About the Book:
The importance of the immortal Hindi classic Ramacharitamanasa by the great Vaisnava saint-poet Tulasidasa is too well known to need any introduction. As everyone knows, in the religious literature of Hinduism it stands second only to the great Bhagavadgita in popularity. It has particularly endeared itself to the moderately educated masses for whom it epitomizes all that Hinduism means and stands for, and here is a unique edition of the work attempted and designed for the first time to serve specifically the needs of this class of readers.
It contains the basic text with a simple and lucid translation into Hindi and English under each verse done by a most competent scholar.
The suggestion for preparing the present edition came from the Hindu population across the seas, whose ancestors had emigrated during the early decades of the nineteenth century to such remote countries and island as Jamaica, Surinam, Guyana, Fuji and Mauritius, etc., and who are still eager to maintain and continue their cultural and religious links with the Hindus of the land of their origin through the medium of Gita, Ramayana and Bhagavata, the topmost trio of popular Hinduism. The edition thus aims at fulfilling a long-felt need and will surely by welcomed especially by our brethren living in distant lands outside India and also by those living here who will find it equally useful.
About the Author:
Sadguru Sant Keshavadas is a prophet of divine love and universal peace. His name means "saint who is the servant of the Lord."
Sri Sadguru was born in Bhadragiri, a small South Indian village near Bangalore in Karnataka State. He earned a B.A. degree from Mahatma Gandhi College, an L.L.B. degree from Udipi Law College, and is a gifted composer, musician, lecturer, author, and teacher of yoga.
Through the ancient wisdom of the Himalayas, he tries to unite all the world religions into Vishwa Dharma, or Cosmic Religion. In his mission to show the essential unity of all world religions, Sant Keshavadas has made nine global tours. His devoted wife Srimathi Rama Mata and their three children assist in this mission.
In 1961 Sant Keshavadas established Dasashram International Center in Bangalore, India, and since then has established other ashrams, meditation centers, and temples of Cosmic Religion all over the world.
The world is the stage on which the Lord played the
part of Rama as the ideal son, brother, husband, step-son,
and king. The story of Rama and Sita is verily the story
of humanity. Sita, Rama's devoted consort, enacted the
role of the dutiful, chaste wife who cared for nothing but
her beloved Rama. Lakshmana was the perfect brother,
and Bharata and Shatrughna were exemplary in their
devotion to their step-brother, Rama.
The next main. character, Hanuman, is the embodi-
ment of a surrendered devotee-the pinnacle of Bhakti
Yoga. The ten-headed Ravana, who plays the antagonistic
role, symbolizes our ten senses (5 senses of knowledge
and 5 senses of -action). During the war, Rama beheads
Ravana, which is characteristic of a yogi conquering the
The characters in the Ramayana relate to our own
human drama. The Ramayana teaches us a way of life. It
shows how to have pure love among family members and
toward society and gives us a method to control the ten
senses and the mind for inner peace and spiritual bliss.
Life on this planet is short and man is immersed in
emotional conflict in the form of attachments to the
family, wife, children, etc. Identifying with Rama and
Sita as manifestations of the Self in all is an easy method
of pulling the mind away from its attachment to the
various pleasure centers. In the ancient epic, the humble
devotee, Hanuman, is the son of the wind god. The wind
symbolizes sound. Without the wind, no sound is possi-
ble. Sound is the gross manifestation of mind and
thought. In the transcendental state, sound waves mani-
fest as thought waves. Thought waves in the gross mater-
ial plane manifest as spoken language.
Singing the Lord's name on the gross plane can bring
us to the transcendental level where sound manifests as
pure energy. The name and form disintegrate in Pure
Consciousness and ultimate peace is experienced.
Repetition of the Lord's name in the form of japa or
kirtan will bring the transcendental, blissful experience
attained by the great devotees and saints like Bhakta Mira
Bai, Tukaram, and in the present time, Sri Sant Kesha-
vadas. Santji has followed the tradition of our great saints
and devotees of the past and has now brought the story
of the Ramayana for 20th century man. He has abridged
this great epic without losing its meaning so that the
ordinary, busy man can realize its truth.
