April—jJune

2012
Internatonal Journal
A Quarterly Publicaton
yavt! waSyiNt igiry> sirt:c mihtle ,
tavt! ramay[ kwa laeke;u àcir:yit.
Volume Two
Issue II
Internatonal Journal
Page | i

A quarterly publication
An International Journal Of

Rama vigyan sarovar


Mystical Insights into Ramayana

© An International Journal of Rama Vigyan Sarovar and
Taoshobuddha Meditations


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Cover design and graphics: Anand Neelambar

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Quarterly International Journal – Rama Vigyan Sarovar

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A production of

Quarterly International Journal – Rama Vigyan Sarovar

Page | iii

Contents


Title

Page
Editorial iv
Valmiki 1
Vasistha 15
Yoga Vasistha 16
Sage Vishvamitra 26
Solar Power and Gayatri Mantra 33
Birth and family of Hanuman 38
Astronomical Dating of the Ramayan 48
Talks on the Ramayana by Swami Venkatesananda 55

Quarterly International Journal – Rama Vigyan Sarovar

Taoshobuddha Meditations Page iv

Editorial
This issue we focus on the masters of Sri Rama. In this regard Rama is very unique being an
incarnation of the Supreme Being and yet displaying fallible human traits. During the time that sage
Vishwamitra requested the assistance of the King Dasharath to help protect his (Vishwamitra’s)
yagya from desecration and disturbances from the Rakshas; Rama was sent to be called from his
chambers.
"The prince seems to be dejected and he shuns company." Bewildered by this statement, Dasharath
turned to Rama's chamberlain and wished to know the facts concerning Rama's state of mind and
health.
The chamberlain was visibly distressed and he said:
"Lord, since his return from the pilgrimage, a great change has come over the prince. He does not
seem to be interested even in bathing and in the worship of the deity. He does not enjoy the
company of the people in the inner apartments. He is not interested in jewels and precious stones.
Even when offered charming and pleasing objects, he looks at them with sad eyes, uninterested. He
spurns the palace dancers, regarding them as tormentors! He goes through the motions of eating,
walking, resting, bathing and sitting like an automaton, like one who is deaf and dumb. Often he
mutters to himself 'What is the use of wealth and prosperity, what is the use of adversity or of
house? All this is unreal.' He is silent most of the time and is not amused by entertainment. He
relishes only solitude. He is all the time immersed in his own thought. We do not know what has
come over our prince, what he contemplates in his mind, nor what he is after. Day by day he gets
more and more emaciated."
"Again and again, he sings to himself 'Alas, we are dissipating our life in various ways, instead of
striving to reach the supreme! People wail aloud that they are suffering and that they are destitute,
but no one sincerely turns away from the sources of their suffering and destitution!' Seeing all this
and hearing all this, we, his humble servants, are extremely distressed. We do not know what to do.
He is bereft of hope, he is bereft of desire, he is attached to nothing and he depends on nothing, he
is neither deluded nor demented, and he is not enlightened either. At times, however, it looks as if
he is overwhelmed by suicidal thoughts spurred by the feelings of despondency: 'What is the use of
wealth or of mothers and relations, what is the use of the kingdom? and what is the use of ambition
in this world?' Lord, only you can find the appropriate remedy for this condition of the prince."
Vishwamitra said:
If that be the case, may Rama be requested to come here. His condition is not the result of delusion
but is full of wisdom and dispassion, and it points to enlightenment. Bring him here and we shall
dispel his despondency.
Thus the scenario is set for the exposition for the Yoga Vashistha – the Supreme science of self-
realization. Note here it was despondency at the world that brought about the teachings is Yoga
Vashistha similarly as was the case with Arjuna that brought about the teachings of Bhagavad Gita.
Swami Anand Neelambar
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Taoshobuddha Meditations Page 1
RAMA VIGYAN SAROVAR
April – June 2012

Sri Rama Katha: http://youtu.be/Lur35RQ2LNc

Mast er s of Sr i Rama








Valmiki is celebrated as the poet harbinger in Sanskrit literature. He is the
author of the epic Ramayana. He is revered as the Adi Kavi, -the First Poet, for
he discovered the first śloka i.e. first verse, which set the base and defined the
form to Sanskrit poetry.

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Valmiki symbolizes purity, penance, benevolence and meditation personified. The sole
object of his dedication and contemplation was Man - a man leaves his selfish existence
and lives for others identifying him with the composite culture of the cosmic creation.
The only work available of the great sage-poet, The Ramayana, has established the
poet‘s timeless fame.

Vālmīki is celebrated as the poet harbinger in Sanskrit literature. He is the author of the
epic Ramayana. He is revered as the Adi Kavi, which means First Poet, for he discovered
the first śloka i.e. first verse, which set the base and defined the form to Sanskrit
poetry.

The Yoga Vasistha is attributed to him. A religious movement called Valmikism is based
on Valmiki‘s teachings as presented in the Ramayana and the Yoga Vasistha. By the 1
st

century AD, Valmiki‘s reputation as the father of Sanskrit classical poetry seems to have
been legendary. Ashvagosha writes in the Buddhacharita,

‗The voice of Valmiki uttered poetry which the great seer Chyavana could not compose.‘
This particular verse has been speculated to indicate a familial relationship between
Valmiki and Chyavana, as implied by the previous and subsequent verses.
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Introduction - Out of the Ant-hill

Valmiki lived in the age of Sri Rama - called the ‗Treta Yuga‘ (the Age of Treta). He was
born in the Naga clan. However the details of Valmiki‘s life are not very clear as there
are no written records. He was the author of Ramayana, one of the greatest epics of
India. The Ramayana tells the story of Prince Rama of Ayodhya who always stuck to his
morals and emerged triumphant in the battle fought with demon king Ravana. The
biography of Valmiki is an intriguing one and the exact dates of existence are not
known.

The Uttara Kanda chapter of the Ramayana tells the story of Valmiki‘s early life. He was
a Brahman by birth belonging to the lineage of Bhrigu. Fate consigned him to a family of
robbers which brought him up. Accidental contact with the Saptarsis - the Seven Sages
and with the sage Narada changed his life.

In those days, there was a thick forest all along the banks of the river Ganga. Many
sages built their hermitage in that forest for their ‗tapas‘; that means they meditated on
God. Among them was a sage by the name of Prachetasa. He had, a son called
Ratnakara. When he was very young boy, one day he went into the forest. While playing
he lost his way and began to cry. Just then a hunter came there looking for a prey. He
saw the chubby boy and fondled and pacified him. The hunter had no children. He took
the boy to his hut in the midst of the jungle. Ratnakara‘s father searched for his son all
around the hermitage, but could not find him. Finally he and his wife thought that the
boy had become the prey of some wild beast. Both wept very much considering the child
to be dead.

The hunter and his wife brought up the teenaged boy with great love. Ratnakara soon
forgot his parents. He took the hunter for his father and the hunter‘s wife for his mother.
He was taught how to hunt by the father. Ratnakara was a clever boy and learnt it
quickly. He became a hunter with a sure aim.

To the birds and beasts of the forest, he became verily Yama, the God of Death. When
he came of age, his foster father searched for a bride and celebrated his marriage with a
beautiful girl from a hunter‘s family. In a few years she gave birth to children. Thus
Ratnakara‘s family grew in size. It became very difficult for him to provide food and
clothing to his large family. So he took to robbery. He began to attack people going from
one village to another, frightened them and took away all that they had. If they opposed
him, then he killed them.

One day Ratnakara was sitting by the side of a road waiting for a victim. It happened
that the sage Narada was passing that way. Narada had his favorite musical instrument,
a Veena, in his hands. As he played on the Veena, he was singing a song in praise of
God. When he was thus lost in joy, suddenly Ratnakara rushed at him. As an unnamed
highway robber he tried to rob the sage Narada for the benefit of his family. He lifted the
stout staff in his hands and shouted, ‗Look here! Hand over all you have or else I‘ll break
your head.‘

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But Narada was not an ordinary man. He was a divine sage, and one who wandered all
over the Earth, the Heaven and the Underworld. He was not frightened by the loud
shouts of Ratnakara. He smilingly, ‗My dear man, all that I have only this old Veena and
the rags I wear; If you want them, you can certainly take them. Why should you break
my head for these?‘

Ratnakara was astonished at these words. He looked up at Narada‘s face. There was
neither fear nor anger except peace of a greater depth and awareness. And how bright
was that face! He was surprised to see a face tender and innocent like that of a child. He
had never seen such a lovely face. As he gazed, his cruel mind melted into tenderness.

Narada sat beneath a tree and as played on the Veena, sang a song in praise of God. It
was sweet like the song of cuckoo. Ratnakara was deeply moved. Noticing the change,
the sage Narada paused in his song and said, ‗Brother, stealing is a sin. Killing animals is
also sinful. Why do you do such evil?‘

‗Sire, what can I do Ratnakara replied, I have a large family. There are my old parents
and my wife and children. They partake of my happiness and my troubles. I have to
provide them with food and clothing. Hunting and stealing are all I know. What else can
I do?‘

Narada asked him if his family would share the sin he was incurring due to the robbery.
The robber replied positively, but Narada told him to confirm this with his family. ‗My
friend, will any member of your family partake of your sin also? Go and ask them, and
bring back their reply.‘

Ratnakara thought that Narada was trying a trick to make his escape. Narada
understood it and again said, ‗Well, child, if you do not trust me, you can tie me to this
tree and then go.‘

Ratnakara thought that was all right. He tied Narada to a tree and went home. On
reaching home, he first went to his father and said, ‗Father, I rob people to get food and
clothing for you all. It seems that is a sin. Do you not share in that sin?‘

His father was angry and said, ‗You sinner, you should not do such bad things. Am I to
share your sins? No, never. You have to suffer for what you do.‘

Ratnakara went to his mother and said, ‗Surely mother, you will share my sin, won‘t
you?‘ But she also scolded him and sent him away.

He then went to his wife and said, ‗Do you know how I earn to provide you and your
children with food and clothing? It is by robbery. But I steal for your sake. Therefore you
are also partners in my sin. Isn‘t that so?‘

The wife was displeased and said, ‗What are you saying? What have we to do with your
sin? You are my husband, and my children are your children. It is your duty to look after
us and give us food and clothing.‘
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The robber asked his family, but none agreed to bear the burden of sin. Ratnakara‘s
eyes were opened. He realized that he alone was responsible for all his sins no one else
would share his sin. Dejected, the robber finally understood the truth of life and asked
for Narada‘s forgiveness.

As soon as it was clear to him, he ran to Narada. He untied the sage and amidst
weeping, narrated to him all that had happened in his home. Falling at Narada‘s feet he
asked the sage, ‗Oh, sire now what of me? How can I atone for all the sins I have
committed? You are my only savior.‘

Narada rejoiced at his transformation. He lifted the robber to his feet and told him, ‗Fear
not, my son. There is one name, the Taraka, which redeems even the greatest of
sinners. Repeat the name with all your mind and soul in it. All your sins will be washed
away soon.‘ He then whispered in his ears the sacred name, ‗Rama‘ and asked the
robber to repeat it.

The whole of his life was spent in doing and saying only harsh things. So the robber
could not utter the word ‗Rama‘, try as he might. But Narada was too kind to leave him
thus. So he tried another method. He slowly uttered the word ‗Ma ra‘ inverting the
sacred name. This time the robber could pronounce the letters, ‗Ma ra‘, Ma ra....‘ And he
started repeating the letters in quick succession... ‗Ma ra, Ma ra, Ma... Ra.... Ma
Ra...Ra...Ma...Rama....Rama....Rama...‘ Thus after a time without his realizing it, the
robber was repeating the Taraka nama. He was captivated by the charm of the sacred
name and he went on repeating the name forgetting his surroundings. He sat on like
that continuously without moving and without opening his eyes and years passed away.
This undisturbed tapas washed off all his sins and at last he gained a vision of Lord.
Overflowing with great joy and bliss, he rose from his seat shedding off the ant hills
around him. As he rose from the ant hills, ‗Valmika‘ as they are called in Sanskrit, he
came to be called Valmiki.

Narada taught the robber to worship God. The robber meditated for many years, so
much so that ant-hills grew around his body. Thus repeating the Ramanama or the
name of Ram, Ratnakara continued his ‗tapas‘. His eyes were closed. His whole mind
was concentrate on the chanting of the name of the Lord He forgot his existence. He had
neither food nor sleep for days and days. And in this way quite a few years passed. An
ant hill grew all around and above him. He could not even be seen by anybody.

At last one day the sage Narada again came that way. Of course, he knew that
Ratnakara was inside the anthill. Very carefully he cleared that anthill still Ratnakara
was totally absorbed in his ‗tapas‘ and did not wake up to the world around him. Narada
chanted the name of Rama in his ears. Then he opened his eyes and saw the sage
standing before him. He saluted him from where he was sitting. Narada helped him to
get up. He also gently touched him all over. Ratnakara felt new life flowing through him.
He touched the sage‘s feet. Narada lifted him up and embraced him. Valmiki attained
the supreme state of a ‗maharishi‘ or great sage. Since a ‗valmika‘ or an anthill had
grown over his body during his long period of austerities and poised state of penance,
Narada said to him, ‗Ratnakara, you are blessed. God is pleased with your tapas. You
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are now a sage of the highest order, a Brahmarishi. As you are now reborn from a
Valmika (the ant-hill), you will hereafter be famous as Valmiki.‘ Thus he came to be
known as Valmiki. Finally, a divine voice declared his penance successful, bestowing him
with the name ‗Valmiki‘: ‗one born out of ant-hills‘.

Tears of joy welled up in Valmiki‘s eyes at these words. He prostrated before Narada
again and said, ‗Sire, all this is your kindness. The company of good men uplifts man. I
am myself a proof of this.‘ Narada blessed him and went his way.

The sage, Valmiki, now formed his ashrama or hermitage near the river Ganga. His fame
spread every – where Many other sages went with their families and settled down in his
ashrama.

One day Sri Rama with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana came to Valmiki‘s ashrama.
Valmiki‘s joy knew no limit. With the help of his disciples he waited on them with great
enthusiasm. His disciples brought them water to wash their hands and feet, and spread
mattresses for them to sit upon. They offered the guests fresh milk and tasty fruits.

After resting a while, Sri Rama narrated his story. He had come to the forest so that his
father‘s promise might be fulfilled. Valmiki was very pleased to hear it. He said, ‗Rama,
there is none as truthful as you are. You have given up your kingdom so that your
father‘s promise may be kept. Giving up a king‘s throne, you have come to the forest.
You are not an ordinary man but the Almighty Himself. The power of your name is such
that I have changed from a sinful hunter to a sage, a Brahmarishi. Your grace is great.‘

Sri Rama smiled. Then he said to Valmiki, ‗O great sage, we have come here to live near
your hermitage. Please show us a suitable spot.‘ There was a hill very near Valmiki‘s
hermitage. It was called Chitrakuta. It was a beautiful place with many kinds of plants
full of flowers and trees bearing fruits. Valmiki guided Rama to that hill. Sri Rama lived
for a while on the hill with his wife and brother.


Composer of the Epic Ramayana

The Ramayana in Slokas

Valmiki symbolizes purity, penance, benevolence and meditation personified. The sole
object of his dedication and contemplation was Man - a man leaves his selfish existence
and lives for others identifying himself with the composite culture of the cosmic creation.
The only work available of the great sage-poet, The Ramayana, has established the
poet‘s timeless fame.

Valmiki Maharishi lived on the banks of the Ganges in an ashram of his own. He was
touched by an act of love between two birds and that transformed him drastically. One
day while he was returning from the river after the morning bath he saw a Krouncha
birds couple, flying joyously in the sky and having their love play. He was charmed by
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the innocent joy of the birds and continued to look at them in blissful rapture. Just then
an arrow struck the male bird in the heart that fell down bleeding and piteously crying.
Seeing her mate gone, the female bird arose in great grief and flying round and round
the body of her mate, moaning and shining. The bird‘s wordless grief was so pitiable,
that the kindly sage‘s heart was touched. Tears came out of his eyes and he felt all the
misery of the small bird in his own heart. He looked around and saw a hunter crouching
nearby. In infinite mercy and sorrow Valmiki cried out,

„A future, O hunter, none you will have for killing the
Krouncha in the midst of love‟

He realized the power of speech he had in him and the ability to create rhythmic verses.
He then had a divine vision of Brahma, who urged Valmiki to use this potential to the
maximum and write the story of Ramayana. Thus began the preparation of one of the
most sacred and revered epics of India. The poetry and language used in Ramayana is
commendable and unmatched.

Then he suddenly stopped surprised at his own words. For it was not his usual way of
speaking.... these words contained a rhythm and a melody. He realized that it was a
poem that came out of his heart‘s anguish, the first poem that he ever composed. In
fact it was the first sloka in the history of the world for no one wrote any poetry till then.

He later on wrote Ramayana, the story of the incarnation of Vishnu as Rama in a
melodious, beautiful verse. It is sung reverentially by all Hindus daily, even though
thousands of years passed away since it was composed. Valmiki is acclaimed as the Adi
Kavi, the first poet and is gratefully remembered by all poets when they begin to
compose a new poem. It is said that Valmiki taught the Ramayana to the sons of Rama,
Luv and Kush. He is also said to have given shelter to Sita after she was banished from
the kingdom. The Ramayana is sung rather than just recited. Those who have read the
Ramayana have bowed to Valmiki with great respect. It is said that when Luv and Kush
were singing the Ramayana in their sweet voices in front Rama, he himself was unaware
of the fact that they were his own sons! Though the epic is still there, there are no
written records of Valmiki and his period of existence.

Like the story of Valmiki‘s becoming a sage, the story of his composing the Ramayana is
also very interesting. One day the sage Narada came to Valmiki‘s Ashrama. Valmiki was
very happy. He showed him great courtesy, offered milk and fruits. Valmiki and his
disciples sat with folded hands before Narada. Then Valmiki said to the divine sage,
‗Sire, you visit all the three worlds, and therefore know what happens anywhere. You
can certainly answer my questions. Please tell me, who is the most virtuous person
among all the human beings on the earth? One who always speaks the truth, and is
always calm? Who is he, who desires the well-being of everyone, and is loved by all?
Who the man, whose words and actions are praised by the gods? Who is famous as the
greatest hero and the noblest of men in the world?‘

In response to Valmiki‘s question, Narada mentioned the name of Sri Rama. Narada
narrated how Sri Rama was born as the eldest son of King Dasarath, married Sita, and
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went to the forest for fourteen years to honor his father‘s promise. He told them in detail
how in the forest Ravana stole Sita, how Sri Rama killed that very evil person, returned
to Ayodhya with Sita and Lakshmana, and was finally crowned as King. Hearing all this,
Valmiki was very happy. He praised Narada and bowed to him. The divine sage blessed
him and left.

