Synopsis of Swamiji’s discourse on Mata Kausalya
Mata Kausalya, the glorious mother is like that splendid Eastern Horizon, so vast, so great, ever new. From this Eastern Horizon, the Sun will arise and that appearance of the magnificent Sun is likened to the appearance of Sri Ram in the lap of Kausalya Ma. The child of the solar dynasty will arise, will manifest from the Eastern Horizon.
Bandau Kausalya Disi Prachi
Kirati Jaasu Sakal Jag Maachi
Pragateu Jaha Raghupati Sasi Charu
Vishwa Sukhad Khal Kamal Tusaru
Sant Tulsidas ji writes in Sri Ramacharitamanas Balkand doha 15, Chowpai 4.
Now I do homage to Kausalya, the eastern heaven, whose glory stands diffused throughout the world. In her Raghupati became manifest, as the fair moon in the eastern quarter of the sky, to bring joy to the world and to blight the wicked, as frost blights the lotus.
Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram melodiously rang throughout the hall of Bhuvaneshwar Mandir, Queens New York. The holy name of Bhagwan Sri Ram was taken by all during the Sri Ram Katha yagna organized by Ramrup family of South Ozone Park. Thursday 24th May to Sunday 27th May created history for the first time, Sri Swamiji spoke on Ma Kausalya to the devotees in USA. About two hundred people attended daily, enjoying in the anand (bliss) of Sri Ram Katha expounded from Vyas Peeth of Sri Swamiji. Through the greatness and gloriness of Mata Kausalya of Sri Ramacharitmanas, Swamiji explained the greatness of Motherhood in Sanatan Hindu Dharma. He touched on the intrinsic Family Values of our culture and tradition through the emotional, sentimental, rousing and touching scenes of Sri Ramacharitmanas.
Swamiji, to whom Ramayana is his life breath brings Sri Ram Katha live to his audience. The devotees are indeed taken to the real living feeling of being in Ayodhya or Chitrakoot or seeing Sri Ram running in childhood with bells on his feet and around his waist. The sweetness, (madhur ras) the honeyed tones and simple style of Sri Swamiji makes it easy for the audience to understand the highest philosophy of our Vedas and holy scriptures. Not only are we transported to Sri Rama’s life in Treta yug but during katha we find the answers and messages for our mundane life in this present time of Kali yug.
Some devotees said that they sat completely absorbed in katha, so transfixed, the mind taken to another realm of consciousness that time ceased to exist. The shrota Ramesh bhaiya said, “I could not believe it when Swamiji started to chant Bhajo Govindam Bhajo Govindam indicating the katha had come to an end. I sat there for two hours in utter amazement that I didn’t even know the time went by.” The host family was so happy that next year they decided to organize another katha on Mata Ahalya. Indeed Sri Ram Katha is the philosopher’s stone. Once touched by it you get an immediate transformation and keep wanting more and more.
On the first day of Katha, Sri Swamiji explained the Who Mata Kausalya is. He touched on the katha of Sage Kashyap and Mata Aditi. They prayed for God to come as their child and was given the boon that in Treta yug, God will come to them. Sage Kashyap came as Raja Dasarath and Aditi as Mata Kausalya and in their home appeared Sri Rama.
Swamiji explained the Sri Rama’s birth katha as Raja Dasarath consulted Guru Vashishtha when he was unable to have children to secure his kingdom and on the advice of his Guru, Putreshti yagna (yagna done to secure children) was conducted by Shringhi Rishi (a specialist of this type of yagna). He said that the Guru has all the capacity to fulfill all desires of the disciple, but the disciple must first ask then the Guru will give answer. You must have some curiousity, you must begin the search and the Guru will be ready to aid you in your effort. Agni devta (fire God) appeared holding the bowl of sweet rice and handed this over to Raja Dasarath to distribute amongst the Queen Mothers. Following this blessing the mother’s became pregnant and soon after Sri Ram was born to Mata Kausalya, Bharat bhaiya to Mata Kaikeyi and Lakshman and Shatrughn to Ma Sumitra. The birth of the four princes brought delight and joy to all of Ayodhya.
