Saturday, July 23, 2011


The story of Ramchandra, the prince of Ayodhya is the one of the most told stories of our country. It has been written in peotry and prose, the story of lord Ram is depicted in various forms of paintings, staged as dramas and its reach extended wider after a television serial was made on the story, which was seen at all the corners of the country, in fact in every form of expression Rama's story exists with us, becoming almost a part of our lives, it is interwoven in our very being. Temples of Ramchandra, ancient and recent, are found all over the country. Ayodhya, Bithoor, Chitrakoot, Rameswaram are some of the the places which depict and preserve various episodes of his life.
Ramayana, the epic based on Rama's life provides insight into various aspects of indian culture, despite all the scientific and technological progress it still contiues to influence the social, religious and the art forms of modern india.
On my recent visit to Pilani in Rajasthan, i got a chance to see another such manifestation of one of the most important part of Ramas's life, his stay in Panchvati. During his vanvaas rama, along with Sita and Laxman roamed around in the dense forests for many years, then on the advice of rishi Agastya he made his parnkuti and started living in Panchvati. It was in Panchvati only that Soorpnakha saw Laxman, Maarichi came in the form of deer to lure Sita and Ravana abducted Sita.
This Panchvati in Pilani is built and run by Birla trust. Its in a very large area full of various species of shrubs, bushes and cactus, giving a forest like aura with many dense and huge trees, kachchha rasta and  pagdandis run midst the jungle and midst this befitting backdrop are built life size statues essaying various episodes of Ramas life. Miles and miles of alleovera plants grow under these shrubs along the pagdandi and which mix deep into the forest.
let us enter panchavati....................

 है प्रभु परम मनोहर ठाऊँ। पावन पंचबटी तेहि नाऊँ।
hai prabhu manohar thanu[place].pavan panchvati tehi naau.
चले राम मुनि आयसु पाई। तुरतहिं पंचबटी निअराई।।
 chale ram muni aayasu paai.turtahi panchvati niyarai.
he is Goswami Tulsidas  .When we entered this Panchvati ,evening was fast approaching.The lengthening shadows, the quiet created such a soothing impact .............i just wanted to be back in time.

-कर सरोज सिर परसेउ कृपासिंधु रधुबीर।।
निरखि राम छबि धाम मुख बिगत भई सब पीर। 
kar saroj sir parseyu kripasindhu raghubeer 
nirakhi ram chhavi dham mukh bigat bhaisab peer
 To me this episode when Ram met the wounded Jatayu and asked him about Sita's whereabouts, always appears to underline the importance of harmonious existance of all forms of life.we all need one another.

Battle between two brothers Bali and Sugreev 


he khag mrig ,he madhukar shreni  ,tum dekhi kahu sita mrignayni.
हे खग म्रिग हे मधुकर श्रेनि्  तुम  देखि  कहु सीता म्रिग नयनि
Ram and Laxaman in search of Sita after she was abducted by Ravana. 



jo prabhu par avasi ga chachahu ,mohi pad padum pakharan kahahu
जोप्रभु पार अवसि गा चहहु,मोहि  पाद पदुम पखारन कहहु
Ram wanted to cross the river and boatman insisted that before stepping on the boat he would clean his feet with his hands.Beautiful relationship between God and devotee.If the devotion is pure and deep ,the devotee can ask god for his love rightfully.





सीता परम रुचिर मृग देखा। अंग अंग सुमनोहर बेषा।।
सुनहु देव रघुबीर कृपाला। एहि मृग कर अति सुंदर छाला।।
सत्यसंध प्रभु बधि करि एही। आनहु चर्म कहति बैदेही।। 
sita param ruchir mrig dekha ,ang ang sumanohar vesha
sunahu dev rahgubeer kripala ,ehi mrig kar ati sundar chhala
satyasindhu prabhu badhi kari ehi ,aanahu charm kahati vaidehi.
sita pointing towards the golden deer and requesting ram to bringit's skin for her. 

तेहि बन निकट दसानन गयऊ। तब मारीच कपटमृग भयऊ।। 
tehi ban nikat dasaanan maareech kapat mrig bhayau 


 Bharat taking Rama's khadhayu with him to keep it on throne.He agreed to perform king's duty on behalf of rama.
sacrifice of worldly comforts,power and luxury on call of duty,protecting the just and right is one message which nicelywoven into this saga.


shyam gaur sunder dou bhai, sabri pari charan laptai.
kand mool fal suras ati diye ram kahun aani
prem sahit prabhu khaye barambar bakhani
bhagati heen nar sohai kaisa, binu jal vaarid dekhau jaisa
Though nothing kind of architectural splendour, panchavati touches the hearts due to it's natural and rustic appeal. Simple villagers, rural folk, old ladies, standing before the statues with folded hands, sometimes even with wet eyes imagining the hardships faced by lord ram, laxman and sita during the vanvaas and that is the spirit, the soul of our land where emotions and devotion rule the hearts.
(pictures copyright: sunder iyer)

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