kausalyayam-in the womb of Kausalya-devi; dasarathat-from Dasaratha Maharaja; nava-fresh; durva-dala-durva grass; dyutiH-with the splendor; tretayam-during the Treta-yuga; avirabhavat-appeared; caturvimse-during the 24th; catuh-yuge-cycle of four yugas; bharatena-by Bharata; sumitrayaH-of Sumitra; nandanabhyam-by the two sons (Laksmana and Satrughna); ca-also; samyutaH-accompanied.
"Splendid as a new blade of durva grass, and accompanied by Sumitra's two sons and by Bharata, Lord Ramachandra appeared in the Treta-yuga of the 24th catur-yuga as the son of Kausalya and Dasaratha."
[It is clearly mentioned that caturvimse catur yuge i.e during the 24th caturyuga. Calculations: 1 Catur-yuga= 4,320,000 years or 43 lakh 20 thousand years]
Catur-yugas passed = 24th part (roughly half) of Treta & full Kali, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th till part of Kali-yuga
(+ or - 432,000 years is required because we don't exactly know in which period of Treta Yuga of the 24th Chatur-yuga Lord Rama appeared, He appeared).
This is a most beautiful & detailed narration about the appearance of Lord Ramachandra from the book (Valmiki) "Ramayana" by Shriman Purnaprajna dasa.
The great tract of land known as Kosala extended along the banks of the Sarayu River. This land was verdant, prosperous and rich in grain. Within this vast territory was the renowned city of Ayodhya, built by the desire of Vaivasvata Manu, the ruler of mankind. This glorious city was ninety-six miles long and twenty-four miles wide. It was well laid out, and its beautiful, straight roads were perfumed with scented water sprayed from the trunks of intoxicated elephants. Every day, the damsels of the celestial planets hovered above it in their beautiful airplanes and showered it with flowers.
The arched gateways of Ayodhya were made of marble, and the gates were wrought with gold and silver and embedded with precious jewels. Cannons and catapults, capable of repulsing any enemy, protected the city walls. The marketplaces were well planned, and seven-story houses symmetrically lined the streets. Adorned with multi-storied palaces and surrounded with exquisite gardens, Ayodhya resounded with the vibrations of musical instruments, rivaling Amaravati, the abode of the heavenly king, Indra. Throughout the city, bards and singers recited the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and dancers acted out the Lord's pastimes for everyone's benefit.
Within Ayodhya were many beautiful gardens abounding with flowers and shaded by fruit trees. Blue, red, and golden lotuses filled the ponds, and fountains shot water high into the air. Gentle breezes carried the aromatic spray from the fountains, cooling the citizens by their touch, and making even a hot summer day seem like spring. The sounds of cranes and peacocks could be heard everywhere. The water flowing through Ayodhya's streams and rivulets tasted as sweet as sugarcane sap, and it was used not only for drinking but for irrigating numerous mango orchards. Many houses and palaces, perfectly designed, were built of precious stones and decorated with flags and festoons. Their beauty rivaled the palaces of Vaikuntha. Thousands of warriors protected the great city: skilled archers, well versed in the use of weapons, and chariot fighters who were able to fight with thousands of men at a time.
The streets leading into Ayodhya were always filled with travelers. Kings and princes from all parts of the world came to render their annual tribute and pay respects to the King of Ayodhya. Traders from near and far flocked to the markets to barter.
Brahmana priests could often be seen pouring ghee into sacrificial fires and chanting Vedic hymns, proclaiming the glories of Lord Vishnu. Having mastered their senses and devoted themselves to truth, these brahmanas were blessed with all good qualities.
Maharaja Dasaratha was the emperor of the entire world and was a great rajarsi, considered almost on the level of a maharsi He was a formidable warrior, capable of fighting alone with an unlimited number of opponents. Because he and the citizens were completely pious, Ayodhya was the picture of perfect Vedic civilization. Every imaginable opulence was exhibited in perfection, and material miseries, coming from the results of sinful life, were practically nonexistent. In Ayodhya, the four social orders, namely the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras, participated cooperatively for the peace and prosperity of the kingdom. No one cheated and no one was miserly. Arrogance, atheism, and harsh behavior and speech were conspicuous by their absence.
