This translation from Telugu to English was done word-by-word by Eileen Weed checked by Prabhu to get the literal meaning. It is NOT an edited version.

Summer Course # 8
22 May 2002

Learning a way which brings about world peace,
giving up narrow feelings,
unity and living in equality:
That, which conveys these, is education.
They are what a student should learn.
(Swami sings a Telugu poem)

Embodiments of Love!
The nature of Rama attracts all. No matter how many days such a nature is described, it never reaches saturation point. Continually listening, one gets tired even of the song of the Cuckoo bird. Continually eating, even nectar becomes bitter. However, no matter how much the story of Rama is heard or partaken, one isn’t satisfied. Whether anyone sings, hears, reads, or makes one to recite or read such a story of Rama, it is entirely nectarine.
No one knows when the recitation, propagating and teaching of the Ramayana originated. However, based on a few signs, in many ways people are determining that the story of the Ramayana is from this or that age.
Before Ravana took Sita to the Ashoka Vana (the garden in Sri Lanka named ashoka, which means ‘absence of sorrow’), on the way, in the chariot, Ravana was telling her, based on the age of those times, “Sita, my age today is 2,000 years. The age of your husband is 40 years. Your age is 39. (A.K. says, “You are 99 years old.” Swami corrects him aside. Then AK apologetically says, “39 years old!” and the audience laughs heartily.) In this same way, mistakes like this keep happening when talking of the Ramayana. (Laughter)

In the world, there is infinite power in the earth. There is amazing power arising in-between the earth and akasha (ether, space or sky). Therefore, akasha is unable to attract the earth. The power of the earth is very mighty. Based on such power, the earth bears everything. This is the power of a magnet. No matter how much this power is investigated, no experimentation is successful. Hence the power of the earth is very mighty.
Sita is the daughter of such a Bhu Devi (Mother Earth). Hence they called Sita Bhu Jatha (daughter of the earth). So when Rama lifted the Bow of Siva, Mother Earth was very joyful. All the kings that came were aged. Their appearance was ugly. Rama was very young. His beauty was indescribable. He was handsome.
She (Mother Earth) decided to herself, ‘Rama is right for my daughter. Therefore, it should be seen that no obstruction comes in the way of His success.” When Rama lifted up the Bow of Siva, He held it with His left hand. Meaning, He did it like that to propagate to the world that He was able to lift it only with His left hand. This is Mother Earth’s great and sacred power. She reduced the weight of Bow of Siva. That increased the strength of Rama. In this way, when and where it was convenient, Mother Earth acted based on the need.
Therefore, the vast nature of the earth is completely indescribable. However, everything, every rasa (essence, powers or metals) that are in this earth, are in the human body. The power of rasa is also in this body. Electric power is also in this body. There is no need to describe only this or that: all powers that are in the earth are present in human beings. However, man is unable to recognize that he has so many powers.
You can consider how sacred the Divinity in human nature is. Man is greatly powerful. He can do anything he thinks of. Due to the effects of science today, he was able to go to the moon. He even brought back soil from the moon. However, all of these are only the powers that arise in man. If man resolves, he can do anything. Man, who is so powerful, is unable to recognize his powers.
Every person in the world today continues to question everyone whom he sees, “Who are you, who are you, who are you?” However, man is questioning, “Who are you, who are you,” but he is not questing himself, “Who am I?” If the question of “Who am I” is put, all problems would go away. Everything is contained in that one question.

He (Ravana) was taking Sita to (away from) the forest. From there, he was taking her over the ocean. However, his sensual desires were more so first and foremost he desired to show her his inner apartments, his influence, his power and capabilities and his jewels. He took her to the inner apartments, but no matter where she went, Sita did not open her eyes and look at anything.
Seeing this scene, Mandodari (Ravana’s wife) felt very bad. “Ravana, what is this, your bad times?”

Vinaasa Kaale Vipareeta Buddhih.

