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SRI RAMA NAVAMI – 26th MARCH 1999

Sri Rama Navami is celebrated in the month of March-April, and it falls on the ninth day of the bright fortnight when the asterism Punarvasu is in the ascendancy. The observance of this Vrata is said to absolve one from all sins and showers prosperity, longevity, happiness and wisdom. Lord Mahavishnu, to protect the universe from the ten-headed demon Ravana, who was an epitome of the ten Ahamkaras, descended into the world to kill him. Rama’s glorious reign is a description of his virtues such as faith in God and Guru, devotion to parents, scrupulous regard for truth, patience in the midst of difficulties and troubles, mercy for inferior animals, consideration and regard for different varnas, fraternal love, sound and tactful politics, popularity among people, generosity to and forgiveness for repentant sinners and so on. 

It is believed that the "utterance of Sri Rama’s name washes away all sins and that of Sita’s name kills grief." "Rama" nama is said to be the "Taraka Mantra" and the utterance of the name Rama once has the benefit of reciting 1000 namas of Lord Vishnu (in Vishnu Sahasranama, Lord Siva tells Goddess Parvathi) and it is also laid down that to obtain spiritual bliss, utterance of Rama nama once is enough. 

On this day, Let us pray to Lord Rama to get his blessings. We can recite every day Ramayana or Sundara Kanda or Aditya Hrudayam or at least recite the verse in Vishnu Sahasranama

"SRI RAMA RAMA RAMETHI RAME RAAME MANORAME
SAHASRA NAMA TASTHULYAM RAMA NAMA VARANANE"

three times and obtain the blessings or Lord Sri Rama.

 

 

Act with Sense of Responsibility 

by Swami Paramarthananda

 Parental role in moulding the character and outlook of children has become very important in this age especially as there are several distracting influences outside the home over which one does not have control. Whatever values a child learns from a horde of books can all be negated by a single instance of parental misdemeanour, as values cannot be taught and are imbibed spontaneously from elders. Parents are the role models for their children and also teachers and elders. A parent or teacher can teach the child more by action than words. 

Every individual by virtue of his station in life has certain responsibilities, more so, if he occupies an important position. So one has to act with responsibility and with sense of duty, not for the sake of oneself, but out of consideration for others. This point is driven home tellingly by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, "For whatever a great man does, that very thing other men also do: whatever standard he sets up, the generality of men follow the same." 

The Lord Himself sets an example for humanity in this matter. Since He has nothing to achieve, as He is the eternally fulfilled, if He refrains from action one can imagine the chaos that would ensue. Lord Krishna points out, "Should I not engage in action, scrupulously at any time, great harm will come to the world, for Arjuna, men follow My way in all matters". 

The duties which every individual has to discharge has been codified in the scriptures to ensure harmony in the world. This necessitates diverse occupations, but this does not mean that one is inferior or superior to the other. The classification of duties in the scriptures was based on the natural propensity of an individual, as this brought out the best in him. This also ensures that all social needs are taken care of. The ancient system of Varnashrama dharma is scientific and has a two-fold objective, smooth functioning of the society and harmonious developments of the individual. The example of choice of profession helps to appreciate this better. If an individual chooses an avocation suited to his talent, he will excel in it, as he will be able to execute it effortlessly. He has a natural advantage and derives satisfaction in his job and what he earns is only incidental. Whereas, if he take to a career because it is lucrative, his life will be miserable and perhaps be a failure also as he is never happy with his lot. When one takes up a career in which one has aptitude one does not feel the burden of working hard. 

 

Courtesy: The Hindu (19 12 1998)