The Beauty of the Ramayana
The Sanskrit dictionary Shabda Kalpadrum defines sundara – the Sanskrit word for beauty – as “a perception which makes the heart melt.” Rabindranath Tagore and other poets across various cultures have told of the power of beauty and how it is in our nature to gratefully surrender to it.
The Ramayana is truth as beauty, beauty as truth, and is full of poetic subtleties that evoke our surrender. As Valmiki and Tulsidas sing of Shri Ram’s perfection, their inspired devotion weaves through the stories to spark our imagination and melt our hearts as only beauty can.
Anandi Ma describes her great desire for Lord Ram’s beauty to manifest in our lives:
May it be like a pearl that gives tremendous light infinitely
and continues to radiate brightness forever,
so that whatever you see, wherever you look, you see nothing except Ram.
Reading the Ramayana
In the last book of the Ramayana, its writer Valmiki declares that the gods and spiritual masters in heaven always listen with great pleasure to this glorious epic, and that reading even a verse of the Ramayana daily brings freedom.
The Ramayana is recommended reading on this path. Shri Anandi Ma often reminds us to read this sacred text during the high energy of Navratri as well as throughout the year, and chanting it out loud as a group is a powerful anusthan.
The glorious story of the life of Shri Rama is symbolic of Kundalini Shakti uniting the individual with the infinite. Reading, chanting or listening to the Ramayana brings auspiciousness and growth in the life of the disciple.
Dhyanyogi’s love for the Ramayana
Shri Anandi Ma has said, “After Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas met his guru and received shaktipat initiation, he made Lord Ram his principal form of worship. He also performed many intense practices pertaining to Lord Hanuman, including the Hanuman Chalisa and other mantras. He deeply internalized the devotion that Hanumanji had for his Lord Ram. With simply the repetition of the name Ram, Dhyanyogi would start shedding tears of love and devotion and, just as there are huge tidal waves on the ocean, his heart would swell for the love of Lord Ram.
“Along with his tremendous love for Shri Ram, Guruji also worked deeply to understand the tattwa, or absolute principle, which Shri Ram represents. With study and repetition, the Ramayana and scriptures like the Yog Vasishtha were his constant textbooks.
“Guruji loved the Ramayana. Whenever he was asked a question, nine times out of ten he would sing a verse from that scripture followed by an answer that correlated to that particular verse. Many times as he read about the incident of Ramji’s exile, he would start sobbing like a little baby.
“The scriptures and also Tulsidasji, the sage and a writer of the Ramayana, state that one intent of Lord Ram’s birth was to teach humanity ideal behavior. In whatever role He took on while in the human body, Shri Ram behaved in the most perfect way. He gave us the priceless teaching of how we should interact in all our human relations whether with a relative or friend, king or subject. In all the different roles He played in His life, Ramji acted in such a way that, for thousands of years after He left, He set the example for how to live our lives.
“There are very beautiful subtle sparks that are hidden throughout the beautiful scripture of the Ramayana. Whenever I read it, I get inspired and motivated to dig deeper, searching for the absolute principle which Lord Ram represents.”