Sometime after Narada left, Valmiki went to the river Ganga to bathe. Bharadwaja
accompanied him carrying his clothes. On the way they came across the Tamasa
Stream. The water in it was very clear. Valmiki said to his disciple, ‗Look, how clear is
this water, like the mind of a good man! I will bathe here today.‘

The Ramayana originally written by Valmiki consists of 24,000 verses in six cantos -
some say seven i.e. including the Uttara Ramayana. These cantos are known as -
kāṇḍas. The Ramayana tells the story of a prince, Rama of Ayodhya, whose wife Sita is
abducted by the Rākshasa king of Lanka, Rāvana. The Valmiki Ramayana is dated
variously from 500 BC to 100 BC, or about the same origin as with early versions of the
Mahabhārata. As with many traditional epics, it has gone through a long process of
interpolations and redaction‘s, making it impossible to date accurately.


The first Śloka

Valmiki was going to the river Ganga for his daily ablutions. Bharadwaja one of the
disciples was carrying his clothes. On the way, they came across the Tamasa Stream.
Looking at the stream, Valmiki said to his disciple, ‗Look, how clear is this water, like the
mind of a good man! I will bathe here today.‘ When he was looking for a suitable place
to step into the stream, he heard the sweet chirping of birds. Looking up, he saw two
birds flying together. Valmiki felt very pleased on seeing the happy bird couple.
Suddenly, one of the birds fell down, hit by an arrow; it was the male bird. Seeing the
wounded one, its mate screamed in agony. The female could not bear the agony inflicted
by separation from the male bird. Valmiki‘s heart melted at this pitiful sight. He looked
around to find out who had shot the bird. He saw a hunter with a bow and arrows,
nearby. Valmiki became very angry. His lips opened and he uttered the following words:

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You will find no rest for the long years of Eternity
For you killed a bird in love and unsuspecting!

Emerging spontaneously from his rage and grief, this was the first śloka in Sanskrit
literature. This Sloka is soaked in something from beyond. Later Valmiki composed the
entire Ramayana with the blessings of Lord Brahma in the same meter that issued forth
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from him as the śloka. Thus this śloka is revered as the ‗first śloka‘ in Hindu literature.
Valmiki is revered as the first poet, or Adi Kavi, and the Ramayana, the first kavya.

His first disciples to whom he taught the Ramayana were Kusha and Lava, the sons of
Rama.


Insight into the character of the Epic by Narada

When the mythical sage Narada came to his hermitage, Valmiki who received him with
due honor, posed a question - who was an ideal man? The reply came from Narada in
the form of Samkshepa Ramayana or insight into Ramayana which formed the
foundation on which the magnificent 24,000 verse edifice was built by Valmiki. Then,
immersed deep into this story, Valmiki left for the river Tamasa with his disciple
Bharadwaj. The pleasant and placid river reminded the seer of the mature and modest
quality of his hero. He visualized a pure and pious man‘s mind reflected in the deep
waters. In the next instant he witnessed a heartless hunter mercilessly killing a male
bird that was in love with its mate. The piteous wailing of the distressed female moved
the heart of the sage so much that he spontaneously uttered a curse on the hunter.
However, this curse came out of his mouth in the form of a ‗sloka‘, a perfectly metrical
composition, which surprised the sage himself: ‗No - You shall not command any respect
in society for a long time as you have shot dead an innocent bird engrossed in love‘. The
sage had turned into a poet.


Brahma‟s Command

His powerful emotions found equally powerful medium for their manifestation. It was a
spontaneous outburst of his inner voice motivated by divine will. When he returned to
his hermitage, Brahma - the four faced God, the creator, appeared to him and
commanded him to compose an epic poem on the story of Ram as he had heard it from
the great sage Narada, in his newly discovered meter. He also gave him the boon of the
visions of all the incidents and the revelation of all the secrets connected with the story.
Accordingly, Valmiki composed the epic, named it The Ramayana - the way or the
conduct or the life story of Ram - the story of Ram‘s march in search of truth and
righteousness.

A contemporary of the heroes of the Ramayana, Maharishi Valmiki gives very little
information about himself since he was a sage who had completely dedicated his life to
contemplation on God and service to humanity. History has no account of his life except
that he figures briefly and modestly on two occasions in the course of the epic he wrote.




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Valmiki‟s Character in Ramayana

He is one of the first sages whose hermitage Ram visits along with his wife and brother
on his way to Chitrakoot after leaving Ayuodhya. Valmiki welcomes them with love,
affection and reverence and utters just one word ‗asyatam‘ (be seated). He feels
honored when Ram accepts his request and sits a while.

The other occasion is when Ram banishes Sita, it is Valmiki that shelters her and rears
up her twin sons Luv and Kush. When they recite the epic poem in his royal court, Ram
invites Valmiki and requests him to bring Sita along so she can prove her chastity before
the elders and sages. Valmiki is offended yet keeps his composure and says Sita would
comply with Ram‘s wishes for he is her husband. While presenting Sita in the Mandapa
(prayer hall) Valmiki utters words that highlight the penance and perseverance which
Valmiki practiced his entire life.


In His Own Words

‗I am the tenth son of the sage Prachetas. You belong to the great dynasty of Raghu. I
do not remember to have uttered any lie so far in my life. I say that these two boys are
your sons. I performed penance for thousands of years. I shall not accept the fruit of all
my penance if there is any blemish in Maithili (Sita). I never entertained any ignoble
thought, I never wronged any person, and I never spoke any vulgar word - I shall derive
the benefit thereof only if Maithili is void of sin.‘


Maharishi Valmiki

The journey of Rama through life is the ‗Ramayana‘ – Ramasya ayana sa Ramayana asti!
– Rama‘s journey!

It is remarkable that Sri Rama himself listened to the story of the Ramayana and was
pleased. Lava and Kusha sang the story before Rama very sweetly; Rama did not know
that they were own sons! The poet Valmiki composed ‗Ramayana‘ and taught the song
and story to Lava and Kusha.

Valmiki‘s Ramayana is in the Sanskrit language. It is a very beautiful poem. Long poem
narrating the story of a very great hero is called an epic. Valmiki's 'Ramayana' is the
very first such poem in Sanskrit. Therefore, it is also called the ‗Adi-Kavya‘ or - the First
Poem; Valmiki is also known as the ‗Adi-Kavi‘, which means the First Poet.

Valmiki‘s ‗Ramayana‘ can be sung. It is delightful to the ear like the sound of the cuckoo.
Valmiki has been described as a cuckoo on the tree of poetry, singing sweetly. Those
who read the 'Ramayana' bow to the great Valmiki first and then turn to the epic.

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A Queen Comes to an Hermitage

After Sri Rama killed Ravana in a great war to regain Sita, he returned to the city of
Ayodhya with Sita and Lakshman. He was then crowned King of the Kosala country. Sita
was now the Queen. They were happy. All his subjects were also very happy and joyful.
After some years Sita became pregnant. Sri Rama was very pleased that his line would
continue. He said to her, ‗Sita, you are now with child and you may have some desire or
the other. Tell me whatever it is, and I shall fulfill it.‘

Sita smiled and said, ‗My lord, what other wish can I have? I only desire your happiness
and your love. Still there is a small thing I would like to mention. When we were in the
forest years ago, we used to go to the hermitages of the Rishis. But I could not give
anything to the wives of the sages at that time. Can I go there now, and offer them gifts
to my heart‘s content? I would like to spend some time with them.‘ Sri Rama gladly
agreed to fulfill her desire.

After a few days, one morning Sri Rama was sitting in his chamber attending to his
kingly duties. Then a spy came to him. His work was to disguise himself at night and to
listen to what different persons said. In the morning he met the king and reported
everything. The previous night he had heard some persons criticizing Sri Rama. It was
his duty to tell the king whatever he had heard. He said to Rama, ‗Sire, the people of
Ayodhya are full of praise for you. But there are some who do not approve of one of
your actions. ‗Queen Sita was a prisoner in Ravana‘s palace. Ravana was the King of
Rakshasas, and a wicked fellow. Therefore what of Sita! Who was his prisoner? Sri Rama
was wrong in bringing her back.' I have heard some persons speak like this.‘

Sri Rama was greatly pained to hear this. He knew that Sita always thought only of him,
and was very pure. But a king should always so conduct himself as to please and satisfy
his subjects. That is the quality of a good king. Therefore Sri Rama decided to abandon
Sita. He sent for his brother Lakshman and told him all that he had heard from the spy.
He asked Lakshman to take away Sita at once and leave her near Valmiki‘s hermitage.
Lakshman was shocked at the order he received from his elder brother. He tried to
change the mind of Sri Rama but in pain. Lakshman had no choice so he had to take
away his sister-in-law.

He brought a chariot to the gate of Sita‘s palace. Sita thought that Sri Rama was
fulfilling her desire to visit the ashramas of sages. She was all enthusiasm. She got up a
big package of haldi, kumkum, bangles and gold ornaments to be given to the wives of
the Rishis. She told everyone in the palace that she was going on a visit to hermitages,
and took leave. Sri Rama was not in the palace. So she requested Kausalya, her mother-
in-law, to inform Sri Rama. She then entered the chariot. Lakshman himself drove the
chariot.

They sped along and soon reached the banks of the river Ganga. Nearby was the
hermitage of Valmiki Rishi. But Lakshman did not go to the ashrama. He got down in the
forest near the ashrama. He helped Sita to alight from the chariot. Then tearfully he said
to her;
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‘Mother, Sri Rama has asked me to leave you in the forest. Some people in
Ayodhya have spoken ill of you with doubts in their minds. They blame Sri
Rama for having brought you back from Ravana’s prison. A king has to win the
respect of his subjects. Therefore, Rama has given you up. This has given him
great pain, but he is bearing it because he thinks of his duty. I have obeyed his
instructions. I am a very great sinner, to be leaving you in the forest. Kindly
forgive me.’

He touched her feet. Then he left the weeping Sita in the forest and returned to
Ayodhya.

Lakshman‘s words came like a thunderbolt to Sita. She stood for a long time staring at
Lakshman who was going away. Deep sighs escaped from her lips. Unable to stand, she
collapsed on the ground. She recalled the entire story of her life. Should this be the fate
of a woman who always thought of her husband as her God? She wept and wept. But
yet she did not blame her husband. She thought it was her bad fate. She was soon to
become a mother and was wearied by the journey; she had eaten no food and her mind
was full of agony, so she crumpled up. She was overtaken by sleep and lay down under
a tree.

Sita awoke from her sleep by the evening. She did not know what to do and began to
cry loudly. Just then Valmiki‘s disciples had come to the forest to gather flowers and
leaves for the master‘s worship. They heard the loud wails of Sita and followed in the
wake of the sound.

They approached her and said to her, ‗Mother, who are you? Why are you crying alone
in the forest? We are disciples of the sage Valmiki. Have no doubts. Guruji‘s hermitage is
quite near. Please come with us, Mother.‘

The very mention of Valmiki Rishi brought Sita some comfort. She took courage and
went with the disciples to the ashrama.
As soon as she saw Valmiki Sita prostrated before the sage with great devotion.
Weeping, she narrated her whole story to the sage. Valmiki was deeply moved. He
consoled her in various ways. He then assured her that he would keep her in his
hermitage. He asked the women of the ashrama to look after her. He told them that she
was a very virtuous lady and they should look after her with all possible care and
affection.

Sita continued to live in the Ashram. And then one day Sita gave birth to two sons. They
were born on a good day under very auspicious stars. The two babies were beautiful like
dolls made of moonlight. Valmiki rejoiced when he saw them. On the tenth day after
their birth, he named them Lava and Kusha. Everyone in the ashrama was very fond of
these babies. Someone or the other among the inmates of the ashrama was always
carrying the babies and fondling them. Their affection for her children filled Sita with joy.
Seeing those pretty children, she was able to forget her sorrows. And this brought
Valmiki great relief.

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Lava and Kusha grew up day by day like the waxing moon. Valmiki himself taught those
boys the first letters. He taught them to read and to write. The boys also learnt to recite
several songs of prayer. They had very sweet voices. When they sang all around listened
spellbound. Valmiki would often make the children sing before Sita; their song delighted
her like divine nectar.

Lava and Kusha were now eight years old. Valmiki performed their ‗sacred thread
ceremony‘ - the Upanayana. Then he began to teach them the sacred Vedas. He had by
now completed the Ramayana, which also he taught them. The two boys learnt it by
heart. They sang the ‗Ramayana‘so movingly that Valmiki was filled with joy. He made
them sing his long poem before Sita. Her heart melted at the story of the ‗Ramayana‘,
the singing and the sweetness of the voices. Their recitation gave the story of
‗Ramayana‘ a new beauty and appeal. Sita‘s eyes were filled with tears of joy. Valmiki
felt proud of the boys and their singing. He would ask Lava and Kusha to sing the
‗Ramayana‘ before everyone who came to his ashrama.


Sri Rama Hears His Own Story

The boys grew up day by day and advanced in their education in Valmiki‘s ashrama. Sri
Rama‘s reign continued. He thought of performing the great sacrifice of Ashwamedha. In
those days an Ashwamedha Yagna was no small matter. It was the greatest aim and
ambition of many a king. Only the most heroic of kings in the world would be able to
perform that sacrifice successfully. A king desirous of undertaking it would worship a
horse of a fine breed. As the horse was free to roam, if any other king tied up the horse
he had to be conquered in a war. Thus the king who wanted to perform Ashwamedha
had to conquer all kings on the earth and become an emperor. After the horse roamed
over all countries and returned home, the owner could perform the Ashwamedha
sacrifice. Sri Rama undertook such a venture. All other kings on earth offered their
tributes and gifts, and accepted him as Emperor. Then he performed the great Sacrifice.
All the sages in the land were invited to the sacrifice. So was Valmiki Rishi, who went
there with his disciples.

Sri Rama‘s Ashwamedha Yagya went on for several days in grandeur. Poor people were
given food and good clothing to their heart‘s content. Brahmins and rishis were pleased
with the generous gifts and money. On the final day when all the rishis were gathered
together in the evening, Valmiki asked Lava and Kusha to recite his Ramayana. Another
disciple of his played on the flute pleasingly. It was a night of the full moon. The two
boys sang the ‗Ramayana‘ to the accompaniment of the flute. The recitation went on all
night. The rishis and the Brahmins who had assembled there were overjoyed. The sages
and Brahmins, being so pleased, gave gifts to the boys. Valmiki was over whelmed with
joy at this appreciation of his poem and of the recitation by his disciples.

During the night when Lava and Kusha were singing, Sri Rama was lying down on the
open terrace of his palace. He heard the song of the boys. It was like nectar to him. He
sent for the boys the next morning. When they came there, he requested them to sing
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the ‗Ramayana‘ again. As they sang and as he listened to the story of his own life, he
was very pleased. He shed tears whenever there was mention of Sita. Alas, how much
had she suffered! She had married him; what happiness had the marriage brought her?
Her whole life was full of trouble and sorrow. Sri Rama wiped his tears; hardly able to
speak, he asked the boys, ‗Who are you?‘

‗We are the disciples of Valmiki,‘ they said.

Sri Rama was stunned at the mention of Sita. ‗Did Sita, whom I sent away to the forest,
give birth to these children? Are they then my own sons he thought? He sent for sage
Valmiki at once. When the Rishi arrived, Sri Rama heard from him the story of those two
boys in detail. He was very eager to get back Sita and begged Valmiki to fetch her. He
gave the assurance that she would again be his queen.

Valmiki sent his disciples to fetch Sita from the ashrama. When Sita arrived, Sri Rama
said to her, ‗Sita, swear before all the sages assembled here, that you loved me alone
and are in truth a virtuous woman. Let the minds of all those who doubt you be cleared.
Then I shall take you back.‘ Sage Valmiki protested. He said to Sri Rama, ‗Sri Rama, Sita
is the most virtuous of women. Please do not test her again and again. Why should she
again swear before this gathering? Her mind is already greatly hurt. Do not pain her
again. You are verily Lord Mahavishnu, the great Protector of the Universe, and she is
your divine consort, Mahalakshmi. Let there be no further test.‘

But Sri Rama did not agree. He said the test was needed in order to remove the
suspicion of people. Sita felt ashamed. She stood with her head bowed. Tears flowed like
a stream from her eyes. All the gods came down from heaven to witness the test of this
most virtuous woman. Before all those gods and the rishis, Sita prayed to the Earth
Goddess,

‗O Mother Earth, if it is true that I have never thought of anybody but Sri Rama, receive
me in your arms. O Mother Earth, if it is true that I have always worshipped only Sri
Rama, then, please receive me. If my words are true at all, O Mother Earth, receive me
in your arms.‘

As Sita uttered these words, the Earth burst open, and a throne rose. Bhoodevi, the
Goddess of the Earth, was seated on the throne, which was held up by four serpents.
Bhoodevi drew Sita into her arms and embraced her. In a moment, both disappeared
into the earth with the throne. The earth, which had opened, closed again. Seeing Sita
vanish underground, Sri Rama was in great misery. He wept loudly. Sita was the
daughter of Bhoodevi. She had again entered the mother‘s womb. Sri Rama prayed to
Bhoodevi, his mother-in-law, to give his wife back to him; he blamed himself, craved for
Sita, and raved angrily. But it was all in vein. Then Brahma, the Lord of the Creation,
appeared to him and soothed him. ‗Sri Rama,‘ he said, ‗You – are no human being, but
Lord Narayana. You were born a human being to kill the demon - king Ravana. That
mission is over; you must now get back to your own world of Vaikunta. Your wife Sita
awaits you there as Lakshmi.‘ Sri Rama realized that these words were true. His sorrow
subsided. The assembled gods and sages were filled with wonder.
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After a few days Sri Rama left the earth and returned to Vaikunta. The story of Valmiki
is meaningful. Valmiki is a great example of how people are uplifted by the company of
good men. By coming into contact with Narada, he became a great sage, a Brahmarshi;
and he also gave the ‗Ramayana‘ which the world can never forget. It is one of the great
epics of the world. People of other countries read it in their own languages. The study of
the ‗Ramayana‘ can reform our lives. We can never forget Valmiki who gave this great
epic to us. Let us offer our salutations to that great sage and bard.




