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Spiritual meaning of Ramayan


Happy Ram Navami! On the 9th day of chaitra month, we celebrate the birth of Shri Ram. Ram's life and journey is one of adherence to dharma despite harsh tests and obstacles and many pains of life and time. He is pictured as the ideal man and the perfect human. For the sake of his father's honor, Ram abandons his claim to Ayodhya's throne to serve an exile of fourteen years in the forest. His wife Sita and brother Lakshman decide to join him, and all three spend the fourteen years in exile together. While in exile, Sita is kidnapped by Ravan, the Rakshas monarch of Lanka. After a long and arduous search, Ram fights a colossal war against Ravan's armies. In a war of powerful and magical beings, greatly destructive weaponry and battles, Ram slays Ravan in battle and liberates his wife. Having completed his exile, Ram returns to be crowned king in Ayodhya and eventually becomes emperor, rules with happiness, peace, duty, prosperity and justice — a period known as “Ram Rajya”.

Apart from the Hindu legend, I personally find deeper spiritual/vedantic meanings from Shri Ram's life, such as:

Shri Ram = Self / Universal Awareness / Parmatma / Shiva

Sita = I-Am-ness / Individual Consciousness / Atma / Shakti

Hanuman = Spiritual Seeker / Meditator

Ravan = Insurmountable Mind (The 10 headed monster - Try to stop thoughts)

Lanka of Gold = Illusory World of Maya

Ram Sita reunion / Death of Ravan = Spiritual Enlightenment / Death of Mind

Setu Bridge of words "Ram Ram" = Mantra meditation on one's preferred name of God

Stones of Setu Bridge = Lighter/Floatable/Detaching thoughts of one's preferable name/form of God, compared to Heavier/Attaching thoughts of worldly desires.

Jamwant reminding Hanuman of his powers = Enlightened Guru giving upadesh/knowledge to the spiritual seeker about his real identity, and start him on journey of spiritual sadhana, to look for Sita/Atma within.

Only Hanuman being able to start the Journey above Ocean = Although Guru gives knowledge/help to many, but only the most sincere/ripe ones carry enough will power and self discipline to begin on this arduous journey, of self discovery.

Ocean to Cross = Bhavsagar i.e. worldly ocean full of sensual desires, attachments and thoughts, that seeker needs to overcome to reach the Atma, and eventually Paramatma.

Hurdles in Hanuman's Journey = Hurdles faced by spiritual seeker/meditator

Hanuman's Search for Sita = Meditator's search for discovering the Atma / I-Am-ness within.

Hanuman Burning Lanka after meeting Sita = Once the meditator discovers his inner Sita/Atma/I-Am-ness, then he easily starts to see the transient/illusory/futile nature of this world, his body, mind, expectations, desires, goals, and relationships, which in turn produces a tremendous feeling of detachment/vairagya in him. He reaches at a point where he becomes eager to know his real identity, once he discovers from inner experiences that what he had been identifying with for all his life was not his real identity, but just an illusion.

Sita going back in Earth = Shakti is not separate from Shiva, Atma is not separate from Parmatma, Individual Consciousness is not separate from Universal Awareness, therefore this incident signifies that Shakti merges back and looses herself into her beloved Shiva. Drop merges back into the Ocean.

Sita born out of Earth = Individual Consciousness emerging out of Universal Awareness. Birth of human/meditator, another set of eyes/binoculars for Parmatma to see this phenomenal world of duality, from the point of view of an individual. One pretends to become many, a child lost in his own play/leela.

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