The Guru-Paramparā of eternal 'Śrī-Sampradāya'

Sampradāya 'सम्यक प्रदीयते इति संप्रदाय' means '(The tradition of Guru-paramparā) which gives the right-knowledge, it refers to the sect in which divine-knowledge is passed through Guru-Paramparā to the disciples in succession.

Two Vaiṣhṇava traditions of Viśiṣṭādvaita (विशिष्टाद्वैत)

Viśiṣṭādvaita (qualified non-dualism) is the ancient philosophy of Vedas, It harmonizes Advaitic (non-dualistic) and Dvaitic (dualistic) statements of Vaidic scriptures.

In the age of Kali, the Viśiṣṭādvaita philosophy was first propounded by Bhagavad Bodhāyana (around 600BC) of Śrī Rāmāvat-Sampradāy, in his Brahm-sutra-Vritti an extesive commentary on Brahm-sutra in which he explained Viśiṣṭādvaita. Sage Bodhāyana was born in Sītāmadhī, Bihār.

Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānujāchārya (1017CE-1137CE) in his Śrī-Bhāshya very reverentially remembers Śrī Bodhāyana by saying 'Bhagavad Bodhāyana'-

भगवद्बोधायनकृतां विस्तीर्णां ब्रह्मसूत्रवृत्तिं पूर्वाचार्याः संचिक्षिपुः तन्मतानुसारेण सूत्राक्षराणि व्याख्यास्यन्ते। (~ श्रीभाष्य)

bhagavad-bōdhāyana-kṛtāṃ vistīrṇāṃ brahma-sūtra-vṛttiṃ pūrvācāryāḥ saṃcikṣipuḥ tanmatānusārēṇa sūtrākṣarāṇi vyākhyāsyantē। (~ śrībhāṣya)

“The Pūrvāchāryā-s (ancient teachers such as Śrī Ṭaṅka Brahmānandi, Śrī Dramiḍācārya, Śrī Vatsānkamishra and others) abridged and summarized that extensive commentary on Brahma-sutras (Brahm-sutra-vritti) composed by Bhagavad (venerable) Bodhāyana. In accordance of their opinion, the words of Sutras (i.e. aphorisms) are being explained (by me).”

Commenting over this, the scholars belonging to Śrī-Rāmānuja-Sampradāya also have accepted that there have been two lineages of Viśhiṣhṭādvaita-Siddhānta - the first one, the lineage of Śrī Bodhāyana Rishi, and the second one, the lineage of Nātha-Muni.

Thus, The Viśhiṣhṭādvaita-Siddhānta actually came from the first lineage of Śrī Bodhāyana Rishi to the second lineage of Nāthamuni.

Later on, to write a commentary on Brahm-sutras in accordance of Viśhiṣhṭādvaita, Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānuja wanted to study first the Brahm-sutra-Vritti composed by Bhagavad Bodhāyana, He tried to locate a copy of it in south India, however he couldn't get it there. Therefore, He had to travel from South to North India, and He finally got a copy of Brahm-sutra-vritti in Kashmīr, thereafter He wrote Śrī-Bhāshya, and propagated Viśhiṣhṭādvaita-Vedānta in south India.

Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānanda (1199CE-1475CE*) appeared in the first lineage of Viśiṣṭādvaita-Vedānta, the lineage of Bhagavad Śrī Bodhāyana Rishi who is also known as Śrī Purushottamāchārya. And, Bhagavad Śrī-Rāmānuja appeared in the second lineage, the lineage of Nātha Muni.

Āchārya Brahmānandi Śrī Ṭaṅka had written 'Vākya' a commentary on Chhāndogya Upanishad, He is quoted by Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānuja in his Śrī-Bhāshya and Vedārtha-Sangrah. Śrī Dramiḍācārya commented on Brahm-sutra of Bādarayaṇa, and 'Vākya' of Śrī Ṭaṅka, He is quoted by Śrī-Yāmuna muni in his Siddhitraya and by Śrī Rāmānuja also in his Śrī-Bhāshya and Vedārtha-Sangrah. Śrī Vatsānkamishra is mentioned by Śrī-Yāmuna muni in his Siddhitraya. However, Āchārya Śrī Ṭaṅka, Śrī Dramiḍācārya, Śrī Vatsānkamishra don't come in the guru-Paramparā of Śrī-Rāmānuja-Sampradāya, Yet they clearly summarized the Viśhiṣhṭādvaita-Siddhānta in their compositions and commentaries, therefore they were in the lineage of Viśiṣṭādvaita-Vedānta of Bhagavad Śrī Bodhāyana.

Śrī Rāmāvat-Sampradāya

Śrī Rāmāvat-Sampradāya or Śrī Rāmānand-Sampradāya is called Śrī-Sampradāya (the sect starting from Bhagavatī Śrī-Devī i.e. Bhagavatī Sītā), while Śrī Rāmānuja-Sampradāya is called Śrī-Vaiṣṇava Sampradāya (the sect of Bhagavatī Śrī Lakshmī). Thus, there have been two lineages of Viśhiṣhṭādvaita-Siddhānta, which are associated with Śrī (originally Śrī is Sītā Jī). The first lineage is of Jagadguru Śrī Rāmānandāchārya, which accepts two-armed Śrī Rāma as Para-Swarupa (original-swarupa) of Bhagavān (i.e. Bhagavān himself) and Śrī Sītā as the first Āchārya; and another lineage is of Jagadguru Śrī Rāmānujāchārya, which accepts Śrī Nārāyaṇa (Para-Nārāyaṇa is also known as Śrī Rāma-Nārāyaṇa Prabhu) as Para-swarupa and Śrī Lakshmī as the first Āchārya. Śrī Rāmāvat-Sampradāya is widely popular in northern part of India.

Some people who are not well acquainted with Śrī Rāmāvat Sampradāya (in which Bhagavān Śrī Rāma has been worshiped as Para-swarupa of Bhagavān and Para-Brahman himself since time immemorial), may think that as Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānanda (1199CE-1475CE) appeared 162 Years later after Bhagavand Śrī Rāmānuja, therefore Śrī-Sampradāya of Jagadguru Śrī Rāmānandāchārya should be the branch of Śrī-Vaiṣṇava Sampradāya of Jagadguru Śrī Rāmānujāchārya (जगद्गुरु श्री रामानुजाचार्य). However in reality, Śrī-Vaiṣṇava Sampradāya of Śrī Jagadguru Rāmānujacharya should be taken as the branch of the eternal Śrī-Sampradāya in which Jagadguru Śrī Rāmānandāchārya appeared later. (How?) The Guru-paramparā of Śrī-Sampradāya (Śrī Rāmāvat Sampradāya) have been in existence since beginning in all the ages, it is eternal; while the guru-Paramparā of Śrī-Vaiṣṇava Sampradāya begins on the earth from Śrī Shathakopa Muni who appeared in Kaliyuga. And, the Viśiṣṭādvaita-Vedānta came into the guru-Paramparā (lineage) of Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānuja from Bhagavad Śrī Bodhāyana (Bodhāyan rishi) of Śrī Rāmāvat tradition. Prior to Śrī-Vaiṣṇava Sampradāya, Vaikhānasa-Vaiṣṇavas existed there in South, as per Shruti (Veda) the Vaikhānasa belonged to the eternal Śrī Rāmāvat Sampradāya or Śrī-Sampradāya which adheres to the teachings of Sītopanishad that everyone and everything came forth from Śrī Sītā and Śrī Rāma (वैखानसमतस्तस्मिन्नादौ प्रत्यक्षदर्शनम्। स्मर्यते मुनिभिर्नित्यं वैखानसमतः परम्। ~ सीतोपनिषद्). Therefore, there have been many prominent Acharyas [even before and After Śrī Rāmānuja] and some Alwars in Śrī Rāmānuji-tradition who were great Śrī Rāma-Bhakta and they surrendered exclusively to (took exlusively Sharanagati of) Bhagavān Śrī Rāma.

Śrī Bodhāyana rishi wrote Brahm-sutra-Vritti, Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānuja wrote Śrī-Bhāshya, and Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānanda wrote Ānand-Bhāshya which are their commentary on Śrī Bādarayaṇa's Vedānta Sutra in accordance of Viśhiṣhṭādvaita Vedānta. Bhagavān Śrī Rāmānanda has given his Guru-Paramparā in Śrī Rāmārchan Paddhati starting from Bhagavatī Śrī Sītā, which shows Śrī Rāmāvat-Sampradāya is Param-Svatantra Sampradāya, this is a natural truth. However, Śrī Rāmānuji Vaiṣṇava scholars also treat Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānanda as their own and they have put Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānuja at tenth postion in their lineage as his Purvāchārya. [ click here to see the lineage usually given by Shri Vaiṣhṇava scholars of Śrī Rāmānuja-sect, not by Śrī Rāmānand-Sampradāya.]

