Which is the Most Powerful Mantra?
The same question was asked by Parvati to her husband Shiva, says Padma Purana, one of the eighteen major Puranas. Shiva gave an instant reply: “Rama!”
He said: “O, Parvati Devi, just upon hearing the names starting with ‘Ra-‘ my heart gets pleased out of hint of Rama’s name!” His heart is filled with the eternal love for the name “Rama”.
“Sri Rama Rama Rameti Rame Rame Manorama; Sahasranama Tattulyam Rama Nama Varanane,” Shiva told Parvati. Chanting the name of Sri Rama just three times is equivalent to reciting the entire list of the Lord’s thousand names.
This sentence is emphasized in Vishnu Sahasranamam.
Incidentally, Rama was a devotee of Shiva.
Shiva said the two syllable mantra is even more powerful than the combined power of 100 crores (1 billion) of Mantra. “O, Parvati Devi, you should always chant the name of Rama. Whoever utters this name Rama becomes free of life-cycles and gets Moksha (liberation),” Shiva said (Skanda Purana, Nagarkhanda).
Lord Shiva tells the same to sage Narada (in Shiva Purana): “O, Sage Narada, the name ‘Rama’ is the God of all Gods, the primeval God of the universe.”
Later, Narada advised a tribal robber about Rama. It is an irony that existence chose a contemporary of Rama, a tribal robber called Ratnakar, to pen down history of Rama (Both were contemporaries). When he was confronted by the wayward dacoit, Ratnakar, Narada opened the dacoit’s eyes to the deceitful life he was leading and told him, “The sacred name of Rama will wash all your bad karma away, and you will begin a new life.” Transformed and chastened, the dacoit went into a trance, and began to utter the name that was given to him. He was lost to all sense of this world. That was how the dacoit Ratnakar became Sage Valmiki. His life was touched with divine grace, thanks to the mantra.
Krishna once told Arjuna that with full reverence and great love, all time, he chants Rama Naam. Rama is Jagatguru (Guru of the universe). “Not for a single moment, I miss chanting Rama’s name,” said Krishna.
Harita Smriti, one of the Dharma Shastras, says out of infinite names of the supreme lord, none is equal to or greater than Rama. The Sanskrit Grammar (Panini-Vykaran) says: “Only Rama’s name among all names of the supreme lord is same as “om” (Aum).
“What’s the inner meaning of Rama?”
The first syllable “Ra” represents sun in most of the ancient literature, whether it is Sanskrit (Ravi=Sun) or Egyptian (Ra = Sun god). And of course, it is clearly said Rama is a descendant of Sun (Solar dynasty or Surya Vamsa). So the syllable represents light or fire. This is not just the light of energy but also of knowledge, of enlightenment.
The second syllable “Ma”, according to some experts represents “mother” and ‘Mind’ (manas). However, it is about the self (mama or within me) and goes down to Man. You can also interpret it as matter or body.
In short, RA MA – the self (man) seeking light, enlightenment. So when you are continuously chanting…
(Excerpts from my book: MANTRAS and RITUALS: THE LOGIC OF HINDU SCIENCE. For further reading: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B093Z2M52M ) You may visit Amazon site of your respective country and search “B093Z2M52M”
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