4 | Śrī Rāma Carita Mānasa Stotra

Hearing this, Bhavānī smiled and said, “O great and illumined sages, you have spoken aright. According to your belief it is only now that Śambhu has burnt the god of love and that till now He was smitten with love. To my mind, however, Śiva is eternally in rapport with the Infinite, unbegotten, irreproachable, passionless and given to sensual in . Knowing Him as such, if I have served Him lovingly in thought, word and deed, then hear, O great sages: the gracious Lord will accomplish my vow. Your statement that Hara has burnt the god of love betrays woeful lack of thought in you my dear Fire, possesses this inherent property that frost can never approach it: in case it does it must inevitably perish. Similar is the case with the god of love and the great Lord Śiva. (1 - 4)

Hearing the words of Bhavānī and perceiving her devotion and faith, the sages were gladdened at heart. Bowing their head to Her, they went to Himavān. (90)

They related the whole episode to him and he was much grieved to hear how Śiva had burnt Love. The sages then told him of the boon granted to Rati and Himavān was much relieved to learn this. Recalling to his mind the glory of Śambhu Himācala respectfully summoned great sages. He had an auspicious date, asterism and hour ascertained and without delay got the exact time of wedding fixed and noted down according to the Vedic precepts. Himācala handed over the note recording the exact time of wedding to the seven seers, and clasping their feet made entreaties to them. Calling on Brahmā they delivered the note to him; and as he went through it his heart overflowed with joy. Brahmā read the note aloud to all; the sages as well as the whole concourse of gods was delighted to hear it. Flowers were showered from the air, music flowed from various instruments and auspicious jars were placed in all directions. (1 - 4)

All the gods began to adorn their vehicles and aerial cars of various kinds; happy and auspicious omens were visible and celestial damsels sang for joy. (91)

The attendants of Śambhu began to adorn their lord. His matted locks were formed into a crown and decked with a crest of serpents. He had serpents for His ear-rings and bracelets, smeared His person with ashes and wrapped a lion’s skin round His loins. He bore the crescent on His charming aest and the river Gaṅgā on the crown of His head and had three eyes and a serpent for the sacred thread. His throat was black with the poison swallowed by him at the beginning of creation and had a wreath of human skulls about His neck. Thus clad in a ghastly attire, He was nonetheless an embodiment of blessings and merciful to the core. A Trident and a Ḍamaru (a drum shaped like an hour-glass) adorned His hands. Śiva rode on a bull while musical instruments played. Female divinities smiled to see Him. “The world has no bride worthy of the bridegroom,” They said to one another. Viṣṇu, Brahmā and hosts of other gods joined the bridegroom’s procession and rode on their respective vehicles. The gathering of the immortals was incomparable in every respect; the procession, however, was hardly worthy of the bridegroom. (1 - 4)

God Viṣṇu then called all the guardians of the different quarters and smilingly said, “Every one of you should march separately, each with his own retinue. (92)

“The procession, brothers, is no way worthy of the bridegroom; you will make yourself a butt of ridicule in a strange city!” Hearing the words of Viṣṇu, the gods smiled and parted, each with his own group. The great Lord Śiva laughed in His sleeves and noticed that Śrī Hari’s humour never failed. As soon as He heard these most pleasing remarks of His beloved friend, He sent Bhæṅgī to call all His attendants. And they all came when they heard Śiva’s command and bowed their head at the lotus feet of their lord. Śiva laughed to see His host in their motley attire riding every kind of vehicle. Some were headless, while others were hydra-headed monsters; some were without hands and feet, while others had numerous hands and feet. Some had numerous eyes, while others had no eyes at all; some were stout and well-built, while others had very slim bodies. (1 - 4)


Some had lean and thin bodies, while others were very stout; some were tidy, while others had dirty habits. They had frightful ornaments, carried skulls in their hands and were all smeared with fresh blood. They bore heads of donkeys, dogs, swine and jackals and the varieties of their appearance could not be counted. The troops of spirits, goblins and fairies of various kinds beggared description.

