साकेते लोकनाथप्रथितगुणगणो लोकसङ्गीतकीर्तिः
नित्यश्रीर्निर्विकारो निरवधिविभवो नित्यमायानिरासो
मायाकार्यानुसारी मनुज इव सदा भाति देवोऽखिलेशः॥१-७-५७॥
–श्रीमदध्यात्मरामायणे उमामहेश्वरसंवादे बालकाण्डे सप्तमः सर्गः
sākete lokanāthaprathitaguṇagaṇo lokasaṅgītakīrtiḥ
nityaśrīrnirvikāro niravadhivibhavo nityamāyānirāso
māyākāryānusārī manuja iva sadā bhāti devo’khileśaḥ॥1-7-57॥
–śrīmadadhyātmarāmāyaṇe umāmaheśvarasaṃvāde bālakāṇḍe saptamaḥ sargaḥ
Śrī Rāma, whose virtuous qualities are well-known to all guardian deities of the regions; whose glory is chanted in all the worlds; who is personified bliss of everybody; who is ever effulgent and immutable; who is illimitably magnificent, who even though beyond Māyā, follows the customary pattern of Māyā like an ordinary human, the Supreme Lord of all, shines always in Sāketa!
This is the final shloka of Bālakāṇḍa in Adhyātma Rāmāyaṇam.
श्री प्रह्लाद उवाच
न केवलं मे भवतश्च राजन्स वै बलं बलिनां चापरेषाम्।
परेऽवरेऽमी स्थिरजङ्गमा ये ब्रह्मादयो येन वशं प्रणीताः॥८॥
स ईश्वरः काल उरुक्रमोऽसावोजः सहः सत्त्वबलेन्द्रियात्मा।
स एव विश्वं परमः स्वशक्तिभिः सृजत्यवत्यत्ति गुणत्रयेशः॥९॥
जह्यासुरं भावमिमं त्वमात्मनः समं मनो धत्स्व न सन्ति विद्विषः।
ऋतेऽजितादात्मन उत्पथे स्थितात्तद्धि ह्यनन्तस्य महत्समर्हणम्॥१०॥
दस्यून्पुरा षण्न विजित्य लुम्पतो मन्यन्त एके स्वजिता दिशो दश।
जितात्मनो ज्ञस्य समस्य देहिनां साधोः स्वमोहप्रभवाः कुतः परे॥११॥
śrī prahlāda uvāca
na kevalaṁ me bhavataśca rājansa vai balaṁ balināṁ cāpareṣām|
pare’vare’mī sthirajaṅgamā ye brahmādayo yena vaśaṁ praṇītāḥ||8||
sa īśvaraḥ kāla urukramo’sāvojaḥ sahaḥ sattvabalendriyātmā|
sa eva viśvaṁ paramaḥ svaśaktibhiḥ sṛjatyavatyatti guṇatrayeśaḥ||9||
jahyāsuraṁ bhāvamimaṁ tvamātmanaḥ samaṁ mano dhatsva na santi vidviṣaḥ|
ṛte’jitādātmana utpathe sthitāttaddhi hyanantasya mahatsamarhaṇam||10||
dasyūnpurā ṣaṇna vijitya lumpato manyanta eke svajitā diśo daśa|
jitātmano jñasya samasya dehināṁ sādhoḥ svamohaprabhavāḥ kutaḥ pare||11||
Not just mine, but [He is] the source of your strength as well O King! and Indeed the strength of all those who are strong and others
Those superior, or inferior, moving or non-moving, beginning from Brahma, ae under His control!
He is the Supreme Ishvara (controller), that One Supreme Lord, the strength of the senses, mind, body and Atma!
Indeed He creates, maintains and dissolves the Universe by His power, the Lord of the three Gunas!
Give up your Asuric tendencies and percieve everything as equal to yourself (stop discriminating); [then] there are no enemies,
Except for the mind on the wrong path! [If that can be achieved] That is the greatest worship of the limitless Lord!
Many previous demons, not defeating the six enemies (काम/kāma: desire, क्रोध/krodha: anger, लोभ/lobha: greed, मोह/moha: delusion, मद/mada: pride/arrogance, मात्सर्यम्/mātsaryam: jealousy), which [actually] steal away [everything]
For the one who has conquered the senses, who views all beings with equanimity, for such a noble soul, where are the enemies, created by own’s own delusions!?
Amazing discourse by Prahlada to Hiranyakashipu, when he asks his son who gives him the power/fearlessness to stand and argue, culminating in further fury of Hiranyakashipu and the avatara of Lord Narasimha!
सत्यं विधातुं निजभृत्यभाषितं व्याप्तिं च भूतेष्वखिलेषु चात्मनः।
अदृश्यतात्यद्भुतरूपमुद्वहन्स्तम्भे सभायां न मृगं न मानुषम्॥७-८-१७॥
satyaṁ vidhātuṁ nijabhṛtyabhāṣitaṁ vyāptiṁ ca bhūteṣvakhileṣu cātmanaḥ|
adṛśyatātyadbhutarūpamudvahanstambhe sabhāyāṁ na mṛgaṁ na mānuṣam||7-8-17||
To make true the words uttered by Prahlada, under His care, [Bhagavan Narasimha] who his omnipresent in the entire Universe and
Assuming an unseen extremely wondrous form, [emerged] in the pillar in the royal court, neither an animal, nor human!
