Adhyatma Ramayana: The Spiritual Version of the Rama Saga

Adhyatma Ramayana: The Spiritual Version of the Rama SagaProduct Condition: No Defects
By Swami Tapasyananda

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  • Hardcover
  • 376 pages
  • Adhyatma Ramayana: The Spiritual Version of the Rama Saga
  • Swami Tapasyananda
  • 10 April 2019
  • 9788171200047

10 thoughts on “Adhyatma Ramayana: The Spiritual Version of the Rama Saga

  1. says:

    I have finished the book. But it needs to be re-read.
    While squeezing out content from the story form of spiritual literature, I could learn a lot of important facts.

    Briefing a few here:

    1. Sage Viswamitra bestows Lord Rama n Lakshmana with blessings of Bala n Atibala.

    This indicates that by constant devotion, practice of austerities special powers are attained.

    2. Lord Rama kills Rakshasas, Maricha and Subahu.

    If we focus on the way of killing-a major point comes out. That is Obstacles in the path of liberation (why just liberation-any work) can be removed either by annihilation or by distancing onself from the obstacle.

    3. Ahalya episode helped me find the following points.
    Penances are performed by Japa-meditating on the supreme, by restricting one's diet, by visiting pilgrimage, by remaining in isolation.

    Devotion of Ahalya helped find the following points-
    Any of the following can be considered as method of devotion: a)Reciting hymn with clear words of vedic import sanctioned by spiritual tradition,
    b)describing the Lord as viewed in the mind, in the depth of calmness
    c) describing the Lord's sport.
    d) describing the Lord's attributes.

    Many more...need to re-read

  2. says:

    This is the "spiritual" Ramayana, i.e., the version that, while treating the narrative elements in less elaborate fashion, makes explicit the theological dimensions of the text. I decided to read it alongside the volumes of Valmiki's Ramayana in the Clay Sanskrit series, then to finish the story in this edition when I realized that the Clay Sanskrit Ramayana wasn't complete yet.

    I appreciated the Adhyatma Ramayana, though it didn't live up to my expectations, because the interpretation did not go as far as I expected. Many aspects of the plot are explained merely as having been a "play" of Rama, without really addressing what is accomplished for the cosmos by Rama (Mahavishnu, Narayana) limiting himself in this fashion, though one can, through reflection, work it out, and perhaps this is what the author of the Adhyatma Ramayana felt was appropriate.

    It is made clear that Rama becomes human and undergoes human experiences in order to provide an object of devotion, and hence liberation, for humans. But what is lacking is enough discussion of the value of these particular experiences, and whether there is some cosmic benefit beyond the story itself to his experiences. The cosmic benefit which is mentioned is the humbling of the Rakshasas, but this is not unpacked.

    [Here is my theory: the Rakshasas have acquired excessive power through the boons that Ravana, in particular, has acquired through the practice of austerities, an imbalance which needs to be corrected through, in effect, increasing the effectiveness of, and access to, bhakti or devotional worship of Gods. Therefore a major deity takes on a charismatic human form and performs memorable deeds in order to strengthen this mode of worship as compared with the acquisition of raw spiritual power through ascetic practices that virtually force the deities directly in charge of the cosmos (i.e., the Devas, especially Indra) to make concessions to individuals, such as Ravana, who are not even morally worthy, but are simply very determined and self-controlled.]

    At any rate, I recommend the Adhyatma Ramayana to anyone who is interested in the spiritual significance of the Ramayana, with the understanding that it should not be one's choice if one is interested in the entertainment value of the story; it is unapologetically pedantic. It goes without saying, of course, that if one has a devotional interest in the text, the Adhyatma Ramayana is indispensable. This edition is attractive; it includes the Sanskrit text, though without transliteration, which would have been nice for purposes of recitation, and a glossary would have been useful.

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