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Om! Gam! Ganapathaye! Namaha! Om! Sri Raghavendraya Namaha! Om! Namo! Bhagavathe! Vaasudevaya! Om! Ham! Hanumathe!

Sri Rama Doothaya Namaha!

Glory & Significance of RAMA NAMA
Majority of people in India knows about the story of Lord Sri Rama, the epic Ramayana, and Lord Hanuman (the greatest devotee of Lord Sri Rama). But only a few knows the significance of Rama Nama. To talk about Lord Sri Rama and the significance of Rama Nama perhaps Lord Hanuman is the most competent person. In this regard a small but sincere attempt is being made to share the information collected from various sources about the significance of Rama Nama.

Who is this Rama?
! Ramanthe Sarve Janaah Gunaih Asmin Ithi Ramah! ! Ramayatheethi Ramah! (Ramayatha ithi Ramah) ! Ramante yogino-nanthe brahmanande chidatmani! Rama is one of the names of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu in Vishnu Sahasra Nama. Sloka No.43 of Vishnu Sahasra Nama Sthothram describes Rama as, Ramo Viraamo Virajo Margo Neyo Nayo-anayaH Veerah Shaktimataam Shresshtah Dharmo Dharmaviduttamah The meaning of the above Sanskrit versions is that Rama is the one who keeps the entire living beings happy, the one in whose memory yogis always revel (take pleasure) in the bliss of Brahman. He is the one who is omniscient and full of bliss. He is the place of final rest for all deserving souls. He is the one before whom, all else becomes pale and insignificant. He is the one who has no desires

for enjoyment or any luxuries. He is the lord who creates path to the devotees to reach the zones of liberation and immortality. He is the one who wishes to do anything for the devotees. He conducts monitors and leads everybody in this world. He is the one who cannot be felled by anybody. He is valiant and is the one who strikes terror into the hearts of the evil doers. He is the greatest, the supreme most and the invincible. He is the foremost among the celestials and is the most valiant among the brave. He is the dharma and his very nature is dharma and his incarnation is for the purpose of dharma. He is the embodiment of dharma and protector of dharma. He is the foremost and greatest among the knower of dharma. ! Ramo Vigrahavaan Dharmah! It means Rama is an epitome, a personification, a manifestation of Dharma. Rama is the very embodiment of righteousness. It was as if righteousness itself had incarnated on earth. Dharma and Rama are inseparable. It is said that when sage Valmiki was asked to write Ramayana he asks sage Narada “is there any person among the human beings who has all the sixteen virtues” and that person was none other than Lord Sri Rama. Mythologically Rama was the seventh Avathara of Sri Maha Vishnu in the list of Dasa Avatharas. In Venkatesa Suprabhatham the very first sloka refers to Lord Sri Rama “Kausalya Supraja Rama” As per the words of two great sages Vasishta and Viswamithra it is said that the four epic brothers Rama, Lakshmana, Bharatha and Sathrughna are the four forms of Vedas that have incarnated in the Treta Yuga to impart the most precious message to the mankind and to set an ideal world. Lord Sri Rama has been symbolized as the wisdom of Vedas. In fact the four brothers have established an ideal world called Rama Rajya and have preached and practiced many principles which have relevance even today.

What is the significance of the word Rama?
It is said that Rama Nama has come into existence much before the birth of Lord Sri Rama. It is said that the word Rama is divided into syllables Ra + Aa + Ma; Ra means Rudra; Aa means Brahma; Ma means Vishnu and the confluence of the three trinal lords Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara is Rama. The word Rama is a confluence of two letters Ra + Ma. It is believed and said that these two letters are Jivaakshara (life giving letters) carved out of the most significant Mantras the Narayana Astakshari and Shiva Panchakshari. The letter Ra is carved out of Narayana Astakshari (Om! Namo! Narayanaya!) and the letter Ma is carved out of Shiva Panchakshari (Om! Namah Shivaya!).

