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Ramacharitmanas 56. Yajnavalkya Is Asked, Who Is Rama?

Hanuman Dass Written by Hanuman Dass
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Rama is beyond comprehension.  Rama is God, the ground of reality, Rama is the Brahman of the Upanishads, yet at the same time was a prince who lived in the city of Ayodhya.  How is this even possible?  God is immeasurable, is there anything he cannot do?  Whether we meditate upon the vast, inconceivable Brahman, or whether we pray with tears in our eyes to the beautiful blue God, the mind is unable to fathom the greatness of Rama.  In fact only your soul can answer the question of who Rama is.

56. The Rishi Bharadvaja of was a great sage, totally devoted to the feet of Shri Rama. He embodied the principles of selflessness, compassion, self-restraint, and possessed great spiritual wisdom and composure. Together with many saints, he gathered to discuss the glorious acts of the lord during spiritual gatherings. They discussed the nature of Brahman, the supreme reality discussed in the Upanishads.  They discussed devotion, they discussed knowledge and non-attachment. In this way they immersed their minds in spiritual work through their own endeavor.

One day, the Rishi Bharadvaja, held tightly to the feet of the renowned sage Yajnavalkya. After glorifying Yajnavalkya we various ceremonies and gifts he said, ‘My lord, knowing that you are an enlightened being, an embodiment of the Vedic teachings, I have to ask you this, the Vedas and Upanishads teach that Rama’s name is beyond comprehension.  Lord Shiva himself whispers it in the ears of all beings when it is their time to leave the Earth.  My question to know is, Who is Rama?’

‘Is it the Prince of Ayodhya whom Lord Shiva refers to when he repeats the name? He is known for the grief he suffered when his wife was kidnapped by the evil King Ravana.’

‘My dear teacher Yajnavalkya, you are all knowing, please recite this glorious story of Rama to me so that I may know who he is.’

Yajnavalkya replied whilst smiling, ‘Ah, I understand your strategy, you very well know who Rama is.  You wish to hear me talk about him in detail, you wish to know the inner meaning of the Ramayana and the virtues of Rama. Be seated comfortably, I will explain who this glorious being is.  But be sure that in your heart, you already know.

Prashna Upanishad

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