[Advaita-l] Ramopakhyana of Mahabharata vs. the Uttara Kanda of Ramayana
Venkata sriram P
venkatasriramp at yahoo.in
Tue May 3 13:25:01 CDT 2016
Courtesy : valmikiramayan.net (4th sarga of bAla kANDa)
The Gayatri Mantra that is supposed to be strung in the Ramayana,
as the first letter of every thousand shlokas, may not be perfect.
चतुर् विंशत् सहस्राणि श्लोकानाम् उक्तवान् ऋषिः |
तथा सर्ग शतान् पंच षट् काण्डानि तथा उत्तरम् ||१-४-२
R^iSiH = sage Valmiki; slokaanaam = verses; chatur vimshat sahasraaNi = twenty-four, thousand; tathaa = that way; pancha sarga shataan = five, chapters, hundreds; SaT kaaNDaani cha = six, books, also; tatha uttaram = that way, an end piece; uktvaan = said.
Sage Valmiki said Ramayana in twenty four thousand verses,
in six hundred chapters, in six books, likewise an end-piece too. [1-4-2]
The twenty-four are the letters in Gayatri hymn. Ramayana's scheming is based on Gayatri hymn and for this: atra catur vi~Nshati sa~Nkhyo uktyaa catur vi~Nshati akShara gaayatrii tulyataa suucitam | prathama adhyaaye - tapaH svaadhyaaya - ityatra prathamam ta kaarasya - sargapraante - iti etasmin padye - mahatva miiyaat -- ityatra yaat - iti akSharasya grahaNaat api gayatrii ruupatvam suucitam - dharmaakuutam
There is a controversy about the number of verses and cantos. If Uttara Ramayana, otherwise called abhudaya kaanDa , is ascribed to Valmiki, the cantos are seven and chapters are about 649 and verses are about 24,253. But some verses and chapters are deleted for standardization of Ramayana as per this verse and they contain 560 chapters and 24,00 verses only. Some argue that when it is said 24, 000 verses are there, it does not actually a mathematical assertion, like the calculation of mahaa yuga -s andmanvantara -s, and as one would give a reply to his age as 30 years, or 60 years, but not as 29 years, 6 months, seven days or so... In furthering that standardization affair, some said that even this canto, Bala kaanda is not authored by Valmiki. It is not clear as of now when the pundits can decide as to which is standard and which is not.
The transcendental aspect of Ramayana and its content is explained in 18 terms by ancient commentator Govindaraja.
1] Rama's Absoluteness, paramaatma tattva ; 2] Ideation to know Him, upaaya ; 3] Dedication in Him, kainkarya ; 4] Human aspect,puruSaakaara ; 5] Diviner, adhikaara ; 6] Resolve in God, adhikaara paaratantrya ; 7] God's resolve in Dedicate, bhagavat paaratantrya ; 8] Knowledge of five Meanings, artha pancaka j~naana ; 9] Self-denial, akincinatvam ; 10] Teacher selecting, aacaarya varaNam ; 11] Climax, autkaNThata ; 12] Behaviour, pravartana ; 13] Residence, vaasa sthaana ; 14] Two Narayana hymns,naaraayaNa mantra dvaya ; 15] Gayatri, Gayatri hymn; 16] Negating negative-thinking, durvicaara parihaara ; 17] negating Love for Living, samsaara jihaasa ; 18] 64 Divinely Arts, catuSaSTi kalamayatva .
Of them we take up the15th Gayatri.
The identification of Gayatri with Ramayana scheme is explained in many ways. By tat savitR^i the features and attributes of the Absolute as per narrations in Bala Kanda. vareNya by the narration of Absolute's attributes in Ayodhya and Kishkindha kaanda-s, and adherents like Lakshmana, Bharata, Sugreeva take shelter in Him here only. bharga is identified as per the description of resplendence of The Divine as envisaged by the sages and hermits in Aranya Kanda. devasya and in dhiimahi where that deva the Divine is explained by Hanuma, not only to Seetha but to all in Sundara kanda. hi dhii mahi is as explained in Uttara Kanda, which centers around moksha salvation.
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