These two letters called life giving letters, the soul of these two powerful Mantras are put together to form the taraka Mantra Rama. Without these two letters, these manthras become ineffective. Any one chanting this taraka manthra is equivalent to worshipping both Lord Sri Maha Vishnu and Lord Shiva.

What is significance of Rama Nama?
Rama Nama is given the same importance as that of a pranava manthra OM that has links to all the other Manthras that ever exist. Rama Nama is an essence of all the Vedas, Shastras, Ithihasas and Puranas. One of the Saptha Rishis, Sage Vasista meditated on Rama Nama for quite a long time that motivated him to suggest King Dasaratha to christen the Almighty with the manthra (Rama) that he had chanted. The word Rama has the triple power of destroying sins, conferring peace, and dispelling ignorance. When you utter the word "RAM", you first open the mouth with the sound "Ra". All your sins go out when your mouth is open. When you utter "M" by closing the mouth, the entry is barred against the sins that have gone out. Rama is not just a name. It is a Mantra, the only Mantra that is called Taraka Mantra. Taraka Mantra means the one that helps us to cross the ocean of Samsara and free us from the bondage cycle of birth and death. If it is chanted as Rama it is a name, if it is chanted as Ram it is a Mantra, if it is chanted with addition of the word Sri (Sri Rama, Sri Ram) power of Goddess Sita is added to it. It is called as the family Manthra of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva himself tells Goddess Parvathi about the significance of Rama Nama and suggests her also to recite the same all the time. Lord Shankara, knowing the sweetness of it, initiated his beloved Parvathi to it. He tells her, Sree Rama Rama Ramethi Rame Raame Manorame Sahasranama Tat Thul-yam Rama Nama Varanane

Stuthi of Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Sthothram)

It is only Rama Nama which is equal to a thousand names of Vishnu. Perhaps the above sloka indicates that chanting of Rama once is equal to 10 times chanting of Vishnu, chanting of Rama twice is equal to 100 times (10 x10) chanting of Vishnu and chanting of Rama thrice is equal to 1000 times (10 x 10 x10) chanting of Vishnu. Thus the effect of chanting Rama Nama gets multiplied in geometrical progression. It is believed and said that Lord Shiva always keeps meditating on this Taraka Manthra. It is the most favourite manthra of all the deities and by chanting, one gets the benefit of invoking all the 33 crores of devathas. There are many instances in history where mere chanting of Rama Nama has resolved many miseries.

Lord Hanuman is hailed as the personification of selfless service to Lord Rama and Sita. Legends say that when Lord Rama was about to leave for His heavenly abode when the purpose of His incarnation was fulfilled, He asked Hanuman to accompany Him, but the latter politely declined the offer saying that he wanted to be present in the holy land where Lord Rama walked in human form and where Sri Rama Nama Japam was regularly conducted. The prayer sloka of Hanuman says that wherever Rama Nama is sung, he is present though not visible, with his eyes full of tears and with his hands folded in prayer to His Lord. Yatra Yatra Raghunatha Keerthanam Tatra Tatra Kruthamasthakanjalim Bhashpavari Paripoorna Lochanam Maruthim namatha Rakshasanthakam Lord Hanuman undoubtedly the greatest devotee of Lord Sri Rama continuously chanted this taraka mantra that helped him to achieve many feats during the epic Ramayana that also attained him the status of Bhavishya Brahma. By chanting the Rama Nama, a notorious bandit Ratnakara got liberated of all his past sins and as Valmiki, went on to author the epic Ramayana containing 24000 slokas. Valmiki describes Rama as having 16 great attributes. Rama stood for the truth, he was a believer of truth, and was a symbol of moral excellence. The Ramayana is not just a great epic; it is a culmination of philosophy, history, mythology and spirituality. While the epic Ramayana contains several thousands of slokas it is not possible to remember and recite all of them. Just by chanting the Rama Nama one gets the effect of chanting all the slokas of Ramayana.

