The Ultimate Liberator!

For the seekers of knowledge
Can there be a knowledge?
better than
The Knowledge of The Divine, Shri Rama!

The one who liberated
Even the blades of grasses
And all the swarms of ants

Leaving none behind
That ever existed
In the Good City of Ayodhya

And placed them in
An exotic heaven
Created exclusively for them
By the Great Grandshire Brahma!


Ramayanam is Agriculture
Bhagavatham is Harvest

The twin-syllable, Rama
When a devotee exalts!
The Birth-Death cycle
It permanently halts

Goodness and Wealth
It everyday brings
Sin and poverty
It cleanses and shrinks


Goodness Honesty Sweetness Simplicity
Gentleness Strength Humility Bravery
Valour Talent Prowess Success
Memory Trustworthiness Heroism Genuinity
Such adorable qualities and so much more
By chanting Rama's name you will score!


My Lord's Story: Goodness Incarnate

Ramayanam in English poetry.

The Supreme Lord of the Universe was once born on this earth as a Human Being, faced challenges and had His share of pain and pleasure going through both good and bad times like any of us. Like any of us He too, took His turn in laughter and cry.

This humility of The Lord, that makes Him come down to earth and share with us our difficulties to show us a way to handle them is what I admire in Him. This quality of Him, makes me surrender to Him unconditionally and makes me want to sing His Glory on and on and on.

My Lord's Story is an out pour of my devotion that seeps out in gratitude for the pains He took to be a lighthouse for us, to cross the ocean of Samsara.

Links to all the posts have been provided in an order on the right side column.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A thief's redemption.

Long long ago, in the jungles of ancient India, there lived a thief. His name was Ratnagar. He was the bread winner of his family. He appeared suddenly in front of by passers of the forest, threatened them and stripped them off their possessions. He killed those who refused to subdue to his intentions. After making his income for the day he went to the city in disguise and purchased all that was needed for his family and returned home happily.

Once as Ratnagar was waiting for his prey, he saw a man coming on the way singing a beautiful song. The man appeared to be very rich, but was in simple clothes. He carried a musical instrument which he played in accordance to the song. Listening to it was a divine experience. Ratnagar for a moment forgot himself in the delight of the music. The man went past Ratnagar's hideout and disappeared among the woods.

Now Ratnagar came back to his senses. He thought the man had fooled him with his simple looks and the divine song and escaped cleverly from his clutches. So he went hastily along the path the man disappeared and caught up with him in no time.

The man was undisturbed by Ratnagar's horrible appearance and smiled at him looking straight into his eyes. He had been in business for decades. He had always encountered people only with two kind of reactions. Either they feared him and gave away all their wealth or they fought with anger and killed themselves. But this man, standing in front of him, was cool like a cucumber. Ratnagar was perplexed to see a man without fear nor anger. For the first time in life a man drew his respect and admiration.

Ratnagar was quite sure that this man was playing some kind of trick with him. So, he hid all his admiration for him and caught him by his throat.

"The brightness of your face and the texture of your skin suggest that you are a wealthy person, but you try to decieve me by your simple clothes and innocent looks. You better tell me where you've hidden all your wealth or die a dreadful death"

The man retorted with a smile that was so pleasant to the thief's heart. He said, "Of course, I am one of the wealthiest persons in this universe. And I don't have any objection in sharing my wealth with you, because my wealth is the kind which will multiply itself as much as I give."

Ratnagar was taken aback by this statement. He had been receiving a series of shocks and surprises from the man in his clutches. He loosened his grip on the man with eyes wide open with amazement.

"But", the man continued, "Tell me, why do you do this dreadful deed, instilling fear in fellow humans?"

The love and compassion in the man's voice touched Ratnagar somewhere deep within. For unknown reasons tears started to flow down his eyes.

"I have a family to take care. I have parents who are too old to take care of themselves. Who took care of me when I was incapable of taking care of myself. I have a wife and children."

"Are you aware that you accumulate sin by your devious acts? And that you will end up in hell?"

"I don't care. With my family's love even hell will be heaven for me."

"But, my friend, your family is not going to be with you in hell. It is you who committed the errors and it is you who will be punished. Not them."

"You don't know about my family. They all love me as much as they love themselves. I am dearer to them than their lives. They will come with me even to hell"

"I don't think so."

"Your words enrage me. Don't ever dare to talk less of my family's loyalty to me"

"I am sure there is no one on earth who will be ready to accept your sins. This is the nature of human beings. In good times there are many to be with you. But in bad times all will forsake you."

"I can bring my family here and show you that they are different, if you would stay here till I come back."

The holy man, with a smile, said, "I will be happy to see such people."

Ratnagar was about to leave to fetch his family, when a suspicion arose in him.

"You cunning fox, you delude me with your music, baffle me with your innocence, confuse me with your arguments and you plan to run away when I go to get my family. I don't want to talk with you anymore, better give me your wealth before I give you a taste of hell"

"My friend, if you think I might run away, tie me up somewhere here."

Ratnagar had no words to say. This man was shaking him to the core with a character unknown to him. But his heart told him that this man was someone very special. He had to take him seriously. Anyhow he didn't want to take any chances, so he tied the holy man to a tree deep into the jungle and left for his home.

Seldom did he realise that this was the last time he was visiting his home.

Ratnagar went straight to his mother and told her about the man he met in the forest. He asked her, "Mother, are you and me not one. Is there any difference between you and me. Pain or pleasure, joy or sorrow have we not been with each other? Even in future, in case I land up in hell, would you not be there with me to comfort me?"

His mother understood that his son had met a person of divine origin and has offended him. Now, if she accept the sins even just for word's sake she may incur the wrath of the holy man.

