Sri Rama Jayam!
Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam (Sri Mahaperiavaa) in his inimitable simple language has said “There are two powerful ‘Taraka Namas’. One is Aum and another is Ramá. All mantras have to be prefixed with Aum for obtaining the benefits of those mantras, whereas there is no need to prefix Aum when the name ‘Ramá’ is recited because the name itself is ‘Tarka Namam’ “.
Our scriptures say that Rama Nama has come into existence much before the birth of Lord Sri Rama. The word RAMA when divided into syllables Ra + Aa + Ma; is said to indicate Ra means Rudra; Aa means Brahma; Ma means Vishnu and the three Trinal lords Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara put together is RAMA.
The word RAMA is a confluence of two letters Ra + Ma. It is said that these two letters are Jeevaakshara (life giving letters) carved out of the most significant hymns Narayana Ashtakshari and Shiva Panchakshari. The letter Ra is carved out of Narayana Ashtakshari “Om! Namo! Narayanaya” and the letter Ma is carved out of Shiva Panchakshari “Om! Namah Shivaya.”
These two letters (Ra+Ma) called life giving letters the soul of these two powerful hymns are put together to form the Tharaka manthra RAMA. Without these two letters (Ra+Ma) these mantras becomes ineffective. Any one chanting Tharaka mantra (RAMA) is equivalent to worshiping both Lord Vishnu as well as Lord Shiva.
Significance of RAMA naama
RAMA Nama is given the magnitude similar to that of Pranava mantra OM (AUM) that has links to all other hymns (Mantras) that ever exist. It is an essence of all Vedas, Shastras, Ithihasas and Puranas. One of the Saptha Rishis, Sage Vasishta meditated on RAMA Nama for quite a long time that motivated him to suggest King Dasaratha to identify the Almighty (child born to Dasaratha) with the mantra (RAMA) that he had chanted.
Rama Nama is Bhadram, Shivam and Mangalam. Everything becomes auspicious and all agonies get destroyed when “RAMA” enters one’s life.
Yogi Ramasuratkumar once said, “This beggar is useless, only RAMA nama can make miracles happen.”
Rama Nama is the miracle behind every Mahan, Valmiki Bhagwan did Rama japa before composing Ramayana, Vasishtar did Rama japa, even Maha Periyava did Rama nama Japam in bullock cart before turning out to be a sanyasi.
One may ask why Vedas are biased towards Brahmins and complain that no special mantras are given to other communities.
Brahmins are only “trustees” for Gayatri mantra & at the same time, alternative methods are given for others to obtain the benefit of Gayatri mantra.
Vedas are four and the Veda Saram is Gayatri mantra.
Gayatri has the power of all Vedic mantras. Gayatri Japam itself is a big penance.
In Krita Yuga, all were following Dharma but Bhagwan anticipated problems from Treta Yuga onwards. So, Veda matha took avataram as Srimad Ramayanam (of Valmiki Bhagwan) where Gayatri mantra is Rama nama herself.
Rama Nama is Ramayana Saram, it has the power of entire Ramayana in just two aksharas. So, one doing Rama japa gets all the benefits that one gets from doing Gayatri japa.
Pranavam is also the Veda Saram where the Vyahritis and Vedic lines are not contemplated. For a sanyasi, there isn’t any big responsibility and thus only the Pranavam i.e., Omkaram (Aum) is chanted repeatedly.
Japa means “repeating the mantra or nama again and again.”
Brahmacharis or Grihastas should not do Pranava Japa, but telling omkaram once or twice is not a problem. The “modern” Yoga classes and institutions are practicing this Omkara Japa , this is not correct. Vedas have again shown an alternate path for doing Pranava Japa.
Omkaram is made up of 3 Aksharas – A U M (with grammatical rule, A + U = O in Sanskrit)
If you use the Aksharas for creating something new, you get the Bhagwan Nama – “UMA”.
“Uma” is the Devi Pranava, Bhagwan Nama which can be done as Japa by anyone.
Sastras allow Pranava Japa for Brahmacharis or Grihasthas in exceptional circumstances but those exceptions are very rare. Instead, Uma or Rama nama can be chanted. One must logically assess if Omkara can be done by all then why so many Sages and Saints like Valmiki, Vyasar, Vashistar, Agasthiar, Vishwamitrar, Acharyal, Ramanujar, Vedanta Desikar, Raghavendra Swami, Ramana Maharishi, Sringeri and Kanchi Periyavas glorified only Rama nama.
Even in the thousand namas of Vishnu, the 409th nama “Pranava” is mentioned, thus it means only Bhagwan is Omkara swaroopam.
In sri rama rama rameti sloka, (from Vishnu Sahasranama) when Parvati herself asks for an easy way, Eshwara replies that Rama Nama alone is enough.
