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.”

Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari "Rajaji" "C.R"

Date of Birth   : Dec 10, 1878
Date of Death : Dec 25, 1972
Place of Birth : India

Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari, known as or Rajaji or C.R., was an Indian lawyer, writer, statesman and a Hindu spiritualist. He was the second Governor-General of independent India. Later he became the Chief Minister of Madras State. At one time considered Mahatma Gandhi's heir, this brilliant lawyer from Salem, Tamil Nadu was regarded in pre-independence years as one of the top five leaders of the Congress along with Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Rajaji was also related to Mahatma Gandhi - Rajmohan Gandhi is the grandson of both of them. Of the five, Rajaji, Nehru and Patel were christened the "head, heart and hands" of Gandhi, in whose shadows they remained till his death. Ironically, all three of them were to have a tempestuous relationship, bound together only by their common goal and Gandhi's charm. However, they respected each other immensely. Nehru wrote about Rajaji in his autobiography of how Rajaji's "brilliant intellect, selfless character, and penetrating powers of analysis have been a tremendous asset to our cause". Rajaji was perhaps the earliest Congress leader in the 1940s to admit to the likelihood of the Partition. He even prophesied then that Pakistan might break up in twenty-five years. Rajaji was known to be a fierce defender of his political ideals, and did not hesitate to contradict his closest aides and friends in public, whenever he sensed a threat to them. After serving time in British prisons for his work in the independence movement, he became a member of the Governor's Council in 1946. In 1948, after Indian independence was attained, he replaced Mountbatten to become the only Indian Governor-General of India, in which post he continued till the Republic was declared on January 26, 1950. The office was replaced by that of President, first held by Rajendra Prasad. Rajaji became a member of Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet, first without portfolio, then, after Patel's death, as Home Minister. He was chief minister of Madras from 1952 to 1954. On leaving government, he was among the first recipients of the Bharat Ratna, the Indian government's highest civilian award.

His writings - As a writer, he is one of the finest that India has to offer. Most erudite people have command of one language, but Rajaji was an expert in at least 3 (possibly 4). His works in his native Tamil are recognized as modern classics (published and re-printed several times). After his break with politics, he started on the massive task of translating the Hindu Scriptures Ramayana, Mahabharata from Sanskrit toTamil language and later into English. He received rave reviews from scholars and religious seers alike. He translated Upanishads and Bhaja Govindam into English. His novels and short stories, themselves would have won him public adulation. He also translated 'The Tirukkural' from Tamil to English. 'Tirukkural' is an ancient piece of the Tamil literature and is often referred to as 'the flower of Tamilnad'. His ability as a writer, is in a sense, unparalleled, not just in India alone. Some of his poetry was set to music and sung by Carnatic music's dominant personality M S Subbulakshmi at several occasions of importance, and once at the United Nations Kurai Onrum Illai (meaning - No regrets have I My lord, None) is a very famous song in the semi-Carnatic music genre written by Rajaji and the most popular version, (widely acknowledged as soul-stirring) has been rendered by M.S. Subbulakshmi. Rajaji also composed a hymn "Here under this Uniting Roof" which was sung in 1966 at the United Nations, again by M.S. Subbulakshmi. He was invited to the White House by President Kennedy; perhaps the only civilian, not in power, ever to be accorded formal state reception. The two discussed various matters and it is said that the great Indian statesman tried to impress the young President on the folly of an arms race - even one which the US could win. Today, such warnings haunt us. Rajaji's statesmanship and vision for all mankind is recognized to this day. The nonagenarian's public life, spanning nearly eighty years are perhaps best recognized by Mahatma Gandhi's rich tribute to him praising him as: "the keeper of my conscience".Rajaji died in December, 1972 after a short illness.

Ramayana is a mythological book by C. Rajagopalachari. It was first published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 1957.Rajaji considered this book and his Mahabharata to be his greatest service to his countrymen.
Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari (Tamil: சக்ரவர்த்தி ராஜகோபாலாச்சாரி) (December 10, 1878 - December 25, 1972), informally called Rajaji or C.R., was an Indian lawyer, freedom-fighter, politician, writer, statesman and leader of the Indian National Congress who served as the last Governor-General of India. He served as the Chief Minister or Premier of the Madras Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, Minister for Home Affairs of the Indian Union and Chief Minister of Madras state. He was the founder of the Swatantra Party and the first recipient of India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. Rajaji vehemently opposed the usage of nuclear weapons and was a proponent of world peace and disarmament. He was also nicknamed the Mango of Salem. Rajagopalachari was born in Thorapalli in the then Salem district and was educated in Central College, Bangalore and Presidency College, Madras. In 1900 he started a prosperous legal practise. He entered politics and was a member and later President of Salem municipality. He joined the Indian National Congress and participated in the agitations against the Rowlatt Act, the Non-Cooperation movement, the Vaikom Satyagraha and the Civil Disobedience movement. In 1930, he led the Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha in response to the Dandi March and courted imprisonment. In 1937, Rajaji was elected Chief Minister or Premier of Madras Presidency and served till 1940, when he resigned due to Britain's declaration of war against Germany. He advocated cooperation over Britain's war effort and opposed the Quit India Movement. He favoured talks with Jinnah and the Muslim League and proposed what later came to be known as the "C. R. Formula". In 1946, he was appointed Minister of Industry, Supply, Education and Finance in the interim government. He served as the Governor of West Bengal from 1947 to 1948, Governor-General of India from 1948 to 1950, Union Home Minister from 1951 to 1952 and the Chief Minister of Madras state from 1952 to 1954. He resigned from the Indian National Congress and founded the Swatantra Party, which fought against the Congress in the 1962, 1967 and 1972 elections. Rajaji was instrumental in setting up an united Anti-Congress front in Madras state. This front under C. N. Annadurai captured power in the 1967 elections. Rajaji was an accomplished writer and made lasting contributions to Indian English literature. He is also credited with composition of the song Kurai Onrum Illai set in Carnatic music. He pioneered temperance and temple entry movements in India and advocated Dalit upliftment. Rajaji has been criticized for introducing the compulsory study of Hindi and the Hereditary Education Policy in Tamil Nadu. Critics have often attributed his pre-eminence in politics to his being a favorite of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Rajaji was described by Gandhi as the "keeper of my conscience".

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