SHLOKAS PICKED FROM THE VALMIKI RAMAYANA FOR RETENTION & MEMORIZATION BY THE AUDIENCE (PARTICULARLY CHILDREN), DURING A SERIES OF NINE-DAY TALKS ( Oct-Nov. 2018), ON THE V.R., ONE SHLOKA PER TALK
कौसल्या सुप्रजा राम पूर्वा सन्ध्या प्रवर्तते। उत्तिष्ठ नरशार्दूल कर्तव्यं दैवं आह्निकम्॥
kausalyA suprajA rAma pUrvA sandhyA pravartate .
uttishhTha narashArdUla kartavyaM daivaM Ahnikam .. (V.R. I – 23 – 2)
Meaning: Excellent son of Kausalya, dawn is arising from the East. Arise, the tiger among men, daily duties have to be discharged. This is sage Visvamitra's call to Sri Rama, on the first morning of his sojourn to his Ashram, from the palace of Ayodhya.
2. यश्च रामं न पश्येत्तु यं च रामो न पश्यति। निन्दितः सर्वलोकेषु स्वात्माप्येनं विगर्हते॥
yashca rAmaM na pashyettu yaM ca rAmo na pashyati .
ninditaH sarvalokeshhu svAtmApyenaM vigarhate .. V.R. II - 17 - 14
Meaning: The whole world blamed the one who did not see Rama and the one who was not seen by Rama. . Such a person would blame himself of it. This shloka occurs when Rama has been called by Queen Kaikeyi and King Dasaratha, through Minister Sumantra, and Rama is on his way to meet them both in the Queen's place,
3. रामं दशरथं विद्धि मां विद्धि जनकात्मजां। अयोध्यां अटवीं विद्धि गच्छ तात यथासुखं॥
rAmaM dasharathaM viddhi mAM viddhi janakAtmajAM .
ayodhyAM aTavIM viddhi gacchha tAta yathAsukhaM (V.R. II - 40 - 9)
Meaning: Know Rama to be Dasaratha. Look upon Seetha the daughter of Janaka as myself. Consider the forest as Ayodhya and depart happily, my son!" This is Queen Sumitra’s advice to son Lakshmana, at the time of all three (Rama, Sita and Lakshmana) departing to the forest.
4. नात्मनः कामकारोऽस्ति पुरुषोऽयं अनीश्वरः।इतश्चेतरतश्चैनं कृतान्तः परिकर्षति॥
nAtmanaH kAma-kAro.asti purushho.ayaM anIshvaraH .
itashcetarashcainaM kRRitAntaH parikarshhati .. (V.R.II -105 – 15):
Meaning: Man is not able to do what he wills. Fate pulls him hither and thither. This shloka occurs amidst the long conversation between Bharata and Rama when the former meets him at Chitrakoot with the intention of weaning him back to Ayodhya. Sri Rama’s ‘Gita’ to Bharata begins with this shloka and goes on for the next 27 shlokas
5. सुलभाः पुरुषाः राजन् सततं प्रियवादिनः। अप्रियस्य तु पथ्यस्य वक्ता श्रोता च दुर्लभः॥
sulabhAH purushhAH rAjan satataM priyavAdinaH .
apriyasya tu pathyasya vaktA shrotA ca durlabhaH .. V.R. III – 37 – 2)
Meaning: Honey-coated words there are so many people to utter. But bitter truth, though benevolent, is rarely spoken, much less listened to by any. --- Spoken by Maricha to Ravana when the latter implores him to go as a golden deer before Sita in Panchavati so that she may be enticed by it and ask Rama to follow and catch it. But Maricha fails to convince Ravana, as you know.
6. नाहं जानामि केयूरे नाहं जानामि कुण्डले। नूपुरेत्वभिजानामि नित्यं पादाभिवन्दनात्॥
nAhaM jAnAmi keyure nAhaM jAnAmi kuNDale .
nUpuretvabhijAnaami nityaM pAdAbhivandanAt .. (V.R. IV – 6 -22)
This is Lakshmana’s statement. When the upper garment and ornamentswhich Sita had contrived to cast off (from Ravana’s pushpaka-vimana, in which she was being carried away) when passing over Rishyamukka hill, were shown by Sugriva, Rama cried out in great grief, “ Look, Lakshmana, look well at this garment and the jewels; they must have fallen on soft green grass, they look exactlyas they used to when they were on Sita’s body”.Lakshmana’s answer to this appeal for confirmation is this famous shloka. Lakshmana had never raised his eyes and looked Sita in the face.So he says “I always saw her feet which I bowed daily in reverence. I can identify neither the armlets nor the ear-rings. I can recognize the nUpuras (anklets) certainly”.