Valmiki - composer of the Ramayan
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Vasistha was the mānasaputra or mind son of Brahma. According to Hindu mythology
Vasistha is one of the Saptarishis or Seven Great Sages Rishi in the seventh, i.e. the
present Manvantara. He is the Rajpurohit or Rajguru of the Suryavansha or Solar
Dynasty for forty generations. He had in his possession the divine cow Kamadhenu, and
Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners. This cow was the conflict
between Vasistha and Vishvamitra.

Vasistha was married to Arundhati. The star Mizar of the stellar constellation Ursa Major
is thought of as Vasistha and the small one beside it, Alcor, as Arundhati.

Vasistha is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of the Rigveda. Vasistha and his
family are glorified in RigVeda 7.33, extolling their role in the Battle of the Ten Kings,
making him the only mortal besides Bhavayavya to have a Rigvedic hymn dedicated to
him. Another treatise attributed by him is ‗Vasistha Samhita‘ - a book on Vedic system
of evectional astrology (a periodic irregularity in the motion of the Moon caused by the
variation in the gravitational attraction of the Sun as the Moon orbits Earth.

Tales featuring Vasistha

Vasistha is featured in many tales and folklore, a few of which are briefly described
below.

Sage Vasistha was Ram‘s guru and the Rajpurohit of ‗Ikshawaku‘ dynasty. He was a
peace-loving, selfless, intelligent Rishi. He had established Gurukula or residential
college on the banks of river ‗Saraswati‘, where he and his wife ‗Arundhati‘ were taking
care of thousands of students who stayed and studied there while the Rishi was the chief
principal.

Vasistha was the Sadguru of his time, possessing 20 ‗kala‘s‘ (divine arts) and had
complete knowledge of the whole cosmos and the god. Many of his Shlokas are found in
Vedas as well.

This tale tells of how Vasistha possessed a cow named Kamadhenu who could produce
enough food for a whole army of troops instantly. The king Kaushika who later came to
be known as Vishvamitra, once visited Vashishta‘s hermitage, was very impressed with
the cow and tried to take it away from Vashishta by force, but Kamadhenu and Nandini‘s
spiritual power was too great for him. After being unable to conquer Kamadhenu and
Nandini, Vishvamitra decided to acquire power himself through penance like Vashishta.
He gained much power and many divine weapons from Shiva. And once again he
attempted to conquer Kamadhenu and Nandini. But even the divine weapons he
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acquired could not defeat the power of Kamadhenu and Nandini. Vishvamitra finally
decided to become a Brahmarishi himself, and he renounced all his possessions and
luxury and led the life of a simple forest ascetic.

The tale of King Dileepa

King Dileepa or Dilip was a king of the Raghuvamsha dynasty. He had a wife named
Sudakshina, but they had no children. For this reason, Dileepa visited the sage Vasistha
in his ashram, and asked him for his advice. Vasistha replied that they should serve the
cow Nandini, child of Kamadhenu, and perhaps if Nandini was happy with their service,
she would grant them with a child. So, according to Vasistha, Dileepa served Nandini
every day, and attended to her every need for twenty-one days. On the twenty-first day,
a lion attacks Nandini. Dileepa immediately draws his bow and tries to shoot the lion.
But he finds that his arm is paralyzed and cannot move. He reasons that the lion must
have some sort of divine power. As if to confirm this, the lion started to speak to him. It
said that Dileepa had no chance of saving the cow because the cow was the lion‘s
chosen meal. The lion tells Dileepa to return to Vashishta‘s ashram. Dileepa replies by
asking if the lion would let Nandini go if he offered himself in Nandini's place. The lion
agreed and Dileepa sacrificed his life for the cow. But then the lion mysteriously
disappeared. Nandini explained that the lion was just an illusion to test Dileepa. Because
Dileepa was truly selfless, Nandini granted him with a son.


Yoga Vasistha
Yoga Vasistha is a religious text that was narrated by sage Vasistha, one of the teachers
of Rama, and written by Valmiki.

Context

Prince Rama returns from touring the country and becomes utterly disillusioned after
experiencing the apparent reality of the world. This worries his father, King Dasarath.
The King expresses his concern to Sage Vasistha, upon his arrival. Sage Vasistha
consoles the king by telling him that Rama‘s dispassion or vairagya is a sign that the
prince is now ready for spiritual enlightenment. He says that Rama has begun
understanding profound spiritual truths, which is the cause of his confusion and he just
needs confirmation. Sage Vasistha asks king Dasarath to summon Rama. Then, in the
court of king Dasarath, the sage begins the discourse to Rama which lasts for several
days. The answer to Rama‘s questions forms the entire scripture that is Yoga Vasistha.

Vasistha Ashram

Brahmrishi Vasistha had an Ashram in Ayodhya that was spread over 40 acres of land.
Today all that remains of it is a small ashram in about one fourth of an acre of land. The
ashram has within it a well that is believed to be the source of the river Saryu.
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Brahmrishi Vasistha was the Guru of the Solar Dynasty. The King Ishvaku was the king
of Ayodhya then. He was a noble king and thought of the well-being of his subjects.

The king approached Sage Vasistha telling him that the land had no water and requested
him to do something to let the Kingdom have adequate water. Sage Vasistha performed
a special prayer and the river Saryu is said to have started flowing from this well. Saryu
is also known as Ishvaki and Vashishti. It is said that the well is connected underground
with the river. Many spiritual people who visit this ashram find an enormous spiritual
energy around this well. Some believe that this is one of the better spiritual tirth‘s in
India.

There is also another ashram past Rishikesh on the way to Kaudiyal on the Devprayag
route that is known as Vasistha Guha Ashram. The ashram itself is located on the
banks of the River Ganges and it is a very beautiful place. It has a cave with a Shiv Ling
in it. The head of the ashram there is a monk of south Indian origin by the name of
Swami Chetananda. There is also another small cave to the side facing the river.

Vasistha head

A copper item representing a human head styled in the manner described for the
Rigvedic Vasistha has been dated to around 3700 B.C. in three western universities
using among other tests carbon 14 tests, spectrographic analysis, X-ray dispersal
analysis and metallographic (Hicks and Anderson. Analysis of an Indo-European Vedic
Aryan Head - 4500-2500 B.C., in Journal of IE studies 18:425-446. Fall 1990).

This indicates that some Rigvedic customs were already known at a very early time. The
head was not found in an archaeological context, as it was Vasistha - Vishvamitra Katha

The Chaitraratha section of the Sambhava in the Adi parva is, in a way, a regression to
the Adivamsavatarana, being largely ‗historical‘ in content. Here the Pandavas learned
about their ancestress Tapati, daughter of the Sun god. In typically Vyasan manner, this
story, in which Vasistha plays a major role, becomes the occasion for relating one of the
most important episodes in Puranik lore: the Vasistha-Vishvamitra feud which is also
recounted in the Ramayana by Satananda, Janaka‘s priest, on the occasion of Rama‘s
wedding.

From the very beginning of this section, Vyasa‘s emphasis undergoes a significant shift.
So far, Bhima has constantly occupied center-stage. It is against him that Duryodhana‘s
plots have been directed; it is he who set fire to the house of lac and bore his exhausted
brothers and mother to safety; it is he who rescued them from fearsome cannibals and
stood forth as the savior of an entire town. Arjuna has been noticed only briefly when he
needles Bhima‘s self-esteem to goad him into dispatching Hidimb swiftly. But even this
redoubtable archer has been carried in his brother‘s arms during the initial flight. Now,
for the first time, we find that as they reach the river Ganga,

―From here Dhananjaya walked ahead with a torch, to light the way for them and to
protect them.‖ (172.4)
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The last line is extremely significant. Vyasa is giving Arjuna a new role as protagonist,
having abruptly left him in the lurch after building him up during the training under
Drona and the vanquishing of Drupada. He does this to prepare us for his winning of
Draupadi. Otherwise, normally we would have expected Bhima to win the princess. It is,
indeed, quite surprising that when the Gandharva king Chitraratha insolently and
aggressively announces:

―I am Angaraparna, the Gandharva who knows no power save his own. I am strong!
Proud! I am Kubera‘s close friend… And when I am here, none comes here—no god, no
human, no corpse-eating beast, who do you think you are?‖ (172.13, 15)

It is Arjuna who retorts and is the sole speaker throughout, while we would have
expected the impetuous and passionate Bhima to have exploded in indignation at such
insolence. The only other speaker is Yudhishthira, who has a couple of lines to his credit
by way of pardoning the defeated Gandharva. The rhetorical exchanges between
Angaraparna and Arjuna are rather interesting. Arjuna launches into an elaborate
description of the Ganga, its tributaries and its holiness, extending his reply precisely to
one sloka more than the Gandharva‘s challenge—a bit of one-upmanship, epic style!

―This is the holy Ganga falling from the golden peaks of Himavant into the ocean where
seven streams enter…‖ (172.19)

The descent of the Ganges is one of those archetypal memories of Hinduism, captured
for all time in living rock in the massive Mamallapuram sculpture, and related in the
Ramayana, with Shiva singing her praises in the Brahmavaivarta Purana. The next sloka
refers to the seven streams famed in ancient India: Sarasvati, plakshajatam ―born of the
plaksha-tree‖.

Tapati is also set apart from the conventional full-hipped, heavy breasted and plantain
tree-thighed, elephant-gaited Indian beauty by the repeated emphasis on her large
black eyes.

Samvarana, crazed with love for Surya‘s radiant daughter, seeks the help of his priest
Vashishta who obtains Surya‘s concurrence to the union, and brings Tapati with him.

―The lady of ravishing eyes descended from the sky like lightning irradiating the ten
points of the heavens.‖

Samvarana‘s infatuation with Tapati leads to his neglecting the kingdom, resulting in a
twelve yearlong famine from lack of rain, till Vashishta makes him return to his capital.
It will be recalled, that in 94.35-47 (pp.461) Vaishampayana had stated that, during
Samvarana‘s reign, his kingdom was afflicted with famine and the Panchalas drove him
out of his kingdom into the forest. Here the reason cited is the king‘s infatuation. The
kingdom is won back through Vashishta‘s help (94.45-46, p.462). Hence, the importance of
having a priest of prowess was felt. It is, again, poetic justice that the descendants of
Samvarana, who was deprived of his kingdom by the Panchalas, should have them as
allies against their Dhartarashtra cousins.
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Section 176 administers something of a cultural shock: here is Arjuna, a royal prince
allegedly well versed in the Vedas and Vedantas, ignorant of so famous a sage as
Vashishta:

―O chief of the gandharvas, who was this bhagavan risi whom you have described as the
purohita of my ancestors?‖ (176.4)

From the silence of the other brothers and Kunti, it is apparent that they are no better
off. Shall we infer that their schooling was limited to weapons-training and a superficial
acquaintance with vedic rituals, with the Puranas completely left out? Even their Vedic
knowledge must have been limited to the Brahmanas and Sutras because Vashishta is
the rishi of the seventh mandala of the Rig Veda just as Vishvamitra is of the third.

Anyone studying these mandalas would have come to know Vishvamitra‘s hatred of
Vasistha (sukta 53). Arjuna‘s query reveals that the Rig Veda was already well in the
background with the emphasis on the Yajur Veda and the Sutras, i.e. the ritualistic
aspects. The Rig Veda had already become incomprehensible for the Mahabharata
generations who did not have a single rishi among them besides Vyasa. We find
references only to priests adept at rituals, not to seers composing suktas embodying
their perceptions of Rita, the Eternal Truth behind evanescent creation.

Vashishta – Vishvamitra feud

The ensuing account of the Vashishta-Vishvamitra feud, related from the latter‘s view-
point in the Ramayana, deals with one of the most gripping and tragic episodes in
Puranik lore, which has been brilliantly used by K.M. Munshi in his Bhagavan
Parashuram and by Sri Aurobindo in his Bengali short-story Kshamar Adarsha (―The
Ideal of Forgiveness‖).

Munshi depicts Vishvamitra as the visionary Kshatriya-turned-sage whose goal is to
unite the Dravidian and Aryan cultures and mould them into a single civilization.
Vashishta opposes this fanatically, resulting in the ruinous War of the Ten Kings
described in the Rig Veda.

Vishvamitra is also the great seer who created the immortal Gayatri Mantra, recited by
Brahmanas to this day, and the rescuer of Shunahshepa from being sacrificed in one of
the rare instances of human-sacrifice in the Puranas. In this incident many have seen
the hidden hand of Vasistha, for Shunahshepa was Vishvamitra‘s nephew and Vasistha,
as Harishachandra‘s priest, advised this human sacrifice to placate Varuna who had
afflicted the king with dropsy for having broken his vow.

The conflict, as narrated by Chitraratha, revolves round Vasistha‘s wish-fulfilling cow.
Vishvamitra, king of Kanyakubja, chances upon Vasistha‘s hermitage, exhausted after a
hunt. The sage entertains the king and his retinue with all types of food and gifts with
the help of this miraculous cow. Naturally, Vishvamitra decides he must have Nandini,
and uses force when the sage refuses to part with her. Nor will Vasistha oppose the king
with violence for, as he tells Nandini, ―But what can I do? I am a Brahmin. I must
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overlook Vishvamitra though he beats you and drags you away‖… But the maha-muni
would not give up patience, nor would he break his vow, though touched by Nandini‘s
suffering. Vasistha said, ―A Ksatriya‘s strength lies in his body, a Brahmin‘s lies in the
spirit of fortitude. I will not give up fortitude.‖ (177.24.27-28)

This sublime non-violence, however, does not mean that he acquiesces in the rape. He
clarifies to Nandini that she is free to stay on if she can. The moment she hears this, the
cow produces myriads of Dravidas, Keralas, Kanchis, Simhalas, Pahlavas, Shakas,
Yavanas, Kiratas, Paundras, Hunas, Chinas, Barbaras, Chibukas, Pulindas, and other
mlechchha armies who rout the king‘s forces. This list of barbarians is itself a revealing
social commentary on which peoples were considered outside the Aryan pale—mostly
those in the deep-south and the north-west and north-east. Vasistha himself foils all
Vishvamitra‘s arrows and missiles with his spiritual powers. This impresses the king so
deeply that he renounces his kingdom and takes up ascetic to win the same powers,
aspiring to be styled ―brahmarshi‖. He does not attain this level as long as the spirit of
envy and rivalry activates him. For, though he says that ―Real strength lies in tapasya‖
(177.53) he has no hesitation in having a cannibal-spirit possess king Kalmashapada and
in instigating him to slay all the progeny of Vashishta. Yet this embodiment of
Brahminhood does not hit back:

―When Vasistha learnt that Vishvamitra had schemed and got his sons killed, he bore his
grief as maha-Meru bears the earth…decided to sacrifice his life rather than harm
Kaushika-Vishvamitra.‖ (178.43-44)

His attempts at suicide are frustrated because two rivers refuse to cooperate (hence
named Vipasha and Shatadru). He gives up the idea when he finds that his daughter-in-
law is carrying his grandson, Parashara. So here we link up with Vyasa‘s father!

When Kalmashapada tries to devour her, Vasistha frees him from Rakshasa-hood. The
amazing extent of his nobility is seen now. This king, who has destroyed all Vasistha‘s
children, begs the sage to give him a son. Vashishta agrees and it is in sloka 44 that
Vyasa gives us the bare truth about how childless kings managed to have children by
having rishis ―bless‖ their queens:

―During her fertile period, the maha-rsi Vasistha had intercourse with her, as enjoined
by divine precept.‖ No wonder Vasistha was so named, for his name means ―sense-
subdue.‖ Such perfect self-control is unparalleled in the Puranik lore.

This episode is part of what we have seen as a common affliction of royal dynasties: the
inability to have children. In both the Solar and the Lunar lineages this remains a knotty
problem for which special rituals have to be performed and austerities undergone.
Kalmashapada becomes a precursor of Pandu just as Parashara parallels Janamejaya.
Like Pandu, while roaming in the forest, the cursed king eats up a Brahmin while he is
engaged in coitus with his wife. She curses him that should he have intercourse with his
wife, he will die. That is why the king has to approach Vashishta to impregnate his wife.

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The next two slokas describe the first caesarean operation as the queen uses a stone
(―ashma‖) to deliver her child when it is not born after twelve years. The operation
should more appropriately be known, at least in India, as ―Ashmakan‖ instead of
―caesarean.‖ The parallel with Gandhari‘s delayed delivery is obvious. Curiously, instead
of succeeding Kalmashapada in Ayodhya, Ashmaka founds a town named ―Paudanya‖.

While Chitraratha stops his narrative of the Vishvamitra-Vashishta conflict at this point,
Sri Aurobindo went beyond this in his short story to describe the moment when
Vishvamitra, at last genuinely penitent and free of envy, approaches Vasistha to beg
forgiveness. Now the magnanimous sage hails Vishvamitra as ―brahmarshi,‖ that
recognition which he has been fruitlessly striving to win from the world and for which he
has committed so many crimes. It is in achieving true humility that Vishvamitra achieves
the highest level of seerdom.

An interesting hint concerning further causes of the rift between the two sages is given
in 178.15, where it is mentioned that they had a quarrel concerning who would be
Kalmashapada Mitrasaha‘s priest. If we take the Rigvedic, epic and Puranik accounts in
their totality, this feud assumes an extremely significant place in the political history of
those times.

Vashishta was originally the priest of the Ikshvaku dynasty of Anaranya in the time of
king Traiyyaruna whose son was the notorious Trishanku, so named for having raped a
Brahmin‘s newly wedded bride, eaten a cow of Vashishta‘s and disobeyed his father. He
had been banished and lived with Chandalas. Hence, on Traiyyaruna‘s death, it was
Vasistha who ruled the kingdom as regent, keeping Trishanku out of the throne. At this
time a famine also took place, and Vishvabandhu the Kanauj king, attacked Vashishta‘s
realm. However, with the help of tribal and non-Aryan armies, Vasistha succeeded in
wresting Vishvabandhu, who fled to the forest. Here Trishanku looked after his family
during the terrible famine, earning his gratitude. Vishvabandhu helped Trishanku to
regain his throne after this famine, alienating Vashishta totally. When Trishanku wanted
to carry out a sacrifice, Vashishta flatly refused to officiate. At this, Trishanku called in
Vishvabandhu who had started calling himself ―Vishvamitra‖ and had composed suktas
for the Rig Veda. Vasistha, however, organized a very successful boycott of this
ceremony, which prompted Vishvamitra to create new deities.

