Friday, 12 December 2014
అయ్యా, ఇది గోప్పకు చెప్పడం కాదు. చెప్పకుండా వుండలేక చెబుతున్నాను. సమయానికి ఇది నాకు గుర్తు చేసిన వారికి కృతజ్ఞతలు తెలుపుకొంటూ చెబుతున్నా.
జన్మ సాఫల్య మంత్రం ఇది. ఆపదలలో సంజీవిని లాగ పని చేస్తుంది. ఈ రామ రక్షా స్తోత్రం నిజంగానే మృత సంజీవిని. దిక్కుతోచని స్థితిలో పరమాత్భుతంగా పని చేసి అఖండమైన తేజస్సును, వెలుగును, జ్ఞానమును, చూపి బుద్ధిని మంచి వైపు ప్రచోదనం చేస్తుంది. ఈ మహా మంత్రముతో ఏన్నో ప్రయోగములు చేసి ఏందరనో ఆపదలో నుంచి గట్టేక్కించాను. ఈ మంత్రం సిద్ధ పొందడానికి ఇది అనువైన కాలము శరన్నవరాత్రులు మరియు వసంత నవరాత్రులు. పాడ్యమి నుంచి దశమి దాక పది రోజులు, రోజుకు 11 పర్యాయములు చొప్పున పారాయణ చేసినచో మంత్ర సిద్ధి కలుగును. ఆ పైన ఏప్పుడు కావాలంటే అప్పుడు ఈ మంత్రం తో అభిమంత్రించి ఇవ్వవచ్చును. ఆరోగ్యం సరిగా లేని వారికి తల మీద చేయి వుంచి ఓక్కసారి చదివితే చాలు రోగం పోతుంది. జైలుకు వెళ్ళిన వాళ్ళు, తప్పి పోయిన వాళ్ళు తిరిగి వస్తారు .
విడాకుల కోసం కోర్టుకు వెళ్ళిన వాళ్ళు కూడా అన్యోన్యంగా తిరిగి వస్తారు.
శ్రీ బుధకౌశిక ఋషి విరచిత శ్రీరామరక్షా స్తోత్రం - తాత్పర్యము
'రాం' అనే అక్షరం అగ్ని స్వరూపం. అంతటి మహిమాన్వితమైన బీజాక్షరం మరొకటి లేదని వేదాలు, ఉపనిషత్తులు, పురాణాలు ఘోషిస్తున్నాయి. మరి దీనికి దేవత అయిన శ్రీ రాముడు ఎంత మహిమాన్వితుడో మనకు వాల్మీకి మహర్షి విపులంగా రామాయణ మహాకావ్యంలో చెప్పాడు.
మానవునిగా పుట్టి, ధర్మ సంరక్షణకోసం, సత్య వాక్పరిపాలన కోసం ఆదర్శ జీవనాన్ని గడిపిన ఆ ధర్మమూర్తి రామచంద్రుని స్మరిస్తే సకల భయాలు, ఆపదలు, పాపాలు తొలగుతాయని, మోక్షము కలుగుతుందని ఎన్నలేని నిదర్శనాలు ఈ భారత భూమిపై కొన్ని వేల సంవత్సరాలుగా ఉన్నాయి. ఎందరో ఋషులు, యోగులు, కవులు, పండితులు, పరమ భక్తులు, వాగ్గేయ కారులు ఈ రామ నామ మహిమను వివరించారు, నుతించారు. స్వయంగా పరమశివుడే పార్వతికి ఈ రామ నామ మహత్తును చెప్పాడుట.
ఆ రాముని నుతిస్తూ బుధ కౌశిక ముని ఈ రామ రక్షా స్తోత్రాన్ని రచించారు. ఇది ఎంతో ఫలదాయకమైనది, మహిమాన్వితమైనదిగా చెప్పబడింది. ఇందులో వేర్వేరు మూలాలనుంచి రామ మహిమను చెప్పే శ్లోకాలను పొందు పరచారు.
రామ రక్షా స్తోత్రము, తాత్పర్యము.
ఓం శ్రీగణేశాయ నమః
అస్య శ్రీరామరక్షాస్తోత్రమంత్రస్య బుధకౌశిక ఋషిః
శ్రీసీతారామచంద్రో దేవతా అనుష్టుప్ ఛందః
సీతా శక్తిః శ్రీమద్ హనుమాన్ కీలకం
శ్రీరామచంద్రప్రీత్యర్థే రామరక్షాస్తోత్రజపే వినియోగః
బుధకౌశికఋషి రచించిన రామరక్షా స్తోత్రము, సీతా రామచంద్రుడు దేవత, సీత శక్తి, హనుమంతుడు కీలకం (మూల స్థంభం అని అర్థం), అనుష్టుప్ ఛందములో చెప్పబడింది. శ్రీరాముని ప్రీతి కొరకు ఈ రామరక్షా స్తోత్రము వినియోగము.
ధ్యాయేదాజానుబాహుం ధృతశరధనుషం బద్ధపద్మాసనస్థం
పీతం వాసో వసానం నవకమలదళస్పర్ధినేత్రం ప్రసన్నం
వామాంకారూఢ సీతాముఖకమలమిళల్లోచనం నీరదాభం
నానాలంకారదీప్తం దధతమురుజటామండనం రామచంద్రం
మోకాళ్ళ వరకు ఉండే పొడవైన చేతులు కలవాడు, ధనుస్సు, శరములు ధరించిన వాడు, పద్మాసనములో కూర్చుని ఉన్నవాడు, పసుపు పచ్చని వస్త్రము ధరించిన వాడు, నవ కలువలతో పోటీ పదే కన్నులు కలవాడు, ప్రసన్నుడు, తన ఎడమ తొడపై కూర్చుని ఉన్న కమలము వంటి ముఖము కల సీతపై చూపులు కలవాడు, మేఘ శ్యాముడు, అనేకమైన ఆభరణములు ధరించిన వాడు, పొడవైన కేశములు తొడలవరకు కలవాడు అయిన శ్రీ రాముని ధ్యానించుము.
చరితం రఘునాథస్య శతకోటి ప్రవిస్తరం
ఏకైకమక్షరం పుంసాం మహాపాతకనాశనం ౧
శ్రీరాముని చరితము ఎంతో విస్తారమైనది. ఇందులోని ప్రతి అక్షరము మానవుని మహా పాతకములను నాశనము చేయగలిగిన శక్తి కలది.
ధ్యాత్వా నీలోత్పలశ్యామం రామం రాజీవలోచనం
జానకీలక్ష్మణోపేతం జటాముకుటమండితం ౨
కలువల వంటి కన్నులు, నీలి మేఘము వంటి శరీర ఛాయ, అందమైన కేశములు కిరీటముగా కలిగి, సీతా లక్ష్మణులు చెరొక వైపు కలిగి ప్రకాశిస్తున్న రాముని ధ్యానించుదాము.
స్వలీలయా జగత్త్రాతు మావిర్భూత మజం విభుం ౩
ఖడ్గము, ధనుస్సు, అమ్ముల పొదిలో బాణములు ధరించిన వాడు, నిశాచరులైన రాక్షసులను సంహరించిన వాడు, జన్మ లేని వాడు, దుష్ట శిక్షణ కోసమే అవతారమెత్తిన వాడు, ప్రకాశించే ప్రభువును ధ్యానించుదాము.
రామరక్షాం పఠేత్ప్రాజ్ఞః పాపఘ్నీం సర్వకామదాం
శిరో మే రాఘవః పాతు ఫాలం దశరథాత్మజః ౪
రామ రక్షా స్తోత్రము పఠించే జ్ఞానులకు పాపములన్ని నశించి అని కోరికలు తీరును. రఘువంశములో పుట్టిన రాముడు నా శిరస్సును కాపాడు గాక, దశరథ కుమారుడైన రాముడు నా నుదురును కాపాడు గాక.
కౌసల్యేయో దృశౌ పాతు విశ్వామిత్రప్రియఃశ్రుతీ
ఘ్రాణం పాతు మఖత్రాతా ముఖం సౌమిత్రివత్సలః ౫
కౌసల్యా సుతుడైన రాముడు నా కన్నులను కాపాడు గాక. విశ్వామిత్రుని ప్రియుడైన రాముడు నా కర్ణములను కాపాడు గాక. యజ్ఞమును కాపాడిన రాముడు నా నాసికమును కాపాడు గాక. లక్ష్మణుని పట్ల ప్రేమతో ఉండేవాడు నా ముఖమును కాపాడు గాక.
జిహ్వాం విద్యానిధిః పాతు కంఠం భరతవందితః
స్కంధౌ దివ్యాయుధః పాతు భుజౌ భగ్నేశకార్ముకః ౬
విద్యా నిధి యైన రాముడు నా నాలుకను కాపాడు గాక. భరతునిచే పూజించ బడిన రాముడు నా కంఠమును కాపాడు గాక. దివ్యాయుధములు ధరించే రాముడు నా భుజములను కాపాడు గాక. శివుని విల్లుని విరిచిన రాముడు నా బాహువులను కాపాడు గాక.
కరౌ సీతాపతిః పాతు హృదయం జామదగ్న్యజిత్
మధ్యం పాతు ఖరధ్వంసీ నాభిం జాంబవదాశ్రయః ౭
సీతాపతి యైన రాముడు నా కరములను కాపాడు గాక. పరశురాముని గర్వము అణచిన రాముడు నా హృదయమును కాపాడు గాక. ఖర దూషణ రాక్షసులను సంహరించిన రాముడు నా ఉదరమును కాపాడు గాక. జామ్బవంతునికి ఆశ్రయమిచ్చిన రాముడు నా నాభిని కాపాడు గాక.
సుగ్రీవేశః కటీ పాతు సక్థినీ హనుమత్ప్రభుః
ఊరూ రఘూత్తమః పాతు రక్షఃకులవినాశకృత్ ౮
సుగ్రీవునికి ప్రభువైన రాముడు నా నడుమును కాపాడు గాక. హనుమంతునికి ప్రభువైన రాముడు నా తుంటెను కాపాడు గాక. రఘు కులములో ఉత్తముడు, రాక్షసులను వినాశనము చేసినవాడైన రాముడు నా రెండు తొడలను కాపాడు గాక.
జానునీ సేతుకృత్ పాతు జంఘే దశముఖాంతకః
పాదౌ విభీషణశ్రీదః పాతు రామోఽఖిలం వపుః ౯
సేతువును నిర్మించిన రాముడు నా మోకాళ్లను కాపాడు గాక. రావణుని సంహరించిన రాముడు నా పిక్కలను కాపాడు గాక. విభీషణునికి ఆశ్రయమిచ్చిన రాముడు నా పాదములను కాపాడు గాక. ఈ విధముగా రాముడు నా శరీరము నంతటినీ కాపాడు గాక.
ఏతాం రామబలోపేతాం రక్షాం యః సుకృతీ పఠేత్
స చిరాయుః సుఖీ పుత్రీ విజయీ వినయీ భవేత్ ౧౦
రాముని అంత బలం కల ఈ స్తోత్రమును పఠించిన సత్పురుషునికి దీర్ఘాయుష్షు, సుఖము, సంతానము, విజయము, వినయము కలుగు గాక.
న ద్రష్టుమపి శక్తాస్తే రక్షితం రామనామభిః ౧౧
రూపమును మార్చుకుంటూ, భూమిపైన, పాతాళములో, ఆకాశములో, అదృశ్య రూపులై తిరిగేవారికి (దుష్టశక్తులు) రామనామముచే రక్షించబడిన వారు కనబడక యుందురు.