Rama Nama Smarana a tool for Man’s liberation:
Different means of liberation have been spelled out applicable for each Yuga. For example, meditation (Penance) has been prescribed as the means of liberation in Krita Yuga, performing Yagnas and chanting of Mantras in Treta Yuga, Archana (worship) in Dwapara Yuga. But in Kali Yuga only Nama Smarana (repetition of God’s name) has been prescribed as the main means of liberation for the mankind. Since in Kali Yuga the people will not have the required spiritual strength and capability to perform and carry out the rigorous sadhana, Nama Smarana has been prescribed and advised to achieve the required results of liberation. The name of Rama will make one free from Raga (attachment) and also roga (disease)

This mantra can be chanted anywhere, anytime and by anyone. Rama Nama has the power of intercession for the dead. Sthala Purana of Kasi mentions that the deity Kasi Viswanatha (Lord Shiva) initiates this Taraka Manthra in the right ear of the people who die in Kasi. Kasyanthu MaranaanMukhthi means one who dies in Kasi will attain Mukthi. Even the Pall bearers repeat; Ram naam satya hai (the name of Rama is the absolute truth).

Rama Nama a reference to the present day world
In the present day context we would have heard many great personalities utilizing this powerful taraka manthra for achieving success in their respective fields. Nearest examples are Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Thulasi Das, Kabir Das, Bhakta Ramadas (Bhadrachalam), Saint Sri Raghavendra (Mantralayam), Saint Purandaradas, Saint Thyagaraju, and many others. Reciting of Rama Nama also called Rama Nama Japa, is a very popular and common practice in India. It became even more popularized by Mahatma Gandhi for whom Rama Nama was a constant practice. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi it is said I have suggested Rama Nama as I

have been familiar with it since my childhood, and as it is my constant support in my struggles. Rama Nama gives one detachment and stability, and never throws one off the balance at critical moments. The incantation of Rama Nama will free one from addictions and make one clean and get adored by others. It is said that when he was assassinated his last words were 'Rama, Rama.' None of his
prayers have passed without Rama Nama Keertana. Tulsidas said that if one repeats the mantra unconsciously, he is taken from hell to paradise. He said that he is as eager to repeat the mantra as a Chataka bird is to drink rain drops, the only source of its survival. Kabirdas believed that the benefits of Rama Nama cannot be destroyed or robbed. Purandaradas, Thyagaraju and Ramadas have immortalized the Rama Nama in their beautiful compositions. Thyagaraju, the saint-poet, is said to have obtained the darshan of Rama with Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman after having recited the Rama Nama 950 million times in 38 years on the advice of his guru. The Ramayana, the story of Lord Sri Rama, teaches us 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, 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 it, she lost Rama's presence. Renunciation leads to joy; attachment brings about grief. Sri Rama incarnated as a human being to promote peace and happiness in the world. Also called as Maryada Purushothama He was an embodiment and personification of all virtues, role model as a son, as a husband, as a brother, as

an able administrator, as a friend, as a King, as a human being, and a role model for devathas. He was the best example of perfect character and human conduct, inspiring human beings for countless succeeding ages. Everyone should recognize the sweetness, sacredness, and divinity enshrined in the name Rama. There is also a faith among Hindu families to write Rama Nama repeatedly several times called as Rama Koti. For writing this they use the words Sri Rama or Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama. It is believed that by writing Rama Koti, one will be benefited with progeny, progress and success in education, harmony among the couple, helps in poverty conditions, as a remedy for Saturn related obstacles, gain in employment, and fulfillment of desires. Whatever may be the myth or belief, it is always good to utter the name Rama with full understanding of all that it signifies. It is said that Rama Nama is mightier

than Rama himself.