In Sukta 9 of the third mandala of the Rig Veda, Vishvamitra refers to 3339 gods in
place of the 33 mentioned in the Vedas. These are the new gods. Consequently,
Vashishta gave up his post here, proceeded to Sudasa, king of North Panchala, and
became his advisor. In the Battle of Ten Kings, Sudasa won chiefly because of
Vashishta‘s advice. Vishvamitra who was with his opponents lost. Yet, we find that later
in Sudasa‘s yajna it was Vishvamitra who officiated. Possibly because of this Vasistha
left him and went to the Paurava king Samvarana, who had been routed from his
kingdom by Sudasa. With Vashishta‘s help, Samvarana defeated and killed Sudasa and
won Tapati as his wife. Hereafter we find Vashishta in the kingdom of Kalmashapada,
king of south Koshala, another Ikshvaku prince, who is used by Vishvamitra to destroy
Vashishtha‘s entire family. It is quite possible that this occurred before Vashishta went
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to Samvarana, as that would explain his abandonment of the ungrateful solar dynasty of
Ikshvaku in favor of the lunar dynasty of Puru.

After this we find Vashishta once more back at his original post in the Anaranya dynasty
as Harishachandra‘s priest, counseling him to carry out a human sacrifice for appeasing
Varuna. Cleverly, he refuses to officiate at this horrendous ceremony. As the victim,
Shunahshepa, Vishvamitra‘s nephew, is chosen and it is through Vishvamitra‘s
intervention that he escapes. The frustrated Vashishta now shifted to Northern Koshala,
ruled by Dasaratha. But even here Vishvamitra appeared on the scene and stole all the
glory by arranging the marriage of Rama with Sita. Vasistha has hardly any role in the
Ramayana, while Vishvamitra becomes responsible for the momentous destruction of
the Rakshasas infesting the forests by bringing about Rama‘s coming.

Another interesting point is that Vishvamitra‘s sister married the Bhargava sage Richika
and the Bhargavas were preceptors of the Asuras. When Vishvamitra revolted against
the established gods and ―created‖ new deities, new hymns and a new sacrificial mode
in Trishanku‘s sacrifice, this relationship must have been one of the considerations
prompting the gods ultimately to take part in the ceremony despite Vashishta‘s ban.

Sections 180-188 reiterate a problem dealt with in the Astika parva. Here both Aurva
and Parashara are determined to exterminate an entire race, the Kshatriyas and the
Rakshasas respectively, just as Janamejaya set about destroying the Nagas, decades
later. This theme of the attempted annihilation of an entire community becomes a leit
motif of the Adi Parva, along with the theme of lust, which will recur in Saudasa
Kalmashapada.

Parashara, like Ashtavakra, calls his grandfather ―father‖ and determines to take
revenge on his father‘s murderer on being apprised of the truth. The difference is that
where Ashtavakra was content with defeating Vandin, Parashara determines to
annihilate all creation. In order to dissuade him, Vasistha narrates the story of Aurva.
The Haiheyas slaughter the Bhrigus, including unborn children, seeking to seize their
wealth till they are struck blind by the effulgence of Aurva, who springs forth from his
mother‘s thigh like Chyavana with Puloman. Aurva determines to destroy all creation,
incensed at the quiescence of the gods in the face of this horrendous massacre.
Thereupon, his ancestors‘ manes reel out a bit of astonishing special pleading claiming
that they had deliberately invited the calamity, being bored with life and not wanting to
commit suicide. The sophistry is quite mind-boggling because suicide is made out by
them to be only the taking of one‘s own life by oneself, and not deliberately motivating
another to kill oneself. Aurva‘s replies are possibly some of the most memorable
passages. The anguish that throbs in every sloka finds an echo in every reader‘s heart:

―I am not one whose anger is empty, whose curse fruitless. My anger unfulfilled will
destruct me as fire does dry wood. The man who suppresses righteous anger for
whatever reason, will find himself frustrated in the three-fold path of Dharma, Artha,
and Karma.‖ (182.2-3)

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He points out that no one stirred a finger to save the victims. He passes on to voice a
sentiment echoed by all victims of injustice:

―Oh, if there was only someone to punish the wicked, would there be any wickedness
left in the world to punish?‖ (182.9)

Sloka 11 is a famous one, immortalized in Tagore‘s adaptation: ―The man with power to
punish who does not punish who he knows deserves punishment, himself becomes
guilty.‖

The climax of this angry young man‘s indignation is reached in sloka 12:

―Many rajas and nobles could have saved my ancestors yet they did not—they chose
riskless luxury instead. But I - I have righteous anger on my side! I have the power to
punish! I don‘t have to obey you!

If I, who have power to punish, do not now punish, what is to prevent other men from
repeating the crime?‖ (182.12-14)

How refreshingly alive the trans-creation is compared to the labored and stilted
renderings of previous translators! Aurva casts his wrath into the ocean, as advised by
his manes, and this becomes the vadavagni, the mare-headed, water-consuming fire
that erupts to cause universal dissolution at the time of pralaya.

Hearing this story, Parashara diverts his creation-annihilating anger and pinpoints it on
the Rakshasas, organizing a great sacrifice. Vasistha wisely does not try to dissuade his
grandson from this second vow: he knows the hot-blood of youth and does not presume
on his authority too far. The sacrifice is powerfully reminiscent of Janamejaya‘s which
Astika managed to stop. The only difference is that in the case of Aurva and Parashara
the yajamana is himself a Brahmin while in the latter it is a king. Parashara discards the
fire on the northern side of the Himalayan forest where it is still aflame. It is a team of
five famous seers who succeed in putting an end to the holocaust: Atri, Pulastya,
Pulaha, Kratu and Mahakratu. The first four are the mind-born sons of Brahma while
Pulastya is the ancestor of the Rakshasas and Ravana‘s grandfather. The word
―Mahakratu‖ also connotes ―great sacrifice‖, and may not be the name of a seer, as we
do not find any sage of this name in the Puranas. The logic trotted out by them is
analogous to the peculiar sophistry of Aurva‘s manes:

―No raksasa, O muni, could have devoured him if he had not done what he did.
Vishvamitra was merely an agent in the affair, like raja Kalmashapada. Sakti is now
happy in heaven.‖ (183.16-17)

This looks like shrewd thinking to forestall another vow by Parashara, this time to
destroy Vishvamitra and Kalmashapada. In case this is not enough, Pulastya adds that
Shaktri and all the other sons of Vashishta are enjoying themselves like gods in heaven,
and that Vasistha knows this. It is rather peculiar that Parashara does not retort that the
same logic can apply in his case, and that he is merely an agent in this destruction of
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the Rakshasas, just as Vishvamitra was just a blameless instrument in the death of his
father. Anyway, the plea succeeds, and the sacrifice is stopped.

It is only at this stage that Vasistha also chips in, presumably corroborating Pulastya‘s
assertion that he is in the know of his progeny‘s celestial bliss, which only emphasizes
the speciousness of the argument. If Vashishta had known this all along, why did he not
say so to prevent Parashara from starting this Rakshasa-holocaust? Actually, it is
Pulastya himself who almost acts as the devil‘s advocate by saying: ―grandson of
Vashishta, you are being used in this sacrifice as a tool for the extermination of these
rakshasas.‖ (183.19-20)

It is not clear whose tool Parashara is supposed to have been—presumably Fate‘s. One
suspects that young Parashara stops the sacrifice more out of respect for these
renowned sages who are pleading with him than because he is convinced by what they
say. Aurva‘s case is also similar. After the indignant refusal to give up his revengeful
resolve, he ultimately takes the advice of his ancestors.

The theme of this narrative appears to be the virtue of forgiveness. Besides the supreme
example of Vasistha, this is brought home through Shaktri‘s case as well. Shaktri, like
Shringi much after him, has not learnt to master his anger. His rage, bursting forth
against Kalmashapada, recoils upon himself just as Vishvamitra‘s jealousy of Vasistha
consistently boomerangs until he conquers his own pettiness. The true Brahmana is
known by this power of total self-control, by possessing immense spiritual prowess but
never using it selfishly.

Section 184 provides an interesting parallel to the Pandu story. Arjuna leads
Angaraparna back to section 179 and wants to know if it was proper for Kalmashapada
to bid his wife have a child by Vashishta and whether the sage was not violating his code
in agreeing to have intercourse with another‘s wife. Besides the fact that this reveals the
extremely shallow education received by the princes (Bhishma had narrated instances
precisely of such niyoga custom to Satyavati and these puranik stories were supposed to
be the staple of the brahmachari‘s schooling), it also suggests that Arjuna has a
sneaking misgiving about his and his brothers‘ parentage. Knowing that he and his
brothers were fathered on Kunti and Madri by persons other than Pandu, Arjuna is
seeking some sort of an assurance that this niyoga custom, long outmoded by his time,
is sanctioned by dharma. He, of course, has not had the benefit of listening in to
Bhishma‘s recounting of this ancient practice. One would dearly like to know what was
going on in Kunti‘s mind when Arjuna posed this query.

Angaraparna, whom Arjuna admiringly addresses as ―all-knowing‖, gives a reply that
seems to have been molded deliberately to satisfy the Pandavas. Like Pandu,
Kalmashapada is cursed by a Brahmin‘s wife for having killed her husband in the act of
intercourse. The curse is also identical: to die in the act of intercourse. The only
difference is that she graciously indicates the solution as well: he will have a son
through Vashishta‘s intervention. Kalmashapada, again like Pandu, forgets this curse in
his lust. Madayanti, unlike Madri, repulses him, reminding him of the curse. Thereupon
the king seeks out Vashishta, and prays that he father a son on Madayanti, just as
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Pandu had made Kunti solicit three ‗gods‘. It is significant that at this point Arjuna
should say, ―Gandharva, you seem to know everything‖ (185.1).

180.10 refers to Vasistha as ―son of Mitravaruna‖, which ought to have been glossed, as
it is one of the most important of Puranik myths. Vashishta, unlike Vishvamitra, is
doubly celestial in origin as both Mitra and Varuna had intercourse with Urvashi, as a
result of which Vashishta and Agastya were born.

In section 185 we find the Pandavas picking Dhaumya, brother of Devala, to be their
priest, as advised by the Gandharva. The choice of Dhaumya itself reveals the decline in
spiritual stature of Brahmans. This Brahman is renowned, presumably, as one of the
finest specimens of the current culture, but how far below he is of Vasistha, Vishvamitra,
Gautama, Bhrigu, Chyavana and the rest! Dhaumya is no better than a Brahman well
versed in the scriptures. He is no seer, nor imbued with Chanakya‘s statecraft. The same
can be said of Drupada‘s purohita. In this epic we find the picture of a transitional stage
when these Brahman-priests have yet no role to play in policy-making, with the
Kshatriyas fully in control of the society, unlike the rishi-dominated Vedic period. The
time of all-powerful Brahman counselors is yet to come, which is to culminate in
Kautilya. However having Dhaumya with them, acts undoubtedly as a tremendous
morale booster, because they feel that they have as good as won Draupadi and obtained
their kingdom and lost glory (185.9). The admiration appears to be mutual (185.11).

It is interesting to compare this account of the strife between the two great rishis with
the one given in the Ayodhya kanda of the Ramayana. Where the Mahabharata version
centers on Vasistha and is more favorable to him, the Ramayana version highlights
Vishvamitra‘s unique achievement for the benefit of Rama and Lakshman who seem as
ignorant of his prowess as Arjuna is about Vashishta‘s.




















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Vishvamitra‟s path, therefore, was more of human effort than Divine grace. His was
the path of the warrior, of discipline and struggle, defeat and victory. He shows the
development of an indomitable will that can overcome all obstacles and even challenge
the Gods.

ishvamitra is considered to be one of the most revered sages of the ancient India. As
per the holy Puranas, there have been only 24 Rishis in India who have the Gayatri
Mantra. It is believed that Vishvamitra is the first of the 24 saints, and Sage
Yajnavalkya the last. He also claims the distinction of being the author of the majority
portion of the Mandala 3 of the Rig-Veda.

Kaushika

The story of Vishvamitra is narrated in the Balakanda of Valmiki Ramayana. The
Mahabharata adds that Vishvamitra‟s relationship with Menaka resulted in a
daughter, Shakuntala whose story is narrated in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata.

Vishvamitra was a king in ancient India, named Kaushika - ‗the descendant of
Kusha‘. He was a valiant warrior and the great-grandson of a great king named Kusha.
The Valmiki Ramayana, Sarga 51 of Bala Kanda, starts the legend of Vishvamitra
thus,

There was a king named Kusha, a brainchild of Prajapati, and Kusha‟s son was the
powerful and verily righteous Kushanaabha. One who is highly renowned by the name
Gaadhi was the son of Kushanaabha, and Gaadhi‟s son is Vishvamitra.
Vishvamitra ruled the earth for many thousands of years.

His story also appears in various Puranas, however they show variations from the
Ramayana. The Vishnu Purana and Harivamsha chapter 27 (dynasty of Amaavasu)
of Mahabharata narrates the birth of Vishvamitra.

According to Vishnu Purana, Kushika married a girl belonging to Puru-kutsa (later
called as Shatamarshana lineage - descendents of Ikshvaku king Trasadasyu)
dynasty and had a son by name Gadhi who had a daughter named Satyavati (not to be
confused with Satyavati of Mahabharata).

Satyavati was married to an old Brahman Richika who was foremost among the race
of Bhrigu. Richika desired a son having the qualities of a Brahman, and so he gave
V
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Satyavati a sacrificial offering (charu) which he had prepared to achieve this objective.
He also gave Satyavati‟s mother another charu to make her conceive a son with the
character of a Kshatriya at her request. But Satyavati‟s mother privately asked
Satyavati to exchange her charu with her. This resulted in Satyavati‟s mother giving
birth to Vishvamitra, the son of a Kshatriya Gadhi with the qualities of a Brahman;
and Satyavati gave birth to Jamadagni, the father of Parasurama, a Brahman with
qualities of a Kshatriya.

Feud with Vashishta

Once it happened that he and his soldiers took rest in the ashram of Vashishta. There,
his whole army was well fed and taken care of. This caused a doubt in the king‘s mind as
to how it was possible for this simple ashram to take care of all the arrangements to
feed an entire army. He expressed his surprise to the sage. Vashishta replied,

‗O king, this feast that you have partaken with your kinsmen, has been provided by my
calf Nandini (sometimes referred as Sabala), who was gifted to me by Indra. You must
know that she is the daughter of Indra‟s cow Kamadhenu. She provides me with
everything I need.‘

Kaushika was filled with wonder when he heard this. He began to think that possessing
this cow would mean a lot to him; after all, the sage did not have to provide food and
sustenance for a large army every day. He expressed a desire to the sage for obtaining
Nandini from him. Vashishta was polite, but steadfast in his refusal. He would not be
tempted by the offer of untold wealth that was made by, for after all who can set a price
on a cow, which can readily yield all the riches in the world.

The king grew exceedingly angry. He insulted the Brahmarishi with harsh words, and
ordered his soldiers to seize the cow, and drive it to his kingdom. By his yogic powers,
the great sage Vashishta, called forth an entire army of fierce warriors. They fought the
army of Kaushika and defeated it thoroughly. Kaushika was captured and presented
before Vashishta. The sage pardoned the king and sent him away with words of advice.

In an alternate version, Vashishta destroyed Kaushika‟s entire army by the simple use
of his great mystic and spiritual powers, breathing the Aum syllable. Vashishta also
thus kills one hundred of Kaushika‟s sons, while restoring his hermitage‘s beauty and
life.

Kaushika then undertakes a tapasya for several years to please Lord Shiva, who
bestows upon him the knowledge of celestial weaponry. He proudly goes to Vashishta‟s
ashram again, and uses all kinds of powerful weapons to destroy Vashishta and his
hermitage. He succeeds in the latter but not in the former.

An enraged Vashishta brings out his brahmadanda, a wooden stick imbued with the
power of Lord Creator Brahma. It consumes Kaushika‟s most powerful weapons,
including the brahmastra. Vasistha then attempts to attack Kaushika, but his anger is
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allayed by the Devas. Kaushika is left humiliated while Vasistha restores his
hermitage.

Tapasya

The above mentioned incident deeply affected Kaushika and made him realize that
power of penance was greater than that of physical strength. He relinquished his throne
and began his journey to become a sage, greater than even Vasistha. After undergoing
intense meditation and severe asceticism, he was bestowed with the title of
Brahmarishi by Lord Brahma himself. He was given the name of „Vishvamitra‟.

Legends surrounding Vishvamitra

It is said that Sage Vishvamitra created a parallel heaven, known as Trishanku
Swarga, for King Trishanku. It is also believed that in the great epic Ramayana,
Vishvamitra was born as Lakshmana, the brother of Rama. He gave his brothers the
knowledge of the Devastras (celestial weaponry), trained them in advanced religion
and taught them how to kill powerful demons.

According to Hinduism a Brahmarshi - a tatpurusha comes from two words Brahma
and ṛiṣi. A Brahmarshi is a sage who has understood the meaning of the word Brahma
and has attained the highest divine knowledge Brhmajnana. A Brahmarishi is a
member of the highest classes of Rishis (‗seers‘ or ‗sages‘), especially those credited
with the composition of the hymns collected in the Rigveda.

The superlative title of Brahmarishi is not attested in the Vedas themselves and first
appears in the Sanskrit epics. According to this a Brahmarishi is the ultimate expert of
religion and spiritual knowledge known as „Brahmajnana‟. Below him are the
Maharishis

The Saptarshis created out of Brahma‟s thoughts are perfect Brahmarishi. They are
often cited to be at par with the Devas in power and piety in the Puranas.

Bhrigu, Angiras, Atri, Vishvamitra, Kashyapa, Vashishta, and Shandilya are the
seven brahmarshis. However, there is another set of Saptarshis also who are also
Gotra-pravartakas, or the founders of Brahamanical clans, and this second list
appeared somewhat later, but still belongs to ancient period.