రామేతి రామభద్రేతి రామచంద్రేతి వా స్మరన్
నరో న లిప్యతే పాపైః భుక్తిం ముక్తిం చ విందతి ౧౨
రామ, రామభద్ర, రామచంద్ర అని ఆ దేవుని స్మరించే మానవులకు ఎటువంటి పాపము అంటదు. వారికి భుక్తి, ముక్తి కలుగును.
యః కంఠే ధారయేత్తస్య కరస్థాః సర్వసిద్ధయః ౧౩
ప్రపంచాన్ని జయించిన రామ నామ మనే ఈ మంత్రమును ధరించిన వారికి సర్వ కార్య సిద్ధి కలిగి, సిద్ధులు వారి కనుసన్నలలో యుండును.
వజ్రపంజరనామేదం యో రామకవచం స్మరేత్
అవ్యాహతాజ్ఞః సర్వత్ర లభతే జయమంగళం ౧౪
వజ్రపంజరమనే ఈ రామ కవచాన్ని స్మరించే వారికి ఓటమి యుండదు. వారికి ఎల్లవేళలా జయము, శుభము కలుగును.
ఆదిష్టవాన్ యథా స్వప్నే రామరక్షాంమిమాం హరః
తథా లిఖితవాన్ ప్రాతః ప్రభుద్ధో బుధకౌశికః ౧౫
పరమ శివుడు బుధ కౌశిక మునిని ఈ స్తోత్రము రచించుమని స్వప్నములో ఆదేశించెను. మరునాడు ఉదయము ఆ ఋషి ఈ స్తోత్ర రచన చేసెను.
ఆరామః కల్పవృక్షాణాం విరామః సకలాపదాం
అభిరామస్త్రిలోకానాం రామః శ్రీమాన్ స నః ప్రభుః ౧౬
అన్ని కోరికలు తీర్చే కల్పవ్రుక్షమైన వాడు, అన్ని ఆపదలను పోగొట్టేవాడు, మూడులోకములచే వందితుడు అయిన రాముడే నిస్సంశయముగా మన ప్రభువు.
తరుణౌ రూపసంపన్నౌ సుకుమారౌ మహాబలౌ
పుండరీకవిశాలాక్షౌ చీరకృష్ణాజినాంబరౌ ౧౭
యువకులు, సుందరమైన వారు, సుకుమారులు, మహాబలము కలవారు, కలువలవంటి విశాలమైన కన్నులు కలవారు, నార వస్త్రములు, జింక చర్మము ధరించిన ఆ రామలక్ష్మణులు మనలను ఎల్లప్పుడూ కాపాడుదురు గాక.
ఫలమూలాశినౌ దాంతౌ తాపసౌ బ్రహ్మచారిణౌ
పుత్రౌ దశరథస్యైతౌ భ్రాతరౌ రామలక్ష్మణౌ ౧౮
దశరథుని పుత్రులైన ఈ రామలక్ష్మణులు కందమూల ఫలములు భుజించి, నిగ్రహముతో, తపస్సు చేస్తూ, బ్రహ్మచర్యం పాటిస్తూ ఉన్నారు.
శరణ్యౌ సర్వసత్త్వానాం శ్రేష్ఠౌ సర్వధనుష్మతాం
రక్షః కులనిహంతారౌ త్రాయేతాం నో రఘూత్తమౌ ౧౯
రఘువంశ రాజ కుమారులు, ధనుర్విద్యలో ఆరితేరిన వారు, రాక్షసులను సంహరించిన వారు, అందరి రక్షకులు అయిన రామ లక్ష్మణులు మనలను ఎల్లప్పుడూ కాపాడు గాక.
రక్షణాయ మమ రామలక్ష్మణావగ్రతః పథి సదైవ గచ్ఛతాం ౨౦
ధనుర్బాణములు ధరించి తయారుగా ఉన్న, వారి చేతులు నిండుగా ఉన్న అమ్ములపొదిలోని బాణములపై కలిగిన రామ లక్ష్మణులు మనలను మన మార్గములో ఎల్లవేళలా కాపాడెదరు గాక.
సన్నద్ధః కవచీ ఖడ్గీ చాపబాణధరో యువా
గచ్ఛన్మనోరథోస్మాకం రామః పాతు సలక్ష్మణః ౨౧
ఖడ్గము, కవచము, బాణములు, ధనుస్సుతో ఎల్లప్పుడూ సన్నద్ధుడై యుండి, లక్ష్మణుడు అనుసరించగా, మన మనోరథము తీర్చుటకై వచ్చిన రామ చంద్రుడు లక్ష్మణ సమేతుడై మనలను కాపాడు గాక.
రామో దాశరథిః శూరో లక్ష్మణానుచరో బలీ
కాకుత్స్థః పురుషః పూర్ణః కౌసల్యేయో రఘూత్తమః ౨౨
దశరథ మహారాజు, కౌసల్యల తనయుడు, శూరుడు, లక్ష్మణునిచే అనుగమించ బడిన వాడు, బలవంతుడు, సూర్యవంశమున జన్మించిన వాడు, పూర్ణ పురుషుడు, రఘు కులములో ఉత్తముడు ఈ రాముడు.
వేదాంతవేద్యో యజ్ఞేశః పురాణపురుషోత్తమః
జానకీవల్లభః శ్రీమాన్ అప్రమేయ పరాక్రమః ౨౩
వేదాంతములచే గ్రహించబడే వాడు, యజ్ఞములకు అధిపతి, సనాతనుడు, పురుషోత్తముడు, సీతాప్రియుడు, శుభకరుడు, అనంతమైన పరాక్రమము కలవాడు ఈ రాముడు.
ఇత్యేతాని జపన్నిత్యం మద్భక్తః శ్రద్ధయాన్వితః
అశ్వమేధాధికం పుణ్యం సంప్రాప్నోతి న సంశయః ౨౪
పరమ శివుడు ఇలా అన్నాడు - నా భక్తులారా! రాముని ఈ నామములను శ్రద్ధతో జపించేవారికి సంశయం లేకుండా అశ్వమేధ యాగము చేసిన దాని కన్నా ఎక్కువ ఫలము లభించును.
రామం దుర్వాదళశ్యామం పద్మాక్షం పీతవాససం
స్తువంతి నామభిర్దివ్యైః న తే సంసారిణో నరాః ౨౫
కలువల వంటి కన్నులు కలవాడు, నీల మేఘ శ్యాముడు, పీతాంబరములు ధరించిన వాడు అయిన రాముని దివ్య నామములు స్తుతించే వారు ఇంక ఈ సంసార సాగరములో చిక్కుకొని యుండరు (వారికి మోక్షము కలుగును).
రామం లక్ష్మణపూర్వజం రఘువరం సీతాపతిం సుందరం
కాకుత్స్థం కరుణార్ణవం గుణనిధిం విప్రప్రియం ధార్మికం
రాజేంద్రం సత్యసంధం దశరథతనయం శ్యామలం శాంతమూర్తిం
వందే లోకాభిరామం రఘుకులతిలకం రాఘవం రావణారిం ౨౬
మనోహరుడు, లక్ష్మణుని అగ్రజుడు, సీతాపతి, రఘుకులములో ఉత్తముడు, కరుణా సాగరుడు, సర్వ సులక్షణ సంపన్నుడు, బ్రాహ్మణులకు ప్రియుడు, ధర్మ రక్షకుడు, సత్య సంధుడు, రాజేంద్రుడు, దశరథ పుత్రుడు, నల్లని వాడు, శాంతమూర్తి, రావణుని సంహరించిన వాడు, లోకాభిరాముడు అయిన రామునికి వందనములు.
రామాయ రామభద్రాయ రామచంద్రాయ వేధసే
రఘునాథాయ నాథాయ సీతాయాః పతయే నమః ౨౭
శుభకరుడు, రక్షకుడు, చంద్రుని వలె చల్లనైన వాడు, సీతాపతి, లోక నాథుడు యైన రామునికి నమస్కారములు.
శ్రీరామ రామ రఘునందన రామ రామ
శ్రీరామ రామ భరతాగ్రజ రామ రామ
శ్రీరామ రామ రణకర్కశ రామ రామ
శ్రీరామ రామ శరణం భవ రామ రామ ౨౮
రఘునందనుడు, భరతునికి అగ్రజుడు, యుద్ధములో అరివీర భయంకరుడు అయిన రాముని నేను శరణు కోరుచున్నాను.
శ్రీరామచంద్రచరణౌ మనసా స్మరామి
శ్రీరామచంద్రచరణౌ వచసా గృణామి
శ్రీరామచంద్రచరణౌ శిరసా నమామి
శ్రీరామచంద్రచరణౌ శరణం ప్రపద్యే ౨౯
శ్రీరామచంద్రుని పాదములను - మనసులో స్మరిస్తున్నాను. మాటలలో పొగడుతున్నాను, శిర్స్సుతో నమస్కరిస్తున్నాను, శరణు కోరుతున్నాను.
మాతా రామో మత్పితా రామచంద్రః
స్వామీ రామో మత్సఖా రామచంద్రః
సర్వస్వం మే రామచంద్రో దయాళుః
నాఽన్యం జానే నైవ జానే న జానే ౩౦
శ్రీరాముడే నాకు తల్లి, తండ్రి, ప్రభువు, స్నేహితుడు. నా సర్వస్వం ఆ దయాళువైన రామచంద్రుడే. అటువంటి వారు నాకు ఇంక ఎవ్వరు లేరు, లేరు గాక లేరు.
దక్షిణే లక్ష్మణో యస్య వామే తు జనకాత్మజా
పురతో మారుతిర్యస్య తం వందే రఘునందనం ౩౧
కుడి పక్కన లక్ష్మణుడు, ఎడమ పక్కన సీత, ముంగిట హనుమంతుడు కలిగిన రామునికి వందనములు.
కారుణ్యరూపం కరుణాకరం తం
శ్రీరామచంద్రం శరణం ప్రపద్యే ౩౨
కన్నులకు ఇంపైన వాడు, సమరములో శత్రుజన భయంకరుడు, అందమైన కన్నులు కలవాడు, రఘువంశ నాథుడు, కరుణా రూపుడు, కరుణాకరుడు అయిన రాముని శరణు కోరుతున్నాను.
జితేంద్రియం బుద్ధిమతాం వరిష్ఠం
శ్రీరామదూతం శరణం ప్రపద్యే ౩౩
మనస్సు అంత వేగము కలవాడు, వేగమున తండ్రియైన వాయువుతో సమానమైన వాడు, ఇంద్రియములను జయించిన వాడు, బుద్ధిమంతులలో శ్రేష్ఠుడు, వాయు పుత్రుడు, వానరసేనలో ముఖ్యుడు, శ్రీరాముని దూత అయిన హనుమంతుని శరణు కోరుతున్నాను.
కూజంతం రామ రామేతి మధురం మధురాక్షరం
ఆరుహ్య కవితాశాఖాం వందే వాల్మీకికోకిలం ౩౪
రామాయణ కావ్యం ద్వారా మధురమైన రామ నామమును చెట్టుపై యున్న కోయిల వలె గానం చేసిన వాల్మీకి మహర్షికి వందనములు.
ఆపదాం అపహర్తారం దాతారం సర్వసంపదాం
లోకాభిరామం శ్రీరామం భూయో భూయో నమామ్యహం ౩౫
అన్ని ఆపదలు తొలగించే వాడు, సకల సంపదలను ఇచ్చే వాడు, లోకాభిరాముడు అయిన శ్రీరామునికి నేను పరి పరి నమస్కారములు చేయుచున్నాను.
