Angad nām bāli kar betā | tāso kabahu bhāi hi bhetā ||
Angad bachan sunat sakuchānā | rahā bāli bānar mai jānā ||
अंगद नाम बालि कर बेटा । तासों कबहुँ भई ही भेटा ॥
अंगद बचन सुनत सकुचाना । रहा बालि बानर मैं जाना ॥
“Angad is my name: I am Vali’s son. Did you ever meet him?” Ravana felt uncomfortable when he heard Angad’s reply. “Yes, I do remember that there was a monkey, Vali by name.”
Declaring that katha is a satsang, Bapu chose the spiritual mythological interpretation of the personality and characteristics of Angad as the central theme on which this katha would be focused. Why was Angad chosen for a diplomatic representation of Rama and sent for thelast face of negotiations with Ravan to avoid the war and the carnage if possible. But before launching katha, Bapu called up for for the funds for the terrible disaster in Uttarkhand and the audience responded with enthusiasm and generosity. Collecting more than 3 Crores rupees in less than 30 minutes. This was three times the amount targeted by Bapu. The collection would continue till the very end of the Ram Katha.
Bapu began his discourse by explaining the name Angad as one who surrenders his Anga to divinity. Bapu referred to Vinay Patrika where Tulsidasji. Declared Vali to be a symbol of karma. He explained the great significance attached to karma in hindu philosophy. Gita has discussed at great length all the aspects and issues of karma. No one can exist even for a fraction of a second without karma. Karma siddhant is very complicated and it is very difficult to understand and to explain. Karma said Raman Maharshi, is a spark of chaitanya. Karma is an eternal and continuing chain of action- Karmshinkhla that leads to bondage and prevents our freedom( Mukti). Angad as the son of Vali is a product, an issue of his father so he is a karmphal. Vali freed himself from Karmshinkhla by surrendering to Rama his son the best phal. From his deathbed, Vali requested Rama to accept angad as his anuchar, his servant and the instrument of all his directions and needs. Bapu pointed out that Vali could have asked for making Angadas successor to throne or to even making him a crown prince (Yuvraj) but Vali asked for neither. He chose for Angad service of Rama rather then power and kingship .
In Ramkatha there are three prominent crown princes – Rama, Bharata, Angad, all of them discarded the royal throne and chose life of sacrifice and service. All the three chose spirituality over royalty. Bapu described the qualities and importance of each of them: Rama, Bharata and Angad.
Bapu said that Vali gave his best way to Ram. It is easy to give money; it is a bit difficult to give promises for those who keep them. But to surrender his son and all hope for royal power is a supreme gift, great sacrifice.
Bapu raised the question, how could Vali a character known for his arrogance and assertiveness, make such a gift? Vali is an avatar of Indra, a god always aspiring for power and prominence. Several gods were born as vanar to serve Ram but Vali being Indra was so arrogant that he could not tolerate Ram being the only one getting the credit for defeating Ravan. His avatar would not allow him to kill Ravan. Ram was going to do it. But Vali defeated Ravan and humiliated him. As the story goes, he kept Ravan in his armpit for six months. This would be very troublesome, inconvenient for Vali himself but he insisted on showing off his achievements. There are many amongst us who keep on collecting and exhibiting certificates of our goodness and greatness. This is a sign of arrogance of Vali.
How could such a person as Vali who was so arrogant became so submissive, surrendering the best fruit of his life, his karmaphal to Ram? Bapu has come to know some such persons who are so arrogant who cannot tolerate the achievements of their own children. Vali was not such a person. He became so humble as to submit his son as samarpan to Ram.
In this connection Bapu mentioned four different types of human mentality. There are some amongst us who see only evil side of others. They overlook the other qualities. (gunas). Bapu described this approach as a crow mentality kagvriti. The crow seeks nothing but the evil, the ugly , the dirty side and dirty materials. But all crows are not like this and we must not be guided by external appearance. Kagbhusundi was a crow inform but he was free from the crow mentality. Hunuman is a monkey only in appearance. Ganga is not a mere river. Ram is a supreme god in human form. So do not be guided by external appearance but look at the vriti. As against kagvriti, there are people who can discern like a swan. They can distinguish the evil and good in others this is called hansvriti- capacity to separate water from milk and accept what is good in others. The third vriti is param hunsvriti, which can see only the good side of others. They see no evils anywhere. For Tulsidas, an entire world was full of Sita and Ram. Persons with paramhansvriti overlooks the evil and the defects, the limitations of others and they appreciate what is good in them.
The fourth and the best vriti, the highest level of spirituality is going beyond good and evil. Bapu quoted Gangsati as an example of such vriti, which goes beyond all qualities.
Bapu explained that all such vritis prevent us from being free because they make us dependent on whims and our passions. It is best to go beyond all vritis where all cravings and desire ceased to exist and we reach the stage of nirvikalp- a very difficult stage to reach for ordinary people that we all are. Vali atoned for his arrogance and secured his mukti by surrendering his best karmaphal to parbhrama Ram. Such an attitude is a product of an experience. Vali has been shot by ram ban and he becameself-realized. Vali is aware of the qualities of his son and describes Angad to Ram;my son is as strong and valiant as me, he is humble and polite, he is wise and clever. These are the qualities which a diplomat(Rajdut) must have and so he was chosen by Ram as a duta to Ravan on diplomatic mission.
Angad who was unaware of Ram got so devoted to him that he offered to carry out lowest and diminishedjob (Seva) in order to stay in the presence of Ram. But he had to go as was the order of his master but he went away with great hesitation and looked back again and again before leaving.
Bapu then turned to analyze Angad. He had great qualities to represent Ram but Bapu pointed out that Angad is not a mere physicality. There is an also an Angad vriti – a desire to use all ones capacity and all once achievements for the service of the divine brahma. (Service of humanity). Angad is at his best when he meets Ravan. Bapu reminded us that there are two great and popular dialogues in Ramayana, one between Pershuram on one side and Ram and Laxman on other side and the second one between Angad and Ravan. Both are greatly enjoyed by the mass of people in India. When Ravan tried to humiliate Angad, to put him down as mere another monkey, he retaliated politely by emphasizing that he is son of Vali. Ravan shrinks remembering his humility experience.
Bapu then turned to the text of Ramcharitmanas and began with manglacharan in Sanskrit followed by punchdevpooja which Tulsidasji presented in lokbhasa. This was because Bapu said Tulsidas assigns priority to human beings as can be seen in the ending sloak of Ramcharitmanas. Tulsidasji then began his vandanas to various characters in manas and ended with guru vandana. Bapu emphasized the great importance of a guru, a guide without whose kripa nothing can be achieved in spiritual progress. He referred to the great emptiness, which modern man feels within and they try to fill up the internal void with wealth, power and prestige. He pointed out that gurupad is far more important then guru as a person. He advised that if we cannot find a guru, we must treat hunuman tatva as a guru and meditate at his feet. Hanuman is pran and is in all of us making us pranis or living beings. Such meditation is of greater importance then guru seva. He advised that when we listened to katha, we must try to penetrate into its meaning, its rahasya. Bapu believes that contact with self realized person is a far greater importance then even God. In daily life we depend on our efforts and grace of god but in spiritual life, grace of guru is the only important factor, which needs nothing else because guru kripa has 100% potency. Bapu cautioned us that it is extremely difficult to understand guru and almost impossible to thoroughly grasp him.
On the second day of katha, Bapu continued from where he had left and concentrated on the analysis of the spiritual side of Angad’s personality.
