Lord Ram on the Monsoons
Compiled by: Devender Rana and Akrita Reyar
Perhaps, the greatest and the most joyous read on the Monsoons is its description by Lord Ram as tabulated by Saint Tulsidas in the Ram Charit Manas. The Lord, while in exile, spends a few months on the Prabarasana hill before journeying to Lanka to rescue Sita. Seated in a cave with only haystack as a cushion on a stony bench, Lord Ram gives an intimate discourse to his brother Lakshman on seasons as they pass by. The unique feature about the oration is how it touches both the physical exquisiteness of the rain and also lends a metaphorical meaning to it. The lines below are taken from Kishkindha Kand and are intrinsically linked to our experiences in life. The beauty is in discerning the multiple roles Lord Ram takes on during the recitation – appearing utterly human in some places, saintly in other, sapient mostly, and revealing himself as an Avatar only rarely. Chopai.: Phatik Sila Ati Subhra Suhai, Sukha Asina Taha Dvau Bhai Kahata Anuja Sana Katha Aneka, Bhagati Birati Nrpaniti Bibeka. Barsa Kala Megha Nabha Chae, Garajata Lagata Parama Suhae. (12 (3B-4)) There was a glistening rock of crystal, on which the two brothers sat at ease. (12 3B) Sri Ram gave a discourse to His younger brother on many a topic such as devotion, dispassion, statecraft and spiritual wisdom. As the rains had set in, the sky was overcast with clouds, which made a delightful rumbling noise. (12 (4)) Doha.: Lachimana Dekhu Mora Gana Nãcata Barida Pekhi, Grhi Biratirata Harasa Jasa Bisnu Bhagata Kahü Dekhi. (13) Look here, Laksmana: the peacocks dance at the sight of the clouds, just as a householder having a leaning towards dispassion would rejoice to see a devotee of Bhagavan Visnu.” (13) Chopai: Ghana Ghamada Nabha Garajata Ghora, Priya Hina Darapata Mana Morã. Damini Damaka Raha Na Ghana Mahi, Khala Kai Priti Jatha Thira Nãhi. (1) Barasahi Jalada Bhumi Niaraé, Jatha Navahi Budha Bidyã Pae. Bunda Aghata Sahaht Giri Kaisé, Khala Ke Bachana Sant Sahae Jaisé.. (2) Chhudra Nadi Bhari Chali Tor'i, Jas Thoreht Dhana Khala Itarãi. Bhomi Parata Bhá Dhabara Pani, Janu Jivahi Maya Lapatani.(3) Samiti Samiti Jala Bharahi Talava, Jimi Sadaguna Sajjana Pahi Ávã. Sarita Jala Jalanidhi Mahi Jai, Hoi Acala Jimi Jiva Hari Pai. (4) “The roaming clouds are thundering so terribly in the sky. Bereft as I am, of my darling (Sita), my heart trembles to see all this. The lightning flashes fitfully amid the clouds, like the friendship of the wicked, never endures. (1) The pouring clouds cleave close to the ground even as the learned stoop beneath acquired intellect. The mountains endure the buffeting of showers just as a saint would put up with the words of the wicked. (2) The swelling streamlets rush with great speed just as the petty would feel elated even with a small fortune. The water becomes turbid the moment it descends on earth, even as the Jiva (an embodied soul) is enveloped in Maya(illusion) as soon as he is born. (3) The water coming from various directions gathers into a pool even as commendable virtues find their way into the heart of a noble soul. The water of the stream, becomes still once it enters into the ocean, just as the ego finds eternal rest on attaining union with God. (4) Doha: Harit Bhumi Trna Samkula Samujhi Parahi Nahi Pantha, Jimi Pakhanda Bãda Té Gupta Hohi Sadagrantha. (14) “The green earth is so choked with grass that the tracks cannot be distinguished, just as holy books are obscured by heretic doctrines. (14) Chopai: Dãdura Dhuni Chahu Disa Suhãi, Beda Padhai Janu Batu Samudai. Nava Pallava Bhae Bitapa Aneka, Sadhaka Mana Jasa Mile Bibekä.1. Arka Javasa Pata Binu Bhayag, Jasa Surãja Khala Udyama Gayao. Khojata Katahi Milal Nahi Dhori, Karai Krodha Jimi Dharamahi Duri.2. Sasi Sampana Soha Mahi Kaisi, Upakari Kai Sampati Jaisi, Nisi Tama Ghana Khadyota Biraja, Janu Dambhinha Kara Milã Samàja.3. Mahabrsti Chali Phuti Kiari, Jimi Sutantra Bhaé Bigarahi Nãri. Krsi Niravahi Chatura Kis'nã, Jimi Budha Tajahi Moha Mada Mana.4. Dekhiata Chakrabaka Khaga Nãhi, Kalihi Pai Jimi Dharma Parahi. Ushara Barasai Trna Nahi Jama, Jimi Harijana Hiyà Upaja Na Kama.5. Bibidha Jantu Samkula Mahi Bhrãjà, Praja Barha Jimi Pal Surajã. Jahà Taha Rahe Pathika Thaki Nanã, Jimi Indriya Gana Upajé Gyana.6. ‘On all sides one hears the delightful croaking of frogs, which reminds one of a batch of religious students chanting the Vedas. Clothed with new leaves the trees of different species look as green and cheerful as the mind of a striving soul who has attained spiritual wisdom. (1) The leaves of the Arka and Javasa plants have fallen off just as under a good government the plans of the wicked come to naught. Dust cannot be found even if one searches for it, just as piety is scared away by anger. (2) The earth rich with crops appears as delightful as the wealth of a generous man. In the thick darkness of the night fireflies gleam like a mustered band of hypocrites. (3) The embankments of the fields have been breached by torrential rains just as women get spoiled by freedom. Clever farmers weed out the grass from their crops, just as the wise discard infatuation, vanity and pride. (4) The Chakravaka birds are no more to be seen, just as virtues disappear with the Kali age. Even though it rains on the barren lands as well, not a blade of grass sprouts on it, just as concupiscence takes no root in the heart of a servant of the Hari.(5) The earth looks charming with the swarms of various living creatures even as the population grows under a good king. Many a weary traveller has stopped here and there just as with the dawning of wisdom the senses become still. (6) Doha: Kabahu Prabala Baha Mãruta Jahá Tahá Megha Bilãhl, Jimi Kaputa Ke Upajé Kula Saddharma Nasahi. Kabahüdivasa Mah' Nibira Tama Kabahüka Pragat Patanga, Binasai Upajai Gyana Jimi Pai Kusanga Susanga.(15) “Sometimes a strong wind would blow and disperse the clouds in various directions, just as with the birth of an unworthy son the noble traditions of a family get extinct. Now it becomes pitch dark even during the day, while at other times the sun would shine brightly, just as the light of wisdom is obscured in the company of the vile and manifests itself in the company of the good. Chopai: Barasa Bigata Sarada Ritu Ayi, Lachimana Dekhahu Parama Suhãi. Phulé Kasa Sakala Mahi Chai, Janu Barasa Krta Pragata Budhái. (1) Look here, Laksmana: the rains are over now and the most charming autumn has arrived. The whole earth is covered by the Kasa grass with its white flowers as if the rainy season has exposed its old age. (1) And thus autumn gently steps in……
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