At the time of destruction, perverse resolves will arise.
(Sanskrit sloka)

“Why did you bring such a chaste wife as mother Sita here?” It is said:

Our fate is like that.
(Telugu poem)

“Our destiny is like that. Yet you are not trying to recognize the power and capabilities of mother Sita. Therefore, first and foremost recognize our own nature. It is not possible to keep her in the inner apartments of the palace. Select a special place for her to live peacefully.” Due to Mandodari advising this, he arranged a separate building in Ashoka Vana and he kept her (Sita) there. It is said:

When her husband was evil and contemplated doing bad things, just as the Minister gives advice to the King, Mandodhari gave advice to her husband.
(Telugu poem)

She advised him so much, and gave so much good advice, and in this way made the mind controlled. “Ravana, instead of contemplating on Rama, you are contemplating on desire. So your fate will not be very sacred. The time (of your death) is drawing near. Very soon you will give up your life. So, for that reason, such twisted thoughts are arising in you.”
“One should not allow women to cry. If you make her shed tears, you will have to shed a thousand times more tears. So suffering should never be given to women. Don’t give any chance for ladies to worry.” Saying that, Mandodari gave many teachings.
One day Mandodari went herself near to Sita. “Mother, daughter of the earth, a namaskaar to you! You are a greatly chaste wife. You are a very sacred being. My husband is very wicked. This kind of nature of wickedness causes him to be spoiled.”

With good feelings, man gets happiness.
With bad feelings, he will become evil.
(Telugu poem)

“Hence, these bad feelings increased his wickedness. So pardon him, have mercy on me, and protect my married state.” However, Mandodari asking this of Sita is not seen anywhere (it is not recorded in any book). Yet, she didn’t listen to the boon that Mandodari asked for or the desire that Ravana asked for. Hence Sita didn’t have any other thoughts except the contemplation of Rama.
When it was like this, the situations of the world became confused (or disorderly). Just like it is today, in those days also all types of feelings became confused. No happiness was observed. Wherever one observed there was worry. Wherever one observed there was sorrow. Wherever one observed there was only crying. Even all of Lanka was full of crying. However, due to fear of Ravana, no one displayed it in front of him. Yet deep inside everyone was suffering.

There was the wife of Vibhishana near (looking after) Sita. She was Sarama. Sarama gave Sita a lot of good advice. “Mother, it is my good fortune to obtain the merit of serving you. Your sacred qualities will bring peace to Lanka. So, Ravana is not ordinary. It is your misfortune that you have fallen into the hands of such an evil person.” Saying that, she consoled her in many ways.
One day when getting up, Sarama had a strange dream. The daughter of Sarama was Shakini. Shakini also had a dream. In the dream she saw that Lanka dried up, all the trees fell down, all the buildings, even the palace buildings, collapsed, and Ravana was suffering without even water to drink. ‘This is only the result of sins that he did.’ Thinking that, she criticized Ravana within herself. Sarama felt very bad.
While she felt bad, Ravana came. He used to come everyday. He had no other work. Coming, fixing a time, then going again (threatening Sita with death if she did not comply with his wishes). “Two more days, three more days,” he used to fix times (countdown) in this way. When he was saying this and going in this way, Sita didn’t take (pay attention to) any of it.
One day Sarama came close and held Sita’s feet. “Mother, this is my good fortune and it is the good fortune of my daughter. Only the mother and daughter have this service to your feet. My husband is virtuous. He is Rama’s devotee. He has joined Rama on the shores of the ocean. No one could gain this (good fortune) except for our family.” After speaking in this way, Sita had a little peace.

In the meantime, Hanuman entered. He was looking and wandering about everywhere for Sita. He was scolding himself. “If I wish to see (search for) Sita, only among women I should go and look but not among men, isn’t it so?” So, first and foremost Hanuman entered into the inner apartments. He saw the women with evil hearts without any sacredness. They were doing ugly actions.
He was blaming himself. “Chi! What sin have I done? I have to see these sights. The form of Rama, the embodiment of bliss should be seen but why should I see these bad sights? Yet I have seen these sights keeping the aim of Sita (in mind) but I have no delusion at all regarding these sights.” He saw and he climbed the inner apartments. He came down. He came down, and there in the building of the inner apartments, Ravana was sitting in court in that vast hall. Ravana asked a question.

You are of the monkey species. You have done monkey-like actions. Who sent you?
(Telugu poem)

Hanuman was not ordinary.

