In the Divine epic of the Ramayana there is a special profound message. That message is: one must lead the life of a human being, one must seek oneness with the Divine. In every human being, all the three natures – human, divine and demonic – are present. But most people today ignore their humanness and divinity, and foster only their demonic nature. Everyone, in fact, should strive to manifest their divinity, and not display their weakness or demonic qualities. There is no use in observing Sri Rama’s birthday once in a year and being satisfied with a good feast. Every moment marks the Lord’s advent, because human beings are being born continually. Every human being is an incarnation of the Divine. The Divine dwells in every being. Therefore, dedicate every moment to the thoughts of God. When you do this, in due course you experience the Divine. You will be free from delusions and you will be divinised. Man is born to merge in the grace of the Divine and not to immerse himself in mundane pleasures.
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 festival of Maha Shivarathri is one of the most important festivals in India. It falls on the 14th day of the (Krishna Paksha) dark fortnight of the Magha month of the Hindu calendar. The very word ‘Shivarathri’ means auspicious night. All over the country, people throng Shiva temples and spend the night in worship and contemplation of the Divine. According to Hindu belief, the moon is the presiding deity of the mind and the 16 phases of the moon represent the 16 aspects of the mind. On Shivarathri, which falls a day prior to the new moon, only a streak of the moon is visible. This is symbolic of the waning influence of the mind, when 15 aspects have already merged in the Self and only one aspect remains. Hence on this day, it is easier to control the mind and direct it towards God. Therefore, the night is spent in contemplation and adoration of God, so that the vagaries of the mind can be totally subdued and transcended to attain realization of the Atman.
“The lesson of Shivarathri is that devotees should foster good and sacred thoughts. They should be filled with godly thoughts. They should seek to become one with the Divine by reflecting on their inherent divinity. If you constantly chant the name of God, God realization will come in due course.
Whatever other things they may possess, men suffer from lack of peace and bliss. These two can be obtained only from God. It is for these two that men should pray to God and not for anything else, because God alone can give them. When these are secured, all other things will come of their own accord by the grace of God. People should yearn for God. All other desires are worthless”.
At the Shivalayam Temple (Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthplace) Puttaparthi, India on Maha Shivaratri – 7th March 2016 (Morning) Five pujaris (priests) performed abhishekams to Lord Sai Shiva.
Special offerings were made to the Lord Shiva. The offerings included milk, curd, ghee, honey, sugar, fruits, tender coconut water, flower, yellow rice, sandalwood paste, vibhuti, bilva leaves, sugar, rudraksha, turmeric, kumkum, with each individual offering bearing great spiritual significance.
These offerings are meant to appease the Indweller within, Who is verily Sai Shiva. Lord Shiva Who is hailed as Abhisheka Priya is mightly pleased with such sacred offerings.
“Makara Sankranthi marks the movement of the Sun from the southern horizon to the northern horizon. This northward movement of the Sun has immense spiritual significance. The north is symbolised by Himaachala. Hima means snow. It is pure, untainted and soothingly cool. All these endow it with the quality of Prashanthi (perfect peace). Achala means that which is steady and unshakeable. Himaachala does not refer to the physical Himalayan mountains. It represents that which is cool, peaceful and steady. From this day the Sun is said to move towards such a state. The Sun symbolises the vision of man. The northward movement of the Sun is a call to human beings to turn their vision towards that which is cool, peaceful and unchanging, i.e. towards the divinity within.
– Divine Discourse: 14 January, 1994
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Years come and go, so also pleasure and pain. Nothing confers permanent bliss except the experience of the Atma (Self). Man cannot attain peace and happiness from his actions unless he has sacred feelings within. Many people expect the New Year to confer happiness and prosperity on them. But in fact, New Year only confers on you the results of your past actions. In order to atone for your past sins, you have to cultivate sacred qualities and involve yourself in sacred activities more and more in the New Year. In fact, Bliss is within you, it originates from your sacred feelings. So, you have to manifest bliss from within – it cannot be bestowed on you by others. None can take away the bliss from you and you cannot obtain it from outside.