In the previous episode, we started to discuss the in-depth meaning of a very famous sloka that might be known to most of us! In the course of yesterday’s discussion we also saw the importance that the Shaastras and Vedas give for our parents – especially our mother! We also saw what does Valmiki Maharishi has to say on the importance of a mother in this world! There are a few other things that need to be discussed as part of our Indian Dharma, with respect to this particular and important sloka. For our easier understanding, let’s look at the sloka again:
“Kaushalyaa suprajaa raama poorvaa sandhyaa pravarthathe!
Utthishta narasaardhoola karthavyam deivamaanhikam!!”
As we move on from the phrase of “Kaushalyaa suprajaa raama”, the next phrase signifies a very important “Dharma” that all of us should meticulously follow: “Poorvaa Sandhyaa Pravarthathe” – It means that we should not be on the bed after sunrise! This clearly establishes and re-establishes the idea that we should wake up at the “Brahma-Muhurtham” time – Between 4 AM and 6 AM. Of course we have discussed this at length in one of our previous episodes, however, there is one more important point to be stressed here, with respect to this “Dharma”. Scientifically in the modern day, we say that the rays of the early morning Sun is extremely good for our health and is a direct source of Vitamin D. Thus, this is a very good time to do our regular spiritual practices, facing the Sun. Here we can interestingly note how our ancient Maharishis have linked spirituality and science! Of course, they’ve not used the “Scientific” terminologies that we use today, but the procedures laid down by them in simple language, signifies lot of hidden scientific meaning. It is highly unfortunate in the modern day world that many of us fail to realize all this and we get carried away by the bad aspects of the “Western culture”. (Again, I’m not saying here that the entire western culture is bad. All I’m saying is that, we conveniently choose what to follow and what not to follow from the western society, and unfortunately, most of whatever we choose to follow as per our convenience are bad and detrimental to our physical and mental health!) Hence, it is important for us to realize that we need to make sure that we start following all these small “Dharmas” for the betterment of our lives!
Now let’s move on to the next line: The phrase “Karthavyam deivamaanhikam” means that we should never compromise on our daily and regular spiritual practices, come what may! If we look at this context in the Valmiki Ramayana, why is Sage Vishwaamithra reminding Rama, who in itself is an incarnation of Bhagawan? We might all wonder as to why Bhagawan Himself should perform the “Nithya Anushtaanam” (Daily spiritual practices)? What is Bhagawan going to gain from all this? The answer is very simple: Only if Bhagawan performs the “Nitha Anushtaanam” properly, people like us would follow that as an example. Else, we always wait for a reason – We would immediately start arguing “Oh! Bhagawan himself hasn’t performed anything, and hence why should we perform?” Thus, in a nutshell, Bhagawan performs the regular spiritual practices, to set an example to the world that all these need to be performed by all of us regularly without fail!
Thus, as a summary, Sage Vishwaamithra is waking up the children Rama and Lakshmana early in the morning and reminds them of performing the daily routine spiritual practices! It would be very interesting for us to note here that this same sloka is nowadays recited as the first sloka in the “Venkateswara Suprabhaatham” (Lord Venkateshwara is the presiding deity of the very important “Divya-Desam” called “Tirupathi”, situated in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh). To be upfront, this sloka “Kaushalya Supraja Rama…” is in the Valmiki Ramayana and is sung in the praise of Lord Rama. Whereas, all the slokas, suprabhaathams, mangalams, etc. for Lord Venkateshwara of Tirupathi were composed by “Kaanchi Prathibhaathibhayankaram Annaaswaami”. However, interestingly we can see that this particular sloka is nowadays known as the first sloka of the “Venkatsha Suprabhaatham”, however, it is to be noted that this sloka is actually present in the “Baala Kaanda” of Valmiki Ramayana and was later incorporated into the “Suprabhaatham” of Lord Venkateshwara. (Of course, one has to remember that Lord Rama is afterall an incarnation of Lord Venkateshwara!)
So much for this one particular sloka! Now let’s move on further with the Valmiki Ramayana. What happened next? What are the next series of events that unfolded after this? Let’s wait to find out till the next episode!