Friday 31 December 2021

The Procedure of reciting Sri Ramcharitmanas

Those who offer to undertake the recitation of Sri Ramcharitmanas according to the correct procedure should first invoke and worship Gosvami Tulasidas, the sage Valmiki, Lord Siva, and Sri Hanuman. Then they should invoke Sri SitaRam, the divine couple. The seeker should then invoke the three divine brothers of Sri Ram, and offer them worship, meditate on them. After that they may commence the reading / recitation of the text.

As I read the text, I noticed that the invocations were quite specific in where each of the invited deities were offered a seat. There was so much to learn, less through observation, more through understanding. I am sure there is a reason why Gosvami Tulasidas has been offered seating in the South West. Most likely it is because he will then be able to face North – East.

I am also sure that this knowledge needs to impact how we set our altars when doing the recitation of the book. However, I also understand that in modern day houses, it may not always be possible to arrange the altars in the prescribed way. I am also aware that most of us do not even have the time and the energy to understand the Vaastu behind these arrangements.

That said, one thing that I have absolute faith in, is the fact that no matter the arrangement, no matter the errors one might make, no matter the things one might do right, and as prescribed; in the end it’s all about surrender. Surrender, as beloved Krishna Das once said to me in one of his video calls, is all about grace. One cannot seek grace, one cannot even hope for grace, one cannot surrender, because when one does all of that, there’s the ego present, and then one is no longer in surrender. Surrender instead happens, grace happens. It happens out of the divine will, and for no other reason at all.

So, with this intent, this hope, and this prayer, we invoke Gosvami Tulsidas to accept our obeisance and a seat in the South-West, and the Sage Valmiki to accept homage and a seat in the North East. We invoke Lord Siva to accept homage and a seat in the South – East.

We invoke Lord Lakshman with Devi Urmila to accept the Southern quarter of the altar, for Lord Satrughna with Devi Srutkirti to accept the Western quarter of the altar, for Lord Bharat with Devi Mandavi to accept the Northern quarter of the Altar. We invoke them to accept our humble obeisance and homage.

We invoke Sri Hanuman to please occupy the Eastern quarter of the altar and accept our obeisance and homage.

One might wonder why we invoke the eternal ‘Sahchars’ and the scholars before we invoke the Lord. Part of it is of course about the prescribed procedure; the remaining is a part of the intent. When one aspires to seek the blessings of the divine couple Sri SitaRam as their principal deity; one seeks blessings from their eternal friends, holy saints, Gurus, and other glorious Vaishnavas.

Hence, after one invokes the other deities, one then meditates on the beauty of the Supreme Deity, and then offered the seat on the altar, surrounded by all other deities. After that, the Deity should be worshipped with the 16-fold paraphernalia, as prescribed in the scriptures.

After this, there's the aachamanam, the karanyas, the hridyadianganyas, and the dhyaanam, like one would do for any strota, or even kavacha. 

We now embark on the journey through Manasas our limited human consciousness may take us through. Gratitude to Goswami Tulasidas ji for blessing the humankind through this esoteric text called Sri Ramacharitmanas.


© Anupama 2021


Monday 20 September 2021

The Offering - Why I am writing this

All Glories to Sri Ram Bhadra and His Divine Consort Devi Sita

First off, I am not writing this. If I were, I would have written this ages ago. I have been wanting to study this scripture for years now. I was raised on Sri Ramcharitmanas all my life. To me, the text is enlightening, the sound of the paath is like a lullyby, it soothes me, it heals me, it puts me to sleep like a mother would.

On a more materialistic level though, I have taken up this overly ambitious project, purely out of selfish reasons. It is said that,

"Harer-nama Harer-nama Harer-namaiva kevalam
Kalau nasty-eva nasty-eva nasty-eva gatir anyatha"

 In this age of Kali, there’s only one way to Salvation. It is to chant the Holy name of the Sri Hari. It is only with this conviction that I have taken up, this study. I do not know how sincere my intent is, how deep my conviction, but all children seem to grow up glorifying their mother and their father. Mine have blessed me with an upbringing that included Sri Ramcharitmanas. So, it is to hopefully please them, that I study the text and share what I share here.


Sri Ram Darbar



I have met some kind, generous, loving, awakened souls in my very brief journey on this earth, and with their blessings, when I share my study here, I only hope to purify myself more, to cleanse my inner self, to crystallize my own understanding and to make sense of this journey that we call life. I do not know any other way to serve them.

I offer this to Sri Hari and His Divine Consort Devi Sita. I seek blessings from this entire universe, because Sri Tulsi Dasji says, 'Siya Ram may sab jag jaani'.

"vancha-kalpatarubhyash cha
kripa-sindhubhya eva cha
patitanam pavanebhyo
vaishnavebhyo namo namaha"


© Anupama 2021

Mangalacharan 4

  वन्दे बोधमयं नित्यं गुरुं शंकररूपिणम्‌। यमाश्रितो हि वक्रोऽपि चन्द्रः सर्वत्र वन्द्यते॥ 3 ॥ भावार्थ:-ज्ञानमय , नित्य , शंकर रूपी गुर...