The ghosts danced and sang; they were all extremely fantastic. They looked most absurd and spoke words in a peculiar style. (93)

The procession was now quite worthy of the bridegroom; the processionists indulged in gaieties of various kinds as they went along. On the other side Himācala erected a most wonderful pavilion which beggared description. As many mountains as existed in the world, small or big, more than man can count, and the whole host of woods, seas, rivers and ponds were all invited by Himācala. Capable of taking any form they liked, they assumed handsome figures and repaired to the house of Himālaya along with their retinues and fair consorts. They all sang festive songs out of affection. The mountain-king had already caused a number of houses to be tastefully decorated; all the guests were lodged therein, each occupying a house befitting one’s status. The splendour of the city was so captivating that after a glance at it the creative skill of Brahmā himself looked very insignificant. (1 - 4)

A glance at the beautiful city made the creative art of Brahmā himself pale into insignificance. Groves and gardens, wells and ponds and rivers, all looked charming beyond words. Every house was decorated with a number of triumphal arches, flags and buntings. Men and women of the city were so lovely and ingenious that they enraptured the hearts even of sages.

The city in which the Mother of the universe had bodied Herself forth baffled all description. Prosperity and success, wealth and happiness were always on the increase there and presented a new aspect. (94)

When it was heard that the bridegroom’s procession was close at hand, there was commotion in the city, which added to its charm. Adorning themselves and decorating their vehicles of various kinds, a party proceeded in advance to receive the procession with due honour. They were gladdened at heart to see the gathering of the immortals. And they were all the more happy to behold Śrī Hari (Viṣṇu). But when they started looking at Śiva’s retinue, every animal they rode started back and fled in panic. The adults recovered themselves and remained where they were, while every child that came ran for its life. On their reaching home when their parents questioned them, they spoke as follows, their limbs still shaking with fear, “What shall we say? The sight was such as could not be described. We wonder whether it was a bridegroom’s procession or the army of Death. The bridegroom is a maniac, riding on a bull; serpents, skulls and ashes are his ornaments.” (1 - 4)

“His body is smeared with ashes and adorned with serpents and skulls. He is naked, has matted hair on his head and is dreadful to look at. He is accompanied by ghosts and evil spirits, goblins and fairies and demons with a frightful countenance. He who survives on seeing the marriage procession is a man of great luck indeed and he alone will witness the wedding of Umā.” These were the words uttered by the children from house to house.

The parents smiled; for they knew that the children were talking of Śiva’s retinue. They reassured the children in many ways and said, “Be not afraid, there is no cause for fear.” (95)

The party which had gone ahead to receive the marriage procession returned with the procession and assigned beautiful lodgings to all the guests. Mainā (Pārvatī’s mother) kindled auspicious lights for waving round the bridegroom and the women accompanying her sang melodious songs of rejoicing. A salver of gold adorned Menā’s fair hands and she proceeded to welcome Lord Hara with great delight. The women were seized with excessive fear when they saw Rudra (Śiva) in frightful accoutrements. They fled in great panic and entered the house; while the great Lord Śiva repaired to the lodgings of the bridegroom’s party. Mainā was sore distressed at heart and sent for Pārvatī. With great affection she seated her in her lap; and tears rushed to her eyes; which resembled a pair of blue lotuses. “How the Creator, who has made you so beautiful, has become so stupid to create such a raving madman for your bridegroom!” (1 - 4)

“How strange that the Creator, who has made you so lovely, should have given you a crazy fellow for a bridegroom! A fruit which should have adorned the wish-yielding tree is helplessly appearing on a thorny Babūla. Taking you in my arms I would sooner fall from a mountain-top, cast myself into the flames or drown myself into the sea. Let my home be ruined and let me earn a bad reputation throughout the world; but in no case would I marry you with this maniac so long as there is life in me. ”

All the ladies assembled there were distressed when they saw the consort of Himācala sad. Recalling the affection of her daughter she wailed, wept and exclaimed as below: - (96)

“What harm have I done to Nārada that he should have ruined my home and tendered such advice to Umā as made her undergo penance for securing a crazy husband? In good sooth the sage is passionless and without affection; he has no wealth, no dwelling and no wife and is indifferent to all. That is why he destroys others’ homes. He has neither shame nor fear. What does a barren woman know of the pains of childbirth?” Seeing Her mother distressed, Bhavānī addressed the following soft yet prudent words to her. “Whatever is ordained by Providence cannot be altered. Realizing this be not worried, mother. If I am destined to have a crazy husband, why should anyone be blamed for it? Can you alter the decree of Providence? Therefore, take no reproach on you unnecessarily.” (1 - 4)

“Take no reproach on you; cease lamenting; this is no occasion for it. The amount of joy and sorrow that has fallen to my lot I must reap wherever I go.” Hearing the soft and polite words of Umā all the ladies became sad. They blamed the Creator in many ways and tears flowed from their eyes.

