What's in a name?

Discussion in 'Lord Rama' started by garry420, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    .. shrii raama jayam ..

    shriiraama raama raameti rame raame manorame .
    sahasranaama tattulyaM raama naama varaanane ..

    The verse above, found among the phala shruti of the famed Vishnu Sahasranama tells us that saying Rama Rama Rama is equivalent to the 1000 names of Vishnu. We are to contemplate upon him continously, with each contemplation derived form the previous contemplation, and giving rise to a successive one. However, the verse above is also true in a literal sense. As per the katayapadi system of codification, each row of letters starting from ka-ta-pa-ya are assigned the values from 1 onwards. Thus, ra is assigned the value two (ya-ra-la-va) and ma is assigned the value 5 (pa-pha-ba-bha-ma). The merit derived from contemplation on this divine name has multiplicative effect. Thus, the merit of chanting rama thrice is (2*5) * (2*5) * (2*5) = 1000 fold that of chanting other names.

    Essence of the Essence
    .. aum namo naaraayaNaaya ..
    .. namaH shivaaya ..

    The two major Indian philosophies are arguably the Vaishnavite and Shaivaite philosophies, whose essences are the ashtakshari and panchakshari mantras respectively. The ashtakshari mantra aum namo narayanaya propitiates Narayana (narashca ayana iti narayana:) He who leads men to their goal is Narayana. Just as the ashtakshari is the essence of Vaishnavism, the letter ra is the essence of the ashtakshari. Without it, Narayana becomes Naayana (he who does not lead us to our goal). Similarly, the essence of the panchakshari nama: shivaya is the letter ma. Without it, we would be asking for na: shivaya or inauspiciousness. Ra-ma is thus formed from the essence of these two mantras. He is the essence of both philosophies.


    charitaM raghunaathasya shatakoTi pravistaram.h .
    ekaikamaksharaM pu.nsaaM mahaapaatakanaashanam.h ..

    When the original Ramayana consisting of 100 crore verses was expounded, each of the three groups of beings: men, devas and asuras claimed the work for themselves. Unable to settle their squabble, they approached Lord Brahma, requesting him to mediate. However, Lord Brahma was unable to settle the dispute amicably, and directed them to approach Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva first split the 100 crore verses equally among each of the three groups of beings. (100 = 33 * 3 + 1). When this great task was completed, one verse was left over. The squabbling continued over the ownership of this last verse. The Ramayana is composed in the Anushtub meter, consisting of 32 letters. Lord Shiva now divided this verse equally. (32 = 10 * 3 + 2). In order to be fair to all parties, he told them that he would personally safeguard the remaining two letters. Being given more than 33 crore verses each, the asuras, devas and men alike were satisfied with the proposal and nodded their assent. Then, one of them asked which aksharas Lord Shiva would be personally safegaurding. He replied: only the letters raa and ma. Only then did the beings realize their folly. Rama is indeed the highest teaching.

    Astrologically speaking, Rama is once again the fusion of the Vaishnavite and Shaivaite philosophies. Both Rama and Shiva are symbolically understood to be of the form of Surya, or the Sun of unspeakable brilliance. They are indeed one and the same.


    Dr. Satyavati S. Kandala, Ph.D (Sanskrit)
    Dr. Parasharam Ubhaya Bhaskar Deekshith, Ph.D (Sanskrit)
    by : Ajit Krishnan

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