Rama Poorva and Uttara Tapaniya Upanishads

Shiva Blessing Devotees

by P.R.Ramachander

Introduction

Rama Tapaniya Upanishad belongs to the Atharva-Veda. It has two parts, the Poorva Tapaniya and Uttara Tapaniya. It envisions Lord Rama as Purusha or the Supreme Self and Sita as Prakriti or nature. It is divided into two parts. The Poorva Tapaniya Upanishad sketches the cosmic world (body) of Lord Rama and the hierarchy of the deities associated with him in the form of a schematic diagram known as Rama yantra. Rama, Sita and Lakshmana form one triangle of this diagram. Satrughna, Bharata and Hanuman another triangle. They are surrounded by six vertices, comprising of other divinities who figure prominently in the epic Ramayana.

The Uttara Tapaniya Upanishad depicts Lord Shiva as a devotee of Lord Rama and a subordinate god. Lord Rama is described as Parameswar, a title which is usually associated with Lord Shiva. The Upanishad deals mostly with the 47 variations of Rama mantra, which is said to be capable of granting immortality to those who chant it regularly with devotion. - The following is an original translation of the Upanishad by P.R. Ramachander. Hope it will help you to understand the meaning and significance of Lord Rama - Jayaram V.

I. Rama Poorva Tapaniya Upanishad

Translation

Aum ! O Devas, may we hear with our ears what is auspicious;
May we see with our eyes what is auspicious, O ye worthy of worship !
May we enjoy the term of life allotted by the Devas,
Praising them with our body and limbs steady !
May the glorious Indra bless us !
May the all-knowing Sun bless us !
May Garuda, the thunderbolt for evil, bless us !
May Brihaspati grant us well-being !
Aum ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

The Tatva (principle/philosophy) of Rama exists in this world, with his life showing the way to live, with his name showing the way of ethereal knowledge, and also blessing all those who meditate or worship it with wealth and renunciation.

The word ‘Rama’ on which yogis devote themselves is immeasurable and forever joyful and indicates Para Brahman itself.

1 The body has been ascribed to Para Brahman which is holy, without any second, which does not have any blemishes and which is bodiless, so that the worshippers are shown the path.

2 Similar to the whole banyan tree existing in the seed of the banyan tree, the entire world exists in the seed “Rama”.

3 Rama when incarnated shone along with Sita, who is nature herself, like the moon shining with its moonlight. He who was born to Mother Kousalya, was black in colour, wore yellow silk, had his hair made up, wore ear studs and chains of precious stones, had in his hand the bow, had two hands, had a very pleasant smiling face and was heroic and blessed with victory and ruled with the help of eight ministers lead by Drishti. He was keeping the Parameshwari who was the mother of the world, who was nature, who had two hands, who was well made up and was holding lotus flower in her hand, on his lap and lightly embracing her.

4 He with Sita formed a triangle with Lakshmana who was holding a bow in his hand and was golden in colour. The devas approached him who was sitting below “the wish giving tree” in the form of a triangle and prayed, “Our salutations to you, who is personification of passion and illusion and also a god primeval to Vedas. Our salutations to the Raghu Veera, who killed Ravana, who is drowned in joy by keeping Goddess Lakshmi on his chest, who is the personification of all souls, who is an ornament to the body of Janaki (daughter of Janaka), who killed Rakshasas, who is very handsome and who is personification of all that is good.”

5 The devas further told “Hey, the killer of Ravana, please give us your protection and your grace.” Then they were with him and became very happy.

6 On his left with Satrughna, on his right with Bharata and on his front Hanuman who was listening to his advices, there was another triangle. Below Bharata was Sugreeva and below him was Vibheeshana. Behind him Lakshmana was holding an umbrella and below him Vibheeshana and Sugreeva were holding fans made of palm leaves. This was another inverted triangle. So the long armed Lord Rama who was shining was meditating in between this figure with six vertices. This is the first row surrounding him. The second is surrounded by Vasudeva and others (Santhi, Sankarshana, Sree Pradyumna, Saraswathi, Anirudha and Rathi) as well as fire and others in different directions.

Third is surrounded by Hanuman, Sugreeva, Bharata, Vibheeshana, Lakshmana, Angada, Jambhavan, Satrugna as well as Drushti, Jayantha, Vijaya, Surashtra, Rashtra Vardhana, Ashoka, Darmapala and Sumandra.

Fourth is surrounded by the 10 dig-balakas (protectors of directions) viz., Indra, Agni (fire God), Yama (god of death), Nirruthi, Varuna, Chandra, Isana, Brahma and Anantha.