The eternity of Śrī-Rāma-bhakti and Śrī-Rāmāvat Sampradāya

The life-story of Śrī-Rāma, and his glories are first known through Ādi-Kāvya Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa (which is the first scripture composed by a Maharṣhi), Therefore Śrī-Rāma-bhakti has been undoubtedly at least current on the earth since Tretā-yuga. However, the same Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa says Śrī-Rāma is the Ādi-deva Sanātan-Paramātmā (अनादि, आदिदेवो, परमात्मा सनातनः ~ वाल्मीकीये without any beginning, the primeval-divinity and the eternal Supreme soul), He is the immutable-Brahm seen in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end (अक्षरं ब्रह्म सत्यं च मध्ये चान्ते च राघव ~ वाल्मीकीये), He is the soul of eternal Vedas (वेदात्मा ~ वाल्मीकीये). Since, He, the Param-Purusha known through Vedas (वेदवेद्ये परेपुंसि) himself appeared in Tretā-yuga, therefore all the Vedas appeared in form of Ādi-Kāvya Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa,

When Śrī Rāma appeared, then Maharṣhi Vālmīki said Kausalyā gave birth to Jagannāth Sarvalok-namaskrit Śrī Rāma (प्रोद्यमाने जगन्नाथं सर्वलोकनमस्कृतम् । कौसल्या अजनयत् रामं दिव्यलक्षणसंयुतम्॥) even before the name giving ceremony, instead of just telling she gave birth to an extraordinary child (तमद्भ‍ुतं बालकम् ~ भागवते or बालकम् दिव्यलक्षणसंयुतम्), It shows Śrī Rāma was known before his birth, or in other words, The Parabrahm who is eternally renowned by the name ‘Rāma’ appeared as the son of Kausalyā. It is Śrī Rāma who took the form of Viṣhṇu in the beginning (विष्णुत्वं उपजग्मिवान् ~ वाल्मीकीये), it is He, Śrī Rāma who slept on the Mahārṇava (the causal ocean) in form of Kāraṇajalaśhāyī-Nārāyaṇa (महार्णवे शयानोऽपसु त्वं ~ वाल्मीकीये), These say ‘Śrī Rāma’ is the eternal Supreme Lord who manifested the forms of Nārāyaṇa, Viṣhṇu, and others.

As like Shiva, Śrī Viṣhṇu, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, etc., have their eternal-Sampradāya; similarly Śrī-Rāmāvat-Sampradāya is the eternal and supremely independent Sampradāya of Bhagavān Śrī Rāma in which —

Śrī Rāma is the Iṣhṭa of all the worlds (इष्टः सर्वस्य लोकस्य रामः ~ वाल्मीकीये), He is Sarvalokeśhvara (सर्वलोकेश्वरः ~ वाल्मीकीये - the supreme god of all the worlds) and the sovereign-king of all the worlds (राजा सर्वस्य लोकस्य ~ वाल्मीकीये, एको॒ विश्व॑स्य॒ भुव॑नस्य॒ राजा॑ ~ ऋग्वेद), It says the eternity of Śrī Rāma-Bhakti in all the worlds; Śrī Rāma is the Param-dhyeya (the supreme-object to be sought) the Parabrahm himself (‘राम एव परब्रह्म - Śrī Rāma alone is the Parabrahm’, ‘नारायणं नारसिंहं वासुदेवं वाराहं .. एतानि रामस्याङ्गानि जानीथाः - and Nārāyaṇa, Narasiṁha, Vāsudeva, Vārāha ... know all these to be the aṅga [aṁśha, manifestations] of Śrī Rāma’ ~ श्रीरामरहस्ये); Śrī Rāma alone is Tārak-Brahm, the name ‘Rāma’ is Tārak and the Param-mantra to be chanted (राम एव ब्रह्म तारकम् ~ श्रीरामरहस्ये; श्रीरामेति परं जाप्यम्; गाणपत्येषु सौरेषु शाक्तशैवेषु वैष्णवेष्वपि सर्वेषु राममन्त्रः फलाधिकः गाणपत्यादिमन्त्रेभ्यः कोटिकोटिगुणा ~ आगमनिगमपुराणसर्वेषु - Among the Gāṇapatya, Saur, Śhākt, Śhaiv, and also Vaiṣhṇava mantras, and among all the mantras, Śrī Rāma-mantra is superior [of greater fruits], it is billions times greater than all other mantras ~ āgama-nigama-purāṇa-sarvēṣu); The Lord of Ayodhyā, Śrī Rāma alone is said by the word ‘Parabrahm’ truly (योऽसावयोध्याधिपतिः स परब्रह्मशब्दितः । ~ पाद्मे), therefore the holy city of Ayodhyā is renowned as Param-Dhāma (तस्मात्तु नगरी पुण्या साप्ययोध्येति कीर्तिता । नगरस्य परंधाम्नो नाम तस्याप्यभूच्छुभे ॥ ~ पाद्मे); there is nothing higher than Śrī Rāmāyaṇam, It is supreme scripture (नास्ति रामायणात्परम् ~ स्कान्दे); and Shiva, Hanumān, Vālmīki, etc., are Nāma-niṣṭha Rūpa-niṣṭha Paramaikāntika Param-Bhāgavat devotees who are exclusively devoted to Śrī Rāma. Where else such Nāma-niṣṭha Rūpa-niṣṭha Paramaikāntika devotees are seen?

Vaiṣṇavas worship Śrī Rāma, and his forms such as Śrī Nārāyaṇa, Śrī Viṣhṇu, Śrī Kriṣhṇa, Śrī Narasimha, etc as their Iṣhṭa-Deva in their Sampradāya. However, Every Vaiṣṇava-Sampradāya has the concept of a principle-deity, and they follow a particular Vedāntic-philosophy. Sometimes in different Vaiṣṇava-Sampradāyas, their Vedāntic-philosophy could be same, but but different principle-deity and mantra, etc; and sometimes same principle-deity, but different Vedāntic-philosophy.

In the Śrī-Sampradāya and the Śrī-Vaiṣhṇava-Sampradāya, both have same Viśiṣṭādvaita philosophy, however different principle-deity and mantra, etc. The Sect of Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānujāchārya begins from Śrī Lakshmī-Devī, the manifestation of Śrī-Devi, While The Sect of Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānanda is originally originated from Śrī-Devi herself i.e Bhagvati Sita. Śrī Lakshmī-Devī, Bhū-Devī. Neelā-Devī, these all are the expansions of Śrī-Devī (Bhagavatī Sītā). With proper consideration of Veda-s and Vedāvtāra Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, one can truly realise and appreciate that Śrī Rāmāvat-Sampradāya (Śrī Rāmānandi-Sampradāya) alone is rightly adorned with the name 'Śrī-Sampradāya' in its perfect sense. Śrī Rāmānandi-Sampradāya is simply called Śrī-Sampradāya.

Q. Is there any difference between Śrī-Devī and Lakshmī-devī?

There are some differences between Śrī-Devī and Lakshmī-devī. Śrī-Devī (Bhagavatī Sītā) is the original ParāShakti and eternal consort of Parātpar Purusa Śrī Rāma in Sāket Loka, while Lakshmī-devī is expansion of that Śrī-Devī. Śrī Lakshmī-Devī, Bhū-Devī, Neelā-Devī are threefold manifestations of Śrī-devi, so they are not separate entity from Śrī-Devī. Hence, these all expansions are also wives of Parātpar-Puruṣha Śrī Rāma in original form of ParāShakti Bhagavatī Sītā.

श्रीश्च ते लक्ष्मीश्च पत्नयावहोरात्रे (~ शुक्ल यजुर्वेद, ३१.२२)

śrīśca tē lakṣmīśca patnayāvahōrātrē (~ śukla yajurvēda, 31.22)

Puruṣha-Sūkta of Shukla-Yajurveda says:
“O' Parātpar-Puruṣha (Śrī Rāma), You have two wives : (1) Śrī-Devi (Bhagavatī Sītā), and (2) Śrī Lakshmī-Devī (Māyā Sītā).”

Thus, here shruti distinguishes between Śrī-Devī and Lakshmī-Devī, both are distinct Devīs and the wives of Bhagavān. Therefore, in reality Śrī-Sampradāya (the Sampradāya of Śrī-Devī) is the name of Śrī Rāmāvat-Sampradāya (Śrī Rāmānanda-Sampradāya), and Śrī-Vaiṣhṇava-Sampradāya is Lakshmī-Sampradāya (the Sampradāya of Lakshmī-Devī).

‘śrī-śca tē lakṣmī-śca patnyau’ — said in the Puruṣha-Sūkt of Yajurved! The Puruṣha-Sūkt begins with ‘Sahasrashirsha Purushah....’ (the thousand headed Supreme Person). When the Supreme Brahm of Veda, Śrī Rāma appears as the son of Mahārāj Dasarath, then all the Vedas appear as Śrī Rāmāyaṇam from the mouth of Maharṣhi Vālmīki. Therefore, Who is the Puruṣh of the Puruṣh-Sūkt of the Vedas, becomes clear in Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇam —

सहस्रशृङ्गो वेदात्मा शतशीर्षो महर्षभः।
(~ श्रीवाल्मीकि रामायण ६.११७.१८)

sahasraśṛṅgō vēdātmā śataśīrṣō maharṣabhaḥ ।
(~ śrī vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 6.117.18)

Lord Brahmā says -
O' Śrī Rāma! You are the supreme-soul of the Vedas, You are the one with infinite horns and infinite heads (present everywhere).”

Here the Puruṣh-Sūkt of Vedas is confirmed in Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa for Bhagavān Śrī Rāma, who is ‘the two-armed original divinity (Purush)’ of the Vedas, as well as the ‘Sahasrashirsha Purush’ also.

Śrī Sītā and Lakshmī-Devī are the wives of Bhagavān Śrī Rāma, this is also seen in Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa!

So, Isn't Bhagavān Śrī Rāma 'ek-patni-vrata'?

‘एकोऽन्ये प्रधाने।’ ~ amar-kosh
‘एके संख्यान्तरे श्रेष्ठे केवलेतरयोस्त्रिषु प्रमुखे प्रथमे मुख्ये।’~ Medini-Kosh

Saṁskrit dictionaries say the word ‘eka’ has several meanings - e.g. the numerical one, or the prime one (main) among many, etc.

Although, both Śrī Sītā and Lakshmī are the wives of Bhagavān Śrī Rāma, both are seen with Bhagavān Śrī Rāma in the leelā. However, in between these two, Śrī Sītā is the Svarupā-(āhlādini)-Shakti of Śrī Rāma. Śrī Sītā is the one, the main and the prime consort, as only She is married by Śrī Rāma through Panigrahaṇ-Saṁskār in the Vaidic-marriage-ritual. She is the beloved-most of Śrī Rāma, dear to him more than his life. Unlike Śrī Sītā, Lakshmī-Devī is the Patnī (in the sense of one Shakti) of that Vedātmā Śrī Rāma without any Palm-accepting ritual in the Vaidic-marriage Saṁskār, just like Śrī Lakshmī-Devī, Bhū-Devī, Neelā-Devī, etc., are Viṣhṇu-Patnīs (Shaktis) in Vaikuṇtha without any marriage-ritual !