Angad followed the tradition and introduced himself to Ravan as the son of Vali. In those days all over India and even today in South India, the accepted way is to pronounce the name of the father and the gotra to which one belongs.
Bapu mentioned in this context the famous story of Satyakam Jabali from the Upanishad.Bapu would have preferred the Mahabharata style of introducing a person by mentioning the mother because a child, and his character are shaped more by the mother than by the father who is often away for work. In this particular case of Angad it would have been much better to mention Tara rather than Vali. Vali was brave and strong but he was not much of an intelligent person. Vali showed utter idiocy in keeping Ravan in his armpit. Tara on the other hand proved to be wise and understanding. When Vali went out for his final fight with Sugriv, Tara had mentioned that Rama is no ordinary warrior. Ram is the Supreme Lord, Parambrahma. Vali for once argued with understanding that Ram is Samdarshi and if he kills me, I would be eternally blessed. Such one time wisdom of Vali did not last long.
Bapu pointed out that all the Tamasi [evil] enemies such as Marich, Vali, and Ravan realized like a flash light at times in true majesty and personality of Ram.
Bapu then answered a question- what should be done if you are not able to attend all kathas. Bapu agreed that it is difficult and inconvenient and costly to attend all kathas. Many of you have heard many kathas. In fact, you have listened to more kathas than Bapu has been able to do because Bapu speaks and we listen.
Listening with attention- Shravan is a form of bhakti. But if you cannot listen to katha, remember all that you have heard. Just as shravan is bhakti, Smaran is also a bhakti. And smaran would create bhav showing thereby that the seeds are sprouting. Hanuman has described remembering (sumiran) as bhajan. Such remembrances purify our inner self (antahkaran) . Bapu said that he always keeps on remembering whateverand whenever the good he has heard.
Bapu used the word katha in the widest possible sense: hearing a melodious song, a literary discussion, an enlightening discourse is katha for him. In fact, Smaran brings you closerto Bapubecause shravan can be done even from great distances while smaran creates feelings of proximity.
Bapu then turned to the spiritual interpretation of a personality of Angad. Ang means a whole body or a part, a limb of the body.So whoever gives a limb or body for spiritual progress, for service of god or service of humanitybecomes Angad.Angad, Vibhshan, Hanuman, gave their entire body and all their life to divinity. Women often get devoted to their husbands, children, or families. One should feel that we are parts (ang) of devine- Astitva. We are like suburbs of a big city- complete as a unit and also a part of a larger unit.
If you cannot devote your entire body to divinity, we at least can give a limb: for example, we can give our ears to katha, or to the teachings of guru who would then pierce through us. Whatever ang you give to divine purpose would be sanskar as karanvedh sanskar. Whatever you give to the world will deteriorate as Shankeracharya said “AngGaliltam”. We ought to have Angdiksha. So listen attentively, listen as widely as possible and as often as you can. Tulsidasji has mentioned that Shravan should be as wide and broad and deep as the ocean. Take katha in the widest sense; do not restrict it to narrow circles. Listen to whatever is good and beneficial and nobling for our spiritual and moral development. Be careful and guard your ears . Poison in the stomach can be cured but poison that enters ears has no cure.
Similarly eyes can be gifted to divine and eyes are far more potent than ears. Eyes can express all the emotions and feelings and experiences of life. Out of the trio – Satya, Prem and Karuna, Karun resides in the eyes. We can experience beauty only throughthe eyes. All the descriptions of Ram emphasize his eyes. Hands and tongue and feet can express only few emotions and passions but eyes can express everything. Those who have lost their eyesight are called Pragyachaksu or Surdas. The most precious product of the eyes are the tears which clean the eyes and which express the bhav of the bhaktas or devotees and of lovers.
The hands when given to God are to be used only for his Seva, for uplifting the poor and for offering a helping hand for all who are downtrodden or spiritually fallen from the path. Our hands ought to be used for serving all the deprived and exploited sections of the society. Such hands have been described in Vedas as divine as Bhagwan. The feet are meant for visiting the holy centers of pilgrimage and for turning towards everything that is pure and pious. Such an Angad whose entire body is solely devoted to the service of God, develops firm faith and Tulsidas elsewhere has described the feet of Angad as faith.Angad pad viswas.
Thus angad ought to be viewed from many different angles. Such a view is important and necessary for our own introspection and we are going to see Angad from various point of vision for the rest of our days here.
Bapu then picked up katha and narration of katha and reverted to vandana offered by Tulsidas. Tulsidasji has presented naam vandanda at a very great length. Tulsidas argues that reciting Ram naam has a potency in all the yugas but such recitation is in kaliyug only held for spiritual progress. In satyayug there was meditation (dhyan) in tretayug yagna was important. Pooja became the way of spiritual life in dwapar. But naam smaran is the only process left for us in kaliyug. There is nothing else that is as potent as naam smaran. All the names of things and persons are mere pseudo names –takhalush and Ram is the only name for every single thing. Ramanujacharya whenever asked would first reply as Ram and as second question would utter any other name. Kabir when he was selling his products would say that the seller is Ram, the clothes are Ram, the buyer is Ram and the payment as offered is Ram.
Ram has innumerable names. In ancient India, the usual practice was to give several names to an object of devotion. Vishnu in Mahabharata is given 1000 names in Vishnu sahastranaam. A 100 names are listed for Shiva. Durga has 1000 names and Vallabhacharya is given several names. But of all the various names used for Ram, such as Raghuvar, Raghav etc. Ram is potent because it contains an R, A, M, which represents son, moon and fire. As sun destroys the ignorance, as moon it gives us peace and quietude and as fire it burns all our sins. Ram naam stands for Omkar. Bapu warned against tantra and tantrikess as they are very destructive. But all such intellectual analysis leads us nowhere. Spirituality ought to be experienced not merely discussed and it should be felt not merely explained. You cannot swim merely reading books on swimming. Plunge into a rever or ocean and fill it. Once you have experience such a depth everything you speak and sing becomes divine.
Bapu said that he is often criticized for singing lewd filmy songs but that is not true. He uses the words of such songs and in the tunes of such music but in feeling bhav- is his own. He made a solemn declaration and repeated several times that he has never sung and would never sing a filmy song with the same purpose in same bhav as you find in film. The bhav in ultimate purpose the inner most meaning is the most significant part of a song and this for Bapu is spiritual nothing mundane, nothing worldly. Bapu reverted to the importance of naamsmaran or naamjap. Even shankar is reciting Ram naam. He could drink and digest even poison when mixed with Ram naam. Bapu declared that there is no end to potency of Ram naam and Tulsidas goes to the extent of declaring that even Ram would not be able to explain the potency of Ram naam.
Bapu expressed his satisfaction that his Shrotas have responded so readily and so generously to his desire(manorath) to discharge our duty and our responsibility towards the people in distress. For him all donations – big or small has same value as tokens of good will. He could not but expressed his anguish at the total neglect and indifference shown by prominent leaders in politics and who hold lucrative positions of power and pelf. Money(artha) is also a part of four purushartha in Indian philosophy and most important Ang in Kaliyug.
He started his discourse by explaining seven interrelated Sopans of Ramcharitmanas. Balkand depicts Vishwas – the faith. It begins with an invocation of Shiva – the embodiment of Vishwas. All characters and events in Balkand revolve around Vishwas.
Ayodhya Sopan is a story of separation (Viyog) and of Vishad (sufferings) – Rama going away, death of Dashrath etc.