భర్జనం భవబీజానాం అర్జనం సుఖసంపదాం
తర్జనం యమదూతానాం రామ రామేతి గర్జనం ౩౬
రామనామ ఉచ్చారణ, గర్జన పునర్జన్మ యనే బీజమును నాశనము చేయును (మోక్షము కలిగించును). అది సకల సంపదలను ఇచ్చును, యమ దూతలను పారద్రోలును.
రామో రాజమణిః సదా విజయతే రామం రమేశం భజే
రామేణాభిహతా నిశాచరచమూ రామాయ తస్మై నమః
రామాన్నాస్తి పరాయణం పరతరం రామస్య దాసోఽస్మ్యహం
రామే చిత్తలయః సదా భవతు మే భో రామ మాముద్ధర ౩౭
రాజులలో మణి వంటి వాడు, రాక్షసులను సంహరించిన వాడు అయిన రామున్ని భజిస్తున్నాను, నమస్కరిస్తున్నాను. ఆ రాముని మించిన కొలువు, దైవము లేదు, నేను అతని సేవకుడను. నా మనసు ఆ రాముని యందే లయమై యున్నది. ఓ రామా! నన్ను ఉద్ధరించుము, తరించుము.
శ్రీరామ రామేతి రామేతి రమే రామే మనోరమే
సహస్రనామ తత్తుల్యం రామనామ వరాననే ౩౮
పరమశివుడు ఇలా అన్నాడు - ఓ పార్వతీ దేవీ! నేను రామ నామ ఉచ్చరణను ఆస్వాదిస్తున్నాను. అది నాకు ఎంతో ప్రియమైనది. ఈ నామమును ఒక్కసారి ఉచ్చరించుట పరమాత్ముని ఇతర సహస్ర నామములను ఉచ్చరించినంత ఫలము నిచ్చును.
Sri Ram Raksha Stotra श्रीरामरक्षा स्तोत्र
Understanding the ‘Sri Ram Raksha Stotra’ and its hidden mysteries, stories and magic
Understanding the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra
Inspired by Shiva and written by Buddha KaushikaThe magic of the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra(as derived in an attempt to understand)
The entirety of the Sri Ramraksha Stotra is that of an extremely powerfulmantra. Recitation of the Sri Ramraksha Stotra results in establishing an impenetrable, amazing and powerful armour around yourself.
The exceptional origins of the Sri Ramraksha Stotra is that Lord Shiva rendered the entire 38 stanzas within the dream of Shri Budha Kaushika Rishi who wrote down the entire stotra at the dawn thereafter. Since then, the Sri Ramraksha Stotra has become established within common devotees and become stronger and stronger. Today, the Sri Ramraksha Stotra has gone deep into the hearts of the devotees.
The eleven stanzas of the total thirty-eight in the Sri Ramraksha Stotra denote the actual 'Ram-raksha', i.e., protection by Rama. This is an attempt to understand the divine aspects of the Sri Ramraksha Stotra and to explore the means to enable the protective strength by its proper rendition.
अस्य श्रीरामरक्षास्तोत्रमंत्रस्य बुधकौशिक ऋषि: "Asya Shri Ramraksha Stotra mantrasya Budhakaushika Rishi-hi"
The Sri Ramraksha Stotra begins with these words, and it would be thus, that all devotees wold immediately be familiar with, while memorising the 38 stanzas. Today, the Sri Ramraksha Stotra is easily available in transliterations in many languages, along with detailed explanation of each stanza. However, it is perhaps the asset of the comfortable nature of the words, the phonetic tenor and the ease of memorising the sequence, that makes the Sri Ramraksha Stotra so well-loved amongst all devotees.
India is a divine land, with diverse deities, religions and cultures. The advent of a fast-paced electronic world, shrinking rapidly in access, continues to take us away from divinity. The bonds of religion, culture and gods with human society in India and amongst Indians everywhere is weakening rapidly. The aspects of success, prosperity and achievements in this ever-changing dynamic world cannot even lead to holistic peace and tranquility in one's life. We refuse to recognise the truth. The world of consumerism, competition and fragile relationships does seem to hide itself within another world of instant happiness, short-lived achievements and thoughtless aspirations to creating relationships without an enduring understanding.
Failure in relationships, loss of friends, relatives and property, lack of public acknowledgement of achievements, however big or small, and an understanding of the existence of fragile human nature makes one wonder and question the reality over the myth. We begin to explore other ways and means of going around a deliberate understanding of human relationships and our own behaviour.
We may begin to realise, perhaps, when in anguish, distress or sorrow, that ill-gotten wealth or worldly sorrows and disputes are but a curtain drawn across divine wealth. Sorrow, anguish and worldly troubles prevent divine blessings from being noticed. One should always attempt to allow one's divine blessings to be visible distinctively and thereby prevent the retention of wordly troubles and anguish. It is thus understood, that the Sri Ramraksha Stotra is the only means of getting mastery over worldly sorrows and strengthening one's divine blessings.
The action of reciting a 'stotra' a collection of 2-line /4-line /6-line stanzas) is in the actual aspect of penance. One needs to determine within oneself that the 'penance' of reciting the stotra would be attempted and completed in an entirely deliberate and disciplined manner. The actual act of reciting the 'stotra' is in the action of 'praising' the deity through a methodically written sequence of stanzas. The stanzas within the stotra are carefully and cleverly assembled. The escalation of internal devotion that builds up during the recitation of the 'stotra' is in its extremely clever and methodical construction.
It is said that when in total contemplation of the deity, through dedicated recitation of the Sri Ramaraksha Stotra, one develops a complete attractive visage within oneself. It seems as if the deity responds to the contemplation and becomes at one within the devotee who seems to undergo a blissful experience, even if so, in serenity, and gathers a glow of attractive happiness, and thereby radiates the happiness to everyone who approaches in closer contact.
Repetitive recitation of the Sri Ramaraksha Stotra provides for a different experience at each occasion. The devotee would certainly experience a different understanding and perspective during each repetition. Certain stanzas may provide a different aspect or understanding during the second repetition and may again change their relevance or abstraction during the next repetition. This is the reason why the repetition and persistent increasing numbers of repetition of the Sri Ramaraksha Stotra, or, for that matter, any stotra, is encouraged amongst all devotees.
The Sri Ramraksha Stotra can easily be recited within any household. The stotra has been written in Sanskrit, but, the words are simple and easy to learn, even if the devotee is not familiar with the language. The recitation and rendition of the stanzas, and the rhythm within them, helps the devotee to sing or speak the words without errors. The truest pleasure is in the repeated recitation of the Sri Ramraksha Stotra, with the utterance of each word and in the lilt of the rhyme in each stanza.
Drowning in Rama
The joy never ceases for the devotee in the continued recitation of the Sri Ramraksha Stotra. The simple magic, at its truly simplest, is in the repeated mention of Rama's name, in explaining every nuance of the being of the Rama-avatar the manifestation of Rama), and in the total internal rendering of Rama within the heart of the devotee. The information provided within each inflection of Rama's name is brought forth as the discovery of the unknown within that which is always and perpetually known.
The references to Rama, the relevances of the aspect of Rama, in intimate detail and in understanding the avatar of Rama, through the rhythmic rendering in the Sri Ramraksha Stotra is extremely delightful. The 38 stanzas of the stotra seem to echo the tremendous aspect of Rama, and with the progression of one stanza after another, the echo finds it way, passionately within the heart of the devotee.
The completeness of each stanza helps drown the devotee deeper and deeper without any desire to be rescued from the vibrations of the echo. It is thus, that this many thousand year-old Sri Ramraksha Stotra finds its own path within the hearts of devotees and grips them within its embrace without anyone wanting the stotra to lose its grip over them.
There are some distinctively specific aspects of the Sri Ramraksha Stotra that we begin to realise, when we recite the stanzas regularly and we become familiar with them. The foremost significant aspect of the stotra is that the entire emphasis on the name, 'Rama', as an avatar or manifestation of Vishnu, is only referred to in the last stanza, being -
राम रामेति रामेति,रमे रामे मनोरमे ।सहस्रनाम तत्तुल्यं,रामनाम वरानने ॥
Raam Raameti Raameti,Rame Raame Manorame |Sahasra-naama Taththulyam,Raama-naama Varaanane ||
The aspect of 'Rama' as an avatar of Vishnu, and being referred to as an equivalent or as an higher incidence is indicated in this stanza, and nowhere else, throughout the stotra. Within all the other stanzas, synonymous use of the name is made at several occasions, as though it was a deliberate strategy of word play by Shiva, and as written by Shri Budha Kaushika Rishi.
The other significant aspect of Shri Ramraksha Stotra is that one gets to witness several aspects of Rama's life, from his birth in the Raghu dynasty, through to his victory over Ravana and thereafter. The stanzas seem to travel through the instances of his life, almost in chronological sequence, and drowns the devotee in bliss.
Requesting Rama's protection
It is the purpose of the Sri Ramraksha Stotra to entreat Rama, as the deity, to protect one's own body, in all its aspects and for all organs, and for all time. This is the reason why devotees entrust themselves to Rama in seeking his blessings by reciting the stotra. The devotee makes it amply understood that he is seeking Rama's protection and thereby entering his sanctuary in an absoluteness of determination.
There is tremendous latent meaning and purpose in each stanza of the stotra. At times, any stanza in the stotra, or the complete stotra may seem to be a sufficient prayer in its entirety, but often, it seems incomplete. And then, later, it seems to rescue itself, and becomes complete. The devotee is left speechless at being a witness to the inflection and seems without recourse but, to be greedy, for more.
There is an entire aspect of supplication, like a chapter, if you may term it as such, that enables the devotee to focus on Rama, from his forehead to his feet, entreating for protection while naming each body-organ within a divine perspective. These specific stanzas begin from "शिरो में राघव पातु" ("Shiro mein Raaghavah paathu-h") leading up to "पादौ विभीषण श्रीद: पातु रामोSखिलं वपु:" ("Paadau Vibheeshan-a shreedha-h, paatu Raamo-khilam-m vaapu-h").
These stanzas are the core group of lines that entreat Rama for his protection and thereby are the main "Ram-raksha" protection from Raama) aspect. It should thus be in the attempt of the devotee to ensure that the core group of stanzas are entirely within one's memory and repeated silently in a blissful manner.
The stotra does not try to explain away its actual premise. The devotee, at times, may feel a gap in understanding the actual causal relationship between Rama's blessings, by mere recitation of his name, and in the protection of each organ of one's own body. There are references to the hands, to the stomach, and to other parts of the body. Some of these references are very specific. Why would such references be established and accepted within the aspect of understanding that Rama, his blessings, and the repetition of his name would help in a clinical protection of one's physical body.
The devotee may be left questioning oneself or one's contemporaries about the relevance and usefulness of the recitation. It is hoped that devotees would continue to question the Sri Ramraksha Stotra, for it is essential that all doubts and misgivings are removed and dispelled. It is in the repeated recitation that clarity envelops the doubts and takes shape in the manner of a complete cloak over the Stotra.
The Sri Ramraksha Stotra takes the devotee through an almost complete anatomical journey, comprising almost 20 body parts that are referred to, in the stanzas. The devotee worships Rama through this stotra by journeying throughout one's own body and supplicating oneself for protection and blessings. It is thus that the devotee offers his own body to Rama, by acknowledging that the divine armour from Rama is required for one's own protection.
The very action of recitation of the Sri Ramraksha Stotra brings together the convergence of various perspectives. Firstly, there is the intention of the devotee, as a manner of decision and determination to recite and imbibe the protective nature of the Stotra. Secondly, it could also be led by the ponderance by the devotee on the human body, or any particular part of the body, while seeking Rama's blessings.
