The mother and father of the Universe, Shiva and Bhavani gave birth to a child Sanmukha who as decreed by the sages, went on to defeat the evil demon Taraka who had been forever tormenting the innocent villagers. This was the story of the re-unification of Shiva and Bhavani for the good of all living beings.
These stories are like universal lights, they are as vast as the ocean, and even the Vedas cannot describe them in words, they are only known to the heart. I hope you can forgive my dull-witted attempt to describe them to you.
Bharadvaja who was listening to this story of Shiva being told by the enlightened sage Yajnavalkya fell into silence. His eyes filled with tears and the hairs on his body tingled. He was deeply effected as he had a profound love for Shiva and the story filled him with joy.
Yajnavalkya smilingly said, ‘My dear friend, you have revealed your nature as a Rama Bhakta (devotee). Lucky is your birth. A true devotee of Rama has love for everyone. A true devotee of Rama fills with love when he hears pastimes of Shiva. Rama and Shiva are two sides of the same coin, and seeing you overcome with emotion, words cannot describe how happy I am to meet you and see your open heartedness. Now listen as I will narrate for you the eternal story of Rama, bathe in these words, for even the thousand headed snake Sesha could not properly explain this story, it the story which only your heart can understand.
Maharajji is often quoted as having said, ‘you will get pure love for Ram by the Blessings of Christ.‘ Here in our passage, the enlightened Yajnavalkya explains to Bharadvaja that a Rama bhakta sees different forms of God as non-different and loves all. Make no mistake, the Ramacharitmanas is a Vaishnava devotional text (a scripture devoted to Vishnu in the form of Rama), but there is a crucial lesson to be learned for how we are to see other religions and belief systems. The Ram bhakti advocated here, and the Bhakti of Neem Karoli Baba is one based completely on Love. Therefore, you cannot say Shiva bhakti or Christ bhakti or any other form of bhakti is wrong. When a Ram Bhakti hears the lilas (good deeds) of the Goddess, Shiva, or Hanuman, or Christ, he fills with love, Just as Bharadvaja did here.
Those who of us fortunate to have come into contact with beings like Maharajji are filled with love, know exactly the kind of feeling Yajnavalkya and Bharadvaja had. They both recognised in each other that they were part of something very beautiful and were extremely blessed. Maharaji had this effect on innumerable people who report that they were transformed just sitting in his presence, I’m reminded of the fondness and love of which Ram Dass speaks about Maharajji and the love he felt being in his presence. When I write the Ramacharitmanas I feel for a short while, I enter into this presence, the atmosphere of love he exuded. To share the Ramacharitmanas with you in my own way is indeed a profound blessing by Maharajji and I seek your forgiveness for offence I cause as we walk together towards the nectar filled lake of bliss which are the deeds of Rama.