Aranyakand is Vigyankand as several rishis – Antri, Sarbhang, Shutikshan, Agastya-play prominent role. Such rishis in India attempted a synthesis of Dharma and Vigyan which is a crying need of the modern age.
For Kishkindakand, Bapu coined a new word Vishodh – a unique or special type of search(shodh). Rama is searching Sita but he also searches out several friends and followers – Hanuman, Sugriv, Vali and Angad. This Kand has six or seven special features that are not found elsewhere. It is the smallest Kandin Manas and presents several new features.
This Kand deals mostly with Vanars. Vanarsare not monkeys. Vanar, Asur, Kinner, Gandharv, Naag are various tribes in ancient India. Vanars have their own Rastra, their own language, (Hanuman is multilingual who knows several languages), their own music, and their own folklore – in short their own culture and civilization. They look like monkeys but they are not monkeys. The special trait of their culture is devotion to their master (Swamibhakti). Political thinkers in ancient India-Chanakya, Vidur, Kalidas –prescribed seven things that constitute a State (Rajya) – a government(Rashtra), a ruler(Raja), advisors (Mantries), treasure(Dhankosh), army (Sena), fortresses(Durg) and friends (Mitra). Vali had all the seven while Sugriv had lost everything. He had only an advisor (Mantri, Sachiv) Hanuman who got him friendship with Rama(Mitra) who helped him secure all the remaining things.
Bapu emphasized the importance of good and reliable friends whose company is so necessary for all but especially for young people. Bapu is always concerned with younger generation and advised them to be always in good company. Modern Science has given us so many comforts and conveniences but Bapu regretted that the Science has destroyed our privacy, our individuality, our Ekant. Today, every individual is exposed to others and is confined into space watched by others. Vishram, the real condition of progress has disappeared and the loss of Vishram willdistroy several other very valuable aspects of human life.
Bapu clarified that for him, Ramkatha is not confined only to religion because religion that is cut off from practical social life is no religion at all. Religion is one ingredient of society. Bapu is happy to be a religious person and for him it is a matter of pride and satisfaction to be a Hindu. But he is neither an athics (Nastic) nor a believer (Aasthik). He is a realist(Vastvik). He wants and aspires for direct contact with life and with people and he does not want to use proxy of any god or gods. He meets people in privacy of his Katha. Katha provides all the privacy(ekant) he needs and he quoted Dasi Jiwan who yearned for and invited Divinity to visit him in privacy of public life.
Bapu exhorted young people to secure god friends and like Sugriv, they will gain everything,something like being a king and controller of their individuality(Nijta).
Sugriv has no friends. So Hanuman seeks out Rama whose friendship will provide him with everything else. Vali, father of Angad on the other hand has everything, a Royalty in full splendor. Vali has a great pedigree, a glorious lineage of Purvaj. The tradition is that Brahma was doing his Tap on the Himalayas and from the drop of his tear,a beautifulVanar –Rukshraj was born. He was praised by all for his handsome features and became curious to see himself. He gazed into a pond and like the Greek character of Narcissus became totally absorbed in his own beauty. He fell into the pond and emerged as a woman with still more enhanced beauty. God Indra dropped his semen on her hair(Bal) and Vali was born. God Surya dropped his semen on her throat(Griva) and Sugriv was born. That is why Rama embraced neck to neck with Sugriv and put his hand on the head of Vali. Angad was born of Vali and Tara and inherited the beauty and handsomefeatures of his parents.
So said Bapu, Kishkindakand is a section of Vishodh. Rama found out Hanuman, Sugriv, and Angad and through them reached out to Suprabha and Sampati.
Sunderkand depicts Vairagya. Sita is a Vairagi in midst of luxury all around her. She meets Hanuman(a Vairagi) who contactsVibhishan who is also a Vairagi.
Lankakand is a story of Vidroh – war, upheavals and great transformations and Mandodari leads the Vidroh.
Uttarkand is Vishram, the final stage of peace and quietude. The Ram Katha thus passes through the entire gamut from Vishvas to Vishram passing through the stages of Viyog,Vishad, Vigyan, Vishodh, Vairagya and Vidroh. Such is the journey of human life, which also passes through several such stages.
For this Katha, the importance of Kishkindakand lies in the entry of Angad on the center stage. Tulsidas has extolled the entry of Angad in an impressive Chhand.
Vali gifted Angad to Rama and Angad proved to be a valuable servant of Rama. Rama appreciated his services and gifted Angad with his Mala, his Angvastra and a Mani. Gifts of Rama have great spiritual significance. Gift of Mala, Malaropan as it is called, is the acceptance of Shishya by Guru. Mala of Rama is always described as Vanmala. Gift of Mala was desired by many persons like Sabri but it was only Angad who got it. Vastra might have been given to preserve and hold such a precious gift and Mani is interpreted as Mantramani. Mala, Mantra, and Vastra have great significance as spiritual relations between Rama and Angad.
Bapu emphasized that Manas is not merelya religious treatise, it is a spiritual treasure-trove. He drew a distinction between the two. Religions are many and diverse, each having their own rules and rituals. Religions usually get divided into various Sampradayas and sects getting increasingly narrower and narrower(Sankirna).
Spirituality on the other hand is one and only one approach and does not have any distinction of race, religion, language, time and country and higher and lower groupings. It is widely open and all-inclusive. Ramayana being spiritual, belongs to one and all, without any limits. Since Ramcharitmanas is spiritual, we have to understand the spiritual significance of Mala given to Angad, Mudrika given to Hanuman and Padukato Bharat. These are ancient symbols granted only to those who were near and dear to Rama. What Rama gave to Angad was all that a devotee needs and wants.
Angad has many qualities. He is adventurous and dashing and can stake Sita on the firmness of his foot. But he is also Viveki and knows his limits. Even in enthusiasm, he keeps awareness. While discussing the crossing of ocean he said,“I can jump to the other side but may fail to return”. He has great qualities of leadership. He knows how to delegate work to proper person. He leads the team searching Sita, but gives prominence to Hanuman. Bapu again reminded us that there are no rituals and ceremonies in his Katha. He told a story and advised that we should not overlook essentials(guest)and give attention to secondary issues(horse).
Bapu then turned to the formal narration of Katha. Ramayana was composed by Shiva and was preserved in his Manas. It has four Ghats. Gyan Ghat involving Shiva and Parvati, Upasana Ghat of Kagbhushundi and Garud, Karma Ghat of Yagnyavalkya and Bhardwaj and Sharnagati Ghat (Tulsidas and his own personality). Gyan, Upasana, and Karma finally lead to Sarnagati. But Tulsidasji begins with Sarnagati. Sarnagati involves certain conditions. Sarnagati is a firm devotion and submission to one and only one. There are no alternatives and no wavering. Sarnagati has no plurality. It happens only once and is only directed to One. With Sarnagati, Karma becomes a Trivani (Sangam), a Prayag Tirth – as holy as Ganga, as purifying as Yamuna, and as enlightening as Saraswati.
Bhardwaj asks not about the story of Ram but Ram tatva. The question about Rama tatva has been asked again and again since ancient times but even today we still have no answer. To our defective vision, Rama has many different aspects, but philosophically Rama is the One and the only Tatva. Parm-tatva is inclusive of all and never Sankirna. Rama is not a subject for discussion; he is an object of remembrance.