As has been said by Lord Krishna to Sage N arada,
"Naham Vasami Vaikunte Yoginam Hridayenacha; Mad-
bhaktha Yatra Gayanti Tatra Tishtarni Narada," meaning,
"I always dwell where devotees sing the glory of My
May this story of the Ramayana bring a new
awakening to the turbulent hearts. Sant Keshavadas is the
ideal devotee to bring this great epic to modern-day, busy
man in the Kali Age.
God incarnates age after age to restore dharma. Such
incarnations are known as avatars. Sri Ramachandra is
worshipped by the sages as the seventh incarnation of
Lord Vishnu, and Sita, his spouse, is worshipped as
Goddess Lakshmi's incarnation. All those who helped
Rama or served him were the angels or devatas. This
greatest story ever written is known as Ramayana.
Originally, it was written by Sage Valmiki to the people
of the earth, but it was very popular in the higher
heirarchy in the heavens. We were told by Sage Valmiki
that Brahma the Creator narrated this story to his son,
Sage Narada, who made it popular in all upper heavens
and then imparted it to Valmiki. Valmiki taught this to
Rama's children, Lava and Kusha, who sang Ramayana to
How Should One Read Ramayana
Ramayana is considered as a holy scripture. Rama
lived the Vedic truths. One who wants to experience this
Rama-consciousness or wants to obtain His darshan
should bathe or shower, wear meditation clothes, and
should do the japa or repetition of the 13-syllabled
mantra, "Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama" at least
108 times on the rosary, either orally, mentally, or both.
Then one should worship Sri Rama and Sita and the book
of Ramayana by offering flowers and salutations. Filled
with devotion to God, one should open this holy book
and read it himself or to a few devotees and at the end of
each Kanda or canto, he should wave the light before
God and receive His grace. Before one begins reading
Ramayana, it is important he should keep a wooden
plank in the meditation room as a special seat to Lord
Hanuman. He can keep an image or picture of Hanuman
on the wooden plank; if not, he can just invoke
Hanuman's presence by placing a coconut and lighting a
candle and keeping them on or near the wooden plank.
Hanuman has promised that wherever Sri Ramayana is
read or sung, he will be present there invariably. None
can see Rama without the blessings of Hanuman; there-
fore, to keep the wooden .plank invoking his presence is
After the complete reading of Ramayana, one can
feed the poor, offer clothes, or do some charity in the
name of Rama. The benefits of reading or listening to the
entire Ramayana, as per the scriptural injunctions given
above, will be infinite. Forefathers are resurrected, sick
are healed, and desires here and hereafter are fulfilled.
More than anything, Cosmic Love is realized and the
darshan of Rama is obtained. This is the traditional way
of the sages and saints to read Ramayana.
Sri Rama and Hanuman blessed me to recite
Ramayana 108 times to thousands of devotees in India.
First, I read it for children in song form in Kannada
language. Since that time, I had a deep wish to write it in
English for the western devotees. By the blessings of the
Lord, now that wish is fulfilled, and my heart is filled
with peace. I have tried to write in these pages the
wisdom of Sage Valmiki, Sant Tulasidas, Kamban,
Narahari, Tyagaraja, and other saints. It is written in such
a way that you could know the great Ramayana at a
glance. By reading this, if it inspires you to go to the
original Ramayana in Sanskrit, then my effort is
I am very grateful to Sri H.H. Swami Vishnu-
devananda for 'his kind introduction. I must thank Sister
Karuna for her special efforts in typing, reading, and edit-
ing this holy book. My thanks are due to Mrs. Swaran
Batra, who read the manuscript with great patience and
gave me valuable suggestions in editing. Thanks to Sister
Lila, Sister Gayatri, and B.K. Geetha Pai, for their assis-
tance. Ravidas, Master Shyam, Chandrashekhar, Umadevi,
and Parabrahma, have given their total cooperation for
this work. May God bless all these beautiful souls who
have stood strong for Cosmic Religion. May the entire
world be filled with joy and peace.
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