The Mother Divine
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A great saint was once travelling to some town. On his way, their bus passed a small village; the saint rushed to the driver and asked him to stop the bus. “Stop! Stop the bus immediately!” he screamed. Everyone was surprised at this unsolicited stop. The saint got off the bus, fell on his knees on the open ground and then offered a sashtanga pranaam facing east. There was no one he was offering his pranaam to. The place he had stopped the bus had nothing – not a bus stop, not a household, not a temple, nothing. This baffled everyone. Later, the saint revealed that he had stopped at the place of his birth to offer his homage to his motherland. That village happened to be his birth place. He would follow this ritual every time he happened to touch the soil in which he was born.

The Indian nation recently witnessed a great event at Ayodhya. India touched her soil! The Ram Mandir which had been razed was raised, the Lord in His child form, Ram Lulla, was enshrined in His own abode, the janma bhumi. Note, the key phrase is janma bhumi!

The janma bhumi or the motherland is indeed dear to everyone, in all countries. But it is more so in India, and most so to Bhagawan Ramachandra, the Lord who breathes in the heart of crores of Indians. He may be a Lord, but to mother Ayodhya, He is a child. We’ve emoted to Bal Gopal, we have emoted to Kumar Kartikeya, we have felt for baby Ganesha when he over-ate and the moon laughed at him, but perhaps we emoted to baby Ram, Ram Lulla, for the first time. We are not alone, even Lord Shiva craved for His darshan.

Lord Shiva has exclusive devotion to Shri Ram. He chants the Lord’s name day and night. When He heard that His favourite God, Lord Ram had manifested Himself in Ayodhya, then He began to think how to have a darshan of Shri Ram. At last, He thought of a device. He is called Kakabhushundi who had an exclusive devotion to Lord Ram. Both started for Ayodhya, the eyes of Lord Shiva filled with tears, craving for darshan. Shiv assumed the appearance of an astrologer, while Kakabhushundi as Shiv’s disciple, was following Him. Thus Lord Shiva, the Master of the gods and Kakabhushundi, the devout devotee of Shri Ram, reached Ayodhya as a preceptor and a disciple respectively.

Both of them had assumed human semblance. For a long time, they could not find a proper way to have a darshan of Shri Ram. At last, they found out a plan and Kakabhushundi spread the news in a moment in Ayodhya that a very famous and experienced astrologer had come to Ayodhya. People in groups came to the astrologer Lord Shiva, and having satisfied them fully in every way, He sent them back. How could any happening of the past, the future and the present remain concealed from Lord Shiva, who is omniscient? All around people began to talk that the astrologer was indeed an expert and talented. Soon the news of the arrival of a learned astrologer reached mother Kaushalya’s palace. So Lord Shiva, with due reverence was invited to visit Kaushalya’s palace.

Lord Shiva was given a warm welcome in the palace. Sumitra and Kaikeyi also came to Kaushalya’s palace with their sons. All the mothers made their sons prostrate at Lord Shiva’s feet and requested Him to foretell their sons’ future.

Lord Shiva’s joy knew no bounds. He saw Child Ram, who is regarded by the scriptures as totally independent, sitting in the lap of His mother and smiling gently. With great love, He took Child Ram in His own lap. Gently taking His little lotus-palm in hands, He started forecasting. Lord Shiva described Shri Ram’s and the remaining three brothers’ reputations in detail. He also discussed at large the different events of the future of Ram avatar! He did not want to leave or free Shri Ram’s lotus-hands. Both of Them were relishing this bliss fully by keeping hand in hand!

That is the Ram, the nation visited. The lover of his mother land!

In the battle between Rama and Ravana, Lord Shri Rama defeated Ravana. After the victory, Lord Shri Rama decided to return the kingdom of Lanka to Vibhishana and return to Ayodhya. However, Lakshmana did not agree with this decision. He did not find it acceptable. Lakshmana said to Lord Shri Rama, “We have achieved victory over Ravana through our valour. Lanka is filled with heavenly pleasures, and it is adorned with gold. What is there in Ayodhya? Why should we return to Ayodhya? Let us stay in Lanka.”

At that time, Lord Shri Rama replied.

अपि स्वर्णमयी लङ्का न मे लक्ष्मण रोचते । जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी ॥

Api swarnamayi lanka na me Lakshman rochate, janani janmabhoomishch swargaadapi gariyasi
Lakshmana, even this golden Lanka does not appeal to me; Mother and Motherland are higher than even heaven.

Now, this Ram janma bhumi subject and the event thereof is deeper than one thinks. Janma bhumi, the motherland, and the pride and reverence it evokes is not nationalism or patriotism, it’s not xenophobia, least of all fundamentalism. Love of the motherland is a spiritual thing. It is felt by all creatures as a bond often larger than the ties of blood.

What happened in Ayodhya is deeply spiritual. It’s a historic event but it is historic not just in the political sense, it is historic in the spiritual legacy of the entire mankind. People have come together in the past in the name of several causes, but this is the first time since India became independent that people have gathered in largest number for a religious cause other than the Kumbh Mela. The Kumbha Mela is a galvaniser of spiritual energies of crores of people, nothing of that order ever happened for centuries. This has happened in 2024.

