The Grace of Lord Rama

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, satsang on Ramanavami Day at Bihar School of Yoga, May 1969, originally printed in YOGA, Vol.10, No. 3, 1970

Rama is a name which symbolises the ultimate perfection of jivatma, the individual soul. Untainted in spirit, pure in all conditions is the soul of Rama. His body may appear to be human like a man, but his soul is the full and unreserved expression of the divine being which is transcendental. The body of Rama is not the avatara, it is his inner being which has chosen the medium of a body for the descent of light, power and perfection.

Let us worship his all-pervading spirit, his eternal doings, his sweet assurances. If we fail to do it and merely limit our devotion to the outer physical expression, we shall be erring terribly. That eternal spirit descended. The collective spiritual efforts of the pained and suppressed masses shook the very core of the divine being. He came down from the unmanifest state to an embodied arena, from timelessness to a timed and limited body, and from namelessness to a named personality. We named him Rama.

What is his real name? Who knows this? Infinite are his names. All names are his names, yet he is nameless, formless and eternal. His essence is our earth, water, fire, air and ether. Earth is the essence of his body; water is the essence of his lila; fire is the essence of his spirit; air is the essence of his vibration; ether is the essence of his mind.

Rama is the central and primitive origin of all sounds, of all that is written and read. Languages, rhythm and symbols are all manifestations of Rama. When blessed by the divine light, the mind and body serve Lord Rama, contain him and carry him within them. Mind and body, senses and prana, and reactions arising there from, are material, fictitious forms of Rama the eternal.

When the mind has surrendered, the senses are purified, the pranas are given to serve him, and the body is discarded, we behold him as we do our own bodies. All that happiness is the cheerful smile of my Lord. Let me be lost in that sweet wave of love. Glory is thine, glory thou art. The deserted while glaciers speak of your glory. The mammoth and multiple crawling and crying which the forest transmits as if your messenger stands to proclaim your love for us.

When I stand in the darkness, with my feet frozen, my limbs failing, my eyes blinded and my heart sunk in fear, it is your blessings that are poured on me in all your love. The greater your love, the greater my awe. When you enfold me in your intimate grace, I get a shock, I cannot stand, I cannot think, I cannot see. Everything around me appears to be diminishing; the ground under my feet is shifting.

Is it pain or sorrow or a symptom of your grace, my Lord? Yesterday I was happy and gay. I was talking with all and I had plenty of friends, costly dress and great wealth. Then you came. First, slowly, like a lover you touched me, pulled me to your bosom, blessed my eyes, my cheeks and lips and all that was mine. A thrill passed, a sensation of shock pervaded me and I lost sight of all.

I lost sight of friends and wealth. I lost sight of name and fame. I lost the very ground on which I stood the moment your footsteps sounded in my ears and shocked my pained and ever awaiting heart. I lost all my earthly ambitions, my parents, my passions and my belongings when you entered suddenly into my chamber and poured your love upon me.

Your love is my life. I have found you, my precious devata, at the cost of wealth, wife and children, which can no more be mine. It is not sorrow; it is eternal rest in the bosom of Rama and eternal grace. Lord, keep me with you always. Don't give me up for any number of faults or failings. We are tied together for eternity. Let us not separate again. I don't want anything from you, only keep me with you. Look at me and let me look at you for all time to come, for eternity.

What have I to give you? This idea itself gives me pain. I have been a beggar for all the ages that have passed. I begged for mercy; I begged for help. At limes I begged for passion, at times for hell. All this troubles me too much. Please Don's expect anything of me, a beggar on the pavement of the ages of civilisation and destruction.

It is I who am thirsty for your nectarine drops. It is for this I have travelled the great distance of time and have come to your door to beg for your love and care. I am tired; I want to rest. Will you love me? Those were days of ecstasy and unfathomable bliss when you blessed Ayodhya. Those were moments of joy for Kaushalya when you blessed her with enrapturing and holy smiles. The history of that glorious time sighs like a forlorn widow, having seen you go away from the firmament of our mortal vision. The magnificent arena of Ayodhya has been in constant gloom since the day of your departure from her bedchamber. Her eyes have poured out an age full of melancholy, an ocean full of panic and disorder, mental chaos and mortal conflict. Her heart has turned to stone through no fault of her own. She rolls on like the neglected symbol and history of Ahalya. "When will thou come?" is her long reverberating cry. Dasharatha and Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi, have gone into the unseen panorama of the afterlife, together with others. A long range of events has swept past this history of mankind. Many kings and leaders have come and gone after you, leaving no trace of their existence.

In this interval of time, your glory has grown day by day since you left your mortal coil and merged into your real nature. Every day brings you among us. Every life is thrilled by your ancient memories. Your glory has transcended the memories of millions and is dawning on our lives. Your name is a blessing. Death fears your name. Your name has consoled and uplifted countless souls. What an immortal blessing you have left for us!