“The name, pastimes, form, clothing and ornaments of Shri Rama are all very charming and beautiful. Together with His brothers the children are playing.” (Dohavali, 120)
nāma lalita līlā lalita lalita rupa raghunātha |
lalita basana bhū।sana lalita lalita anuja sisu sātha ||
Before technically starting life, while within the womb, there is struggle. Bunched up inside of the mother’s stomach, exiting is no picnic, either. Some women can be in labor for more than twenty-four hours straight. How to sleep when there is the pain of contractions every few minutes? How to see the finish line when the present is such a struggle?
Later on there is the difficult end: quitting the body. No one gets out alive. As soon as there is birth, there must be death. In between attachments form, and there is happiness mixed in with sadness. A material existence is such that there must be misery. The body is not what identifies the individual.
For the Supreme Lord things are a little different. Every aspect to His body is transcendental. There is no such thing as forced misery for Him. Goswami Tulsidas says that for God in the form of Shri Rama, there are many aspects that are lalita, which is charming and beautiful.
1. The name
Just say “Rama” over and over. Use the exercise as a form of meditation. There is an immediate benefit. The reason is that the sound is not ordinary. It describes God in one of His personal forms. The word means that the Almighty possesses all transcendental pleasure.
He is atmarama, which means “satisfied in the self.” He does not need others around for avoiding boredom and loneliness, but He is so kind that He accepts an unlimited number of devotees. There is no quota. Millions of people can simultaneously pray to Him throughout the universes, and He will hear. The easiest way to reach Him is through the sounds that represent His glories, such as those produced by the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
2. The pastimes
Known as lila in Sanskrit, Rama puts on a sort of drama while roaming the manifest world. From beginning to end these pastimes are charming. Some choose to focus on only a specific area, like with Kakabhushundi and bala-lila. He enjoys watching Rama playing as a child in the courtyard of the royal palace. There Rama is with His three younger brothers, and the scene is amazing to behold.
Start with the lotus feet and work your way up. According to the Shrimad Bhagavatam this is the proper way to meditate. Forget focusing on nothing. A void cannot interact with you. There is no sweetness to something that has no identity.
Rama’s form is beautiful from head to toe. Man and woman alike are attracted, though in different ways. The all-attractiveness is one reason why God has another famous name: Krishna. The rupa is not temporary, either. Right now in some place in the universe Shri Rama is in the childhood form, delighting the parents. Also, there is some area where Rama is heroically defending Sita, Lakshmana and Himself against fourteen thousand of the wickedest characters in the world.
4. The clothing
Rama’s childhood form is nicely dressed by the parents. He wears a yellow cloth, pitambara. He has a beautiful belt around His waist, and the general sense is that He is someone special. Rama is the king’s eldest son, after all. He will one day succeed the father as ruler of Ayodhya.
5. The ornaments
Along with the clothing the mothers place beautiful ornaments on Shri Rama. He wears a special necklace for the purpose of warding off evil spirits. Rama is Himself like a lion, Narasimha, but the mothers feel so much love that they don’t view Him as God.
As beauty is appreciated, God is the ideal person for everyone to worship. He is honored in an external way through appreciation for the beauty found in His creation, in the nature we see around us. The direct interaction has a higher benefit, as it can bring liberation from the difficult and troublesome cycle of life and death.
Rama, beautifully dressed is He,
By mothers wanting to see.
His lila also in that way,
Same with holy name to say.
Charming from head to toe,
One for each of us to know.
So that liberation becoming real,
Pain of rebirth no more to feel.
Categories: the five