Attributes of Lord Rama

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Attributes of Lord Rama

Name: Lord Rama’s Name was prevalent even before His birth. After His victory at Lanka, that is, upon demonstrating His Godhood, everyone started addressing Him as Shrirama (Lord Rama).

Ideal in All Respects: Lord Rama is an example of the ideal son, brother, husband, king, friend and enemy.

The Follower of Righteousness (Dharma): Lord Rama observed all decorum prescribed by Dharma; that is why He is referred to as ‘Maryadapurushottam’. Also, honoring one’s word (Ekvachani) and needing just one arrow or shot to find the mark (Ekbani) and having only one wife (Ekpatni) are His well-known attributes.

Lord Rama’s Kingdom (Ramrajya): During Lord Rama’s rule, that is, in the Tretayug it was not Lord Rama alone who was wise, His subjects, too, were prudent. Hence, during His reign not a single complaint was brought to His court.

The real kingdom of Lord Rama dwells within oneself. The implied meaning of this is absolute control over the five sense organs, five motor organs, mind, subconscious mind, intellect and ego by the Rama principle (Atmarama – the soul principle).

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Ram Navami

Lord Sri Ram
|| Sri Ram Jay Ram Jay Jay Ram ||

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Introduction

Shriram Navami is celebrated to proclaim the birth of Lord Shrirama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. ‘The nineth day (Navami) in the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra is referred to as Ram Navami. On this day, when the five planets and the sun, etc. were in first house of cancer at noon along with the lunar asterism Pushya, Ramachandra was born in Ayodhya. Several temples of Lord Rama celebrate this festival for nine days beginning from the first day (pratipada) of Chaitra. It is celebrated by periodic readings (parayans) of the Ramayan, organising spiritual discourses (kirtans) and beautifully embellishing Lord Rama’s idol. On the ninth day, in the afternoon a spiritual discourse on Lord Rama’s birth is held. At noon, a coconut draped in a hooded cloak is placed in a cradle and the cradle is rocked. Devotees shower a red, fragrant powder (gulal) and flowers onto it.’

Celebrations of Ram Navami start on Gudi padwa, the first day of Chaitra; and continue for 9 days. During this period, devotees do parayans of Ramayan, recite the Ramarakshastotra, sing bhajans-kirtans in His praise and chant His name.

Celebration of Ram Navami

Ram Sita LaxmanShrirama Navami is called a holy festival (sun) when it is celebrated individually, a religious festival (utsav) when celebrated collectively and when performed individually with a resolve (sankalpa) it becomes a vowed observance (vrat). Also, unlike most vowed religious observances, which are practiced individually, Shrirama Navami is a vowed religious observance undertaken by a group.

Several temples of Lord Rama celebrate this festival for nine days, beginning from Gudhipadva (the first day (pratipada) of the month of Chaitra). It is celebrated by periodic readings (parayans) of the Ramayan, organizing and attending spiritual discourses (kirtans) and beautifully embellishing Lord Rama’s statue. During these nine days, reciting the Ramaraksha prayer (stotra) eleven times daily with a resolve (sankalpa) brings the prayer to fruition, yielding benefits like reduction of speech impairment and other ailments, and gaining prosperity. On the ninth day, that is, on Shrirama Navami a spiritual discourse on Lord Rama’s birth is held in the afternoon. At noon, a coconut, draped in a hooded cloak is placed in a cradle and rocked. The coconut signifies the baby Lord Rama. A red, fragrant powder (gulal) and flowers are showered onto it. Many places in North India host fairs in connection with the festival, culminating in spectacular fireworks on Rama Navami.

Introduction: How to Offer an Arti

Introduction: How to Offer an Arti

Introduction: How to Offer an Arti

Various Saints and evolved devotees have composed devotional Artis (hymns in praise of the Lord) from approximately the twelfth century onwards. They are thereby making available a beautiful and easy medium to light the lamp of devotion in the hearts of worshippers and enable them to invoke and imbibe the grace and blessings of a Deity by offering Arti. Singing an Arti conceived with the resolve of Saints accomplishes these objectives, but only when it is sung from the heart and as per the science of Spirituality.