Bapu mentioned two different versions about the entry of Angad. In Valmiki Ramayana, Vali gives the custody of Angad to Sugriva, while Tulsidas makes Rama the custodian. We follow the tradition from Shankar to Tulsidas. In this Vali episode, Rama has often been accused of treacherously killing Vali without facing him. But Rama was not a party in this war between brothers. Rama as a judge was punishing Vali for his crimes and sins and a judge need not face the criminal who is killed on his order.
Sugriva was elated to see Vali mortally wounded but when Vali apologized for the trouble he had inflicted on Sugriva, joy was replaced by anguish. In Mahabharata war Yudhistiralost whatever little joy he had when he was told that Karn was his elder brother. Wars from the beginning to the end are full of misery and sufferings and anguish.
So let us remember that there are two different versions of Vali episode.
It was on the deathbed, that Vali was full of wisdom and Vivek. Bapu dilated on the philosophy of death. Death is a Satsang of Kaal with every individual and angels and agents of God arrive on earth. Death makes Vali wise. Vali gives his last advice to his grown up son who would soon become a Yuvraj. This advice as preserved by Valmiki is full of wisdom and can be applied to all the 4 types of Yuvraj. The eldest son or daughter is Yuvraj or Yuvragni of he family, the first follower of a Sadhak is a Yuvraj and every guru chooses a Pattashisya who is his successor and Yuvraj. Gita declares that Jiva (ansh) is a particle of eternity(Brahma) so we all are Yuvraj in relation to Brahma. Indian Rishies have the honor to boldly declare that every individual Jiva is Brahma. (AhamBrahmasmi). Jiva is avinashi- eternal and as potential Brahma, we also are pure and vibrant. We lose our purity when we are controlled by maya(mayavash).
So the advice given by Vali is applicable to the eldest in the family, to the first follower of Sadhak, to the Pattshisya of acharya and to every Jiva, to every soul as related to divinity.
Bapu narrated a personal experience: a recently widowed mother with a young child was being consoled by Bapu. When the child began to cry the mother said that Bapu is a father to both of us. He is a father to me and a father to you.
Such understanding, such sincerity, such devotion in the common people of India prove that India may be poor in wealth but it is very rich in spiritual understanding. Such experiences Bapu said, burdens him with additional responsibilities for all those who love himand trust him. He quoted Mahatma Gandhi who was fully aware of his responsibilities and accepted all thehonor extended to him. Gandhi used to advice his followers that if I go wrong, revolt against me as Prahlad revolted against his father with politeness but also with unbending firmness.
India has been able to survive terrible disasters like Uttarkand on account of such inner strength and inner richness.
Of all theYuvrajs, the relations between Guru and Shishya are peculiar. Guru is Nirvikalp, he has no desires, no mind. So Shishyais the mind of Guru and acts on his behalf. Hanuman is described as the mind of Rama.
Bapu quoted at length the Shloka of Valmiki as words of advice given by Vali to his Yuvraj but which can be applied to all Yuvrajs for all times. Vali’s first advice to Angad is to adjust to time and place – to situation (deshkalao). Everything should be done at proper time and at a proper place. Even when you are serving your Guru, wait for his instruction, do not compete for it, do not be jealous of others who get a chance to serve Guru and do not treat Guru as your possession. Wait particularly for your turn and be confident that the time and opportunity for your service will also be there.
The next few words of Vali sounds like Gita and Bapu named is as Valigita. One must patiently suffer the priya and apriya, sukh and dukh as they come and go in the life of all of us.
Vali also gives some practical advice to Angad. You must be obedient to Sugriva. You should never align with his enemies and you should never associate with people who are not friendly to Sugriva. Do not be obsessed with love for anyone and do not totally neglect or hate anyone. Excessive love and excessive hatred are defects to be avoided. Vali dies almost immediately.
Bapu’s comments on Vali’s advice and views are quite interesting and enlightening. We must adjust with time and should not denounce the progress of science. We should overlook, tolerate, and pardon those who criticize us. Incapacity to be Khsamashil is a sign of internal weakness and deprivation. Bapu pointed out the great achievements of India in spiritual knowledge and quoted Shakaracharya at great length. The equanimity to face Sukh and Dukh or ups and downs in life is possible only for those who are devoted to the Supreme Divinity and obedience to the better people is not bondage but it is the only real freedom.
True love ensures total freedom. One can hold flowers in the fist but you cannot prevent its scent from spreading.
Bapu ended by pointing out that great poets and writers take the same events and same persons and give different interpretations. Vali as depicted by Valmiki differs from the presentation by Tulsidas. Akrur in Harivansh is crafty and a conspirator. In Bhagvat,Akrur is a virtuous bhakt of Krishna.
Bapu then took up the qualities and qualification of a Yuvraj. A Yuvraj specially from a royal family must be self controlled and able to master his passions and emotions. He pointed out that Angad was such a Yuvraj. While discussing the visit to Lanka, Angad argued that Lanka is famous for its lasciviouslife style and he night be so enticed that he may not be able to return. Hanuman has no such hesitation because he is confident about himself. Yuvraj must have physical, mental and spiritual strength. (atmabal). Bapu, inter alia answered question –how can we know whenever our company is good or bad. Bapu answered that a little experience would be enough for you to know. Your own mind will warn you about bad and good. In such matters we ought to accept the advice of Budhapurush and orders of Guru.
Bapu remembered that some people have such a dominating nature – Shashakvriti that they try to control even the Guru. Some have Poshakvriti while quite a few suffer from Shoshakvriti.
The third quality of Yuvraj must have a Shila – polite manners and a strong moral character. He must be well educated (vidyavan) in state craft( sam, dam, dand, bhed) as also in various other fields. He ought to be able to keep his ideas and objectives to himself without anybody knowing them. He must have full Shastragyan also Shaastragyan and finally he must have a Guru and Diksha from Guru. (Diksit)
Why was Angad chosen by Rama for final negotiations with Ravans. Why not Hanuman? Why not Sugriva? Why not Jambuvan?
Bapu gave three reasons. Angad would remind Ravana of Vali and Ravana would be snubbed and pressurized. Secondly Rama wanted to show that he had several other warriors besides Hanuman. Rama wanted Angad to prove his mettle and his abilities to carry out responsible assignments as Yuvraj.
Bapu then picked up the narration of Ramcharitmanas that begins with Shivcharitra and told the story from visit of Shiv to Agatsya up to his decision to cut off relations after Sati’s failure in understanding Rama. He ended up with a Sutra that God is not a subject for testing. What is needed is a patient awaiting for Him and his Krupa.
Bapu and few of us from India offer our greetings from the largest democracy in the world to the oldest democracy in the world.
Yesterday, Bapu began with a disclaimer. He is not a Dharmopdeshak and his Kathas are not teaching rooms for any religion or any Sampradaya. His Kathas are dialogues (Samvad) between a Seeker of truth and his Shrottas. Bapu is a free bird. Nobody controls him or can ever control his movements and his opinions or his Kathas.
Bapu continued with the analysis of spiritual personality of Angad. He emphasized that understanding Angad would be very valuable for all Sadhaks because Angad practices the middle path(Madhyam) of Budhha.
Three major characters of Ramayan – Hanuman, Sugriva and Angad emerge in Kishkindakand. Angad and Hanuman are invoked by Tulsidas in the Vandanas at the very beginning of Manas, but all the three are fully discussed only in Kishkindakand – a kand of Vishodh by Rama himself. Hanuman and Sugriva stand on the extreme opposite sides of a spectrum. Hanuman is Paramyogi, Sugriva is Parambhogi.