On hearing the news that very moment Himācala came to his house along with Nārada and the seven seers. (97)

Then Nārada reassured them all, narrating to them the past history of Umā. He said, “Mainā, hear my true words: your daughter is none else than Bhavānī (the eternal Consort of Śiva), Mother of the universe. She is the unborn and imperishable divine energy, who has no beginning; She is Śambhu’s inseparable half. She creates, maintains and then dissolves the universe and assumes the semblance of a human form of Her own will. First she was born in the house of Dakṣa. Satī was Her name and charming was Her form. Even in that incarnation Satī was married with Śaṅkara. The story is well-known throughout the world. One day, while She was returning home with Śiva, She beheld Śrī Rāma, who is a sun as it were to the lotus-like race of Raghu. Bewildered by His sight, She did not listen to Śiva’s advice and was beguiled into assuming the disguise of Sītā. (1 - 4)

“Śaṅkara repudiated Her because She had offended Him by assuming the disguise of Sītā. Separated from Hara, She then visited the sacrifice undertaken by Her father and burnt Herself in the fire of Yoga (meditation) there. Now, reborn in your house, She has undergone terrible penance for the sake of Her lord. Knowing this, give up all doubt; Girijā (your daughter) is ever beloved of Śaṅkara. ”

When they heard Nārada’s explanation, the sadness of all was dispersed. In a trice the news spread from house to house throughout the city. (98)

Then Mainā and her consort Himavān rejoiced and bowed at Pārvatī’s feet again and again. All the citizens, including men, women and children, young men as well as elderly people, were immensely delighted. Festive songs began to be sung in the city; vases of gold of every pattern were displayed by all. Dishes of various kinds were prepared in accordance with the processes given in gastrological works. Is it ever possible to describe the varieties of dishes prepared in the house where lived Mother Bhavānī? Himācala respectfully summoned all the members of the bridegroom’s party, including Viṣṇu, Brahmā and other gods of all classes. The dinner guests sat in many rows; and expert cooks began to serve. Finding the gods dining, batches of women began to banter and rail at them in pleasant strains. (1 - 4)

Charming women railed in sweet strains and poured innuendoes. The gods felt much amused to hear them and dined for an unusually long time. The joy that swelled at the dinner cannot be described even with millions of tongues. Having been served with water for rinsing their mouths at the end of the dinner, they were given betel-leaves; and then they returned to their respective lodgings.

The seven sages called once more and read out to Himavān the note recording the time fixed for the wedding; and perceiving that the hour had arrived, the latter sent for the gods. (99)

Himavān politely sent for all the gods and assigned an appropriate seat to each of them. An altar was prepared in accordance with the Vedic ritual and women chanted charming festal strains. A divinely beautiful throne with the images of a pair of lions for its arms was placed on the altar; being a handiwork of the Creator himself, it beggared description. Bowing His head to the Brāhmaṇas and calling to His mind His own Master, the Lord of Raghus, Śiva took His seat on the throne. The great sages then sent for Umā, who was brought in by Her girl companions richly adorned. All the gods were enraptured at Her beauty. What poet in the world could describe such loveliness? Recognizing in Her the Mother of the universe and Spouse of Śiva, the divinities mentally bowed to Her. The perfection of beauty that Bhavānī was, could not be adequately praised even with millions of tongues. (1 - 4)

The superb beauty of the Mother of the universe could not be described even with millions of tongues. When even the Vedas, Śeṣa (the serpent-god) and Śāradā (the goddess of learning) shrink abashed, of what account is the dull-witted Tulasīdāsa? Mother Bhavānī, the mine of beauty, walked to the middle of the pavilion, where Śiva was. Out of shyness She could not gaze on Her lord’s lotus feet, although Her heart was fixed thereon like a bee.

