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As the tense wait for the #AYODHYAVERDICT spreads across the country, one wonders how many people of my generation and younger have ever read the #Ramayana with any care. Tempted to start a thread of the Ramayana.
Ram (sometimes written as Rama) is an insignia of how the traditional Indian mind considered righteousness. The Ramayana (and the Mahabharata) is/are not ethnically confined. I would argue it (they) belong to, and live in, every Indian. And anyone, any land ever touched by India.
The Ramayana is - as many have noticed - less 'complex' than the Mahabharata. It has fewer characters and sub-plots. To journey from the Ramayana to the Mahabharata is to see a society evolve.
One of the most sublime moments of my childhood which has forever remained with me is my parents taking me to the Ramakrishna Mission to listen to the monks singing the Ram Naam Sankirtan, or the many names of Ram. In two parts, this is that lovely song:
(1) and (2) I shall share the translation of every line of this beautiful song which I have listened to thousands of times and when I die, I hope this is the last thing I hear.
The first line says Shuddha-Brahma-Paraatpara Raam, meaning In Ram is my refuge, He who is the Brahman Himself and better than the best.
Kaala-Aatmaka-Parameshvara Raam, meaning In Ram is my home, He who is the Lord of Kala (Time/Destiny) and the Lord of Lords.
Shessa-Talpa-Sukha-Nidrita Raam, meaning In Ram (I find my home) who sleeps gently and peacefully on the bed made of the coils of the great serpent, the Sesha Naga.
Brahmaadya-Amara-Praarthita Raam, meaning In Ram (is my refuge) who is worshipped at His lotus feet by even Brahma for immortality.
The chorus that follows is:

Raam Raam Jaya Raajaa Raam
Raam Raam Jaya Siitaa Raam

May King Ram be victorious, Hail Ram, Hail Sita-Ram (rare is the time when the name of Ram is taken without his consort Sita).
Chandda-Kiranna-Kula-Mannddana Raam, meaning In Ram (I find shelter), He who is the light that adorns the Dynasty of the Sun.
Shriimad-Dasharatha-Nandana Raam, meaning In Ram (I take refuge), the illustrious and beloved son of King Dasaratha.
Kausalyaa-Sukha-Vardhana Raam, meaning In Ram (in my shelter) who brought such happiness to Kausalya (his mother).
Vishvaamitra-Priya-Dhana Raam, In Ram (I trust) who was the (or like the) favourite treasure of Rishi (Sage) Vishwamitra.
The chorus that follows is:

Raam Raam Jaya Raajaa Raam
Raam Raam Jaya Siitaa Raam

May King Ram be victorious, Hail Ram, Hail Sita-Ram (rare is the time when the name of Ram is taken without his consort Sita).
Ghora-Taattakaa-Ghaataka Raam, In Ram (I believe), who killed the terrifying demon(ess) Tataka.
(With each verse, a different facet of Ram emerges. What is really happening here? The imagination of the traditionally 'perfect man' is emerging, who is just but not weak, righteous but not infallible, in the goodness of his intention, whatever the circumstances, we are urged to
find salvation and solutions to our everyday dilemmas.)
(In Ram, in god manifesting as man, He takes up all the challenges of being human, and attempts to shows the calm and just path in the act of living, with all its hurdles and hiccups.)
(In Ram, not just god manifesting as man, but also god manifesting as king, He offers conceptions and formulations on the dispensing of justice, including how to conduct oneself as a leader in public.)
Maariica-Aadi-Nipaataka Raam, meaning In Ram (I place my faith) who demolished demons like Marica and others.
Kaushika-Makha-Samrakssaka Raam, meaning In Ram (I trust) who was the protector of the yagna (ritual) of the Rishi (Sage) Vishwamitra.
Shriimad-Ahalyoa-Uddhaaraka Raam, meaning In Ram (is my refuge) who gave benign deliverance to Ahalya.
The chorus that follows is:

Raam Raam Jaya Raajaa Raam
Raam Raam Jaya Siitaa Raam

May King Ram be victorious, Hail Ram, Hail Sita-Ram (rare is the time when the name of Ram is taken without his consort Sita).
Gautama-Muni-Sampuujita Raam, In Ram (I have faith) who was revered by Rishi (Sage) Gautama.
Naavika-Dhaavita-Mrdu-Pada Raam, In Ram (in whom I trust) whose gentle feet were washed by the devoted boatman.
Mithilaa-Pura-Jana-Mohaka Raam, In Ram (I have faith) who mesmerized the people of Mithila.
The chorus that follows is:

Raam Raam Jaya Raajaa Raam
Raam Raam Jaya Siitaa Raam

May King Ram be victorious, Hail Ram, Hail Sita-Ram (rare is the time when the name of Ram is taken without his consort Sita).
Videha-Maana-Sa-Ranjaka Raam, meaning In Ram (I trust) who increased the honour and glory of King Janak.
Try-Ambaka-Kaarmuka-Bhan.jaka Raam, meaning In Ram (in whom I have faith) who the bow of Shiva, who has three eyes.
Siitaa-Arpita-Vara-Maalika Raam, meaning In Ram (where I seek solace) who was garlanded by Sita during her swayamvar (selection of the groom).
Krta-Vaivaahika-Kautuka Raam, meaning In Ram (who I trust) who organised all the festivities during the wedding (his own).
The chorus that follows is:

Raam Raam Jaya Raajaa Raam
Raam Raam Jaya Siitaa Raam

May King Ram be victorious, Hail Ram, Hail Sita-Ram (rare is the time when the name of Ram is taken without his consort Sita).
Bhaargava-Darpa-Vinaashaka Raam, In Ram (where I find refuge) who broke the pride of Parashurama.
Shriimad-Ayodhyaa-Paalaka Raam, In Ram (I have faith) who was the great king of Ayodhya.
Agannita-Gunna-Ganna-Bhuussita Raam, In Ram (I trust) who has virtues too many to count.
Avanii-Tanayaa-Kaamita Raam, In Ram (lies my belief) who was wanted by the daughter of the earth, Sita (as her consort).
The chorus that follows is:

Raam Raam Jaya Raajaa Raam
Raam Raam Jaya Siitaa Raam

May King Ram be victorious, Hail Ram, Hail Sita-Ram (rare is the time when the name of Ram is taken without his consort Sita).
Raakaa-Candra-Sama-Aanana Raam, In Ram I place my trust whose face is like the full moon.
Pitr-Vaakya-Aashrita-Kaanana Raam, In Ram I have faith who, following the instructions of his father, left for the forest.
Priya-Guha-Vi-Nivedita-Pada Raam, In Ram I take solace at whose feet Guha offered himself as a servant.
I have decided that this thread on the Ramayana will not only complete its ongoing series of the 108 names of Ram but will continue as an unbroken thread on the Ramayana till the day of the inauguration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Delectable rendition of Ram Ratan Dhan Payo by Pandit Venkatesh Kumar.
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