Even though Maharaja Dasaratha possessed such fantastic opulence and prestige, he remained unhappy. Try as he may, the King was unable to beget a son to continue his dynasty. Finally, after much deliberation, King Dasaratha decided to perform a horse sacrifice for the purpose of getting a son. With this in mind he sent his chief minister, Sumantra, to call for his family priests.
When the brahmanas, headed by Vasistha and Vamadeva, assembled, Maharaja Dasaratha addressed them, saying, ''O best among the twice born, for many years I have ardently desired to beget a son. However, all my efforts have been in vain. Because I am without an heir, I can no longer feign happiness. Indeed, my days seem wasted and are filled with grief. Thus, after much careful consideration, and with your kind permission, I have decided to perform a horse sacrifice. Because you are fully knowledgeable in scripture, I am confident that you will be able to lead me on the proper path.'' The priests unanimously approved of Maharaja Dasaratha's idea to perform the horse sacrifice, and thereafter, the king ordered his ministers to make all necessary arrangements without delay. Sumantra then took Maharaja Dasaratha aside to narrate the following story (about Rsyasrnga)...
Maharaja Dasaratha was very pleased to hear this story from Sumantra. Then, without delay, he went with his retinue to the kingdom of Anga. There, he was received by Maharaja Romapada with great respect, and at that time the king of Anga informed Rsyasrnga that Dasaratha was his real father-in-law. After enjoying Romapada's hospitality for about one week, Maharaja Dasaratha addressed his friend as follows: ''For a long time I have been morose on account of not having a son to perpetuate my illustrious dynasty. Now, I beg you to allow Rsyasrnga to come to Ayodhya to perform a horse sacrifice on my behalf.''
Romapada happily agreed, and Maharaja Dasaratha soon returned to his capital with Rsyasrnga and Santa. Then, when spring arrived, Maharaja Dasaratha humbly approached Rsyasrnga, begging him for instructions regarding the performance of the horse sacrifice. Thus, preparations for the sacrifice commenced and a site was selected on the northern bank of the River Sarayu. The system was for an emperor to send a challenge horse all over the world to establish his supremacy over subordinate kings. The horse would be accompanied by soldiers of the emperor, and upon its arrival in a kingdom, the local king would either have to offer tribute to the emperor's representatives, or fight to capture the horse. Any ruling prince or king was at liberty either to express his tacit willingness to obey the emperor, or to accept the challenge and thus disobey the supremacy of the particular emperor. One who accepted the challenge had to fight with the emperor's men and establish his own supremacy by victory. The defeated challenger would have to sacrifice his life, making place for another king or ruler. Only when the horse returned after touring the world, with no more challengers left, could a horse sacrifice begin.
Understanding that King Janaka would be the future father-in-law of his sons, Maharaja Dasaratha sent him the first invitation. Likewise, other subordinate kings were requested to attend the sacrifice. After one full year, the challenge horse returned to Ayodhya, having wandered over the earth under the protection of 400 princes. Only then could the sacrifice begin.
After the preliminary rites had been performed Maharaja Dasaratha's eldest queen, Kausalya, circumambulated the challenge horse, which was tied to one of the sacrificial stakes. Then, with three strokes of a sword, she severed the horse's head, as prescribed by scriptural injunction.
Thereafter, Rsyasrnga offered the fat of the dead horse into the sacrificial fire. Maharaja Dasaratha was directed to inhale the fumes, to free him from all sins. Then, the assisting priests offered the limbs of the horse into the sacrificial fire, bringing the three day sacrifice to an end. Maharaja Dasaratha then gave away the four directions of the earth in charity to the four chief priests. The brahmanas returned the gifts, however, saying, ''O king, we are devoted to Vedic study and the performance of austerities, and have no interest in ruling over a kingdom. Therefore, please give us other gifts like cows and gold.''
Rsyasrnga then approached Maharaja Dasaratha, saying, ''My dear king, you will surely receive four glorious sons. However, I propose that a separate sacrifice, known as Putresti, be performed for that purpose.''
Maharaja Dasaratha readily assented, soon the sacrifice was begun. Meanwhile, in the higher planets, the chief demigods approached Lord Brahma and explained, ''O grandsire, because of your benedictions, Ravana has become so powerful that he is harassing everyone at will. Even we cannot subdue the wicked Raksasa. Therefore, we request you to personally devise the means for his destruction.''
