The next time we chant Jai Shri Ram, which means “Glory to Lord Rama”, let’s say it in a spirit of love, brotherhood, oneness and compassion ― not as a weapon of exclusivity or superiority. Only then would it reflect the true Spirit of Lord Ram and make every day a Happy Ram Navami, says OSWALD PEREIRA
I grew up in my village, Kolbad, in Thane, listening to bhajans on Lord Ram playing from loudspeakers mounted on the topmost branches of the centuries’ old Banyan tree, facing the Shiv Mandir, better known as Jagmata Shankar Temple, dating back to more than 150 years.
Those bhajans were and are very uplifting as their sweetness and divinity sinks into my soul. As a child, teenager, young adult, and now older person, Lord Ram is resident in my consciousness, as much as is Christ and Krishna.
Very importantly, I don’t distinguish or differentiate between Them on the basis of land, region or religion. I can bet my life on it ― that in the world beyond, these great avatars don’t go by the name of the religion that some humans tend to place them in.
In the temples of Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS)/Self Realization Fellowship (SRF) and Ananda Sangha, which follow the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, cosmic chants invoke the names of Ram, Krishna, Divine Mother and Christ. The YSS/SRF and Ananda Sangha places of worship are, indeed, temples of all religions.
When I listen to these chants and chant along, whenever I visit one of their temples, I feel blessed to be part of a culture of oneness and goodness. Chanting softly whenever one is free or in the stillness of the night or early morning is joyful.
Today being Ram Navami, the birthday of Lord Ram, it’s time to fervently pray to the seventh avatar of Vishnu, to bless us with the bliss of unity and oneness.
Ram Navami signifies the victory of good over evil and the establishment of dharma to beat adharma.
Ram is less of a king or ruler and more of a divine manifestation of love, peace and compassion. To the young, He is an ideal father and to the old, He is a perfect son.
The fourth of the Ten Commandments is, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in name.” There are some fringe elements in our country, who use the holy name of Lord Ram to spread disharmony, if not discord. I hope Lord Ram gives them the wisdom to refrain from such activity, which is not dharma but is even tantamount to adharma.
Bringing dishonour to the loving and compassionate Lord Ram are those who use His name to propagate exclusiveness and religious superiority. Lord Ram’s philosophy was one of inclusiveness.
Lord Ram really didn’t preach religion, as organised religion as we see it today, didn’t really exist then. It was a beatific Ram Rajya, where all were equal and included in the welfare of the state without any distinction or consideration of class or gender.
The word democracy may have been unheard of in the time of Lord Ram. But, he was, indeed, a true democrat, a trait not easy to find in these times.
That brings us to the burning question on everyone’s lips today, ‘What is Ram Rajya?’ Does it belong to one particular religion?
Mahatma Gandhi didn’t identify Ram Rajya with Hindu Raj. He said that for him Rama and Rahim are one and the same, adding that he acknowledged no other God but the one God of truth and righteousness.
Agrees a devotee, Suman Gupta-Pereira, who believes in the values and teachings he is associated with. She says that “Lord Ram is celebrated as a symbol of a truthful life by many.”
Gandhiji said, “Whether Rama of my imagination ever lived or not on this earth, the ancient ideal of Ramarajya is undoubtedly one of true democracy in which the meanest citizen could be sure of swift justice without an elaborate and costly procedure.”
So, the next time we chant Jai Shri Ram, which means “Glory to Lord Rama” or “Victory to Lord Rama”, let’s say it in a spirit of love, brotherhood, oneness and compassion ― not as a weapon of exclusivity or superiority.
Only then would it reflect the true Spirit of Lord Ram and make every day a Happy Ram Navami.
Oswald Pereira, a senior journalist, has also written eight books, including The Newsroom Mafia, Chaddi Buddies, The Krishna-Christ Connexion, How to Create Miracles in Our Daily Life and Crime Patrol: The Most Thrilling Stories. Oswald is a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, and practises Kriya Yoga.