Hanuman is a Paramyogi, a Brahmhcharibelonging to the glorious, elite group led by Sanatkumar, Narada, Parshurama and a few others. Bapu was a bit upset that some scholars describe Hanuman as a much married man. A recent but very rich Sampradaya attempts to downgrade Hanuman and claim that their Acharya was the guru of Hanuman. Their guru was born only two hundred years ago. Hanuman is being worshipped for more than two thousand years. Such madcaps diserve to the totally neglected(Upekasha). We need not worry. Hanuman is Rock like and a few cotton balls thrown at him will have no effect.
Brahmcharya is an extremely difficult discipline and can be practiced only by the rarest of the rare Sadhaks. A Bhishm, a Parshuram, a VinobaBhave, a Hanuman might be able to stay Brahmchari. Most of the people who claim to be Brahmcharies are generally misguided souls because bodies have their biological urges that are irresistible. Hanuman is Paramyogi. But Sugriva is Parambhogi who selfishly neglected the comforts and requirements of Ram. When Vali was reportedly dead, he managed to capture the throne, depriving Angad of his right as a successor. Relations between Angad and Sugriva were always strained. So Ram, had urged Sugriva, to associate Angad in ruling and administering the state and to constantly keep in mind the duty of searching Sita. Sugriva neglected both instructions. The summer was ending and Rama stayed in a cave for four months of rainy season. Sugriva confined himself to his pleasure palace (BhogBhavan) and mostly to his bedroom. He never cared to even visit Ram or cared to discharge his duty. It was in this palace and this bedroom that an angry Laxman rushed in and a Jatilike laxman sat on the same bed of Sugriva. The mythological explanation is that Laxman an incarnation of Shesh – a serpant who frightened Sugriva out of his bed. So Hanuman is a Paramyogi and Sugrive is Parambhogi. Angad is neither. He followed the advice of his father to avoid extremes and followed the middle path. He is a moderate in between Yog and Bhog. He is Asang – Anasakt. This trait of Angad is very useful for us because excess of even a good thing may be as dangerous as poison.
Hanuman is an ideal servant(Sevak) and Sugriva is a ruler(Swami), Angad is neither. He is not a servant and though he is a future king, he has no powers at present and is not a Swami.
Angad kept on constantly changing to adjust to the situation.(Deshkallo) and so he is vibrant and bubbling with energy. He could face Ravna and his associates single handedly. Angad had great capacity of leadership and the management. He was appointed the leader of the search party sent to the south. But he delegated leadership to Hanuman when he realized that Hanuman is better suited for the mission to Lanka. Angad was clever(Chatur) in worldly ways and a diplomat must be clever and smooth. Hanuman, the leading light amongst intellectuals (BuddhimatamVaristam) is not clever in this sense. Bhakt and Sant do not need to be clever but clever Angad is capable to dealing with Ravana and his ministers and pay them back in their own coin and on their own turf.
Angad is described as Paramchatur who uses his Mana, Bhuddhi, Chitta, and Ahankar for the higher purpose to serving Ram who is Brmah. Indriya, Mana and Buddhiare the centers of passion (Kaam). So long as Kaam is confined to Indriya, it is short lived and disappears after being fulfilled. When Mana is affected by Kaam then it continues forever as Vasana but when Kaam captures Buddhi, Kaam gets stamped as Dharm and Vrikritis are treated as Sanskars.
Bapu answered a question. Is it good to have only one Guru or can we have many Gurus – when all are equally respected?
Bapu said Guruseva is Charanseva and the feet of all persons are more or less same. The differences are seen in the bodies. So Charan of all Gurus are same and Charan is a symbol of motion (Gati) of a river flow. Surdas and all other Bhaktas are devoted to Charans. In Manas, Hanuman and Angad are the only two who are selected to serve the feet of Ram during war. Another important point in the character of Angad is that he is not voluable. He speaks little and only when necessary. But when necessary, he speaks fluently and freely. Let us remember the tongue lashes that he gives to Ravan with cold, calculated but very stinging words. Bapu argued that we should learn from Angad to speak less, to keep on smiling freely and keep our minds focused by Mantrajaap.
Bapu ended the analysis for the day by characterizing the Kands in reverse order: Uttarkandis Sutratmak, Lankakana is Shastratmak because of variety of weapons used, Sunderkand isPatratmak as several messages from Ram to Sita, from Sita to Ram were passed on by messengers. Kishkindakand is Mitratmak as Ram finds several friends and allies.
Aranyakand teaming with several Rishies and therefore is Mantratmak. Ayodhyakand is a Tantrakand where worst type of Rajtantra (Politics) was played while Balkand is Netrakand where eyes of Ram and Sita play an important role.
Bapu then took up the narrative part of Ramcharitmans. Daksh organized a Yagya only to revenge himself on Shiva. Yagya involves sacrifice not revenge. Sati immolated herself and was reborn as Parvati. Bapu discussed the events that led to the preparations for marriage of Shiva.
After greeting the Shrotas on 4th July, Bapu answered a few questions. The question about the meaning of Brahmcharya was the most interesting and Bapu gave an exhaustive answer. Bapu quoted Raman Maharshi who defined a Brahmchari as one whose every action and way of life is like Brahma. Brahmcharya is closely associated with body but it is far more connected and concerned with mind (Mann). It is quite possible and it is very often found that those who are celebrates in body are lusting within and their minds are hankering after pleasures of physicality. Men and women keep away from physical relations on several accounts of traditions, fear of being discovered, considerations of loyalty and duty, respect for each other. But they often fantasize about such relations. This is no Brahmcharya in the real sense of the term. The best Brahmchari is one whose body, mind and intellect do not suffer from Vikar even in dreams. Kaam as Bapu said earlier does not last long if it is only resides in Indriyas. It last longer if mind is involved. When Kaam dominates our Buddhi, it is often stamped and accepted by and defended as religion and religious leaders.
The questioner had asked to understand the stage that is described as Indriyatit. This is the highest stage of spiritual progress and such a Trigunantit is almost equivalent to Divinity itself, who exists only for the benefit of others. (Paramhitkari) Such an Indriyatit is Brahmchari in the real sense.
Bapu remarked that Brahmcharya is being discussed by us who are all Sansaris because we are more aware of the difficulties involved in Brahmcharya. Brahmcharya is possible only when all the fine elements of the body – Pruthvi, Tej, Jal, Vayu and Aakash are absolutely and totally balanced (Samyak), their proportions being neither more nor less. Such a balance leads to the Divine music of spheres. But such a balance (Samyak) is hardly possible.
Bapu referred to science building up robots. If we know the secret of mixing and balancing the panch Tatva (5 elements), science can create even human beings.
Bapu referred to wonderful Siddhant that were achieved by ancient Indian Rushies which surpass modern progress of science. One whose Tej Tatva has been honed to perfection can issue commands that are obeyed over hundreds of miles. He mentioned an experiment in Moscow. A mater scientist made a person sleep and wake up by commanding him from thousands of miles. Ancient Rushies can transmit their ideas and beliefs over thousands of years. In this connection, Bapu considers Ramayan and Mahabharata to be the wings and Vision of India. Ram transformed Tretayug in Satyayug while Krushna gave Divya Drasti to Arjun. Ram transformed entire Shrusti while Krushna granted divine vision.
