Ram Katha London Day 4: 15/8/17

Bapu expressed his happiness about the day of independence and also the birthday of Krishna. The colours of the Indian flag represent satya, prem and karuna and the flagpole is the symbol of total surrender. Bapu explained that sharanagati must be stable and the flag of satya, prem and karuna should be fluttering all over the world. Bapu said that Krishna is remembered everyday but especially on Janmastami we are more aware of Krishna. But nobody can do justice to his mahima. Bapu then said that Ramcharit manas mentions the mahima of river Sarayu. Sarayu represents the flow of life which is clean and pious. Sarayu is said to have originated from mansarovar and one meaning in manas is heart. Every river represents the continuous flow onwards and that symbolises piety. River preserves both the banks and sarayu is flowing in between veda and loka, between Gargi and Margi. Both of them are sisters but Gargi is for scholars and Margi is for the masses. Gargi therefore has limited appeal while margi appeals to everybody. But the flow of the river should always be within its limit between two banks. If both the banks are merged together they will be a dam on the river and the flow will be stopped. We all say that the final goal of every river is the ocean, but the river is not aware of its final destination. River keeps on flowing.

Bapu then quoted J. Krishnamurthy to say that emptiness is an invitation to all knowledge and a man who feels fulfilled and full of knowledge will be arrogant and learn nothing. Bapu regretted that there are many people in the world today whose words are great and good but whose lifestyle is totally in contrast to what they say. Bapu said that it is his own personal experience that a speech which is not truthful does not leave any impression on anybody. We should love people without trying to change or convert them to our way of life and to our religious beliefs. We must be pure and pious and we should love the world, which is a beautiful world. Bapu wasn’t happy that we have spoilt the situation by maltreating women and the down trodden. He pointed out that Krishna was not exclusive in extending his love and good will, but he always fraternised with people who were pushed into the margin. Bapu then discussed an incident in the Mahabharata and wondered how a strong man like Dushasana got tired in pulling the sari of Draupadi in his attempt to disrobe her. Bapu then expressed his opinion that it is the flow which is praised (mahima). A restricted life does not deserve to be praised (mahima). Bapu then mentioned that there are 5 types of vidya: Adhyatma vidya, Yog vidya, Brahma vidya, Veda vidya and Loka vidya. Bapu always begins his katha with lokabhi.

After discussing the mahima of sarayu which is the mahima of flowing Ramcharit manas, described the mahima of the parents of Rama, Dasharatha and Kausalya. In this connection Bapu discussed who would make the ideal parents. His answer was that the parents who can find a way out of 5 calamities – Dharma sankat, Prana sankat, Rashtra sankat, Paravarik sankat, Prem sankat. In the life of Dasharatha all the 5 types of sankatas came together at the time when Ram was to be exiled to the forest. And all these 5 sankatas were finally resolved by the cooperation of Ram, Dasharatha, Kausalya and Bharata. Bapu then referred to the basic stanza which contains the word natha. The word natha is used in the sense of master and it is often used for a husband. Bapu referred to the Natha tradition and gave 5 characteristics of a natha. First, he should be extremely tolerant in every situation, he should be internally stable, in other words he has a steadiness of mind. When Sharanananda was asked about the school in which to learn stability (sthirmati) and the way of learning this internal stability he said you should stay in isolation – ekanta, and you should observe silence (maun). The third characteristic of natha is generosity, forth is sensitiveness and fifth is silence.

Bapu then turned to narrate the katha and he began by saying that Shiva is the entrance for Ram katha and Shiva and his incarnation Hanuman are the guardians of that entrance. Bapu then mentioned the Vikram Aditya story, the third story as narrated by the pushpadanti. She narrated the story of the generosity of Vikrama who was troubled by Indra when Vikram Aditya was trying to perform his yajnas, but Vikram Aditya had a conch, called sankata mochan conch. Indra came in the form of a brahmin and took away all the benefits of the yajna. Indra wanted to know how Vikram Aditya was able to deal with all the troubles and he also begged for the sankat mochan conch. Vikram Aditya was so generous that he donated even that conch to Indra who was the trouble maker. Bapu then picked up the story part of the katha and narrated the katha of Ramcharit manas to the point where Shiva agreed to his second marriage with Parvati.