All the hymns of third mandala of the Rig Veda are ascribed to Vishvamitra including
the Gayatri mantra. According to Puranic stories, Vishvamitra was the only
Brahmarishi who rose to the position out of pure tapas. Originally belonging to the
kshatriya caste of kings and warriors, he rose by pure merit to a Brahmarshi.
Vishvamitra is also referred to as Kaushika, because he attained Brahmajnana on
the banks of the river Koshi.

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Menka and Vishvamitra

This incident made a deep impression on the King. He realized that the power obtained
by penances was far greater than mere physical might. He renounced his kingdom and
began his quest to become a greater rishi than Vashishta. He took on the name
Vishvamitra. It is very interesting to see all the challenges that Vishvamitra faced in
his life to become a Brahmarishi, before eventually giving up the greed to possess the
cow. After many trials and undergoing many austerities, Vishvamitra at last obtained
the title of Brahmarishi from Vasistha himself.

During this time he had a daughter named Shakuntala (who appears in the
Mahabharata) with Menaka, an apsara in the court of Indra. Son of Shakuntala
became a great emperor. He came to be known as Emperor Bharata and it is in his
name that the land of India got its name Bharat.

There us yet an alternate version of the same anecdote. Kaushika seeks to attain the
same spiritual power as Vasistha, to become his equal, a Brahmarishi. He undertakes
a fierce penance for one thousand years, after which Brahma names him a Rajarishi,
or royal sage.
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After another long penance of ten thousand years, Brahma names him a rishi, thus
leaving his royal lineage permanently.

At this point, Indra attempts to test the Vishvamitra by sending Menaka, an apsara
to seduce him. Kaushik then lives with Menaka for 10 years. They have a baby girl
Shakuntala. Kaushik becomes angry as Menaka had destroyed his years of
meditation and thus he cursed her that she won‘t possess her beauty, of which she was
proud, in next birth. And hence in the next birth she became a monkey and mother of
Hanuman, Anjani.

Kaushika now goes to the banks of the river Kaushiki, which is the spirit of his own
sister. After many thousands of years of penance, Brahma names him maharishi, but
also tells him that he has not become a jitendriya yet, lacking control over his
passions. This is brought to light to Kaushika when he angrily curses Rambha, an
apsara sent by Indra to seduce Kaushika again, to become a stone for a thousand
years.

Rise to Brahmarishi

After cursing Rambha, Kaushika went to the highest mountain of the Himalayas to
perform an even more severe tapasya for over a thousand years. He ceases to eat, and
reduces his breathing to a bare minimum.

He is tested again by Indra, who comes as a poor Brahmin begging for food just as
Kaushika is ready to break a fast of many years by eating some rice. Kaushika
instantly gives his food away to Indra and resumes his meditation. Kaushika also
finally masters his passions, refusing to be provoked by any of Indra‟s testing and
seductive interferences.

At the penultimate culmination of a multi-thousand year journey, Kaushika‟s yogic
power is at a peak. At this point, Lord Brahma, at the head of the Devas led by Indra,
names Kaushika a Brahmarishi, and names him Vishvamitra, or Friend of All for his
unlimited compassion. He is also embraced by Vashishta, and their enmity is instantly
ended.

Vishvamitra‟s Characteristics

As a former king, and one over as vast a realm as he had been, Vishvamitra was
known to retain a regal and often haughty bearing. He was known for his high temper
and often cursed people out of his anger, thereby depleting his yogic powers obtained by
much penance. People feared his temper and prayed that their actions might not get
misconstrued by the touchy sage.

However, as a former king, Vishvamitra also possessed great compassion for all
beings. Having taken pity on Trishanku, he willingly exhausted all the punya he gained
from his tapas, to enable him to ascend to the heavens. Following his attainment of the
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status of Brahmarishi, he was known to use the power of his tapas to help anyone who
was in need, whatever the cost to himself. Kaushika‟s love of Menaka is considered to
have been intense and passionate beyond estimation.

Vishvamitra and Trishanku

Vishvamitra is famous in many legendary stories and in different works of Sanatana
dharma.

Another story Vishvamitra is known for his creation of his own version of Swarga or
heaven, called Trisanku Swarga. When a proud King Trisanku asked his guru,
Vasistha, to send him to heaven in his own body, the guru responded that the body
cannot ascend to heaven.

Trisanku asked Vashishta‟s hundred sons, to send him to heaven. The sons, outraged
that Trisanku should not come to them when their father had refused, cursed him to be
a Chandala, or untouchable. Trisanku was transformed into a person with body
smeared of ash, clothed in black and wearing Iron jewelry. Since none of his subjects
could recognize him, he was driven out of the kingdom.

He came across the sage Vishvamitra, who agreed to help him. Vishvamitra
organized a great sacrifice and ritual propitiating the Devas, pleading that they accept
Trisanku in heaven. Not one Deva responded. Angered, Vishvamitra used his yogic
powers and ordered Trisanku to rise to heaven. Miraculously, Trisanku rose into the
sky until he reached heaven, where he was pushed back down by Indra.

Enraged even more by this, the powerful Vishvamitra then commenced the creation of
another heaven for Trisanku. He had only completed the heaven when Brihaspati
ordered him to stop. Trisanku, however, did not enjoy Trisanku Swarga, he remained
fixed in the sky and was transformed into a constellation.

In the process of forming a new universe, Vishvamitra used up all the tapas he had
gained from his austerities. Therefore after the Trisanku episode, Vishvamitra had to
start his prayers again to attain the status of a Brahma Rishi, to equal Vasistha.

Harishchandra‟s Sacrifice

While undertaking a penance, Kaushika helps a boy named Shunashepa who has been
sold by his parents to be sacrificed at Harishchandra‟s yagna to please Varuna, the
God of the Oceans. The king‘s son Rohit does not want to be the one sacrificed, as was
originally promised to Varuna, so young Sunashep is being taken. A devastated and
terrified Sunashepa falls at the feet of Kaushika, who is deep in meditation, and begs
for his help.

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Kaushika teaches secret mantras to Sunashepa. The boy sings these mantras at the
ceremony, and is blessed by Indra and Varuna, and Harishchandra‟s ceremony is
also completed.




Vishvamitra looks as Rama breaks the bow, winning the hand of Sita in marriage.
Painting by Raja Ravi Varma

In the Indian epic Ramayana, Vishvamitra is the preceptor of Rama, prince of
Ayodhya and the seventh Avatara of Vishnu, and his brother Lakshman.

Vishvamitra gives them the knowledge of the Devastras or celestial weaponry trains
them in advanced religion and guides them to kill powerful demons like Tataka,
Maricha and Subahu. He also leads them to the swayamvara ceremony for princess
Sita, who becomes the wife of Rama.

Vishvamitra Gotra

People belonging to the Vishvamitra Gotra consider Brahmarishi Vishvamitra as
their ancestor. There is an off-shoot of „Vishvamitra Gotra‟ called „Chakita
Vishvamitra Gotra‟. Two explanations have been suggested for this off-shoot. The
group is supposed to have sprung from a surprised reaction of Vishvamitra. The other,
more likely, explanation, is that a group of descendants decided to split from the main
group and started their own branch of this line.

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Kaushika Gotra

People belonging to Kaushika Gotra take Rajarishi Kausika as their root. Kausika
was one of the names of Vishvamitra who was supposed to have lived in Mithila
(presently in Nepal Terai and India‘s Bihar) where his sister river Koshi still flows
turbulently as she is said to be unmarried. Many Maithil Brahmins are of Kaushik
gotra with moola Nikutwar barhi, Nikutwar nikuti and garh.

11 Royal clans out of the 96 clan of Marathas belong to Kaushik gotra including the
illustrious house of Shivaji and Rashtrakutas. Two more clans belong to the
Vishvamitra gotra. Kaushika gotra also belongs to Baish clan of rajput which
includes in the suryavanshi rajput. Many Kashmiri pandits belong to Kaushika
gotra. Many Kanyakubji Bramhins found in different states also belong to this gotra,
as their forefathers have migrated from Kashmir valley before settling around
Kanyakubja (present day Kanauj in U.P. India). Many Deshastha and Kokanastha
Brahmins from Indian State of Maharashtra belong to Kaushik Gotra. Many of the
Niyogi Brahmins from the state of Andhra Pradesh also belong to the Kaushika
Gotra.

Gayatri Mantra and Vishvamitra

Vishvamitra was the author of the revered great Mantra - The Gyatri Mantra. It is a
mantra that is found in all the three Vedas; Rig, Yajur and Sama Veda. Vedas clearly
state that anyone can chant this Mantra, and gain its benefits. Gyatri Mantra:

Om Bhur Bhuva Svah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat

We meditate on the glory of the Creator;
Who is worthy of Worship,
Who is the source of knowledge?
Who is the bright light?
May he illuminate our intellect?

Gayatri Mantra is so called because it liberates one who chants it.

Solar Power and the Gayatri Mantra

(Solar Energy Within and Without)

The Vedas worship the Sun, Surya, as the source of light for the entire world. But for
the Vedic people, light is not a material force but a power of life, love and intelligence.
Nor is the Sun a distant entity unrelated to us. It has a presence on Earth through the
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power of its rays, which not only pervade our environment but also touch our very
hearts. By the Sun the Vedas do not simply refer to the outer luminary, the central star
of our solar system. They mean the principle of light and consciousness on a universal
level, of which the Sun is our local representative.

One of the main problems in the world today is the energy crisis, which is endangering
the very roots of life on the planet. Where can we get the power to run all our new
technology, industry, transportation and media? Our energy needs are increasing daily
with the growth in population and the increasing affluence of the third world that is now
demanding the same conveniences that the western world has enjoyed for decades.
Where do we get this additional energy? And how can we create it without destroying
the planet by pollution that is the byproduct of most of our energy sources?

Solar power is the ultimate answer for the energy crisis because it is a clean source of
energy that is unlimited, though the technology for it may take a few decades more to
develop fully. We must make solar power the priority in energy research. We must
return to the Sun to save the Earth.

The Vedas are said to reside in the rays of the Sun, which hold the Vedic mantras.
The Vedas are the manifestation of solar intelligence, or the light of
consciousness on Earth. The sacred syllable OM itself is the sound of the Sun
and the essence of the Vedas. The Vedic mantras carry light and power both for
the body and the mind. India, therefore, should be at the forefront of solar
research in order to keep up with its ancient Vedic heritage.

Our society is also complaining about low energy on a personal level. Particularly, in the
developed world low energy diseases like chronic fatigue, depression and weak immune
conditions are almost epidemic. Many people find that they lack the vitality to do what
they want to do. Even if we try to meditate in order to contact a higher power, we often
end up falling to sleep in the process and nowhere owe to a lack of mental energy.

According to the Vedas, the inner Sun is Prana or vital energy or orgone, which
manifests through the breath. To increase our personal energy, both for physical health
and for mental acuity, the best practice is Pranayama or Breath Control. Breath
carries the subtle essence of speech, which is mantra. The incoming breath carries
the sound ‗so‘ and the outgoing breath carries the sound ‗ha‘. The natural mantra
“So‟ham” in Sanskrit means, “He am I,” referring to the Purusha or consciousness in
the Sun, as the Isha Upanishad so eloquently proclaims. Our very breath is based
upon unity with the solar creator and source of life and can be used to connect with its
power.

We all want to increase our intelligence, concentration, memory and capacity for
information. This is the key to strength and success in the information age. The best
way to do this is to harness the power of the inner Sun, which is to connect with cosmic
intelligence through mantra and meditation. Each one of us possesses a portion of the
light of consciousness, a ray of the solar creator that endows us with understanding.
This faculty is called „dhi‟ in Vedic thought refers to the meditative aspect of the mind
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(dhyana manas) and „buddhi‟ in later Indian thought, referring to awakened
intelligence.

The best mantra for awakening the higher mind is the Gayatri mantra, which is a
mantra to the solar light of consciousness to awaken our meditative mind (dhi). It
brings us the Divine solar power of consciousness, love and prana—the supreme light of
truth.

Vishvamitra and the Gayatri Mantra

The Gyatri mantra was the gift to the world of the great Rishi Vishvamitra, seer of
the third book of the Rigveda. Vishvamitra was one of the greatest yet most
controversial Vedic Rishis. He began as a great king and warrior who wanted to add
spiritual power to his worldly conquests. This brought him in contact and in conflict with
Vashishta, the greatest and purest of the Rishis. Vishvamitra persisted through all
difficulties, including those created by his own ambition, until after a long period of
struggle through his will power and tapas he ultimately achieved Self-realization.
Vishvamitra‟s path, therefore, was more of human effort than Divine grace. His was
the path of the warrior, of discipline and struggle, defeat and victory. He shows the
development of an indomitable will that can overcome all obstacles and even challenge
the Gods. Vishvamitra by his tapas eventually created such an internal fire that it began
to threaten the Gods in heaven by its heat. This is what this Gayatri Mantra represents.

Vishvamitra and Menaka

Vishvamitra by his tapas eventually created such an internal fire that it began to
threaten the Gods in heaven by its heat. For this the Gods sent the celestial nymph
(apsara) Menaka to seduce him and take him off his path. The strategy succeeded, but
not for long, and to fulfill another purpose that perhaps the Gods had not planned. From
his union with Menaka, Vishvamitra begat a daughter, Shakuntala, who eventually
became the wife of King Dushyanta. From the union of Dushyanta and Shakuntala
was born King Bharata, from whom the name of India as Bharat arose. The whole
country of India, through its determinative dynasty carries the blood and spirit of
Vishvamitra, which is closely, connected to that of the warrior Goddess Durga.

Vishvamitra‟s Gyatri mantra is the most important mantra of the Hindus, probably
still recited by more than half of the people in India today. It is the most sacred Vedic
mantra, reciting at sunrise, noon and sunset. We can literally translate it as:

We meditate upon the supreme effulgence of the Divine Solar Creator that he may
inspire our intelligence!

The Gyatri mantra encourages creative thinking, not as mere human invention but as
our portion of cosmic intelligence. It exhorts us to attune ourselves to the cosmic mind
and its laws of dharma. This chant is as valuable and appropriate in the modern world as
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it was in ancient times. We can use it whenever we wish to gain new insight and
inspiration or to increase memory and concentration, even for mundane tasks.

Vishvamitra in the Rigveda states that his prayer or Brahma protects the people:

visvamitrasya raksati brahmedam bharatam janam,

Rig Veda III.53.12

His prayer of course is the Gayatri mantra. As long as that mantra is recited in India,
its ancient spiritual heritage will be preserved. India should not forget the Gayatri
mantra, Vishvamitra or its connection to the Sun. That is the key to its destiny as a
nation. Humanity also must remember the Divine Self in the Sun, the Prana that is the
universal energy, and our role in the cosmos to bring the Divine light of knowledge into
the darkness of physical matter. This is not an issue of mere science and technology. It
requires an inner science of Yoga and the enlightenment of the mind.

Valmiki Ramayana

Bala Kanda Sarga 62

Sage Vishvamitra curses his sons as they defy his orders and accords two esoteric
hymns to Shunashepa, for chanting them in the Vedic-ritual of Ambariisha.
Shunashepa gets longevity on chanting those hymns. Thus Vishvamitra not only
creates another universe as in Trishanku‟s episode, he even accords longevity, or even
deathlessness to mortals by his ascetic power. Such as he is, he is the mentor of Rama,
and hence Sage Shatananda informs Rama about the capabilities of his own mentor,
Vishvamitra, in these many episodes.

‗Oh, Rama, the best one among men and the legatee of Raghu, on taking
Shunashepa that highly renowned king Ambariisha took rest at noontime on the
lakeside of Holy Lake.‘ Thus Sage Shataananda continued the legend of Shunashepa,
as a part of Vishvamitra‟s legend.

‗While the king Ambariisha is taking rest that highly brilliant Shunashepa came to the
lakeside of main Holy Lake with high anxiety, and there he indeed saw his maternal
uncle Sage Vishvamitra who is performing access along with other sages.
Shunashepa became pitiable and sulky faced by strain and thirst, oh, Rama, and he
immediately fell in the lap of saint Vishvamitra saying this sentence.

‗I have no mother or a father to save me. Then wherefore cousins or relatives will be
there to protect me. Oh, peaceable saint the eminent, it will be apt of you to protect me
according to saintliness. Oh, illustrious sage, you alone is the savior to each and every
one, isn‘t it! You alone are the guardian angel, isn‘t it! Hence, let the purpose of the king
Ambariisha be achieved, and let longevity come to me, and I on becoming imperishable
and indeed on performing an unexcelled access, I wish to enjoy in heavenly worlds.
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‗You shall be my providence with a providential sentiment as I stand unprotected, and
oh, virtue soul one, it will be apt of you to protect me from misfortune, like a father
protecting his own son.‘ Thus Shunashepa appealed to Vishvamitra.

‗On hearing that sentence of Shunashepa and on pacifying him in many ways,
Vishvamitra of higher access indeed said this to his sons. For what reason parents
engender sons, desiring positivity and for the purpose of welfare in the other worlds, this
is the time that has come for fulfilling that reason.

Vividly: ‗A father‘s ambition in begetting sons is to do something good and positive to
the society in the present world and when departed a right place is acquired in heavens
through these sons, by their yearly death-day rituals etc., and hence you do some good
in saving this boy from premature death and earn an apt place for me in heavens...‘

‗This youngest is the son of sage and he aspires shelter from me. Hence, oh, sons, give
him satisfaction just by giving life to him. You all have done very good pious deeds and
you all abide by probity. Hence, you bestow appeasement to Fire-god on your becoming
the ritual-animals of king Ambariisha in lieu of this boy Shunashepa. As a result,
Shunashepa will have protectors, Vedic-ritual will be unimpeded, gods will be oblated,
and my word too will be actualized.‘ Thus Vishvamitra said to his sons.

‗But on hearing the saying of the sage, oh, Rama, the best of men, Madhushyanda
and the other sons of Vishvamitra said this, haughtily and disparagingly.

‗On sacrificing your own sons how can you save another‘s son, oh, lordly father, we
deem this as a wrongdoing and as good as dog‘s meat in a dinner.‘ Thus the sons of
Vishvamitra replied their father.

Vishvamitra will be nagged by almost all, including his sons, on this ‗dog-meat-eating.‘
There is a parable in Mahabharata that Vishvamitra once tried to eat dog‘s meat
when he did not get any food, but caught red-handedly. Later this has become the
curse-theme to Vishvamitra when he cursed Vashishta‟s sons. At the present juncture
also he curses his own sons with the same theme.