A person with such a total balance of panch tatva is Bramhcharya. Bapu quoted Shruti. –“Brahmvid Brahmaiv Bhavati”. He becomes a living Bramh. Bapu then analyzed the major characters of Ramayan and declared that Jaltatva dominated in the personality of Angad. He had inherited Jaltatva from his father Vali who is a progeny of Indra – the god of waters and rains. Sugriv – a son of Surya has an access of Tejtatva. Pruthvitatva is predominant in Jambuvan, Hanuman – a son of Pavan is Vayutatva and Vali had in him Aakashtatva. Each of them represents the Panchtatva or panchmahabhuts. Gangasati has mentioned a Gurumukhi Vidhya that can secure control over all Vasnas. Gangasati enjoins Sadhaks to overcome Kaam Dharm. Bapu explained that every hour of the day has its own Dharm, its own environment. Down and early morning is peaceful – so peaceful that even rivers flow very quietly. River flow becomes more and more agitated or even boisterous as the day advances. We must train ourselves to adjust to such natural environments of days and seasons and years.
Gangasati advises us to conquer and control contradictions against Kaal Dharm. We must overcome our anger and Bapu advised us not to be angry in the early morning, while leaving and returning home, while eating or while going to sleep and while singing to God. (Bhajan)
Bapu mentioned people who refuse to be happy and who destroys happiness of others. Bapu compared them with frost. When icicles on the craps destroy craps themselves and melt away. Both are gone. There are people –called Sadist in modern psychology sadists who enjoy the sufferings of others.
Bapu reverted to Gangasati who insists on equanimity (Samatva). We should treat everyone equally in our speech, behavior and in our mental approach. Gangasati argues that we can overcome our passions by Nirmalta. We should be so clean and simple and honest that we can be free from all Dosh. Gangasati insists on treating worldly possessions as futile (Mithya) and clear away the blemish (Dagh) of imbalance (Dugdha). Such futility ought to be really, truly experienced all the time. Mere verbal declaration of Mithya leads nowhere. Such Mithyatva ought t o become ingrained in our personality. Mere verbosity, mere definitions (Vyakhyas) serve no purpose. Spiritual progress depends on innermost feelings (Anubhuti) not mere practice of words. Gangasati declares that all this can be achieved by continuous and strenuous (Abhyas). The word Abhyas means practice, efforts, and discipline. For such a person all Sidhhants are mere straws to be discarded and overlooked. Such a person is truly and internally humble. Gangasati concludes that one must be true to our expressions (Vachans). This Gurumukhi Vidhya frees us from all obstacles and all impediments. Such a Sadhak rejects even the law of Karma. Scholars would argue that Sukh and Dukh are the will of God (Hari Ichchha) and both are welcome. They fail to disturb the balance of a Sadhak.
Bapu summarized the discussion on Bramhcharya by pointing out that mere physical celibacy leads to frustrations and anger (Krodh) while a real Bramhcharya is always peaceful and quiet. He constantly feels the presence of divine, for him everything is divine. Advait as discussed in Vedant.
Such a Bramhchari shows all body symptoms described in Yogshastra. His perspiration has a peculiar natural odor as Gandhkuti of Buddha, his skin is smooth and shining, his voice is deep and sweet, he is not potbellied, he has a luster of his own (Ojas), and he is slim and not overweight. Even the excretions of his body do not stink.
Bramhchari can be either male or female because there are no gender distinctions in spiritual life.
Bapu avoided the question about Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary as propagated by Christians.
Bapu then began the analysis of Angad whose personality is very close to us and very useful for us. Angad had inherited political acumen (Rajkiyata) from his father (Vali) and his uncle (Sugrive) and he inherited spiritual values (Aadhyatmika) from Hanuman. Angad keeps the Madhyamarg and even Kishknidakand is in the middle of Ramayan. Bapu pointed out even Hanuman stayed not with Ram but with Sugrive. Hanuman was worried about the indulgent lifestyle of Sugrive and often reminded Sugrive that Ram has fulfilled his part of the contract and now it is our duty to discharge out obligation. Ram killed Vali with a single arrow but there are many such arrows in his quiver that may be used against us. We like Sugrive are dormant due to our passions; we need a Sadguru like Hanuman who wakes us up to our duties and our responsibilities.
Ram was also getting upset and felt that Sugrive needs a little punishment. Ram directed Laxman to give a gentle push of punishment. He is an ally and we want him back to ourselves. God often punishes us mildly so that we go closer to him. Laxman visited Sugrive who was so frightened that instead of facing Laxman, he sent Tara and Angad to plead on his behalf and Hanuman also apologized.
Bapu, mentioned some people raising superficial discussions, how could Laxman visit a city? They forgot that only Ram has been ordered Vanvaas. Laxman and Sita are his companions.
While totally submissive to ram, Sugrive tries to shift some blame to Ram that he was enticed and befuddled by Maya of Ram and it is only by your grace (Krupa) that we can be free from Kaam, Krodh and Lobh.
The search parties for Ram were sent in all directions but south were the most important direction. Angad was the leader of the group with Hanuman as his advisor and Hanuman led in rear. Bapu explained the search is important in South because Sita is an embodiment of Bhakti and according to Bhagvat Puran, Bhakti emerged earliest I Tamilnadu (South India). Hanuman was kept last but he does not crave prominence. Hanuman was given by Ram his signet ring. How could Ram have any such Ring? Bapu explained that this ring was given to Ram by Sita as a payment for Kevat. Where Hanuman would keep such a ring? Hanuman Chalisa mentions that the Mudrika was preserved in the mouth.
Bapu then turned to Katha and quickly narrated the story from the marriage of Shiva to the birth of Ram without much elaboration. Bapu mentioned an important point about the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Both are war songs but war in Ramayana is a war between Dharm and Adharm. Ravana misused his enormous strength to systematically destroy culture and religion. War in Mahabharata is a struggle against injustice done to Draupadi. Duryodhan never destroyed religion and disturbed religion practices as Ravana had done.
Bapu ended Ram Katha with the celebration of Ramjanam
Answering a question, Bapu said that though Angad is very intelligent, we cannot call him Sthitpragnya. His intellect has not reached the highest stage of Budhdhi and he is a very wandering mind. He is not steady in his Prgnya. He is worried. He is afraid of death. He hates Sugrive. Hanuman, on the other hand is a Sthitpragnya. To be Sthitpragnya is very difficult, almost impossible for people like us. Vinoba to some extent was considered by Bapu as Sthitpragnya. Gita has discussed all the laxans of Sthitpragnya. Swami Chinmayanand spoke a lot about it. There are many other texts where one can find descriptions and definitions of Sthitpragnya and Bapu suggested some further readings on the subject. There is even a Rustic Gita where Karaniyo and Charjjaniyo discuss very significant ideas in the Gujarati language of villagers.
Bapu referred to some hypocrites who are out to explain such high philosophy which they themselves do not understand and when they fail to convince their Shrotas, they denounce them as ignorant and undeserving (Apatra). One cannot spiritually develop unless one is thoroughly honest, completely free from hypocrisy and can cultivate.
Sincere humility – an humbleness from within. He described a priest who wanted to visit a theater without anyone else knowing about it. He searched fir a private passage and was told that none except one will know about his visit. That one was God who watches everything and everybody.
If we allow others and the opinions of people of world to control our mind, our life will become miserable. We should live only according to our inner light. Bapu defined spiritualism as freedom from hypocrisy and freedom from arrogance. Such a developed person is like a ripe coconut, its inner kernel is undisturbed even the external is broken. Alexander attempted to take back one Sanyasi from India, and his threats failed to move him.
