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The whole of the Ramayana is an Epic of humanity. Humanity does not mean mankind but that which particularly characterises human nature.

It is in this sense, Sri Rama is oftentimes called the paragon of humanity, an example of the perfection of human nature.

This perfection of human nature is not inclusive of the foibles of man in his lower endowments.

In the majestic words of Valmiki with which the Epic commences, we are given a description of what this perfection of humanity is, as an answer given by sage Narada to a question put by sage Valmiki as to who is the ideal of human nature.

"Whom do you think, O sage, is the perfect embodiment of humanity in this world and can you give me an example of such a perfection?" was the question put by Valmiki to Narada.

And then, Narada commences a dignified description of a personality whom today we know and adore as Sri Rama.

That majestic feature of bodily personali…
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We observe this auspicious occasion of Sri Ramanavami as a moment of contemplation on a special spark of Divinity that made its advent on the earth.

Popularly speaking, in ancient historical times, to emphasise the historical advent of this great Divinity on earth has been the exoteric side of the Epics as people generally understand it.

This popular emphasis on the incarnations of God on earth has taken the form of Epics like the Ramayana.

We are told in the Ramayana of sage Valmiki, the earliest of these documents, that it was a history par excellence, a history of a chronological procession of divine exploits which is what we generally mean by a divine Epic.

It is believed that the earliest record of the history of Rama, the Ramayana of Valmiki, was written during the life-time of Rama Himself.

It was not a biography written later on after several years. It was composed then and there, by a contemporary of Rama, sage …

Sivananda's Personality-97.

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan

1. In The Great Bhuma Experience, the Master attempts a description of what it is alike:

I merged myself in great unending joy,
 I swam in the ocean of immortal bliss,
 I floated in the sea of infinite peace,
 Ego melted, thoughts subsided,
 Intellect ceased functioning,
 The senses were absorbed,
 I remained unawakened to the world,
 I saw myself everywhere.

2. In The Dawn of a New Life, the Master makes a further attempt to express the inexpressible.

All my sorrow is over,
 My heart is now brimming with, joy,
 Peace has entered my Soul,
 All doubt, fear and delusion have vanished,
 I was suddenly lifted out of myself,
 There was dawn of a new life,
 I experienced the inner world of Reality,
 The Unseen filled my heart and soul,
 I entered the vast, luminous Silence,
 I bathed in a flood of effulgence ineffable,
 I came on the hidden spring of all life,
 I am the Light that illumines the entire universe.

Mysticism breathes in almost every line of t…

Sivananda's Personality-96.

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan

But here and there in the Master’s writings, one does come across ebullient expressions of his spiritual experiences.

In Cup of Bliss, the Master gives an indication of his exalted spiritual stature:

Sorrow touches me not,
 Pain affects me not,
 All joy, all bliss I am,
 Eternal satisfaction I am.

The silvery moon, the brilliant sun
 Are my eyes,
 The rivers are my veins,
 The stars, mountains,
 The herbs, trees and plants,
 The Vedas and Devas,
 Are my expression, my breath.

My exhalation is this universe,
 My inhalation is dissolution,
 The world is my body,
 All bodies are mine,
 All hands, ears, eyes are mine,
 The fire is my mouth,
 The wind is my breath.
 Energy, time proceed from me,
 All beings throb in me,
 All hearts pulsate in me,
 Causation I am,
 All quarters I am,
 Quarters are my garment.

All time is now,
 All distance is here,
 I fill all space,
 Where can I move?
 No space to move,
 Infinite I am,
 Unconditioned I am,
 Bhuma I am,

Sivananda's Personality-95.

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan

The Master never gave long lectures, nor talked on high philosophy. He demonstrated the teachings of the Gita and Upanishads in every action of his daily life. That is why his teachings and writings have such an impact on the minds of people.

As a true Bhakta, the Master worshipped all Deities, respected and adored all saints, celebrated all festivals. As a Vedantin, he was always established in the non-dual God-conscious state. As a Karma Yogi, he served the Lord in all creation in whatever way he could. As a Raja Yogi, he exercised, consciously and unconsciously, various psychic and supernatural powers but again, only for the good of others.

Beneath his simple looks and unassuming answers to the questions of curiosity-mongers, lay a wealth of spiritual experience. During his days of spiritual practice—and it must be noted that he continued to practise them even after he became a sage—he appeared to have undergone a myriad spiritual practices, reap…

Sivananda's Personality-94.

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan

Another incident bears out vividly that the Master was the very embodiment of his saying: "Bear insult, bear injury."

In April 1953, a Parliament of World Religions was held at the Ashram. Major-General A.N. Sharma, an admirer of the Master, was an important personality at that time. He was a London trained cardiologist and had his residence in the Defence Colony, Delhi. He had very good contact with most of the Embassies.

So through his help, Swami Paramananda managed to get Buddhism represented by the Thai Embassy, Islam by the Afghanistan Embassy, and Christianity by some other Embassy. Mahatmas and eminent people were also invited. The parliament was inaugurated by Sri C.P. Ramaswami Iyer.

At that time there was the Atma-vijnana Bhavan, run by the Kalikambliwala Trust of Ramnagar, Rishikesh. A Swami residing there permanently was also invited. Except for one or two speakers who spoke in Hindi, all read their papers or gave talks in Eng…

Sivananda's Personality-93.

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan

Over some months, a gradual change began taking place in the Brahmachari’s nature. If Kaul approached the Master after Satsang and asked any question, or got his doubts cleared, or if he asked for some spiritual instructions, this Brahmachari would not like it. He began resenting the Kashmri approaching the Master. He would tell Kaul, "When I am here, why should you go to Gurudev?"

No one noticed this change. It went on within like a glowing ember covered by ash. It went on for several months.

One evening, as the Master was coming on his usual walk, some disciples were chatting in front of the present post office. It was twilight and soon became semi-dark. They knew that the Master would be coming now, so they stood respectfully outside to have his Darshan.

Soon they saw a swinging lantern, the signal of the Master’s approach. But they began hearing a very unusual, high-pitched voice. They were puzzled as to what was happening. As the Mast…