There is the further understanding that whatever may be the result, it was certainly the nature of protection by Rama, on the human form of the devotee. The enquiry during the recitation and during future repetitions is within the mind about how the blessings would actually help one's own body especially if there is an illness or anguish or distress.
ఇతి శ్రీ బుధకౌశికఋషి విరచితం శ్రీరామరక్షాస్తోత్రం సంపూర్ణం
॥ श्रीरामरक्षास्तोत्रम् ॥ - Shri Ram Raksha Stotram
॥ श्रीरामरक्षास्तोत्रम् ॥
श्रीगणेशायनम: ।अस्य श्रीरामरक्षास्तोत्रमन्त्रस्य ।बुधकौशिक ऋषि: ।श्रीसीतारामचंद्रोदेवता ।अनुष्टुप् छन्द: । सीता शक्ति: ।श्रीमद्हनुमान् कीलकम् ।श्रीसीतारामचंद्रप्रीत्यर्थे जपे विनियोग: ॥
॥ अथ ध्यानम् ॥
ध्यायेदाजानुबाहुं धृतशरधनुषं बद्दद्पद्मासनस्थं ।पीतं वासोवसानं नवकमलदलस्पर्धिनेत्रं प्रसन्नम् ॥वामाङ्कारूढसीता मुखकमलमिलल्लोचनं नीरदाभं ।नानालङ्कारदीप्तं दधतमुरुजटामण्डनं रामचंद्रम् ॥
॥ इति ध्यानम् ॥
चरितं रघुनाथस्य शतकोटिप्रविस्तरम् ।एकैकमक्षरं पुंसां महापातकनाशनम् ॥१॥
ध्यात्वा नीलोत्पलश्यामं रामं राजीवलोचनम् ।जानकीलक्ष्मणॊपेतं जटामुकुटमण्डितम् ॥२॥
सासितूणधनुर्बाणपाणिं नक्तं चरान्तकम् ।स्वलीलया जगत्त्रातुमाविर्भूतमजं विभुम् ॥३॥
रामरक्षां पठॆत्प्राज्ञ: पापघ्नीं सर्वकामदाम् ।शिरो मे राघव: पातु भालं दशरथात्मज: ॥४॥
कौसल्येयो दृशौ पातु विश्वामित्रप्रिय: श्रुती ।घ्राणं पातु मखत्राता मुखं सौमित्रिवत्सल: ॥५॥
जिव्हां विद्दानिधि: पातु कण्ठं भरतवंदित: ।स्कन्धौ दिव्यायुध: पातु भुजौ भग्नेशकार्मुक: ॥६॥
करौ सीतपति: पातु हृदयं जामदग्न्यजित् ।मध्यं पातु खरध्वंसी नाभिं जाम्बवदाश्रय: ॥७॥
सुग्रीवेश: कटी पातु सक्थिनी हनुमत्प्रभु: ।ऊरू रघुत्तम: पातु रक्ष:कुलविनाशकृत् ॥८॥
जानुनी सेतुकृत्पातु जङ्घे दशमुखान्तक: ।पादौ बिभीषणश्रीद: पातु रामोSखिलं वपु: ॥९॥
एतां रामबलोपेतां रक्षां य: सुकृती पठॆत् ।स चिरायु: सुखी पुत्री विजयी विनयी भवेत् ॥१०॥
पातालभूतलव्योम चारिणश्छद्मचारिण: ।न द्र्ष्टुमपि शक्तास्ते रक्षितं रामनामभि: ॥११॥
रामेति रामभद्रेति रामचंद्रेति वा स्मरन् ।नरो न लिप्यते पापै भुक्तिं मुक्तिं च विन्दति ॥१२॥
जगज्जेत्रैकमन्त्रेण रामनाम्नाभिरक्षितम् ।य: कण्ठे धारयेत्तस्य करस्था: सर्वसिद्द्दय: ॥१३॥
वज्रपंजरनामेदं यो रामकवचं स्मरेत् ।अव्याहताज्ञ: सर्वत्र लभते जयमंगलम् ॥१४॥
आदिष्टवान् यथा स्वप्ने रामरक्षामिमां हर: ।तथा लिखितवान् प्रात: प्रबुद्धो बुधकौशिक: ॥१५॥
आराम: कल्पवृक्षाणां विराम: सकलापदाम् ।अभिरामस्त्रिलोकानां राम: श्रीमान् स न: प्रभु: ॥१६॥
तरुणौ रूपसंपन्नौ सुकुमारौ महाबलौ ।पुण्डरीकविशालाक्षौ चीरकृष्णाजिनाम्बरौ ॥१७॥
फलमूलशिनौ दान्तौ तापसौ ब्रह्मचारिणौ ।पुत्रौ दशरथस्यैतौ भ्रातरौ रामलक्ष्मणौ ॥१८॥
शरण्यौ सर्वसत्वानां श्रेष्ठौ सर्वधनुष्मताम् ।रक्ष:कुलनिहन्तारौ त्रायेतां नो रघुत्तमौ ॥१९॥
आत्तसज्जधनुषा विषुस्पृशा वक्षया शुगनिषङ्ग सङिगनौ ।रक्षणाय मम रामलक्ष्मणा वग्रत: पथि सदैव गच्छताम् ॥२०॥
संनद्ध: कवची खड्गी चापबाणधरो युवा ।गच्छन्मनोरथोSस्माकं राम: पातु सलक्ष्मण: ॥२१॥
रामो दाशरथि: शूरो लक्ष्मणानुचरो बली ।काकुत्स्थ: पुरुष: पूर्ण: कौसल्येयो रघुत्तम: ॥२२॥
वेदान्तवेद्यो यज्ञेश: पुराणपुरुषोत्तम: ।जानकीवल्लभ: श्रीमानप्रमेय पराक्रम: ॥२३॥
इत्येतानि जपेन्नित्यं मद्भक्त: श्रद्धयान्वित: ।अश्वमेधायुतं पुण्यं संप्राप्नोति न संशय: ॥२४॥
रामं दूर्वादलश्यामं पद्माक्षं पीतवाससम् ।स्तुवन्ति नामभिर्दिव्यैर्न ते संसारिणो नर: ॥२५॥
रामं लक्शमण पूर्वजं रघुवरं सीतापतिं सुंदरम् ।काकुत्स्थं करुणार्णवं गुणनिधिं विप्रप्रियं धार्मिकम् राजेन्द्रं सत्यसंधं दशरथनयं श्यामलं शान्तमूर्तिम् ।वन्दे लोकभिरामं रघुकुलतिलकं राघवं रावणारिम् ॥२६॥
रामाय रामभद्राय रामचंद्राय वेधसे ।रघुनाथाय नाथाय सीताया: पतये नम: ॥२७॥
श्रीराम राम रघुनन्दन राम राम ।श्रीराम राम भरताग्रज राम राम ।श्रीराम राम रणकर्कश राम राम ।श्रीराम राम शरणं भव राम राम ॥२८॥
श्रीरामचन्द्रचरणौ मनसा स्मरामि ।श्रीरामचन्द्रचरणौ वचसा गृणामि ।श्रीरामचन्द्रचरणौ शिरसा नमामि ।श्रीरामचन्द्रचरणौ शरणं प्रपद्ये ॥२९॥
माता रामो मत्पिता रामचंन्द्र: ।स्वामी रामो मत्सखा रामचंद्र: ।सर्वस्वं मे रामचन्द्रो दयालु ।नान्यं जाने नैव जाने न जाने ॥३०॥
दक्षिणे लक्ष्मणो यस्य वामे तु जनकात्मजा ।पुरतो मारुतिर्यस्य तं वन्दे रघुनंदनम् ॥३१॥
लोकाभिरामं रनरङ्गधीरं राजीवनेत्रं रघुवंशनाथम् ।कारुण्यरूपं करुणाकरंतं श्रीरामचंद्रं शरणं प्रपद्ये ॥३२॥
मनोजवं मारुततुल्यवेगं जितेन्द्रियं बुद्धिमतां वरिष्ठम् ।वातात्मजं वानरयूथमुख्यं श्रीरामदूतं शरणं प्रपद्ये ॥३३॥
कूजन्तं रामरामेति मधुरं मधुराक्षरम् ।आरुह्य कविताशाखां वन्दे वाल्मीकिकोकिलम् ॥३४॥
आपदामपहर्तारं दातारं सर्वसंपदाम् ।लोकाभिरामं श्रीरामं भूयो भूयो नमाम्यहम् ॥३५॥
भर्जनं भवबीजानामर्जनं सुखसंपदाम् ।तर्जनं यमदूतानां रामरामेति गर्जनम् ॥३६॥
रामो राजमणि: सदा विजयते रामं रमेशं भजे ।रामेणाभिहता निशाचरचमू रामाय तस्मै नम: ।रामान्नास्ति परायणं परतरं रामस्य दासोSस्म्यहम् ।रामे चित्तलय: सदा भवतु मे भो राम मामुद्धर ॥३७॥
राम रामेति रामेति रमे रामे मनोरमे ।सहस्रनाम तत्तुल्यं रामनाम वरानने ॥३८॥
इति श्रीबुधकौशिकविरचितं श्रीरामरक्षास्तोत्रं संपूर्णम् ॥
॥ श्री सीतारामचंद्रार्पणमस्तु ॥
Shri Raama Raksha Stotram
|| Shri Ram Raksha Stotram ||
Shri Ganeshaaya Namaha |Asya Shri Rama Raksha stotra mantrasya |Budha Koushika Rushi-hi |Shri Seeta Ramachandro devataa |Anushtup Chanda-ha | Seeta shakti-hi |Srimad Hanumaan-a Keelakam-m |Shri Seeta Ramachando preetyarte jape viniyoga-ha ||
|| Aththa Dhyanam ||
Dhyaye daajaanu baahum dhruta shara danusham badra padma sanastham |Peetham vaaso vasaanam navakamala dala spardhi netram prasannam ||Vaaman-karuDa Sita muka kamala mila lochanam neera daabam |Naanaa lankaara deeptham dadha tamuru jataa mandanam Ramachandram ||
|| Iththi Dhyanam ||
Charitham Raghunaathasya shatha koti pravistaram |Ekaika maksharam pumsaam maha paataka naashanam ||1||
Dhyatva neelotpala Shyamam Ramam raajiva lochanam |Jaanaki Lakshmano pethaam jata mukuta manditham ||2||
SaasitUna dhanurbaana paanim naktham charaantakam |Svaleelaya jagatraatu maavirbhUta majam vibhum ||3||
Ramaraksham patetpradnya-ha paapagneem sarvakaamadham |Shiro me Raghava-h paatu bhaalam dasharathaatmaja-ha ||4||
Kausalyeyo drushau paathu Vishwamitra priya-h shrutee |Ghraanam paathu makhatraathaa mukham Saumitri vatsala-ha ||5||
Jivhaam vidya nidhi-h paathu kanTam Bharata vandita-ha |Skandhau divya yudha-h paathu bhujhau bhagnesha kaarmuka-h ||6||
Karau Sitapati-h paatu hrudayam Jaamadagnyajit |Madhyam paathu khara dhwamsee naabhim Jaambhavadaashraya-ha ||7||
Sugreevasha katee paathu sakthinee Hanumath-prabhu-h |Uruu Raghuththama-h paathu raksha-h kula vinaasha-kruth ||8||
Jaanunee sethukruth-paathu jadgne dasha-mukhaanthaka-ha |Paadhau BibheeshaNa-shreeda-h paathu Raamo-n-khilam vapu-h ||9||
Yethaam Rama-balO-pethaam rakshaam ya-h sukruthee paTet |Sa chiraayu-h sukhee putree vijayi vinayi bhavet ||10||
Paataala bhutalavyoma chaariNashchadh-ma chaarina-ha |Na drushtumapi shaktaaste rakshitam Rama naamabhi-hi ||11||
Rameti Ramabhadrethi Ramachandrethi vaa smarana |Naro na lipyate paapai bhukthim mukthim cha vindathi ||12||
Jagajjetraika-mantreNa Ramanam-naabhi-rakshitam |Ya-h kaNTe dhaarayethtasya karasthhA-h sarvasidhdhaya-h ||13||
Vajra-panjaranaamedam yo Raamakavacham smaret |Avyaahataagnya-h sarvatra labhate jayamangalam ||14||
Adishtavaan yathaa swapne Ramarakshaamimaam hara-h |Tatha likhitavaana praata-h prabhudhdho budhakaushika-h ||15||
Aaraama-h kalpavrukshaaNaam viraama-h sakalapadaam |Abhiraamstrilokaanaam Rama-h shreemaan sa na-h prabhu-h ||16||
Tarunnau roopasampannau sukumaarau mahabalau |Pundareeka-vishaalakshau cheera krushNaa jinaambarau ||17||
Phalamoolashinau daantau taapasau brahmachaariNau |Putrau dasharathasyaythau bhratarau RamalakshmaNau ||18||
Sharanyau sarvasatvaanaam shreshTau sarvadhanushmatham |Raksha-h-kulanihantaarau traayetaam no raghuththamau ||19||
Aaththasajhjha-dhanushaa vishusprushaa shuganishandga sandginau |RakshaNaaya mama RaamalakshmaNaa vagratha-h pathi sadaiva gachchathaam ||20||
Sannaddha-h kavachee khaDgee chaapabaaNadharo yuvaa |gachchana-manoratho-smaakam Raama-h paathu sa-lakshmana-h ||21||
Raamo Daasharathi-h shooro LakshmaNaa-nucharo balee |Kaakutstha-h purusha-h poorna-h Kausalyeyo raghuththamma-h ||22||
Vedantavedhyo yagnesha-h puraaNapurushoththama-h |Janakeevallabha-h Shrimaan-naprameya parakrama-h ||23||
Ityetaani japennityam madbhakta-ha shraddhayaanvita-h |Ashwamedhaayutam punyam sampraaprOti na samshaya-ha ||24||
Raamam duurvaadalashyamam padmaaksham peetavaasasam |Stuvanti naamabhirdhirvyairna te samsaarinO nara-h ||25||
Raamam LakshmaNa puurvajam Raghuvaram Seetapatim sundaram |KaakutasTham karuNaarNavam guNanidhim viprapriyam dhaarmikam Raajendram satyasamdham Dasharathanayam shyamalam shaantamuurthim |Vande lokabhiraamam Raghukulatilakam Raaghavam RaavaNaarim ||26||
Raamaya Raamabhadraaya Raamachandraaya vedhase |Raghunaathaaya naathaaya Seethaayaa-h pathaye namah ||27||
Shreeraam Raam Raghunandana Raam Raam |Shreeraam Raam Bharathaagraja Raam Raam |Shreeraam Raam RaNakarkasha Raam Raam |Shreeraam Raam SharaNaM bhava Raam Raam ||28||
ShreeraamachandracharaNau manasaa smaraami |ShreeraamachandracharaNau vachasaa gruNaami |ShreeraamachandracharaNau shirasaa namaami |ShreeraamachandracharaNau sharaNam pradhye ||29||