‗On listening that saying of his sons sage Vishvamitra started to curse them while fury
reddened his eyes. You all have not only transgressed my word, but pertly replied me in
an impudent manner which is abhorrent and hair-raising, and recriminatory according to
probity. You all will be whirling around the earth totally for a thousand years taking birth
in the race that subsists on dog‘s meat, like the sons of Vashishta.‘ Thus Vishvamitra
cursed his sons.

‗On making his sons bounden by curse, then that best saint spoke to the pitiable
Shunashepa, on making unharmed invulnerability to him with sanctifying hymns.

‗When you are fastened with sacred fastener to the sacrificial post of Vishnu, smeared
with red paste and garlanded with red garlands, you praise fully address the Fire-god
with the words I going to impart to you in Vedic hymns. These two divine hymns, oh,
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son of saint, shall be chanted in the Vedic-ritual of Ambariisha, and then you will
obtain your aspiration.‘ Thus Vishvamitra taught two Vedic hymns to the boy.
Shunashepa having taken those two hymns from Vishvamitra very attentively has
instantly gone to that lion-king Ambariisha and indeed spoke to him.

‗Oh, king the lion, let us go promptly to your ritual place, oh, best king, you may apply
yourself to your pledge in completing the ritual, with me as its sacrificial animal,‘ thus
the boy said. On listening that sentence of the son of sage, the king Ambariisha is
gladdened and proceded to the ritual hall immediately and spiritedly. The king with the
permission of officiators of ritual got the boy prepared as a ritual animal with sanctified
bodily features and clad him in red clothes and got him securely fastened to the
sacrificial post.

‗When Shunashepa is tied to ritual post he immensely pleased two gods, namely Indra
and Upendra as well, with those two hymns he got from Vishvamitra. Then the
Thousand-eyed Indra who is satisfied with esoteric laudation is gladdened, and oh,
Raghava, then he bestowed longevity to Shunashepa.

‗Oh, Rama, the best one among men, he that king Ambariisha also obtained the fruits
of that Vedic-ritual in manifold, resulted from the grace of Thousand-eyed Indra.

‗Oh, Rama, the best among men, even the great ascetic Vishvamitra again performed
access at the same Holy lakeside for another thousand years.‘ Thus Sage Shataananda
continued the narration of Vishvamitra‟s legend.

By: Pt. Mahendra Nath Maharaj

Shiva Temple, 3000, NW 29TH STREHT, OKLAND PARK Florida, 33046 USA

(Reproduced: Hanuman Chalisa – Mystical Dimension by Swami Anand Neelambar)
P(l4l¹ |4+47 (+Pl+l ¹lP =lB =B Hl9 -l¹ll-ll

Thy existence narrates thy being, thy presence!

Hanuman is an important character in the episode of Ramayana. Therefore it is relevant
to speak on Hanuman.

Birth and the family of Hanuman

Many stories and anecdotes are there to relate to the birth and the family of Hanuman.
Shiva Purana, Bhavishya Purana, Vayu Purana, Padm Purana, Valmiki Ramayana, Anand
Ramayana, Mahabharat all give separate anecdotes about the birth. Siva-Sat explains
that Anjana was the daughter of Sage Gautam. Skand Purana confirms this as well.
Being the son of the king of monkeys Kesri Hanuman is also known as ‗Kesri nandan‘ –
the young one of Kesri. Another source says Hanuman came as partial incarnation of
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Shiva. It is said that at the prayers of all gods and the inhibitants of the earth, Vishnu
took the decision to incarnate as the son of the King of Ayodhya Dasrath. When Shiva
heard of this he decided that he will also assume the human form as the eleventh rudra
to serve lord Vishnu in his cause. You may wonder how Shiva could take this partial
incarnation. This happens if you are aware of the cosmic phenomena. Also the medical
science has used the DNA test to know of the parentage of the child. When an individual
is enlightened he can choose all such things. All options are open to him. When the
Absolute consciousness chooses to assume the human form then the entire sequence of
events take place in accordance with role that such a consciousness has to play in the
evolution of human consciousness. It is something like a play. It is the story writer that
chooses the role for each character. And when the roles are decided upon then the
director chooses the actors for various roles and thus conducts the entire play according
to the script.

It is said when Vishnu choose to assume human form as the son of Dasrath then the
entire cosmic play came into existence. At the command of Prajapati Brahma all gods
and gandharvas were asked to assume form as monkeys and bears. It is in this
sequence of events that Shiva also chooses to assume human form as Hanuman. Shiva
took the decision. It is to be now decided as who will be his physical parents. Now you
can see the entire sequence of events.

Shiva has to come into existence as monkey. Who will be the parents? Because he has
to appear as monkey! Naturally the parents have to be of the same clan. But Hanuman
has to have the element of Wind God as well. For his role Hanuman needed the
swiftness of wind. The mother has to be special one. In an ordinary womb such seed
cannot be implanted. Gautam‘s daughter assumed the role of Hanuman‘s mother as
Anjana. Anjana is female monkey. Kesari the king of monkey clan became the father.
But in reality it is the decision of Shiva to manifest as the eleventh Rudra. And the seed
blew because of the wind. And reached the womb of Anjana! Thus Hanuman is known as
Shanker Suvan, Kesrinanadan, Anjani Putra, Pawan suta, and Maruti nandan. The wind
god gave him the capacity to fly even faster than the wind. This became a tool in his
role for Rama. An ordinary human consciousness cannot understand such cosmic
planning. However once you attain to inner oneness then it becomes very easy to
understand the entire cosmic play. You come to realize that world is the cosmic play.
And each one of us is here to perform a specific role in the cosmic scheme of evolution.

How Shankar assumed the form as Hanuman, Tulsidas in Dohavali sings. Thus
abandoning the Rudra form Shankar manifested as Hanuman:
=|( B¹l¹ ¹|6 ¹lP Bl Bl² Hl(¹|( B=l+
6ã (( 6|= 4B BT¹ -l (+Pl+

The body shall remain meaningless if it can be of no use for its beloved! Therefore Shiva
out of his own Maya assumed the form as Hanuman to be the part of Divine plan for the
establishment of righteousness and the protection of the sage!!!
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How Hanuman came to be known as Bajranga

It happened once Indra hurled his weapon Bajra on Hanuman when he was still a boy.
This damaged his left hanu (chin). But hanuman was so full of valour and courage that
the invincible weapon could not destroy Hanuman. Thus he came to be known as
Hanuman. In Sunderkand of Valmiki Ramayana Hanuman in the episode of the search of
Sita, mentions has name as Hanuman during a conversation with Ravana: (Valmiki
Ramayana Su: 51/15):
H( 6 (+Pl-+lP Pl¹6F4l¹B- B6-
Bl6l4lF6 T6 H64l=+ Pl64P+

Being a celibate Hanuman had no children. Yet still it is said Hanuman had a son. There
is a story. It narrates that after burning Lanka when Hanuman took a dive in the ocean
to extinguish the burning tail that set Lanka to fire, a drop of his sweat fell in the ocean.
And this drop was consumed by a fish. The fish assumed pregnancy as a result. And out
of this pregnancy a male child was born. This is Makaradhwajh or Matsyaraj. Matsyaraj
is called the son of fish. Makaradhwajh is Hanuman‘s son.

Early childhood

As a child Hanuman was quite mischievous. However, all such mischief was full of
courage and valour. Once he was very hungry. He swallowed the rising sun thinking it to
be red fruit. While flying, Hanuman hit another planetary god Rahu. This made Rahu
very angry and he complained to Indra. This caused Indra to hurl his famous invincible
weapon Bajra.

Due to his nature, hanuman started creating trouble for the sages. He caused too much
pain to Bhrigu, and Angiras. This made these sages put a curse on Hanuman, ―You will
forget your valour and courage from now onwards.‖

Then at the request, the sages blessed Hanuman thus reducing the intensity of the
curse, ―If someone will remind you of your courage and valor, you will remember once
again. So too, many gods, Shiva, Rama, and Sita blessed Hanuman in many ways. Sun
God Aditi accepted him as his disciple at the request of Prajapati Brahma and blessed
Hanuman in many ways. Shiva blessed him with long life, knowledge of weapons, and
bestowed with his strength to cross the ocean. So too the divine architect Vishyakarma
blessed him with the understanding of weapons and weaponry.

During his journey to Lanka in search of Sita, she blessed Hanuman as son after she was
convinced of his identity. Tulsi Das sings this in Sundar kand 17/2:
Hl|BH (l|-( ¹lP|94 =l+l
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(l² 6l6 4¬ Bl¬ |+¤l+l·
H=¹ HP¹ ¬+|+|\l B6 (l(¸
T¹(¸ 4(6 ¹¤+l4T 7l(¸+
|H47¬6 \4lF6 (|¹ 94l¹ +

(Valmiki Ramayana Sundar kand40/24)

After Hanuman returned with the message of Sita, Rama told Hanuman:
H6Ft4 PP ¤16lH|B (|¹9¬4·
(Adhyatma Ramayana Sundarkand 5/63)

Implying O Hanuman you are most dear to me. Also you are my beloved devotee.

An ecstatic Tulsi das sings the glory of Hanuman through Rama:
(G( T¹ |4¬l¹ P+ Pl(l 6lB 6l6 7|¹T P +l(l

When Hanuman was on his way to Sri Lanka in search of Sita, Sursa created obstruction
in his way to test the courage, sincerity, aspiration and intelligence. Sursa did this at
the request of Gods. It is always so. When an individual begins his inward journey
obstacles and problems impede the way. It is only the sincere aspirations that help the
aspirant to overcome such impediments. These come as tests of one‘s sincerity. And
when problems surround generally we tend to move away from the path. It always
happens first such problems impede the way. And then the same problem becomes the
way for transcendence. Sursa, Singhika, and Lankini that came in the way of Hanuman
represent the personification of negativities. Certain negativities arise because of
individual actions and thinking in day to day life. Others are collective and cosmic in
nature. These negativities can be accumulated as a result of the past while others
accumulate due to our present functioning. However these certainly impede your way.

Whenever negativity decomposes tremendous energy is released. It is like atomic
explosion. And when the aspirant absorbs such energy it acts as fuel to propel the
journey forward. For this the aspirant has to be AWARE and AWAKE otherwise the
negativities will engulf you. All along the way to cross the ocean, that stores within its
womb a vast treasure of ineffable bliss, Hanuman breaks such energy blocks. And once
these blocks are broken Hanuman gains momentum for the continuation of his journey!
Thus Hanuman remains a perennial inspiration for all aspirants.

Sursa therefore impedes hanuman‘s way to test his courage and sincerity. And seeing
his indomitable courage and sincerity she comes out of her present form and blesses
Hanuman as:
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¬¬7 Bl\4 ¹lPF4 Tl4 4(|¤P6l 4¹·
ã!4l Bl6l 9+¬t4l ¹lP ã¬4|B ¬¬7 ¤l-+
(Adhyatma Ramayana Sundar kand 1/23-24)

After Shinghika was slain the birds floating in the sky expressed similar sentiments
(Valmiki Ramayana Sunderkand: 1/200). And when Hanuman entered Lanka the demon
Lankini spoke of similar prediction about her and the fate of Lanka. She also blessed
Hanauman with her energy field through these words:
(+P+ ¬¬7 –(¹P 6 |=6l ¬Tl t44l+¤
(Adhyatama Ramayana Sundar kand 1/47, 54)

Valmiki Ramayana has similar mention:
4(¬74l t4 =+TltP=l B6l
|4Pl¬ B4t¹l ¬6l 4¤l BGP+
(Sundar kand 3/51)

Joyfully Lankini blesses Hanuman to move freely in search for Sita. With all such
blessings Hanuman manifest tremendous qualities. This always happens once an
aspirant breaks the cordon of negativities tremendous energy is released. And as the
energy thus released is absorbed with awareness transformation happens. Remember
energy cannot be destroyed. It can only be transformed. This is reflected through the
life of Hanuman. Thus the life of such an aspirant like Hanuman remains a source of
tremendous inspiration for anyone on the path.

Hanuman and perennial youth

Rama blessed Hanuman to inspire devotees on path as long as the portrayal of Sri Rama
remains. About the Ram Katha it is said:
¹ll46 ¤lF4|6 |¬|¹4- B|¹6F¬ P|(6¬
tll46 ¹lPl4T T¤l ¬lT9 9¬|¹!4|6
As long as mountains and rivers shall remain, the story and thus the portrayal of Sri
Rama shall continue to inspire the aspirants along the path of devotion. And Rama had
asked Hanuman to remain on earth until last to inspire and guide the aspirants. This has
given Hanuman the blessing of perennial youth. Sita also blessed Hanuman for such a
quality.
H=¹ HP¹ ¬+|+|¤ B6 (l(¸·
(Adhyatma Ramayana Sundar kand 17/2)

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Thus Hanuman is godly. And along with Rama Hanuman is also worshipped.

Hanuman and Eight Siddhis

In the life of Sri Rama Hanuman is an important character. Hanuman played an
important role in Rama-Sugreeve friendship; search for Sita; and the battle with
Ravana. Hanuman has a very significant place in service, devotion, and duty. Along with
this Hanuman is bestowed with eight siddhis. Patanjali explains these siddhis to be of
five types;
=-Pl|¤ P× 69- BPl|¤=l- |B(\4-
Patanjali narrates five reasons for the attainment of these siddhis energy fields: janmaja
or by birth; aushadhija or due to medicines; mantraja or mantra and samadhija or
samadhi. Because of any of these reasons one can attain tremendous energy fields.
Patanjali explains the methodology to attain to such energies. Amar Kosh explains these
siddhis or qualities or energy fields as:
H|TPl Pl|(Pl ¬4 ¬|¹Pl ¬|¤Pl 6¤l
9l|-6- 9lTl¹4Pl|Ht4 4|Ht4 ¬l!³ |B(\4-
(Amaar Kosh 1/1/35)

Also at times after garima kamavasayita is used:
H|TPl ¬|¤Pl 9l|-6- 9Tl¹4 P|(Pl 6¤l
²|Ht4 4|Ht4 ¬ 6¤l TlP4Bl|46l+
(Sandharba kosh)

This explains that there is no specific order of these siddhis or qualities that provide
energy fields. Let me explain these siddhis:
H|TPl- It comes from the word atom the smallest form. Hanuman has the qualities to
reduce his form to the smallest. Often it makes the yogi invisible as well.

When Hanuman was on his way in search of Sita and Sursa obstructed the way
Hanuman used this quality to reduce his form to almost an invisible state. As Sursa
increased the size of her open mouth Hanuman increased his size in the same
proportion. And when eventually Sursa zoomed her open mouth 50 times Hanuman
immediately reduced his size to infinitesimal and thus entered her mouth and came out
unhurt. Thus he exhibited tremendous intelligence and wakefulness in the most difficult
situations.

Valmiki Ramayana narrates the moment Sursa zoomed her open mouth 100 times
immediately Hanuman became infinitesimal. The same quality Hanuman used when he
faced the demoness Singhika. She had the quality of swallowing the creatures while
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flying in the sky. And seeking Hanuman size she had to open her mouth big. And when
something is zoomed many times it takes time to return to normal. Thus Hanuman
shows his intelligence and indomitable courage in adverse circumstances.

On reaching the security at the entrance of the city of Lanka Hanuman thought to
remain in disguise as narrated by Tulsi Das in Sundar Kand Doha 2, 3, 5:
9¹ ¹G4l¹ (|G 4( T|9 P+ Tl-( |4¬l¹·
H|6 ¬¤ -9 ¤¹l |+|B +¬¹ T¹l 9²Bl¹+
¬67 BP6 ¹+ BP 6l(l ¹lP T9l T|¹ |¬64l =l(l
H|6 ¬¤ -9 ¤¹ 7 (+Pl+l 9ól +¬¹ B|P|¹ ¤¬4l+l+

Adhyatma Ramayana in Sundar Kand 2/1 explains this incident differently as:
66l =¬lP (+Pl+ ¬Tl 9¹PHl¤+lP·
¹lt¹l B¸¬P 6+¤¸t4l 4¤lP 9|¹6- 9¹lP+
-l¬P|T| +l¹¹l6B |+ F+(l¹ 1l+( -v° 6(l6 l76¹ B+B6 Hl+Pl+ Pl( (|PB¬7 BPl¬¬
BG 6(l6 ( ¬G¬( +6¹ 6( ¬|64!
B¸4 ¬lF6 ¬6 ¹lt¹l (( B|¬-4 Pl6|6-
49(HTPlt¹l5¤ 4¤¸4l(¤6 (H+-
P|(Pl |B(¤l- Magnified form: To reduce the form to the smallest or the atomic is referred
to as the dissolution of ego. The river now merges with the ocean. The drop has now
become the ocean. And the moment drop dissolves its being into the ocean it can no
longer remain a drop. That very moment it becomes ocean like. That very moment the
qualities of the ocean become the quality of the drop. And it happens in a moment that
cannot be caught by any finiteness. It is the moment of eternity. Eternity is the moment
beyond time and space.

The quality that can make Hanuman zoom his form is called MAHIMA Siddhi. When
Hanuman encountered Sursa on his way to Lanka in search of Sita as Sursa increased
her form Hanuman magnified his form manyfold. And when Sursa could no more
magnify her form immediately hanuman reduced his form to the smallest! Tulsi das
narrates this in Sundar kand 2/5:
=B =B B¹Bl 4(+ 47l4l·
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6lB (¸+ T|9 -9 (Gl4l
B6 =l=+ 6|( Hl++ Tl-(l·
H|6 ¬¤ -9 94+B6 ¬l-(l+

Adhyatma Ramayana however uses a different criterion of zooming into various sizes. In
Valmiki Ramayana this happens as a competition between Sursa and Hanuman. This
explains the Mahima siddhi that Hanuman used in the fulfilment of the assignments of
his beloved.

¹|l¹Pl |B(¤l- Garima siddhi: Accordingly the aspirant makes his physical body very heavy
and therefore unmanageable. Hanuman exhibited this when after crossing the ocean he
reached the shore. There was a mountain and still Hanuman has to take a giant leap to
reach his destination. This is quite natural for the aspirant along the inward journey.
After crossing the ocean Hanuman increased his from and from the mountain top he
took a giant leap to reach the city of Lanka. The weight was so unmanageable that the
mountain sunk under the earth.
=|( |¬|¹ ¬¹+ (² (+P6l ¬¬7 Bl ¬l 9l6l¬ 6¹6l+

(Ramcharit Manas Sundar kand 1/4)

Valmiki however narrates this slightly different. Accordingly it was after returning from
Lanka, the mountain sunk into the earth with a loud noise.

