Posted by: digirak | March 29, 2007

Walk the Walk


It is fairly interesting to see that, in the Ramayana there is a reference to almost every single element of Rama’s life and the epic mostly takes us over the entire life history of Sri Rama not as a a mere documentary but at lots of places it actually draws the reader into the life of Sri Rama and even makes him the boy next door! Considering the fact that Rama was the incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu and has taken birth to destroy evil and re-establish the laws of the ancients it is quite an achieve by the poet Valmiki to establish pathos as a part of the epic and therby making Rama more humane than is anticipated.
I am of the opinion that without actually getting close to God in terms of understanding his simplicity, its almost never possible to realize Him and attain the grail of salvation. It is in total agreement with this fact that all epics of Indian literature seek to protray him as a human with real emotions, that possibly explains why Rama should have had to rant and rave at the disappearance of Sita when he in all probability knew that it was well within his means to find her and retrieve her. In this whole drama of trying to be humane an interesting aspect is the Walk of Rama as described by Valmiki. According to the devotee-poet, Rama is the ideal man and very aspect of his life is worth trying to digress. So here he talks about the 4 gatis or walks namely simha-gati– The Walk of The Lion, vyaghra-gati– The Walk of The Tiger, Gaja gati– the Walk of The Elephant and Rishaba- gati– the Walk of The Mountain- Goat. The simha gati is described by valmiki is when Rama leaves his home or antah puram of the palace, he walks out to the gate and looks around in anticipation of seeing an elder or someone he ought accost, so he looks left and right, the poet claims this is similar to the loka lion gives when it leaves its den, the difference being the lion looks for its enemies in anger. He basically draw a metaphor to the majesty of Rama in doing this gesture. A very beautiful yet succinct portrayal of the magic of His personality.
when Rama goes to the call of battle or to the call of the elders his countenance is taht of urgency that comes with sense of purpose behind the call. At this point Rama majestically walks quickly yet not running and not tiring. The steps he takes, says the devotee-poet, is firm and un alterable. It has both poise and grace, reminiscent of the tiger walking in the forests in search of prey.
When Rama walks in his leisure time, he walks with all his pride, Rama is the first born of the line ok Ikshvaku, the descendants of the Sun god, he is therefore filled with pride at his ancestry and therefore imposes the pride in his walk, and walks majestically like an elephant graceful yet powerful. We here see the richness of thought that Valmiki portrays, something unparalleled by any western epic till modern times.
When Rama walks in the company of Sita, He walks delicately softly and with love in his eyes. the stories of the love between this divine couple is described almost intricately by Kamban , one more devotee-poet whose redention of the Ramayana is in Tamil and is truly a masterpiece,matching valmiki’s epic line by line.This is the walk of the walk of the mountain goat as is described by Valmiki.
Interestingly the same can be seen in the Urchavas or the festivals of Ranganatha Swami in Sri rangam, where these four walks of Sri Rama is portrayed very effectively in his purappadu or the exit to the goddess’s home! The legend claims taht Sri Ranagnathar is none but Sri Rama himself, who gave the Vimanam of Ranaganatha to his friend and Ravana’s younger brother Vibheeshana, who later left the wondrous Vimana on the banks of the Kaveri in Sri Rangam where we can see his beautiful form as Maha Vishnu reclining on his Serpent Adi sesha
Truly the wealth of poetry as expounded by these devotees takes one’s breath away teh completeness leaves one wondering whether it is all a figment of imagination,nay it does not seem so

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