Maataa Raamo matpithaa Ramachandra-ha |Swamee Raamo matsakhaa Ramachandra-ha |Sarvaswam me RamachandrO dayaalu |Naanyam jaane naiva jaane na jaane ||30||
DakshiNe LakshmaNO yasya vaame tu Janakaatmajaa |Puratho Maarutiryasya tam vande Raghunandanam ||31||
Lokabhiraamam ranarangadheeram raajeevanetram Raghuvamshanaatham |KaaruNyaroopam karuNaakaramtam Shreeraamachandram sharaNam prapadhye ||32||
Manojavam Maarutatulyavegam jitendriyam varishTam |Vaataatmajam vaanarayuuthamukhyam Shreeraamadootam sharaNam prapadhye ||33||
Koojantham Raamaraameti madhuram madhuraaksharam |Aaruhya kavithashaakhaam vande Valmiikikokilam ||34||
Aapadaampahartaaram daataaram sarvasampadaam |Lokaabhiraamam Shreeraamam bhuyo bhuyo namaamyaham ||35||
Bharjanam bhavabeejaanaam-marjanam sukhasampadaam |Tarjanam yamadootaanaam Raamaraamethi garjanam ||36||
Raamo RaajamaNi-h sada vijayate Raamam ramesham bhaje |RaameNaabhihathaa nishaacarachamuu Raamaya tasmai namaha |Raamannaasti parayaaNam parataram Raamasya daasO-smayaham |Raame chiththalaya-h sada bhavatu me bho Raam maamudhdhara ||37||
Raama Raamethi Raamethi rame Raame manorame |Sahastranaama taththulyam Ramanaam varaanane ||38||
ShreeRamarakshastotram sampoorNam ||
|| Shree SeethaaraamachandraarpaNamasthu ||
Sri Budha Kousika Rishi
Sri Budha Kousika Rishi wrote the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra. Who was he? For those who may know, the identity of Sri Budha Kousika Rishi may be very obvious. For many, it is not. The obvious answer is that he was a Sage – i.e., arishi. He was extremely learned and talented. The Sri Ram Raksha Stotra is composed in the Anushtup Chanda, in the metre of a specific combination of numbers. The usual answer, however, is that Sri Budha Kousika Rishi was the great Brahmarishi Vishwamitra.
I have not found the correct answer, and I feel I should say so. Why do I hesitate to accept that Brahmarishi Vishwamitra could be the author? This is because Vishwamitra was already recognized as a Brahmarishi, many hundreds of years earlier, when he met Dasharath to ask him to allow Ram to accompany him. He was not recognized or mentioned as Kousika Rishi during and after his association with Ram. The identity of Sri Budha Kousika Rishi, the author of the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra, is a mystery.
It is said, in the Stotra, that Shiva appeared to Sri Budha Kousika Rishi, in his dream, and recited the entire Sri Rama Raksha Stotra to him. At dawn, the next day, Sri Budha Kousika Rishi, penned down the entire Sri Rama Raksha Stotra.
There could be four theories. The most recounted and repeated theory is that Sri Budha Kousika Rishi is nobody other than Brahmarishi Vishwamitra himself. I am very tempted to believe it. This theory is on the basis of the fact that he was the King Kousika, and later, the Kousika Rishi, before he was recognized as the Brahmarishi Vishwamitra.
The second theory is that the ‘Kousika’ gotra began with Brahmarishi Vishwamitra, since he was the King Kousika, and later the Kousika Rishi. Thus, a later Rishi, of the ‘Kousika’ gotra, and with the prefix, Budha, being the name of the Planet Mercury in Sanskrit, has written the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra, after the appearance of Shiva in his dreams.
The third theory is that there could have been an entirely different rishi, unconnected and unrelated to Brahmarishi Vishwamitra, or to the ‘Kousika’ gotra. He could have existed, in some other time period, and he could have written the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra. If this were to be true, then indeed, the identity and story of Sri Budha Kousika Rishi would be an absolute riddle.
The fourth theory is that a rishi named ‘Budha’, in Brahmarishi Vishwamitra’s ashrama, could have been recognized as a ‘Kousika Rishi’. He could have been known as such, because he was one of the rishis in the ashram of ‘Kousika’, i.e., Vishwamitra. This rishi could have been later recognized through his signature title in the stotra, as ‘Budha Kousika Rishi’. In an alternate aspect, the title 'Budha' could be a samasa, ie an intended recognition to the 'budhdhi' i.e., intelligence of 'Kousika'.
It is written, that, in ancient times, the sages in an ashram, the pupils of a teacher or guru in a gurukul ashram, or the descendants of an important sage, could also inherit the ‘gotra’ or clan name of the master. It is also known that certain important sages also gave rise to new clan lines, or ‘gotras’ that were named after them. This is true of the sages who had manifested as the sons born from Brahma, the Creator. In contemporary times, the ‘gotra’ is usually referred to for arranging marriages between two different clans. That, of course, is a different story.
The seven of the most important rishis of those times are (1) Gautama, (2) Bharadwaja, (3) Vishwamitra, (4) Jamadagni, (5) Vasishta, (6) Kashyapa, and (7) Atri. It is later mentioned that Kousika was a descendant of the great Brahmarishi Vishwamitra. Similarly, Kaundinya was a descendant of the great sage Vasishta, and Vatsa was descended from the great sage Jamadagni.
Why could the author be Brahmarishi Vishwamitra? First reason, of course, Viswamitra knew Ram. He knew him better than anyone else, perhaps better than his father, Dasharatha, or even his brother, Lakshmana. He knew Ram, before Sita or Hanuman became inseparable aspects of his life. He knew the abilities of Ram, and knew exactly about the aspect of the manifestation of Vishnu, and of the aspect that he had descended in a human avatar, solely for the purpose of the decimation of Ravana and the Rakshasas.
If anyone could describe Ram, in relative perspective to every aspect of his being, behaviour and of his very existence, and ascribe powers to these aspects, it could be none other than Brahmarishi Vishwamitra. But, if the great Brahmarishi did in fact write down the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra, why did he not sign it by the name of Vishwamitra? That indeed, is a mystery. The other contemporary sages, including the first seven, have signed their own names to the works ascribed to them.
Second, is because of the one line that almost gives away his identity – “Hridayam Jaamadagnyajit” – “The one who conquered the son of Jamadagni, please protect my heart”. Vishwamitra and Parashurama, the son of Jamadagni, never got along. They hated each other and were in perpetual mistrust of each other. None other than Brahmarishi Vishwamitra could be more pleased by the fact that Ram defeated Parashurama, and would therefore ascribe the aspect that such a conqueror could indeed protect the ‘heart’.
There are two disturbing lines that make me wonder, if Brahmarishi Vishwamitra may not be the Budha Kousika Rishi, the author of the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra. One is in praise to Vishwamitra, and would the great sage have given such value to himself? The other line is in attribution to the story line of another great hero in India’s mythology that may not have occurred in the Ramayana, but is to be found in the stories of Krishna, after the Kurukshetra war. Would the Brahmarishi have stretched the context to such an extent? Or, am I missing something here?
The line in praise to the great sage is – “Vishwamitra priya shrutee” – “Rama, who is dear to Vishwamitra, protect my ears”. This line makes me doubt, for that very brief moment, if the great Brahmarishi Vishwamitra would appreciate and write about himself? To those who know the story of Vishwamitra, it would be very tempting to say that the great sage would indeed write about himself and ascribe such affection to Ram. Here, I beg to differ. If he would indeed write about his affection to Ram, he could have written about the friendship in more lines, rather than limit it to only one half of the metre.
The other line that strengthens the doubt is – “Naabhim Jambavadaashraya” – “Rama, who gave refuge to Jambavan, protect my navel”. Again, there is this very brief doubt. The story of Jambavan, and his presence in the Ramayana, is much later to Sugreeva, Hanuman, Vaali, Angad and the other vanaras. Jambavan, is depicted, as a bear-man. Rama gives refuge to Jambavan, who swears allegiance in the war to come with Ravana. Rama did give refuge, but in those moments of the Ramayana, he gave support and courage to all those who approached him. It is much later, after the Kurukshetra war that Jambavan reappears in the story of Satyakam and Sri Krishna. The refuge sought by Jambavan from Sri Krishna is certainly more emphatic.
