by Swami Sivananda
Blessed Immortal Selves!
Out of the fullness of my heart and love for you all I send a Message Divine to inspire you, to instantly elevate and to transform your life. It will transport you from weakness to tremendous strength, from failure to flaming success, from sorrow to blessedness and joy. Hearken, therefore, with utmost attention to this message of Ramanavami.
The most sacred Ramayana abounds with innumerable life-redeeming lessons. But in receiving a message, the receiver eagerly looks for something therein which will throw light upon and guide him in the most pressing problems of the day. He seeks solutions for the crying questions of the moment. And at the present period the one matter that is terribly agitating all minds and hearts is the wide-spread Adharma—falsehood and passion, that is rampant everywhere in the world. To know the cause of it and the direct way to quickly remove it is the thing needed now. And to this end, out of the countless lessons teeming in the Ramayana, I wish to awaken you all to the most important and timely ones for humanity now. All the main ills of the modern world will be removed if these two lessons from the ideal life of Rama are adopted in our lives individually as well as nationally.
Amongst numerous lessons I wish this day to particularly impress upon you two lessons. They are the special need of the world today. Humanity has become corrut today due to the falling away from two essential ideals indispensable to the weal and happiness of life, individual, national as also international. They are the ideals of Truth and Purity. Let these twins flames of Truth and Purity burn bright upon your broad bosom.
At the present moment you have excommunicated ethics and murdered morality in the name of modernism. Fraud and falsehood have acquired the status of fashionable fine-arts. People make out a polished pretence of purity and truth but there remains just a travesty. Fraud flourishes in all the four quarters of the globe. Politics has degenerated into a mere game of fraud. Broken pledges, discarded promises, dishonoured contracts once solemnly made, hypocritical avowals and assertions, and deliberately misleading and falsified statements—these are the kind that you meet with everywhere you turn.
Enter a house, talk to the family therein and enquire about its affairs; then this will be the story you will hear. Analyse the internal affairs of a nation; then too the same story greets your ears. And behold the state of international affairs in this world; once again a similar tale you hear.
Therefore I emphasise upon these two great ideals—the sublime ideal of Purity and the lofty ideal of Truth. Rama was the embodiment of both. The entire Ramayana was the outcome of his burning desire to uphold the promise of his father made to Kaikeyi, the queen. An illustrious prince, Sri Rama voluntarily subjected himself to untold hardships for fourteen years of forest life amidst fierce beasts and Asuras just to keep up a promise, and that too, a promise not made or given by him but by another even before he was born. What an ideal of highest purity is his life-long vow of Eka Patnivrata (vow of being married to only one woman). How dire is the need now of adopting this ideal in life when the solemn contract of sacred matrimony and its sanctity are outraged and scandalised all over the world.
Ramayana is permeated with the spirit of these two ideals. Dasaratha sticks to truth even though it costs him his very life. Grief breaks his heart and shatters his body to death, yet the word to Kaikeyi is kept. Then, take Sri Rama. He loves Bharata more than his life-breath—yet, having given his word to his step-mother, not even the most poignant entreaty of the beloved Bharata could make him deviate an inch from his resolve. What a proof of the strength of truth. In every man’s heart should ring today the grand and most memorable declaration of Rama: “Fire may abandon its heat, ice its coolness, jasmine its fragrance, but I never break the promise made to my father.” Rama’s own mother, Queen Kausalya, tries her utmost to dissuade him. She tells him how the mother is even greater than the father, for, has it not been said, first and foremost: “Matru Devo Bhava”—let thy mother be like a god unto thee. But no, truth is indeed the supremest God of all gods.
Remember again the heroic adherence to truth that Prince Bharata exemplifies with grand, superhuman resolution for fourteen tedious years. Bharata stuck to his lofty vow and to the little village of Nandigram, bowing with folded hands and bent head before the royal sandals of Lord Rama. And at the end of the period, had but Rama delayed a moment more, then true to his word, Bharata would have cast himself into the burning pit of a blazing fire. Such is the stuff of Truth—Truth that makes man immortal. And this precious human body is given to thee to strive to attain immortality. Therefore, blessed selves, embrace this Truth and inherit the life immortal.