More Stories by Oswald Pereira
Featured Image Courtesy Wikipedia
रामो विग्रहवान् धर्मः साधुः सत्य पराक्रमः ।
राजा सर्वस्य लोकस्य देवानाम् इव वासवः ॥
Saying this way, Sages declare Lord Ram as the embodiment of Dharma. Dharma as such is the standard, the yardstick, the scale which stands the test of time and validates itself in every age in such a way that the tapestry of humanity remains intact and it’s democratic values does not fail.
Lord Ram has been adored as Maryada Purushottam for the very fact that He stands tall on the matrix of principle, being an exemplary son, husband, brother, friend and a king as well as an ascetic…and appropriately played the part He was confronted with to play.
It is for this very reason that Lord Ram keeps on inspiring generations of believers who look at Him and His accomplishments with reverence and awe.
May we as individuals and as a Nation wake up to the lesson of His life and living and imbibe it in letter and spirit so that Ram Rajya becomes not merely an utopian vision but a here & now actualisation in our life, implementing the values He stood for dynamically into play.
Jai Sri Ram
Happy Sri Ram Navami to all adorable friends 🙏
Baturamji, indeed, a Ram Rajya is not an utopia, but a concept of democracy, which we should practise nationally, without attaching any religious tags to it.
Your blogs often remind me my childhood days Oswald ji.
You remember your village with so much passion and love, that also takes me to my surroundings when i grew up.
I travelled many places in my childhood, with my father. They were rural areas having thatched roof houses, morrum roads, lamp posts with kerosene lamps, those were lighted by a tall darkman coming with kerosene every evening.
The small town with a solo glass factory. The south indian manager presenting my father glass sets, my father’s name ingrained on them…
then in a small kingdom with a small king, the two storied govt. quarter, a dilapidated Hanuman temple near by,
Our parental semiurban home town, with my influential pleader grand father, people rising up to bowdown before him when he majestically walks from our home to civil court, wearing his black coat & white double tie….
I remember a mosque besides our home, sending prayers through loudspeakers at the very early hours of morning, invoking us to get up and start morning prayers and study….
Life was so simple, sweet, acceptable without much tension…
Love was blooming in the air….
We all who born during those first 20 years after independence enjoyed life with its purity and fullness.
Those experiences infact enabled us to be tolerant, accept with patience and walk on in this arduous 21st century life path. Our children may be learning from their surroundings too enjoy all these small things.
Today is RamNavami. I remember during my school & college days many marwari community use to read Ramacharit Manas, through louds speakers, spreading the sound energy that was generated from those powerfull chants during the last 8 days preceding to Ram Nabami.
Now a days they chant Shri Ram in rallies but those community chanting has come to an end.
But this time with His krupa, i am chanting Manas since last eight days with my wife sitting before Prabhu Ram with our attendant.
Today that shall be completed.
Prabhu Ram has reached Ayodhya with Devi Sita Hanuman, Angad, Bibhisana and a load of his army.
Ramji has met His mothers & brothers. Today we shall end it with a havan.
The fact of the matter is all God’s names mean only Ananda.
Sri Ram is a bundle of sparkling love, a bouquet of sweet smelling flowers, a serene flow of energy that creates only virtues that enables one to hug His manifested universe with profound tranquil gratitude.
Yes Oswald ji no matter whether it is id, Christmas or Ram Nabami…. these are opportunities to celebrate the vivacity and greatness of life…
to diligently realize and spread love….
to experience the common essence of we all….ANANDA.
Your beautiful post reminds us that and that makes your mission accomplished.
Thank you for this positive post and a Shuv Ram Navami to you and all our readers.
May PURUSOTTAMA RAM BLESS US ALL.❣
Manas Das Jee such an elaborate, warm, soulful comment that reflects your magnificent love and compassion for humankind.
Your description of your childhood, your grandfather and father shows their influence and inspiration, which has moulded you into a gem of a person.
Sri Ram continues to shower us with His blessings, now it is upto us all to show him our gratitude by applying His teachings to our daily life.
Happy Ram Navami.
Interesting, very succinct and analytical explanation of the true spirit of Lord Rama and Ram Navami. 😊