At the direction of the sages Śambhu and Bhavānī paid divine honours to Lord Gaṇapati. Let no one be puzzled to hear this; for one should bear in mind that gods have existed from time without beginning. (100)

The great sages had the nuptial ceremony performed in all its details as laid down in the Vedas. Taking sacred Kuśa grass in his hand and holding the bride by Her hand, the mountain-king Himālaya made Her over to Bhava (Śiva) knowing Her to be His eternal consort. When the great Lord Śiva took the hand of the bride, all the great gods were glad at heart. The principal sages chanted the Vedic formulas, while the gods exclaimed, “Hail, Hail, all Hail to Śaṅkara!” Musical instruments of various kinds were sounded and flowers of different varieties were rained down from the heavens. The wedding of Hara and Girijā was thus concluded. A spirit of rejoicing pervaded the whole universe. Men-servants and maid-servants, horses and chariots, elephants and cows, raiment, jewels and various other articles and even so cart-loads of food-grains and gold utensils were given as dowry, which was more than one could describe. (1 - 4)

 Lord Gaṇapati is reputed to be an offspring of Śiva and Pārvatī. It may, therefore, be asked how He came to be worshipped by the divine pair even at the time of their wedding. The poet meets this question by stating that Gaṇeśa and the other gods are eternal and unbegotten and that they only appear to be born.


Himācala gave presents of various kinds as dowry; then, joining his palms, he said, “I have nothing to give you, Śaṅkara; You have all Yours desires sated!” He could say no more and remained clasping the latter’s feet. The ocean of mercy that Śiva is reassured His father-in-law in every possible way. Then Menā, with her heart overflowing with love, clasped His lotus-feet and said: -

“Lord, Umā is dear to me as life; take her as a maid-servant of Your house and forgive all her faults. Be pleased to grant this boon to me.” (101)

Śambhu comforted His mother-in-law in ways more than one; and she returned home bowing her head at his feet. The mother then sent for Umā, and taking Her into her lap gave Her the following excellent advice. “Ever adore the feet of Śaṅkara this sums up the duty of a wife. Her husband is her deity; there is no other god for her.” As she spoke these words, her eyes filled with tears and she pressed the girl to her bosom. “Why has god created woman in this world? One who is subordinate on others can never dream of happiness.” The mother was overwhelmed with emotion; but knowing as she did that it was not an opportune moment for betraying one’s weakness, she recovered herself. Mainā met Pārvatī again and again and fell down clasping the girl’s feet; her supreme love was beyond all words. Bidding adieu to all the ladies Bhavānī ran and clung to her mother’s breast once more. (1 - 4)

Taking leave of Her mother once more, Bhavānī departed; everyone uttered appropriate blessings to Her. She often turned back to have a look at Her mother; Her girl companions then took Her to Śiva. Having gratified all beggars. Śaṅkara proceeded to His home (Mount Kailāśa) with Umā. All the divinities delightfully rained down flowers and kettledrums produced a charming sound in the heavens.

Himavān then accompanied Śiva in order to see Him off with great affection. Śiva, however, sent him back, consoling him in various ways. (102)

The mountain-king returned home at once and summoned all other mountains and lakes. Himavān greeted them with due attention, gifts, polite words and great honour and allowed them all to depart. No sooner had Śambhu reached Mount Kailāśa than all the gods returned to their respective realms. Śambhu and Bhavānī are the parents of the universe; hence I refrain from portraying their amorous sports. Indulging in luxuries and enjoyments of various kinds the divine pair lived on Mount Kailāśa along with Their attendants. Hara and Girijā enjoyed some new delight every day. In this way a considerable time elapsed. Thereafter was born to them a boy with six heads, who (later on) killed the demon Tāraka in battle. The story of Śaṇmukha (the six-headed deity) is well-known in the Vedas, Tantras and Purāṇas, and the entire world knows it. (1 - 4)

The tale of the birth, exploits, glory and surpassing strength of Śaṇmukha is known to the whole world. That is why I have briefly touched the narrative of Śiva’s son. Men and women who narrate or sing this story of the wedding of Umā and Śambhu shall ever rejoice in their auspicious undertaking as well as during festive occasions such as wedding etc.