Another wonderful shloka, that demonstrates the vatsalyam of Bhagavan, He performed his Avatara, not just to protect Prahlada, but to make true Prahlada’s statement (satyam vidhatum!). When Hiranyakashipu brags to Prahlada about his might, Prahlada merely states that Lord Vishnu is the might underlying anyone and everyone’s might! When Hiranyakashipu gets enraged and asking why the Lord does not show himself in the pillar, and smashes it with his fist, Lord Narasimha appears, to protect his dear Prahlada’s words (and of course Prahlada himself)!
मतिर्नकृष्णे परतः स्वतो वा
—श्रीमद्भागवते सप्तमस्कन्धे पञ्चमोऽध्यायः
matirnakṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
—śrīmadbhāgavate saptamaskandhe pañcamo’dhyāyaḥ
Thoughts of Krishna [do not arise in their minds] either from others’ [goading] or from their own [understanding]
Or from a combination of both, for those rooted to materialistic life.
Uncontrolled by the their senses, they enter hell again and again, repeatedly chewing the already chewed [materialistic pleasures].
The critical point here is perhaps Krishna! Why does Prahlada mention Krishna, in Kritayugam, when Krishnavatara happens only in (the very end of) Dwaparayugam?! This clearly illustrates the repetitive enactment of all avataras, in every Kalpa! Indeed, Ramavatara/Krishnavatara have occurred infinite times in the past and will occur infinitely many times in the future!
न शक्यसे वारयितुं गच्छेदानीं रघूत्तम।
शीघ्रं च विनिवर्तस्व वर्तस्व च सतां क्रमे॥ २-२५-२॥
–श्रीमद्वाल्मीकिरामायणे अयोध्याकाण्डे पञ्चविंशतितमे सर्गे
na śakyase vārayituṁ gacchedānīṁ raghūttama |
śīghraṁ ca vinivartasva vartasva ca satāṁ krame || 2-25-2||
–śrīmadvālmīkirāmāyaṇe ayodhyākāṇḍe pañcaviṁśatitame sarge
It is not possible to restrain your departure [any longer]. Depart now, Oh best amongst the Raghus!
Return soon, and tread in the footsteps of the righteous!”
Amazing! The first advice the great Kausalya gave Her Son, is to tread in the footsteps of the righteous! Surely, Lord Rama didn’t need that advice (of course, it’s for us), but Kausalya just underlines the importance of that. No wonder, this is also one of the most fundamental cornerstones of Sanatana Dharma (and the need for a Guru!). It’s also worth quoting another fantastic conversation in Mahabharata (thanks to the eloquent Vasu Srinivasan):
कः पन्थाः ? asks yakSha. “What is the road?” I would have just asked back “To where?”.
तर्क: अप्रतिष्ट: श्रुतयो विभिन्ना: न एको ऋषि: यस्य मतम् प्रमाणम् ।
धर्मस्य तत्त्वं निहितम् गुहायाम् महाजनो येन गतः स पन्थाः ॥
Yudhishtra’s first utterance is “tarkaH apratiShTaH”. A quote on which vyAkhyAna can be done for hours I guess. “Logic is baseless”. Logic has been the considered the greatest employment of human intellect since Aristotle, Plato down to the European philosophers, who have spent their lifetime only in logic. But Yudhishtra dismisses it curtly – Logic is limited, baseless and cannot be relied upon.
“srutayo vibhinnAH” – vedA-s say different things! “na eko rShiH yasya matam pramANam” – There is not a single rishi whose word is an authority! Its just a poetic way of expressing that vedA-s are interpreted differently and every rishi worth his beard has an opinion. “dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhAyAm”. The truth about dharma is hidden in a deep cave! What the Huh? Where did dharma come from? What does it have to do with logic or vedas or roads? Each rishi is attempting to explain what is “dharma”, but nobody has a single opinion about it and nobody really knows what dharma is. And then he finally ties them all beautifully – “mahAjano yena gataH saH panThaH” – the road travelled by great people is the one to follow (for mokSha)! The great ones have already figured it out, you just follow the road paved by them. yakSha was not even asking about a physical road! That is the fault of translation or misunderstanding of contexts.
यदाचरति कल्याणि शुभं वा यदि वाऽशुभम्।
तदेव लभते भद्रे कर्ता कर्मजमात्मनः॥२-६३-६॥
—श्रीमद्वाल्मीकिरामायणे अयोध्याकाण्डे त्रिषष्टितमे सर्गे
yadācarati kalyāṇi śubhaṁ vā yadi vā’śubham|
tadeva labhate bhadre kartā karmajamātmanaḥ||2-63-6||
—śrīmadvālmīkirāmāyaṇe ayodhyākāṇḍe triṣaṣṭitame sarge
Whatever one does, O Kalyani! good or bad,
The same is begotten, O gracious lady!, by the doer [as the] result of his actions.