My soul stirring experiences with C.R Ramayana

This blog is dedicated to all the devotees of the bhagavan, Sri Rama and Sri Krishna and for those who read the Ramayana and Mahabharata with utter devotion. I want to show with pride in this blog the 1957 copy of the Ramayana Book by C.Rajagopalachari (popularly known as Rajaji or simply 'C.R') which belonged to my grandfather. This was presented to me signed by my grandfather who gave me this divine book with his blessings in my primary school days. Having read this countless times over and over again in the greater part of my younger days, and enjoy reading even now, this book continues to give me as always a great sense of irrepressible joy, happiness, virtues, inspiration and literally keeps me immersed and glued to the chair as I read every chapter with the same childlike curiosity, love and devotion to this book I possessed since my 6th standard days when I first read it. I am sure you will all agree that the titles of each of the chapters themselves are so intriguing, mysterious and mythical about them. The language of Rajaji in the book is such that it makes the reader search for the meaning of many complex and strange words in the old English language hitherto unheard of in these modern days, words such as "abstemiously", which I have it underlined on the book even now! I still remember it as strange reading the word that mentions the emotion felt by grief stricken Sri Dasaratha's who felt the entire events as a dream as a 'phantasmagoria of a disordered brain'. My grandfather would have told me to note that word, I daresay! I experienced this as most of you would have, when reading a paragraph, I would stop and think, how could this be, why is this contrary to my thought and then as if C.R were reading my mind, he would provide the answer in the subsequent sentence or paragraph and I would be pleasantly surprised. Many incidents described in the book could start me thinking what this could be or a lack of understanding would immediately be clarified, as this masterpiece book has been written with cent percent clarity by the great C.R. Such is the tremendous joy I would experience with this book. Even today when I listen to 'Ramkatha by Morari Bapu', the same feelings would come (as felt in the recently held Ramkatha at Wembley Arena, UK) and I read that book to get some similar insight and relish it. As such the greatness of this Epic being widely known, everytime you read this the book, a new experience dawns over and over again. The book is like a conversation as if we opened a line of dialogue between the reader and C.R, such is the novelty and power behind this book. I used to think in the stories where Indra, the king of the devas would be doing wrong deeds such as mentioned in the Ahalya chapter and why is it so, the devas being generally good and immediately I could see the answer, the reason was mainly to awaken people to a sense of the dangers with adharma. Why else would the devas need to have attributed sinful acts deliberately to the heroes such as Indra. The Rakshasas on the other hand were portrayed as it deserves them and they abound with a moral of their own right, however some rakshasas have been known to have done good deeds as well as we see in many parts of the Ramayana.

There is also a lot of moral which is seen even today in all walks of life and which we can easily relate to / from the Ramayana. I recount the words when C.R quickly takes us on with the difficulties during the ensuing exile for Rama, he mentions that we should exercise our imagination and build up the passions and sorrows in our own hearts and he says these are the familiar phrases in our own lives thus making us feel as if our lives too were part of the epic. In some cases where Vishwamithra comes playing a leading role at the start of the epic and then is no longer present at a later stage is a unique trait of the Valmiki Ramayana unlike ordinary plays and Novels.

One of the great point to note is that in the Valmiki's description of our culture when describing Kosala, it is quite clear that in ancient India city civilization had reached a high level. This is in contrast to the foreign conjencture that Ancient India was full of rakshasas who were dravidians and isnt true at all.

When reading the Ramayana and Mahabharata of C.R we actually go back to live with our ancient forbears and listen to their voices as we read them. This is by far really one of the greatest of experiences for one and all to be able to immerse themselves in these grand monumental epic of all times.  I can go on and on..... However I will let the books added in the links below speak for themselves...Please read them and you will certainly have a rewarding experience and I daresay share my enthusiasm... I recommend you all read this book and experience for yourselves! Jai Sriram!

C.Rs comment to Adi Sankara’s Bhaja Govindam - My Favourite never to forget!!!!

“Adi Shankaracharya wrote a number of Vedantic works for imparting knowledge of the Self and the Universal Spirit. He also composed a number of hymns to foster Bhakti in the hearts of men. One of these hymns is the famous Bhaja Govindam. The way of devotion, is not different from the way of knowledge or Jnana. When intelligence matures and lodges securely in the mind, it becomes wisdom. When wisdom is integrated with life and issues out in action, it becomes Bhakti. Knowledge, when it becomes fully mature is Bhakti. If it does not get transformed into Bhakti, such knowledge is useless tinsel. To believe that Jnana and Bhakti, knowledge and devotion are different from each other, is ignorance. If Sri Adi Shankara himself who drank the ocean of Jnana as easily as one sip’s water from the palm of one’s hand, sang in his later years, hymns to develop devotion, it is enough to show that Jnana and Bhakti are one and the same. Sri Shankara has packed into the Bhaja GovindaM song: the substance of all vedanta, and set the oneness of Jnana and Bhakti to melodious music.”

The Lineage of the Mahabharata

The Lineage of the Mahabharata

Complete genealogy of the lines of Bharata including Suryavansha, Somavansha, Saptarishis, Devas,

Complete genealogy of the lines of Bharata including Suryavansha, Somavansha, Saptarishis, Devas,
Asuras etc. Compiled primarily from the Srimad Bhagavat Mahapuran with other Purans and the Mahabharat as secondary sources - Image from scrolls of aryavart website

Vedic divisions of time