Implied meaning of some incidents from the Ramayan




1. Implied meaning of some names in Rāmāyaṇ

According to H.H. Anna Karandikar

1A Names in Rāmāyaṇ and numerology

Rām (राम) and Sītā (सीता) : There are 2 letters in each name.

Lakshmaṇ (लक्ष्मण) and Urmilā (ऊर्मिला) : There are 3 letters in each name.

Bharat (भरत) and Mānḍavī (मांडवी) : There are 3 letters in each name.

Shatrughna (शत्रुघ्न) and Shrutkīrti (श्रुतकीर्ती) : There are 4 letters in each name.

According to Numerology, the number 3 is closer to number 2. Hence, Lakshmaṇ as well as Bharat being 3 letter words, were closer to Rām which is a 2 letter word. Since number 4 is not so close to number 2, there is not much reference of Shatrughna in Rāmāyaṇ.

1B. Luv : One who bends in whatever direction the wind blows and does not get destroyed; one who can thrive under all circumstances.

1C. Kush : This is a type of grass. Just as grass thrives even on rocks, he is the one who survives even in difficult circumstances. Luv and Kush were princes; yet, they grew up in an Ashram (Hermitage).

1D. The imperishable quiver : The radiance emitting from the sun is reflected back towards the original sun (Sun Principle) in the same amount. Hence, the sun will never perish. Similarly, the number of arrows (meaning ‘Divine Energy’) shot by Rām returned to Him. Hence, His quiver was imperishable.

1E. Shabri : Shabri was conversant with Shābarī vidyā (An occult science). Under the pretext of eating berries, Rām learnt it from her and she willingly imparted that knowledge to Him.

1F. Mārīch : The supernatural power by means of which the form of a deer can be assumed is known as māruchi. The one who possesses this power is known as Mārīch.

1G. The ten-headed Ravan : Ravan means personification of ego. He was ten-headed, that is, a Dashagranthī (A Brāhmaṇ wellversed in the knowledge of the ten Holy texts). ‘Ravan was the grandson
of Sage Pulastya. Sage Pulastya was the mānas-putra (Creation) of Deity Brahmā. Ravan was the son of Sage Vishravā and Kēshinī or Kaikasī’. (Shrīmadbhāgwad, Khanḍa 16 and Pracheen Namkosha,
Page number 358) Pula means the birth passage. This Sage had performed sādhanā through Vāmamārg (Tāntrik spiritual practice).

1H. Bibhishan : According to one school of thought, the jīva is situated above the navel. Due to sādhanā (Spiritual practice) when it descends to the region of the Mūlādhār-chakra, it gets a bhīshaṇ (Yeer<eCe) (Terrifying) experience near the bimba (efyebye) (Navel). Hence, it is known as Bibhishan. Bibhishan is derived from two words – bhīshaṇ (Yeer<eCe) and bimba (efyebye). When the order of words is reversed, the word becomes Bibhishan. Bibhishan’s spiritual level, as his name signifies, was up to the Maṇipūr-chakra (See Glossary).

1I. Lanka : Lanka means the head which lies above the neck. Rām handed over the kingdom of Lanka to Bibhishan, which means that He made him progress spiritually up to the level of Sahasrār.

1J. Indrajit : Indrajit, Ravan’s son was jitēndrīya, which means he had attained victory over all his sense organs.

1K. Bindu and Rekha : These were the queens of Narantak, one of Ravan’s sons. The jīva should not remain bound by attractions of any kind such as Bindu and Rekha, else they become the cause for the annihilation (Anta) of man (Nara).

2. Implied meaning of some incidents from the Rāmāyaṇ

2A. ‘Sītā, the daughter of the earth Incident

Sītā was found when ploughing the land

Implied meaning : Infant Sītā was the manifest form of the  hiraṇyagarbha waves, that is, the waves emanating from the core of the earth. Since sound, touch, form, taste, fragrance and their energies coexist, when one of the components is present, others too are present. (For
example, when a Name is chanted, the form, fragrance etc. accompany it.) Similarly, infant Sītā was the manifest form of a specific energy, that is, hiraṇyagarbha Shakti (Divine Energy); while Sītā as Rām’s
wife was the form of Rām’s Shakti. Detailed information on hiran-̣yagarbha waves is provided in Sanatan’s Holy texts associated with Deities.

2B. Kaikeyi asking for a boon Incident

With one boon Kaikeyi got Rām banished to the forest for 14 years and with the other, she asked that Bharat be made king.

Implied meaning : Shravankumar’s grandfather was Sage Dhoumya and his parents were Ratnāvalī and Sage Ratna. Sage Ratna was the royal priest of the kingdom of Nandigram ruled by King Ashvapati. Kaikeyi was the daughter of King Ashvapati. Sage Ratna had taught Kaikeyi all the scriptures and had also warned her that if Dasharatha had sons, they would either not be able to ascend the throne or if they did (ascend it) after Dasharatha, then within 14 years the Raghu dynasty would be destroyed. To prevent this catastrophe, Sage
Vasishṭha advised Kaikeyi to ask Dasharatha for two boons; through one she would send Rām into exile for 14 years and through the other, ask for Bharat to be made king, because she knew that as long as Rām was alive, Bharat would never ascend the throne. It is on the advice of Sage Vasishṭha that Bharat installed Rām’s pādukā (Wooden footwear) instead of His Idol on the throne. If instead of the pādukā an Idol had been installed, then with the principle that sound, touch, form, taste and fragrance coexist, the effect would have been as if Rām had Himself ascended the throne. ‘The original Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇ contains3 shlokās with this meaning. However, some researchers feel that those who re-wrote the Rāmāyaṇ after 1228 A.D. omitted these’.

