Ayodhya, 29 August: The President Kovind has said that Ayodhya without Ram is not Ayodhya. Ayodhya is where Ram is. Lord Ram is sitting in this city forever. Therefore this place is Ayodhya in the true sense.
President Ram Nath Kovind was addressing people after inaugurating the Ramayana Conclave at Ramkatha Park in Ayodhya on Sunday.
The President said that the literal meaning of Ayodhya is ‘with whom it is impossible to fight’. Due to the might and power of Raghuvanshi kings like Raghu, Dilip, Aja, Dasharatha and Rama, their capital was considered invincible. Therefore the name ‘Ayodhya’ of this city will always be meaningful.
He said that in the Ramayana, along with philosophy, there is also a model code of conduct, which guides us in every aspect of life. What should be the behaviour of a child with parents, brother with brother, husband with wife, teacher with disciple, friend with friend, King with public and human being with nature and animals and birds Should, on all these dimensions, the code of conduct available in the Ramayana, guides us on the right path.
The President said that Ramcharitmanas (Epic poem in Awadhi language, composed by the 16-century Indian bhakti poet Tulsidas) describes both an ideal person and an ideal society. In ‘Ramrajya’, along with economic prosperity, a very simple and heart-wrenching description of the superiority of conduct is found – नहिं दरिद्र कोउ, दुखी न दीना। नहिं कोउ अबुध, न लच्छन हीना।। In such a deprivation-free ideal society, even the mentality of crime had vanished. There was no need for penal legislation. There was no discrimination of any kind.
The President gave the example of the ‘chaupai’ of Ramcharitmanas that ‘ दंड जतिन्ह कर भेद जहँ, नर्तक नृत्य समाज। जीतहु मनहि सुनिअ अस, रामचन्द्र के राज॥
He said that this divine is a basis of the coward’s mind, that is, a way of giving solace. Only lazy people cry for luck. With the help of such hymns, people go on making their way in life.
Ramnath Kovind said that the lines of Ramcharitmanas instil hope in people, infuse inspiration and spread the light of knowledge. The lines of Chaupai inspire to be hardworking by giving up laziness and fatalism, ‘कादर मन कहुं एक अधारा। दैव दैव आलसी पुकारा।।
The President referred to the statement of Goswami Tulsidas about the importance of Ramkatha, ‘रामकथा सुंदर करतारी, संसय बिहग उड़ावनि-हारी, which means, the story of Rama is the sweet clap of the hand, which drives away the birds of doubt.
He said that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore had said that Ramayana and Mahabharata, both these texts, have visions of the soul of India. It can be said that the ideals of Indian life values, their stories and teachings, are contained in the Ramayana. Ramayana is such a unique book which presents the high ideals and limits of human life in front of the world community through Ramkatha.
The President expressed confidence that this effort of the Uttar Pradesh government for the promotion of Ramayana will prove to be important in the interest of Indian culture and the entire humanity.
President Kovind said that Ram resides in Ramayana. Maharishi Valmiki himself has said about this immortal epic Ramayana – यावत् स्था-स्यन्ति गिरय: सरित-श्च महीतले तावद् रामायण-कथा लोकेषु प्र-चरिष्यति, which means as long as the mountains and rivers exist on the earth, the story of Rama will remain popular. The popularity of Ram Katha is not only in India but overseas. There are many readable forms of Ramkatha like Goswami Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas in North India, Kritivas Ramayana in the eastern part of India, Kamban Ramayana in the South.
The President mentioned the presentation of Ram Katha in many countries of the world and said that the Ramlila of Bali island of Indonesia is particularly famous. In many countries, including Maldives, Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, Nepal, Cambodia and Suriname, Indian Diaspora have kept the Ram Katha and Ramlila alive. The literary, spiritual and cultural influence of the Ramayana is seen in a large section of humanity. Respect and love for Rama and Rama is reflected not only in India but in many folk-languages and folk-cultures of the world.
He said that ‘I understand that when my parents and elders would have named me in my family, then all of them would probably have the same reverence and affection for Ram Katha and Lord Ram as seen in the common folk.
The President added in his speech that the context of ‘Ram-bhakt Shabri’ in the Ramayana gives a unique message of social harmony. The union of Shabri and Lord Rama, the disciple of the great ascetic Matang Muni, is a wonderful example of a discrimination-free society and the divinity of love. During his exile, Lord Rama did not call an army from Ayodhya and Mithila to fight. He made his army by collecting ‘Kol-Bhil-Vanar’ etc. From Jatayu to Squirrel included in his campaign that intensified love and friendship with the tribals.
The President said that in order to prove the significance of this Ramayana Conclave, it is necessary that the basic ideals of Ram-Katha should be propagated everywhere and everyone should adopt those ideals in their practice.
He said that all humanity is the child of only one God, this feeling should pervade the people, and this is the success of this event.
“I would like to mention a very popular chaupai of Ramcharitmanas ‘ सीय राममय सब जग जानी, करउँ प्रनाम जोरि जुग पानी। The meaning of this line is that knowing the whole world as God, we should accept everyone with respect. Let us all see Sita and Rama in every person. Ram is everyone, and Ram is in everyone. Let us all fulfil our obligations with this warm thought.
The President said that Mahatma Gandhi had imbibed the ideals of Lord Ram in public life. In fact, the Maryada Purushottam form of Lord Rama described in the Ramayana is the source of ideal for every person. Gandhiji has given the name of Ramrajya to his vision of ideal India. The name of Ram is very important in the life of Bapu.
It is noteworthy that the Ramayana Conclave will be held from today to November 1 at different places in the state in different phases. In the morning session in the conclave, there will be lectures and discussions on various episodes of Ramayana by distinguished storytellers and scholars of Ramayana.
At the same time, high level cultural presentations related to Ramayana and Ramkatha will be completed in the evening session. Various contexts of Ram Katha will be presented through Ramlila and Poetry Conventions (Kavi Sammelan) of folk dialects.