Pull of the Ramayana

The Ramayana has a pull, which has remained undiminished over centuries, said Kidambi Narayanan in a discourse. It is perhaps one of the few stories where the hero Himself enjoyed hearing the story. Bhavabhuti, in his Uttara Rama charita, says that in Rama’s palace in Ayodhya, scenes from the Ramayana were painted on the walls, and Rama, Sita and Lakshmana enjoyed looking at the paintings. Lava and Kusa had been trained by Valmiki to narrate all the verses of the Ramayana. Their speech itself was sweet, and when they sang the verses before Rama people listened, their attention unwavering. Rama too left His throne and sat among the people. The story continued to be a big draw even after the Rama avatara ended.

While it is common knowledge that Srimad Bhagavatam contains many exploits of Krishna, significantly, it also has Suka talking about Rama’s story. When Kulasekara Azhvar heard about Rama preparing to fight Ravana, he forgot that it was a story about the past. He ordered his army to go to the aid of Rama!

Parasara Bhatta, wrote a commentary for the Vishnu Sahasranama, called Bhagavadguna Darpana. Here, before he talks about names referring to Rama, he says that he is going to talk about the name which is like nectar to the dying. The name ‘Rama’ offers consolation when we are unhappy. It is evident from Nammazhvar’s works that Krishna was his favourite deity. And yet, even he remarked in a verse that if at all one wanted to learn something, it should be the story of Rama, for by His very presence, Rama granted moksha even to blades of grass in Ayodhya. Nampillai explained Nammazhvar’s Thiruvaimozhi in his discourses. In these explanations, Nampillai gave references from Valmiki Ramayana.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 5:57:40 AM |

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