(Festival of Ram Navami, April 1, 2012)
Ram means light. The root of words like rays and radiance comes from ram. Ra means radiance. Ma means me, mine, myself. Ram means the light within me, the light in my heart. Ram, of course, is the name of Lord Rama, who lived on this planet, in 7560 BC, a long ago. About 9,000 years ago.
Lord Rama is connected with all the Asian continents. The entire belt of Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia are all connected with Ramayan.
It is a very ancient epic, whose impact is very strong, even today, thousands of years later, Lord Rama is known for his truthfulness. He is considered to be perfect in all human behavior. An ideal human emperor. Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘You take away everything from me, I can live. But if you take away Ram, I cannot exist.’
The last words that he uttered were, ‘Hey ram’. Ram is found in almost everywhere in India. Every state will have a Rampur, a Ramnagar! Everywhere! You will confuse the postal department if you only address a letter to Ramnagar. There are thousands of Ramnagars in India.
Studies have found thousands of names related to Ram in Europe!
In Sanskrit, Australia is called Astralaya. Do you know the meaning of Australia? Astaralaya means storehouse of weapons. Astra means weapons. During the time of Ramayana, they had stored many different types of weapons there. Weapons were made there too. Due to the weapons, there was a lot of desert in the centre and it was uninhabited. It is even so now, Yes!
So Ram Navami is celebrated throughout India. It is a very sacred day. If Ramayana is 7,500 BC, how about Mahabharata? That was around 5,110 years ago. Krishna passed away 5,110 years ago. The exact date of when Krishna left his body is available. The Mahabharata war took place a few prior to that.
The Yoga Vashista was given to Ram by Maharishi Vashista. It is one of the most amazing works the this planet has ever seen! How many have read it? Those who haven’t must read it. You may not understand it, just glance through it. It is really, really beautiful knowledge. Some parts may be difficult to understand, jump over it.
The Yoga Vashista is like higher mathematics. The Yoga Vashista did not become so popular because it is difficult to understand and it was kept secret. The attitude was, ‘We will give it only to those who are capable.’ It was kept like a PhD. That is one of the reasons why it didn’t become as famous as the Bhagavad Gita. Even the Astavakra Gita is not known to the public as much. The Bhagavad Gita is simple and down-to-earth.