The word ‘Śrī’ in its' secondary sense can also be used for the aṁsha-s of Sītā e.g. for ‘Lakshmi’ ''. No one should consider Śrī Sītā as just Lakshmi-devi only, for this Maharṣhi Vālmīki says that Śrī Sītā is actually ‘Śrī’ of even ‘Śrī’, which means Sītā is ‘Śrī’ of all the goddesses who can be called ‘Śrī’ for being the parts (forms) of ‘Śrī-devī’, thus Śrī Sītā is the original ‘Śrī-devī’. Whenever, the word ‘Śrī’ and the word ‘Lakshmī’ both come together, then there the word ‘Śrī’ in its ultimate sense is for Sītā !

रामस्य दक्षिणे पार्श्वे सपद्मा श्रीरुपश्रिता ।
सव्येऽपि च महीदेवी व्यवसायस्तथाग्रतः ॥ (श्री वाल्मीकि रामायण ७.१०९.६)

rāmasya dakṣiṇē pārśvē sapadmā śrīrupaśritā ।
savyē'pi ca mahīdēvī vyavasāyastathāgrataḥ ॥ (śrī vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 7.109.6)

“On the right-arm side of Bhagavān Śrī Rāma, Śrī-Upāshrita Sakshāt Lakshmi Devi was present with lotus in her hand. On his left side, Bhu-Devi was present, and from the front, his Prabhav-Shakti (Neela-devi) was going together.”   

Thus, for being even the shelter of all opposite divine-aspects (attributes, qualities, features), Bhagavān Śrī Rāma is the most complete, Paripurntam-Paramātmā, the Param-Purushottam !

श्रीदेवी त्रिविधं रूपं कृत्वा भगवत्सङ्कल्पानु-
गुण्येन लोकरक्षणार्थं रूपं धारयति । (सीता-उपनिषद्)

śrīdēvī trividhaṃ rūpaṃ kṛtvā bhagavatsaṅkalpānu-
guṇyēna lōkarakṣaṇārthaṃ rūpaṃ dhārayati । (sītā-upaniṣad)

“Bhagavatī Sītā who is Śrī-Devi manifested herself in three forms Śrī Lakshmī-Devī, Bhū-Devī, and Neelā-Devī in accordance of the sankalpa (desire) of Bhagavān.”

Note:- Bhagavatī Sītā is a Vaidic-deity in Rig-Veda, and Atharva-Veda. Parā-Shakti in her ultimate form is Bhagavatī Sītā who is the consort of Parātpar Purusha Śrī Rāma, the cause of all the causes. From that ParaShakti, Innumerable Lakshmi-s are manifested.

वसुधाया हि वसुधां श्रियः श्रीं भर्तृवत्सलाम् ।
सीतां सर्वानवद्याङ्गीमरण्ये विजने शुभाम् ॥(श्री वाल्मीकि रामायण ६.१११.२४)

vasudhāyā hi vasudhāṃ śriyaḥ śrīṃ bhartṛvatsalām ।
sītāṃ sarvānavadyāṅgīmaraṇyē vijanē śubhām ॥ (śrī vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 6.111.24)

“Bhagavatī Sītā is the earth of the earth, and the Śrī of Bhagavatī Śrī (i.e. original Śrī-devi; śriyaḥ śrīṃ : meaning Sītā is none, but the original divinity herself, the origin of all the goddesses who can be called as Śrī such as Bhagavatī Lakshmī, Bhagavatī Rādha, etc., and her innumerable manifestations).”

सीता साक्षात् महालक्ष्मीः सर्वकारण कारणं ॥ (पद्मपुराण, पाताल-खंड २२/५७)

sītā sākṣāt mahālakṣmīḥ sarvakāraṇa kāraṇaṃ ॥ (padma-purāṇa, pātāla-khaṃḍa 22/57)

“Bhagavatī Sītā herself is Mahā-lakshmī, the cause of all the causes (the cause of innumerable Lakshmī-s etc).”

In Vedic-scriptures, Vedas are compared with Bhagavatī Sītā, and only one truth is laid down everywhere in all the scriptures directly and indirectly:

सर्वेषां वेदशास्त्राणां रहस्यन्तेप्रकाशितम् ।
एको देवो रामचन्द्रो व्रतं एको तदर्चनम् ।
मन्त्रोऽप्येकश्च तन्नाम शास्त्रं तद् ध्येवतत्स्तुतिः ॥
( श्रीपद्मपुराण, पातालखण्ड ३५।५१ )

sarvēṣāṃ vēdaśāstrāṇāṃ rahasyantēprakāśitam ।
ēkō dēvō rāmacandrō vrataṃ ēkō tadarcanam ।
mantrō'pyēkaśca tannāma śāstraṃ tad dhyēvatatstutiḥ ॥
(śrī-padma-purāṇa, pātālakhaṇḍa 35.51 )

“The secret truth (Rahasya) of all the Veda-s and the Shastra-s (Vaidic-scriptures) is revealed that (we all should worship one supreme Personality of godhead i.e. Śrī Rāma) - Bhagavān Śrī Rāma is the only god; (All should have only one Vratam -) the worship of Lord Śrī Rāma is the only Vratam. (All should have only one Mantra -) Śrī Rāma's name is the only Mantra, and (we should have only one shastra -) Where his praises exploits are sung and eulogized (i.e. Śrī Rāmāyaṇam) is the only scripture.”

There is none superior than the Puruṣa (Bhagavān Śrī Rāma), He is the only god. Puruṣa sukta of Vedas is an eulogy of Bhagavān Śrī Rāma only, as he is the consort of the original Parā-shakti Bhagavatī Śrī-Devī (Bhagavatī Sītā) as per the hymn of śukla yajurvēda 31।22, and the Purusha-Sukta is again confirmed first time after Vedas in Ādi-Kāvya Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa.

In the beginning, Parātpar Puruṣa Parabrahm Bhagavān Śrī Rāma disported with his wife Bhagavati Śrī Sītā only in the Divine-Ayodhyā. In accordance of the desire of Bhagavān, Bhagavatī Śrī Sītā expanded herself into many form. When Bhagavān Śrī Rāma took the form of (Mahā-)Vishṇu, then she became (Mahā-)Lakshmī in (Mahā-)Vaikuṇtha, when Bhagavān Śrī Rāma took the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, then She became Śrī Rādhā in Golok, and so on.

Dhyeya:- Śrī-Sampradāya believes in worship of Lord Śrī Sītā-Rāma as Para-Brahman. This is very much clear from following quotations of Veda-s, Upanishada-s, Valmiki Ramayanam, MahaRamayana, etc.

सच॑न्त॒ यदु॒षसः सूर्ये॑ण चि॒त्राम॑स्य के॒तवो॒ राम॑विन्दन्
आ यन्नक्ष॑त्रं॒ ददृ॑शे दि॒वो न पुन॑र्य॒तो नकि॑र॒द्धा नु वे॑द॥ (ऋग्वेद १०.१११.७)

sacanta yaduṣasaḥ sūryēṇa citrāmasya kētavō rāmavindan
ā yannakṣatraṃ dadṛśē divō na punaryatō nakiraddhā nu vēda ॥ (ṛgvēda 10.111.7)

“The wise devotees through Bhakti attained Bhagavān Śrī Rāma (Rāmavindan) as like the Uṣa - the less-bright rays (allusion or metaphor for devotee Jiva-s in wifely-mode or Sakhi mode of devotion) follow the sun and attain the effulgent Surya (Śrī Rāma) at the dawn, after attaining him they shine very beautifully (with Bhagavān Śrī Rāma).”

अष्टचक्रा नवद्वारा देवानां पूरयोध्या तस्यां हिरण्मय: कोश: स्वर्गो लोको ज्योतिषावृत:।
यो वैतां ब्रह्मणो वेद अमृतेनावृतां पुरीं तस्मै ब्रह्म च ब्रह्मा च आयु: कीर्तिं प्रजां ददु:॥ (इति तैत्तिरीयशाखान्तर्गतारणमध्ये)

aṣṭacakrā navadvārā dēvānāṃ pūrayōdhyā tasyāṃ hiraṇmaya: kōśa: svargō lōkō jyōtiṣāvṛta:।
yō vaitāṃ brahmaṇō vēda amṛtēnāvṛtāṃ purīṃ tasmai brahma ca brahmā ca āyu: kīrtiṃ prajāṃ dadu: ॥ [taittirīya-āranyaka]

“Ayodhyā, the city of gods, has eight circles and nine gates. Therein resides the golden sheath in center (i.e. the effulgent Shri Rama). It is the world of heaven. The bright light (known as Brahm-Jyoti) has covered it. This supreme abode of Brahman i.e. Ayodhyā is full of nectar. Brahman (Śrī Rāma who dwells in Ayodhyā) and his potency known as Braahma-shaktis (potencies of Brahman) grant him the life (immortality), fame (glory) and offspring, to whoever knows the city of Brahman, permeated by nectar and nectar only.”

राम एव परं ब्रह्म तत्त्वं श्रीरामो ब्रह्म तारकम् ॥ (रामरहस्योपनिषत् 1/4-5)

rāma ēva paraṃ brahma tattvaṃ śrīrāmō brahma tārakam ॥(rāmarahasyōpaniṣat 1/4-5)

“Shri Rama alone is Para-Brahm, the supreme essence, He alone is Tarak-Brahm.”

