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Hajipur (Vishala Nagaram), Ram Chowda - Sri Ramanin Padhayil

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The 12th episode of Sri Ramanin Padhayil was started with below sloka:

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare

Lord Hari/Vishnu takes various avatars in the form Lord Sri Rama, Kannan etc. If He is located at a very faraway place, where we cannot reach Him, then we cannot get in contact with Him. Hence, being kind to us, He comes down to the place, where we are located. The Ganges river of India - the goddess Ganga, came down to the earth from the skies to help us from getting rid of our sins and to attain salvation. Likewise Lord Hari, also comes to the place where we are. Lord Vishnu not only resides in Vaikuntha (Eternal Home of Lord Vishnu), He takes the form of Lord Sri Rama in Ayodhya and many other forms in various places for the sake of human's well being.

Sri Rangam
Thirupanlawar has composed 10 verses known as Amalanadhipiran on the lord of Sri Rangam. Let us see the 10th verse from it.

Kondal vannanai kovalanaai vennai unda vaayan
ennullam kavarndhaanai, anda kon ani arangan
en amudhinai kanda kangal matronrinai kaanaave

Meaning: My (mortal) eyes which (now) have seen my nectar in the form of Sri Ranganatha with the color of the blue clouds, whose mouth ate butter, when He incarnated as a cowherd, who stole my heart, who is the (undisputed) ruler of all the worlds and their residents. These eyes of mine will not see anything else.

How did Alwar get such dedication with Lord? We have committed to many things in this world, but not to the extent like Thirupanlawar. He tells us the reason for this, in his first verse of Amalanadhipiran.

Amalanadhipiran Adiyarkku Yennai Aatpaduttha Vimalan
Vinnavar Kon Viraiyar Pozil Vengkadavan
Nimalan Ninmalan Nithi Vanavan Nilmathil Aranggaththu Amman
Thiruk Kamala Patham Vanthu Enkanninullana Okkinrathe

Meaning: My sacred Lord , who made it possible for me to become the servant of His Bhaagavathas.
He, (1) the ever pure, (2) the primordial being, (3) the great benefactor, (4) the ever-blemishless One consigning me to the service of the devoted, (5) the Lord of the Celestials, (6) the resident of Venkatam with fragrant groves, (7) the One who has no faults, (8) the One remaining unaffected by the faults (of His devotees), (9) the One residing in righteous Paramapadham, (10) my Lord and Leige of Arangam with long ramparts - His radiant lotus FEET appear as if they have come into, and are in my eyes.

Lord Rama leaves Ayodhya, likewise Kannan leaves Mathura and travels to Gokulam, Nandagram, Dwarka, Kurukshetra, Indraprastha. If Lord is just in one place, very few will obtain the benefits, so Lord He himself attempts to travel and meets the people. This is the basis of Sri Ramanin Padhayil.

Verse from Periya Thirumozhi 3.5.1 by Thirumangai Azhwar:

Vandhu Unadhu Adiyen Manam Pugundhaay,
Pugundharpin Vananghum En Chinthanaikku Iniyaay...

Meaning: My Lord! My Life! You came to my place! You entered into my heart (who is Your Servant always). After entering into me, You have become so sweet and nectarine to my mind.

Now let us continue the journey in footsteps of Lord Rama.

Vishwamitra along with Lord Rama and Lakshmana started his journey from Ayodhya.

Day 01 : They all spent the night on the banks of river Sarayu.

Day 02 : They all spent the night in Kamashram.

Day 03 : After killing demon Tataka, they all stayed at Tataka Vanam (Forest).

Day 04 - 09 : Sage Vishwamitra performed the great Yagna (fire sacrifice) for period of six days at Siddhashram/Vamana Ashram.

Day 10 : After completing the Yagna successfully, all took Avabrutha Snanam (sacred bath) and spent the night in Siddhashram.

Day 11 : They all left Siddhashram and reached the banks of river Son and spent the night there itself.

