April 01, 2012
Reading, singing and/or hearing the seven cantos – baalakaanDa, ayodhyaakaanDa, aranyakaanDa, kishkindhaakaanDa, sundarakaanDa, lankaakaanDa, and uttarakaanDa – of Rama kathaamruta (Sri Ramayan story) over the first nine auspicious days of Chaitra maasa (first month of the Hindu Calendar) is supposed to remove all the sins arising from one’s actions of body, speech, and mind (kaaya-vaacha-manasaa). The dohas and choupayees, and shlokas and stutis (praises) of Sri Ramacharita Maanasa were melodiously sung in various tunes/ragas, as an offering to the Rama Parivar during the recent Ramayan Parayan at Chinmaya Saaket. Listening to the melodious accompaniments of harmonium, dholak and taal, the group experienced divine vibrations and felt carried to a whole different world!
In explaining the significance of Ramayan Parayan, none other than Lord Shiva Himself says thus to His consort Uma: “so kula dhanya Uma sunu jagata poojya supuneeta |Sri Raghubeera paraayana jehin nara upaja bineeta” | [doha-127, Uttarakaanda] O, Uma, listen! The families of those who could sing the glory of Rama (through Ramayan-parayan) are indeed blessed. Those families are undeniably fortunate and pious, worthy of reverence by the entire world. He goes on to say “Rama charana rati jo chaha athavaa pada nirbaana| bhaava sahita so yaha kathaa karau shravana puTa paana|” [doha-128, Uttarakaanda] Those desirous of attaining salvation at the lotus feet of Sri Ram-ji, should read and listen to the Ramayan story with utmost devotion.
Rama Navami is an auspiscious occasion that celebrates all three occasions – the birth of Lord Rama; celestial wedding of Shri Rama and Sita Devi; and Lord Rama’s coronation as a king. On April 01, 2012, about 250 participants joined in the wedding at Chinmaya Saaket. The elaborate ceremony included a procession to lead the bride and the bridegroom to the marriage hall; invocation of Lord Ganesha, followed by the Vedic wedding ceremony and concluded by a sumptous meal. Our scriptures have stated that the merits gained by participating in the celestial wedding benefit not only us, but also benefit ten generations ahead of us and ten generations behind us! Blessed indeed were the ones who were able to participate in the festivities.
So, with the Ramayan Pathan of Nandana-naama samvatsara (2012), culminating in Rama Navami celebrations, Rama Parivar blessings are bestowed upon the entire Chinmaya family!