Today is a special festival dedicated to Tulsidas Ji Maharaj, a sacred occasion, and some tribute should be offered to him. But how can we ordinary souls offer a tribute to such a great Saint? It is beyond our capability. Our tribute to him is to speak on Shri Rama, who is the beloved of his soul. This will give him great happiness, whether he be in Saketloka or Goloka. Thus, we have to reflect on this truth known as Rama. Who was Rama? Let us look into the Vedas.
The Vedas themselves give us a meaning: ramate yoginoute nityanand cidetamani, iti rama padena para brahmabhidhiyate (Rama Tapani Upanishad) That Supreme Being in whom, yogis and self-satisfied, utterly desireless liberated souls revel (or find enjoyment) is called Rama. Then the Vedas say: bhadis bhadiya, sachmana agata svasaram jaro abhiyeti . . . subhaga-sasi yathana:suphalasasi (Rigveda) This is said by the Rigveda. Then the Vedas again say: yo ha vai sri rama chandrah: sa bhagvan (Rama Tapani Upanishad).
This Ramachandra of Ayodhya is God, Bhagavan. What is this Bhagavan? Bhagavan is He in whom six opulence’s reside to an infinite degree (i.e. beauty, strength wealth, fame, intelligence and renunciation, according to Parashar Muni). That God manifests in three ways. We do not have three Gods; there are three undifferentiated manifestations of one God:vadani tattvaridastattvam yajjnamam advayam, brahmeti paratmeti bhagavaniti sabhyati (Bhagavatam)
Veda Vyasa says that God's one form is known as Bhagavan, one is known as Paramatma and one is known as Brahm. These are three forms of which Brahm occupies the lowest position. This is the feature which is formless, without qualities or attributes and its worshippers are the jnanis. This Brahm has all powers, but they remain unmanifest; it simply exists. Shankaracharya and his followers have described it in detail: udasina: stabdha: statamguna: sanga rahita: This Brahm is indifferent and does not do anything. adrastam vyarhayam aggrahyam alakihanam achirtyam arypds tam ekatma pratya saram
Put a “cannot” in front of everything to describe Him. He cannot be seen, cannot be heard, cannot be smelt, cannot be tasted, cannot be felt, cannot come into your thoughts; cannot be determined. Such a Brahm is useless as far as we are concerned. What could we do with Him?
To be continued . . .
An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
18 August 1999
© Radha Govind Samiti