Glory and Significance of Sri Rama Nama
Majority of people in India know about the story of Lord Sri Rama, the epic Ramayana, and Lord Hanuman (the greatest devotee of Lord Sri Rama) but only few know the significance of Rama Nama. To talk about Lord Sri Rama and the significance of Rama Nama perhaps Lord Hanuman is the most competent person. In this regard a small but sincere attempt is being made to share the information collected from various sources about the glory and significance of Rama Nama.
Who is this Rama?
! Ramayatheethi Ramah! (Ramayatha ithi Ramah)
! Ramante yogino-nanthe brahmanande chidatmani!”
Rama is one of the names of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu in Vishnu Sahasra Nama. Sloka No.43 of Vishnu Sahasra Nama Sthothram describes Rama as,
Veerah Shaktimataam Shresshtah Dharmo Dharmaviduttamah”
Sahasranama Tat Thul-yam Rama Nama Varanane”
It is the most favourite manthra of all the deities and by chanting, one gets the benefit of invoking all the 33 crores of devathas. There are many instances in history where mere chanting of Rama Nama has resolved many miseries.
Lord Hanuman is hailed as the personification of selfless service to Lord Rama and Sita. Legends say that when Lord Rama was about to leave for His heavenly abode when the purpose of His incarnation was fulfilled, He asked Hanuman to accompany Him, but the latter politely declined the offer saying that he wanted to be present in the holy land where Lord Rama walked in human form and where Sri Rama Nama Japam was regularly conducted.
“Yatra Yatra Raghunatha Keerthanam
Tatra Tatra Kruthamasthakanjalim
Bhashpavari Paripoorna Lochanam
Maruthim namatha Rakshasanthakam”
The prayer sloka of Hanuman says that wherever Rama Nama is sung, he is present though not visible, with his eyes full of tears and with his hands folded in prayer to His Lord. Lord Hanuman undoubtedly the greatest devotee of Lord Sri Rama continuously chanted this taraka mantra that helped him to achieve many feats during the epic Ramayana that also attained him the status of Bhavishya Brahma.
By chanting the Rama Nama, a notorious bandit Ratnakara got liberated of all his past sins and as Valmiki, went on to author the epic Ramayana containing 24000 slokas. Valmiki describes Rama as having sixteen great attributes. Rama stood for the truth, he was a believer of truth, and was a symbol of moral excellence.
The Ramayana is not just a great epic; it is a culmination of philosophy, history, mythology and spirituality. While the epic Ramayana contains several thousands of slokas it is not possible to remember and recite all of them. Just by chanting the Rama Nama one gets the effect of chanting all the slokas of Ramayana.
Rama Nama Smarana a tool for Man’s liberation:
Different means of liberation have been spelled out applicable for each Yuga. For example, meditation (Penance) has been prescribed as the means of liberation in Krita Yuga, performing Yagnas and chanting of Mantras in Treta Yuga, Archana (worship) in Dwapara Yuga. But in Kali Yuga only Nama Smarana (repetition of God’s name) has been prescribed as the main means of liberation for the mankind.Since in Kali Yuga the people will not have the required spiritual strength and capability to perform and carry out the rigorous sadhana, Nama Smarana has been prescribed and advised to achieve the required results of liberation. The name of Rama will make one free from Raga (attachment) and also roga (disease). This mantra can be chanted anywhere, anytime and by anyone. Rama Nama has the power of intercession for the dead. Sthala Purana of Kasi mentions that the Deity of Kasi, Viswanatha (Lord Shiva) initiates this Taraka Manthra in the right ear of the people who die in Kasi. Kasyanthu MaranaanMukhthi, means one who dies in Kasi will attain Mukthi. Even the Pall bearers repeat; Ram naam satya hai (the name of Rama is the absolute truth).
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