An act is done with the heart only when its importance is genuinely understood. Explaining the science or principles in such things helps in early imprinting of its importance on the mind. With this objective, the science of Spirituality explains the various acts to be performed while offering Arti. In worship it is very important to perform each act as per the science of Spirituality. Many are not aware of various facts; for example, while offering Arti to God, one can move the platter in a clock-wise circle from the anahat chakra (at the heart area) to the adnya chakra (mid-brow region) of the Deity or that one must perform circumambulation after Arti. If these facts are not known they will not be performed or will be performed incorrectly. In this special issue on Arti, one will understand how to perform all the actions pertaining to Arti as per the science of Spirituality. If every one tries to perform the Arti with intense yearning and as per the science of Spirituality, then it will lead to an increase in collective spiritual emotion which will further activate the Deity’s principle and everyone will benefit from it. Similarly, the atmosphere will get purified and become Sattva predominant.

We pray at the holy feet of the Guru that may everyone understand and perform Arti in accordance with the science and experience an increased awakening of their spiritual emotion. – Editor

What is importance of offering Arti? Apt for the Kaliyug

What is importance of offering Arti? Apt for the Kaliyug

What is importance of offering Arti? Apt for the Kaliyug

In the Era of Strife, (Kaliyug), man doubts the very existence of God. In such a spiritual climate, offering Arti has been designed as an easy means for man to be able to realise God. Offering Arti means calling out to God with intense yearning. If a human being calls out to a Deity through the medium of the Arti then he is granted either a vision of God in the form of light or of the Deities’ form.

Deity is appeased

The hymns in an Arti which are in praise of the Deities, also entail an earnest prayer made unto God to win His grace. The Deities and God who bestows grace, are pleased with the praises and worship of the one who offers Arti.

Composers of the Arti

Most of the Artis have been composed by Saints and evolved devotees. An Arti contains both the resolve and blessings of the spiritually evolved. Thus, a seeker benefits at the material and spiritual level due to the benefit accrued through Their ‘Energy of Resolve’.

Activation of spiritual emotion

According to the Path of Devotion it is very essential that the follower develops devotion and spiritual emotion towards God sooner rather than later. In the primary stages it is difficult to develop spiritual emotion unto the formless, that is, the unmanifest principle of God. However, a seeker feels close to God with a form which has attributes and a human appearance. He is able to develop spiritual emotion unto Him faster. Arti is an easy medium of worship to the manifest form of God. The subtle form of the words sung in the Arti softly touch the idol or the picture of the Deity placed in front and return to those listening to or singing to it. This affects the worshippers subtle bodies. The words in the Arti transmit the Sattva component accompanying them to the subtle bodies of the worshippers. Consequently one who sings the Arti feels light. The spiritual emotion of the worshippers is awakened due to the activation of the sushumna nadi (central channel) by the words in the Arti .’

Strengthening of faith

As the seeker’s spiritual emotion for the Deity he worships is awakened during Arti, he gains a spiritual experience. This helps in further strengthening his faith in the Deity he worships.

Deity’s principle is more active during Arti

As the principle of the Deity is more functional during Arti, a seeker derives more benefit from the energy and Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) of the Deity. That is why our presence in the temple during the offering of Arti is more beneficial than our presence there at any other time.

What is the Science behind offering the sacred thread (janave) to deities?

‘Offering the sacred thread to deities means binding the expanse of the brilliance of deities in the rounds of the sacred thread and evoking It to function in duality. As the janave is made of thread and is enriched with mantra-energy, the frequencies of sound emitted by it activate the attribute less principle of God from the universe. This then functions for the embodied soul (worshipper) as per its spiritual emotion towards God through the medium of the ‘with attributes’ frequencies. The sacred thread represents the silvery link between God, that is, non duality and the embodied soul, that is, duality. Offering the sacred thread in ritualistic worship is an important process of interaction of duality-non duality. Wearing this sacred thread after the ritualistic worship endows the wearer with the Sattva predominant divine consciousness of the deity.’ (Divine knowledge received through the medium of a seeker)

Singing the Arti accompanied by Musical Instruments

A bell should be sounded melodiously in an even rhythm. Rhythmic accompaniment of musical instruments like the cymbals, harmonium and Tabla (an Indian drum) etc should be there. Accompaniment of these musical instruments enhances the bhav and makes the Arti more effective.

