Sri Rama Jayam – The Importance of Namaskaram


Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara – There is a whole section (Namo Namah) in Deivathin Kural – Vol 7 where Sri Periyava talks about the significance of Namaskaram. We may also remembere Sri Periyava yearning how Bhagawan Sri Rama did Namaskarams to all rishis and elders that HH could not do in his position. Here is an article by one of our blog devotees on the importance of doing Namaskaram quoting sastras including HH Swaminatha Indra Saraswathi Swamigal (Poorvashrnama Shri Balu Mama) stating how powerful Periyava’s Padhuka’s are! Rama Rama

Sri Rama Jayam – The Importance of Namaskaram

Sri Vedavyaasaaya Namah
Namah Parvathi Pathaye – Hara Hara Mahadeva
Gopikajeevana Smaranam – Govinda Govinda
Janakikantha Smaranam – Jaya Sri Rama Rama

Our Maha Periyava is the avatar of Adi Sankara Bhagavatpaadhar, isn’t ? Since he is “Bhagavatpaadhar”, who else other than our Ummachi Thatha can gracefully make us understand the high status of Namaskaram.

Maha Periyava has mentioned the importance of Namaskaram in Deivathin Kural (Vol 7) and has expressed his inability to do so (because of his position of Sri Matam’s head and also due to being a Sannyasi). We must do this “Namaskaram” whenever possible. But do we know the importance of doing a single namaskaram to Rama or Krishna or Ummachi Thatha ?

While narrating Bhagawatam to Parikshit Maharaja, Shukacharya started mentioning the names of Vishnu avatars. Before mentioning Rama, Shukacharya did namaskaram in the direction where Rama was present. Parikshit asks why he did namaskaram? The answer was only 4 Avatars of Vishnu (among the 24 he mentioned) was fully for the welfare of humanity, one such avatar is Rama. What Rama did can never be done by any other Avatar.

During the birth of Rama, that is on Punarvasu nakshatra and Shukla Paksha Navami tithi during mid day in Treta Yuga, five of the Navagrahas were at peak.

Similarly, even during Adi Sankara’s birth, five planets were at their peak.

This is why both our Achyara and Rama are very popular. Both never neglected Samskaras at all. Samskaras and Paropkaram (good deeds) protected them.

1. Rama’s Assurance

सकृद् एव प्रपन्नाय तव अस्मि इति च याचते ||
अभयम् सर्व भूतेभ्यो ददामि एतद् व्रतम् मम |

“He who seeks refuge in me just once, telling me that  – “I am yours”, I shall give him assurance of safety against all types of beings. This is my solemn pledge.”

Vibhishanan and all the devas who did Sharanagathi got Rama’s protection and thus were successful in their goals.

Namaskaram will pacify any person however angry, in the case of Samudra Raja,  he fell at the feet of Rama (who was very furious) and got pardoned for his mistake. (Namaskaram shows you are beneath them)

2) Namaskaras’ significance in various instances

    a. The namaskaras done by Sampathi and Jatayu

Rama was not aware of his real identity before the end of the war. Once, while in combat, Indrajith uses special type of Naga Asthra.  Then Garudan comes to revive Rama and Lakhsmana who had fell unconscious.

हम् सखा ते काकुत्स्थ प्रियह् प्राणो बहिश् चरः |
गरुत्मान् इह सम्प्राप्तो युवयोह् साह्य कारणात् ||

“O, Rama! I am your dearest friend Garuda dear as your own breath moving outside I came here for the purpose of helping you, both.”

Then assuring Rama of victory, and tells him that he would know his real identity after the war ended.

Garudan wasn’t supposed to help Rama as Vishnu instructed him to do so. Also, Rama exposed his real identity by giving Jatayu moksham (again breaking his regulation). So, a upanyasakar explained that Garudan came for aid due to Jatayu’s compulsion.

Sampathi, the elder brother of Jatayu, and Jatayu (both eagles) competed in a race. Both were flying at high altitude, Jatayu went too high that the Sun rays were becoming very hot. Sampathi saw this and didn’t want his brother to fall, then he protected him sacrificing his own wings (his wings were burnt due to the Sun rays). Then Sampathi fell down on the peak of Mount Vindhya after this.

Jatayu suffered little damage whereas Sampathi had lost his wings completely. Both of them had done a very noble task, that was doing namaskaras to Nishaakara Rishi. So, they were rewarded high ends.

