'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

MenoSundays; Life Lived Lovingly

Today is Shri Ram-navaami, the birthday of Lord Rama of Ayodhya. Most people in the West have heard of Shri Krishna, but not so many are familiar with Ram-ji.

In the Hindu tradition, it is said there are some 33 million 'gods'. (Not capital 'g', note). How so? Think of it like this. For a country, state, or city to run properly, the government creates various departments and employs individuals within those departments — teachers, postal workers, police and military personnel, construction works, doctors, politicians, and so many more. Each of these departments employs hundreds or thousands of individuals carrying out their respective duties and each sector has an individual or multiple individuals that oversees the activities of that one unit. Each head of an area is endowed with certain privileges and powers which facilitates them in their tasks. Imagine the millions of workers around the globe keeping society functional. 

The point is, for each function of nature on Earth and in the cosmos, there are governing principles which keep it working. Whilst science was very strong (biology, physics and chemistry, mathematics and more were all understood and documented in ancient Sanskrit texts) in historic India there was always the acceptance of a power from which it all arose and that that power had ensured lots of smaller powers were there to hold it all together. These powers were seen to manifest in certain forms and given names such as Surya (sun), Chandra (moon), Varuna (water)... the three great powers, (second only to That which cannot be properly named and is called variously as OM, Brahman, Purushartha, Iishwara) are Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Sustainer) and Shiva (Destroyer). These equate to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost in the Christian understanding. 

Vishnu is the Lord who has taken human form (avatar) ten times; Matsya, Narasimha, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, Kalki, Vamana, Vithoba, Varaha and Kurma. Each was in response to a specific need in the society, but Rama and Krishna had the most wide-ranging effect and influence, living whole lives, whilst the rest were for specific periods of time.   

Rama came to calm the turmoil created by the rise of Ravana and to show the known world how to live nobly, in dedication to one's duty, in care of one's society, with loyalty and devotion, able to forgive and keep the peace as much as was possible, but also when the time came to fight for what was right, that it be done so with fairness and compassion. Like Christ, the prince of Ayodhya is an embodiment of goodness, gentleness, sacrifice and - above all - Love. His story is told in the Ramaayana; for the book, click here; for an animated film version, click here.

Hindus acknowledge all the gods as representations of the One Power of the Universe, but will generally take one as their 'ishta devataa' - much as Catholics may favour a saint. Shri Rama is my Lord; I did not choose Him, I was placed in His care by my beloved Yeshu. I am grateful for His blessings and prostrate to Him this day, with Love and devotion.

जय श्री राम !!!


5 comments:

  1. YAM-Aunty...this is all new to me...but the last paragraph is universal and I love that!
    Hugs HiC

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  2. A beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Not much knowledge on Hindu. Sort of remind me of different pagan gods and goddess. Saints in Catholic and such.
    Coffee is on

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  4. Such great info in this post. Makes so much more sense to me now. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. namaste, janice xx

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  5. This is rather like the way that it takes a village to raise a child, isn't it?!
    I love our First Nations spirituality, as well. We all need looking after, by many spirits.

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