तेषाम् अपि महातेजा रामः सत्य पराक्रमः ॥
इष्टः सर्वस्य लोकस्य शशांक इव निर्मलः। (श्री वाल्मीकि रामायण १-१८-२६ख, २७क )

tēṣām api mahātējā rāmaḥ satya parākramaḥ ॥
iṣṭaḥ sarvasya lōkasya śaśāṃka iva nirmalaḥ । (Śrī vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 1-18-26b, 27a)

“Among all brothers, the great resplendent Śrī Rāma, whose valour itself is his truthfulness, is the Iṣhṭaa (the one worshipped as the favorite-deity is called Ishta) for all the worlds, and cynosure to eyes like the tranquil moon.”

अक्षरं ब्रह्म सत्यं च मध्ये चान्ते च राघव ॥ (श्री वाल्मीकि रामायण 6.117.14)

akṣaraṃ brahma satyaṃ ca madhyē cāntē ca rāghava ॥ (Śrī vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 6.117.14)

“O' Raghava! You are the immutable Brahm, the Supreme Absolute truth abiding in the begining, in the middle, and in the end.”

त्वं यज्ञ्स्त्वं वषट्कारस्त्वमोंकारः परात्परः ॥ (श्री वाल्मीकि रामायण 6.117.20)

tvaṃ yajñstvaṃ vaṣaṭkārastvamōṃkāraḥ parātparaḥ ॥ (Śrī vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 6.117.20)

“O' Śrī Rāma! You are (the presiding deity of) Yajna, You are the Vashat-Kar, and You are the Aum-Kar, and You are the higher than highest (god).”

सीता लक्ष्मीर्भवान् विष्णुर्देवः कृष्णः प्रजापतिः ॥ (श्री वाल्मीकि रामायण 6.117.28)

sītā lakṣmīrbhavān viṣṇurdēvaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ prajāpatiḥ ॥ (Śrī vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 6.117.28)

“O' Raghava! Your consort Sita's manifestion is Lakshmi, and You are Viṣhṇu, You are Shri Krishna and You are the Prajapati (the supreme guardian of all living beings).”

पोषणं भरणाधारं शरण्यं सर्वव्यापकम्।
कारुण्यं षड़्भिः पूर्णो रामस्तु भगवान् स्वयम् ॥ (महारामायण)

pōṣaṇaṃ bharaṇādhāraṃ śaraṇyaṃ sarvavyāpakam।
kāruṇyaṃ ṣaḍa़bhiḥ pūrṇō rāmastu bhagavāna svayam ॥(mahārāmāyaṇa)

“Due to His being sustainer of all the worlds, bestower of all the divine virtues on His devotees, the only support of the whole cosmos, the only one fit to take refuge in, all pervading, supremely compassionate and having comprehensiveness in all these six virtues, Śrī Rāma is ‘Svayam Bhagavān’ (means Bhagavān Himself).”

रामपादनखज्योत्स्ना परब्रह्मेति गीयते । ( अगस्त्यसंहिता)

rāmapādanakhajyōtsnā parabrahmēti gīyatē । (agastya-saṃhitā)

“The moon-light coming from the nails of Śrī Rāma is described as the Parabrahman by scriptures.”

Gyeya: Gyeya means the true knowledge to be sought. In Śrī Rāmāvat-Sampradāya, Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa is held as the first-authority to know about Bhagavān (Śrī Rāma), the Supreme Personality of godhead, It was composed by Maharṣhi Vālmīki in order to reinforce the true imports of the Vedas. Therefore, Vedas should be explained in the light of Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa. The true knowledge about Bhagavān can be acquired through the study of Vedas, and Vaidic texts like Upanishads, Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Gitā, Mahābhārat, Śrī Rāmacharitamānasa, etc. Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa is the Avatāra of all the four Veda-s in single form. Śrī Rāmacharitam (Śrī Rāmāyaṇa) gives loving-devotion of Bhagavān Śrī SītāRāma. Therefore, it should be recited daily by the followers of Śrī Rāmāvat-Sampradāya.

वेदवेद्ये परेपुंसि जाते दशरथात्मजे ।
वेदः प्राचेतसादासीत् साक्षाद् रामायणात्मना ॥
तस्माद्रामायणं देवि! वेद एव न संशयः ॥ (अगस्त्य संहिता)

vēdavēdyē parēpuṃsi jātē daśarathātmajē ।
vēdaḥ prācētasādāsīt sākṣād rāmāyaṇātmanā ॥
tasmādrāmāyaṇaṃ dēvi! vēda ēva na saṃśayaḥ ॥ (agastya saṃhitā)

“The Supreme-being who is known through Vedas, When that Supreme being born as son of Dasratha (Śrī Rāma) in Ayodhya, that time all Vedas manifested themselves through the mouth of sage Valmiki, the son of sage Pracheta, directly as the Ramayana. Therefore O' Devi, there is no doubt that Ramayana is Vedas itself.”

In both Śrī Rāmānandī and Śrī Rāmānujī sects, Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa is regarded as the Veda-Avatar (the incarnation of Vedas), and there is not a grain of untruth present in Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa. Therefore, Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa is held as the supreme authority to explain the deep imports of Vedas. One can have some idea about the supreme glory of Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa from this fact that Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānuja studied Śrī Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa 12 times from his Guru to understand the real imports of it.

In Kaliyuga, Sage Vālmīki reincarnated as Goswāmī Tulsīdāsa, and He wrote Śrī Rāmacharitamānasa which is the best among all scriptures for one and all to learn everything about the supreme personality.

Dhāma: Dhāma means the abode of Bhagavān, to be attained by Jivas after liberation. As per Atharva-Veda, Ayodhyā or Sāket-Loka is the Supreme Abode of the Purusha of Veda-s i.e. Sarveshvar Bhagavān Śrī Rāma.

अष्टचक्रा नवद्वारा देवानां पूरयोध्या
तस्यां हिरण्मय: कोश: स्वर्गो ज्योतिषावृत:॥ (अथर्ववेद १०.२. ३१)

aṣṭacakrā navadvārā dēvānāṃ pūrayōdhyā
tasyāṃ hiraṇmayaḥ kōśaḥ svargō jyōtiṣāvṛtaḥ ॥ (atharvavēda 10.2. 31)

“Ayodhyā (which is in center of 8-petaled lotus) has eight circles and nine gates, It is the city of gods, there in the center resides the golden sheath (i.e. Bhagavān Śrī Rāma in center), It is the world of heaven (the supreme abode) which is coverted with divine-light (Brahm-jyoti).[Atharv-ved 10.2.31]”

Above hymn states the supremacy of the dwelling-place (Ayodhyā or Sāket-Loka) of Bhagavān Śrī Rāma as there is no other name of supreme abode comes excpet Ayodhyā in the mantra of Vedas.

The central region of Para-Vaikuṇṭha in Padma-purāṇa is called 'Ayodhyā'. While Goloka-Vrindāvanam, Mathurā etc are located the west of Sāket-Ayodhyā in spiritual planet of Para-Vaikuṇṭha.

त्रिपाद्विभूतेर्लोकास्तु असंख्याताः प्रकीर्तिताः। शुद्धसत्वमयाः सर्वे ब्रह्मानंदसुखाह्वयाः॥
तद्विष्णोः परमंधाम यांति ब्रह्मसुखप्रदम्। नानाजनपदाकीर्णं वैकुण्ठं तद्धरेः पदम्॥
प्राकारैश्चविमानैश्चसौधैरत्नमयैर्वृतम्। तन्मध्ये नगरी दिव्या साऽयोध्येति प्रकीर्तिता
मणिकाञ्चनचित्राढ्यप्राकारैस्तोरणैर्वृता प्रियः॥
(Śrī Padma-purāṇa uttarkhand 228.1, 10-12)

“There are innumerous divine abodes (Like Goloka, and many other Vaikuṇṭha-planets) in tripād-vibhuuti (across divine virajaa river) and all of those are made up of Shuddha-sattva and all filled with supreme bliss of Brahm (Brahmānanda)! There is the supreme abode of Viṣhṇu (beyond all lokas). The devotees and servants of Lord’s lotus-feet reside in the Vaikuṇṭha, that Supreme abode of Bhagavān Viṣhṇu, the very embodiment and bestower of the bliss of Brahm.

At the very center of that (supreme abode Para-Vaikuṇṭha in Tripād-Vibhuti) is situated the divine city renowned by the name of Ayodhyā (In Padma-purāṇa this Ayodhyā is called by another name Śrī Rāma-Purī), which is adorned and filled all around by amazing multi-storied buildings and picturesque Vimāns.”

The incarnations of Bhagavān Śrī Rāmachandra , they are Vaikuṇṭha Viṣhṇu, Matsya, Kurma, Vāraha, Vāman, Narasimha, Kṛṣṇa, etc., along with their eternal consorts live in different parts of the Supreme abode of Vaikuṇṭha, the spiritual sky. After liberation, Devotees go to the Supreme abode of their Iṣhṭa-deva, e.g. the devotees of Bhagavān Śrī SītāRāma go to the Supreme abode Divinie-Ayodhyā Śrī Sāket-loka, similary the devotees of Bhagavān Śrī RādhāKṛṣṇa go to Goloka-Vṛndāvanam, and the devotees of Bhagavān Śrī Lakshmī-Nārāyaṇa go to (Para-)Vaikuṇṭha (Vishṇoh-Paramam-Padam), and so on.

Importance of the Guru-Paramparā

One attains the nearness of the divine-couple (Bhagavān Śrī SītāRāma) by the mercy of Guru, therefore one should have a guru belonging to the Guru-Paramparā of a Sad-Sampradāya, who should be adhered to the bhakti of the divine-couple (Bhagavān Śrī SītāRāma).

आचार्यवान् पुरुषो वेद (~छान्दोग्योपनिषद् ६.१४.२)

ācāryavān puruṣō vēda (Chhandogya Upanishad 6.14.2)

“The Person having Guru, by following the instructions of the Guru, comes to know [attains] the Supreme-being.”

