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Sitamarhi, Bihar - Sri Ramanin Padhayil

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The 13th episode of Sri Ramanin Padhayil began with verse from Lakshmi Tantram 28-14:

Lakshmya Saha Hrshikeso Devya Karunya-Rupaya |
Rakshaka: Sarva Siddhante Vedante Api Ca Giyate ||

Meaning: It is said in all religious systems and in the Vedanta that Lord Hrshikesa acts as the saviour only in the company of Lakshmi, Who is the very embodiment of compassion. Swami Desikan has highlighted this quote to make clear the fact that without Lakshmi, it is very difficult to convince the Lord to turn towards the Jiva. Only with the help of the most compassionate Lakshmi, one can receive benefits from the Lord.

One should understand the importance of the above verse. We all want to get rid of all troubles in our life and need to be protected in case of danger. And we also want to achieve greater heights and progress in our life. All these are not possible with the help of one's self ability, because we are not experts in all kinds of skills required to achieve these. Hence, we take help from the Almighty by surrendering to Him. It is His responsibility to take care of His world, which He has created. (The one who plants the tree, should water it and take care of it.) While protecting all of us, does He do it alone? or does he seeks help from anyone? He is capable to do all by himself, but he gets angry on seeing all the mistakes which we do. Why are we not following the right path, Bhakthi. Paramatma gets angry on the Jivatma for all these reasons. During this period, Goddess Mahalakshmi plays an important role in calming down Lord and makes HIM to shower the blessings to Jivatma.

Without Sri Lakshmi, the Lord could punish; but if Sri Lakshmi is with Him, the Lord always saves. Alwar says the Lord's nature is to protect us. Vali thinks why Sri Rama hit him unseen? After search, he tells Sri Rama that since Sri Sita was separated from Him, He was not aware what He was doing. That is why He lost His balance and hit Vali, says Vali. From this we should know that the Lord kills someone, only when His Consort Sri Thayar is not near Him. If He has to save devotees, then certainly She must be along with Him. So, when She is nearby, the Lord protects. To save devotees, enemies have to be killed. When She is nearby none can be killed. Even in our homes, the skill and work of the female head in the house decides how effectively a family is in run. Same here in Rama Avataram. Till now we have been travelling with Unmarried Lord Rama. Now it is the time for Lord Rama to get married. This event takes place in Janakapuri in Nepal. Before going there, don't we need to see the birth place of the bride Sita which is SitaMarhi. Today is a golden day. The Vedas praise Goddess Sita has

hiranya-varnam harinim suvarna-rajatas-rajam |
candram hiranmayim laksmim jatavedo ma avaha ||

Meaning: "Jatavedas is implored on behalf of the devotee to invoke Lakshmi, who is hiranya-varna, hiran-mayi, 'radiant as gold,' harini, 'reddish yellow,' who is bedecked with a necklace of gold and silver and suvarna-rajatasraja-candra, 'radiant as the moon."

We started our journey from Sonepur to reach Sitamarhi. The roads from Sonepur to Sitamarhi are in very bad shape. We started our journey from Sonepur by noon and planned to reach Sitamarhi in 4 hours i.e. by 05:00 PM. But actually we reached at 10:30 PM during 2006 Yatra and even late, at 01:00 AM during 2010 Yatra. To make the journey comfortable and pleasant, we had question and answers session, bhajans in the bus itself. During this trip, many marriages got fixed for the grand children of devotees who participated in the yatra. We are always addicted to mechanical life and this trips help us to come out from the mechanical life.

We are in Darbhanga, a district located in Bihar. Dar/Dharti means Bhoomi and Bhanga means split. Darbhanga was an ancient city of Mithila, which is an ancient cultural region of North India lying between the lower ranges of the Himalayas and the Ganges River. The Nepal border cuts across the top fringe of this region. The Gandak and Kosi River are rough western and eastern boundaries of Mithila. After crossing Darbhanga you get Sitamarhi, which is the birth place of Sita. The name Sitamarhi, derives from "Sitamahi", meaning "hermitage of Sita". It is the mythological birthplace of Sita, and the spiritual centre of many sages and saints.

In 2006, we reached Sitamarhi at 10:30 PM seeing us all in a group at late night, village people stopped us and started to enquire thinking that we are terrorists. We explained that we are coming from all corners of India on Sri Rama Anu Yatra to see the birthplace of Sita. They were surprised to see us. We all got an opportunity to stay very close to the place, where Sita Matha appeared. We all have reached the birthplace of Sita - Sitamarhi Temple. Let us all wait for the Dawn to go and see Sita and her birth place.