Lord Sri Rama was the seventh Avathara of Sri Maha Vishnu in the list of Dasa Avatharas. It is said that Rama Avathara had occurred during Thretha Yuga in the 24th Maha Yuga of Vaivasvatha Manvanthara. He was born in Surya Vamsa, in the lineage of Ikshvaku, Harischandra, Bhagiratha, Raghu and Ajha. Sun God is said to be the Paramatma amsa of Lord Sri Rama. He is said to be a Paripoorna Manushya Avathara of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. He was the eldest son of King Dasaratha and his first wife Kausalya. He had two step mothers Kaikeyi, and Sumithra. Sri Rama had three brothers Bharatha, Lakshmana and Sathrughna. Goddess Sita Devi was his consort. He had two sons Lava and Kusa who were bought up in Valmiki Ashram. It is said that Lord Sri Rama ruled this world for 11000 years. As per Hindu lunar calendar Rama was born on the ninth day (Navami), of sukla paksha in Chaitra Masa. Astrologically he was born under the star constellation of Punarvasu, 4th charana in Karkataka Raasi (Cancer Sign) and Karkataka Lagna. At the time of his birth five planets Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn were in exalted position.

Sri Rama Navami is a Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Sri Rama that is celebrated across the country irrespective of the caste and creed. It is generally celebrated as the birth day of Lord Sri Rama coinciding with the ninth day (Navami thithi) of Chaitra Masa Sukla Paksha as per Hindu calendar.

What is to be done on this day?
Lord Sri Rama is worshipped on this day along with his consort Goddess Seetha Devi, Lakshmana and Lord Hanuman, and His parents Dasaratha and Kausalya. Arghya to be given to Lord Sri Rama with the following slokas, Kausalyagharbhasambhootha sadhaa Soumithri Vatsala Jaanakisahitho Rama Gruhanarghyam Namosthuthe!! Kousalyaanandano Veera Ravanasuramardhana Seethapathe Namasthubhyam Gruhanarghyam Namosthuthe Recite slokas, sthothras related to Lord Sri Rama, like Rama Raksha Sthothram, and bhajans are conducted praising Lord Sri Rama. Sun is also worshipped on this day as He is the Paramatma Amsa of Sri Rama Avathara and Lord Rama was born in Surya Vamsa. People visit Sri Rama temple in the evening and offer prayers. At some places they also perform Sita Rama Kalyanam (marriage of Lord Sri Rama and Goddess Sita). One such place where Sita Rama Kalyanam is performed on a grand scale on this day is at Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh on the banks of river Godavari. Govt. of Andhra Pradesh makes elaborate arrangements on this occasion and lakhs of people participate in this function. It is also a tradition in some areas where people offer sweet drink (water mixed with jaggery, cloves, pepper and lemon juice) called Panakam and Moong Dal (soaked) called Kosambari as Naivedya to Lord Sri Rama and distribute the same to the devotees at temples. The festival is celebrated in a grand scale in places like Ayodhya (birth place of Lord Sri Rama), Bhadrachalam (A.P) and in all the Rama Temples across the country. Vasantha Navarathri festival ends with Sri Rama Navami. Some of the places in India connected to Lord Sri Rama are Ayodhya, Kasi, Gaya, Prayaga, Naimisharanya, Nasik, Bhadrachalam, Hampi, Srisailam, and Rameswaram. Perhaps in India you do not find a place without a temple for Lord Sri Rama or Hanuman where Rama is also worshipped.

Brief about Bhadrachalam
As per the legend Sri Maha Vishnu in order to fulfill the promise given to his devotee Bhadra (son of Meru Parvatha) in his avatara as Sri Rama (which he forgot to fulfill during his avatara) came from Vaikunta and gave darshan in the form of Lord Sri Rama along with his consort Goddess Sita Devi and his brother Lakshmana at this place on the Bhadradri hills and got manifested there at the request of his devotee Bhadra. Thenceforth the place came to be known in the name of Bhadra as Bhadrachala.