Jatayu died with Rama performing the rites for him and a temple is built over the place where Jatayu died. That temple is Vaidheeswaran Koil, very famous for Lord Vaidhyantha. There are sannidhis for Thaiyyal Nayaki (main female deity),  Durga devi, Dhanwantri, Angaarakan, Ganesha and MuthuKumaraSwamy who graced MuthuSwami Dikshitar. So, many important Gods are consecrated  near the sacred place where Jatayu was cremated. Rama did pratistha of Siva Lingas in Rameshwaram, Vedaranyam etc. But breaking so many rules by performing the final rites and giving moksham, Rama has made Vaidheeswaran Koil a very special place. Whoever having any physical ailment can visit Vaidhyanatha, Tuesday is special for that temple as Angaarakan is present and even those interested in music must never miss visting MuthuKumaraSwamy.

Then Sampathi went very slowly with difficulty and reached Nishaakara Rishi’s ashram then asked for a solution to get back his wings. Nishaakara takes pity on Sampathi’s condition, and told ” the namaskaras (to the Rishi) done by you and your brother won’t go in vain”. The Rishi informed him that it would take a while to get his wings back but he must wait until he sees a group of Vanaras. Then the Vanara search party find Sampathi and brings him up to speed. After hearing about Jatayu, he locates Seetha for them. After that, new wings appear for Sampathi then he get enthusiasm, a new life force and bids farewell to Angada and others. Thus, we saw the high status of a simple Namaskaram.

   b. Trijata’s explanation of Namaskaram in the presence of Seetha devi

 प्रणिपातप्रसन्ना हि मैथिली जनकात्मजा ||
अलमेषा परित्रारुं राक्षस्यो महातो भयात् |
अपि चास्या विशालाक्ष्या न किंचिदुपलक्षये ||
विरूपमपि चाङ्गेषु सुसूक्ष्ममपि लक्षणम् |

“O ogresses! This Seetha daughter of Janaka, pleased with prostration is competent to protect us from great danger. And also I do not see in Her who is wide eyed, in Her limbs even a minute misshapen characteristic, even insignificant one.” – Trijata to the female demons during Sundara Kandam (Trijata is the sister of Vibhishana, she is the one who got an auspicious dream about Rama’s victory)

  c. Hanuman’s mental prostration to Seetha Devi

    Hanuman spends a lot of time in finding Seetha but to no avail. Then he analyzed why he couldn’t find Seetha , then             remembers he did namaskaras to everyone except Seetha  (before crossing the sea), then he does mentally it. The next
moment, he finds Seetha devi after a few jumps.

   d. Swami Vivekananda’s mental prostration to Saraswathi Devi

We all know about the famous line – “My dear sisters and brothers of America.”

Vivekananda was in a dilemma before starting the speech, he mentally prostrates to Saraswathi and her blessings created a great future.

    e. The namaskaras done by Ramanujachariyar

Periyava held the practice of Namaskaras done by Vaishnavas in high esteem. There are so many Vaishnavite Guru Parampara stories which exemplify Ramanujar’s humble behavior and great devotion shown towards his Guru. Thirukkoshtiyoor Nambi, before giving Upadesam to Ramanujar , made him to walk all the way from Srirangam to Thirukkoshtiyoor eighteen times before finally initiating him into sainthood. Ramanujar walked every time happily without making any fuss as per his Guru’s order.

Smaarthas prostrate before their Guru for four times. But Vaishnavites keep prostrating till the Guru stops them when he feels he has had enough. Once while coming to Srirangam, Thirukkoshtiyoor Nambi was standing in the cool waters of the river Cauvery (or it could be a Mantapam on the banks of the river too.) But the sandy bank on the outside was as hot as fire, due to the scorching Sun. Ramanujar kept on prostrating his Guru on such a hot surface, being unmindful of the fact that his torso is turning red due to the heat. Thirukkoshtiyoor Nambi who wanted to test his disciple initially, couldn’t bear this and stopped him from doing it anymore.

Vishwam…

Okay, during the Namaskaram, do we fall at the feet of Rama only ?

There is a traditional custom where one must prostrate to the person who gives us Ganga. Who provides Ganga – Vishnu or Shiva ??

Rama being Maha Vishnu himself  has Ganga at his feet. Not only that, Vishnu’s feet has all the Navagrahas – so, Dwaitins never worship Navagrahas alone. Next, all the Punya Kshetras – Kurukshetra, Gaya, Kashi, Kanchi etc. & all the Punya Nadhis (rivers) – Ganga. Narmada, Saraswathi, Kaveri, Yamuna etc. are found in Bhumi (on the Mother Earth only). Even in Dhyana sloka, it is said – Bhuhu Paadhou – the Bhumi is his two feet. So, all the Punya Kshetra and Punya Nadhis are located in his feet only. So, prostrating to Vishnu means prostrating to Ganga devi, Bhumidevi who has all the punya kshetras and nadhis present in her, Sridevi and Navagrahas also.

