Sri Sathya Sai on: Sant Tulsidas and Ramacharitmanas

Sant Tulsidas

Ramacharitmanas : The Holy Lake

“Tulsidas has said in his Ramacharitmanas that he composed the great epic on the story of Raghunath for ‘Swanthasukhaya’, that is to say, for his own Sukha or happiness and joy. He engaged himself in that self-imposed task, not to any patron or even Rama, but to please, himself. He derived great Ananda (Divine bliss) while writing it and when it was finished. That was the urge which moved him.”
- “The Banana and the Peel”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 12,
August 30, 1974, Prasanthi Nilayam

“Valmiki, the great poet, was essentially projecting Rama as an ideal example to human beings. However, in many cases, he was also showing the sacredness and divinity that is contained in Rama. In the same manner, the poet Tulsidas wrote the beautiful story of Ramayana for the sake of propagating the great name of Rama to the world, as an example of an ideal human being. In the lives of these poets, there were several incidents in which the strength of the name of Rama is seen.”
-    “Opening Address”, Summer Showers in Brindavan 1977, Brindavan

Rama Rajya means that which engenders happiness (Ramayati). There should be no ill-will towards anybody. No one should be harmed. That is Rama Rajya. When such feelings arise among the people, Rama Rajya will come into existence of its own accord.  It is with such feelings that Tulsidas extolled Rama. His Ramayana is suffused with his deep devotional experience. He exclaimed, “Rama! I have no abilities of any kind. I have practised no system of Yoga. I have not developed any method of meditation. I have no possessions of any kind. I have only one thing and that is my love. I love You for love’s sake”.
-    “Install Rama Rajya in Your Hearts”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 28, April 9, 1995, Prasanthi Nilayam

“Tulsidas, while composing his epic poem, Ramacharitmanas, wrote that the flowers in the gardens of Lanka were white. Hanuman, who was present unseen, manifested himself, his face full of dissent, for he said that they were red and not white, as he had himself seem them. Tulsidas refused to amend the adjective, but Hanuman insisted that the error be corrected. The argument almost turned into a scuffle and Rama Himself had to intervene. He told Hanuman that since anger against Rakshasas (demons) had reddened his eyes, the white flowers appeared red to him.
…When Rama started out into exile in the forest wearing garments of bark, Lakshmana, too, did the same. For fourteen years he watched over his brother and his wife, guarding them day and night without any regard for his own comfort or even for sleep or food. Tulsidas pays great tribute to Lakshmana for this devoted service. According to him, when Rama returned to Ayodhya after his period of exile, the citizens in lakhs cheered at the distant sight of the flag on top of the chariot which was bringing him. But they did not know, he says, that the pole which carried the flag of Rama’s triumph was Lakshmana, the devoted brother. How could the flag fly so splendidly without the dedicated service, the undaunted courage and the steadfast loyalty of the brother who gladly shared the travails of exile with Rama?”
- “The Brother among Brothers” Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 13, May 26, 1977, Brindavan

“For all the fourteen years in the forest, Lakshmana conducted himself, as if he was one with Rama. He was spending all his energy and time in taking care of and serving Rama and Sita. Truly, if Lakshmana was not present, how would Rama and Sita have spent their lives? This important role of Lakshmana was beautifully described by Tulsidas in his narration of the Ramayana. Tulsidas described that when Rama was returning victoriously to Ayodhya with his flag flying high, the people of Ayodhya were reverentially saluting the flag and the pole on which the flag was flying. This description of Tulsidas has a significant inner meaning. The pole here signifies Lakshmana. The pole is as important as the flag. In fact, if the pole did not exist, the flag cannot fly at all. Thus, Lakshmana became the steadfast support for Sita and Rama. In this story of Ramayana, while the Lord in human form was playing the role of Rama, Lakshmana had also a very important role to play. The entire life of Lakshmana was devoted to obeying the orders of Rama.” 
-    “Lakshmana, the Devoted Brother of Rama”,
Summer Showers in Brindavan 1977, Brindavan
“On the other hand (the former being Valmiki’s Ramayana), Tulsidas began his Ramayana with the firm faith that Rama was verily Lord Narayana Himself and concluded emphasizing the fact that Rama was the ideal man. Kamban, the author of Kamba Ramayana, wrote his Ramayana moved by the feeling that man is God and God is man (Nara is Narayana and Narayana is Nara). The three great writers of the Ramayana lent different dimensions to it, depending on their inner perceptions. Each writer, who brought forth his version of the Ramayana, added his own dimension in consonance with his own faith and temperament. By and large, it is a fact that the Rama Tatwa (Rama’s Principle) has to be cultivated by one and all.”
- “Glory of Rama Tatwa”, Summer Showers in Brindavan 1996, Brindavan


