Guiding Light: Eka-Shloki Ramayana

Guiding Light: Eka-Shloki Ramayana

Prof S AinavoluUpdated: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 11:23 PM IST
article-image
Wikimedia

Ramayana, which is Rama+ayana literally means Rama’s journey. Sri Rama was born in the Ikshvaku clan in which well-known Raghu maharaja was born. Raghu’s son was Aja. Dasharatha was son of Aja maharaja. Dasharatha was blessed with four sons after performing ‘Putra Kameshti’, a yagya. The yagnik for the Kratu was Sage Vibhandaka’s son Rishyashringa. They grew and till sub-teens, mastered the art and science from their kulguru Sage Vashishta. Then Vishwamitra rishi came and sought the assistance of Shri Rama for protecting a Yagya he intended to perform. Rama gets married, lives in Ayodhya for the next twelve years. Then the actual journey of Rama begins.

Eka-shloki means single Samskritam stanza, and Eka-shloki Ramayana means the essence of Ramayana narrated in single such stanza. Ramayana has twenty four thousand shlokas. Condensing these into a single shloka is an astounding feat in which milestones are listed.

The beginning is ‘adau rama tapovanadi gamanam’, meaning Sri Rama left for the forests to live in a simple manner and for fourteen years, as was asked by his father, who was pressurized by Kaikeyi. There in the forest after thirteen years of living with sages and in their viscinity, one day golden deer was spotted by Sita and she wanted to take it or its skin as gift to Ayodhya when they return. This is given as ‘hatva mrugam kanchanam’.

Quickly to happen are – ‘Vaidehi haranam, Jatayu maranam, Sugriva sambhashanam’. Meaning of this is Sita’s abduction, Jatayu who tried to save her getting killed, and Rama getting in touch with Sugriva and mutually beneficial friendship blossoming. Then ‘Vali nigrahanam, Samudra taranam, Lankapuri dahanam’, all mean to tell us that Vali (elder brother of Sugriva) getting killed, Sea was crossed, and Lanka city was burnt.

The last ‘Kanda’ in Ramayana is Yudha kanda. Outcome of the war was Ravana and Kumbhakarna getting killed in the war, bringing the story to a positive ending. Eka-shloki too concludes by saying that ‘paschyat Ravana Kumbhakarna hananam’, and ‘yetaddhi Ramayanam’ meaning this is Ramayana.

In these days of packed schedules with long and stretched working hours, Ramayana summary recital happening in one shloka is very desirable. Tradition says if one cannot do the ‘Parayana’ of entire Ramayana, eka-shloki may be reverentially recited, and it helps.

Prof S Ainavolu is a Mumbai-based teacher of Tradition and Management. Views are personal. https://www.linkedin.com/in/s-ainavolu-6831b724/ * https://www.ainavolu.in/blog

RECENT STORIES

Buddha Purnima 2024: Inspirational Quotes By Buddha

Buddha Purnima 2024: Inspirational Quotes By Buddha

Guiding Light: Let’s Protect And Promote Our Moral Atmosphere

Guiding Light: Let’s Protect And Promote Our Moral Atmosphere

Guiding Light: Mrutyudaru Kutharika

Guiding Light: Mrutyudaru Kutharika

5 Bhagavad Gita Lessons You Need To Know If You Are Lost In Life

5 Bhagavad Gita Lessons You Need To Know If You Are Lost In Life

Guiding Light: Gautama Buddha

Guiding Light: Gautama Buddha