Day 12 : Crossed the river Son and reached the south end of river Ganga and stayed on the banks of river Ganga. On the 12th day night many important stories were narrated to Lord Rama and Lakshmana by Sage Vishwamitra - The birth of river Ganga, Vishwamitra's own story and birth of Lord Murugan.

Day 13 : They all crossed the river Ganga and reached Hajipur (Vishala Nagaram) located near today's Patna city (capital of Bihar State).

Thirumazhisai Azhwar asks the Lord below verse:

Nadantha Kaalgal Nonthatho Nadungu Nyaala Menamaaya
Kidantha Mei Kulungavo Vilangu Maal Varaichuram
Kadantha Kaal Parappik Cauverik Karaik Kudanthaiyul
Kidantha Vaare Ezhunthirunthu Pesu Vazhi Kesavane

Meaning: The Azhwar addresses the Lord here rather abruptly and asks Him : "O Lord resting on the banks of the wide Cauveri river! What is the reason for You to be so fatigued and needing this profound rest? Is it because of the enormous exertions arising out of Your wandering in the Dandaka forest as Sri Rama or Is it because of carrying your gigantic body of Yours during the incarnation as the Varaha Peruman? Please explain to me the reason why You are resting here so exhausted? Please raise Yourself up from Your reclining position and speak to me".

Hajipur (Vishala Nagaram):

Ikshvaku vamsha's king Vishala had built this city. This town Hajipur is located at a distance of 10-12 Kms from Patna. When Sri Rama visited this city on his way to Mithila (Janakpuri) in Nepal, King Sumathi invited Rama and Lakshmana with great reverence for the lads. There exists a temple in this place that contains the footprint of Sri Rama. Rama and Lakshmana stayed here on the 13th night after they left Ayodhya. 'Ram Chowda' is the name of the temple that enshrines Sri Rama's footprints, Rama is said to have stood here on his visit to King Sumathi's Vishala Nagar. From this place, Sri Rama is said to have left directly to Mithila.

Ram Chowda
Ram Chowda
Ram Chowda
Lord Rama has come here and the king of Vishala Nagaram was upset that Lord Rama came all the way walking, depicting this we can see Sri Rama's sacred feet. Sage Vishwamitra replies to King Sumathi "Though they are prince they need to acquire strength to enable them to fight in later stages of life. Hence I brought them by walk which also given them an opportunity and exposure to see the people, places, forest, rivers, mountains etc. Tonight we shall stay here in your kingdom".

One can see two pairs of foot prints here. One is old, when compared to other. We can assume that one is Lord Rama's foot print and other is Lord Lakshmana's. We should not get into argument of discussing on when was this foot print installed (Was it installed during Lord Rama's period?). It is true that Lord Rama had come to this place. So the place is important. These footprints serves only as an identity for this place.

14th day they all start from here. 15th day they reach Janakapuri. Lord Rama went directly to Janakapuri from Vishala Nagaram. But we are going to take an small diversion to see few more places.

1. Sonepur - This is the place where Ganga and Gandaki rivers meet together. This place had been the site of the famous 'Gajendra Moksha' of olden times.

2. Sitamari - The birthplace of Sita, located in Dharbhanga district, Bihar (near the borders of Nepal), where Sita emerged from the ground. This place is the yagna-shala for king Janaka, where he performed yagnas. There are 2 temples dedicated to Sita at this place, one at either corner of the yagna-shala. The Hanuman at the Sita-Rama temple is decorated uniquely every single day. Sita and Rama did not visit here after marriage, as this is just the birthplace of Sita. there was a king called nimi. He requested Vashishta to perform a yagna for him for the birth of progeny. Vashishta told him to wait as he had other duties at the time. Nimi couldn't wait patiently, instead he started performing yagna with other rishis. Vashishta cursed him to go 'bodyless' or 'Videha'. Since this Sitamari is under the province of Videha king, Sita is known as 'Vaidehi'. Though he became bodyless, the other rishis had performed yagna for him to get progeny and this has to take effect. Therefore, the other rishis churned through the bodyless Videha (like devas did in Samudra manthana) and brought forth his child - Janaka. Since Sita is born to Janaka, she earned the name of Janaki.


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