Shri Ram is the very breath of this nation, a famous song says Rom rom mein basane wale Ram, Ram who resides in every pore. Yes, that He does reside in every pore of this great nation was evident on the day Ram Lalla was enshrined in the newly built, now energised temple, instilled with super abundance of spiritual vibrations. Ayodhya came alive, the idol of Ram Lulla came alive, the nation came alive, faith came alive on that day. India has always been a nation of spirituality. This event was a direct enactment of this belief.

The Sanskrit word ‘Ayodhya’ is traditionally understood to have several possible etymological interpretations:

  1. Unconquerable: ‘Ayodhya’ is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘a’ (not) and ‘yudhya’ (war, battle), meaning a place that is unconquerable or cannot be fought against.
  2. Not to be Fought Against: From the root ‘yudh’ (to fight), and the prefix ‘a’ again suggests negation, implying a place where war or conflict should not take place.
  3. 3. City of No War: Yet another interpretation relates it to the absence of war, with ‘a’ meaning not or absence, and ‘yudh’ referring to war.

These interpretations reflect the significance of Ayodhya. The city is often depicted as a symbol of peace and righteousness. According to the Skandapurana, the word Ayodhya is ‘A’ meaning Brahma, ‘Y’ meaning Vishnu and ‘Dha’ meaning Rudra.

In the scriptures there is a beautiful shloka which says ‘Ayodhya Mathura Maya Kashi Kanchi Avantika Puri Dwaravati chaiva saptaite mokshadayakah’, that means ‘the seven (sacred cities) that can bestow liberation to the devotees that visit them are Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar (also called Maya), Varanasi (also called Kashi), Kanchipuram, Ujjain (earlier called Avantika), and Dwaraka.’ Many, however, do not know that these cities also correspond to different chakras and the emotions that manifest there. Swami Purnachaitamya has beautifully described this connection.

It may be noted that the shloka mentions Ayodhya first. Swamiji says that “the spiritual journey begins at Mayapuri or Haridwar which is connected to the Muladhara chakra situated at the base of the spine. This is the chakra where inertia or lethargy, as well as enthusiasm manifest, and when enthusiasm comes up that is when you begin your journey. The word Haridwar means ‘the door to the house of the Divine’, where the journey begins.

The second holy city is Kanchi, which corresponds to the Swadhisthana chakra, situated behind the genitals, has Kamakshi as the presiding deity, who is the goddess of ‘kama’ or desire.

Ayodhya is the third, corresponding to Manipura chakra, situated in the navel region. Mathura is the fourth holy city, and is connected to the Anahata chakra in the heart region. The heart is associated with mainly three emotions: those of love, fear and hatred. Mathura is a symbol for the love and devotion that the Gopis had for Krishna, as well as the fear and hatred for the evil Kamsa.

The fifth holy city is Avantika, which is also called Ujjain, and this city is connected to the Vishuddhi chakra in the throat region. In this chakra we experience the feeling of sadness and gratitude, and that is why we say that sometimes the ‘throat chokes’. The famous poet Kalidasa hailed from Ujjain, and the city is known for art and literature. It is also known as the city of King Vikramaditya.

The holy city that is connected to the sixth chakra is Kashi, also known as Benares or Varanasi. This chakra is called Ajña and it is also known as the third eye or ‘jñana chakshu’, which means ‘the eye of knowledge’. Kashi is the city of scholars and pandits, and it has always been the seat of knowledge and Vedic wisdom.

The last holy city, Dwaravati or Dwaraka, is connected to the Sahasrara, which is the crown chakra near the top of the head. The name Dwaraka literally means ‘Where is the door?’ and this refers to Infinity, which has no doors or walls. Sahasrara means ‘a thousand pathways’ and this refers to the pathless path. The path to liberation starts from Haridwar and culminates in Dwaraka, and this is the place where Krishna left his body.

Coming back to Ayodhya, which corresponds with the Manipura chakra. This is the chakra in which the feelings of joy, generosity as well as greed and jealousy manifest. One knows from the Ramayana that it was the jealousy and greed of Kaikeyi that led to Rama having to leave his home for the forest. Ram Lulla, on the other hand, had to leave due to Babar. Ayodhya is known for the generosity of Rama, and the immense joy that people felt on his return. That return is Diwali, and that Diwali in much grander scale took place on January 22d, 2024.

Manipura or ‘City of Gems’ is the Third chakra – that is Ayodhya! The Fire of Life burns brilliantly and there is excellent health and vitality here. Time is subjugated and the conqueror of the third chakra gains a deep understanding of physiology, thus discovering a cure for diseases and enjoys a long life. Egotism is gone. Manipura chakra siddhi accompanies power to make gold and find hidden treasures. With the praan paratistha of Ram Lulla in Ayodhya, this has been achieved subtly. The donations which poured in unasked are a testimony to this siddhi. The nation was in the siddhi of the manipura chakra with the Ram mandir event.

This is the chakra where all naadis or the spiritual nerve centres come together according to Hatha Yoga. If Manipura is controlled, the whole physiology is controlled. This is what happened with the establishment of Ram mandir. On the day Ram Lulla was installed, all the rivers came to meet Sarayu. Both the nadis and the naadis united. The latent spiritual seed of India became patent.

In the human heart lies the Supreme Soul, radiant like a waveless flame. It is Ram. And this is the Ram from who the Indians were separated, estranged and lost. On the 22nd of January, He came home, the Lord returned to the heart of millions of Indians.

~ Raj Supe (Kinkar Vishwashreyananda)
Editor, The Mother