Episode – 18 – Excerpts from the “Samkshepa Ramayana” – Experiencing the beauty of Lord Rama

rama-sita

 

In the previous episode we saw the continuation of the “Naarada-Valmiki Samvaadham” and as part of this we saw how the “Samkshepa Ramayana” was born. I had given a brief explanation about “Samkshepa Ramayana” that it comprises of 32 slokas (verses) and it narrates the entire story of Lord Rama’s life within this. In today’s episode we shall see some excerpts from it and let’s experience the beauty of our beloved Bhagawan, in the form of Lord Rama, as described by Sage Naarada.

Sage Naarada continues in his reply to Valmiki Maharishi’s sixteen questions. We’ve seen in the previous episodes that Valmiki Maharishi was focused to know more about the internal characteristics and qualities of Lord Rama rather than his physical or external characteristics or features. However if we closely look at Sage Naarada’s reply, it’s just the opposite – He starts his reply by describing Lord Rama’s external appearance first, and then goes into the sixteen internal noble qualities. Why does he do so? Let’s have a  look at the slokas to get a closer understanding. Narada’s detailed reply is as follows:

Ikshvaaku vamsapprabhavaha raamo naama janaishruthaha!

Niyataathma mahaveeryaha dhyuthimaan druthimaan vashi!!

Buddhimaan shrimaan vaagmi shriman shatru nibarganaha!

Vipulaamsaha mahabaahuhu kambugreevaha mahaahanuhu!!

Mahorasthaha maheshvaasaha goodaschathru arindamaha!

Aajaanu baahuhu sishiraaha sulalaataha suvikramaha!!

Shamassama vibhaktaankaha snigdha varnaha prathaapavaan!

Veenavakshaha visaalaakshaha lakshmeevaan shubha lakshanaha!!”

Here we can see the importance that Sage Naarada gives to Lord Rama’s physical appearance and dedicates eight slokas in describing the same, and then goes on to describe the sixteen noble qualities of Him. He also gives the justification for it by saying that it was Rama’s extraordinarily beautiful physical characteristics that attracted me towards Him, more than His noble internal qualities and he continues to say that perhaps if Valmiki Maharishi also gets to see the appearance of Lord Rama, even he would no longer talk about His inner qualities but talk only about the beautiful external features of Him.

Even in our day to day life, if someone says that Bhagawan is the ultimate “Parabrahma”, He’s omni-present, He’s the person who’s responsible for the entire birth and death cycle in this world, He’s an embodiment of the “Pancha Bhootaas” (Earth, fire, wind, water and air), etc., how much would our minds involve into “Bhakti” (devotion) towards Him and how would we be able to focus and pray? This is a human limitation – We’ve never seen Bhagawan in reality in today’s world and if we’re asked to focus on a thing that we’ve never seen or experienced in our lives, how would we be able to focus our mind upon? Of course, I’m not saying that all the above-mentioned statements are false, however, only if we have a photo or an idol of Bhagawan with beautiful physical features and a handsome looking face with a smile, we would be able to portray a mental image of Him and be able to focus on our prayer! Hence from this explanation, we can see how significant and relevant for a person to consider Bhagawan in all His beautiful physical appearance, so as to inculcate the “Bhakti” or “Devotion towards Him. For instance, if we talk about Lord Rama, what do we immediately relate to? A tall, well-built figure with a beautiful smile and His eyes full of “Karuna” (Mercy), a bow in His hand, the ever-beautiful Goddess Sita Devi to His right, and His younger brother Lakshmana to His left – Only if we remember this image, our minds and hearts are going to dwell in “Bhakti”!

Sage Naarada has beautifully portrayed Lord Rama’s physical appearance – “Mahorasthaha” – Meaning, very tall and well-built (96 “Ankulas” which can be equated to almost 8 feet in height) “Maheshvaasaha” – For that 8-feet height, He holds a bow in Hands that is just a little less than His height, “Aajaanu baahuhu” – Meaning, He has broad shoulders, “Sishiraaha.. Sulalaataha.. Suvikramaha..” – Meaning, all His body parts, right from His head, shoulders, arms, stomach, abdomen, thighs and legs are evenly and so beautifully built, “Shamaha.. Sama vibhaktaankaha.. Snigdha varnaha” – Meaning, His eyes are full with “Karuna” (Mercy) and kindness towards all His devotees, and His entire body is bluish black in color, “Veenavakshaha..” – Meaning, He has a broad chest; “Visaalaakshaha” – Meaning, He has beautiful and elongated eyes, that come as far as His devotees are situated.

Such is the beauty of Lord Rama in His external appearance!! There are a few more important aspects to be discussed as part of the “Samkshepa Ramayana” description of Sage Naarada, before moving forward. What are they? Let’s wait till the next episode!!

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