2C. Bharat asking for Rām’s pādukā

‘Asking for Rām’s pādukā’ means ‘placing the head on the feet’ or ‘complete surrender’. When Bharat asked Rām for His pādukā He gave them to Bharat. Bharat then carried them on his head in such a manner that the toes were towards the front, installed them on the throne and performed ritualistic worship. Since then, the custom of pādukā-pūjā began.

2D. Bharat’s stay at Nandigram

1. Incident : After procuring Rām’s pādukā, Bharat installed them at Nandigram. He did not reside in Ayodhya.

Implied meaning : Nandigram means the testes. It implies that Bharat observed celibacy. ‘Installation of Rām’s pādukā’ implies that Bharat lived the life of a sādhak (Seeker).

2. Incident : When accepting Rām’s pādukā, Bharat pleaded with Rām to inform him about His return from exile along with Sītā, so that he could prepare for His reception. Upon this, Rām said, ‘So be it’.

Implied meaning : ‘Along with Sītā’ means along with Shakti (Divine Energy), that is, after awakening of the Kunḍalinī. ‘About His return’ means before attainment of self-realisation. Bharat said he wanted to know when he would go into nirbīj samādhi (The highest superconscious state, the state of advait [non-duality]).

2E. Lakshmaṇ’s life in exile

Incident : Sītā would presume that when bringing the roots and tubers, Lakshmaṇ must have eaten some. Rām would presume that Sītā must have served Lakshmaṇ. Thus, both would not enquire if he had eaten.

Implied meaning : For 14 years Lakshmaṇ survived only on air. To protect Rām, he did not even sleep. He was constantly engrossed in sādhanā.

2F. Sītā’s abduction (Sītāharaṇ)

Incident : Ravan abducted Sītā and kept Her with him.

Implied meaning : The real Sītā never went with Ravan. She enteredthe fire and Her image accompanied Ravan. It was at this point that Rām’s leelā (Divine play) in the true sense began. When returning from Ravan, on the pretext of purification in the fire, Her image entered the fire and the real Sītā emerged.

2G. Rām embracing the trees

Incident : After Sītā’s abduction, crying out for Her, Rām embraced the trees.

Implied meaning : He perceived how the trees and creepers felt.

2H. Slaying of Vali

Incident : Rām shot Vali with an arrow because of which he died.

Implied meaning : Vali’s spiritual progress had stopped at the level of Anāhat-chakra (See Glossary). After Rām’s arrow struck Vali, his spiritual progress began again and he was liberated.

2I. Slaying of Ravan : Ravan was a great devotee of Deity Shiva.

His spiritual progress had stopped at the level of the Sahasrār-chakra. Rām did not slay him; instead He penetrated his Sahasrār-chakra and blessed him with sadgati (Further momentum after death).

2J. Rajak accusing Sītā

Incident : A washerman (Rajak) in the kingdom said that Sītā was impure; hence, Shrīrām abandoned Her.

Implied meaning 1 : The one accusing Sītā is a washerman (Rajak). His task is to wash clothes and remove all stains. The washerman said this to prevent any stigma from blemishing Shrīrām.

Implied meaning 2 : The word Rajak (jpekeâ) is derived from two words – ‘raja (jpe)’ and ‘ka (keâ)’. The letter ‘ka’ denotes a small part of an object. This means that the washerman had some Raja component in him
because of which, he could not perceive the sāttvik nature of Sītā.

2K. Slaying of Shambuk

Incident : Rām slayed Shambuk, a mātang (One belonging to a low caste), because he undertook austerities.

Implied meaning : Shambuk undertook the wrong austerities. Consequently, the atmosphere on the earth was polluted to such a great extent that the subjects were distressed and the sādhanā of the Sages was interrupted. Hence, to fulfil the duty of a king, in the interest of His subjects and to protect the Sages, Rām beheaded Shambuk.

2L. Rām renounced His body in river Sharayu

Incident : After Sītā was engulfed by Mother Earth, Shrīrām renounced His body in river Sharayu.

Implied meaning : Shrīrām did not commit suicide by jumping into river Sharayu, but took samādhi in its waters. There are several types of samādhis – samādhi in the earth (Bhūmi-samādhi), in water (Jalasamādhi),
in the fire (Agni-samādhi) etc. Saint Dnyānēshwar took samādhi in the earth, while Saint Ēknāth and Saint Rāmtīrtha took samādhi in water. Samādhi is possible only for those who have no attachment to the body. After Shrīrām renounced His body, all the residents of Ayodhya followed suit, because they felt that their life
without Shrīrām was now meaningless.’ – H.H. Anna Karandikar, Dahanu, Maharashtra

Reference: Sanatan’s Holy Text ‘Shrivishnu, Shriram and Shrikrushna’