¬|¤Pl |B(¤l- Laghima siddhi: This is just the opposite of the garima siddhi. Accordingly the
aspirant reduces the weight and thus he can float in the sky like a bird. Also the aspirant
is not worried of water, mud or thorn etc. All these four siddhis are connected with the
body or the physical, plane. And the rest are connected with the mind or the psyche of
the aspirant. And thus these remaining siddhis are also connected with the other sense
organs.

During the battle with Meghnaad Lakshman was injured by the life threatening Shakti
and he became unconscious. This made Rama very concerned. Hanuman brought the
personal physician of Ravana for the treatment. The physician asked for a particular
lifesaving herb from mount Mahodaya. For this Hanuman used the Arial passage to
reach the destination and return in time before sunrise. Tulsi Das explains this through
the following couplet:
(Gl B¬ + Hl9¤ ¬l-(l·
B(Bl T|9 79l|¹ |¬|¹ ¬l-(l+
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|¬|( |¬|¹ |+|B +¤ ¤l46 ¤47·
H4¤9¹l 79¹ T|9 ¬47+

Adhyatma Ramayana explains the even for the search for Sita Hanuman went by the
arial route. Tulsi das explains that Hanuman used the arial route for this purpose. Not
only had that Hanuman used the concept beyond time and space. As we know time it is
a linear phenomenon. Remaining on the surface it moves as a straight line. This is the
finite concept and one particular moment comes only once in twenty four hours span.
This is the physical aspect of time. When an aspirant attains fruition through meditation
time no longer remains a linear function. When you look deeply one moment remains in
a cycle for a longer time or more precisely for eternity. Let me explain this, look at the
time now. This time is according to your country or the place where you live. The same
will not be the time in another location or the country. This depends on the location
according to planetary locations. In the east time happens first and then the same time
happens in other parts of the world. This is only our world that we know. And there are
many such worlds. Without meditation you cannot understand this eternal phenomenon
through the mind.

Hanuman used the same concept of eternity to explain the entire episodes in Rama‘s life
during exile, Sita‘s abduction, Rama Sugreeve friendship, battle with Ravana etc. All this
was possible only through meditation. An enlightened master can take you to this
dimension of eternity through his energy field. Only then he transfers the mind seal on
to the disciple. This is communication beyond words and the known. The unknown
cannot be communicated any other way. Only this much can be said at this stage.

The remaining four siddhis: Prapti, Prakamya, Eshitva, and Vashitva are all connected
with the psyche and the sense organs. However the explanation of these siddhis that are
psychic in nature I have purposely abstained for now.

Hanuman had tremendous trust and devotion for his beloved Sri Rama. And it is because
of this indomitable trust that Hanuman succeeded everywhere and at each stage of his
inward journey. And the feeling of service that Hanuman has for Sri Rama is worth
following. Not only Hanuman is capable of doing this himself instead his life is even
capable to inspire any sincere aspirant along the path of transformation. Remember
spirituality is not for worldly or selfish gains, as we understand it to be.

Furthermore, Hanuman is the embodiment of courage, capability of dialogue, strength,
wisdom, etc. Hanuman remained the trusted minister of the monkey king Sugreeve, and
a devotee and attendant of Sri Rama. Valmiki explains Hanuman in the following Sutra:
Hl4 (l¬4 4¬ ¤4 9l¬6l +4Bl¤+P¸ ·
|44P7¬ 9¤l47¬ (+P|6 46l¬4l- +
Valmiki Ramayana Uttar Kand 35/3)
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Valmiki expressed the praises of Sri Rama for Hanuman through the following Sutras:
+ Tl¬F4 + H 4F4 ¬ |4!Tl|4t69F4 ¬·
TPl|T 6l|+ H4¸4-6 4l|+ 4& (+P6- +

Valmiki Ramayana Uttar Kand 35/8)

After Hanuman had crossed the ocean and reached Ashoka Vatika to meet Sita she
praised hanuman in the following sutras of Valmiki Ramayana:
|T 974B BPl¤l+P¸ t4 |( Tl4|4(l 4¹-+

(Sundar Kand 39/27)

TlPF4 t4P4T- Tl4F4 9|¹Bl¤++

(Sundar Kand 39/28)

Hanuman knew languages like Sanskrit, and Avadhi the language spoken around
Ayodhya.

Remember this is just an insight into Hanuman. Much more remains unsaid. I conclude
here with a sutra from Radheyshyam Ramayana Balkand Doha 17:
9+47 94+TPl¹ G¬ 4+ 9l4T ¹4l+ ¤+·
=lB ((4 Hl¬l¹ 4B|( ¹lP B¹ ¬l9 ¤¹+
I salute and vow down to Hanuman in whose inner sanctum dwells the jugal murti of Sri
Ram and Sita the Resplendent Self!!!
=4 =4 =4 H¹TP (+P6 H¹TP+
Seek! Hanuman!
Seek Hanuman ever!
Hail! Seek! And Chant!










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Astronomical Dating of the Ramayan
By Dr.P.V.Vartak

Introduction

It has been believed that there is no evidence to determine the dates of events in the
Ramayanic era. Some historians of the past even refuse to acknowledge that Rama and
other characters from the Ramayana even existed. However, Sage Valmiki has recorded
the dates if events in detail, albeit by describing the positions of stars and planets. To
decipher the astronomical encodings has not been a trivial task, and not many have
attempted to do so. It should be noted that the ancient Indians had a prefect method of
time measurement. They recorded the 'tithis', days according to the nakshatra on which
the moon prevailed, the months, the seasons and even the different Solstices. By
therefore noting a particular arrangement of the astronomical bodies, which occur once
in many thousand years, the dates of the events can be calculated. Dr. P.V. Vartak has
thus attempted to calculate the dates of important incidents that occured during the
Ramayanic Era. The correct astronomical records goes to show that Valmiki's has
chronicled an account of a true story and also, that the an advanced time measurement
system was known to the Hindus (Indians) atleast 9000 years ago. Please refer to Dr.
Vartak's celebrated book "Vastav Ramayan" for further reading.
Before coming to the astronomical method, it should be noted that the Mahabharat has
recorded a number of facts about Ramayan (and not otherwise). The precedence of the
Ramayanic era to that of the Mahabharat can therefore be inferred. An attempt to fix the
dates of the events in the Mahabharat era, mainly based on internal astronomical
records. The Mahabharat Era has already been dated by Dr. Vartak to 5561 B.C.
[Reference: Dr. Vartak's book "Swayambhu"].
Genealogical links available from the Mahabharat and Puranas, Yuga calculations and
some archaelogical findings also provide clues to the dating of the Ramayanic era. Also,
literary references to the characters from the Ramayanic Era provide limits after which
the Ramayan could not have occured. For example, Guru Valmiki (the author of
Ramayana) is refered to in the Taittiriya Brahmana (dated to 4600 B.C) and therefore
Ramayana must have before the Brahmana was composed. However, archaeological and
literary methods can only provide approximate datelines and for determining the precise
time of the Ramayanic events, astronomical calculations may alone be useful.

Astronomical Dating
Mahabharat states that Sage Vishwamitra started counting nakshatras from Shravana
(Aadiparva A.71 and Ashwamedha A.44) and a new reference to time measurement thus
initiated. According to the old tradition, the first place was assigned to the nakshatra
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prevelant on the Vernal Equinox. Vishwamitra modified this and started measuring from
the nakshatra at the Autumnal Equinox. Sharvan was at this juncture at about 7500 B.C,
which is therefore the probable period when Vishwamitra existed and also that of the
Ramayanic Era.
Formerly, the year initiated with the Varsha-Rutu (season) and therefore was termed
"Varsha". Ramayan shows that the flag was being hoisted to celebrate the new year on
Ashwin Paurnima (Kishkindha 16/37, Ayodhya 74/36). Ayodhya 77 mentions that the
flags were defaced and damaged due to heat and showers. These descriptions point to
the fact that their new year started on the Summer Solstice when heat and rain
simultaneously exist. The Summer Solstice fell on Ashwin Full Moon, so the Sun was
diagonally opposite at Swati nakshatra. This astral configuration can be calculated to
have occured around 7400 B.C.
Kishkindha 26-13 describes the commencement of the rainy season. In shloka 14, refers
to Shravan as "Varshika Poorva Masa". Kishkindha 28/2 clearly shows that the rainy
season began in Bhadrapada Masa. Further description "Heated by the Sun and
showered by new waters, the earth is expelling vapours" (Kish.26/7) points to
Bhadrapada as premonsoon. Kish.28/17 tells that there was alternate sun-shine and
shadowing by the clouds. Kish.28/14 describes the on-coming rainy season. Thus
Bhadrapada was the month of pre-monsoon, that is before 21st June or Summer
Solstice. Naturally, months of Ashwin and Kartika formed the rainy season. It is
therefore concluded that Ashwin Full Moon coincided with Summer Solstice, that year
being 7400 B.C.
Rama started forest-exile in Chaitra and ended it in Chaitra. He was coronated in the
same month and one month later, proceeded to Ashokavan with Seeta (Uttar 41/18)
when the Shishira Rutu terminated. So it seems that Vaishakha Masa coincided with
Shishira. So the Winter Solstice was at Vaishakha with the Sun at Ashwini. At present,
the Winter Solstice takes place at Moola. Thus a shift of 10 nakshatras has occured since
the Ramayanic Era. Precession has a rate of 960 years per nakshatra. Therefore,
Ramayan must have occured 9600 years ago, which is 7600 B.C approximately.

Shri Rama's Date of Birth
Now we shall proceed with the astral route. Valmiki records the birth of Rama as Chaitra
Shuddha Navami (9th), on Punarvasu Nakshatra and five plants were exalted then; Sun
in Mesha upto 10 deg., Mars in Capricorn at 28 deg., Jupiter in Cancer at 5 deg., Venus
in Pisces at 27 deg. and Saturn in Libra at 20 deg. (Bala Kanda.18/Shloka 8,9).
Ayodhya 4/18 states that Sun, Mars and Rahu were at Dasharatha's nakshatra. It was
the month of Chaitra, so the Sun was in Revati, Ashwini or Bharani. Naturally, either
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Rahu and Ketu was in any one of these nakshatra (Rahu and Ketu are diagonally
opposite).
The planetary positions on 16th October 5561 B.C., the date of commencement of the
Mahabharat War, have been calculated and known [Dating of the Mahabharat, by Dr.
P.V. Vartak]. Therefore, calculating further backwards for the astral combination noted
above, the date concludes to be 4th December 7323 B.C. On this date, Saturn was at
205 deg., Jupiter at 94 deg., Mars between 283 and 298 deg., Rahu at 179 deg. and
Sun at 2 degrees. 4th Dec. 7323 therefore is the date of birth of Rama, when the
aforementioned 4 planets exalted. Venus is always within 47 degrees from the Sun, and
might be in Pisces in an exalted state. Thus Rama's date is confirmed.

The Date of Exile
Rama completed 17 years of age (Ayodhya 20/45) and his coronation was fixed on
Chaitra Shuddha 9th on Pushya day. However, he had to proceed to the forest on the
same day, at the behest of Kaikeyi. At this time, Dasharatha states that Rahu, Mars and
Sun were disturbing his nakshatra (Ayodhya 4/18). Calculating 17 years from Rama's
birth date, the location of Mars can be determined at 303 degrees in Dhanishta
nakshatra. From here, Mars casts its fourth-sight on Krittika. Rahu, after 17 years had
been at 211 degrees in Vishakha, and so was in opposition to Krittika. Being Chaitra
masa, the Sun was at Mesha and so it could be at Krittika. This the planetary positions
agree with Valmiki's statement. Dasharatha's nakshatra appears to be Krittika.
Valmiki has beautifully described the sky (Ayodhya 41/10), when Rama left for forest
exile. He states, "Crux (Trishankhu), Mars, Jupiter and Mercury have cornered the Moon.
Vaishakha and Milky Way are shining in the sky". Crux is on line with Hasta (Corvus) on
the southern side. On the eastern side of Hasta, there are Chitra, Swati and Vishakha.
As seen earlier, Mars was at 303 deg. in Dhanishta. Calculations show that Jupiter was
in Poorvashadha at 251 deg. Pushya was at the western horizon with the setting Moon.
On the southern side, from the west to the east, all the other planets were situated. So
poetically Valmiki describes the sketch as if the Moon was cornered by the planets. The
description of the sky, 17 years after the birth-date of Rama, is perfect astronomically.
After 14 years of Rama's stay in the forest, Valmiki tells that Rohini was imprisoned (6-
24-7, 6-93-60, 6-92-60), Mars marched on Rohini (6- 93-46 or 6-92-45) and mars was
torturing Rohini (5-17-24 or 5-15-22, 5-19-9, 6-113 or 116-2). The bracketed seven
statements show the vicinity of Mars with Rohini. Calculations reveal that 14 years later,
Mars was at Ardra and was retrograde. Mars therefore moved in the reverse direction
(from Ardra) to Rohini, resided at the "gate" of Rohini, thus in a way imprisoning the
latter. It is to be noted that the constellation of Rohini is V-shaped. The apex of the
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angle points to the west and the two limbs towards east, and therefore appears like a
"gate". Mars was situated in between the two limbs (or two doors) of the gate and
appeared like a guard. Thus can the simile be explained.
Amavasya (No Moon Day)comes 10.883 days earlier each successive year. 25th
November 7323 B.C., 9 days before Rama's birth, was a Amavasya. In 17 years, the
Amavasya shifted by 185.011 days backwards. It means that 6 Amavasyas (each 29.53
days) were completed and a shift of 7.8 deg. was noticed. The original Amavasya before
Rama's birth took place at 353 deg. Deducting 7.8 deg. from it, we obtain 345 deg. as
the position of this Amavasya which falls in the Uttara Bhadrapada nakshatra. Naturally,
the next month was Chaitra, when the coronation was arranged on Pushya day at 104
degrees. One 'tithi' contains 12 degrees. So the moon was in Pushya on 29th November
7306 B.C., when Rama proceeded to the forest. Calculations show that this day was a
Thursday, so said by Seeta as well(Ayodhya 26/9).
Rama left for the forest on a Thursday, the 29th Nov. 7306 B.C. He completed the
required 14 year period in the forest and returned on 5th Shuddha 9th was over, and
the 5th tithi refered to must have been Chaitra Krishna 5th. Amavasya recedes by
10.883 days each successive year. So in 14 years it must have receded by 152.3 days.
Deducting 5 Amavasya periods (29.53 days each), 4.7 days remain which implies that
Amavasya came 4 days days earlier on 15th November 7292 B.C. Calculating backwards
for 14 years from 29th November 7306 B.C, when the Amavasya was at 345 deg., the
Amavasya falls at 340 deg. (receded by 4.7 days in 14 years). This is Uttara
Bhadrapada, the month being Phalguna. Since the next month was Chaitra, Krishna 5th
tithi happens to be 5th December 7292 B.C. when Rama entered Bharadwaja Ashram.

Hanuman's visit to Lanka
Hanuman set out to Lanka in the hopes and mission to search for the kidnapped Seeta.
He reached this destination at night, roamed around a little until he located Seeta the
next morning. While describing Hanuman's return in Sunder Kanda (S.56 or 57 /1/2),
Valmiki states using a simile of sea to the sky:
"The Moon was attractive like a lotus, Sun like a good crane and a span from Pushya to
Shravana was seen. Punarvasu appeared like a big fish, Mars like a crocodile, Airavata
like an island and Swati like a swan."
Even though a poetic simile, Valmiki provides a plot of the nakshatras from the west to
the east. When Hanuman started from Lanka it was early morning, because Seeta tells
him to rest for a day in some hiding place (Sunder 56/3,11; 57/18). Since it was
morning, the Sun was rising and appeared like a crane and the moon like a lotus. As
both the moon and the sun were present simultaneously in the sky, it probably was a
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Paurnima (Full Moon Day) with the moon on the western horizon and sun on the
eastern. The span of nakshatras streched from Pushya to Shravan, that is from 104 deg.
to 281 deg. Punarvasu was also seen. Aairavat connotes an elephant, and it is possible
that Scorpio was seen like an elephant showing its trunk. The span of nakshatra's from
Punarvasu to Sharavan is seen early in the morning of Krishna paksha of Pushya Lunar
month. Sun-rise could also be seen. Hence, most probably, Hanuman returned from
Lanka of Pushya Paurnima or Pushya Vadya paksha.
Hanuman had set out for Seeta's search after Ashwin masa as he himself says in
Kishkindha 53/21,22. So he must have started the campaign in Kartika masa. One
month, that of Margashirsha was spent in the cave of Swayamprabha. Some more time
was spent in the search upto the south sea, after which Hanuman entered Lanka,
possibly on Pushya Shuddha 14th. Thus it highly probably that he returned on Pushya
Paurnima or Pushya Krishna 1st.
Ravana had abducted Seeta in the season of Hemant (Aranya 16/1) and had given a
period of 1 year, that is upto the next Hemant to consider marrying Ravana (Aranya
56/24, Yudh 12/19). Had Seeta not accepted this offer, Ravana would have killed her in
Hemant. Hemant is composed of 2 months. Sunder 58/106 or 108 state that Seeta told
Hanuman that only 2 months of her life remain, after which she will die. Seeta therefore
must have conveyed this to Hanuman before Hemant began, that is, in the season of
Sharad. Thus Pushya lunar month coincided with the season of Sharad.
According to the above description, Mars was near Punarvasu and Pushya. It was noted
that during the (Lanka) war, Mars was at 102 deg. in Pushya. Naturally, since Mars
many a time becomes stagnant, Mars would have been near Punarvasu and Pushya two
months earlier.
The distance from Kishkindha (Vijayanagar to Hospet) to the centre of Lanka is about
600 miles. An army can travel about 20 miles a day, therefore accordingly, Rama's army
would have taken a month to reach Lanka. Even assuming a pessimistic speed of 30
miles per day, Hanuman may have covered the distance in 20 days. Also, it is known
that the army of Vaanar tribe were searching for Seeta in many directions, and
therefore, may have taken 2 months to reach Lanka. This army had started searching
for Seeta in mid-Kartika, and would have reached Lanka in mid-Pausha. The assumption
that Hanuman returned from Lanka in the month of Pausha therefore appears to be
reasonable. The Vanar army hurriedly returned to Kishkindha and could have spent 20
days in the interim and the date falls at Maagha Shuddha 5th. Rama marched to Lanka
in one month and reached there on Phalguna Shuddha 5th (22nd Oct. 7292 B.C). Rama
observes, "Today is Uttara Phalguni. Tommorrow when the moon will rise on Hasta, we
will proceed to Lanka" (Yudh s.4). Probably on Magha Krishna 1st (2nd Oct. 7292 B.C),
Rama commenced his journey and reached the shores of Lanka on Phalguna Shuddha
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5th. Subsequent three days were spent before Rama could cross the sea. Phalguna
Shuddha 8th ended. Thereafter, starting on the 9th, Nala built a temporary bridge
(Seetu) within 5 days. On Phalgun Shuddha 14th (31st Oct. 7292 B.C), Rama's army
crossed over to Lanka. On Phalgun Shuddha 15th, a full moon day, Rama positioned his
army at strategic points and surveilled the territory from Mount Suvela (Yudh 38/18).
Ravan also observed the approaching army from a tower, held a meeting with his
ministers and deployed his army for defence. On Phalgun Krishna 1st (2nd November
7292 B.C.), Ravana arranged his troops at strategic points.

