Episode 41 – The Grand Naming Ceremony at Ayodhya

rama-sita

In the previous episode, we witnessed that King Dasharata was blessed with four children, twelve months after the “Puthra-Kaameshti yaaga” was performed. Valmiki Maharishi had beautifully brought out this scene of happiness that was evident all over the world at this divine occasion. We shall see some more additions in this regard in today’s episode and then move on to see how the grand naming ceremony took place at the Ayodhya palace for all these four babies.

Valmiki Maharishi further adds the following:

“Jagupthalancha gandharvaa naruthuscha apsaro ganaaha!

Deva dundhubayo nethuhu pushpa vrishtischa khaath padath!!”

Here, Valmiki Maharishi beautifully explains that during this divine occasion, there were flowers pouring down from the “Aakaasha” (Sky) and the women in the “Deva Lokha” (Heaven) were dancing divinely to celebrate the occasion. Sage Naarada was overwhelmed beyond words! All the Devas were happy that the end of Ravana is coming to an end very soon. All the “Maharishis” (Sages) were happy that at last the “Dharma” is again going to be restored by Bhagawan. All the citizens of Ayodhya were extremely happy that they’ve got their successor after King Dasharata. Of course, King Dasharata knew no bounds of happiness and was overwhelmed with joy that he was at last blessed with children after waiting for almost 60,000 years!

Thus, ten happy days rolled by! Now, the eleventh day was the day when all the four babies were to be named and at that moment, Sage Vashishta (The “Kula Guru” of the great Ikshvaaku Dynasty) enters the palace. He comes inside the room where all the four babies were present and has a look at them. All four were crying profusely! Kaushalya was struggling to contain the crying of the four babies. She was wondering why are these “Raaja-Kumaaraas” (Princes) crying so much! At that moment Sage Vashishtachaarya says to Kaushalya, “Oh Kaushalya! You’ve made a mistake here.. Change the order of the four babies!” Kaushalya didn’t understand for a moment – She had placed the babies according to their birth order – Kaushalya’s child in the beginning, followed by Kaikeyi’s and followed by Sumithra’s twin children. But Vashishtachaarya says to Kaushalya to change the order – To place Sumithra’s elder child in between Kaushalya’s and Kaikeyi’s children. Kaushalya did accordingly and only then the crying stopped!

Now, the naming ceremony!! Vashistachaarya gives names to all the four babies: Here are the names for the newborns!

Vashishtachaarya looks first at Kaushalya’s son! He was amazed and spellbound by the child’s beauty!

“Raamayithi abhiraamena bahushaa tasya chodithaha!!”

Here, Valmiki Maharishi beautifully portrays that Vashishtachaarya was motivated internally to name Kaushalya’s child as “Rama”! (Ramaha: Ramayatheethi raamaha – For all those people who look at him, he expresses his beauty through his physical appearance).

Next, he comes to Sumithra’s first twin child – He named the child as “Lakshmana”! (Lakshmanaha – Lakshmi sampannaha!Meaning, this child is going to have extremely high “Lakshmi Kataaksha”) One might wonder the fact that, Lakshmana was highly disinterested in ruling the kingdom and why did Vasishtaachaarya mention “Lakshmi Kataaksha” for this child. Here is an important point to noteA person’s “Lakshmi Kataaksha” is not the so-called “Wealth” that we accumulate! It is the “Kainkarya-Lakshmi” (“Kainkarya” means doing service to the Lord) that is more important, because money would come today and go away tomorrow – It might not be permanent. However, “Kainkarya-Lakshmi” stays with us permanently as it makes Bhagawan’s heart melt with happiness towards us! Now we can easily understand the context here – Lakshmana, as we all know, was deeply engrossed in the service to Lord Rama at every point in his life – In the forest for fourteen years, he never ate, slept, etc. and at every minute he was at the disposal for Lord Rama to offer his services!

Next, Vasishatachaarya comes to Kaikeyi’s son – He named the child has “Bharatha”! (Bharateethi raajya bharanaath! – Meaning, this child is the one who is going to rule the kingdom!) Again, one might wonder, why did Vasishtaachaarya say this? Wasn’t it Rama who ruled the kingdom? He could have given this name to Rama, or for that matter, even Dasharata, or Aja Maharaaja, etc. But why did he say this to this particular child? Here’s an in-depth meaning: Bharatha was the only person who treated the ruling of Ayodhya as a “Bhaaram” (Burden) – He ruled the kingdom for the fourteen-year period of Rama’s exile, out of extreme compulsion and pressure from his mother! Whereas, the rest of the kings, for instance, Rama himself, or Dasharata or Aja Maharaja or anybody for that matter, never thought that ruling the kingdom was a “Bhaaram”! All of them happily ruled it! This is the inner significance to be appreciated!

And now, the last baby, Vasishtaachaarya looks at Sumithra’s second twin child and names it “Shathrughna”! (Shathrughnaha Nithya Shathrughnaha!Meaning, the one who has won over all enemies!) One might wonder that when have we heard Shathrughna fight a war in his entire life? Of course, Rama and Lakshmana fought numerous wars against the “Raakshasas” (Demons) throughout their lives. But when did we see Shathrughna go for a war? Yes, he went to kill the demon “Lavanaasura” once, and that’s it! If this is the case, which is that greatest enemy Shathrugna won over? Again it’s an in-depth meaning here: Shathrugna won over the enemy of “Rama-Bhakthi” and stood firmly with “Bharatha-Bhakthi” and established to this world, the significance of “Bhaagawatha Bhaktha”. As we had seen in the previous episodes, Shathrugna stood as an epitome of the great concept of “Bhaagawatha Bhaktha” – That is, “Devotion towards the ardent devotee of God”!

Thus, the naming ceremony was grandly celebrated at Ayodhya and the children slowly grow up! Thus for now, let the newborn babies Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shathrugna enjoy their days of infancy! We shall also wait till the next episode for them to grow up a little bit! 🙂

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