What is so spiritual about Ramayana
The Adhyatma Ramayana (Sanskrit Devanāgarī: अध्यात्म रामायण, IAST adhyātma rāmāyaṇa), literally "Spiritual" (Adhyatma) Ramayana, is an ancient yoga script which emphasizes the spiritual aspects of Ramayana. The Adhyatma Ramayana consists of 4200 double verses (Shlokas). The Adhyatma Ramayana is part of the Brahmanda Purana, written by Vyasa.
The Adhyatma Ramayana is a dialogue between Shiva and Parvati. It describes the virtues and characteristics of Rama. It gives recommendations for the development of devotion, knowledge, renunciation, worship and right behavior. The Adhyatma Ramayana is also one of the Vedanta scriptures. The Rama Gita, which is part of the Adhyatma Ramayana, is one of the particularly profound Vedanta doctrinal conversations.
The Adhyatma Ramayana is also seen as an independent version of the Ramayana. It probably inspired later authors to write separate versions of the Ramayana. The best known of these Ramayana versions is Ramcharitmanas from Tulsidas.
Meaning of the Adhyatma Ramayana
The Adhyatma Ramayana is easier to understand for modern aspirants. She interprets the whole Ramayana from the spiritual point of view. She leaves out parts of the Ramayana that seem disturbing from today's point of view. There is less war, betrayal, etc. The Adhyatma Ramayana shows how a spiritual aspirant can behave - and how God works in the world. Particularly uplifting are the instructions on Vedanta, which are intended for aspirants involved in normal work and family life.
The Adhyatma Ramayana is such a "modernized" version of the Ramayana, which combines the symbolism of mythology with advice on spiritual practice and Advaita Vedanta.
The Adhyatma Ramayana shows the story in a spiritual context. Everything is predetermined, Rama is Brahman, He does not kill but gives liberation to those whom He 'kills'. This is called uddhar. It also helps to understand one or another anomaly in the version of Valmiki.
So the intrigue of Manthara was not a malicious act on her part, but was initiated by the goddess of knowledge, Sarasvati. Manthara only plays her part in the great drama of fate, which needs a reason so that Vishnu can incarnate as Rama and destroy Ravana.
According to this text, Sita was never actually kidnapped. Rama, as the omniscient, suspected the kidnapping. He calls SitaAgni and creates a MayaSita - an illusion of herself. Ravana abducts this illusion. The true Sita arises again after the ordeal by fire when Ravana was destroyed.
We are made aware of the big picture, of the connections beyond the visible, which are set in motion by Rama as Brahman. The Adhyatma Ramayana elevates every act of Rama to a transcendent level. So the seeker can explore his own life through these symbolic acts. External life is just a metaphor for the soul's eternal journey.
This book is a parable. A king in exile is deceived by Maya and he loses his love (Sita) to the demon of darkness (Ravana). Later he shows repentance and begs for mercy. Friends (Hanuman) are put by his side to get his loved one back. The Adhyatma Ramayana is structured as follows:
- Bala Kanda - description of the cosmic appearance of Ramas as Brahman and His incarnation as human in order to free the earth from demons like Ravana. It also describes Rama's childhood and Ahalya's salvation.
- Ayodhya Kanda - RamasExil and the death of His father Dasharatha.
- Aranya Kanda - Life in the Forest and Sitas Abduction.
- Kishkindha Kanda - The happening in Kishkindha. The destruction of Bali and the beginning of the search for Sita.
- Sundara Kanda - Hanuman goes to Lanka.
- Lanka Kanda - The fight between Rama and Ravana. The destruction of Ravana. The coronation of Rama after His return.
- Uttara Kanda - The repudiation of Sita. Birth of Lava and Kusha, the sons of Rama and Sita. Rama's entrance in Vaikuntha.
- Dowson, John: A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion - Geography, History and Religion; D.K. Printworld Ltd., New Delhi, India, 2005
Stories from the Ramayana
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