SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
parASaran, vyAsan, vEdha valli, and aththuzhAi come to ANdAL pAtti’s (grandmother’s) house.
ANdAL pAtti: Come children, wash your hands and feet. Sit down, and I’ll give you fruits as perumAL’s prasAdham. We have been learning many stories together. Today we will experience SrI rAma’s life from kulaSEkara AzhwAr’s arulichcheyal (pAsurams).
vyAsan: kulaSEkara AzhwAr had unbounded affection and bhakthi toward rAma. I’m really excited to learn about his experience with SrI rAma.
Attuzhai: pAtti, what was the reason for SrIman nArAyaNa to incarnate as SrI rAma?
ANdAL pAtti: Let me tell you. All the dhEvas led by indhra went to pArkkadal to see emperumAn. indhra stated how the asuras were tormenting them and all the humans in the world. After indhra and the dhEvas performed SaraNAgathi to emperumAn, SrIman nArAyaNa promised that He would protect the good and destroy the evil forces by coming to the earth as rAma.
parASara: To destroy asuras, perumAL could have simply defeated them from his abode SrIvaikuNtam. Why did He come to the earth to do so pAtti?
ANdAL pAtti: Good question my child. Just by his sankalpam (thinking), emperumAn can destroy the asuras. But He takes an incarnation to primarily protect His bhakthas from evil and establish dharma. Though He is the supreme being and cause for the whole universe, SrIman nArAyaNa hides this and comes down to earth as a human. SrI rAma served as the role model for how a human should live their life.
aththuzhAi: pAtti, I remember you telling us that SrIman nArAyaNa is our first AchArya. When He took birth as rAma, where was He born and whose son was He? I’m very eager to know the principles He stood for and what He taught to mankind.
ANdAL pAtti: Yes aththuzhAi, nArAyaNa was born to dhaSaratha and became a Scion of the ikshvAku dynasty. rAma protected the dhEvas from the asurAs’ torments. In his perumAL thirumozhi, kulaSEkara AzhwAr praises rAma as “vengadhirOn kulaththukkOr viLakkAyth thOnRi viN muzhudhum uyakkoNda vIran”. SrI rAma was born in the illustrious Solar dynasty and brought even more fame to his dynasty. He also removed the troubles of dhEvas. emperumAn’s glory is so great that even great sages and yogis cannot see him fully. That emperumAn, out of his infinite compassion, came down on this earth as a human to show us how to live a proper life. rAma had innumerable kalyANa gunas (divine qualities). rAma had the utmost respect for his parents and gurus. When mingling with others, rAma never looked at their status and whether they were inferior or superior. He would be friendly to all and speak politely. rAma would be keen on completing his tasks on time. He would perform his duties without fail. rAma would speak nothing other than the truth. rAma will always protect those who come to him for refuge. Learning about rAma’s life itself will give us valuable knowledge. nammAzhwAr in his thiruvAimozhi states “kaRpAr irAma pirAnai allAl maRRum kaRparO.” For those who seek valuable knowledge, why go anywhere else than rAmayana. If we follow the path of rAma, then we will also have a fulfilled life.
ANdAL pAtti: Long time ago, king dhaSaratha, who was in the lineage of the ikshvaku dynasty, ruled over ayOdhyA. dhaSaratha was powerful king who had matchless valour and strength. He kept his subjects happy and his kingdom prospered. But dhaSaratha had one big regret: He didn’t have a heir to the throne. He thought of performing an aSwamEdha yAga to beget a son. So dhaSaratha called his minister sumanthra and ordered him to bring all his gurus to help him perform it. sumanthra brought sUyajna, vAmadhEva, jAbAli, and kAshyapa to dhaSaratha’s palace. dhaSaratha welcomed the great sages with hospitality and told him about his intention to perform the yAga. He requested their help to successfully perform the yAga to get a son. As per his wishes, the sages performed the aSwamedha yAga along with puthrakAmEshti yAgam. After a year, dhaSaratha’s wives bore sons as a result of the yAgams. SrI rAma was born to kausalyA dhEvi, bhAratha was born to kaikEyi, lakshmaNa and Sathrugna were born to sumithrA.
vEdhavalli: Oh wow, so emperumAn came as dhaSaratha’s son to destroy evil in this world?!
After hearing about the kalyANa gunas of SrI rAma, the children expressed that they also want to imbibe these qualities in their life.
ANdAL pAtti: Very happy to hear this. From a young age, if you develop these good qualities, you can become very successful in life.
The children then went home the whole time thinking about SrI rAma’s virtues
adiyEn akshay bAlAji rAmAnuja dhAsan
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