Was there an entirely unknown rishi, by the name, Budha Kousika Rishi? Why would Shiva come to him in his dreams and why would he be asked to write the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra? Who was this great rishi, who penned the Stotra with such precision in accurate metre. Not many realize that the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra is written in the same metre as the Ramayana. Was it indeed difficult in those times to write the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra in such precision? It may not have been, for the great sages composed several stotras during those times, and their authorship is included in the earlier couplets.
I am tempted to agree to the premise that the Brahmarishi Vishwamitra was indeed the author of the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra, after he received the instructions from Shiva. Why? It is not because of the precision of the composition, but it is in the affection, love, the entire surrender to Ram, by one who had already achieved perfection. The great sage, returned to urban areas, to the Royal Court, after nearly two hundred years of residing in the remote forests, to seek Ram, to take it upon him to train Ram, and to insist upon it, and to argue with Dasharath to allow it to happen.
The author, Budha Kousika Rishi, explains that he was commanded in his dream, “Aadhishtavan yathaa swapne”, to write the Ram Raksha Stotra, “Ram raksha mimaam haraha”, and he wrote it out in the morning, “Tathaa likhit vaana praataha”, as told to Budha Kousika by Shiva, “Prabhu-dho Budha Koushikah”. That indeed, is an author, who gave the Ram Raksha Stotra to millions of devotees of Ram, and caused them to be blessed, and will do so in the future.
Sri Ram Raksha Stotra श्रीरामरक्षा स्तोत्र
Understanding the ‘Sri Ram Raksha Stotra’ and its hidden mysteries, stories and magic
Sri Budha Kousika Rishi has written the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra in the Anushtup Chanda, or the Anushtup metre. The great sage-poet, Valmiki, had also composed the Ramayana in the same metre, the Anushtup Chanda. This much is known, for it is said so, at the beginning of the stotra – Sri Sitaramachandro Devata | Anushtup Chanda | Seeta Shakti | Srimad Hanumana Keelakam | - The deity of this stotra is Sri Ram, the metre is Anushtup, the power of the stotra is from Sita, and Sri Hanuman is the lynchpin (nail) that keeps the verses and the entire stotra together and gives it the magnificence of devotion that only he can.
We will not discuss or argue the timeline or the possible time-period of the Ramayana. What is most certainly known, without argument, is that the great sage-poet, Valmiki, wrote the Ramayana in the Anushtup Chanda, or metre. He is credited with the discovery of the verse-metre that was named ‘Anushtup’. He wrote the Ramayana in verse-form through nearly 24,000 verses, divided amongst seven books that are recognized as Kaandas. To illustrate the use of a specific metre, through an entire stotra, is the Gayatri Chanda, or metre, for the Gayatri Mantra, composed by Brahmarishi Vishwamitra. Later, Veda Vyasa included the mantra in the Vedas.
There are other authors and poets who have written the Ramayana in variant versions, including those that are written in other countries of South and South-East Asia. Some of these variant metres have the entire Ramayana beginning and concluding within those nations, without any trace or hint that the story could have taken place in India. The diversity can be discussed by a million other webpages, blogs, network groups and experts.
The great variants in India of the Ramayana by the Eleventh Century Tamil Poet, Kamban, and by the Sixteenth Century Hindi-Hindustani Poet, Tulsidas, through his Ramacharitamanas, have been recognized as distinctly different depictions.
The story of Valmiki discovering the Anushtup Chanda metre of poetry is in itself extremely fascinating, especially because of the romanticisation of the love of the Krauncha birds and their subsequent sorrow. The death of one of the birds caused the sage, Valmiki, to exclaim in verse, that he later realized was in a proper metre, and was accepted and recognized as the Anushtup.
The verses in Anushtup metre were grouped into chapters that were termed as Sarga, that were later compiled within a Kaanda. Interestingly, the word Kaanda, is usually meant to depict the internode point of sugarcane, and in ancient Sanskrit, was used to depict an interlude within a story. Valmiki’s Ramayana, now recognized as the Srimad Valmiki Ramayan, is organized into six Kaandas or Books. There is a seventh Kaanda, and its inclusion is a different story and a different argument elsewhere.
The Anushtup metre is comprised of 32 syllables in one verse. Each sloka, or a para within the poem, is usually comprised of four lines, and sometimes more. Uniquely, the sage-poet, Valmiki, seemed to have confirmed to most of the rules of Sanskrit Grammer, that must have been defined much later. The Ram Raksha Stotra is also similarly constructed, in precise Anushtup metre, with 32 syllables in four lines of the verse.
Sri Budha Kousika Rishi, as did Valmiki, did not stray from the rules that would later be written to depict the system governing the structural and functional relationships of the verse, following its earlier verse, and subsequently leading to the compilation of the entire Sri Ram Raksha Stotra. There is extremely complex interplay of word components, mostly of course, with the word ‘Ram’, which is to be expected. There is also complex organization of the morphology and syntax of the series of words within each metre.
It would be obvious to those who have memorized the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra, and those who are able to recite the entire Stotra in loud chanting, with rhythm, that the phonology of the verse following verse, is very simple, once you have been able to internalize the entire series. This simplicity of the phonology of the Stotra, in juxtaposition to the complex nature of its morphology, is what makes the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra so very amazing, and makes one respect the genius of these great sage-poets, such as Valmiki and Budha Kousika Rishi.
Panini’s Ashtadhyayi, the most definitive treatise on Sanskrit Grammar, was also composed or written, possibly after Valmiki would have written the Ramayana. Did Sanskrit Grammar get defined because of the Ramayana of Valmiki? It would be interesting to determine, and more interesting to be proved wrong. A lesser-known fact to those who are not familiar with Sanskrit Grammar is that Panini’s definitive Ashtadhyayi was also written in the sloka format, and was completed in a precise 1000 slokas. Compare this to the Ramayana, in 24,000 verses.
Sanskrit grammar explains and defines the Sandhi, the rules and context and variations of combinations of two words, such as Surya Sun) + Udhayam Sunrise) = Suryodham. There could be many variants in combining two words. Similarly, there could be variants of vibhakti or declensions, in the combination of two words. A declension is when a noun changes its form when it changes its number or its case. This can also be similarly noticed in the conjugation of verbs. These are however, finite.
In contrast, there are other variants, where avyayas or indeclinables are used. This is particularly noticed when words that refuse to merge with each other, are brought together. Thus, there could be combinations of using vibhakti and avyaya within the same line of a verse. This is where it gets complex, when one has to compose in the Anushtup chanda. How do you use the same word, for e.g., Ram, because the verse is in devotion to Sri Ram, and evoke diverse aspects of bhakti sublime devotion), and yet use only 32 syllables and not deviate from the metre?
This is the genius of Budha Kousika Rishi in the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra. For centuries, devotees of Ram, be they Hindus, or from any other religion, have been reciting the Stotra. Those who have memorized the Stotra, and those who chant it out loud, and those who teach the words to younger generations, have fallen in love again and again with the words and the images that they invoke. This magic has been made possible by the awesome interplay of rules of grammar within the Anushtup Chanda.
The final verse, when written, is recognized by the foremost of Sanksrit grammarians, as achievement of rupasiddhi attainment of form). Authoritative Sanskrit grammar texts recognize the achievement of Sri Budha Kousika Rishi, in writing the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra, as the depiction of his mastery of Sanskrit grammar. They accept that the complex structure of the 32 syllables in Anushtup metre, helps the devotee to memorise the complicated vibhakti forms, and the common bhakta does not need to learn Sanskrit grammar to internalize the stotra.
This is especially true in the most amazing verse of the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra, and can be the most illustrative example of the completeness of the 32-syllable structure of each verse through the magic of Sri Budha Kousika Rishi in Anushtup Chanda. This verse has been made an example to depict the magic and excellence of the Stotra in texts that explain Sanskrit grammar.
Ramo rajamanih sada vijayate,
Ramam ramesam bhaje, |
Ramaya tasmai namah ||
I would also propose the following verse-line to present the magic of Sri Budha Kousika Rishi. The padama (first), dwitiya (second), tritiya (third) and chatushpaada (fourth) lines depict awesome word play that could not be more beautiful, more evocative and more sublime.
Rama rame rameti,
rame rame manorame |
Sahasra naama tatulyam,
rama naama varanane ||
Can there be any other verse that can be better? Sri Budha Kousika Rishi, ascribes these two lines to Shiva, in explaining to Parvati, that he, himself varanane), recites the words, ‘Rama, Rama, Rama’ within his mind, and the recitation delights him manorame), and that, he takes pleasure in visiting the places where Rama has been rameti). For, as Shiva explains, the recitation of the word ‘Rama’ is equal to the recitation of the word ‘Vishnu’, for a thousand times sahasra).
All our modern-day software programmers may put their minds together, and discover and invent the best algorithms, and develop a method of writing in the 32-syllable Anushtup metre of verse. This may be possible in the world of the future. However, nobody will be able to write more sublimely, to establish the best of devotion, as has been written by Sri Budha Kousika Rishi, in Anushtup chanda, when he writes these two verse-lines, and yet, be extremely evocative. They are presented in variant contexts in the Stotra.
ramachandreti va smarana |
Naro na lipyate paapai,
bhuktim muktim cha vindate ||
The one who will constantly recite the words – Ram, Ramchandra or Ramabhadra will never be trapped in sinly acts. That person will always enjoy happiness and will acquire enlightenment moksha, mukti).
Shiva, Parvati and Rama
Sri Budha Kousika Rishi presents the source of the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra, and reaffirms – Adhishtavaana yathaa swapne, - As told earlier Aadhi), in his dreams, - Ramarakshaam mimaam hara, - Shiva Hara), recounted the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra, and, - Tatha likhita vaana prathahaa – was written as told, exactly, by the sage, in the early dawn prathahaa), - prabhudhdho budha kousika – in homage to the lord, by Budha Kousika.
It is thus written that Sri Budha Kousika Rishi dreamt of Shiva reciting the entire series of verses, and later, at dawn, the sage wrote the entire Sri Ram Raksha Stotra. Why would Shiva recite the stotra to present aspects of Ram that would help people seek succour and support in times of distress? What were the aspects of Ram that Shiva needed to inform people about that were not already specified in the Ramayana?
The beginning is, of course, at the beginning. Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma are the trinity. Different Puranas present the importance, sequence and relevance of the three deities in different ways. The Shiva Purana depicts Shiva as foremost, and similarly, the Vishnu Purana presents Vishnu as the earliest. Once we are past the beginning of the beginning, the unity of Hari and Hara is depicted through various stories in several Puranas and Itihaasas, including the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Skanda Purana, among others. The aspect of Ardhanaarishwara, the half-man and half-woman, when Shiva and Shakti came together to present themselves as one individual, is most certainly an entirely fascinating story, but is to be retold elsewhere.
Later, i.e., after the beginning, is the Adhyaatma Ramayana, supposed to have been composed through the manner of telling the story of Rama by Shiva to Parvati. The recounting is datelined to be hundreds or thousands of years before the Valmiki Ramayana. The story of composing the Adhyaatma Ramayana needs to be told here, in brief, to help us understand the clear visualization that Shiva developed about Rama. At one point, Shiva says that there cannot be Hari without Hara, or Maheshwara.