“The prince who cut off the nose and ears of your younger sister has sent me.” (Ravana said,) “Hey! Even kings have never addressed me as, ‘yemi raa’ (an informal address meaning, ‘hey you’)! Shut your mouth!” “You have the nature of a ghost and I have a Divine nature. I am the servant of Rama.”
(Telugu poem)

“Maybe no one has ever addressed you as ‘yemi raa’ but I am saying it!” Arguing with Ravana in this way, he started off again. Due to this anger, Ravana was burning. (Ravana thought to himself,) ‘They have found out about Sita. Now perhaps Rama will come. War might take place.’ He had a guilty conscious within himself and was under illusion.

He (Hanuman) looked around and went up the stairs. On one side the Ashoka Vana was full of trees. He jumped there. When he did that, (he saw) Sita suffering a lot under a tree, bending her head and wearing soiled clothes.
He sat on the tree. Hanuman was singing the entire story of Dasaratha’s son Rama. She lifted her head and saw. “Who is this Maruthi (a name of Hanuman, meaning son of the wind god)? I never saw Maruthi before.” After she went to Lanka, Rama and Lakshmana saw Sugriva when searching for Sita. They also saw Hanuman who was with Sugriva. Therefore, he was new (to her).
“Mother, I am the servant of Rama. Mother, I am a servant to your feet.” Yet regardless of how many words he spoke, she did not nod her head (acknowledging him). She felt bad thinking, ‘Demons take so many forms. They use so much maya (tricks of illusion). Maybe he also is immersing me in maya.’
He jumped down from the tree. Chanting the Name (of Rama) (he said), “Mother!” and he showed the ring he kept with him. Rama sent his ring to Sita as proof. Sita touched it to her eyes. “Hanuman, you are so fortunate! Did Ramachandra give this to you?” It was the ring that King Janaka gave at the time of marriage. She remembered that. She said, “Where is Rama?” She asked questions like that.
(Hanuman replied,) “Mother, He is coming, He is coming! He will take you back. You don’t need to feel bad. If you are so anxious, sit on my back, I will take you in a moment.” (Sita said,) “Hanuman, if I sit on your shoulder and reach Rama, you will also be one who did the thing that Ravana did. Therefore, I will not submit to such a bad name. Rama Himself should come. Ravana must be killed and He (Rama) should take my hand and go. Until then I will endure.” She said to tell this news to Rama’s ears. Saying these words and feeling very bad, she sent him (Hanuman) back again.
This Hanuman, unable to bear seeing the suffering (of Sita), came again to Ravana. He came and he was unable to bear it. He (Hanuman) criticized him (Ravana) in many ways. He also scolded, saying that he was a terrible sinner. “It is the fault of the people to install you as a king. If such an evil person becomes a king, the people will also become evil people like that.” Saying that, he accused him in many ways. ‘Then, there shouldn’t be any more delay. This good news should be conveyed to Rama,’ thinking that, he left.
Rama, Lakshmana and all of the monkeys were sitting on the shores of the ocean. He (Hanuman) went there, jumping down. Everyone shouted very joyfully, saying “Victory, victory, victory, victory!” “Hanuman, you have given Rama joy through your sacred service. You have brought good news. You have received auspicious news and come. May all auspiciousness come to Rama!” Saying that, all the monkeys were immersed in joy.
When they (Rama, Lakshmana and Sita) were going (into the forest), when Sita went to Anasuya, the wife of Agasthya (Athri), she gave a few saris and jewels to her (Sita). However, she put them safely somewhere. She gave the one ornament to Hanuman and sent (it with him, to be given to Rama as proof that he had met her). Rama knew about that particular ornament (that it was presented to Sita by Anasuya). When he saw it, Rama became both very happy and sorrowful also. Yet, he heard the news that she was safe. Then Hanuman told everything that had happened.


