Who does not know the story of the Ramayana? But how
many of us grasp the symbolic significance of the story? Only
those who remove the hard shell of the coconut can taste the
sweetness of its kernel. Similarly, a sharp mind which can go
beyond the story line can taste the inner truth of the
Ramayana.

Let us recall the plot of the Ramayana.

Shree Rama was living with Seetha Devi in Dandaka forest.
They were leading a happy life together. One day, a golden
deer appeared in front of Seetha and she was enchanted by
its beauty. Seetha, who till then had desired only for Rama,
wanted to possess the golden deer. She sent Rama to bring it
to her. She also drove away Lakshmana from her side, who
was assigned the task of protecting her. Seizing this
opportunity, Ravana, the demon king abducted Seetha and
imprisoned her in Ashoka Vana in Lanka.

Unable to bear the agony of separation, Seetha wept for
Rama. Responding to her cry, Rama sent his messenger
Maruthi to rescue her.

Maruthi leapt over the ocean, reached Ashoka Vana and met
Seetha. At first, she did not trust him. But, Maruthi won her
confidence by showing Rama’s ring. Maruthi’s mission helped
to reunite Rama and Seetha. Rama built a bridge across the
ocean, killed Ravana, freed Seetha and returned victoriously
to Ayodhya. After Seetha’s ordeal through fire, Rama
ascended the royal throne with her.

Let us analyse the symbolic significance of this story.

Dandakavana is life. Seetha is Jeeva or the individual soul and
Rama is Deva or God. Ravana is mâya which separates Jeeva
from Deva. Jeeva fails to realize that within the golden deer
hides a demon. Jeeva does not understand that pain and misery
are hidden behind worldly pleasures. When Jeeva desires these
pleasures, it loses Deva. When Jeeva is separated from Deva,
it is placed in the Samsâra infested with the demons of lust
and hatred. Samsâra becomes our shokavana or forest of
misery.

When Jeeva weeps for Deva, God sends a Guru as His
messenger. That Guru conveys the pain of Jeeva to Deva and
brings the two together.

Like Seetha, Jeeva should test the Guru and accept him.
Deva destroys all the wicked demons, puts Jeeva through an
ordeal of fire and accepts it. God seats such a pure soul
along with Him on the throne of mukthi or liberation.

The Ramayana is a symbolic story of the separation and union
of Jeeva and Deva. A Sadhguru who brings the two together
plays the role of Guru Maruthi, the messenger of God.

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