Lord Brahma considered the situation and then replied, ''At the time of asking for benedictions, Ravana did not bother to ask for immunity from death at the hands of human beings, for he considered them to be too insignificant.''
While Brahma was thinking how Ravana could be killed, Lord Vishnu suddenly appeared, riding on His carrier, Garuda. As effulgent as many suns, Lord Vishnu appeared in His four-armed form, dressed in bright saffron garments and carrying His disc, conch, club and lotus flower.
The demigods worshipped the Supreme Lord with great reverence and then requested, ''O master of the universe, please come to our rescue by dividing Yourself into four, becoming the sons of Maharaja Dasaratha for the purpose of killing Ravana.''
Lord Vishnu replied, ''Rest assured, there is no longer any need to be afraid. I will soon incarnate to rule over the earth for 11,000 years after vanquishing your enemy, the king of the Raksasas.'' After saying this, Lord Vishnu disappeared as the demigods looked on with wonder. Meanwhile, from the sacrificial fire of Maharaja Dasaratha, there appeared an exceptional being of dark complexion with all auspicious bodily features. This personality appeared to be unlimitedly powerful. He was decorated with transcendental ornaments, and in his hand he carried a large golden pot of sweet rice. That divine person then told Maharaja Dasaratha, ''I am a messenger of Lord Vishnu.''
With folded hands, the king replied, ''O Vishnuduta, please order me to perform whatever service I can render.''
The servant of Lord Vishnu said, ''This pot of sweet rice is the reward for your two sacrificial performances. Give portions to your three wives to eat. Through them you shall beget four sons who will forever perpetuate your fame.''
Maharaja Dasaratha happily accepted the sweet rice and circumambulated the Vishnuduta. After Lord Vishnu's messenger disappeared from view, Maharaja Dasaratha quickly gave portions of the sweet rice to his wives, for he was eager to have sons.
Maharaja Dasaratha gave Kausalya one half of the sweet rice, Sumitra one fourth, and Kaikeyi one eighth. Then after some deliberation, he gave the remaining eighth to Sumitra. All three wives were overjoyed, for they were confident that they would soon become mothers.
The three Queens eagerly ate their shares and soon thereafter, each felt the presence of divine offspring within their wombs. When Maharaja Dasaratha understood that his wives were pregnant, he too became very satisfied. Meanwhile, Lord Brahma ordered the demigods as follows: ''Beget partial manifestations of yourselves to assist Lord Vishnu in His forthcoming incarnation. The children which you produce in the form of monkeys (by uniting with Apsaras, she-monkeys, and female Yaksas, Nagas, Vidyadharas and other celestial beings), must be capable of assuming any form at will and must possess all other mystic powers. In addition, they must be very intelligent, highly skilled in the use of weapons, having prowess almost equal to Lord Vishnu, and possess ethereal bodies.''
After receiving the order of Lord Brahma, Indra begot Vali, Surya begot Sugriva, Brhaspati begot Tara, Kuvera begot Gandhamada, Visvakarma begot Nala, Varuna begot Susena, and Vayu begot Hanumana. Besides these principal monkeys, many thousands of others took birth to assist Lord Vishnu in His mission. All of them were gigantic like mountains and were very eager to fight with Ravana. Like the demigods who begot them, these monkeys were born just after conception. They were so powerful that they could agitate the ocean with their impetuous energy.
There were three classes of these created beings: bears, monkeys, and monkeys that had long tails like cows. Because there were more than ten million of these monkeys and bears, the earth soon became overrun with them as they wandered throughout the forests, eating wild fruits and various roots.
After the completion of the Putrsti sacrifice, the demigods (who personally came to accept their offerings) and the priests, Rsyasrnga and Santa, departed for their respective residences. Then, after a pregnancy of twelve months, on the ninth day of the waxing (bright) fortnight in the month of Caitra, Kausalya gave birth to a son. This divine child had reddish eyes and lips, long arms, and was decorated with all auspicious markings. The son of Kausalya represented one-half of the potency of Lord Vishnu.