There are two types of Gurus — First type of Guru accepts a Jiva in his shelter, preaches and delivers from his own utter mercy, e.g. Śrī Sītā Jī accepted even those cruel ogresses in her shelter who tormented her in all sort of ways and committed so many Aparādhas to her, still she saved them from Śrī Hanumān, out of her own causeless mercy. Another type of Guru accepts someone in his shelter and delivers when disciple faithfully follows and serves him well.

Bhagavān loves to happily accept a Jiva who is graced by Śrī Sītā, or recommended by Śrī Hanumān, therefore for a Jiva It is always better to surrender to Śrī Sītā through a guru belonging to Śrī-Sampradāya.

Guru-Paramparā (Śrī-Sampradāya's unbroken Lineage)

०१) सर्वावातारी सर्वेश्वर साकेतबिहारी भगवान श्री राम (नित्य-बिहारी, एवं विभूति-लोक प्राकट्य: श्री रामनवमी, त्रेतायुग)

०२) सर्वेश्वरी साकेतबिहरिणी श्री सीता (नित्य-बिहारिणी, एवं वैशाख शुक्ल नवमी, त्रेतायुग )

०३) श्री हनुमान (कार्तिक कृष्ण चतुर्दशी)

०४) श्री ब्रह्मा (अक्षय नवमी, सतयुग)

०५) श्री वशिष्ठ (ऋषि पंचमी, सतयुग)

०६) श्री पराशर (आश्विन शुक्ल १५, सतयुग)

०७) श्री व्यास (गुरु पूर्णिमा, द्वापर युग)

०८) श्री शुकदेव (श्रावण शुक्ल १५, द्वापर युग)

०९) श्री पुरुषोत्तमाचार्य (बोधायन ऋषि) (पौष कृष्ण १२, विक्रम संवत पूर्व ५६९-३२०)

१०) श्री गंगाधराचार्य (माघ कृष्ण ११, वि.पू. ४७९-२८९)

११) श्री सदानन्दाचार्य (माघ शुक्ल ५, वि.पू. ३३७-८०)

१२) श्री रामेश्वरानन्दाचार्य (वैशाख शुक्ल ३, वि.पू. १३६-२३६)

१३) श्री द्वारानन्दाचार्य (फाल्गुन १५, विक्रम संवत १९६-३७६)

१४) श्री देवानन्दाचार्य (वैशाख शुक्ल १०, वि.सं. ३२६-५२६)

१५) श्री श्यामानन्दाचार्य (आश्विन शुक्ल २, वि.सं. ४८६-६८६)

१६) श्री श्रुतानन्दाचार्य (श्रावण शुक्ल ७, वि.सं. ६३६-८३६)

१७) श्री चिदानन्दाचार्य (चैत्र पूर्णिमा, वि.सं. ७४६-८९६)

१८) श्री पूर्णानन्दाचार्य (वैशाख कृष्ण १३, वि.सं. ८६६-१०६७)

१९) श्री श्रियानन्दाचार्य (वैशाख शुक्ल ९, वि.सं. १०२६-१२०६)

२०) श्री हर्यानन्दाचार्य (आश्विन शुक्ल ११, वि.सं. ११५६-१३५६)

२१) श्री राघवानन्दाचार्य (चैत्र शुक्ल ११, वि.सं. १२०६-१३९६)

२२) श्री रामावतार जगद्गुरु भगवद् श्री रामानन्दाचार्य (माघ कृष्ण ७, वि.सं. १२५६-१५३२)

२३) जगद्गुरु श्री अनंतानन्दाचार्य
(जगद्गुरु भगवद् श्री रामानन्दाचार्य के १२ शिष्य : (१) श्री अनन्तानन्दजी (२) श्री कबीरजी (३) श्री सुखानन्दजी (४) श्री सुरसुरानन्दजी (५) श्री पद्मावतीजी (६) श्री नरहर्यानन्दजी (७) श्री पीपाजी (८) श्री भावानन्दजी(९) श्री रैदासजी (१०) श्री धनाजी (११) श्री सेनजी एवं (१२) सुरसुरानन्दजीकी पत्नी श्री सुरसुरीजी

२४) श्रीरंगाचार्य, (अनंतानन्द जी के ६ शिष्य: श्री गयेश, श्री करमचंद, श्री अल्ह्दास , श्री कृष्णदास पयहारी, श्री सारीरामदास, और श्री रंगाचार्य)

२५) श्री नरहरिदास (नरहर्यानन्द)

२६) श्री वाल्मीकीय-अवतार गोस्वामी तुलसीदास जी (श्रावण शुक्ल सप्तमी, वि.सं. १५५४-१६८०)

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अन्य श्रीरामानंदी-आचार्य, एवं वर्तमान जगद्गुरु श्री रामभद्राचार्य जी

01) Sarvāvātārī Sarvēśvar Sākētabihārī Bhagavān Śrī Rāma (Nitya-Bihārī, and appearance day in Vibhūti-Lōka : Śrī Rāmanavamī, Trētāyuga)

02) Sarvēśvarī Sākētabihariṇī Śrī Sītā (Nitya-Bihāriṇī, and appearance day in Vibhūti-Lōka : Vaiśākha Śukla Navamī, Trētāyuga )

03) Śrī Hanumāna (Kārtika Kṛṣṇa Caturdaśī)

04) Śrī Brahmā (Akṣaya Navamī, Satayuga)

05) Śrī Vaśiṣṭha (ṛṣi Paṃcamī, Satayuga)

06) Śrī Parāśara (Āśvina Śukla 15, Satayuga)

07) Śrī Vyāsa (Guru Pūrṇimā, Dvāpara Yuga)

08) Śrī Śukadēva * (Śrāvaṇa Śukla 15, Dvāpara Yuga)

09) Śrī Puruṣōttamācārya (Bōdhāyana ṛṣi) * (Pauṣa Kṛṣṇa 12, Vikrama Saṃvat Pūrva 569-320)

10) Śrī Gangādharācārya (Māgha Kṛṣṇa 11, Vi.Pū. 479-289)

11) Śrī Sadānandācārya (Māgha Śukla 5, Vi.Pū. 337-80)

12) Śrī Rāmēśvarānandācārya (Vaiśākha Śukla 3, Vi.Pū. 136-236)

13) Śrī Dvārānandācārya (Phālguna 15, Vikrama Saṃvat 196-376)

14) Śrī Dēvānandācārya (Vaiśākha Śukla 10, Vi.Saṃ. 326-526)

15) Śrī Śyāmānandācārya (Āśvina Śukla 2, Vi.Saṃ. 486-686)

16) Śrī Śrutānandācārya (Śrāvaṇa Śukla 7, Vi.Saṃ. 636-836)

17) Śrī Cidānandācārya (Caitra Pūrṇimā, Vi.Saṃ. 746-896)

18) Śrī Pūrṇānandācārya (Vaiśākha Kṛṣṇa 13, Vi.Saṃ. 866-1067)

19) Śrī Śriyānandācārya (Vaiśākha Śukla 9, Vi.Saṃ. 1026-1206)

20) Śrī Haryānandācārya (Āśvina Śukla 11, Vi.Saṃ. 1156-1256)

21) Śrī Rāghavānandācārya (Caitra Śukla 11, Vi.Saṃ. 1206-1396)

22) Śrī Rāmāvatāra Jagadguru Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandācārya (Māgha Kṛṣṇa 7, Vi.Saṃ. 1256-1532)

23) Jagadguru Śrī Anantānandācārya
(The twelve Śiṣya of Jagadguru Śrī Rāmānandācārya : (1) Śrī Anantānandajī (2) Śrī Kabīr, (3) Śrī Sukhānand, (4) Śrī Surasurānand, (5) Śrī Padmāvatī,(6) Śrī Naraharyānand, (7) Śrī Pīpā, (8) Śrī Bhāvānand, (9) Śrī Raidās, (10) Śrī Dhanā, (11) Śrī Sēna, and (12 Śrī Surasurī (Wife of Śrī Surasurānand )

24) Śrīrangācārya, (6 Śiṣya of Anaṃtānanda: Śrī Gayēśa, Śrī Karamacaṃd, Śrī Alhdāsa , Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Payahārī, Śrī Sārīrāmadāsa, and Śrī Rangācārya)

25) Śrī Naraharidāsa (Narharyānand)

26) Śrī Vālmīkīya-Avatāra Gōsvāmī Tulasīdās Jī (Śrāvaṇa Śukla Saptamī, Vi.Saṃ. 1554-1680)

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To many other Rāmānandi-Acharyas, and present Jagadguru Śrī Rāmabhadrācārya Jī

The Vikram Samvat calendar is 56.7 years ahead (in count) of the Gregorian calendar. For example, Goswami Tulsidas appeared in Vikram Samvat 1554, and as per Gregorian calendar in 1497 CE. Similarly, Jagadguru Rāmānanda appeared in Vikram Samvat 1256 or say 1199 CE. In Vikram Samvat, The new year begins with the first day of Chaitra-Navaratri i.e. Chaitra Shuddha 1 or Chaitra Shukla Paksha Prathama; which usually falls in March–April in the Gregorian calendar.

Jagadguru Bhagavad Rāmānandachary

Bhagavad Rāmānanda was the incarnation of Bhagavān Shri Rama himself. Bhagavān Shri Ram appeared in the form of ascetic (Jagadguru Rāmānanda) in Kaliyuga to protect the fallen souls (Jivas), and Bhagavad Rāmānanda preached the Bhakti, Sharanagati, and Naam of Bhagavān Shri Rama. Bhagavad Rāmānanda appeared in 1199 CE (Vikram Samvat 1256) in Teerthraj Prayag, Many southern Vaiṣhṇavas and scholars tried to prove Rāmānanda to be of Southern-origin from South India, and as their own.

