We are in Chitrakoodam, located in Northern part of India. Similarly we have one is south known as Thillai Nagara Thiru Chitrakoodam - Chidambaram. One can see stunning dance posture of Lord Nataraja and Govindarajan is seen in a sleeping posture with his face directed towards Nataraja in the Northern direction. Kulasekara Azhwar relishes singing the entire Ramayanam in his last set of verses in Perumal Thirumozhi. The whole Ramayanam is beautifully narrated in just 11 verses and is sung referring to Thirucchithrakootam Diyya Desam Perumal. The same Lord Sri Rama resides here in this divya desam permanently. Thillai Thirucchitrakootam Pasurams of Kulasekhara are nothing but Sampoorna Ramayanam. The same chitra kootam Rama resides with Sita and Lakshmanan. He salutes the Lord as the one, who enjoyed the bliss with Sita Devi at the foot hills of Chitrakootam. Kulasekhara was moved by the beauty of Tillai nagar that he was reminded of the beauty of the Chitrakootam of the north and called Thillai as Thiruchitrakootam. He is a great Rama Bhaktha and hence moved by the beauty of the Archa murthy of that Kshetram. He saw in Govinda Raja Sri Ramachandra and composed his Sampoorna Ramayanam then and there.
These verses have enshrined themselves containing mantrams, Sundara khandam (or Ramayanam) meanings and inner meanings that are commonly understood and commented by our Achaaryas. We will relish the direct meaning and translation of one of the wonderful verse.
anganedu mathilpudaisoozh ayotthi yennum
aninagaraththu ulaganaitthum vilakkum sothi
vengathiron kulatthukkor vilakkaayth thonri
vinmuzhuthum uyakkonda veeran thannai,
senganedunkarumugilai iraaman thannai
thillainagar thirucchithra koodanthannul
engalthani mudhalvanai yemperumaan thannai
yenrukolo kankulirak kaanum naale
Ram Ghat:Considered to be the very spot where Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman used to bathe while living in the frests of Chitrakoot during their exile, Ramghat lies on the banks of the Mandakini River, Uttar Pradesh.
On hearing Dasaratha’s demise from Bharata, Sri Rama along with HIS brothers offered tharpanam to the departed soul at this place. All of them had bath in River Mandagini Ganga and offered roots and leaves as food to the departed soul. This is the most sacred bathing place in Chitrakoot. This place is famous for “Jala tharpanam” to departed souls. It is the most beautiful bathing ghat of the Mandakini river believed to be capable of absolving a person from all his sins.
Along the main Ramaghat at Chitrakoot there is a famous shrine marking the place where the poet Tulsidas lived for some time. It is said that he got darshan here of Rama and Laksman. Tulsidas was preparing sandal paste, when Rama and Laksman appeared before him as two children. Rama asked Tulsidas to apply tilak to His forehead, which the poet did without recognizing that this was the Lord Himself, who Tulsidas had so devotedly worshipped, and whose darshan he greatly desired.
Vanvasi Ram Mandir:Lord Rama and Lakshmana are seen in the outfit which was used during their exile. But Sita mata is decked up with all jewels and she is celebrated as a queen in this place.
Param Kutir:The Param Kutir is believed to be the prime cottage, the first hut, erected by Lakshmana for his brother and sister-in-law. As the eminent scholar C. Rajagopalachari says, Lakshmana was a clever workman. He soon constructed a strong hut, which was weatherproof and made it comfortable and convenient. Single-handed, he completed the mud hut with windows and doors, all made of bamboo and jungle material. Clearly, such a fragile hut could not last the eons that have lapsed since the age of Lord Rama. The Param Kutir has been reconstructed as a temple, popular with worshippers today.
Lord Rama Sloka:
Ramaya Rama Bhadraya. Ramachandraya Vedhase. Raghu Nathaya Nathaya. Sitayah Pataye NamahaMeaning: I bow down to him whom I know as Raama, Raamabhadra, Raamachandra, Raghunaatha, Naatha (my overlord) and husband of Seetha.
Bharata Mandir:During Lord Rama's exile, brother Lakshmana accompanied him. During this time, Bharata and his favorite brother, Shatrughna, had gone to Yudhajith's Kingdom (Brother of Kaikeyi & Maternal Uncle to Bharatha) and were absent from Ayodhya.
Dasharatha was dead, crying until his last breath, "Rama, Rama, Rama!" Vasishtha sent a messenger to Bharata asking him to return to Ayodhya without disclosing the details.
Bharata immediately returned with Shatrughna. As he entered the city of Ayodhya, he realized that something was terribly wrong. The city was strangely silent. He went straight to his mother, Kaikeyi. She looked pale. Bharat impatiently asked, "Where is father?" He was stunned by the news. Slowly he learned about Ramas exile for fourteen years and Dasharatha's demise with the departure of Rama.
Bharata could not believe that his mother was the cause of the disaster. Kakyei tried to make Bharata understand that she did it all for him. But Bharata turned away from her with disgust and said, "Dont you know how much I love Rama? This kingdom is worth nothing in his absence. I am ashamed to call you my mother. You are heartless. You killed my father and banished my beloved brother. I will not have anything to do with you for as long as I live." Then Bharata left for Kaushalyas apartment. Kakyei realized the mistake she made.
Kaushalya received Bharata with love and affection. Addressing Bharata she said, "Bharata, the kingdom is waiting for you. No one will oppose you for ascending the throne. Now that your father is gone, I would also like to go to the forest and live with Rama."
Bharata could not contain himself any further. He burst into tears and promised Kaushalya to bring Rama back to Ayodhya as quickly as possible. He understood the throne rightfully belonged to Rama. After completing the funeral rites for Dasharatha, Bharata started for Chitrakut where Rama was staying. Travelling for a long time, Bharata and his army reach Chitrakuta mountain. Bharata appreciates the beauty of that place and identifies it as an abode of ascetics. He instructs his soldiers to explore the woods and find out where Rama and Lakshmana are living. Valiant men penetrate into the forest and pursuing their search, they observe a plume of smoke rising at some distance and concluding the site to be the hermitage of Rama. Bharata commands his army to halt and decides to walk with Sumantra and Dhriti his spiritual preceptor to Rama's hermitage. Bharata halted the army at a respectful distance and walked alone to meet Rama. Seeing Rama, Bharata fell at his feet begging forgiveness for all the wrong doings.
Bharata, came to Chitrakoot to persuade the prince to return from exile and assume his rightful position as ruler of Ayodhya. He was unsuccessful but, according to a local legend, Bharat and his army of chariots, elephants, horses and foot soldiers, as well as the royal family and nobility of Ayodhya, camped a little below Param Kutir. Today, that spot is marked by the Bharat Mandir where the whole court is worshipped as resplendent idols.