||Ramacharit Manas||

|| Sri Rama's preaching to Lakshmana ||

|| The Sadhanas of Bhakti.||

A Turaga Presentation.



||om tat sat||

सीय राममय सब जग जानी।
कर‌उँ प्रनाम जोरि जुग पानी॥

"Siya Ram may sab jag jani.
Karahun pranam jori jug pani."

"I find Sita and Rama in every part of the world.
I therefore pay homage to all with folded hands."


Bhakti Sadhanas in the Ramacharitmanas,
as preached by Lord Sri Rama to Lakshmana

Notes on Sadhana

"Each soul is potentially divine.
The goal is to manifest this divinity by controlling nature, external and internal.
Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy - by one, or more, or all of these - and be free.
This is the whole of religion.
Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details."
- Swami Vivekananda

Sadhana (Spiritual Practice) is the quest of the individual soul for release from Samsara (Worldly Bondage) and attainment of Unity with the Supreme Being.

Sadhana is broadly classified in to Four Types:
Work or Service (Karma Yoga)
Worship or Devotion (Bhakti Yoga)
Psychic control or Mind Control (Raja Yoga)
Philosophy (Gyana Yoga)

In this article we study the Bhakti Sadhanas in the Ramacharitmanas, as preached by Lord Sri Rama to Lakshmana in the Third Canto (Aranya Kanda or तृतीय सोपान अरण्यकाण्ड )

Bhakti (Devotion) is the main focus of the Ramacharitmanas.

जब ते राम कीन्ह तहँ बासा। सुखी भ‌ए मुनि बीती त्रासा॥
From the time Sri Rama took up His abode there (in the Siddha Ashram) the sages
lived happily and were rid of all fear.

गिरि बन नदीं ताल छबि छा‌ए। दिन दिन प्रति अति हौहिं सुहा‌ए॥
The hills, woods, streams and lakes were suffused with beauty and grew yet more
lovely day by day.

खग मृग बृंद अनंदित रहहीं। मधुप मधुर गंजत छबि लहहीं॥
The birds and deer were full of joy, and the bees with their sweet humming looked very charming.

सो बन बरनि न सक अहिराजा। जहाँ प्रगट रघुबीर बिराजा॥
Not even Sesa (the king of serpents) would be able to describe the forest which
was adorned by Sri Rama (the Chief of Raghus) in His manifest form.

एक बार प्रभु सुख आसीना। लछिमन बचन कहे छलहीना॥
Once upon a time, as the Lord was sitting at ease, Lakshmana addressed Him in guileless words:

सुर नर मुनि सचराचर सा‌ईं। मैं पूछ‌उँ निज प्रभु की ना‌ई॥
"O Lord of Gods, human beings, sages and all animate and inanimate creation! I ask You - my own master.

मोहि समुझा‌इ कहहु सो‌इ देवा। सब तजि करौं चरन रज सेवा॥
Instruct me, my lord, how I may be able to adore the dust of Your feet to the exclusion of everything else


कहहु ग्यान बिराग अरु माया। कहहु सो भगति करहु जेहिं दाया॥

Discourse to me on spiritual wisdom and dispassion as well as on Maya (Illusion); and also speak to me about Bhakti due to which you shower Your grace."

दो0- ईस्वर जीव भेद प्रभु सकल कहौ समुझा‌इ॥
जातें हो‌इ चरन रति सोक मोह भ्रम जा‌इ॥14॥
"Also explain to me all the difference between God and the individual soul, so that I may be devoted to Your feet and my sorrow, infatuation and delusion may disappear." (14)

थोरेहि महँ सब कह‌उँ बुझा‌ई। सुनहु तात मति मन चित ला‌ई॥

"I will explain everything in a nutshell; listen, dear brother, with your mind, intellect and reason fully absorbed.

मैं अरु मोर तोर तैं माया। जेहिं बस कीन्हे जीव निकाया॥
The feeling of I and 'mine' and 'you' and 'yours' is Maya
(Illusion), which holds sway over all created beings.

गो गोचर जहँ लगि मन जा‌ई। सो सब माया जानेहु भा‌ई॥
Whatever is perceived by the senses and that which lies within the reach of the mind, know it all to be Maya.

तेहि कर भेद सुनहु तुम्ह सो‌ऊ। बिद्या अपर अबिद्या दो‌ऊ॥
And hear of its divisions too: they are two, viz., knowledge and ignorance.

एक दुष्ट अतिसय दुखरूपा। जा बस जीव परा भवकूपा॥
The one (ignorance) is vile and extremely painful, and has cast the Jiva into metempsychosis (Cycle of Birth & Death).

