Unlike the Ramayana of Valmiki, the Adhyatma Ramayana pictures Rama not only as an incarnation of Maha Vishnu himself but also as a perfect spiritual preceptor. The teachings given by him to his younger brother Lakshmana are found in three places: Aranya kanda 4.19-55; Kishkindha kanda 4.11-40; and Uttara kanda 5.3-62.
However, it is the third discourse that is normally considered as the Rama Gita. It is full of the usual teachings on the Advaita Vedanta as propounded by Shankara (A.D. 788-820) and his followers.
The following are some of the topics dealt with:
Lakshmana’s surrender to Rama and his request for spiritual wisdom by which he can cross over transmigratory existence; need to purify one’s mind by the performance of one’s duties as per the varna and the ashrama; ajnana being the root cause of bondage, it has to be eliminated only by jnana (or atmajnana); defects accruing to Vedic rituals; hence, the need to renounce karma or action altogether; to get jnana one has to approach a competent guru and get the teaching of a mahavakya like tat tvam asi by applying the principle of bhaga-lakshana or jahadajahal-lakshana; description of three kinds of shariras; atman is free from all kinds of changes; on adhyasa or superimposition; different schools of Advaita Vedanta; methods of nididhyasana or meditation on the atman leading to its realisation; how to associate the three syllables of the Pranava or Om with this meditation; the inevitability of prabrabdha karma; final dissolution into the Atman or Brahman; Rama is Brahman.
Q1. Who wrote
Ram Gita is a part of chapter five of the Uttara
Khanda of Ramayan which was written by Valmiki.
It describes a divine and inspirational conversation between Lord Ram and His
brother Lakshmana. In the conversation, the Lord teaches Lakshmana about the
nature of the Absolute Truth and how a conditioned soul can achieve liberation
(Moksha) from the cycle of birth and death. The sixty verses of Ram Gita are
considered the essence of all Vedas.
Q2. Who is Ram?
Lord Ram, also known as Ramachandra, is the Supreme
Personality of Godhead who appeared on the earth in the Treta Yuga in the
lineage of Raghukula (in Ayodhya).
He appeared with His eternal associates (Bharat, Lakshman, Shatrughna, Hanuman,
etc.) and internal potency Sita with the purpose of establishing Dharma on the
planet and killing the miscreants (Ravan of Lanka) who are envious of the Lord
and His devotees. He personified the characteristics of an ideal person for
which He is also known as Maryada Purushottam.
Q3. Is Ram in
the Bhagavad Gita?
Lord Ram appeared on the earth in Treta Yuga whereas
the Bhagavad Gita
was spoken by the Supreme Lord Krishna to His intimate devotee Arjuna on the
battlefield of Kurukshetra. There is no difference between Lord Krishna and
Lord Ram as both are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Krishna or Vishnu appears in
different forms for carrying out different purposes on earth. Nonetheless, Lord
Ram is not a part of the Bhagavad Gita.
Q4. Who was
inspired by the Gita?
The Supreme Lord Krishna spoke the Srimad Bhagwat Geeta
to His dear friend and devotee Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
Arjuna, a great warrior, got bewildered when he saw that he would have to fight
with his own kinsmen (his sons, teacher, grandfather, etc). He surrendered to
Lord Krishna and as a result, was inspired by the spiritual instructions given
to him by the Lord. The Bhagavad Gita continues to inspire many people to
advance in spirituality and to lead a meaningful life (a life of higher
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