A verse from Tiruvaimozhi 6.10.10 by Nammazhvar:

Akala Killen Iraiyum Enru Alarmelmangai Urai Marba
Nigaril Pugazhai Ulagam Munrudaiyai - Ennai Alvane
Nigaril Amarar Muniganangal Virumbum Thiruvenkadathane
Pugalonrilla Adiyen - Un Adikkizh Amarndu Pugunthene

Meaning: Telling that she, Alarmel Manghai, will not be away from you even for a fraction of a second and stays in your chest always (nityaanapaayinee), Oh Sri Nivaasaa! The one who is unparalleled and unbounded famous lord! The one who has all the three worlds to his possession! My ruler! The peerless Devas and Rishis worship you, pay obeisance to you, and desire you at Tirumala, always, Thiruvenkadatthaane! I, - the one who has no other means and no one else for my redemption except you and only you - Your eternal servant and only yours - hereby surrender at your lotus feet. You should bless me and take me to be at your feet for ever. (azhwar in order to fulfil his desire and wish for being with the lord's lotus feet, takes Periya Piraati to his side, as Purushaakaaram and surrenders at emperumaan's lotus feet. Here, he expressed his disqualification, limitations, helplessness, and having none else to save and protect him. i.e. Having no qualifications, having disability to pursue any other means (like Jnanam, Karma, Bhakti Yogam), realizing the eternal nature of being his servant always - are the qualities to perform prapatti at divya dampati's feet. (also taking Periya Piraatti to his side and recommendation, praising her being closeness with him). This pasuram is the essence of Dwaya Manthram.

Whenever we go to temple, we should first visit Thayar Sannadhi and then Perumal Sannadhi to seek blessings. Now, we have come to Sita's birthplace to get her blessings and from here we are going to Janakapuri where the wedding took place. We have two temples located here. Earlier India & Nepal were together and this place was called Mithila Nagar which was ruled by Janaka with Janakapuri as capital. We have seen the rivers flowing in Nepal along with Gandaki, Dhaulagiri & Annapurna in our previous articles. One can find the arch while entering Sitamarhi, titled Jagath Janani Ma Janaki Janma Bhoomi, Sitamarhi

This place was used as Yagna Shala (place of fire-sacrifice) during the rule of King Janaka. In those days every King used to have a Yagna Shala to perform different kind of Yagnas like Putrakameshti Yajna, Ashwamedha Yagna, Vajapeya Yajna, Rajasuya Yajna etc. Hence, this place is an sacred place because of various Yagnas performed here. Whenever we see Yagna Shala or Fire Alter, we should prostrate before it and offer Pradakshina (circumambulation) to it. If you happen to find the Bhasma (the holy ash) in the Homa Kundam, consume a pinch of it and apply it on the forehead, which will yield you great benefits. As said earlier, we have two temples here. Let us visit one of the temple now.

We can see the model depicting the birth of Sita. Sita came out of a vessel when Raja Janaka was ploughing the field. Later, we can see the birth of Sita in detail. For now, let us have the darshan of this ramaniyamana (beautiful) temple.

In this temple the idols of Lord Rama, Sita and Laxmana are established. The Lord Hanuman here has special significance. Lord Hanuman is decorated with different types of alankarams every day and His facial expressions along with his nature also changes everyday.

Tuesdays - Ugra Roopam (fierce, terrible or powerful form)
Mondays - Soumya Roopam (polite, good looking form)
Thursdays - Guru Roopam (strict educator/teacher form)
Fridays - Vara Prasadhi Roopam (one who grants all kinds of boons/wish)

When did Lord Hanuman come here? because this is the birth place of Sita. Lord Hanuman was in Kishkinda of Karnataka, then went to Lanka, later to Ayodhya to serve Lord Rama. But Lord Hanuman didn't come here. Hanuman is the greatest yogi, a Chiranjeevi and Para Brahma Swaroopa present everywhere chanting the names of Lord Rama for the benefit of all common people. So this is the temple in the Yagna Bhoomi. Next is the pond where Sita was born. We stayed next to that place and we all felt that night that we are sleeping on our mother's lap. Like how a child likes to sleep with its mother on a simple old used saree of hers instead of bed, similarly we all had the feeling/bhagyam to sleep in that place. Hope all the readers also get the same feeling of staying there.


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