Sage Markendeya goes one step ahead,  when he got swallowed inside by Vishnu, he saw all the rivers, all the Gods inside Vishnu’s stomach only. So, whenever we do Namaskaram to Vishnu, we do to the whole of Brahma+Andam = Brahmaandam  (consisting of 14 Lokas).  Brahmandam is otherwise known as Vishwam – the first nama of Vishnu Sahasrnamam, now the Pillaiyar Suzhi for Vishnu Sahasranamam is ready !! All it takes is a Namaskaram to Vishwam or Vishnu then every task will be made easier.

शिवाय विष्णुरूपाय शिवरूपाय विष्णवे ।

शिवस्य हृदयम् विश्णु विष्णोश्च हृदयम् शिवः ॥
This sloka conveys Shiva and Vishnu are one and the same. All the Gods are Brahmaswaroopam only.  It is Vishnu or Shiva who provides Ganga)

So, everyone doing namaskaram can try doing it with slokas or Bhagawan Namas.

Even HH Swaminatha Indra Saraswathi Swamigal (previously Sri Matam Balu Mama) has mentioned that he could fearlessly touch Periayava but not his Padukas. Imagine the power in the Lord’s holy feet, no amount of Namaskaras will suffice for his feet’s greatness.

To whom Rama did namaskaras?

Who is Kula Devatha of Suryavamsa kings ?  Lord Ranganatha, isn’t it ? Now, he is in Srirangam and came all the way here from Ayodhya. There is a strong connection between Srirangam temple and Maha Periyava. Now, we are here to focus on the relationship between Adi Shankara and Ranganatha. Adi Shankara installed Jana Aakarshana Yantra (yantra which attracts people) in Srirangam. Even the street (in Chennai) bearing the name “Ranganathan” attracts a huge crowd. Rama did lots of rituals and fastings to please Ranganatha, this has been mentioned by Valmiki himself.

Everyone from Manu to Rama to Lava Kusha and the rest of  Ikshvaku dynasty descendants had Vasishtar as Kulaguru and Ranganatha as Kula Devatha.

Who else other than Lord Ranganatha can make people adhere to their Dharmam, even Sri Rama did nithyakarma properly only with the anugraha of Ranganatha. Adi Shankara wanted all of us to follow dharma, which implies why he wanted people to visit Ranganathan. Those who visit Ranganatha will surely abide by their Dharmam.

Even Andal devi (avatar of Bhumidevi) worshipped Ranganatha at the beginning of Kali Yuga for the people to follow their Dharmam. Periyalwar (avatar of Garuda) did snanam and sandhyavandanam thrice a day, and was very pious. Such a person could be worthy of being Bhumidevi’s father. Andal composed so many works within the age of five and made Ranganatha to come seeking for her hand. One such work is Thirupaavai which bestows all round prosperity to those who hear it or recite it or read it. This Paavai Nombu (a type of Vratam) would help girls to get good suitable husbands. Another work similar to this is Thiruvempavai (part of Thiruvasagam) composed by Manickavasagar.

These days, many people are having trouble in getting a good match. Even the sastras state your spouse is your best friend.  Maha Periyava popularized Thirupaavai and Thiruvempaavai to avoid this problem mainly. Marghazai is the best month for singing or reading these works.

Be it Srirama or Andal or Maha Periyava, they held Ranganatha’s holy feet to abide by their dharma and brought Loka Kshemam.

Adithya Hridayam

This stotram was taught to Sri Rama by Agasthya Maharishi. Lord Surya grants us good health, prosperity, enemies will be annihilated, good harmony in family and grants us the courage to face to any battle if Aditya Hridayam is recited. Again, lots of Namaha is found here from Nakshatragraha Taranaam till Ravi Prabhuhu. Do not tell that particular portion only. Start from nyasam and say it till the end, 3 times is the best way for boosting confidence and for getting maximum anugraham. Again, wherever Namaha comes, then that stotra or mantra is a very important one.

Yama Vandanam

This is an important part of Sandhyavandanam, try to recite this at least in one Sandhya time.There are certain superstitions regarding Yama Dharmarajan. Some misinterpret Bhaja Govindam that we don’t need Yama’s blessings (Kriyate Tasyaya Yamenana Charcha). Yama is responsible for managing Naraka (hell) besides he doesn’t want to welcome anyone there. Yama’s wife name is not “Aiyo”, there are different names mentioned  in Mahabharata like Dhumorna. Avoid using “Aiyo” if the elders ask us to do so.

