Lokabiramam sriramam bhuyobhuyo namayaham ||
Sriramarameti ramerame manorame |
Sahasranama tat tulyam rama namam varanane ||
These slokas stste the greatness of Sri Ramachandra. Sri Rama rescues those in distress. He grants all types of wealth to us. Sri Rama, Sri Sitarama, blesses the World with happiness. We shall prostrate to Sri Rama, repeatedly. Parvati Devi asked lord Shiva as to, when Lord Sriman Narayana has many names and when Bhishma mentioned 1000 names and which could take time to utter, which single name would be equivalent to those 1000 names, in granting comfort. Lord Shiva replied that the name Sri Rama is equal to the 1000 names, in granting boons. This Divine name is like the nectar granting immortality, and would even stop the soul from departing. Rama - this two syllable word would make the person uttering, to experience immeasurable bliss. Today's [16th February 2009] lecture is from the sannidhi of Sri Rama, in Sri Parthasarathy temple in Thiruallikkeni. We have already worshiped Sri Parthasarathy in standing pose, Sri Mannatha aka Sri Ranganatha, in reclining pose, Sri Telliya Singam in sitting pose and Sri Gajendra Varada, in swiftly arriving pose. Sri Ramachandra is in standing pose. As we enter the temple, this sannidhi is on the right side. Just opposite this sannidhi is the sannidhi of His devoted servant Anjaneya. We can see Sri Rama along with Sri Sita, Bharata, Lakshmana, Shatrugna and Hanuman.
Thirumangai Alwar says Sri Rama is standing with Sri Sita and Lakshmana, and with Bharata and Shatrugna. Alwar divides the accompanying persons into Two groups: Sri Sita and Lakshmana, ans Bharata and Shatrugna. Why did not Alwar group all Four in a single group or why not in Four groups? Alwars' pasurams are pregnent with many subtle and deep inner meanings. Here, Sri Sita and Lakshmana, went along with Sri Rama to the forest; while Bharata and Shatrugna remained in the country and looked after the Kingdom. Sri Rama graces every Punarvasu star, procession. In Panguni month Punarvasu time, Sri Rama graces Ten day festival. During dhavanotsavam festival, on one day Lord Sri Rama is taken on procession. Sri Ramachandra is famous for His walk [நடை அழகு]. He walked majestically, like a lion coming out of its den! Sri Rama lived, what Sri Gitacharya preached! We are seeing slokas in which difference between atman and body are described. While body has many forms and shapes, atman remains same in all living beings. He is said to have seen, who is able to distinguish atman and body separately and see atman is same in all. Sri Rama is surrounded by His brothers Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna, and the hunter chief Guha, monkey King Sugreeva and enemy Ravana's rakshasa brother Vibheeshana. He considered all of them as His own brothers, irrespective of their origin or family background. This si precisely the substance of the slokas we have been seeing. If we see atman and body together, we would notice monkey or hunter or rakshasa. Sri Rama on the other hand, viewed atman of all of them and so He could consider all of them as equal. This practical behaviour of Sri Rama has been preached by Sri Krishna in Gita! In fact this principle we can see in every sannidhi in this temple. In Sri Rama's sannidhi we understand that we have to view all as equal. In Sri Narasimha's sannidhi, we understand that the Lord appears even to a child, for his devotion. In Sri Varada's sannidhi, we understand that the Lord is the rescuer. All these are preached by Sri Parthasarathy. We are now to see sloka 28. We have to understand all atman are identical and we should not be disillusioned by the body appearance and think atman are different from each other. Such a person who sees atman as uniform, does good to himself. On the contrary person who thinks atman and body are same, does great harm to himself. Now, sloka 28:
samam pasyan hi sarvatra
na hinasty atmanatmanam
tato yati param gatim
"One who sees the Supersoul equally present everywhere, in every living being, does not degrade himself by his mind. Thus he approaches the transcendental destination."
Na hinasty = [he] does not harm, atmana = by mind, atmanam = to the soul. That is he does not harm the atman or soul by samsaram. Not only that, param gatim = the supreme place or passage, tato yati = [he] attains that. He does not struggle again in samsaram and so he does not harm the soul. He attains atman sakshatkaram and experiences atmanubhavam. He relinquishes samsaram and so does not have rebirth and suffer. This is attained by that person, who sees the atman in every living being is same. Sarvatra = everywhere, that is irrespective of the species like Devas, humans, movables and non-movables, etc. Samavasthitam = living same or equal, ishvaram = leader or commander, that is atman. Every atman is the commander of the body it is residing. The Lord is the commander for all the bodies, while individual atman is the commander for the individual body it is residing. Here, in this sloka, ishvara denotes atman in a body and not the Lord. This atman could reside in any body, irrespective of the species, and is same as any other atman in any other body. Atman's swaroopa and swabhava - appearance and characteristic- are identical with those of any other atman. Such a person, who sees atman and body are different and who sees all atman are identical, does not harm his atman by mind. Mind is our companion. He could be freindly or be an enemy. This depends on our thoughts. Let us consider A as a person. If A thinks he is A and he has these physical measurements and these qualities; then A thinks A's body and mind are one. This way A's mind does harm to A. If A thinks that atman and body are different and thinks that atman in any body is same, A's mind is freindly and does not harm A. Here harm is samsaram. By not doing harm means, prevents sufferings in samsaram. By misunderstanding atman and body are same, mind does harm to the body. It is like wrongly understsnding the question and answeing in an examination. The result will, naturally, be bad. Similarly, by wrongly understanding atman and body are one and the same, result will be bad. That is continuing in the birth-death cycle. A person, let us say A, declaring himself as A, everytime, confuses the unintelligent body and his intelligent soul as one. It is as good as calling himself a fool. But this is repeated by all without any thinking. But a person who sees the difference between body and soul and who sees souls in all living bodies as same, attains atman prapti or enlightenment and reaches the supreme path. He has no more rebirths. Vivekam is the requirement for attaining this.