Raja Dasarath, explained Sri Swamiji is a symbol of Vedas. Kausalya Ma is a symbol of gyan, Kaikeyi Ma; karma and Sumitra Ma; bhakti. There are two types of bhakti – pravritti and nivritti. Lakshman symbolizes pravritti and Shatrughn Nivritti.
During the katha Sri Swamiji brought to the audience the greatness of Sanatan Dharma as it gives highest respect to motherhood. He said that when any child is born to a mother, that mother from the stage of nari (womanhood), becomes ma (mother). Matritva(motherhood) is born with the birth of a child.
There are 16 aspects of motherhood in Sri Ramacharitmanas. Swamiji on the second day described these and said that all 16 qualities are present in one personality and that is Mata Kausalya. During this discourse Swamiji took us through the beautiful Lilas of Sri Rama with his mother. He presented the lila of one day after his mother bathed and put Sri Ram to sleep she prepared for worship, having worshipped the deity she offered her prasadam and returned to the kitchen.
When she returned to the puja room she saw her son eating the food that had been offered to the Lord. Frightened at this, she ran to the room and found him sleeping in the cradle, running out again she still saw her son eating the food in the puja room. She became bewildered at this happening. Two forms of the boy at the same time, one in the cradle and the other in the temple. Seeing his mother so confused, he smiled sweetly and then Sri Rama revelaed to his mother his wondrous universal form.
This is Aishwarya leela – that leela which this limited human mind cannot understand.
In another beautiful episode, we saw Sri Rama being summoned by his father but refuses to come but on the call of Mata Kausalya the little boy comes running towards her. Raja Dasarath here is a symbol of a gyani (man of knowledge) as explained by Sri Swamiji. He called Sri Rama as a King calls on his subjects. God will not come to the man of knowledge who has ego. Mata Kausalya is a symbol of Bhakti (devotion). On the call of the bhakta (devotee), God leaves all that he is doing and runs toward the devotee. This is Madhurya Leela.
Following this Sri Ram and Lakshman left with Guru Vishwamitra and after their return and marriage, the mothers perform Arti. Sant Tulsidas describes that blissful feeling in the hearts of the mothers as they performed Arti and describes it as:
Bastu anek nichaari hohi
Bhari pramod maatu sab sohi
Paava param tatva janu yogi
Amrita laheu janu santat rogi
Janamranku janu paaras paava
Andhahi lochan laabhu suhava
Mukbadan janu sarad chhai
Maanahu samar sur jay pai
Offerings of various kinds were scattered about them, for the mothers were as full of exultation as a Yogi who has obtained Samadhi, or a man sick all his life who has found ambrosia, or a born pauper who has come upon the philosopher’s stone, or a blind man who has regained the blessing of sight or a dumb man whose has been granted speech or a warrior who has triumphed in battle.
Purnahoti of the yagna was on Sunday 27th May. Swamiji concluded with Sri Rama’s meeting with the mothers in Chitrakoot. We saw the emotional meeting with Mata Kaikeyi and Sri Rama’s status of mind (Saral, subhaye, bhagati mati bhei) on meeting the mothers. Sri Rama first of all paid Pranam and embraced Ma Kaikeyi.
Pratham Rama Bheti Kaikeyi
Saral Subhayen Bhagati Mati Bhei
Pag Pari Kinha Prabodhu bahori
Kaal Karam Bidhi Sir Dhari Khori
Sri Rama reassures the Queen mothers that it is by the will of God, the wheel of time and destiny that this world is controlled so no one is to be blamed for what was happening.
The beautiful four day katha on Mata Kausalya was brought to a close. The devotees were indeed very very happy and enjoyed all aspects of motherhood, brotherhood and family values presented by Sri Swamiji.
On 28th May, Swamiji left New York for Trinidad and then onwards to Suriname, South America. Sri Swamiji was accompanied by Sushri Ananda.