In the end, we say Namah – I bow to you. We say 14 important namas of Yama and do namaskar to all 14 namas of Yama, this also has a special phalan. One will never discard his dharmam, will ever be healthy (he is the son of Surya – who grants good health) and won’t have untimely or accidental death. Yaksha Prashnam has a lot of important messages for us, this was given by Yama (Yaksha) and his Amsha Avatar (Yuddhisthra).

Sri Rudram

A lot can be told here. “Rudra” means the one who destroys sorrow.   Learn this orally don’t refer a book. Do namaskar to a temple deity or great Mahans. Do more Gayatri in Sandhyavandanam, you will master Sri Rudram. Again, Namaha is one of the important feature of Sri Rudram, we pacify Rudra then ask for his blessings, so “Namaha” is used in many places. Pancha Maha Paapams will disappear if Sri Rudram is recited. Try to learn Sri Rudram, this is the most important part of Veda. All kinds of prosperity will come if we recite Rudram without looking at the book. Learn just one Anuvaaka a month, don’t be in a hurry. (Many of you will know this, I’m just telling so that those who are doing only Sandhyavandanam must proceed to the next level.)

 Astotharam and Sahasranamams

While doing pooja, namaha is found in Astotharam and Sahasranamam. While reading or reciting Vishnu or Lalita Sahasranamam (not while doing archana), we need not say namaha along with the nama. Only the nama will suffice, it means aum and namaha is added along with it.

Mooka Panchasathi 

प्रसूनैःसंपर्कादमरतरुणीकुन्तलभवैरभीष्टानां

दानादनिशमपि कामाक्षि नमताम्।
स्वसङ्गात्कङ्केलिप्रसवजनकत्वेन च शिवे
त्रिधा
धत्ते वार्तां सुरभिरिति पादो गिरिसुते ॥९२॥
O Kamakshi! daughter
of Himavan! Your lotus feet get the title of ‘surabhi’ in three ways
namely by their contact with the flowers on the locks of celestial damsels, by
their fulfilling the wishes of those who bow down at them and by making the kankeli
tree flower by their touch. [In the first case ‘सुरभि’
means sweet smell, in the second case it means wish-yielding cow kamadhenu and
in the third case it means capable of producing offspring]

Chandas

We all seen about Namaskaras, now onto Chandas. A question might arise, why talk about chandas in namaskaram topic ?

Chandas is the “foot” of Veda Purusha, isn’t it ? So, feet are related to namaskar, then chandas is related to namaskar then.

We saw about chandas in Rama article, will explain a bit more. Once you understand this, chanting mantra, stotra and Veda will be very easy.

Chandas is the foot of Veda Purusha, if you pull the Chandas out (the foot out), the Veda will be in an awkard way.

Will explain a sloka and the comman mistake made in them,

गुरवे सर्वलोकानां भिषजे भवरोगिणाम् 

निधये सर्वविद्यानां दक्षिणामूर्तये नमः 

We have seen a few saying Sri Dakshinamurthaye Namah instead of Dakshinamurthaye Namah. Anushtup is 32 aksharas, 8 in each paadam (foot), 4 paadams = 32. If you add “Sri”, 33 comes, then chandas is broken. If there is no proper chandas, then there will be proper concentration of Bhagwan while telling sloka or mantra or Veda. One reason for lack of concentration (for concentrating on Bhagwan’s image) is inner impurities and another reason is when Chandas is not proper.

Similarly, we must not say Sriman Narayanaayeti in Kayena Vacha sloka. Next, in Jnana Vandayam Mayam sloka of Hayagriva, we must say not Sri Hayagrivam Upasmahe. Only, Narayanaayeti and Hayagrivam Upasmahe must be said. I am stressing these points only because Periyava wanted to learn Vedas and without the knowledge of Chandas, things will be difficult. Fundamental things must not be sacrificed stating Bhakthi as a reason.

Please don’t neglect some of our traditions, we must prostrate 4 times before our Acharya, if space is not there, go a little away and then do it. These are little things but these are significant ones. Remember, sincerity and humility gives the phalan of doing Yagnam.

Jaya Jaya Shankara Hara Hara Shankara
Sri Rama Jayam



Categories: Deivathin Kural

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6 replies

  1. Excellent article.. Thanks for sharing 🙏

  2. Precious message to know,Thank you,sir

  3. Very detailed and elaborately explained. Really Invaluable and to be preserved.
    Warm regards.

  4. Very informative and great sir.

  5. Thank you Sir for this invaluable article.

  6. Excellent! Thank you for taking time out and making us know! This will take us a long way. Please keep sharing information like these. It is lack of knowledge that creates dilemma in our minds whether to do a karyam or not.
    You had mentioned that one should prostrate 4 times before periyavas. Could you please let me know if this is applicable only for gents? Ladies should also do it 4 times? ” thanking you for the treasure once again.

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