Swami VishwanandaTalk -- Ram Navami 2010
Sri Ram manifested to kill the demon, Ravana. Ravana symbolizes the great pride, the great ego. Sri Ram is a manifestation of Maha Vishnu and Sita Devi is a manifestation of Maha Lakshmi. In short, Rama manifested himself to kill the demon. Ram is a manifestation of compassion; he was always compassionate with everybody. From early childhood you will see how he was with people, different from Krishna actually. It’s the opposite; it is the same incarnation but showing two different aspects of the Lord which makes him full in itself.
When we study the name Rama, it is a very powerful name; and all the Divine names are very powerful. The name of Rama is very special and it is said that by mere chanting of the name of Rama, this Divine name, one gets liberated from the cycle of birth and death. That is why this name is a mantra which can liberate someone. That is why when you see in the Hindu Tradition when somebody dies, they always chant the name of Ram, “Sri Ram, Sri Ram, Sri Ram.” The word Rama in itself is a fullness of two Divine names:
(Ra) which is taken from: “Om Nama Na(ra)yanaya” and (Ma) which comes from “Om Na(ma) Shivaya.” From the combination of Om Nama Narayanaya and Om Nama Shivaya comes the name Rama.
This mantra is not that easy to chant actually. If you say, “We will chant it like this: Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama. It will not be easy at the end of death if you have not learned to practice chanting. You see, at the time of death, very often you are so attached to the world, you are so attached to things or to people that to free yourself, even if you are well aware that you do not wish to take another birth, it’s difficult. Because the power that this generates at the time of that last image, you incarnate like that. That is why for attachments of human beings, very often when somebody is dying the attachment is so strong in the mind, that they have the image of their children or people that they like so much. The next life when they come they come again as a human being, but to finish the karmic things into that family.
Very often people ask if human can incarnate as animal. Well, in some possibilities, yes you can. You see you are the master. The soul which is inside of you is God and he can create an aspect. Say somebody is attached to a dog which is better than attaching to a human being actually because they are more loyal and more faithful, but it creates a problem. You see if you are attached to an animal, at the end of life when you die, what will be in your image? You will think of the animal, how much you will miss the animal, how much you will miss the dog. Imagine at that moment your soul has already created its next life, what it will be. So what will it be? It can’t be a human being; you will degrade yourself into an animal state. To degrade yourself into a lower state, that does not mean that whatever you have worked as a human being has disappeared; it’s still there, but it went dormant. The same thing when the animal looks at the human being they say, “Wow, how lucky is this human being.” When the human being looks at the animal they think, “How lucky is the animal.”
This is from where the Divine names come, and where the names can liberate oneself.
Note: From Blossoming of the Heart, Ravi, Swami's cousin writes: When I visited Mauritius, we always would have a lot of fun, get into a lot of mischief and play games. One of my earliest recollections was enacting the Ramayana [story of Rama incarnation]. Swami would play the role of Rama, his sister Tina was Sita and I was Lakshmana. We would make bows and arrows from branches and try to recreate the special effects from the Ramayana television series! Together we would fire the arrows with a fire cracker attached to the end and we would pretend to attack demons in my grandparents garden (Swami's grandparents as well).