Memories of Morari Bapu Katha-Part 1

Morari Bapu Ram Katha: Manas Sita – Part 1

મોરારી બાપુની રામ કથા: માનસ સીતા એસ્ટેસ પાર્ક કોલોરાડો માં જુન ૨૮, ૨૯, ૩૦, જુલાઇ ૧, ૨૦૧૭, ૪ દિવસ સાંભળવા મળી.

I had the opportunity to hear Morari Bapu’s Ram Katha, Manas Sita, in Estes Park Colorado for 4 days on June 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 2017.

 

That first day I recorded the procedure as well as what he said. In the days after I focused on bits of the procedure but more on the content. A key realization was that I wrote in a mix not only of languages but also language scripts. For Gujarati and Hindi/Sanskrit, I found myself writing some letters in one or the other within the same word! It was fun. Also, I missed an awful lot. Oh well. Also these notes are from a very individual perspective, just mine, and what appealed to me. Inevitably I am editing, enhancing, as I transcribe so never totally verbatim.

 

Hall Set Up

The dais has a backdrop of a huge Hanuman statue seated in a meditation position with his hands in his lap. His muscular body draped only with a thread and lower garment draws attention but even more noticeable is his face, framed with a symbol of three horizontal lines joined at the ends. The Shiva symbolism appealed to me. Morari Bapu sits such that he seems to be in Hanumanji’s lap. Lots of possible symbolic connections in that.

Routine

He walks in precisely at 9:30am, circumnavigates the raised dais from back to front, places his forehead on the large copy of Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas, and sits down. A line of people for bowing and giving offerings or notes step up. While his musicians, seated facing him, sing the Hanuman Chalisa, he carefully unwraps the text from its covering cloth, folds and puts away the cloth and then begins to read the notes presented by the audience. The music is instrumental or vocal with instruments and there are a series of shlokas, that are difficult to hear and decipher for me. Sometimes I catch some words and happen to know the specific mantra or hymn. Then he begins his own chanting and prayers, including one that I know: manojavam.

The Talk

It was the third day when I finally caught on that he begins by addressing the audience as baap, that is father in colloquial Gujarati. He explained at some point that he uses this and other names with several different intentions.

He then sang the four lines he has selected as the theme for the entire lecture series.

 

[Note to Readers: I’ve transcribed the Hindi words and Sankrit shloka as I heard then Then the added transcriptions into English letters and then into English text are my own. I do not claim to know pure Sanskrit so please ignore errors throughout these Notes]

[Note: In the future I may go look up Tulsidas’ actual text and a respected translation!]

तेहि अवसर सीता तहं आई।

गिरिजा पूजन जननी पठाई।।

तेहि दोउ बंधु बिलोके जानी।

प्रेमबिबस सीता पहिं आई ।।

 

Tehi avasar sītā tahan aayī

Girijā pūjan jananī pathaī

Tehi doau bandhu biloke jānī

Prem vivaś sītā pahī āyī

 

At that occasion Sita came there

To offer puja to Girija [Parvati=mother Goddess]

As taught by her mother

And saw the two brothers there

Powerless in her love, she came behind.

 

सीता ही परम तत्व है। सीता ही सती है, सीता ही शंभु है। सुन के असमंजस हो जाता है। ये तो एकमसत् का स्वरुप है । Like the photo of a person from many angles, front, side etc. आदमी वैसा है वो जैसा है । मूलमें देखें तो भिन्न भिन्न रुपमें प्रस्तुत किया है वो मैं बताना चाहता हुं। सरल दर्शनसे सीतातत्व एक है

Sita is the paramatatva [essence or essential element]. Sita is the Sati who immolated herself [rather than be insulted in her father’s home], and Sita is the Shambhu [Shiva whom she loved]. This is confusing. This is actually the form of the One Truth. Like the photo of a person from many angles, front, side, etc. Man is what man is. Seen from the core, we understand that s/he has been presented in many different forms. This is what I want to talk about. In simple terms, the Sita Essence is One.