The Great War started
On Phalgun Krishna 2nd, Rama's army seiged the gates of Lanka. Angada proceeded as
Rama emmisary on a peace mission to Ravana's court. However, any peace proposal
was rejected by Ravana and the next day (Phal.Kr. 3rd), Rama-Ravana war commenced.
The great war spanned 13 days and concluded on Phalgun Krishna Amavasya, with the
death of Ravana. The very next day, Chaitra Shuddha 1st was celebrated as a Victory
Day. This tradition still continues to be a New-Years's Day and is marked by hoisting
flags.

End of Rama-Ravana War. Ravana killed.
15th November 7292 B.C was then Phalguna Amavasya. Valmiki states that Ravan came
out for the last battle on the Amavasya day (Yudh. 93/66) and was killed. In the
description of the battle, Sage Valmiki writes, "Kosala's nakshatra Vishakha is aspected
by Mars" (Yudh. 103/37). The annual motion of Mars is 191.405 degrees. In 14 years, it
will progress by 159.58 degrees. At the time of Rama's exile, Mars was at 303 deg. 159
deg. added to this provides Mars at 102 deg. in Pushya. From Pushya Mars could cast its
fourth-sight on Vishakha. So, the calculations presented so far seem to be correct. It
also shows Valimiki's minute observations and time recording capabilities. Thus the date
of the last battle of the War is 15th November 7292 B.C.






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Following are the dates of few events from the Ramayana:

Rama's Birth Date 4
th
December 7323 B.C
Rama-Seeta Married 7
th
April 7307 B.C
Rama Exiled 29
th
November 7306 B.C.
Hanuman enters Lanka 1
st
September 7292 B.C
Hanuman meets Seeta 2
nd
September 7292 B.C.
Seetu (Bridge) built on the ocean 26
th
-30
th
October 7292 B.C
The War begins 3
rd
November 7292 B.C
Kumbhakarna is killed 7
th
November 7292 B.C.
Ravana is killed by Rama 15
th
November 7292 B.C.
Rama returns to Ayodhya 6
th
December 7272 B.C.




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Extracted from
Talks on the Ramayana
by Swami Venkatesananda

We saw that Ravana, the villain, was a reincarnated divinity. Our Gurudev, Swami
Sivananda, used to say that in the course of time, the good man becomes a bad man
and the bad man becomes a good man. How this happens, we do not know. In the same
way, what we consider to be a ‗misfortune‘ becomes a ‗good‘ fortune and what we
consider to be a ‗good fortune‘ becomes a ‗misfortune‘. There is a saying, ―Often good
cometh out of evil‖ and this has been quoted again and again. But what is hidden in this
and which is not quoted as often is that ―often evil cometh out of good‖. Not only ‗out of
evil good cometh‘ but out of what appears to be good, evil cometh. These two seem to
alternate, totally regardless of our wishes, hopes and fears.

There may be people in the world who are afraid of the dark, but darkness does not take
any notice of their fear. There is no mercy at all – ―Poor thing, you know, she is afraid of
darkness, so let me make the sun shine all the time…!‖ No notice is taken of what you
are afraid of, of what you hope, of what you desire. There are people who are afraid of
daylight. Prostitutes and thieves do not like daylight. Nor does the sun have supreme
compassion for them and say, ―All right, enjoy yourself a little more, I shall hide myself
for some more time!‖ Totally regardless of our aspirations and fears, of our hopes and
expectations, time seems to flow on, and in this river are found things which you call
‗good‘ and things which you call ‗not so good‘.

Good and evil seem to follow one another – out of good, evil comes, and out of evil,
good comes. I hope it does not make much sense to you – it does not to me! It has
been said by a very great man (God) – and we are not here to dispute this ―out of evil
good comes‖….. ―Out of good evil comes‖, I am adding as the inevitable corollary.
Saying ―this lady‘s mother was a human being‖ means ‗out of‘ a human being a human
being came, and out of this human being, another human being came.‖ But when you
say, ―out of evil good cometh‖ and ―out of good evil cometh‖, it is almost like
announcing that a dog gave birth to a girl and the girl gave birth to a cat! Is that
possible? Ridiculous!

What is the fun here? What is the mystery? It is quite simple: ‗good – evil‘, ‗misfortune –
good fortune‘, are all labels stuck on by us! Nature is not responsible for this. What
happens, happens – regardless of our hopes and aspirations. Time brings all these: time
brings Ravana, time brings Rama, time brings somebody else. Things keep changing.
Change is the only unchanging Truth in this world! To a change which seems to suit us
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at that time, we give a title, a tag, a label: ―it is very good‖, ―good fortune‖. And when
this change goes on and something else happens, one labels that ―misfortune‖. Time is
not responsible for all this; time keeps moving, changing, bringing about change.

Ravana was the grandson or great grandson of Brahma, the Creator, God. So Ravana
had a supreme qualification – marvellous! On the one hand, he was the great grandson
of Brahma, the Creator; on the other hand he was the reincarnated gate-keeper of
Vishnu‘s own Kingdom, the kingdom of God. Because of some mistake, he was born as a
demon. Having been born as a demon, he did his job of oppressing good
people. Because the good people complained or felt afraid, Vishnu Himself came to their
rescue and had to kill this demon. That is the story, in brief. Extremely simple. All this
had to happen. In Vedanta, there is a beautiful explanation for this. After hearing
the ‗explanation‘, I hope you will still remain in the same state of ignorance in which you
are, because explanation does not remove ignorance, does it? You put a little sugar in
your mouth. It tastes sweet. The doctor will ‗explain‘ to you how much sucrose is there,
how sucrose is made. You listen to all that explanation for one hour and then put the
same sugar in your mouth: how does it taste now? Exactly as it tasted before! The
explanation did not change the taste of the sugar! You can take something else: quinine,
which is bitter. You go to the doctor and say, ―Doctor, it is terribly bitter,‖ and the doctor
says, ―No, you know it is… etc…etc. .‖ After listening to his ‗explanation‘ for half an hour,
you put one drop of quinine into your mouth – it is still bitter! Exactly as it was before!

Vedanta had brought as explanation that the whole universe, the entire creation, is
made of three gunas: Satwa, Rajas and Tamas. Satwa is the quality of divinity, light,
enlightenment; Satwa means that quality which clings to Truth. In every experience, it
looks for truth, not an assumed truth, but truth as seen. I do not assume that this is
Maya. This is ‗carpet‘, why call it Maya? After calling it carpet, after seeing that it is
carpet, I begin to enquire because I am not satisfied with calling it carpet. ‗Carpet‘ is a
word, a label. I want to enquire into the truth again: ―What is it made of? … What is it?
… And in this way, I arrive at some truth, progressively. But all the time the mind, the
heart, or the consciousness is devoted, is clinging to truth. That is called Satwa. Satwa
is free from assumptions, from what you call emotions, free from prejudices. Satwa is
free from ignorance.

Ignorance is not a real entity. Ignorance is our own unwillingness to face the truth. I am
not ignorant of myself: every moment everything that happens in my life mirrors my
nature. But I do not want to look at my nature, I do not want to look at myself. That is
called ignorance. Ignorance is not something which I have not been taught. When you
ask a young boy or a young girl, ―Why do you not sit and pray?‖ – they often say, ―You
know, Swami, in our society, there are no good people to teach us how to pray; our
father and our mother do not teach us either, and therefore I do not pray.‖ Who taught
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you to eat? Without anybody teaching, you can do this. Boys and girls run after each
other; who teaches them how? Without teaching, we find out. If you want to learn, you
will learn – you will find out for yourself. Ignorance is not ―I have not been taught‖, but
ignorance is deliberately turning oneself, one‘s face, one‘s attention, away from what is
obvious, terribly obvious.

Life teaches us from moment to moment. Life is like a mirror. It is not as though the
world is going to go to the dogs if you and I were not there. In all our activities, in all
our encounters with people, our nature is revealed. In our reaction to others, there is an
opportunity for us. There is a revelation – not the other funny revelation – ―I dreamt‖ …
―I had a vision‖ … ―I dreamt of God and I had a vision of angels‖ means you had too
much to eat last night! You were probably drunk, after one extra bottle of beer one has
all sorts of funny visions! Life teaches us – and that intellect or intelligence which
refuses to see this is ignorance. Note: it is ignorance, not ignorant. That is called tamas.
It may be necessary – tamas also may be necessary. If tamas were not there, you
would never sleep. Tamas is considered darkness, sleep, inertia. During this state of
inertia, you gain some energy to continue to live.

Then there is Rajas, which is energy, dynamism, passion. The whole universe is
pervaded by these; nothing in the universe is totally devoid of one or the other or all of
these three. Even the greatest saint has got some tamas in him. If that tamas were not
there, he would not be able to sleep. And even the most stupid man has got a moment
of clarity –sometimes he is sensible, even if only once in a lifetime. The most stupid man
has some Satwa in him.

Ramayana teaches us a remarkable lesson, and that is: during the course of time,
during one epoch, one period of time, Satwa may predominate, holiness may
predominate, goodness may predominate; and at another period of time, evil – what
you call ‗evil (labels are yours!) – may predominate. There is no absolute goodness and
there is no absolute evil. Goodness itself, when it comes into power, when it realises
that it is powerful, becomes evil. I have seen this happen everywhere, even in what are
called ―ashrams‖ and spiritual institutions. He may be a very good man, a wonderful
boy, but put him as president or secretary of an institution, and that is likely to be the
last day he will be good! When you have this power, you invent your own theory why
you should be vicious. Of course you do not think it is vicious! ―I am in charge!‖ ―I am in
charge‖ means the others are cows chased by a bull – charging! That is the danger! If I
am dead, what is going to happen? Will Mauritius disappear? Probably it will be better
off! – four cups of coffee more … other people can take them, somebody who may be
more thirsty or hungry! Time seems to churn and put somebody on top. That fellow
loses his head and then it turns again.

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In one of the Upanishads, called the Kathopanishad, this phenomenon is described most
graphically: the human being here is cooked exactly like rice. I do not know if you have
ever watched a pot of rice cooking: a few grains of rice come up and go down again;
other grains come up, they dance and they go down again, the others come up … that‘s
all. The thing that comes up is temporarily styled or labelled ‗good‘. You know why? This
is another crazy thing: someone invented a remarkable slogan: ―Survival of the fittest‖
and it has its counterpart in Indian thought: ―Satyam eva jayate – Truth alone
triumphs‖. Righteousness triumphs. The fittest survive! How do I know this fellow is fit?
Because he survives. And therefore, survival becomes important. By hook or by crook,
that is the only way I can prove I am fit. If I cannot hit him face to face, I pump a
couple of bullets through a hole and he is dead! So long as he is dead, I am fit. I
survived – so I am the fittest person. So long as I can destroy somebody else, I am
righteousness. If you look at it this way, it is a terrible thought to sustain even for a few
seconds. How do I know that I am righteous? Is there a criterion of righteousness apart
from surviving, winning, or is victory alone the criterion to prove my righteousness? The
moment I assert ―survival of the fittest‖ or ―righteousness triumphs‖, I am doomed
completely. I am going to fight, to trample upon everybody in this world just to get to
the top, to prove this is righteousness. All the other fellows were crooks – and I
succeeded because I was the worst of them! I was the greatest among crooks! It is a
terrible thing. Yet, the one that comes on top, whatever it is, considers himself
righteous, considers himself fittest.

Then you bring in God, karma, a lot of other things: ―My karma was good – God placed
me here!‖ The moment you say, ―God has placed me here,‖ someone comes up, throws
you down and says, ―God has placed you down there! Come on, down there!‖ This very
concept promotes violence, viciousness, evil. That is why Jesus said, ―He who comes last
shall be first; he that is humble shall be exalted.‖ But that is the danger, the trouble! He
must continue to be humble, not to be exalted in his own eyes. If, while being cooked in
that pot, I realise that I am still a particle, a grain of rice – whether I am at the bottom
or at the top – I am safe. That is what happens in life. That is what Ramayana tells us
most beautifully. Sometimes – no, all the time – there is evil at the top. That which is at
the top is evil! I do not want you to agree with me, but I want you to think about it!
That which is at the top becomes evil. The goodness may survive being at the top for a
few years. Once I am elected a spiritual head or whatever it is, for a few days there will
be receptions. At every reception, someone will say, ―You know, Swami
Venkatesananda, he is goodness personified; he is humility personified!‖ All right. Just
to justify his praising me, I may remain good and humble for a few days. Otherwise he
would not say it again next time! For a few months, so long as these congratulatory
parties continue, I am likely to be good. Once those parties are over, and I am well
established on my throne, I become vicious. I may bring in a million excuses why I
should do what I do. But nothing is going to alter the fact that I have become vicious.
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The one on top always becomes vicious. Always! (I do not like using the word ‗always‘
because I have a slogan: ―always is always wrong, never is never right‖.) Here it would
be justified to say that that which becomes powerful is always corrupt. But then, this
thing which is on top has its own day. Every dog has its own day, and until the time
brings about a change, nobody can meddle with it.

This is another lesson that Ramayana teaches us. I am sure most of us have had some
kind of experience of this: we go on fooling people until suddenly we fool somebody who
fools us! For example, Hitler: he could invade Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, Belgium,
etc. till he invaded Russia – that was the end! This was bound to happen. You bully a
good man – he keeps quiet. That gives you the feeling that you are the fittest. ‗Survival
of the fittest‘ means to some: ―I hit him and he kept quiet – he could not answer me.‖
He might have been a good man who did not want to answer you, who did not want to
challenge you or to fight with you! Right then, what are you going to do? The habit that
you have cultivated of bullying people is going to grow. Like this, you go to a stronger
man and you bully him: he may say something or he may also keep quiet, because by
that time, your tone has become harder – you have become a hardened criminal. You go
on and on till one day you meet your match. That must come. In the Bhagavatam, this
is even more clearly pronounced. In the Ramayana, it is declared that when the gods
went to Vishnu to complain about Ravana, Vishnu said, ―The time is not yet, wait. It is
his time now.‖ Evil has its own time, and during that period you can do nothing.

What is the thought that passes your mind as you hear this? ―Ah, so I suppose if I am
vicious, that cannot be helped! I can also be vicious sometimes – you know, that is the
time, that is Kali Yuga, so everybody must be vicious, everyone must tell lies.‖ It is true
– but in the current of time that flows on, you and I have the freedom to float either
here or there, either in Satwa or in Rajas or in Tamas. Each one of us has got the free
will to manoeuvre within the time-stream. I cannot be completely out of the time-stream
– but within that time-stream, I can be very vigilant. That is important! Things will
happen: sometimes Satwa will be up, sometimes Rajas will be up, sometimes Tamas will
be up, but do I have the wisdom to distinguish what is what, to know what is what? Do I
realize that whatever it is – whether I am on top or at the bottom or in the middle – I
am only a particle of rice, a grain of rice, totally unaffected by all this change that takes
place, the change being only relative? What is ‗top‘? That which is above what is below.
What is ‗below‘? That which is below what is top. The wisdom that enables us to
distinguish the unchanging from the change, that is Satwa. Satwa is not an
extraordinary imported commodity but that which enables us to see. Changes will take
place: out of evil, good will come; out of good, evil will come.

I remember a funny story: someone had been invited to a party and he was narrating to
his friend the next morning – ―You know, I won a lottery and therefore, I was invited to
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a gala party.‖ ―Oh, congratulations!‖ ―Not quite; when I returned home the house had
burnt down.‖ ―Oh, sorry!‖ ―Nothing to worry about,‖ he says. ―Why so?‖ ―My mother-in-
law was there too. She also got burnt in the house!‖ … ―I won a lottery‖ – that is a very
good thing, which resulted in my being invited to a party. But because I got invited to
the party, the house burnt down. That is a bad thing. Because the house got burnt
down, my mother-in-law also died. That is a good thing! We do not know at what stage
to evaluate a good fortune or a misfortune. At one stage, it is good fortune; at another
stage, the same thing appears to be a bad fortune.

Ravana was born: a terrible thing, but because Ravana was born, Rama was born. Rama
had to incarnate. If this Ravana was not there, Rama would not have been born at all.
All right then: it was most wonderful that Rama was born. But it does not seem to be all
that good, because since Rama came into the world, there has been a cult which adores
Rama and which is therefore opposed to those who worship Krishna. This fight was not
there before! Ravana came, it was bad. Rama came, it was good. Out of that, this
sectarianism started – that is bad again. Maybe out of this sectarianism, wisdom comes.
We do not know! We do not know what is good, what is evil; except that in the course of
time, there is constant change – and to some change, we give the label ‗good fortune‘,
‗good‘, and to another bit of this change we give the label ‗this is evil‘, ‗this is
misfortune‘.

There is no ‗and therefore …‘ here! One who is aware of this is the stream, is the river.
The river of time flows along. You know expressions like ‗flowing with the current‘,
‗flowing against the current‘, ‗flowing across the current‘? Even these may be inadequate
expressions. The river of time flows along: one who realizes this is the current, is the
stream itself!

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