Later, after the recounting of the story, it is said that Parvati was extremely enamoured with the characters of Rama, Sita and Hanuman, and she desired that Shiva would cause for the events to happen. She also wished that the story be written in specific verse, while the characters would be alive. Thereby, does Shiva recount the story to the wandering sage Narada and cause him to meet the sage-poet Valmiki and create the situation for the Ramayana to be known, through his pen, through the Anushtup Chanda, the 32-syllable metre.
We will not explore the various schools of thought that would believe or disbelieve, ascribe or not allow it to be accepted that Shiva conjured up the story, through the Adhyaatma Ramayana, and then caused for the tale to actually take place. This is indeed fascinating, extremely fascinating. But, it does help us understand that it could only have been someone as complex as Shiva, who could bring together the tremendous aspects of Rama, and cause it to be written, through the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra.
The Bhaktamala, and the Bhakti Premakara, are illustrations of Shiva’s bhakti, devotion, to Rama. There is a situation during the actual course of events of the Ramayana, when Rama is in exile, with Sita and Lakshmana that needs to be discussed here in perspective of the triangulation of Shiva, Parvati and Rama. Some stories ascribe the triangulation to begin with Sati, while some ascribe it to Parvati.
Sati or Parvati, has this niggling doubt, ascribed by the Bhaktamala, to almost sacrilege, for she dared to doubt the actuality and purpose of the Rama Avatara, or, perhaps, that she could have been in delusion. The Bhaktamala supposes Shiva’s consort, during these interactions, to be Sati, and therefore, much earlier than Parvati. Let others debate it.
She wondered about the aspect that, if Rama was indeed an Avatar of Vishnu, and was all that was supreme in the Universe, why would he accept his father’s orders, and go ahead to live out fourteen years in exile in the forests? Shiva warned Sati to avoid deliberating such thoughts, but then, that gave rise to rebellion. Sati left Kailasa to test Rama by herself, to determine, if indeed he was the supreme manu, as Shiva accepted him to be, and drowned himself in devotion, reciting ‘Rama, Rama, Rama’.
Shiva cautioned Sati against testing Rama and the aspects of his divinity. Sati went ahead to the forest where Rama was in exile, and took upon herself the appearance of Sita. For Rama, however, the aspect of Sati or Parvati, as Shiva’s consort, was very obvious, and he could recognize her. He did not speak to her, and Sati, disappointed, returned to Kailasa. Shiva is described as a saddened spouse, in the fact that Sati did not believe him about the divinity of Rama, and the aspect of him being absolute supreme.
It is said, that in modern day Kangra, ages ago, Shiva and Parvati, traveled through, seated on Nandi, their great white bull, their vaahana. At one particular location, Shiva alighted and presented his prayers. On being questioned by Parvati, he said that this was a place where there dwelt a bhakta, devotee, of Rama, and there would be none other like him for another 10,000 years. And since, Parvati’s appreciation of the bhaktas of Rama has always increased.
Much later, Shiva explains to Parvati the tremendous scope of the divinity of Rama. Tulsidas writes that, in similar manner of that of Sri Krishna declaring that he would always descend to save the world from disaster, so does Shiva explain the responsibility of Rama in saving his bhaktas and destroying evil. Tulsidas writes, in the Ramcharitmanas, through these amazing lines in verse –
Hari guna naam apara,
Katharupa aganita amita,
Main nija mati anusara,
Kahaum Uma sadara sunahu.
Shiva explains to Parvati, that the names of Rama Hari) are without number, and the stories and avatars or manifestations cannot be counted. Shiva says that he would try, to the best of his ability, to tell the story of Rama, to Parvati, or Uma. And, he requests her to listen, with respect to the divinity. It is believed that this emphasis to Parvati, asking her to pay attention to the narration with respect, is to ensure that Sati’s mistake in doubting Rama is not to be repeated. These micr0-nuances are amazing.
There is the paradox of the devotion of Rama or Vishnu to Shiva that is also most delightful and tremendous in its depiction at various moments of the Ramayana. Who can ever forget the moment when Rama offers prayers to the Shiva Linga, at Rameswaram, prior to construction of the pathway across the sea to Lanka? The place is now recognized as one of the twelve jyotirlingas of Shiva.
Once, Narada approaches Vishnu, and requests his guidance to ward off a curse that had been placed on the mendicant-sage. Vishnu advises Narada to meditate upon Shiva and is thus written –
Japau Jai Sankara Sata Nama
Hoyhi Hridayam Turata Bisrama
“Recite through chanting, the hundred names of Sankara, or Shiva, and obtain bliss in your mind.”
Narada questions, as to why would Vishnu want him to chant Shiva’s name, and is advised that there is none dearer to Vishnu, than Shiva. Vishnu also emphasizes that he will not bless the one who is not blessed by Shiva. Tulsidas explains this significantly in the Ramacharitamanas –
Siva seva kara phala suta soi,
Abirala bhagati Rama pada hoi.
“Only those who pray or serve Shiva will have answers to their prayers to Rama. Further, since Rama himself is extremely devoted to Shiva, there is no need to explain further.”
The Ram Raksha Stotra has, in various verses, presented the devotion of Shiva to Rama, and of his understanding that reciting the word of ‘Rama’ is equal to several recitations of the different words of ‘Narayana’ or ‘Vishnu’.
There is another fascinating story of the manner in which the Ramayana was retold, and once again, Parvati questioned this aspect. Shiva informs Parvati that the Sage Kakabhushundi, also told the story of Ramayana to Vishnu’s vaahana, Garuda. The sage had the body of a crow, and therefore, his name, ‘Kakabhushundi’. Parvati wondered about the fact that Garuda was extremely close to Vishnu, and was also an erudite scholar. Why did Garuda not know of the Ramayana from Vishnu?
Cursed by Shiva, the sage Kakabhushundi explained to Garuda that he could escape the damages by reciting the name of Rama, and that he had lived through twenty-seven kalpas, time-eras, chanting the name of Rama.
Shiva, as told to Budha Kousika Rishi, affirms that Rama is very dear to him, and more. Ram is his mother (Maata Ramo), maternal grandfather (Matpita), deity (Swami Ramo) and friend (Mats). He says that he is all forgiving (Sarvasvam, Dayalu), and he (Shiva) does not recognize any other deity or being, and has never done so, at any moment (Rnaanyam jaane, naiva jaane na jaane).
Stotra, Mantra, Yantra, Tantra, Sastra, Sutra
At the earlier verses of the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra, the great sage-poet, Sri Budha Kousika Rishi informs very formally that the ‘Sri Rama Raksha Stotra’ is actually a ‘Mantra’. He says –
Asya Sri Ramarakshastotra mantrasya |
So, is a ‘stotra’ actually a ‘mantra’? If the divination was a ‘mantra’, why did Sri Budha Kousika Rishi classify the verses as a ‘stotra’? Or, does the definition apply to ‘stotra’ and /or a ‘mantra’ without any significant difference?
Certain authors have attempted to clarify that the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra is a ‘mantra in stotra avatar’ –
Let us examine the other applications that the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra is linked to. There exists a Sri Rama Raksha Stotra Yantra, with a very specific Yantra-design in accurate geometric dimensions. Some practitioners and teachers have also believed that the healing powers of the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra are multiplied exponentially, when recited within a set of rituals. They do not very specifically relate the chanting and rituals to ‘Tantra’, but we should know and determine for ourselves. Is it good that it is not related to ‘Tantra’, or, does it not matter?
The dialogue between Shiva and Parvati, whereby the power, divinity and reasons for the Sri Ram Raksha Stotra is explained, is the medium for the explanation of several stotras, mantras, yantras, tantra and some sastras. There are several stories – Puranas – and related tales. They criss-cross diverse aspects of Shiva and Shakti. From Brahmarishi Vishwamitra’s Gayatri Mantra to Veda Vyasa’s Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavatam, it is a tremendous journey across time in Hindu spiritual records and literature.
I do not like to refer to these valuable and most precious writings as mythology or stories. I think of them as the greatest of spiritual records of India, not merely of the Subcontinent, but of an ancient diaspora that extended from Central and West Asia to South, South East, East and Far East Asia.
The Sanskrit-English dictionary defines the ‘stotra’ as a hymn of praise. The hymn is usually in praise and appreciation of divinity, and within Hindu Thought, the earliest stotras were in dedication to Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Rama, Shakti or Saraswati, among other deities. Mostly, the word ‘stotra’ is alternatively used with the word ‘stuti’. Unlike the complex Hindu scriptures, written in Sanskrit verse, for chapter after chapter, book after book, the stotra is always written in smaller series of verses.
In comparison to several stotras, the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra is smaller, with two sets of verses in prelude, followed by the remaining thirty-eight. Some renditions have a set of four verses that are chanted after the 38th, but that is rare. There are different versions of the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra, and some experts have claimed that they have come across more than 25 variants. These are difficult to track down, and I will try to do so, if they do exist.
There are two types of ‘stotra’ – One is the set of sequential verses or slokas, such as the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra. The other one is the rendition of several names of the deity, such as the narration of the 1000 names of Vishnu through the Sri Vishnu Sahasranama. This second form of the stotra is called the ‘Sahasranama’. Sometimes, the names of the deity in the ‘Stotra’ can be located in the ‘Sahasranama’, and they are considered as important. Some important ‘stotra’ and ‘sahasranama’ are –
Sri Vishnusahasranama Stotram
Sri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam
Sri Anjaneya Stotram
Sri Venkatesa Suprabhatam
Sri Venkatesa Ashtottara Satanaamavali
Much can be written about the ‘Yantra’, and it would be easy to get diverted. I would like to focus on the ‘Sri Rama Raksha Yantra’, and present some salient aspects for experts and devotees to discuss.
The ‘Yantra’ is usually referred to the spiritual image being presented in a geometric design, and believed to contain powers to strengthen or destroy aspects, when prayers are presented in appropriate manner. It is usually advised to be extremely careful in working or praying or seeking help from a ‘Yantra’.
The ‘Yantra’ is recognized as an instrument that can be used through prayers to control, limit or lend strength through its divinity. The geometrical designs are different for diverse aspects of godliness, and the most preferred ‘Yantra’ is usually the ‘Sri Yantra’. Most devotees are unaware of the manner of prayer, and the aspect of thought, that is normally regarded as superstition.
This much is true. Most aspects around the stotra, mantra, yantra, tantra, sastra and sutra are superstition drowned in coincidental events, retold through many different stories. One has to examine the beliefs in an appropriately rational manner. What is to be believed in? What is to be accepted? Who should be believed? What should not be accepted?
I would propose that you question everything. Do not accept anything if you do not accept the thought deep within you. There is a litmus test. Do not accept any of this, any aspect ascribed to spiritual strength and healing through the stotra, mantra, yantra, tantra, sutra or sastra, if told to you by another human being. Search for yourself. Do not get taken in by coincidence, or tales of the impact and effect that the prayers had on someone else.
You wish to pray, and you wish to pray to God. At that moment, do not worry if you are superstitious, or irrational. Go ahead and pray. Godliness, spiritual thought and prayer are certainly with extremely strong capital in emotional waves and vibrations. The prayer will definitely affect you. Let there be happiness within you. Stop at that point. Do not go and preach or discuss or explain or convince others to start praying or using the yantra or mantra or sutra. Let them do it on their own.
I wanted to emphasise and delink the prayer to superstition and acceptance of guidance from others, teachers, witchcraft practitioners and irrational gurus, regarding the use of ‘yantra’ or ‘tantra’. Know for yourself. Search by yourself.
