Lord Shiva Narrates the Ramcharitmanas to Parvati Devi | Goswami Tulsidas and Ramcharitmanas

Glory Of Sages-Part-4

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Sri Sati, being the daughter of Kind Daksha, the Son of Sri Brahma, could not be relieved from the defect of bodily ego. The entire Ramcharita Manas finds its beginning in the story of Lord Shiva and Sri Sati. Once Lord Shiva, along with His eternal consort Sri Sati, walked through the jungles of Dandakaranya, in the modern state of Maharashtra, in order to take the benefit of Rama katha (राम कथा The stories of Lord Ram). It is interesting to note that Lord Shiva, is known as the Acharya (आचार्य teacher) of Rama Katha and here He is, trying to hear Rama Katha from the sages of Dandakaranya. The Ramcharita Manas opens with the statement that there are four orators of Rama Katha, in all. In the first case when Lord Shiva renders the story of Lord Rama to Mother Parvati, he begins by saying that, this is the tale that has been rendered by the crow-sage Kagabhushundi to the king of eagles, Sri Garuda. When Sri Kagabhushundi renders the tale of Lord Rama to Sri Garuda, he begins by saying that I am rendering the same tale of Sri Rama that Lord Shiva rendered to his wife Parvati. When Sri Yajnavalkya renders the tale to his disciples, he says I am narrating the story of Sri Rama, the same one which Sri Kagabhushundi narrated to Sri Garuda and which Lord Shiva narrated to his dear consort Sri Parvati. When Goswami Tulsidas is narrating the tale of Sri Rama, he says that I am narrating the same tale of Sri Rama, which I have heard from my Guru. Now who can decipher the beginning of the tale of Sri Rama? Hence there is no chronological sequence to the tales of Sri Rama, it is a narrative with no beginning nor end. The whole world proclaims that it is only Lord Shiva who is the original narrator of Rama Katha, but Lord Shiva, never accepts this position in all humility.

When someone approached Goswami Tulsidas and praises him for the great work Sri Ramcharita Manas, he says that I am a mere parrot who is reciting the verses of this great work, as the Master taught him. Now since Goswami Tulsidas is taking the position of a parrot who recites the high class verses of a great work, one gets interested in knowing about the master who has trained this parrot named Goswami Tulsidas. The answer to this question is that it is indeed Lord Sri Ramachandra, who is the Master, teacher; who has trained this parrot known by the name of Goswami Tulsidas.


Continuing the story of Lord Shiva; Lord Shiva enters the jungle of Dandakaranya to hear Rama Katha from the lotus mouth of Sri Agastya, accompanied by his consort Sri Sati. As a background to this interesting tale, it would be worthwhile to compare the original abode of Lord Shiva, Mount Kailash and the forests of Dandakaranya, where Lord Shiva has descended in order to hear the tales of Lord Rama. It is to be understood that Lord Shiva was the original, the most ancient narrator of the tales of the Ramayana. When he was the orator, he even did not have an audience for His very first narration. With the desire to narrate the tales of Rama, he wandered in the mountains of Kailash. He was overjoyed to find a lone Banyan tree. He was happy that he had found His audience. Now here is an orator, who goes all by Himself and clears the space beneath the tree, with His own hands and creates his own seating place under the tree. Have we heard of any popular orator who, all by himself makes his own seating place before an oration? Here is, the most ancient being, the greatest of Gods, Lord Shiva, the original Guru, the Master of all spiritual masters, clearing the space under the banyan tree all by Himself. It is at this time, that Sri Parvati finds Her husband ready to deliver the Ramcharita Manas. She takes full advantage of this golden opportunity and rushes to seat Herself at His feet and takes Her position as the second person other than the Banyan tree to hear the immortal tale of Sri Rama.

The point made about the location of Mount Kailash is that, it was an ideal circumstance when the orator, Lord Shiva considered Himself fortunate that He was blessed to have a banyan tree and Srimati Parvati as His audience, while the Banyan Tree and Srimati Parvati felt that they were blessed to hear the tales of Lord Rama from the Lotus mouth of the God of gods, Lord Shiva. There is a metaphysical aspect in this theory of satsanga (सत्संग). When the orator considers that the audience is superior to him and considers them as a representative of the Supreme Lord and also the audience feels, at the same time that the orator is a representative of the Lord who is delivering the tales of the Lord, a divine confluence emanates from such an association, the ideal satsanga. On the other hand, if the orator feels superior and claims his stake for having been offered the position as a speaker in satsanga, only his ego shall speak and the results of such an association shall only poison the mood of satsanga. On the other hand if the audience feels that they know much about the subject and do not take a subservient position, their corrupted minds shall doubt the knowledge of the speaker and all the purity of the satsanga will be filtered away thus leaving a bad taste, for an experience. Hence Mount Kailash, is a representation of such a place where both the orator and the audience have considered the other, as being the direct representatives of the Lord and therefore the confluence of satsanga in Mount Kailash, stands unrivalled in its supramundane mood.