Bapu said very often Shastracharcha deteriorates into mere clever play of words and such thing is not very difficult. But Shravan- listening, studying is more difficult and more necessary. Books can teach us many things but when books are explained by Siddhaa, the message becomes more potent and more telling – grapes will give you pleasure but same grapes when processed can intoxicate us with great pleasure. Buddha Purush can process books for us and bring out the essence of Shastra, kernel of experiences because knowledge has become ingrained in their personality. Books by themselves may be more useful when Chetna gets mixed with verbal bookish knowledge. He gave the example of his Katha. One can hear and even see him on television but personal attendance in the Katha has a different and higher pleasure of its own. He agreed that this is the age of Katha that has achieved great popularity and people in their innocence worship Bapu as seen on TV as if he was personally there.
Bapu argued that books, especially scriptures are not for a mere reading, we must read, think and meditate Shastras. When a Guru explain, our hearing -Shravan becomes more effective. Bapu said that he not only speaks Katha, but simultaneously he keeps on listening to himself. Such introspection helps us to clean ourselves from within and we secure a joy – a prasannta. Introspections makes us listen attentively to Param because while we read books and speak to many, our mind gets focused on one and only one center of divinity. Bapu illustrated his point by describing the life of Gopies who discharged several functions of life. They cooked and fetched water and attended to livestock and looked after their children and husbands but Gopies, Radha would be continuously and constantly thinking of Krushna and Krushna. Bapu described poignantly the suffering of Nand and Gopies when Krushna left Vraj forever and forever but even today people in Vraj refuse to accept that Krushna ever went away. Even now, they feel his presence in their midst. Bapu gave a poetic and accurate description of Krushna’s final departure to discharge the mission of his life. (Jivankarya) Krushna promised everybody that he will return, but he could never go back to Vraj. But the love between Radha and Krushna continued forever though they never met again. True love never dies and never decreases. Love is a living experience.
Reverting to Sthitpragnya, Bapu warned of a danger that some Sthitpragnya discard love and become mere wooden statue and such unfortunate people miss the real joy of life and joy of Katha.
Angad said Bapu, is intelligent but Hanuman is Sthitpragnya while Sugrive is a clever selfish, cowardly escapist. He never hesitated blaming others for his own faults and failures.
Bapu turned to analyze the sole of Angad. Hanuman is a Daas, a servant of Ram, devoted to nothing else. Angad is a Doot but he also serves Ram. Hanuman also represents Ram while visiting Sita. But there is an important difference – Hanuman is a Ramdoot while Angad is a Rajdoot.
There are several types of categories of Doots: Ramdoot, Rajdoot, Premdoot, Yudhadoot, and Dhrutdoot in Mahabharata. Doot is different from Dootiya. Doot represents while Dootiyas are spies and informants. Daas is totally devoted to his master, while Doot merely discharges limited duties – such devoted Daasas are never discharged by their masters while Doots are charged as often as necessary. Hanuman took the message of love and solace to Janki while Angad carries a war message. Bapu described five Laxans of Daas. He is never depressed (Udas), he never expects (Aas) for anything from anybody. He is never worried about anything because he has full faith in his Guru and his Swami. He gets what he wants and what he needs even before he asks for it.
Bapu mentioned a biological fact that every seven years, human body experiences great changes but a Shishya gets transformed almost every week. Bapu urged that we should never beg for anything from anybody, not even from God.
All that we should ask from God is love, Satsang and purity of mind. A Daas is never competitive and is never jealous of others. A Daas never questions and never doubts the orders of his Guru or Swami.
A Daas has correct and proper understanding. Bapu illustrated the point by telling a story of 3 pupils of Budhha. They were asked to go on a mission on a pain full of thorns. One carefully walked away saving himself and one moved on the side walk. Only Samyak picked up all the thorns making a way safe for himself and others. A spiritually enlightened person saves not only himself but strives to save all in world from discomfort and downfall.
Bapu then explained the Laxans of Doot. Career of Doot has many ups and downs depending upon their principals. Doot is a mere instrument of him who has sent him. He must be careful to preserve the prestige and authority of his master, A Doot has no permanent position, His office disappears as soon as his mission is over.
The self confidence of Angad showed in planting his feet in Ravansabha.
A Doot must be trustworthy; who would never betrays the interests and the intentions of his master. But there are several examples of such betrayals.
In this connection, Bapu emphatically declared that he has no Doot and no agent. All who have work with him should approach him directly and personally. Angad of course is an efficient Doot and seeks no personal prestige or credit. He humbly gives all credit to Ram after fulfilling his mission to Ravansabha.
Because of the most noticeable traits in the character of Angad, his fear and his fickleness prevents him from being a Sthitpragnya.
Bapu then took up the narrative part of Katha and began from where he had left yesterday. The celebration after the birth of Ram lasted for a month which went off like a day. This can be interpreted to mean that once Ram is manifested in our life, we are free from the darkness of Maya.
Bapu mentioned that Shiv and Parvati visits Ayodhya in cognito for Ramdarshan. Shiv went as an astrologer and Parvati went as a seller of toys. The days passed into months and all the children were named by Guru Vashistha each name having a special meaning. In a side remark, Bapu mentioned the dialogue in Mahabharata when Vidur declares that heaven is meant for those who forgive others and for those who feed the guests under all the dire circumstances.
Bapu quickly review the story. Ram and Laxman going with Vishwamitra protecting his Yagna travelling to Gautam Ashram to rehabilitate Ahalya. Ram indicated in his treatment of Tadka and Ahalya that even woman can secure salvation. Vishwamitra with Ram and Laxman arrived at Janakpuri and even Janak –Vairagi charmed by the handsome face features of Ram.
Bapu read out a letter that only those who worship the Acharya of their sect will enter Akshardham that is far superior to abode of Ram and Goloka of Krushna.
Bapu commented that such propaganda literature from the sect is very painful for those who love and support Sanatan Dharm, Bapu dared them to downgrade Islam or Christianity. Such vicious attempts and all Akshras would be wiped out in no time. Such sects are short lived and die young. Tulsidas has mentioned many such frauds coming up in Kaliyug. Bapu warned Shrotas to keep away from such sects. They have no Scriptures, no Purans, no Smrutis, no Upanishads, no nothing.
They are quite incapable of the majestic grander of Taitriya Upanishad quoted by Bapu about space (Aakash) being the body (Sharir), Satya and Aanand being the soul and Pran of Brahm. Why waste time over them, all they deserve is contempt and silence.
Turning to the main theme of Katha, Bapu reiterated that Angad is not a Sthitpragnya, he is not a Jivanmukt either. Angad is next to hanuman in Buddhi and in Gyan, but he is lacking in faith- Vishvas. It was in Ravansabha that Angad developed the necessary self confidence [Atmavishwas]. Angad kept on evolving and it is in Uttarkand, almost at the end of Ramayan, that we see a fully developed Angad with full faith and deep love for Ram.
Ram was a lovable personality. He was an embodiment of Prem, Satya, and Karuna. For Jesus, Love was god, Gandhi said, Truth is god, Bapu would feel that Karuna is god.
Bapu pointed out that in modern usage, the word “love” Prem has been devalued a lot. Tulsidasji describes Ram as an embodiment of love. (Ram Hi Keval Prem Piyara) and every character in Ramayana from Dashrath to Kumbhkarna and Indrajit are impressed and attracted to the personality of Ram. Ram felt and communicated to Sita the very essence of love. Love is not a mere physical passion; it is the highest emotional and spiritual experience at its best. Only Buddhpurush can feel and express such love. Such love, by a mere touch can give life and soul to stone. When such a Sadguru expresses his love for his disciple and when we are in the memory of our guru, we have achieved the highest in life. Ramayana is a scripture of love, truth, compassion. Hanuman had experienced such love and therefore he was the only person qualified to carry a message of pure love from Ram to Sita and from Sita to Ram. Those who indulged in physical pleasures can hardly experience or understand love. Only a celibate can feel pure love. Sadhak and Siddhas get some glimpses of love but only Shuddhas can fully feel it. Angad did experience such devotion and love later in his life.