RAMA Nama is called the family Mantra of Lord Shiva who himself tells Goddess Parvathi about the significance of Rama Nama and suggests her also to recite it all the time. Lord Shankara knowing the sweetness of it initiated his beloved Parvathi Devi to Rama Nama. He tells her…
Sree Rama Rama Ramethi Rame Raame Manorame
Sahasranama TatThulyam Rama Nama Varanane (Sri Vishnu Sahasranama)
It is only the RAMA Nama which is given significance as equivalent to chanting of thousand names of Vishnu. Logic applied here is perhaps, chanting RAMA once is equal to 10 times chanting of Vishnu; chanting RAMA twice is equal to 100 times (10 x10) chanting of Vishnu and chanting RAMA thrice is equal to 1000 times (10 x 10 x10) chanting of Vishnu. Thus the effect of chanting RAMA Nama gets multiplied in geometrical progression. It is believed and said that Lord Shiva always keeps meditating on this Tharaka Mantra RAMA Nama.
Perhaps, Uma Devi herself wanted to spread the glory of Rama nama, which is why Rama Nama is so famous in all parts of our holy nation.
Rama Nama can bestow all sorts of comfort and finally moksha. All desires are fulfilled by doing Rama Japa.
Rama Nama – The most efficacious among all namas
Krishna has mentioned that he is Aswattha tree among all trees, Indra among the Devas and so on. But one thing was made clear by Krishna in his previous birth, that he is “Rama” among all that is auspicious.
You may ask why Rama nama is great ? No stotra or mantra or nama has the special status that Rama nama has.
Maha Periyava mentions if you close your eyes and say Rama Rama Rama, one person is there waiting with tears of joy. That Maha Purushar is Anjaneyar, all works succeed smoothly with His Anugraham only.
Yaksha Prashnam about Rama Nama –
Yaksha asks –
किंस्विदापततां श्रेष्टं किंस्विन्निपततां वरम् ।
किंस्वित्प्रतिष्ठमानानां किंस्वित्प्रसवतामं वरम् ॥
kimsvidAptatAm shrestam kimsvin nipatatAm varam
kimsvid pratishtamAnAnAm kimsvid prasavatAm varam
i.What is the best for those who cultivate?
ii.What is the best for those who sow seeds?
iii.What wealth is the best for those who want to live stable lives?
iv.What is the best for those who give birth?
Yuddhisthra replies –
वर्षमापततां श्रेष्टं बीजं निपततां वरम् ।
गावः प्रतिष्ठमानानां पुत्रः प्रसवतां वरः ॥
varshamApatatAm shrestam bijam nipatatAm varam
gAvah pratishtamAnAnAm putrah prasavatAm varah
1. Rain is the best for those who cultivate.
Here, Compassion of God (Anjaneya Karunyam) is the rain.
1. Quality seed is the best for sow seeds.
The whole universe manifests from Rama nama just as banyan tree grows from a seed, Rama nama is mentioned as the qualitative seed having 2 aksharas in Upanishads. Rama nama not only creates the universe, it also protects the universe.
iii. Growing cows is the best that gives stable wealth.
The best parihaaram to obtain a child is by worshipping GoMatha along with Krishna or Shiva, wealth means children here. Again GoSeva protects children, remember the Periyava incident where GoSeva protected a girl from Septicemia.
iv. Son is the best for those who give birth.
Son means a worthy son that a father must be proud of, Dasaratha tells Rama if he has any Janmas left, Rama must be his son in all of his Janmas. Rama nama bestows children of good nature, remember even Prahladan became great only through Naradar’s upanyasam while he was in Kayatu’s womb.
These four questions perhaps, have hinted at the birth of Sadashiva Brahmendral.
A lady was worried that she didn’t have any children after her marriage. She prayed Bhagwan that she must be blessed with a child.
Then one day, a yogi appeared and told her to do lots of Rama nama Japa. He told her, you are going to be a mother of an exemplary child.
After some months, she completed One crore Rama nama with utmost Bhakthi, a son was born to her. Later, that son became a great sanyasi known as Sadashiva Brahmendral today. One of his famous works is “Pibare Rama Rasam” – “Drink the nectar of Rama Nama”, where he explains the tatva of Rama nama in simple verses. Meditate on Rama, get the Anandam, immerse yourself in that Anandam then do Rama Japa or recite Ramayanam .
The word Rama has the triple power of destroying sins, conferring peace, and dispelling ignorance simultaneously. When you utter the word “RAM”, you first open the mouth with the sound “Ra”. All your sins go out when your mouth is open. When you utter the sound “M” by closing the mouth the entry is barred to the sins that have gone out.
RAMA is not just a name. It is a Mantra, the only Mantra that is called Tharaka Mantra. Tharaka Mantra means the one that helps us to cross the ocean of Samsara and free us from the bondage of cycle of birth and death. If it is chanted as RAMA it is a name, if it is chanted as RAM it is a Mantra, if it is chanted with addition of the word Sri (Sri Rama, Sri Ram) power of Goddess Seeta is added to it.
RAMA Nama is most favourite mantra of all the deities and by chanting it one gets the benefit of invoking all the demi-Gods. There are many instances in history where, mere chanting of Rama Nama has resolved many miseries.
Women and those who don’t have the right to chant Gayatri mantra can do Rama (or any Bhagwan) nama Japa. Every Bhagwan nama bestows Dharma, Artha, Kama & Moksha, also a very unique power is behind every Nama !
Jaya Jaya Shankara Hara Hara Shankara!
Sri Rama Jayam!