You will be well aware that it is stories which leave the biggest mark upon us. Rather than telling somebody that they should behave in a virtuous manner, a story teller with a tale illustrating the powerful effect of dharma through a story is far more convincing and will be remembered within the psyche of the individual very easily. The Ramayana is a very powerful religious teaching which has taken the form of such a story. It can be considered literal history, a symbolic analogy, or a spiritual practice, however you decide to look upon this powerful story, its waters will nourish you beyond what you can conceive with your mind alone. It will speak to your heart. Each aspect has a meaning, each character a message. Each verse slowly takes us along the river from our ego to our heart.
The games played by the four young children of the King Dasaratha are like beautiful lotus flowers around this lake of God. The incredible blessings and religious merit that Dasaratha and the people of Ayodhya enjoy are like the bees and swans around this lake of God.
The story of how the beautiful mother Sita chose Shri Rama as her groom is like the awe inspiring feeling one gets near a glorious river. The intellectually searching questions the Ramayana will ask you to explore are like skilled boatman who excellently navigate the river. The conversations contained between the lines of the story are like fellowships of friends and companions who walk along the side of the riverbanks seeking liberation. The current of the river is symbolised by the anger of Parashurama.
The celebrations of the marriage of Sita and Rama are akin to drinking of the pure water of the lake which is a source of nourishment for all.
The preparations, installation, and celebrations of Shri Rama as King is like the crowds of pilgrims who sit by the River banks to take darshan and pray on a sacred festival. The corrupt mind of Kaikeyi is like overgrown moss which makes it difficult for beings to pass towards this lake.
The acts of Rama’s brother are like the chanting of the Vedas, the references to Kali Yuga and the evil propensities of some of the beings named in the Ramayana are like crows and vultures who fly above the lake.
In every season you will find this River a delightful source of nourishment. In mother Sita you will find the embodiment of the female aspect of God. She is like the purity of water, refreshing and cool.
The way the devotees of Rama speak with, and love one another is the sweetness of the water.
It is Shri Rama’s words of dharma which are like everlasting steps which allow you to enter the lake of God.
Others may laugh at my situation but they only serve to make me more humble as the tears fall from my eyes upon seeing this holy river. The water heals my soul, quenching the thirst of my heart.
Kali Yuga can not be denied, but this water washes it away. People seek gratification in this age, but this is the highest of gratifications. Washing away even the cycles of birth and death, pleasure and poverty.
Washing away lust, anger, pride, infatuation, it brings to us the eternal wisdom of Sanatana Dharma, it brings equanimity in our minds. By bathing in this lake we wash away all of the sufferings of this world.
If you have not tasted this sweetness, I sincerely pray you do. The river of Love which I describe is like water for your soul. Other than this, we are like deer’s chasing a mirage of water in the desert, in pursuit of worldly pleasures but so often disappointed.
May this water wash my mind, and soak my entire being with love, and may the world be nourished by this charming story.
Jai Shri Rama!