Today, April 15 2016, is Rama Navami.
Rama Navami is the celebration of Rama’s birth as the son of King Dasaratha more than a million years ago. Even if it is only for a moment, I think of Rama today. I utter the sweetest sound my tongue can utter – the word Rama – today.
The word Rama is also all powerful. Saints and sages through the ages have attested to its immeasurable, all-inclusive protective comfort, experienced first hand by embracing it. The name can halt the feverish dances of my mind, dissolve my selfish impulses and give me peace of mind.
Rama Navami festival is celebrated throughout the world today.
Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India[Source]
Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India [Source]
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India [Source]
Ranchi, Jharkhand, India [Source]
Rama is present in and around me, constantly attracting and endearing.
The earth attracts objects to it. We call it gravitational force. A magnet attracts a piece of iron. We call it magnetic force. An atomic nucleus attracts the electron revolving around it. We call it centrifugal force. The electron wants to move away from the nucleus, attracted with its own force of movement. We call this centripetal force. The positively charged protons are held together inside the tiny nucleus of an atom. Science says particles with the same electric charge repel each other, so protons must repel each other and can really not stay together inside their tiny little house, can they? But they do. There is an attraction that is more powerful than their repulsion for each other that is holding them together, would you agree? Every object exerts a force of attraction on another. Not only objects, but even thoughts and emotions as well. A caring word, a constructive thought or a compassionate action exerts its own unfailing attraction. We call this friendship, an act of love, act of service, courtship or whatever. Values of ethics, justice and fairness also attract. Everything visible or invisible, gross or subtle, big or small, memories or dreams is attracting always, continuously.
This attracting, endearing entity is Rama. ramyatiti iti ramah.
When the lump of sugar attracts an ant, the sweetness is present not only in the sugar but also in the ant. When a magnet attracts an iron filing, the magnet is present not only in the magnet but also in the iron filing. When a child runs in to the outstretched arms of its mother, the love is present not only in the mother but also in the child.
This attracting entity that is present in the different things in life, demonstrating the oneness of all the differences is Rama. Taittreeya Upanishad calls this prema eva, love only.
Rama is present in me, in you and in everything as Love. We cannot be without it. This Love is God. Sri Sathya Sai Baba points out that no leaf can fall nor the distant star can shine without Rama’s Will.
God is present in all. If you criticise others, you criticise God. Whoever you salute, it reaches God(Sarva jeeva namaskaram Keshavam prati gacchati) and whoever you insult or ridicule, it also reaches God! (Sarva jeeva thiraskaram Keshavam prati gacchati).[Source]
The day that I wake up to this truth and look to the Love within me is the birthday of Rama for me. That is my Rama Navami. I can then salute everyone. I can then stop criticizing others.
This is a good beginning. A sacred one.
Happy Rama Navami, dear reader!