The exploits of Girijā’s lord are illimitable like the ocean; even the Vedas cannot reach their end. How, then, can Tulasīdāsa, a most dull-witted clown, succeed in describing them? (103)

Bharadvāja was much delighted to hear the sweet and charming story of Śambhu’s deeds. His passion for hearing the story grew to be inordinate; tears rushed to his eyes and the hair on his body bristled with joy. Overpowered with emotion he could not utter a word. The enlightened sage Yājñyavalkya was delighted to see his condition. “Blessed indeed is your birth. O great sage,” he said, “to you the Lord of Gaurī is dear as life. Those who love not Śiva’s lotus feet cannot even dream of pleasing Rāma. A guileless love for Śiva’s feet is the surest sign of a devotee of Rāma. Who is so faithful to the Lord of Raghus as Śiva, who renounced a sinless wife like Satī, and demonstrated ideal devotion to Rāma by His pledge of unswerving fidelity? Brother, whom does Rāma hold so dear as Śiva? (1 - 4)

“Having begun by recounting the deeds of Śiva I have come to know your secret. You are indeed a faithful servant of Rāma, free from all impurities.” (104)

I have come to know your virtues and disposition. Listen, therefore, while I narrate the story of the Lord of Raghus. O sage, I cannot say how glad I am at this meeting with you today. O lord of sages, the exploits of Śrī Rāma are much beyond measure; even a thousand million Śeṣas (serpent-kings) cannot recount them. Nevertheless, fixing my thoughts on the Lord who wields a bow in His hand and is the lord of speech, I repeat the tale as I have heard it. Śāradā (the goddess of speech) is like a puppet; while Śrī Rāma, the inner controller of all, is the master of the puppet show, who holds the strings in his hands. When He blesses a poet knowing him to be a devotee, He causes the goddess to dance in the courtyard of his heart. To Him, the benevolent Lord of Raghus, I bow and commence the recital of His fair virtues. Of all mountains the most charming and the best is Kailāśa, where Śiva and Umā eternally dwell. (1 - 4)

Hosts of Siddhas (adepts) ascetics and Yogīs (mystics), as well as gods, Kinnaras and sages, all lucky souls, reside there and adore Śiva, the root of all joy. (105)

Those who have their faces turned away from Hari and Hara and have no love for righteousness cannot even dream of going there. On the summit of that mountain exists a huge banyan tree, which is ever young and is charming during all seasons. Fanned by cool, soft and fragrant breezes, its shade is very refreshing. It is the favourite resort of Śiva, extolled by the Vedas. Once upon a time the Lord betook Himself beneath the tree and was much gladdened at heart to see it. Spreading His tiger-skin on the ground with His own hands, the all-merciful Śiva sat down casually. His body fair in hue as the jasmine, the moon and the conch-shell; long arms of inordinate length; a hermit’s covering, consisting of the bark of trees, wrapped round His loins; His feet resembling a pair of full-blown red lotuses and their toe-nails shedding a lustre which dispelled the darkness of the devotee’s heart; serpents and the ashes serving as ornaments of the Slayer of Tripura and His countenance eclipsing the splendour even of the autumnal full moon. (1 - 4)

With His twisted coils of hair for a crown and the celestial stream (the Gaṅgā) adorning His head, eyes as big as a pair of lotuses, throat dark with poison and with the crescent shining on His brow, the Lord looked like a veritable mine of beauty. (106)

Seated there, the Destroyer of Cupid looked like an incarnation of the sentiment of Quietism. Finding it a good opportunity, Mother Bhavānī called on Śambhu. In recognition of Her wifely love Lord Hara showed Her great courtesy and assigned Her a seat on His left side. Pārvatī gladly sat down beside Śiva and recalled the history of Her past life. Presuming that Her lord cherished in His heart greater love for Her than before, Umā smilingly spoke the following sweet words to Him: the Daughter of Himālaya sought to elicit from Her lord the story which is profitable to the whole world. “O Lord of the universe, O my Master, O slayer of the demon Tripura! Your glory is known to all the three spheres. Animate as well as inanimate beings, Nāgas, men and gods, all do homage to Your lotus-feet. (1 - 4)

“My Lord, You are all-powerful, all-wise and all-blissful; You are a repository of all arts and virtues and a storehouse of Yoga (austerity), wisdom and dispassion. Your Name is a wish-yielding tree as it were to the suppliant. (107)