Rarity of the temple is that the Lord in his hurry to fulfill the promise given to his devotee came to give darshan carrying his disc Sudarshana Chakra and his Kounch in apasavya position. Usually we find Lord Maha Vishnu carrying his Sudarshana Chakra in the right hand and his Kounch in the left hand. But here he is seen holding them in a reverse way.

Usually we find Lord Sri Rama depicted with only two hands like any other human being with bow and arrow. But here he is seen with Chaturbhuja (four hands) holding disc and kounch in his upper arms and bow and arrow in his lower arms with his lower right hand in abhaya mudra. That is why he is called as Vaikunta Rama where the Lord Sri Rama is in his original form (Lord Vishnu) There is also another popular legend attached to this temple. During 17th century Bhakta Rama Das (Kancharla Gopanna) a great devotee of Lord Sri Rama constructed the temple at Bhadrachalam and arranged for ornaments to the Lord. He was working as a Tahsildar under the rulership of Abdul Hassan Taneesha the Nawab of Golkonda under Nizam dynasty. In the process he had arranged funds from the coffers of Taneesha due to which he had to undergo imprisonment and was kept in Golkonda jail by the Nawab. One can see even today the evidences of his imprisonment in Golkonda fort at Hyderabad and the life spent by Bhakta Ramadas in jail. Being a staunch devotee of Lord Sri Rama, the money spent by Rama Das was returned to the Nawab by the Lord Sri Rama along with his brother Lakshmana in disguise amounting to six lakh golden mohars having the symbol of Rama Pattabhishekam and took a receipt for it from Taneesha. The legend goes on to say that the Lord always came to the rescue of his sincere devotees though initially they might suffer due to their Prarabdha. The temple is located in Bhadrachalam in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh about 300 km from Hyderabad on the banks of sacred river Godavari called as Goutami Ganga (Deccan Ganges). The temple is one of the main pilgrim centers in Andhra Pradesh well connected by Road from Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Warangal, Karimnagar and other main cities of Andhra Pradesh. By rail it is on

the Madras – Delhi main line, one has to get down at Khammam or Kothagudem and catch a bus to Bhadrachalam. Sri Rama Navami festival is conducted at this temple in a grand manner where Sita Rama Kalyanam is performed on this day attended by lakhs of people from all over the country especially from Andhra Pradesh.

Prayer slokas related to Lord Sri Rama
Dhyana slokas: Rama, Ram, Sri Rama, Sri Ram, Sri Rama Jaya Rama, Jaya Jaya Rama Vaidehi Sahitham Suradhrumathale Haime Mahamantape Madhye Pushpakamaasane, Manimaye Veerasane Susthitham Agre Vachayatiprabhanjanasuthe Tatvam Munibhyah Param Vyakhyam Bharathadhibhih Parivrutham Ramambhajesyamalam Dhyayeh Aajaanubhahum Dhruthasaradhanusham baddha padmasanastham Peetham vaaso vasaanam navakamala dala sparthinethram prasannam Vaamaankaaruda Seethamukha kamala milallochanam Neeradabham Naanaalankara deeptham dhadhatha murujataa mandalam Ramachandram Sree Rama Rama Ramethi Rame Raame Manorame Sahasra Naama Thatthulyam Raama Naama Varaanane Aapadaamapa Harthaaram Daatharam Sarva Sampadaam Lokaabhiraamam Sree Raamam Bhuyo Bhuyo Namaamyaham Raamaaya raamabadraaya raamachandraaya vedhasae Ragunaathaaya naathaaya seethaayaah pathayae namah Sree Raghavam DasarathmajaMaprameyam Seethapathim Raghukulanvaya Ratnadeepam AajaanubhahumMaravinda Dalayataksham Ramam Nisachara Vinasakaram Namami Yatra Yatra Raghunatha Keerthanam, Tatra Tatra Kruthamasthakanjalim Bhashpavari Paripoorna Lochanam Maruthim namatha Rakshasanthakam Sree Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama, Sree Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama Sree Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama Sree Krishnaarpanamasthu bhargavasarma