Therefore there are many levels of love. But love is eternal and permanent while infatuation is fickle and temporary. The highest level of love can be felt only by the enlightened and they can spread it amongst their disciples. People argue that the creation begins with lust (Vasanas) for bodies but that is not true. Such lust and passions are perversions of love. (Vikruties) Love is the real content, the important ingredient of creation. Love is Mahamantra. Love is Mahasastra and it is the highest stage of realization. It is love that unites what has been separated. Love takes us nearest to god and links us to togetherness. We very often misuse the word love. Love passes through many stages. It begins with attraction and attachment and the next stage is Sneh which is softness and smoothness leading to Bhav. The third stage is Pranay which yearns for togetherness and which is accompanied by particular gestures and coyness. It is an expression of Mugdhata. Bapu illustrated the concept of Pranay by quoting the conversation while Sita introduces Ram to the simple tribal women by coy gestures and looks. Such devotion, such love is not expressed in gross form, it is expressed in suggestive gestures. Pranay is followed by Raga, the word Raga is also used in a derogatively sense. But Bapu uses the word to mean intense and eternal bond. It is difficult to explain such feeling through words. Bhagvat has mentioned Ragatmika Bhakti of Gopies for Krishna. When the next stage Anurag is reached, one experiences mental and even physical transformation. One feels a pleasant pain, a pain that purifies and makes you a better and more refined person. Anurag is followed by Maan, Maan is quite different from Abhiman. Maan is to feel important and special to your lover. A feeling that you can be teased and can demand special attention from god or your beloved. But such feeling of Maan can be overdone and so god puts you down in a gentle way. Bapu illustrated the point by referring to episode in Raslila depicted in Bhagvat. The next stage in the series is Bhav where love for divine is clearly visible through all limbs of the body- eyes, face, the color of skin, etc.
Bhav is followed by Mahabhav that is almost equivalent to Samadhi and the devotee feels identified with god. It can be seen in Chaitanya, Ramkrushna Paramhans, Turakm etc. The highest stage is Modan- ecstasy when the totality of joy is experienced (Anubhuti). The devotee feels divine and is in constant and continuous communication within. He may appear to be crazy at times even insane. Bapu concluded that all characters in Ramayan experience love for ram but they are in different stages of love. Angad is developing; he is a beginner like us but progresses in Prem diksha.
Bapu discussed the reasons for choice of Angad Rajdoot. The choice was a counter challenge to Ravan. Angad might be nursing grievances – his father was killed by Ram and he himself was deprived of kingship. So Ravan was challenged to exploit the situation, entice Angad and wean him over away from Ramshena
Angad’s mission consisted of two items on agenda. Sita must be freed and returned to Ram, secondly the interest of Ravan should be preserved. Even though Ravan was a hardcore enemy. Ram did not want to completely destroy him. Angad needed no further instructions and he boldly entered in Ravansabha. He was given a standing ovation. He introduced himself as the son of Vali–Ravan’s former friend and his conqueror Angad calls himself a Rajdoot of Ram.
Bapu then picked up the narrative part of Katha. After arriving in Janakpur, Ram and Laxman walked around in the city and made the entire Janakpuri Rammaya. Both brothers visited the garden and the friend of Sita brought Ram and Sita together. The event has been spiritually interpreted that one has to go a garden (Sant Samagam), take a bath (Nirmalta), and worship Gauri (Shraddha). When we are Shraddhavan, a friend (guru) would lead us to the Darshan, if we follow him. Ram heard the musical tingling of ornaments and finally Ram and Sita were face to face and experienced love for each other. Sita prayed to Bhavani to get Ram as a husband. Bapu pointed out that logic is not very relevant to spiritual life. He mentioned saptavedi which is very important part of marriage vows valuable even now. The day ended and next day Ram went to the court of Janak.
Declaring that no theme and no character in Ramcharit Manas can ever be totally or exhaustively described or explained, Bapu started with the narrative such a reversal of usual daily order of analysis followed by Katha, was necessary to bring the story down to Angad entering Ravan’s Court.
Bapu while narrating the Katha explained the Spiritual Significance of several important episode. Rama broke the bow in order to get Sita as his wife. Sita is Shakti (Power) for Yogit, Bhakti for the devotees and for those who follow the path of knowledge. Sita is Moksh or Shanti. But Shakti, Bhakti or Shanti cannot be attained or achieved without thoroughly destroying our arrogance (Ahankar). The bow belonged to Shiv who is described as the Ahankar of the Universe. So breaking up and away from arrogance is necessary for spiritual progress.
Ram could succeed in doing what others had failed to do because Ram was accompanied by his Guru, while all others had no Guru to guide and support him.
Parshuram rushed to Ram but he was overpowered. Bidding farewell to all arms, he went for Tap. Angad mentioned the prowess of Ram. All Karmayogis feel the prowess of Ram but Gnanis like Prashuram would feel the Prabhav of Ram while Bhakts would experience his svabhav. Saints and Bhakts are not interested in testing the God, they would feel God as he is (Svabhav).
Bapu told us about the great achievements that follow by understanding the Svabhav of God. He told the story of the Ram Vivah of everybody returning to Ayodhya and Vishwamitra taking his leave of Dashrath.
Bapu narrated the incident when Gusaiji through away the costly gifts of Akbar in River Yamuna and retrieved a large number of such costly gifts. This was the end of Balkand.
In Ayodhya Kand, Bharat proved himself to be a person who is devoted to Ram and receives his Paduka. Ayodhya was ruled by Paduka and only administered by Bharat. Bapu narrated the story of Ram getting shifted from Chitrakoot to Panchvati. He told the story of abduction of Sita, death of Jatayu. In search of Sita, Ram travels to lake Pampa after meeting Shabari. Hanuman meets him, Vali is killed, Hanuman jumps over the ocean, meets Sita and accepts to be arrested. Hanuman is an incarnation of Shiv, who, as Guru of Ravan made one last effort to save Ravan.
Bapu mentioned that in Ramcharit Manas, Angad is always mentioned in constant association of Hanuman, who is his Guru. Thereby, Angad and Ravan both became pupils of Shankar. The Katha reached the point when Angad is selected as Rajdut. Bapu mentioned several qualities of Rajdut. He ought to be intelligent, efficient conversationalist, wise, a realist, speaker of reality, capable in adversity, a scholar, a person with his own Pratibha, Nispruha, Vagmi and aware of various Shastra. Angad was upset because Ram was being abused. He strucks the earth with his hands and Ravan falls on his face. Angad snetched away four of crowns and passed them all to Rama as they represent four royal qualities “Sam, Dam, Dand, Bhed”. Ravan retains six of his crowns representing six passions “Kam, Krodh, Lobh, Dvesh, Moh, Abhiman”.
The war lasted for 31 days and Ravan was killed by 31 arrows – 10 for his heads, 20 for his arms and 1 at the navel.
Vibhishan was crowned. Ram and Sita return to Ayodhya; Ram and Bharat meet in great emotional reunion. Ram was crowned a king establishing thereby Ram Rajya.