Soon thereafter, a son representing one-fourth of the prowess of Lord Vishnu was born of Kaikeyi, Maharaja Dasaratha's youngest queen. Then, two days after the appearance of Kausalya's son, Sumitra gave birth to twins, each representing one-sixth of the potency of Lord Vishnu. All four of the newborn children highly resembled one another and were exceedingly effulgent and pleasing to behold. Indeed, upon the appearance of Maharaja Dasaratha's four sons, the demigods showered flowers from heaven, while the Gandharvas sang and played musical instruments as the Apsaras danced. In Ayodhya there was a great festival, as musicians, dancers and actors crowded the streets, with all the citizens participating in the merrymaking.
SrI RAma ashTottara satanAmAvaLi
asya srI rAmacandranAmAshTottara satamantrasya brahmA rshih | anushtup chandah | jAnakI vallabhah srI rAmacandro devatA | om bIjam | namah saktih | srI rAmacandrah kIlakam | shri rAmacandraprItyarthe jape viniyogah |
om namo bhagavate rAjAdhirAjAya paramAtmane hrdayAya namah| om namo bhagavate vidhyAdhirAjAya hayagrIvAya sirase svAhA | om namo bhagavate jAnakI vallabhAya namah sikhAyai vashatt | om namo bhagavate raghunandAyAmitatejase kavacAya hum | om namo bhagavate kshIrAbdhi madhyasthAya nArAyaNAya netratrayAya voushaT | om namo bhagavate satprakAsAya rAmAya astrAya phaT | iti shadanganyAsah | evam angulinyAsah kAryah |
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu delightfully ordered Shri Murari Gupta (none other than Hanuman) to recite some poems composed by Shri Gupta himself. Shri Murari Gupta began to recite Ramastaka and the Lord, who was greatly pleased, at once regarded himself as Ramacandra. With a sweet smile Prabhu wrote the name "Ramadasa" on the forehead of Murari Gupta.
By the order of Mahaprabhu, Murarigupta recited his own composition "Shri Ramastaka".
(1) "I adore the Supreme Lord Ramacandra who is worshipped by the residents of the three worlds; Whose face is as beautiful as a spotless moon, Whose ears are adorned with beautiful kundalas, shining more brilliantly than the stars named Brhaspati and Sukra; and whose crown is bedecked with the gleaming Kiritamani jewel which glows like the shining rays of the sun."
(2) "I worship Shri Ramacandra, the only guru of the three worlds, Whose eyes are as beautiful as blossoming lotus', Whose lips are like beautifully red bimba fruit. His nose is charming and His smile defeats the soft rays of the moon."
(3) "I worship the only guru of the three worlds, Shri Ramacandra, whose neck is as charming as a conch, and Whose complexion is like that of a blue lotus. His effulgent necklaces of pearl and gold are likened to the sky, where lightening flashes next to white swan-colored clouds."
(4) "I praise Shri Ramacandra, by whose side is seated the bright golden complexioned Sita who holds a lotus flower in Her raised hand. That lotus clasped by Her five beautiful fingers is possessed of morethan five hundred leaves."
(5) "I sing the glories of Shri Ramacandra, the only guru throughout the three worlds, in front of whom stands the great archer Shri Laksmana, formerly known as Shesha (or Great Spirit), whose beautiful golden complexion is enhanced by numerous ornaments and who is known as a devout servant of his elder brother."
(6) "I glorify Shri Raghava, the killer of the demons Ravana, Khara, Trisira and Kavandha. He is the destroyer of the corruptor's of Shri Dandakaranya: the killer of Vali: and the friend of Sugriva."
(7) "I worship the only guru of the three worlds, Shri Rama, who has taken the hand of Sita after breaking the Haradhanu. While one his way from Mithila to Ayodhya, Shri Ramacandra, for the pleasure of his father, destroyed the pride of Parasaurama. "
(8) To be Translated
Being pleased to hear the glories of Shri Raghunandana Rajasimha, the Supreme Lord Gaurasundara, placed his feet on the head of Shri Murari Gupta and wrote on his forehead, "It is My desire that henceforward you shall be known as Ramadasa." Murari Gupta was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. In the morning Prabhu and all the devotees returned to their own houses. Who can understand the hidden meaning and true intentions behind the Lord's transcendental activities.
From Bhati Ratnakara by Narahari Dasa, Translation by Shri Kushakratha dasa