The ‘Yantra’ is usually a copper plate, with the geometrical design inscribed within it. The five elements of Air (Vayu), Water (Jal), Earth (Pritvi), Fire (Agni) and Sky (Akash) are represented within the design. Some designs are quadrilateral, while some are circular or triangular.
The Ram Raksha Yantra is believed to destroy evil and protect a person from all types of difficulties. There are various procedures to be followed while in prayer, with the Yantra, and one can easily learn about these methods from other sources.
Once again, to ask one and all to be careful, do not tread this path, unless you are determined to do so. This is an area where there are many who will take advantage of people with problems and will convince one to resort to the ‘Yantra’ or ‘Tantra’ with promises of quick remedies. Do not do so.
The Sri Rama Raksha Stotra is purely a series of verses or slokas, presented in sequence, and is only meant for prayer to Ram. Nothing more, nothing less. Reciting, memorizing and chanting the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra has its own delightful charm and capture. Do not search for hidden purposes that are not meant to be within the ‘stotra’. Enjoy the experience, and the thought.
The separation of the definitions of the ‘Yantra’ and the ‘Mantra’ will help resolve the significant difference. The ‘Yantra’ is regarded as a geometric representation of the ‘body’ of the deity. The ‘Mantra’ is recognized as the medium that allows the devotee to concentrate and focus all spiritual thought through the mere repetition of the ‘slokas’ and easy acceptance of the divinity being represented.
In its simplest understanding, again, to emphasise, at its simplest, ‘Tantra’ is to be recognized as the magical birth of knowledge, from pure thought. The divinity, Lalita Tripurasundari, is worshipped through the purest of ‘Tantra’ to represent the aspect of knowledge, in dual form. I will not digress here, for it would be easy. Let us merely appreciate the aspect of Shiva and Shakti, of the union of the two, and similarly wonder at the recognition that knowledge is born and established, only if there would be thought.
‘Sutra’, ‘Stotra’ and ‘Sastra’ are different terms, unlike the overlap between ‘Stotra’ and ‘Mantra’. However, the ‘Sutra’ is commonly presented as ‘Sutta’ in Buddha’s teachings and Mahavira’s Agamas. The recognition of use is the same. Some schools of thought also present ‘Sutra’ as similar to the aspect of ‘Gotra’ but that is rare. The word ‘Sastra’ is, of course, meant to depict a school of science, such as, Artha Sastra (Economics) or Neeti Sastra (Politics).
The most appropriate example of a totally different stotra is the ‘Dakshinamurti Stotra’ as compared to the ‘Sri Rama Raksha Stotra’. Meant to convey the aspect of Shiva, facing south Dakshin), the Dakshinamurti Stotra discusses the aspect of soul, existence, illusion, devotion and perfection. Unlike repeated chanting through prayer beads, the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra is purely meant to initiate the devotee to reaffirmation through prayer to Rama.
The sage-poet Sri Budha Kousika Rishi writes in the introductory prelude (‘aadhyaay’) about the aspect of the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra. As discussed separately, he says that this is the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra in the form of a mantra (Asya Sri Rama Raksha Stotra Mantrasya), written by him, Budha Kousika Rishi, wherein the deity of the stotra is Shri Sitaram, i.e., Sita’s Ram (Sri Sitaramachandro Devata).
The stotra is, as explained by the sage-poet, written in the Anushtup Chanda, and the power to the stotra is derived from Sita (Sita Shaktihi), and that venerable Sri Hanuman is the crucial fulcrum in the form of the linchpin that holds the cartwheel (Srimad Hanuman Keelakam).
The linchpin is the very important and strategic large nail that holds the cartwheel in place on the central axle of a vehicle. It requires extraordinary strength, and one has to have absolute faith in its ability to provide the support for the journey. One knows that the linchpin will not betray the vehicle. The Sri Ram Raksha Stotra is your vehicle on your journey to Rama. The sage-poet recognizes Srimad Hanuman as the fulcrum who would give you the absolutely reliable strength in the journey.
The recognition of the status of the Keelakam is found in most mantras and stotras. Some naamavalis also include the recognition of a deity or an aspect as the Keelakam of the prayer. The mantra, or stotra, or other forms of prayer are accepted as different types of expressing or enabling devotion within oneself, i.e., dhyaan. Informing the devotee that the fulcrum is from a specific deity or aspect usually strengthens the dhyaan slokas and mantras.
There are other complex prayers that are known to be crucial in seeking the blessings of deities with multivariate aspects. The entire prayer in such examples are classified as ‘Keelakam’ and are to be recited with the status thus provided – Devi Keelakam, Keelakam Stotram or the Vishnu Sahasranaama Keelakam.
The prayer to Devi, the ‘Durga Saptasati’ is one of the most complex dhyaana stotras, comprising nearly 700 slokas. The entire sequence is made of different ‘chapters’, if one may term them as such. However, all the chapters comprising the entire range of 700 slokas are hinged on the earlier Keelakam Sloka, being the fulcrum. The Durga Saptasati has a verse that is very commonly recited by most devotees in prayer, to Devi, but rarely does anyone place it in the sequence of the 700 slokas.
Sarva mangala mangalye,
Sive sarvaartha saadike,
Sharanye tryambake Gowri,
The Kavacham Armour) Sloka, and the Araghala Stotram precede the Keelakam Sloka of the Durga Saptasati. Thirteen chapters follow the Keelakam Sloka, and the devotee is usually advised to recite the verses over an entire week. The Katyayani classification of the Durga Saptasati documents the structure of the 700 slokas.
The aspect of Srimad Hanuman as the Keelakam of the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra is almost mentioned as if in passing. But, the role of the fulcrum, being Hanuman, is depicted in perfection. Who could have been more appropriate than Hanuman when any devotee seeks out the blessings of Ram?
When one crosses over from the stotra to the aspects of tantra or mantra, the position of the Keelakam is extremely specific and elaborate. The Keelakam is not mentioned merely in passing, but placed in the sequence of prayer, with deliberate instructions to the devotee. This is true of the Sri Sri Chandi.
The Keelakam in the prayers and recitation of the Sri Sri Chandi, follows the (a) Devi Suktam, (b) Kavacham, and (c) Araghala Stotram, similar to the Durga Saptasati. The Keelakam is followed by the (d) Ratri Suktam, (e) Devi Mahatmya, (f) Phala Sruti and, (g) Kshama Prarthana. Rishi Markandeya has recited the Keelakam in sixteen slokas in this prayer.
All great mantras or stotras are recognized within two different purposes – (a) Loukika mantra, and (b) Moksha mantra. The Loukika mantra is composed to help the devotee to seek blessings from the deity to fulfill desires, while the Moksha mantra is meant to seek blessings to always be with God. Some prayers are intertwined with both purposes. Thus, when the great Dehu-Alandi-Pandharpur Waari takes place to coincide with Ashaad Ekadashi, and nearly 1.4 million devotees walk for more than 250 kms, they seek only one blessing, to be at one with Panduranga.
The great bhakti saints of Maharashtra helped the millions of devotees over the past four hundred years and more to reach ‘moksha’ with Panduranga, by merely reciting the very simple prayer of “Om Rama Krishna Hari”. The saints, Tukaram and Jnaneshwar, simplified the journey by clarifying that the devotee need not remember or recite complex mantras, stotras or prayers, or seek sanctuary from witch-craft or from spiritual con artists. They taught that the fulcrum or Keelakam of the prayers of the devotees is in just being at one with Panduranga and by repeatedly reciting ‘Om Rama Krishna Hari’.
In the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra, the sage-poet Sri Budha Kousika Rishi specifies the framework by explaining in proper sequence, as it should be. Most stotras and mantras are composed in the sequence of – (a) Rishi = naming the author, e.g. Sri Budha Kousika Rishi, (b) Chanda = specifying the metre of the verse, e.g. Anushtup Chanda, (c) Devatha = identifying the deity, e.g. Sita’s Ramachandra, (d) Shakti = explaining the source of strength to the stotra, e.g. Sita, and (e) Keelakam = locating the fulcrum or linchpin, e.g. Hanuman.
The sequence varies in some mantras or stotras, where the Beejam seed) is also identified. In such prayers, the sequence is – Rishi – Chanda – Devatha – Beejam – Keelakam – Shakti.
In the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra, the deity is Sri Rama, and is established as the adishtana devatha, meaning that Sri Rama has been positioned with deliberate thought and purpose. Shiva has placed Sri Rama at the foremost prominence of the stotra, and therefore, Sri Rama as the deity, is given the aadhi foremost) sthaan place).
There are other prayers to Sri Rama, as presented by the traveling deity-saint Narada. These are the Rama Sadakshari and the Rama Dasakshari. The Keelakam is not specified in these prayers. This is the reason for the prominence and reverence given over thousands of years to the Sri Rama Raksha Stotra.
For, how can the devotee dare to step around Hanuman, the parama bhakt of Sri Rama? How can the devotee assume that one can succeed where even Bhima could not?
The reverse is also supreme. Shiva explained the Sri Rama Raksha Stotram to Sri Budha Kousika Rishi and the deity has placed Sri Rama as the Keelakam. The roles are reversed in the Shiva Kavacham as presented in the Skanda Purana. The rishi Rishabha Deva taught the Shiva Kavacham to Bhadraayu.
Asya Shiva Kavacha Stotra Mahamantrasya
Brahma Rishi, Anushtup Chanda,
Sri Sada Shivo Rudro Devatha, Hreem Shakti,
Ram Keelakam, Sreem, Hreem, Kleem Bheejam,
Sri Sada Shivapreetyarthe,
Shiva Kavacha Stotra Jape Viniyogaha
The Shiva Kavacham presents the sequence of – (a) Rishi = Brahma, (b) Chanda = Anushtup, (c) Devatha = Sada Shiva Rudra, (d) Shakti = Hreem, (e) Keelakam = Rama, (f) Bheejam = Sreem, Hreem, Kleem. There is another version, wherein the Rishi is Rishabha Yogeeshwara Rishi, Bheejam is ‘Om’, and Keelakam is ‘Shiva’.
The Sri Hanuman Kavacham Stotram is also yet another example of the dialogue between Shiva and Parvati. Upon an enquiry by Parvati – How can people be protected from sorrow? Kena raksha bhaved dhruvam? From fear of the dead, the fire of the funeral pyre and sorrow? Dukha davagni santhaptha…
Shiva recites, in response, the guidance provided by Rama to Vibheeshana, and specifies that the reciting of the Sri Hanuman Kavacham Stotram would be the only pathway to seek strength and support in times of distress from sorrows that cannot be reversed.
Om Asya Sri Hanuman Kavacha Stotra Maha Mantrasya,
Sri Ramachandra Rishi,
Sri Hanuman Parmarthma Devatha,
Maruthaatmaja Ithi Bheeja Anjanaa Soorithi Sakthi,
Lakshmana Prana Ithi Keelakam…
The Keelakam in this stotra is the aspect of giving life to Lakshmana by Hanuman, and the recitation of the Sri Hanuman Kavaca Stotram is to give encouragement and courage to the devotee under duress or sorrow, sometimes due to the loss of a close relative, or the extended distress due to illness.
It is usually advised that the devotee may also direct one’s prayers to the Keelakam designated in the stotra with the same reverence that may be indicated to the Adhishtana Devatha. The deity cannot be ‘unlocked’ without the correct position and use of the fulcrum. The Keelakam will provide better strength and support only if recited and recognized with the correct inclination, as Hanuman, the supreme bhakta of Rama, would never refuse to help a devotee.