 

उसके वर्णन इस प्रकार हैं।

आल्हाद रुपिणि, सिध़धमति, शिवांगी, शिवकरी, सतीम् ।

नमामी विष्वजननीम् रामचंद्रवल्लभा सीताम् ।।

सर्वा नवद्यांगीम् भजामी सततम् उदा ।

 

Āhlādi rupīnī, siddhamatī, shivangī, shivkarī, satiṃ

Namāmī vishwajananīṃ ramchandravallabhā sita

Sarva navdyāngiṃ bhajāmī satatam uḍa

 

Her decriptions are as follows:

Sati [one of Parvati’s avatars] is one joyful in form, one who has achieved salvation/moksha, one who is the body of joy, one who is joyful action. To that mother of the world, beloved of Ram, Sita, with full ritual offerings, I pray constantly.

 

[md Note: I’ve transcribed the shlok as I heard it and the transcription into English letters and then into English text are my own. I do not claim to know pure Sanskrit so please ignore errors}

 

तुलसी कहेते हैं करोडो दुर्गा सीता हैं.  जो हमें आह्लाद दे वो है सीता. व्यापक द्रष्टिसे, शास्त्रकी द्रष्टिसे देखो तो रामचरितमानस को उपनिशद जैसै देखौ. मनुश्य रिति से बा:गमें राजकुमारी चलती है तो सखीयां उसके साथ या पीछे चल सकतीं हैं, आगे नहीं। लेकिन यहां सखी को अग्र कर दिया क्युंकि वोभी रामकी और आकर्षित हो गई थी। सतित्वकी खोज करी तो सारा अस्तित्व आपके सामने आता है. अक्षपाद मूनिने कहा है की तीन प्रकारके आकर्षण होते हैं:

  • वासना प्रेरित, जब वासनाके कारणसे आकर्षित हो जांय,
  • उपासना प्रेरित, जब प्रयत्न या उपासनासे आकर्षित हो जांय, और
  • नियती प्रेरित, जब विशुध्ध प्रेम से आकर्षित हो जांय.

विशुध्ध प्रेममें कुछ नहीं दिखता.

 

Tulsi says millions of Durga are Sita. That which gives us joy is Sita. In a broad understanding, or from the point of view of the scriptures, look at Ramcharitmanas, like it is an Upanishad. In human terms, when a princess walks in the garden, her companions may walk behind or at the most with her, not in front. But here the girlfriend is permitted to go first because she too was attracted to Ram.

When you try to understand the essence of Sati, the living essence of the universe comes before you.

 

Akshpad Muni has described three types of attraction:

Desire-based attraction: when physical passion creates the attraction

Study-based attraction: when the attraction is created with studious effort

Destiny-based attraction: when the attraction is the soul’s destiny to reach for the eternal. Such an attraction is pure and blameless.

 

“सियदी उत्कंठा जानी”

Sita understood that the girlfriend’s attraction was a pure and blameless one.

 

सीता समझ गईं की सखी बीसुध्ध प्रेम में उतावली हो चुकी है तो श्रेष्ठ यही है की वो आगे निकल जाए। यहां मानवीय धर्म से आगे प्रेम धर्म आता है।

 

Sita understood that her girlfriend has become too eager in her pure attraction, so it is best that she goes ahead. Here she is modeling that prem dharma can and should go ahead of human dharma.

 

“जरासी आहट होती है तो दिल सोचता है कहीं ये वोतो नहीं, कहीं ये वो तो नहिं।” [यमन गॹल]

Jarasi aahat hoti hai to dil sochata hai kahin ye vo to nahi kahin ye vo to nahi [movie ghazal in yaman raga]

 

My heart hears a faint step and thinks,

May be this is the one?

May be this is the one?

 

प्रेम बुरा नहिं, प्रेम में छल बुरा है.

Love cannot be bad; deceit in love is bad.

 

[md-comments: What gave absolute enjoyment was Morari Bapu’s easy style that brought spiritual ideas to the human level]

more to come . . . .

About meenapoetartisan

word lover, meaning maniac, bilingual with metalingual interests, sometimes potter, poet, playwright, writer, mover to music, always a pontificator.
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