“O blissful Lord, if You are pleased with me and know me to be Your faithful servant, then, my Master, disperse my ignorance by repeating to me the various stories of the Lord of Raghus. Why should he who has his abode beneath a wish-yielding tree undergo the suffering born of want? Bearing this in mind, O Lord with the crescent on the forehead, dispel the great confusion of my mind. O Lord, the sages who discourse on the supreme Reality speak of Rāma as the Brahma who has no beginning; Śeṣa and Śāradā, as well as the Vedas and the Purāṇas, all sing praises of the Lord of Raghus. You too, O Subduer of Love, reverently repeat the word Rāma night and day. Is this Rāma the same as the son of the King of Ayodhyā or some other unborn, unqualified and imperceptible Being?” (1 - 4)

“If a king’s son, how could he be Brahma (the Infinite)? And if he were Brahma, how could his mind get unhinged by the loss of his wife? When I see his acts on the one hand, and hear of his glory on the other, my mind gets utterly confused.” (108)

“If, my lord, there is any other desireless, all-pervading and all-powerful Brahma, instruct me about the same. Be not angry at my folly, but take steps to wipe out my ignorance. In the wood (in my previous birth) I witnessed Śrī Rāma’s glory, although I was too awe- stricken to tell You. Yet, my mind was so impure that I did not understand, and I reaped a good return for my folly. Some doubt still lingers in my mind. Be gracious to me, I implore You with joined palms. Lord, You instructed me then in ways more than one; yet I did not understand. Do not allow this thought to anger You. I have no such delusion now; I find developed in me a taste for hearing the story of Rāma. Recount the sacred virtues of Śrī Rāma, O Lord of immortals, having the serpent-king (Śeṣa) for an ornament.” (1 - 4)

“Placing my head on the ground, I adore Your feet and entreat You with joined palms to recount the unsullied glory of the Chief of Raghus, giving in substance the conclusion of the revealed texts (the Vedas) on the subject. (109)

“Though as a woman I am not qualified to hear it, I am Your servant in thought, word and deed. Saints do not withhold even an esoteric truth wherever they find a person smitten with agony, and therefore qualified to receive it. I ask You with a heart sore distressed; be gracious enough to narrate the story of the Lord of Raghus. First tell me after a mature thought what makes the unqualified Brahma assume a qualified form. Then, my lord, relate the story of Śrī Rāma’s descent, and tell me next the charming exploits of His childhood. Then let me know how He wedded Janaka’s daughter, Sītā, and the fault for which He had to renounce His father’s kingdom later on. Then describe the innumerable deeds performed by Him while He lived in the forest; and further tell me, my lord, how He killed Rāvaṇa. Then relate, O blissful Śaṅkara, all the numerous sports that were enacted by Him after his coronation. (1 - 4)

“Thereafter relate, O gracious Lord, the miracle wrought by Rāma, viz., how that Jewel of Raghu’s line proceeded to His divine Abode along with all His subjects.” (110)

“Then expound, my lord, the truth in the realization of which enlightened sages remain absorbed. And thereafter discuss in detail the conceptions of Devotion, Jñāna or Knowledge of the formless Absolute, Vijñāna or the Knowledge of qualified Divinity with and without form, and Dispassion. Over and above this, O Lord of purest understanding, reveal to me the many other mysteries connected with Rāma. And if there be anything which I have omitted to ask, do not keep it back, my gracious lord. You are the preceptor of all the three spheres, so declare the Vedas; what can other poor creatures know?” Śiva was glad at heart to hear these questions of Umā, naturally pleasing and guileless as they were. All the exploits of Rāma flashed on His mind; the hair on His body bristled with rapture and His eyes filled with tears. The figure of Śrī Rāma was reflected on the mirror of His heart. This brought immense joy to Śiva, who is an embodiment of supreme bliss Himself. (1 - 4)

For an hour or so Śiva was lost in the ecstasy of meditation. He then recovered Himself and thereafter began joyfully to tell the story of Rāma. (111)

“Due to lack of knowledge about Śrī Rāma even the unreal passes for real, just as ignorance about a rope leads us to mistake it for a snake. Even so the moment we know Him the world of matter vanishes, just as the delusion of a dream disappears as soon as we wake up. Him do I reverence in the form of a Child, the repetition of whose Name brings all kinds of success within our easy reach. May that Home of bliss and Bane of woe take compassion on me - He who sports in the courtyard of king Daśaratha.” After thus paying homage to Rāma, the Slayer of the demon Tripura joyfully spoke in mellifluous accents as follows: “You are indeed blessed and worthy of applause, O daughter of the mountain-king; there is no such benefactor as you. You have asked Me to repeat the history of the Lord of Raghus, which is potent enough to sanctify all the spheres even as the Gaṅgā purifies the whole world. You are full of love for the feet of the Hero of Raghu’s race; You have put questions to Me only with an eye to the good of the world.” (1 - 4)