॥ ३५ ॥
(श्री)रामानंद पद्धति प्रताप अवनि अमृत ह्वै अवतर्यो॥
देवाचारज दुतिय महामहिमा हरियानँद।
तस्य राघवानंद भये भक्तन को मानद॥
पृथ्वी पत्रावलम्ब करी कासी अस्थायी।
चारि बरन आश्रम सबही को भक्ति दृढ़ाई॥
तिन के रामानंद प्रगट बिश्वमंगल जिन बपु धर्यो।
(श्री)रामानंद पद्धति प्रताप अवनि अमृत ह्वै अवतर्यो॥
[श्रीभक्तमाल पद - ३५]

Śrī Nābhādās says -
“The magnificence of the (devotion and Prapatti) approach of the Śrī-sect of Jagadguru Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandāchārya towards Bhagavān Śrī Rāma appeared on this earth as a pure nectar (in the form of Mantra-Raaj [Rama-mantra] Paramparā started by Bhagavati Śrī Sīta). In that Paramparā, Hariyānanda appeared after Devānandāchārya, and his disciple was Śrī Rāghavānanda who lived in Kashi (Varanasi) and had great reverence for all devotees of Bhagavan. Then, Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandāchārya appeared in front of Sri Raghavananda with a divine form of ascetic for the welfare of world. Devotion (of Bhagavān Shri Rama) was again strenghthened in Kaliyuga by Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandāchārya among all the four Varnas (Brāhmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra), and four Ashrama-s (Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vānaprasth, Sannyāsa). ” [Śrī Bhaktamāla pada 35]

॥ ३६ ॥
(श्री) रामानँद रघुनाथ ज्यों दुतिय सेतु जगतरन कियो॥
अनंतानंद कबीर सुखा सुरसुरा पद्मावती नरहरी।
पीपा भावानंद रैदास धना सेन सुरसुर की घरहरी॥
औरो सिष्य प्रसिष्य एक ते एक उजागर।
जगमंगल आधार भक्ति दसधा के आगर॥
बहुत काल बपु धारी के प्रनत जनन को पार दियो।
(श्री) रामानँद रघुनाथ ज्यों दुतिय सेतु जगतरन कियो॥
[श्रीभक्तमाल पद - ३६]

“Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandāchārya, who is Bhagavān Śrī Rāma himself appeared in Kaliyuga, built such a great bridge which became the means for the deliverance of Jivas, to bring them across the ocean of mundane existence, just as in the past (in the Tretā-yuga) Bhagavān Śrī Raghunath had constructed a bridge over the mighty ocean, and thus innumerable Jivas were delivered and brought to supreme abode by him, (and innumerable Jivas are still being liberated by following Shri Rāmānand-Paddhati, Śrī-sect). He proclaimed everyone has right in Prapatti, and Bhakti of Bhagavān Śrī Rāma. The twelve Mahābhāgavats appeared as his twelve disciples, they are : (1) Śrī Anantānand, (2) Śrī Kabīr, (3) Śrī Sukhānand, (4) Śrī Surasurānand, (5) Śrī Padmāvatī , (6) Śrī Naraharyānand, (7) Śrī Pīpā (8) Śrī Bhāvānand (9) Śrī Raidās (10) Śrī Dhanā (11) Śrī Sēna and (12) Śrī Surasurī (the wife of Śrī Surasurānanda). His disciples, and the disciples of his disciples were illustrious and greatly renowned in the world. They championed (became the abode of) the Dashadha-Bhakti (the ten [10] forms of Bhakti, the 10th form is Prema-Bhakti, Rasika-Bhakti), and thus, they became the cause of the happiness and welfare of this world ! Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandāchārya remained present in this world for a very long time* (i.e. from 1199CE to 1475CE),, and whoever surrendered to him, He brought everyone in the supreme abode.” [Śrī Bhaktamāla pada 36]

Jagadguru Rāmānandacharya was very generous, and accepted disciples from all walks of life, irrespective of gender, caste, religion or social status. First time, He broke the orthodox traditions prevalent those days, and accepted even women (Padmāvati Ji, Sursuri Ji), Shudra (Raidas Ji who was a cobbler) as his disciples. Glory of Jagadguru Rāmānandacharya was so spread that even a King (Pipa ji) left his kingdom & everything and surrendered to Bhagavad Rāmānanda, and he became one of the 12 disciples of Jagagduru Rāmānandacharya. The divinity of Bhagavad Rāmānanda attracted the the hearts of 25 lacs (2.5 million) Muslims, they followed him to Ayodhya where they came back again into their original faith of Sanatan Dharma after taking bath in Sarayu river, and thereafter they accepted and followed Vaishnavism whole life; those people had renounced their original faith (Sanatan-dharma) earlier due to fear and persecutions by Sultans.

Jagadguru Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānandāchārya declared it emphatically:

सर्वे प्रपत्तेरधिकारिणो मताः शक्ता अशक्ता पदयोर्जगत्पतेः।
अपेक्षते तत्र कुलं बलञ्च नो न चापि कालो न विशुद्धताऽपि वा॥

sarvē prapattēradhikāriṇō matāḥ śaktā aśaktā padayōrjagatpatēḥ।
apēkṣatē tatra kulaṃ balañca nō na cāpi kālō na viśuddhatā'pi vā॥

“Oh, Śrī Rāma, the king of all the worlds! Irrespective of one's age, gender, caste, (social) status, physique, purity etc, in my opinion Everyone is rightfully eligible for the Prapatti [Sharanagati - to take refuge] in your lotus feet! Whether a Jiva is competent or incompetent, strong or weak, rich or poor, of higher or lower class, pure or impure, in all states, he is rightfully eligible to take Sharanagati [refuge] in your lotus feet. Nothing is expected from Jivas in Prapatti [surrendering into lotus feet of Lord Rama].” (- Sri Vaiṣhṇava Matabuj Bhaskar, Jagadguru Aadya Rāmānandacharya)

Bhagavad Rāmānanda preached universal acceptance of everyone under the devotion of Lord Sri Ram, He preached - “Let no one ask a man’s caste or with whom he eats. If a man is devoted to Hari, he becomes Hari’s own.”

It is same like once a woman is married to her husband, her caste changes.. similarly once a Jiva accepts his relation with Sri Rama, surrender in the lotus feet of Shri Rama, he should be recognized as a Vaiṣhṇava, rather than that of a higher or lower caste.

Bhagavad Rāmānanda was such revolutionary Jagadguru who preached “In Bhakti, Vaiṣhṇavas born in Higher Varnas shouldn't hesitate at all in doing Seva (service) of Vaiṣhṇavas born in lower Varnas, as Shastras recommend it...”

None was so much generous as like Bhagavad Rāmānanda, if people and scriptures hail him as the incarnation of Sarveshwar Bhagavān Shri Rama, then it is not some exaggeration. He had the compassion and mercy like all merciful Bhagavān Shri Rama himself, whose best friend was Nishad-Raj Guha, who called Shabari as his mother...

Bhagavad Rāmānanda stressed on the worship of the Dvibhuj-swarupam, Narakruiti (द्विभुस्यैव रामस्य सर्वशक्तेः शिरोमणे प्रियोत्तम - Oh dear! worship the two-armed Shri Rama, who is Shiromani (crown Jewel) among all, and the Supreme Lord of all divinities!)

Same thing is recommended by Parampara-Acharya, Paramhamsa Shuka-deva Goswami, the narrator of Shrimad Bhagavatam: —

सुरोऽसुरो वाप्यथ वानरो नरः सर्वात्मना यः सुकृतज्ञमुत्तमम् ।
भजेत रामं मनुजाकृतिं हरिं यः उत्तराननयत्कोशलान्दिवमिति ॥
[श्रीमद भागवत महापुराण ५.१९.८]

suro 'suro vāpy atha vānaro naraḥ sarvātmanā yaḥ sukṛtajñam uttamam
bhajeta rāmaḿ manujākṛtiḿ hariḿ ya uttarān anayat kosalān divam iti
[Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.19.8]

“Whether one is a god or a demon, a man or a creature other than man, such as a beast or bird, all should worship Lord Rāma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has a form of human being. There is no need of great austerities or penances to worship the Lord Rāma, He becomes easily satisfied even from a small service done to him (such a compassionate lord he is. Thus He is satisfied, and as soon as He is satisfied, the devotee is successful.). [Indeed, No one can match his compassion towards his devotees, that] Lord Śrī Rāma brought all the citizens of Ayodhyā to his divine abode (divam).”

Such extreme affection and causeless-mercy on fallen souls is never been seen in any other god or the god of gods... Without considering who is worthy who is not, Shri Rama brought everyone in his divine eternal Mādhurya abode and lodged them in Santanik-Vanam in Maha-Vibhuti... so Sage Shukadeva says worship, worship and worship Bhagavān Shri Rama...

Reason is dvibhuja-swarupam, Manujakriti Hari has all the charms, and attraction.. and scriptures hail it as the most superior form.

Bhagavad Rāmānanda preached — A devotee (Jiva) can have following Bhava in relations with Bhagavān Shri Rama in Bhakti :

1. Sevak — Sevya (Servant — Master)
2. Sesha — Seshi (Parts — Whole, eternal friends)
3. Putra — Pita (Son/daughter — Parents or Parents - son)
4. Bhogya — Bhokta (To be enjoyed — Supreme Enjoyer)
5. Bharya — Bharta (Wife / Sakhi — Husband / Priyatam)
etc.

Jagadguru Rāmānanda is accepted as the incarnation of Sri Ram himself in Ramavat Sampradaya. The glory of Bhagavad Rāmānanda shines so great that the most sects like Kabir-Panth, Nanak-Panth, Rāmānuji-Tradition, etc all treat him as their own.