Sri Rama, hear my humble submission! Take the jewel from Sita’s head (that she gave me for You, as a token). She is standing and shivering like a parrot in a cage. All the many strong demonesses are waving swords saying that they will cut off her head. I saw Sita who was waiting anxiously (for You). Indrajit with his important (minister) Prahasta jubilantly paraded me street to street. On the streets and terraces there were big noises. I saw the demon warriors and their houses.
(Swami sings a Telugu poem)

In this way, he described to Rama everything that he saw. When he heard these words, Lakshmana took out an arrow. “Brother, get up! We should not take even a moment of rest. Immediately go! Mother Sita is suffering a lot. You should bring her and come.” Rama said, “Peace, peace, peace! We should not be hasty in everything.” He said:

Regarding the work that has to be done,
Considering well the good and bad of it,
If one does it without any thought
It will become poison.
(Telugu poem)

Sugriva sent a message to all of his soldiers: “All have to enter into Lanka. Don’t return until Ravana is killed.” Sugriva, Hanuman, Jambavanta, all of them, very important people, were afraid.
When they reached there, all of Lanka shivered. They climbed trees. They stood on the tops of mountains. Wherever one looked there were only monkeys, monkeys, and monkeys. The residents of Lanka had never seen monkeys. They said, “These forms are so strange!” They had seen the plight of Lanka that day, when Hanuman had set fire to it before. Each one was arguing among themselves.


Who is this monkey, who sent him? He is destroying our street. He is setting each house on fire. Whose house will he go to next? (He is saying,) “I am the messenger of Rama. Seeing Sita I am cooled (peaceful).” This monkey is doing this sort of thing, destroying all the houses, who sent him? He is destroying our street! It is the result of the sin that Ravana did, bringing another’s wife. The Creater gave so much strength to these monkeys, what more can I say?
(Swami sings a Telugu poem)

All the people of that town were very happy in this way. “That monkey has come again! Who is this monkey? Who sent him today?” As they were speaking like this, the entire Lanka shivered. Ministers, prime ministers, all were making their own places (homes or belongings) safe.
When it was like this, another thing happened here. Who was the one who crossed over to Lanka? Hanuman crossed over. Yet how can everyone else cross over? When it was said like that, Rama released an arrow at the sea. The sea was one who obeyed the orders of Rama. It gave a way.
All started off. They climbed upon sacred mountains. They were shouting from the mountaintops. Ravana was unable to bear that noise. Then a mighty war was going on. ‘Ravana cannot avoid being killed in this war.’ Each one was thinking that within. Lankini also was very afraid. “Why did such crazy thoughts arise in this wicked person? Not only himself, he is making all the residents of Lanka into ash.” Saying that, everyone was scolding Ravana within themselves. No one had feelings of liking Ravana.

After it happened like this, finally the war took place. This war was very terrible. There was even Indrajit who gained victory over Indra. He was the son of Ravana. He was his first, eldest son. Indrajit came to the war on the second day. When he came, he came very grandly. Seeing him, everyone thought that he was Ravana, paapam! However, it was not Ravana, he was the son of Ravana. On the third day he killed everyone, one after another. He took their lives. On the fifth day, he was like Ravana himself. No one else among the army could be seen with such power and capability.
Then, Vibhishana sat near Rama and he was saying, “Rama, you have to kill him. If you kill him, it is just like killing Ravana. Among the army of Ravana, he is very great. However, shoot the thumb on his hand. When the thumb is hit,” he himself said:

By giving away his right thumb willingly,
He became unfit to fix the arrow to the bow.
The hill tribe boy (Ekalavya) became
devoid of the wealth of archery.
This caused happiness
to the heart of Partha (Arjuna).
(Telugu poem)

In the same way as Arjuna told (his teacher to request the thumb of Ekalavya), here also he (Vibhishana) told Rama. He told Him to shoot at his thumb. However, Rama understood. If He resolves, He can shoot at anything He wants. When he shot his thumb, that chief of the army fell down.
When he fell down, Vibhishana wiped away tears. Lakshmana saw. He said, “Vibhishana, when so many people died you did not cry. Why are you crying when he died?” “Swami, he was my only son. I only have one son. Due to parental affection, tears are falling from my eyes but truly, it is good that he died. Ravana was doing so many evil actions based on his strength (based on the help of Vibhishana’s son). Hence there are so many people like that. So he explained to Rama well the actions of the son of Vibhishana.