7. या हि वैश्रवणे लक्ष्मीः या चेन्द्रे हरिवाहने। या च राज्ञः कुबेरस्य यमस्य वरुणस्य च॥
स्वर्गोऽयं देवलोकोऽयं इन्द्रस्येयं पुरी भवेत्। सिद्धिर्वेयं परा हि स्यात् इत्यमन्यत मारुतिः॥
yA hi vaishravaNe lakshhmIH yA cendre harivAhane .
yA ca rAGYaH kuberasya yamasya varuNasya ca ..
svargo.ayaM devaloko.ayaM indrasyeyaM purI bhavet .
siddhirveyaM parA hi syAt ityamanyata mArutiH .. (V.R. V – Ch.9: 8,9 &31)
While Hanuman went on searching every house in Lanka for Sita, particularly in Ravana’s palace, he thought thus : Whatever wealth is with Kubera, whatever riches are with Indra with green horses, whatever is the fortune of Yama and of Varuna, all that affluence is here. This is heaven! This is indeed the abode of Devas! This is a city of Indra. This might be the ultimate result of a great austerity.
Scholars have quoted this shloka as a one which is to be memorized and kept chanting continuously for one’s elevation to the height of material prosperity.
8. सकृदेव प्रपन्नाय तवास्मीति च याचते। अभयं सर्वभूतेभ्यो ददाम्येतद् व्रतं मम॥
sakRRideva prapannAya tavAsmIti ca yAcate .
abhayaM sarvabhUtebhyo dadAmyetad vrataM mama.. (V.R. VI – 18 – 33)
Meaning: Whatever being comes tome and says he is mine, I give him protection and this is my vrata for life. This is Rama’s assurance to all those who trust in Him fully. He makes this statement during the discussion with all his associates, when Vibhishana and his four friends have come and have sought him as a refuge.
9. धर्मात्मा सत्यसन्धश्च रामो दाशरथिर्यदि।पौरुषेचाप्रतिद्वन्द्वः शरैनं जहि रावणिम्॥
dharmAtmA satyasandhashca rAmo dAsharathiryadi.
paurushhecA.apratidvandvaH sharainaM jahi rAvaNim.. (V.R. VI - 90 - 70)
O my dear arrow! Ifit is true that Rama the son of Dasaratha has set his mind on virtue, that he always keeps up his promise and is second to none in his prowess, then destroy this Indrajit. (This was the declaration of Lakshmana after a prolonged war with Indrajit just before he discharged the arrow that killed Indrajit. In this context it is relevant to refer to the Vedantic content in V.R.
What was the purpose of the Avatara of Rama? To vanquish Ravana. And who is Ravana? He is none but the ahamkAra (=Ego) in us which has taken root in us over several lives. By the attachment we have to so many and varied things we have developed the possessive instinct in everything that is associated with our body, mind and intellect. Recall from the Gita (Ch.16: shlokas 12, 13, 14, 15)
AshApAsha shatair baddhAH …, Idamadya mayA labhdhaM …, Asau mayA hataH shatruH …, ADhyobhijanavAnasmi …
Only by vanquishing this ahaMkAra can we realise the AtmA within us. To destroy this ahaMkAra so that the Self shines by its own glory is the intent of the story of Ramayana.
The Supreme Self is Rama. First He kills all the undesirable vAsanAs inherent in us; this is the destruction of TATakA the demoness. Once the bad vAsanAs are destroyed, mind has to be strung into a strict discipline. This is indicated by the breaking of Shiva’s bow by Rama. From then on one has to get involved in the affairs of this material world. Without the association of prakRti one’s life-journey itself is an impossibility. So Rama gets into wedlock with Sita, incarnation of mAyA-shakti(PrakRti) of Goddess Lakshmi. Even though this means involvement in every action of the material world, one has to be doing it without attachment – i.o.w. there is a renunciation involved in this involvement without attachment. Rama exemplifies this renunciation by his marathon act of renouncing the very crown that was offered to him the previous day. This is the grand renunciation (mahA-tyAga) that is the key-point in the whole story. And thereon one gets into the forest of DanDaka – Dandaka forest is nothing but the samsara that we have to cross. The king of this forest of samsara is the ten-headed Ravana – (i.e. ahaMkAra) ten heads indicate the ten senses by which we get involved in samsAra. But we are not able to encounter this ahaMkAra head-on;because his gang is far and wide. So we have to meet him slowly vanquishing his subordinates one by one.
First the destruction of kAma, krodha lobha (khara, dUshhaNa, trishiras) - the three Rakshasas with whom Rama fights in the Dandaka forest. Then comes moha (delusion) in the form of Maricha.
Then one has to destroy the non-discrimination (aviveka) in the form of VAli and make a lasting friendship with viveka (Sugriva) that is Discrimination. And now we get the most trusted lieutenant, bhakti, in the form of Hanuman. He is the One who helps us to find our enemy and his headquarters. Once we resort to bhakti Lanka that is our physical body, should now be burnt,even when alive, we should have nothing to do with this body or its goings-on. This is the lankA-dahanam of Ramayana. Then we can take the support of utsAha (Vibhishana), i.e. perseverance and zeal. We are about to cross the Ocean of Ignorance;before that we crown the zeal which is ours now. And we are ready to destroy the several associates of ahaMkAra – mada (arrogance) in the form of kumbhakarna; jealousy (mAtsarya) in the form of Indrajit – and that takes us to face the root-enemy, ahaMkAra right face to face.
So the shloka 'dharmAtmA satya-sandhashca .. ' is the one that kills 'jealousy'. For our own use if we keep repeating this shloka, it kills the jealousy in other people who are jealous of us and it also kills, whatever jealousy is there in us towards other people!