Present book is a rare and unique compendium on the theme of Lord Ram who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Lord of creation. It would cater to lovers of literature as well as devotees of Lord Ram because it brings under a single roof all major works of Goswami Tulsidas such as Ram Charit Manas, Geetawali, Kavitawali, Dohawali, Barvai Ramayan and Vinai Patrika, as well as Lord Ram's Upanishad Known as Ram Uttar Tapini Upanishad, the Padma Puran and Anand Ramayan which have wonderful hymns dedicated to the Lord.
Present book has three sections section 1 presents the life, time and deeds of Lord Ram sections 2 has the hymns dedicated to the Lord based on Tulsidas' books and section 3 has hymns from the Upanishads pertaining to Lord Ram, highlighting his Divinity.
Ajai kumar Chhawchharia born on 8th August, 1955 in Burdwan district of west Bengal, is a humble and unpretentious bachelor, who has dedicated his entire life to the service of Lord Ram. At present he is residing in the holy pilgrim city of Ayodhya since 1985.
About the book-In this Introductory Chapter we shall read about two things-(i) The basic structure of the book. (ii) And the story of Lord Ram, the incarnation of the Supreme Being as a human, which has come to be known as the epic Ramayana down the centuries.
The Book=Our Book 'A Divine Biography of Lord Ram & glory of the Lord's Holy Name' is a compendium as well as an anthology bas d on all of the great classical works (books) of one of the be known and respected poet-philosopher-saint of India, known as Goswami Tulsidas. He has written around a dozen books on the theme of Lord Ram and his divinity, and the irony is that he is little known in the world outside of India though his name and works are as popular and revered as the great story and legend of the Lord himself. The probable reason is that he wrote in the vernacular Hindi, especially a dialect known as Avadhi that is restricted to the northern part of India, as compared to other versions of the great legendary story written by poets and bards such as Valmiki and Veda Vyas that are in Sanskrit, a language which is as universal in India as English is in the modern world.
It was not that Tulsidas was unaware of Sanskrit-the fact is that he was an acclaimed scholar of the language of his time, but he realised that to spread the message of the Lord and his divine deeds, the message of love, dedication and devotion for the Lord as well as using the simple means of reciting the Lord's glorious stories as a way of meditation and contemplation leading to spiritual happiness and emancipation, it was necessary to write in the language of the common man, which was Hindi and Avadhi and not Sanskrit. So he poured out his heart in this language instead of exhibiting his scholarship by writing in Sanskrit, the language of the learned and the scholar.
Another factor is whereas Valmiki's, and to a lesser extent Veda Vyas', versions have been translated into English, no such work was ever attempted in a comprehensive way on Tulsidas, thereby restricting his reach even in those parts of India where Hindi is not the spoken language.
Therefore, I had this inspiration to take up this formidable task and present to the world in simple English all the magnificent works of this great devotee of the Supreme Being who incarnated as Lord Ram. I am not writing a novel; I am not inventing anything of my own. I am trying in my humble way to unfold this glorious tradition of telling the divine story of the Supreme Being who manifested himself as Lord Ram to live amongst the humans to help them attain Mukti (spiritual liberation, deliverance, emancipation, salvation) by following the simple path of developing Bhakti (devotion, dedication, love, submission and remembrance) for the Lord by telling, hearing, reading and remaining submerged in the thoughts of the Lord through his stories and divine deeds that he performed amongst them. This approach brings the intractable and abstract form of God within the reach of the ordinary man, and it helps him to relate better and more effectively to the Divinity for his own spiritual peace, happiness, rest and bliss.
So it is by now clear that I have brought under one roof all the classical works of Tulsidas-a unique and satisfying endeavour, but a very difficult and daunting task. This is because Tulsidas was a prolific writer, and he had written not one, not two but a dozen books on the theme of Lord Ram. It would have been much easier if anyone of his books would have been used to weave my own story around, like a novel for the modern man, quoting from this single book at random. Or even taking one single book and extensively explaining it in English. This has surely been done in this series, but it is not the objective at present-for this book is a 'bouquet of all the great classics of Tulsidas'.
Besides this, my objective was to present to the world the books of Tulsidas as they are, with the minimum of anything from my side. After all, Tulsidas and his works are revered as sacred texts in India, and so is the theme of Lord Ram. I repeat once again here that I am not writing any novel or any historical book-I am simply telling in plain and simple English what the nearest version of the original Tulsidas is. To achieve this aim, I must-and have-included direct quotations from his various books to give authenticity, authority and sanctity in what I say and write. This approach also gives confidence to me as well as the reader that whatever is said in English is as close to the original Tulsidas as is possible in another language which is far different in its grammar and lexicon than the original. Verification and authenticity becomes extremely easy and convenient. This approach adds authority to the book.
Therefore, this objective and approach necessitated that I include direct verses from the original books of Tulsidas and then follow them up with simple rendering in the English language while constructing the structure of my present book.
I am sure now that my esteemed readers have followed the basic idea around which this book is conceived and written, and how it is structured.
Of course, the reader would like to know who Tulsidas was, and therefore this great saint's brief life-sketch is included at the end of this book as Appendix no. 1
Now,let me tell you more about this Book. ['Book'-and not 'book'-because it deals with holy texts that are regarded as sacred in India, and because it tells the story of the Supreme Being in his form as Lord Ram who lives as human amongst us long time ago.]
Our book tells the mystical and mysterious story of Lord Ram, a story that is eclectic, divine, spiritually uplifting, a provider of peace and happiness to the soul, and magnificent and fabulous to hear even in its earthly form. This marvelous story has been told and retold countless number of times ever since language evolved and the human race learnt to speak in intelligible form. It is mystical because it lifts the teller, the reader And the hearer to a spiritual plane from the plane of this umdrum world of material sense objects and a world full of worries and spiritual problems, and it is mysterious because so many variations are there and each claims itself to the authentic one, the one which tells the true story, that the hearer is left wondering what the truth actually is.
The answer to the various paradoxes and mysteries associated with the Lord's divine story is not far to find-it is answered expressly and explicitly by the saint Tulsidas himself in his epic and magnum opus called the 'Ram Charit Manas', in its Baal Kand, Doha no. 33. It says clearly that the Supreme Being has been revealing himself over and over again in different forms over different cycles of creation and destruction, called the different Yugas, and each incarnation of the Lord has been sung and remembered by great sages, seers, saints and devotees of the Lord in different ways. All of them are therefore correct. So to doubt one version and treat the other as correct is like saying that the celestial Sun of any given day, say a Monday, is different from that of some other day, say a Tuesday, or any other day of the week or month or year or decade for that matter.
So we see that there are many who have written the divine story of the Supreme Being who had incarnated himself as Lord Ram, the merciful, gracious, benevolent, magnanimous, kind, righteous, law-abiding, immaculate and upright king-emperor of not only the limited area of the kingdom of Ayodhya but also of the entire realm that stretched from corner to corner of the surface of the earth. Again, there is no astonishment in it- remember, Lord Ram was no ordinary king or emperor; he was the Supreme Lord of creation and the world who had taken a human form. As such, it is obvious and natural that his sway and authority extended to every nook and corner of the earth.
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