“By the blessing of Rāma, O Pārvatī, not even in dream can grief, infatuation, doubt or error enter your mind, so far as I can judge.” (112)

“Yet you have expressed the same old doubts again, so that all those who repeat or hear this account may be benefited thereby. The ears of those who have never heard the stories of Śrī Hari are no better than snake-holes. The eyes of those who have not blessed them with the sight of saints are as good as the sham eyes in a peacock’s tail. The heads that bow not at the soles of Śrī Hari or of one’s preceptor are just like bitter pumpkins. Those who have cherished not in their heart the spirit of devotion to Śrī Hari are as good as dead, though living. The tongue that does not sing the praises of Rāma is just like the tongue of a frog. The heart which does not rejoice to hear the tales of Śrī Hari is hard as adamant and cruel indeed. Hear, O Girijā, the exploits of Śrī Rāma, which prove beneficial to the gods and mystify the demons.” (1 - 4)

“Like the cow of plenty, the story of Rāma bestows all blessings on those who devote themselves to it; and the assemblages of saints are the various abodes of gods. Knowing this, who would not listen to it?” (113)

“The story of Rāma is the lovely clap of hand-palms which scares away the birds of doubt. Even so the story of Rāma is an axe to the tree of Kāli yuga (the impurities of the Kali age); listen to it with reverence, O daughter of the mountain-king. The charming names of Śrī Rāma, as well as His virtues, stories, births and deeds have all been declared by the Vedas to be beyond number. As there is no end to the divine Rāma, even so His stories, glory and virtues are also endless. Yet, seeing your great love, I will tell them even as I have heard of them to the best of my intellectual capacity. Umā, your inquiries are naturally winning and delightful and such as are approved of by the saints; as for myself I am particularly pleased to hear them. But there was one thing, Bhavānī, which I did not like, although you uttered it under a spell of delusion: you suggested that the Rāma whom the Vedas extol and on whom the sages contemplate is someone else!” (1 - 4)

“Such words are spoken and heard by those vile men alone who are possessed by the devil of infatuation, are impious and averse to the feet of Śrī Hari and know no difference between truth and falsehood.” (114)

“Foolish, ignorant and blind wretches, the mirror of whose heart is clouded by the film of sensuality, lecherous, deceitful and grossly perverse, who have never seen an assemblage of holy men even in a dream and who have no sense of gain and loss, they alone make statements which are repugnant to the Vedas. The mirror of their heart is soiled and they have no eyes to see; how-then, can those wretched souls behold the beauty of Śrī Rāma? For those who have no knowledge either of the unqualified Brahma or of qualified Divinity, who indulge in fanciful utterances of various kinds and who spin round in this world under the influence of Śrī Hari’s deluding potency, no assertion is too absurd to make. Those who are delirious or mad, those who are possessed and those who are inebriated, do not talk sense. None should give ear to the ravings of those who have drunk the wine of infatuation.” (1 - 4)

“Thus assured in your heart, discard all doubt and adore Śrī Rāma’s feet. O daughter of the mountain-king, hear my words, which are sun-beams as it were for the darkness of error.” (115)

There is no difference between qualified Divinity and the unqualified Brahma: so declare the sages and men of wisdom, the Vedas and the Purāṇas. That which is attributeless and formless, imperceptible and unborn, becomes qualified under the influence of the devotee’s love. How can the Absolute become qualified? In the same way as water and the hail-stone are non-different in substance. Infatuation is out of the question for Him whose very Name is like the sun to the darkness of error. Śrī Rāma, who is Truth, Consciousness and Bliss combined, is like the sun; the night of ignorance cannot subsist in Him even to the smallest degree. He is the Lord whose very being is light; there is no dawn of understanding in His case (for the dawn presupposes night and night there is none in the sunlight of Śrī Rāma). Joy and grief, knowledge and ignorance, egoism and pride - these are the characteristics of a Jīva (finite being). Śrī Rāma is the all-pervading Brahma; He is supreme bliss personified, the highest Lord and the most ancient Being. The whole world knows it. (1 - 4)

