Symbolism in Ramayana

Ravana – Dashamukha – represents an extrovert character. When the 5 sense organs of perception (eyes, ears, nose, tongue & skin) and 5 organs of action (hands, legs, speech, genitals & anus) are faced outwards seeking satisfaction of the flesh, such a person is called Dashamukha. It is just the opposite of Dasharatha. Such a person like Ravana can be materially rich beyond measure. Lanka was rich & technologically developed as compared to Ayodhya. They had Pushpaka Vimana (aeroplane and that too it was flied on iccha shakti). Such a plane is not even invented today. It is said that the women of Lanka were drunk even at eight in the morning, such was its condition. And in Ayodhya, people were using carts and carriages but they were very pious and spiritually rich. Yatha Raaja Tatha Praja.

To kill Ravana (our inner Ravana), Sri Ramji had to cross the Ocean. The Ocean represents the Ocean of Ignorance, and Ignorance is compared to the Ocean, not to the river or lake or even sea but in its largest form – The Ocean, such vast is our Ignorance. Sri Ramji took the army of monkeys. Monkeys have two qualities – asthiratva and chanchalatva (instability and restlessness). Our thoughts are like monkeys it cannot sit at one place. Only when these monkeys are controlled, will the enemy be killed. The monkeys were Sugreeva’s army (Greeva means controlled. Sugreeva means well controlled) and not Vali’s army. Vali had a boon. He could get twice the strength of the person who is fighting against him and on top of that, his opponent would lose half of his strength. Vali represents lust. Hence Vali had to be killed. But why from the back, one may ask? How can one overcome lust? Can anybody quit drinking if he sits in front of a bottle of whisky? He would not only lose half of his will power of quitting and that bottle of whisky would come charging at him in double strength. When Vali was shot, he asked Sri Ramji, “Why did you kill me like an animal”? Sri Ramji replied, “Because you are an animal. Or else who would kidnap his brother’s wife and rule his kingdom?”

Ahilya Moksha

On the way to Janakpuri, Sri Ramji, Laxmanji & Vishwamitra Muni come across an abandoned ashram. Sri Ramji was surprised on seeing such a pathetic state of the ashram in Janaka’s land. While Sri Ramji was walking the sand from his feet fell on Ahilya who had become stationary (like a stone) by a curse. The story goes like this…

Ahilya was the wife of Gautam Muni. One day Lord Indra came in the form of Gautam Muni and Ahilya mistook him for her husband was did something wrong which proved her unfaithful to her husband. Angered by this Gautam Muni cursed her, “May you be like a stone (jata) since your Buddhi acted like Jata.” Ahilya realised her mistake and asked for forgiveness. On that Gautam Muni said, “Since you did a mistake (pata) now do (tapa) to come out of it. When Lord will come this way, you will automatically be liberated by that.

Indra represents our Mind. The mind always plays tricks on us. In many other stories we hear that some demon attacked Lord Indra and frightened Indra went to Vishnu (represents our intellect) asking for help. When Indra came by disguise and touched Ahilya, she might have realised that it was not her husband. Any woman who loves her husband recognises him by his mere touch. But Ahilya was lost in her pleasure that she gave herself away. The wife of such a great saint could never afford to lose self-control or not be alert, and hence she got the curse. And she did not become a stone in the literal sense. She became still like a stone and performed tapas. Woman cant afford to be careless. The fall of a woman will result in the fall of a generation. Such is the significance of a woman in our society. Even Sita devi had to undergo a lot of pain for the only reason that her mind got diverted in the sense objects for a moment and she lost her focus from Ramchandraji.

Moral: Be alert at all times. All tempatations comes in disguise as a virtue.

lord rama


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