Chandrika, 27 June 2018
I have not been able to receive an answer to my question. It’s been constantly deferred.
My question is what is the relevance and importance of the Ramayan in the Hare Krishna organization?
I know that in orthodox Hindu teachings it is treated with great reverence
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 7 September 2018
Dear Mother Chandrika,
I am hoping that the community of volunteers here has served you to your satisfaction in answering this question comprehensively.
We are here to serve you unlimitedly within the bounds of our own personal limitations. Since we are volunteers, we do ask for your kind patience and understanding.
First of all, the Ramayana is of great importance to everyone, no matter whether they are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or Buddhist. Whether they recognize the importance of the Ramayana is dependent on their own fortune or misfortune. This is because the principles in the Ramayana are Universal.
This eternal religion is understood as an example of water – its wetness and its ability to quench thirst. Anything that does not have these two basic principles is not water, therefore the religion of water can be said to be wetness and its power to quench thirst of living entities. Similarly, the religion of fire is said to be heat and light. Anything that claims to be fire must exhibit these two qualities, and even when a red hot iron exhibits these two qualities, it is of the nature of fire – anyone touching it will get burned even though there are no flames etc. There is no Hindu water or Christian fire. Fire is fire and water is water. Similarly, the eternal religion of the jiva, the spirit soul, is loving devotional service to the Supreme, in His unlimitedly variegated names and forms as He manifests, Krishna, Govinda, Allah, Rama, Jehovah, Buddha… They are ONE.
Next, we don’t give too much importance to sectarianism – we don’t recognize so-called Hinduism, so-called Buddhism, so-called Christianity, and so-called Islam as bona fide religion. The real principled essence of all these great religious traditions is Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion of the living entity. To the extent that followers of different traditions do not deviate from the original universal principles of Sanatan Dharma, we recognize them as genuine, and to the extent they do deviate, we recognize them as “politics”. Srila Gurudeva once said “Religion is one, “religions” means politics”. In other words, there is only one God, and to rekindle our lost love for that One God is the essence of religion. Like Srila Gurudeva said, as Jesus Christ prayed “God, let thine will be done, not mine”.
In that mood, we accept and revere Prophet Mohammad, Lord Jesus Christ, Guru Nanak, and all other great teachers as having taught the same principles of Sanatan Dharma according to the time, place and circumstance, especially the ability of their followers to understand. Some of their followers do understand, and we do accept them as genuine, and some of their followers are caught up in externalities, and we understand them to be immature as yet.
Now, as far as the Ramayana is concerned, there are many versions, and Srila Prabhupada gave us two versions as bona fide – the 2-chapter summary in the 9th canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, and also the original Ramayana by the great pure devotee sage Valmiki. There may be value in the other versions, but for us these two are sufficient.
I pray that this is useful.
Rasika Krishna Das, 7 September 2018
Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
Where exactly mentioned in the 2 chapter summary of Canto 9? I couldn’t find it.
Rasika Krishna Das
Mahabhagavat Das, 7 September 2018
See these two chapters:
Rasika Krishna Das, 7 October 2018
Thank you Prabhuji, Hare Krishna 🙂
Rasika Krishna Das
Ikshvaku Das, 7 October 2018
Hare Krishna Mahabhgavat prabhu – great answer – thanks.
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