[1]* Sage Shuka-deva Goswāmi (Shuka-Goswami) was son of Sage Ved-VyAs. Shuka-deva narrated Shrimad Bhagvatam to Parikshit Maharaj and in his Bhagvata, he hinted about the form of his Ishta-Deva (iṣṭa-deva) by taking refuge of Lord Sri Rama alone. In Vaishanvism, Sharanagati (taking refuge) in the lotus feet of iṣṭa-deva is the most important and the final component of devotion. Shuka-Goswami didn't take refuge in the feet of any other incarnation of Lord Rama in Bhagavata, except in the lotus feet of the consort of Sita.

[2]* Jagadguru Rāmānujāchārya extensively studied the Bodhyana-Vritti, the work of Sage Bodhyana propounding Vishishtadvaita Vedanta philosophy and then he propagated the same knowledge of Sage Bodhayan. Thus, Shri-Vaishnava-sect of Bhagavad Rāmānujāchārya is celebrated as the branch of Shri Ramavat Sampraday of Sage Bodhayana. This same Ramavat sect was revived later on by Jagadguru Rāmānanda, and hence this Ramavat sect is popularly known as Rāmānandi sect.

Thus, Śrī Rāmānandi-Sampradāya is the eternal and original Sri-Sampradāya recognized within Vaiṣhṇava Chatuḥ Sampradaya, as it has unbroken lineage which exists in all 4-Yugas. It doesn't start in Kaliyuga.

Original Śrī-Sampradāya among Chatuḥ (4) Vaiṣhṇava Sampradāyas

In the Galatā conference of Vaiṣhṇavas belonging to different sects, among Vaiṣhṇava Chatuḥ-Sampradāya (four Vaiṣhṇava-lineages), the Rāmānandi-s the disciplic descendents of Bhagavad Rāmānanda represented the Sri sect (Sri-Sampradaya). And they were recognized historically the original members of the Vaiṣhṇava Chatuḥ Sampradāya (four bonafide Vaiṣhṇava Sampradāyas) together with the sects founded by Nimbārka, Madhvācārya, and Visnuswāmi. And a new arrangement was sealed by the subdivision of the four sects into fifty-two "doors" (dvaras). Each door, or a spiritual clan, was said to have been established by a prominent Vaiṣhṇava ascetic who was a spiritual descendant of Jagadguru Rāmānand, Jagadguru Nimbārka, Jagadguru Madhvāchārya, Jagadguru Visnuswāmī. All members of the four main Vaiṣhṇavite sects traced their spiritual descent back to a founder of a spiritual clan. Anyone who could not trace his descent back to the founder of a spiritual clan was not a member of any of the four sects of the Chatuḥ Sampradāya. Of the fifty-two spiritual clans (52 dvāras), thirty-six were founded by Rāmānandī-ascetics and twelve were founded by Nimbārkī ascetics. The remaining four spiritual clans were founded by ascetics of the Madhvācārya, and Visnuswāmi sects. The thirty-six founders of the Rāmānandī spiritual clans fall within the first and sixth generations of Rāmānand's descendants. Following NābhāJi's list of twelve disciples, twenty-seven spiritual clans were founded by Anantānand and his descendants; four spiritual clans were founded by Sursurānanda and his descendants. Śrī Sukhānand, Śrī Naraharyānand, Śrī Bhāvānandajī, and Śrī Pīpājī each founded a spiritual clan. Thus, Sri Rāmānandī sect is the original Śrī-Sampradāya, and It became the largest Vaiṣhṇava sect in India with 36 Dvaras (spiritual clans) out of total 52 dvaras. In every meeting of the four bonafide Vaiṣhṇava-sects, Śrī Rāmānand Sampradāya represents the Śrī-Sect.

Bhagavad Rāmānuja's sect an idependent branch of the eternal Śrī-Sampradāya. There are only regional or time differences, not the philosophical differences between the Rāmānandi-sect and Rāmānuji-sect. Both follow the same Vishishtadvaita philosophy and have everything same, except in place of Sita-Ram, Lakshmi-Narayan are taken as Avatari-Swaurpa of Bhagavān in Rāmānuji-sect.

Sita Ji
Bhagavati Sita

श्रीसीतानाथसमारम्भां श्रीरामानन्दार्यमध्यमाम्।
अस्मदाचार्यपर्यन्तां वन्दे श्रीगुरुपरम्पराम्॥

śrī-sītānātha-samārambhāṃ śrīrāmānandārya-madhyamām।
asmadācārya-paryantāṃ vandē śrī-guru-paramparām॥

"Beginning from Bhagavān Śrī Sītā-nāth (the consort of Śrī Sītā Jī) i.e. Śrī Rāma himself, through Jagadguru Ādya Rāmānandāchārya in middle, down to our own Ācārya, I salute the entire lineage of gurus of Śrī-Sampradāya."

Two divine Guru-Paramparā-s of Śrī-Sampradāya:

Sarvēśvar Bhagavān Śrī Rāma

Sarvēśvarī Śrī Sītā Mahārānī → Hanumān jī (in tripād-Vibhuti) → Brahmā jī → To others

Mahāśambhu → Pārvatī jī
(Sadāśiva in tripād-Vibhuti)

Śrī Viṣṇu jī → Śrī Lakṣmī jī → and so on.

Brahmā jī

and so on


Four-Vaiṣhṇava Sampradāya :

The Four eternal Vaiṣhṇava Sampradayās, along with their Paramāchārya :-

1) Śrī Sampradāya - Paramāchārya : Sarvēśvarī Śrī Sītā → (Śrī Rāmānand Sampradāya) →

2) Brahmā Sampradāya - Paramāchārya : Brahmā Ji → (Mādhva Sampradāya)

3) Rudra Sampradāya - Paramāchārya : Bhagavān Shankar Ji → (Vishnu-swāmi Sampradāya)

4) Sanakādik Sampradāya - Paramāchārya : Sanakādik Muni → (Nimbārka Sampradāya)

The Param-Acharyas of all these four Vaiṣhṇava Sampradayās, they all have surrendered exclusively into lotus feet of Bhagavān Śrī Rāma in Vedic-scriptures, and they all chant Śrī Rāma Mantra. Bhagavati Śrī Sītā is the dearest consort of Bhagavān Śrī Rāma, and therefore nothing more is to be said about her exclusive devotion in Śrī Rāma, only She knows her consort completely. Śrī Rāmānuja is regarded as the incarnation of Śrī Rāmānuja-Lakshmaṇ who is ever devoted to Śrī Rāma, therefore Śrī Rāmānuja surrendered to Śrī Rāma's deity in Madhurāntkam. Vāyu-deva Hanumān Ji is eternal servant of Śrī Rāma. Brahmā recieved Śrī Rāma mantra from Hanumān Ji in some Kalpa, in some other Kalpas from Shri Hari Viṣhṇu (Shri Rama himself). The Ishta-deva of Bhagavān Shankara (who is Parama-Acharya of Rudra-Sampradāya) is Śrī Rāma alone, and He along with his consort Bhagavati Parvati always chants the name of Śrī Rāma. Param-Acharya of Sanakādik-Sampradāya, the four Kumāras also chant all the time the name of Śrī Rāma as per their own Sri-mukh Vachana (own testimony) in Skand-Purāṇa. Thus, Param-Acharyas of all four Vaiṣhṇava-Sampradāyas are totally in refuge of Śrī Rāma.

(चाहें ब्रह्मा हों, चाहें रूद्र शिव हों, चाहें सनकादिक हों, या चाहें वायु (हनुमान), चाहें रामानुज लक्ष्मण हों सभी ने प्रभु श्री राम (श्री राम रूप) की अनन्य शरणागति ले रखी है, और भगवती 'श्री' का कहना हीं क्या वो तो श्री राम की अर्धांगिनी हीं हैं - अतः चारो वैष्णव सम्प्रदाय भगवान् श्री राम के हीं परमाश्रित हैं।)

Therefore, Goswāmī Tulasīdas Jī has said aptly in Śrī Rāmacharitamānas:

अतः गोस्वामी तुलसीदासजीने यह उचित हीं कहा है –

साधक सिद्ध बिमुक्त उदासी। कबि कोबिद विरक्त संन्यासी॥
जोगी शूर सुतापस ग्यानी। धर्म निरत पंडित बिग्यानी॥
तरहिं न बिनु सेए मम स्वामी। राम नमामि नमामि नमामि॥
(श्रीरामचरितमानस ७.१२४.३-४)

“Strivers and perfect souls, the liberated and the unworldly-minded, the seers and learned men, those knowing the secrets of Karma (duty) and those who have renounced all action, Yogis (mystics), and valiant heroes, great ascetics and wise men, pious souls and men of erudition and even men who have realized the Self— — none of these can cross the ocean of mundane existence without adoring my lord, Shri Rama, to whom I bow again and again and yet again.”

On the same pattern in Bhāgavatam, the narrator of Bhāgavatam, Sage Shukadeva specifically says everyone in the existence should worship Bhagavān Shri Rama.

 

Rasopasna
(rasōpāsanā, śrṛṃgārōpāsanā, mādhuryōpāsanā, Rasikōpāsanā)

रमन्ते रसिका यस्मिन् दिव्यानेकगुणाश्रये स्वयं यद्रमते तेषु रामस्तेन प्रयुज्यते ।

ramantē rasikā yasmin divyānēkaguṇāśrayē svayaṃ yadramatē tēṣu rāmastēna prayujyatē ।

“Rasika devotees delight in Śrī Rāma, the only abode of divine virtues, and Śrī Rāma also delights in those devotees. That is why He is known as Rāma.”

रामो रमयतां श्रेष्ठः ।[श्री वाल्मीकि रामायण 2-53-1]

rāmō ramayatāṃ śrēṣṭhaḥ । [śrī vālmīki rāmāyaṇa 2-53-1]

Śrī Rāma is the foremost among those who delight the minds of people.