Rama Nama: The Panacea

“Tulsidas hailed Rama as the protector of the universe and declared that the very name Rama represented the three powerful deities, Agni, Surya and Chandra (the Fire-God, the Sun-God and the Moon-God).”
- “Power of the Lord’s Name”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 22, June 22, 1989, Prasanthi Nilayam

“Unfortunately, in this Kali era, faith is continually changing because of worldly desires. Man is willing to barter away the precious gem of his life for a piece of charcoal. If he realized the true value of human birth he would not treat it so lightly and go as far even to discard God. Tulsidas also said that the man who did not know the preciousness of the Lord’s name, casts it away as worthless. Hence, it is essential to realize the infinite worth of the Lord’s name.”
-    “Satyam Vada Dharmam Chara”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 23, April 29, 1990, Mumbai

“Tulsidas said that the world is dependent on the fire, the sun and the moon. Only the sun, fire and moon sustain the world. Even an atheist who argues the non-existence of God agrees that it is impossible to survive without the sun, moon and fire. What is the reason for holding these three to be important? The heart of a devotee is pure and full of love. He left an analogy for these three Gods (Sun, Moon and Fire) with the name of Rama. Rama in Sanskrit can be broken as three letters, ‘Ra’, ‘Aa’ and ‘Ma’. ‘Ra’ stands for Fire, ‘Aa’ stands for the Sun and ‘Ma’ stands for the moon. Tulsidas interpreted the letter ‘Ra’ as Tat (That), ‘Aa’ as Twam (Thou) and ‘Ma’ as Asi (‘Art’). He said that ‘Tat Twam Asi’ is Rama’s form.” 
-    “Chant the Name of the Lord”, Discourse 17,
My Dear Students, Volume 04

“The name of the Lord is like a precious jewel which must be considered valuable and cherished as a gem. Tulsidas sang in praise of the Lord’s name (Rama’s name) as the most invaluable gift given to him by his Guru. The Lord’s name should be recited with deep feeling so that it gets firmly entrenched in the heart.”
- “The Devotion that God Loves”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 27,
December 18, 1994, Prasanthi Nilayam

“Tulsidas demonstrated the fact that wherever you go, whatever you feel, the name of Rama is contained therein. Thus, Tulsidas reached the end of his life by proclaiming the greatness of the name of Rama.”
-    “Opening Address”, Summer Showers in Brindavan 1977, Brindavan

Note:

Tulsidas was born in 1532 (in 1497 according to other sources) as Rambola in Uttar Pradesh. He was considered to be the reincarnation of Sage Valmiki born to propagate the message of Ramayana for the welfare of common men and women. His most celebrated works are the Ramcharitamanas (Valmiki’s Ramayana in Awadhi language) and the Hanuman Chalisa (40 verses extolling the glory of Hanuman) His philosophy equated Saguna Brahman (personal God with qualities) and Nirguna Brahman (formless God), devotion for Lord Rama and efficacy of chanting His name. Goswami Tulsidas is believed to have started the Ramlila plays (a folk-theatre adaption of the Ramayana) that are performed till date in many parts of North India. In 1623, he attained Mahasamadhi on the banks of River Ganga at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

Source: Sai Vani: Avatar on Mahapurushas

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