From the second day, everyone gradually cooled off. The last day Kumbhakarna came. He shot Kumbhakarna down with one arrow. How can someone who is always sleeping, fight a war? He had a stomach full of food and eyes full of sleep. However, the body was extremely heavy. He fell down.
When Kumbhakarna fell, there was a poet in Lanka. Kalidas also had this poem. (The poet declared the following:) There were three brothers. Ravana, Vibhishana and Kumbhakarna: for all of them the second letter in the name is ‘bha’. Vibhishana: the second letter is ‘bha'. Kumbhakarna: the second letter is ‘bha’. Rabhana: the second letter is ‘bha’ (Note: in some Indian dialects ‘Ravana’ is spelled as ‘Rabhana’). Therefore, those with this letter of ‘bha’ will become bhasma (ashes).

When that was finished, afterwards Ravana came. When Ravana was coming, he himself was afraid. That first day (of Rama fighting with Ravana), He (Rama) shot one head after another (Ravana is depicted as having ten heads). When the heads dropped off, they arose again. They were coming and they were arising again. He didn’t die yet.
Then Vibhishana was saying aside (to Rama), “Swami, even if the subject of (how to) kill him is told, there is no sin. It will be very good for the country if this evil person is destroyed. I don’t desire the kingdom. However, this evil Ravana should die.” Saying that, he showed the thigh (navel). Rama shot at the thigh (navel) and in a moment Ravana fell down.
Mandodari came (Ravana’s wife). Mandodari came and was suffering a lot. “Ravana, I gave you so much advice. ‘Don’t go near another’s wife. Don’t touch a chaste wife (of another). So much sin will be amassed. You are amassing a lot of sin. Therefore, you should not do this.’ I told you this so many times. However, you didn’t listen to my words.”

They won’t listen to good words,
Even when said with the whole mind
(with heartfelt feeling).
They only give their ears to bad words.
How can such people know Me?
What is the result
though there is so much strength?
(Telugu poem)

Will such people be able to know Me? Ravana could not recognize at all. Ravana fell down. Then everyone was very joyful. Who? The monkeys. Many among the monkeys were also killed.

Then finally they were bringing Sita. However, when she was coming, Rama bent His head down. She was coming with so much aspiration to see Rama. “Ten months have passed since I saw You.” She was coming with the desire to see Rama at least once. However, Rama didn’t lift His head. All arrangements were made. Yet He told Lakshmana, “Light the fire. She has to enter into the fire. I will accept her only after the witness of the fire god says that she is blameless.”
However, Rama knows that Sita was blameless but people of the world are like crows. “They talk so many things. Therefore, if I take her again with the witness of fire, after she enters the fire, it won't be possible for anyone to say anything.” She came and did namaskaar to Rama, went around the fire three times, and she fell into it.
The fire god appeared. “Rama, Sita is blameless, blameless, blameless. She is a greatly chaste wife. She is virtuous. Don’t take any further action against her. Look here, I am standing still.” The fire stood still.
Sita was being brought to Rama. These monkeys, even before they were monkeys, “We must see her, must see her, see that great mother Sita! What is she like, what is she like?” All (the monkeys) were thus anxious, each kept jumping on one another and looking.

