The epitome of national unity and integrity
By His Holiness Swami Satyamitrananda Giri
Since time immemorial, Sri Ram has been associated with the Indian psyche and culture. His divine personality, superhuman sacrifice, compassion, tolerance and sympathetic attitude towards the downtrodden, have global applications. His comprehensive approach towards humanity possesses a universal dimension. He is the champion of people’s cause and the foremost pioneer of the democratic rule in the world. He did not hesitate even for a moment to renounce Sitaji, just for the sake of the opinion of one single commoner. In India, we find temples and idols of the Bhagvad Gita, Ramayan, Bhagvat, the Ganga, the Yamuna and various other deities. But no image or temple of the Hindu religion itself is available anywhere.
Millenniums ago, sage Valmiki established Sri Ram Himself as verily the Virtual Emblem of Religion. (Ramo vigrahavaan dharmah). He propounded that Sri Ram Himself is the direct embodiment of religion. His life truly epitomises the sublimity and sanctity of Valmiki’s prophetic vision. His paternal outlook towards His ‘subjects’ included everyone—the poor, the helpless, downtrodden, the outcaste and the lowborn. Sri Ram personally visited the ashrams and hermitages of the sages and rishis in the forest and sought their blessings. It was He who established the tradition of kings and rulers visiting the ashrams of pious rishis to seek their divine blessings and noble advice. He visited the hut of the lowborn Shabari and accepted the fruits offered by her, just for the sake of elevating the honour of the outcaste jungle dwellers. Unhesitatingly, He accepted Vanvasis, monkeys, bears and other such so-called uncivilised sections of the society as His assistants and employed them all in the Divine Cause. By conquering Ravana, He redeemed the nation from injustice, immorality and oppression. He emancipated the ancient Aryan culture symbolised in the form of Sita by rendering her free from the shackles of confinement and slavery of Ravana.
During the process, He constructed the first-ever ‘wonder’ of the world—the Sethu (Bridge), connecting the Indian mainland and the island of Sri Lanka, through the active contribution of 18 trillions (padmas) of monkey-warriors.
NASA, the premier American Space Agency, has unequivocally identified and accepted the existence of such an ancient ‘man-made’ bridge between India and Sri Lanka and named it as the ‘Adam’s Bridge’— little knowing that the prehistoric structure had been constructed by none other than Sri Ram Himself, who is considered to be the incarnation of the Supreme. This most unique and the rarest of the rare man-made structure not only commemorates the superhuman feat of Sri Ram, but also is the most precious monument from the Archaeological point of view as well. If at all, the tomb of Humayun, the remains at Fatehpur Sikri, the Red Fort, the Palace of Tipu Sultan and the Taj Mahal of Shah Jehan are the assets of Archaeology, the ‘Sethu Bandh’ bridge at Rameshwaram is thousand-fold more valuable for the national Archaeological history.
Some of the selfish, narrow minded and pro-caste politicians of India are trying to malign and harm the sanctity and credibility of the Sethu Bandh for their own selfish interests and for earning votes. A particular political party of India appears to be among the front liners in denouncing the very existence of Sri Ram. But when the occasion arises, the leaders from this party compete with each other to prove themselves as the most devoted Rambhaktas, whenever Ramlilas are staged either in Delhi, Patna, Mumbai or Lucknow and pose for photographs along either the members their vote-banks.
It is my most ardent appeal to the Indian society to embark once again upon the path of satyagraha in order to protect the very existence of the Hindu culture which is under serious threats. Let us all be prepared to lay down our lives if the need arises to achieve this most sacred cause. In the past, we have successfully humbled and subdued the foreign government. So, to cow-down this present government is not much of a task. The need is to rise above the narrowness of caste, creed, state, language, politics and to endeavour with unity, integrity and solidarity. Undoubtedly, through the Grace of the All-powerful Lord Sri Ram, final victory and success will be ours. Let us evoke this sense of fearless confidence and move forward towards the goal. May God bless all.
(The author is former Jagadguru Shankaracharya and founder of Bharatmata Mandir, Haridwar. He can be contacted at Samanvaya Kutir, Sapta Sarovar, Haridwar, Uttarakhand.)