“He who is universally known as the Spirit, the fount of light, manifest in all forms and is the lord of life as well as of matter, that Jewel of Raghu’s line is my Master.” So saying Śiva bowed His head to Him. (116)

“Fools do not perceive their own error; on the other hand, those stupid creatures attribute infatuation to the Lord, just as on seeing the sky covered with clouds, men of unsound judgment declare that the sun has been screened by the clouds. To him who sees with a finger stuck into his eyes the moon appears as doubled. Umā, infatuation is attributed to Rāma in the same way as darkness, smoke or dust appears in the sky. The objects of the senses, the senses and their presiding deities as well as the Jīva (embodied soul) - all these derive their illumination one from the other. (That is to say, the objects are illumined by the senses, the senses are illumined by their presiding deities and the deities presiding over the senses are illumined by the conscious Self). The supreme illuminator of them all is the eternal Rāma, king of Ayodhyā. The world of matter is the object of illumination, while Rāma is its illuminator. He is the lord of Māyā and the abode of wisdom and virtues. It is due to His reality that even unconscious Matter appears as real through ignorance.” (1 - 4)

“Just as a shell is mistaken for silver and a mirage for water even though the appearance is false at all times (in the past, present and future), nobody can dispel this delusion.” (117)

“In a like manner is this world of matter superimposed on Hari. Though unreal, it gives us pain nonetheless, just as if a man’s head is cut off in a dream, he is not rid of pain till he wakes. Girijā, He whose grace wipes out such delusion is none else than the benevolent Lord of Raghus. Nobody has been able to discover His beginning or end. Basing their conclusions on speculation the Vedas have described Him in the following words. He walks without feet, hears without ears and performs actions of various kinds even without hands. He enjoys all tastes without a mouth (palate) and is a most clever speaker even though devoid of speech. He touches without a body (the tactile sense), sees without eyes and catches all odours even without a nose (the olfactory sense). His ways are thus supernatural in every respect and His glory is beyond description.” (1 - 4)

“He who is thus extolled by the Vedas and men of wisdom and whom the sages love to contemplate is no other than the divine Rāma, son of Daśaratha, lord of Ayodhyā, the friend of His devotees.” (118)

“When I behold any creature dying in the holy Kāśī (the modern Vārāṇasī), it is by the power of His Name that I rid it of all sorrow (liberate it). He is my Lord, the Chief of Raghus, the sovereign of all creation, animate as well as inanimate, the witness of all hearts. If men repeat His Name even in a helpless state, sins committed by them in a series of previous existences are burnt away; while those who devoutly remember Him are able to cross the ocean of mundane existence as if it were a mere hollow made by the hoof of a cow. Rāma is no other than that supreme Spirit. Bhavānī; your assertion that He is subject to delusion is wholly unwarranted. The moment a man harbours such a doubt in his mind, his wisdom, dispassion and all other virtues bid adieu to him.” When Pārvatī heard Śiva’s illuminating words, the whole structure of her sophistry collapsed. Attachment and devotion to the feet of the Lord of Raghus sprang in her heart and her shocking incredulity disappeared. (1 - 4)

Clasping the lotus-feet of her lord again and again, and joining her lotus-like palms, Pārvatī spoke the following fine words, steeping them as it were in the nectar of love: -

“Now that I have listened to Your words, which were refreshing as moonbeams, my ignorance, like the feverish heat of the autumnal sunshine, has faded away. You have removed all my doubt, O gracious Lord, and the reality of Rāma has been revealed to me. By Your grace, my lord, my gloom has been lifted and I feel happy now by the blessing of my lord’s feet. Now, regarding me as Your slave, even though I am a woman, ignorant and stupid by nature, answer my former question, if You are pleased with me, my lord. Rāma, I now understand, is no other than the indestructible Brahma (God), who is consciousness itself and who, though bereft of all, yet dwells in the heart of all. Why did He take the form of a human being? Explain this to me, O Śaṅkara.” Hearing Umā’s most polite words and seeing Her unadulterated love for the story of Śrī Rāma - (1 - 4)

 - The all-merciful and all-wise Śaṅkara, the Destroyer of Cupid, was glad at heart and, extolling Umā in so many ways, said: - (120A)