Then comes the marvellous fidelity of Sita in the grove of the Asokavana. What unforgettable adherence to the vow once taken. What adamantine steadiness in the midst of the severest trials and temptations. How Ravana tempted Sita; how he tries to convince her that Rama is dead even by producing an exact likeness of his severed head before the shocked and agonised gaze of Sita. But all through this we note the unwavering constancy of Sita. She was Truth personified. For what is Pativrata if not being absolutely true to one’s chosen lord. And such truth is indeed of the very form of the highest Purity.
Therefore, blessed selves, men and women, young and old, great and small, O ye Adhyatmic warriors, all take up this trident of Truth with its threefold prongs of truthful thought, speech and deed! Deal the death-blow to all untruth and falsehood with this invincible weapon of Truth. This is the Mahasastra (great weapon), the real Rama-bana (arrow) that I give unto you today. With deep reverence and determined resoluteness wield this Satyastra (weapon of truth), slay the enemies of Santi (peace) and Sukha (happiness) and see the dawn of Satya-Yuga (age of truth).
On this most auspicious and joyous Sri Ramanavami Day this, therefore, is the message I send to you; this the present I give to you, this the promise I ask of you—let these two—Truth and Purity—be the mottos of your life. Let these principles animate every moment of your existence, motivate each action of yours, dwell in your heart, fill your mind, pervade your speech. Let Truth and Purity light up your career, guide your conduct and mould your character. Let these twin forces sweep away all inauspiciousness and evil for ever from your life. Banished will be the black night of sorrow and suffering and before their divine blaze will vanish the shadows of vice and of unrighteousness.
And on this great—Sri Ramanavami Day—I shall tell you a great secret. In bestowing the present of the invincible weapon of Truth and Purity I shall reveal one thing, the only thing which is equally powerful and marvellous as the Mahastra. This is the Divine Name of Rama. Rama-Nama and Rama-Bana of Truth and Purity are a marvellous pair. He who has the one has the other also. Repeat Rama-Nama. Stick to Truth. Practise Purity. These three will raise you to transcendent perfection.
Hear, O beloved self! Thy body is a living temple of the Divine. Enshrine then the deity of Truth in the sanctum of the heart. Let each person be a veritable Pagoda of Purity, housing this Presence Divine.
The advent of “Rama Rajya” verily implies the ushering in of prosperity and plenty, blessedness, bliss and peace on earth and goodwill among men. If such a state of true happiness is to come about then all fear and uncertainty must vanish from man’s heart. But fear will persist as long as there exist suspicion, distrust and disbelief amongst men. To eliminate distrust and suspicion, all falsehood, deception, crookedness and untruth must go. Then alone mutual trust and love will spring up between man and man. Truth alone can do this. The power of truth is that power which has made the memorable name of Harishchandra forever immortal and renowned, the power that will vanquish and exterminate falsehood and untruth from this fair earth of ours.
There is no doubt, if these principles are immediately adopted, sincerely cherished and earnestly practised real “Rama Rajya” will come about on earth not merely for one kingdom, nation or country, but for the whole world. It will be “Rama Rajya” for the entire humanity.
Such periodical celebrations are a boon and blessing to you. They serve to keep bright and alive these lofty examples by following which life on earth becomes fruitful. Attend the celebrations with the right and proper Bhava (feeling) and benefit fully by it. Resolve from this Ramanavami day to take a daily dip into the life-redeeming waters that the Ramayana is. Read a small portion of the Ramayana everyday. You will be constantly inspired. You will derive valuable guidance in your day-to-day life. You will, without fail, imbibe into your being the lofty qualities embodied therein. Within a short time you will surely find yourself a different man, greatly filled with Sattva, with the divine spirit of Truth and Purity. Peace, joy and prosperity will be yours here and hereafter.