So she said, "Son. It is your duty to take care of me. What control do I have over you? Did I ever tell you to chose a anarchic path? I have never flawed in my life as a daughter, as a wife nor a as a mother. I accepted all that you gave because I had no one else to give me. Moreover it was my right to get back what I had done for you when you were a child."

Ratnagar was shaken with disappointment. He went to his father who gave him a similar answer in different words. His children too were not ready to pay for his misgivings. At last, he went to his wife, whom he loved as much as himself with a last pinch of hope left out in his heart.

"Dear", he said, "Are you and me not one soul dwelling in two bodies? Have we not walked around the fire and sworn to be with each other in both fortune and misfortune? Would you not come with me, even if I end up in hell?"

His wife said, "It is the custom on this earth, that the husband goes out to earn for his family and the wife runs the family with the income the husband brings in. I never expected you too bring in so much wealth. Even if you had brought in a few pennies by working honestly, I would have run the family with full contentment. I have never flawed from the vows of marriage. I have never looked upon some other man with lust nor have I ever shown any disrespect to your parents and you in these many years."

Ratnagar didn't want to listen to her anymore. Something within him broke. Something that was driving him all these years, something for which he had spent all his life, energy, time and heart, broke and fell apart. He felt he was left alone. Right in his home, right in middle of his family he felt he was an orphan. All the anxiety, skill and efficiency he had shown in his work through out his life, all on a sudden, became stupid and meaningless.

Denounced by his beloveds, dismayed by their careless attitude, Ratnagar walked away from his house. Never to return. He walked back to the place where he had tied up the holy man. As soon as he saw the man tied up in the tree, he fell at his feet crying like a child. He cried loudly seeking the holy man's help to show him the way. The holy man, to him, was now the only refuge.

The holy man who was none other than Sage Narada, one of the prominent devotees of Lord Narayana, embraced him and said, "My son, my wealth lies deep down in my heart. It is nothing but the devotion to the almighty. I always sing his praises and rejoice life. That wealth can never be taken away from me by anyone other than the Lord Himself. Everytime I give a taste of it to anyone, it grows multifold. I eat, that is provided to me and sleep where I am allowed to. I never hold back anything for future need. I roam all around the universe singing the praise of my Lord. I have nothing to loose because I possess nothing. Now, I will teach you to wash away your sins and enjoy the same happiness that I do."

Ratnagar wiped away his tears. With renewed hope he decided to do as the sage says.

Narada taught Ratnagar to sit and meditate, ever uttering the names of the Lord. Ratnagar was incapable of pronouncing any name. Among thousand names that the Lord has, Ratnagar was not able to pronounce even one. He again grew dejected fearing that there was no salvation for him.

Narada then taught him the most simple of all the names- RAMA.

Even this name refused to enter into the lips of Ratnagar.

But still Narada, the loving Guru, who was determined to redeem his student who fell at his feet, thought of an alternative. He reversed the syllables and asked Ratnagar to try telling Ma Ra. That at last was possible by him.

So he sat with his eyes closed ever saying "Ma Ra, Ma ra, Ma Ra." Which inturn became, "Rama Rama Rama" after continuous utterances.

Ratnagar gave up all other intentions and went on and on. He went on for so long that an ant hill grew around him. After many many years he awoke from his unhindered meditation, completely transformed. He was no more the ignorant thief. He was an enlightened sage. He was named Valmiki. Valmiki means the one who came from the anthill.

The rest, as they say, is History.

Valmiki wrote the Ramayana, which is both a poetic and spiritual retreat. It is called Valmiki Ramayana. It is the mother of all other Ramayanas rendered by various poets.

When I think of this story, what strikes me is the innocent selflessness of Ratnagar. Though he had been bad to so many. He had been a loving bread winner for his family. He had served his family without any selfishness. All that he did was for the welfare of his family and not for him. God never lets down such a loving person. God himself sends a Guru to such a person and helps him/her realise the ultimate truth.


manivannan said...

Beautiful story 'na. Very well written. I'm really inspired by the story.

shri ramesh sadasivam said...

Thanks mani.

venus66 said...

Nice story. There is a soft spot in everyone. Keep writing. Take care.

shri ramesh sadasivam said...

Thank you Venus. Have a nice day.

boby said...

Hi Ramesh,
The bitter truth of life is that people are materialistic, take for example the story of the thief who changed in to a saint, what if he had not changed to a saint can he live a peaceful life with the earnings, place him in this era and see, most of us are selfish leave alone the spiritual part, all are running in search of some thing, which makes one very selfish, tired, and even the basic human attitude is lost in that search, it may be for money, self-respect, leadership and all sort of things people have not discovered their real needs for them, they forget the peace with in them, I insist that you write an article about this.

The human desire is burning like forest fire and your article is like a monsoon rain but is not enough to put it off so keep writing more and more


shri ramesh sadasivam said...

Hi Boby, Thanks for your encouraging words. I'll write as much as possible. About the peace, that lies within us... Your words are wonderful. I'll try to write about it as soon as possible.

Niru said...

I know this story already & it made me to understand the value of Rama Nama.

Sometimes I think 'If anyone couldn't find a Guru to guide in devotional way they don't need to worry.They can chant Rama Nama as Valmiki did.Even without the knowledge of meditation they can simply start.Rama Nama would guide them to meditate.They would get spiritual knowledge & reach God easily.'.

You have done a good work by witing this post.
Good Bless you!.

shri ramesh sadasivam said...

Thanks Niru. Yeah one can straight away start to chant the name of Rama directly. Rest all will be taken care, without much difficulty.