the disciplines laid down and progress towards the goal of Self-Realisation. Realise the Sai who shines in your hearts. (Divine Discourse, 19 June 1974)
“The happiness of all is my happiness. What else do I need than that? May all have greater and greater devotion, knowledge and renunciation, long life, health and happiness and may all deserve more and more the Grace of the Lord! With mutual friendship and affection, be engaged in Bhajan, Puja, Meditation and the Study of the Glories of the Lord! Utilise the little time available in thoughts of the Lord, without wasting it in idle talk. Time, once lost, can never be reclaimed! The time that is yet to come cannot be claimed, as certainly yours! So, to transform each moment into joy, make this moment, while it is still with you, holy and pure. Give up all yesterdays and tomorrows and the days after; do now, this very day, the task that is worth while.
This is My New Year Blessings to you all.”
(Excerpt from a letter Bhagavan had written to a devotee on 1st January 1959)