The saint-poet-composer Thyagaraja is held to be an incarnation of Valmiki, and he lived a life totally dedicated to Rama. Saint Thyagaraja says a vision of those great souls whose prerogative is to be blessed with the empire (Samrajya) of Rama Bhakti (a rare experience of closeness with Him) gives the supreme bliss of Brahmananda, a bliss that defies description and can only be realised inwardly by the fortunate ones. Music, poetry and philosophy blend with his Bhakti in a unique way when he captures the rich moments of Rama’s life (as detailed by Valmiki) in his soul-stirring songs, said Kalyanapuram Sri R. Aravamudhachariar in a lecture.

Since he always dwelt in the immediate presence of Rama in his thoughts, it was natural for him to hold dialogues with Rama, or get angry with Him or even plead with Him to give him salvation. Many of his compositions are the result of his reactions to the incidents in Rama’s life that continue to impact every generation in many subtle ways. There is spontaneous admiration for Rama’s equanimity when the Lord counselled an impatient Lakshmana in the Ayodhya Kanda. Rama merely told angry Lakshmana: “All your valour is known to me. But if I do not go to the forest and stay here in Ayodhya, the Dharma which I uphold will crumble.” Thyagaraja is so impressed with this calm attitude that he eulogises “quietude” as capable of giving happiness. Peace is the ultimate longing in the soul and the resultant bliss. It is an irony that all other achievements, material possessions, status, lineage, scholarship and knowledge of Sastras, etc., at best will only leave one restless.

Kausalya wails in anguish at the thought of Rama’s banishment, which meant a compulsion to lead a hermit’s life in the forest. Why her dear son who is the heir apparent of Ayodhya should suffer such a plight, asks the mother. Once she accepts that there is no going back and that Rama cannot be dissuaded, she blesses Him and prays: “Let the Dharma that you uphold be with you and protect you throughout.” Such is the faith that is placed in Dharma, for it is Dharma that is the main support of life at all times. And the Lord incarnates time and again for this purpose.

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