एक रच‌इ जग गुन बस जाकें। प्रभु प्रेरित नहिं निज बल ताकें॥

The other (knowledge), which brings forth the creation and which holds sway over
the three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) is directed by the Lord and has no
strength of its own.

ग्यान मान जहँ एक‌उ नाहीं। देख ब्रह्म समान सब माही॥
Spiritual wisdom is that which is free from all blemishes in the shape of pride
etc., and which sees the Supreme Spirit equally in all.

कहि‌अ तात सो परम बिरागी। तृन सम सिद्धि तीनि गुन त्यागी॥
He alone, dear brother, should be called a man of supreme dispassion, who has
spurned all supernatural powers as well as the three Gunas (of which the universe is composed) as if of no more value than a blade of grass."

दो0-माया ईस न आपु कहुँ जान कहि‌अ सो जीव।
बंध मोच्छ प्रद सर्बपर माया प्रेरक सीव॥15॥
"That alone deserves to be called a Jiva (individual soul), which knows not Maya
nor God nor one's own self. And Siva (God) is He who awards bondage and liberation
(according to one's deserts), transcends all and is the motivator of Maya." (15)

III. 16
Bhakti Sadhanas
धर्म तें बिरति जोग तें ग्याना। ग्यान मोच्छप्रद बेद बखाना॥
"Dispassion results from the practice of virtue, while spiritual wisdom comes of
the practice of Yoga (concentration of mind); and wisdom is the bestower of
liberation: so declare the Vedas.
जातें बेगि द्रव‌उँ मैं भा‌ई। सो मम भगति भगत सुखदा‌ई॥
And that which melts My heart quickly, dear brother, is Devotion, which is the
delight of My devotees.

सो सुतंत्र अवलंब न आना। तेहि आधीन ग्यान बिग्याना॥
It stands by itself and requires no other prop; whereas Jnana (knowledge of God in His absolute formless aspect) and Vijnana (knowledge of the qualified aspect of
God, both with and without form) depend on it.

भगति तात अनुपम सुखमूला। मिल‌इ जो संत हो‌इँ अनुकूला॥
Devotion, dear brother, is incomparable and the very root of bliss; it can be
acquired only by the favour of saints
भगति कि साधन कह‌उँ बखानी। सुगम पंथ मोहि पावहिं प्रानी॥
I now proceed to tell you at some length the means of acquiring Devotion, an easy path by which men find Me.
प्रथमहिं बिप्र चरन अति प्रीती। निज निज कर्म निरत श्रुति रीती॥
In the first place a man should cultivate excessive devotion to the feet of the
Brahmanas and secondly he should remain engaged in his own duty according to the lines laid down by the Vedas.
एहि कर फल पुनि बिषय बिरागा। तब मम धर्म उपज अनुरागा॥
This induces an aversion to the pleasures of sense and dispassion in its turn
engenders a love for My Cult (the Cult of Devotion)
श्रवनादिक नव भक्ति दृढ़ाहीं। मम लीला रति अति मन माहीं॥
This will bring steadfastness in the nine forms of Devotion such as Sravana
(hearing of the Lord's praises etc.) and the mind will develop an excessive fondness for My sports.

संत चरन पंकज अति प्रेमा। मन क्रम बचन भजन दृढ़ नेमा॥
Again, one should be extremely devoted to the lotus feet of saints and should be persistent in the practice of adoration through mind, speech and action.

गुरु पितु मातु बंधु पति देवा। सब मोहि कहँ जाने दृढ़ सेवा॥

He should recognize Me as his preceptor, father, mother, kinsman, lord, deity and all and should be steadfast in My service.
मम गुन गावत पुलक सरीरा। गदगद गिरा नयन बह नीरा॥
A thrill runs through his body as he sings My praises;
his voice gets choked and his eyes flow with tears;
काम आदि मद दंभ न जाकें। तात निरंतर बस मैं ताकें॥
He is free from lust and other vices, pride and hypocrisy. I am ever at the beck and call of such a devotee.

दो0-बचन कर्म मन मोरि गति भजनु करहिं निःकाम॥
तिन्ह के हृदय कमल महुँ कर‌उँ सदा बिश्राम॥16॥
"Nay, I ever repose in the lotus heart of those who depend on Me in thought, word
and deed and who worship Me in a selfless way." (16)

Lakshmana was greatly delighted to hear the above discourse on the discipline of
Bhakti (Devotion) and bowed his head at the feet of the Lord.
In this way some days were spent in discoursing on dispassion, spiritual wisdom, goodness and morality.

||om tat sat||
Sri Ramacaritamanasa
With Hindi Text and English Translation
(A Romanized Edition)
Gita Press, Gorakhpur, India.