Thus, 'Rāma' means the one who is foremost among those who delight the mind of others, and the one delights/disports with his devotees. The real Rasarajtva (being full of Rasa and Rasa only, the giver of all Rasa-s) is siddha (defined) from the name Rama alone. The word 'Rāma' also means Ananda, He is the reservoir of bliss, he is the supreme Ananda, hence he is the foremost in delighting minds of Yogi-Bhaktas, and Rasika-devotees. Shri Rama attracts the minds of greatest of Yogis, Yogi-Bhaktas meditate upon him to derive the supreme bliss. As like ocean is full of water, similarly Rama is full of Rasa and Rasa only, He is the original source of bliss (Ananda), 'Rāma' is Purna-Anandam (bliss to infinite extent). Since, Shri Rama attracts the minds of great Yogis and Rasika-devotees, therefore He is the culmination of all-aishwarya as well as all-Mādhurya.

In Mādhuryopāsanā, Rasika-devotees are drenched in the loving-devotion (Prema, प्रेमा-भक्ति) , they are enchanted on Shri Rama's Mādhurya i.e. his beauty, and all-sweetness. Not even a billion of cupids could be a match to the beauty, elegance, and charm of Shri Rama. Shri Rama is the supreme Rasaraj (the original source of all Rasa-s). They love Bhagavān Shri Rama as their Priyatam (beloved) in bhava (mood) of his Sakhi (female-friend) or Premika (lover or secret-lover) or Kanta (wife) or Dasi (maid-servant). The Rig Veda Hymn 10.111.7 says devotees should follow Shri Rama as like rays follow the sun, thus Mādhuryopāsanā of Shri Rama is the most ancient Mādhuryopāsanā and a purely Vaidic-Upāsanā. (for more read: Shri Rāma, the Aadi-purusha of Vedas and Rasopāsanā)

Rasika-devotees worship Priyā-Priyatam Śrī Sītā-Rāma through Bhāva-deha (भाव देह) of a Sakhi (female-friend) or Sister or Dāsī (servant) of Śrī Sītā, those Sakhi-s of Śrī Sītā have only one desire to see the happiness on the countenance of their Priyā-Priyatam Nitya Kishori-Kishore Śrī Śrī Sītā-Rāma, and the efforts of all Sakhi-s are directed towards this only in their loving-devotion, their sole happiness is present in the happiness of their beloved Priya-Priyatam Shri Shri SitaRama. To worship Bhagavān Shri Shri SitaRama in mood of a Sakhi, one needs to surrender to a Shringaropasaka Ramavat Vaiṣhṇava Guru to get all guidance and necessary instructions. Whaterver is received through the grace of Sita Ji and Guru (immediate preceptor Sakhi), the heart of a Sakhi finds extreme satisfaction and real bliss in that only. It can be felt when true love (Prema) is achieved.

Paramarth and Param-Purusharth
( परमार्थ एवं परम-पुरुषार्थ / Paramārtha and Parama-Puruṣārtha)

Paramarth literally means the supreme fruit, the ultimate achievement, the real wealth, etc. As per Vaiṣhṇava-acharyas of Shri Sampradāya (श्री सम्प्रदाय śrī sampradāya Sri Sampradaya), Paramarth is the Prema (Pure loving-devotion) of Bhagavān (Shri Rama, the original personality of Godhead). This is achieved after Guru-Kripa and darshan of Bhagavan. A real Vaishnana doesn't hanker after liberation, instead he wants the true love in Bhagavan, He ignores even Mukti (liberation) for the Prema (true loving-devotion). So, the real goal of a Vaiṣhṇava is achieving the Prema (true love) in Bhagavān Shri Rama. Prema is the real ornament, the real wealth, the ultimate fruit, the supreme achievement for a Jiva (devotee-soul).

Purusharth literally means the endeavour or the object of Jiva's Pursuit. As per acharyas of Sri Sampradaya, Param-Purushartha for devotee-souls is Sarv-Vidhi-Kainkaryam of Bhagavān Shri Shri SitaRama (i.e. Service of Bhagavān Shri Shri SitaRama in all possible ways) in spirtual world after achieving their Prema (true loving-devotion). In divya-Saket or during Avatara in Bhaum-Ayodhya, after liberation a devotee soul achieves nearness of Param-Aanand-Sindhu Bhagavān Shri Shri SitaRama, and keeps immersing self in the ocean of supreme bliss seeing their divine-leela, and in love devotee-soul does Sarv-Vidhi-Kainkaryam to see the blooming countenance of Priya-Priyatam, this alone is Param-Purushartha. When true love arises in a devotee soul, a devotees-soul craves to see the happiness on the countenance of his beloved Priya-Priyatam Bhagavān Sri Sri SitaRama, and therefore, a devotee soul is eternally engaged in Sarv-Vidhi Kainkaryam of Priya-Priyatam in spiritual world of Saketa, all efforts of mukta-Jivas in Prema are directed for this only. This is called Param-Purusharth or Pancham-Purusharth.

Sri Rama, the Ishta of all worlds, for one and all
( इष्टः सर्वस्य लोकस्य ― श्री राम / iṣṭaḥ sarvasya lōkasya ― Śrī Rāma)

Supreme Purusa Shri RAma
Bhagavān Shri Rama is Rupa-sindhu (रूप-सिंधु, the ocean of all beauty-elegance-&-charm), gun-sindhu (गुनसिंधु the ocean of all virtues and qualities) and Sheel-Sindhu (the ocean of all virtues and piety which are innate and inherent, having innately sweetest nature and disposition).

Bhagavān Sri Rama is well known and renowned in the world for his Maryada-leela i.e. leela of an ideal personality. However, it is not known to many that in Sri Ramavatara (śrī rāmāvatāra) when Bhagavān himself descends to Martyaloka (material world) with his consort Sita and Nitya Parshada-s, to do Martyaloka-Leela, then before his marriage and after the marriage, Bhagavān Shri Rama performs many secret Mādhurya Leela-s too along with his Para-shakti Sita and her female-friends. Many Mādhurya-Leela-s of Lord Rama are very secret and completely hidden from common-folk, Yet greatly relished among great-saints and Pure-devotees of Bhagavān Sri Rama, as these Mādhurya-leela of Bhagavān is there for devotees only. His Mādhurya-leela is for nurturing devotee's wish and infusing Pure love among his devotees.

They who participated in Shri Rama's secret Mādhurya-leela during Rama-avatar, they were already accomplished souls (accomplished Madhura-devotees) of this world, as well as the Nitya Sakha-Sakhis who had descended along with him from Sri Saket loka in Maha-Vibhuti. His Mādhurya-leela was revealed to a specific groups of devotees and great souls. And, his Maryada-leela of an ideal personality was revealed for all alike, to be emulated by everyone. Thus, Bhagavān Shri Rama is a complete personality, Purn Purushottama in true sense, He has both aspects at suitable places i.e. the secret Mādhurya-leela revealed to (and participated by) great devotees only for nurturing their wish, as well as the renowned Maryada-leela of an ideal personality renowned in whole world. Thus, Shri Rama is the most ideal and the perfect form to be worshipped by all categories of devotees.

Therefore, everyone should worship Shri Rama. He alone is the Ishta for all the worlds, for everyone, from beasts to birds, from demons to gods, from women to men, from common men to the greatest of Yogis, from Maryada-Pusht devotees to Pushti-pusht (Shuddh-Pusht) devotees as per the interests of an individual soul, in short for one and all.

This is the specialty and uniqueness of Shri Ramavatar, He is for one and all, for all types of devotees.

There are many scriptures which describe the Mādhurya Leela of Lord Ramachandra. The Rasikopasana (Madhuropasana) of Shri Ram and Sita is the most ancient among all Madhuropasana-s of other deities. Madhuropasana of Shri Rama has its basis in Vedas, and Adi-Kavya Valmiki-Ramayana, as Shri Rama is the Aadi-Purusha (Primeval Purusha) and source of all avatara-s, similarly Aadi-Kavya Valmiki Ramayana is the principle-source of all scriptures. The Scriptures describe that Lord Rama performed 100 Mahā-Rāsas (Maha-Rasa dance) with Sita and her Sakhi-s, out of those 100 Mahā-Rasa one was incomplete due to intervention of an evil crow, celestial Jayanta who was the son of Indra. That incomplete MahaRasa was completed by Lord Rama in his whole Krishna-Avatar.

Not only Sri-Sampradāya (Shri Ramavat sect of Jagadguru Rāmānandacharya), but even AzhvArs of Sri-Vaishnava Sampradāya of Jagadguru Rāmānujāchārya too, have relished the Mādhurya Parak Bhakti of Lord Rama :

One of the prominent AzhvArs of Sri-Vaishnavism penned a hymn that addresses Sri Rama through the viewpoint of a "heroine's" plaintive cry:

The words of the girl pining for Shri Rama:

Supreme Purusa Shri RAma

My heart, even you are not on my side!
The long night stretches out like an aeon
without break of dawn.
If my KAkutstha with his shining, angry bow
does not come, I shall kill myself,
-- I don't know how.
I've been born as a woman, sinner that I am.
Even the sun does not rise; He hides his face,
refusing to see such grief.

- NammAzhvAr (TiruvAymoLi 5.4.3-4)

न रामरूपादीनां केवलं स्त्रीपुरुषाणामेव दृष्टिचित्तापहारकत्वमुपपद्यते
किंतु स्थावरजंगमात्मकस्य सर्वं जगतोऽपि ॥
श्रीकृष्णस्तु वेणुरणनैः स्त्रियादिमोहनः ।
अयं तु स्वसौन्दर्येण स्त्रिपुं साधारण सर्वजन्तुमोहकः ॥

[Sundarmani-Sandarbh by Swami Madhuracharya]

“Sri Krsna is an enchanter of only women, and that too with the help of His flute; but this RAma, with just His natural beauty, enchants women, men, and even casual animals also!”

These are few words of great Rasika devotees of Shri Rama.


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॥ श्रीसीतारामचन्द्रार्पणमस्तु ॥