The following post is one of the Ramacharitmanas series. Every week, we move forward in our journey through the Ramayana of Love, as spoken by the great Saint Tulasidass. The Ramacharitmanas has been described as similar to a cross between the Bible and Shakespeare. The Ramacharitmanas is an ocean of love and bliss and the hope is that these posts provide a taste of the bhava one can receive through an immersion in its waters.
Time went on with nobody realising. Days had quickly passed and it was now the appropriate time for the naming ceremony of the children. The enlightened sage Vaisishta was summoned forth by the King Dassaratha to perform the ceremony. The King prostrated at the sage’s feet and said. “Thank you for coming here my dear teacher, please assign my children the names which have come to you through your meditation.” Vaishishta replied, “They have unlimited names dear King, infact, I know for sure that these children are unique. Your oldest child is filled with light. He is an ocean of mercy for the world and is an example of bliss for the entire world. For this reason, his name is Rama: The embodiment of bliss and the refuge of the Universe. Your second son, who will sustain and support the Universe, who is goodness personified, shall be named Bharata. The third child, who will be feared by all enemies, and exist to serve humanity will be called Satrughuna. And he, the fourth, will be the perfect servant and devotee of his halfbrother of Shri Rama, he will be called Laxmana. He will be an abode of good qualities for the world to emulate.”
“My Dear King, the lives of these four children are like the essence of four Vedas themselves. Shri Rama is like the treasure of all of the world’s religions. He has taken form in your home.”
Laxmana, even from the earliest of days became extremely attached to his half brother Shri Rama. Laxmana lived for his brother alone. A similar relationship existed between Satrughuna and Bharata, who displayed a remarkable example of brotherly love.
These four brothers were embodiments of compassion, goodness, kindness, charitable feelings, and all other good qualities. Shri Rama is the ocean of bliss. All of the suns rays can not provide a spec of warmth in comparison to this child’s smile. Now, he lies in the arms of his mother, just like any ordinary child.
The unborn, the eternal, the light of the world, in one child? How can it be? He is Brahman, without attributes. Untainted by the suffering of the world, but now he seeks the shelter of a mother’s love, and is conquered by Kaushalya’s love.
The children have been named. The eldest child has been given the name Rama. This name is perhaps the most famous name in all of India. It is considered a great mantra and one with Rama himself. Mahatma Gandhi who wrote a book on the name of Rama said:
Ramanama cannot perform the miracle of restoring to you a lost limb. But it can perform the still greater miracle of helping you to enjoy an ineffable peace in spite of the loss while you live and rob death of its sting and the grave its victory at the journey’s end. Since death must come soon or late to everyone, why should one worry over the time? (H, 7-4-1946, p69)
The power of this name is inconceivable. It is beyond our minds comprehension that a name could provide the refuge of all human suffering. Maharaji spent most of his time chanting this name and said that by the name of Rama, everything is achieved. For devotees of Rama, this name alone is like a boat to cross the ocean of mundane existence and suffering. It transforms the world into Paradise, for every form you see is now a particle of the bliss that is Rama.