Then He (Rama) held Sita’s hand and in the meantime Vibhishana brought the vimana (aerial vehicle). Where is the vimana? Some people criticize saying, “Is it really the form of an airplane?” His (Ravana’s) stepbrother had a vimana. Ravana killed him (his stepbrother) and he stole this vimana.
He (Rama) sat in it. Afterwards he also made Vibhishana to sit. He said, “Dear one, you also come to Ayodhya.” Due to ample space, they also took Sugriva. Everyone sat and many leaders of Lanka also sat, and they started off to Ayodhya.
Bharata was in a lot of depression thinking, ‘in the suitable way of the present situation, He promised that He would come today. Will Rama come or not? According to the word given, Rama should come today, isn't it? Rama has to arrive here today, isn’t it so? Will He arrive or not, arrive or not, arrive or not?’ Thinking that, he was suffering a lot. He had the chariot brought and he kept it there, wanting to take Sita, Rama and Lakshmana in it.
When he came and saw, the vimana was coming. (The vehicle was named) ‘Pushpaka Vimaana’. When they were coming in that, no need to tell of the residents of Ayodhya. They were in grief due to not beholding Rama during these 14 years. No need to speak of woman, they were suffering a lot. They didn’t even take food. All were thin. A few ladies died. They were always contemplating on Rama, saying, “Rama, Rama!” They were suffering.
It happened like this and when they arrived there and got down, Bharata took a garland. They saw everything. Sugriva also came and he also saw. However, there was the second younger brother of Rama (Satrughna). So Satrughna was with Bharata. Even Bharata did not see Satrughna for many days. Closing the door in (his residence in) Nandi village, he (Bharata) was contemplating on Rama.
He took the garland and was coming. He came and Bharata first climbed on the chariot. There Satrughna became confused. Who was Rama and who was Bharata? Both looked the same. Due to contemplating on Rama during these 14 years, Bharata also became the color of a dark rain cloud. Is that one Rama or is the other one Rama? When he was confused like that, Lakshmana got up, “Look here, elder brother is here, look!” He (Satrughna) placed the garland on his elder brother (Rama). He gave a garland to his sister-in-law.
Then from there they took them in procession. In this procession, they started so many different kinds of dance. It is not possible to describe all of that. They arrived in Ayodhya. After arriving in Ayodhya, each day there was a great function. Therefore, it happened like this.

As soon as 14 years were complete, Sita and Rama arrived in Ayodhya. This is the power of the mother’s blessings. Kausalya said, “Son, may these 14 years pass like 14 minutes. You will not have any dangers at all. You are the manifested God. No one can give any difficulty to You. You will come safely and will arrive in Ayodhya.” She had said that. Then, as soon as He came (back to Ayodhya) she hugged him.
Sumitra: she was a great friend. No one can describe her good qualities as like this or like that. She saw. When she saw, she felt so much joy. Even from the beginning she was joyful. “No matter what anyone tries to do with Rama, no one can put Him in danger. No one can give even a tiny bit of pain to Rama. No one has been born in the world that can give suffering to Rama.”
Continuing to describe Him in this way, she (Sumitra) brought her daughter-in-law (Urmila) there. She brought her and said, “Dear, look! Your husband has come.” It was 14 years since she saw Lakshmana. Then she fell at his feet, “Swami, your devotion to Rama has protected you up till now. You were always contemplating on Rama. The Name of Rama has protected you.” Saying that, she was happy. She applied her sindhura (an auspicious red powder) on his feet. In those days they used to rub on sindhura.
However, it happened in that way. Kaika also came. Kaika wasn’t an evil woman. However, she knew that the demons had to be killed by Rama. When Urmila came, her mother-in-law brought Urmila close and said, “Dear, your virtues have protected my son. If you weren’t a virtuous woman, my son wouldn’t have lived.”
Four sons like gems were born: Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna. Sita, Urmila, Mandavi and Sruthakeerthi: these four daughters-in-law also were like gems. Then these four (couples) came together. Sumitra blessed all of them and she gave up her life. “Son, I stayed here thinking of you. I aspired to see you again with my own eyes, after 14 years had passed. I saw. I am fortunate.” She said this and she gave up her life.
As soon as she gave up her life, Kaika also gave up her life. Kaika also died. “I have succumbed to such disrepute. Yet this disrepute is not of my making. This is only:

Lokulu Kakulu.

The people of the world are like crows.
(Telugu poem)

“They just thought (of me) like that. Rama resolved that He should kill the demons like this.”
“When I was teaching him archery, He told me one time, ‘Auntie, I came for killing the demons. You have to make plans appropriate to this.’” For that reason, from then itself she made a master plan. Through Manthara asking (Kaika to ask) for boons like this, through granting the boons by Dasaratha like that and finally through the death of Dasaratha, Rama got good reputation. As long as Dasaratha was there, no one spoke of the great qualities of Rama. After Dasaratha died, everyone described the great virtues of Rama. So all of Ayodhya was full of auspiciousness.

Bhagavan ended His Divine Discourse by chanting the bhajan, ‘Rama Kodanda Rama…’