1. The bell

Pooja Bell

The bell used in ritualistic worship should be sounded only when singing the Arti. The sound of the bell should be melodiously and evenly maintained throughout the Arti. The frequencies of Deities in the Universe, attracted to the Arti move constantly towards the devotee because of the frequencies in the energy of the sound transmitted by the bell. Due to this energy, the Sattva predominant frequencies transmitted by Deities are converted into subtle waves. Since these vibrations are most subtle, their effect on the environment lasts longer. The energy created by the Arti is bound in these vibrations. Hence, the subtle sound of the Arti transmitted by these waves can be heard even after the Arti is over.

The following aspects of the Arti awaken bhav in the worshipper:

1. The shabdabrahma (the Brahma in the words), arising out of the singing of Arti
2. The aksharbrahma (the Brahma in the alphabets), woven in the shabdabrahma
3. The taalbrahma (the Brahma in the rhythm), hidden in the sound of cymbals
4. The naadbrahma (the Brahma in the sound) arising out of the bell.

Hence, during singing of an Arti, the embodied soul (or the worshipper) can derive highest level of spiritual experience. (Divine knowledge received through the medium of a seeker)

2. Cymbals

The sound created by the cymbals generates identical rhythmic subtle sound frequencies all over in the environment. These frequencies activate the Sushumnanadi in the body of the one singing an Arti or devotional songs. These subtle frequencies attract the principles of the Deities and their sattva component towards them and transmit them into the environment and to the embodied souls, through the sound. In this way, cymbals attract the ultra-subtle frequencies of Deities through its sound and transform them into subtle frequencies. The embodied soul is able to conveniently imbibe these frequencies. As cymbals function to a greater extent in the ‘saviour’ form, sounding them activates the sattvik bhav. (Divine knowledge received through the medium of a seeker)

Why Arti platter should be waved in a full circle?

Q. On waving the Arti platter in front of a Deity Why should an Arti platter be waved in a full circle in front of the Deity?

A. When offering Arti, using a lamp with five wicks (also called pancharti), the platter containing this lit lamp should be waved in a full circle in front of the Deity. This results in a speedy circular movement of sattva frequencies emitted by the flame of the lamp. These sattva frequencies then get converted gradually into raja frequencies. They appear like ripples in the water. A suraksha kavach (protective armour) of these frequencies is formed around the embodied soul of the worshipper offering the Arti and is known as a ‘tarang kavach‘ (lit. ‘ripple armour’). The more the spiritual emotion of the worshipper offering the Arti, longer this armour lasts. As his sattva component is enhanced, he is able to absorb more Divine frequencies from the Universe. This increases his spiritual emotion and he perceives the reflection of his soul in the form of a blue spot of light (also known as Atmabindu) in front of him and a ripple of raja frequencies emanating from this Atmabindu.

Q. Why should the Arti platter be waved in a clockwise direction in front of the Deity?

A. As the earth moves in the clockwise direction, the frequencies in the environment do not offer any resistance to the movement of the lit lamp.

Q. Why should the Arti platter not be waved above the head of the Deity?

A. The Arti platter should not be waved above the head of the Deity, but should be moved from the Anahat to the Adnya Chakra of the Deity. Due to the influence of the raja frequencies emanating from the Arti, friction develops with the sattva particles in the serene frequencies related to the unmanifest Divine principle (emitted from the head of the Deity). As a result, they can disintegrate before being transmitted. That is why the Arti platter should not be waved above the head of the Deity. Thus, the high-speed frequencies emitted from the Adnya chakra and which are related to the attributes of the Deity get complemented by the raja frequencies emanating from the lamp of the Arti. This enables them to be transmitted effectively in the environment forming a protective armour around the worshippers and destroying the raja-tama in the environment.