Fifth is beyond the Dig-balakas and consists of their principal arms viz., Vajra, Shakthi, Danda, Vara, Pasa, Angusa, Gada, Soola, Madma and chakra; these should be worshipped.

Sixth: After the arms, Neela and other monkeys. Vasishta, Vamadeva and other sages worship him. He should be meditated and worshipped.

Thus worship Sri Rama who has the form which is the foundation of this world and who is forever joyful. All people who worship him as the one carrying mace, sword, conch and lotus and who is known as the one who removes births and deaths will attain salvation.

Thus ends the Sri Rama Poorva Tapaniya Upanishad.

II. Rama Uttara Tapaniya Upanishad

Translation

Aum ! May my speech be based on (i.e. accord with) the mind;
May my mind be based on speech.
O Self-effulgent One, reveal Thyself to me.
May you both (speech and mind) be the carriers of the Veda to me.
May not all that I have heard depart from me.
I shall join together (i.e. obliterate the difference of) day
And night through this study.
I shall utter what is verbally true;
I shall utter what is mentally true.
May that (Brahman) protect me;
May That protect the speaker (i.e. the teacher), may That protect me;
May that protect the speaker – may That protect the speaker.
Aum ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

In Varanasi Lord Shiva did Japa (chanted) of the Rama Mantra. Pleased because of this, Sri Rama told Lord Sankara as follows:

1 In this temple (city) whoever worships me with devotion, I would help him get rid of sins like Brahma Hathi (killing of a Brahmin). Those of them who get the six letter mantra (Ram Ramaya Namah) either from you or Brahma or his disciple line, would live with mastery over the mantra or attain salvation. At the time of death, if you tell this mantra in their ears, they would get salvation.

2 Brahma then thought in his mind about that Maha Vishnu, who is the foundation of this world, who is that Narayana, who does not have any deficiencies and who is that Parameshwara, who is of the form of Para Brahman and who is full of complete joy and then worshipped him as follows:

Aum! He who is Ramachandra is verily the God. He is the ‘non-dual soul of great happiness’. I salute him again and again in earth, bhuvar loka and Suvar loka. 3.1

This is followed by the repetition of the mantra 47 times with modification of the words with in quotes viz. “non-dual soul of great happiness’.

3.1 Only this portion is being translated below. This should be appropriately replaced in the mantra.

3.2 Far-flung and wide soul of the senses;

3.3 Nectar of happiness of Brahma;

3.4 One who makes us cross the birth and death;

3.5 One who is the soul of Gods like Vishnu and Indra;

3.6 One who is all Vedas, all Shakhas (branches), all Sankhyas and all Puranas (epics);

3.7 One who is the soul of all beings;

3.8 One who is the inner soul of all beings;

3.9 One who is the perception of Devas, Asuras and Human beings;

3.10 One who has taken the ten incarnations like fish, tortoise etc;

3.11 One who is the soul;

3.12 One who is soul of the inner consciousness;

3.13 One who is God of death;

3.14 One who is the destroyer;

3.15 One who is the death;

3.16 One who is the nectar;

3.17 One who is the five great elements;

3.18 One who is the soul of moving and unmoving;

3.19 One who is the five fires;

3.20 One who is the seven Vyahruthis;

3.21 One who is learning;

3.22 One who is Goddess Saraswati;

3.23 One who is Goddess Lakshmi;

3.24 One who is Goddess Parvati;

3.25 One who is the daughter of Janaka;

3.26 One who is the three worlds;

3.27 One who is the Sun;

3.28 One who is the moon;

3.29 One who is the stars;

3.30 One who is the nine planets;

3.31 One who is the eight protectors of directions;

3.32 One who is the eight Vasus;

3.33 One who is the eleven Rudras;

3.34 One who is the twelve suns;

3.35 One who is the past and future;

3.36 One who is the Supreme Being beyond the Brahmanda (universe);

3.37 One who is Hiranyagarbha;

3.38 One who is nature;

3.39 One who is the letter Aum;

3.40 One who is half portion of Pranava;

3.41 One who is the greatest Purusha (man);

3.42 One who is the great God;

3.43 One who is a great deva;

3.44 One who is Lord Vishnu;

3.45 One who is the Paramatma;

3.46 One who is the scientific soul;

3.47 One who is the soul which is forever in eternal bliss.

The great God would be pleased with the one who worships the Lord of Lords daily by these 47 mantras .The one who worships the Lord of Lords with this mantra will see him in person. He would attain a deathless state. He will attain the deathless state.

Thus ends the Sri Rama Uttara Tapaniya Upanishad.

Aum ! O Devas, may we hear with our ears what is auspicious;
May we see with our eyes what is auspicious, O ye worthy of worship !
May we enjoy the term of life allotted by the Devas,
Praising them with our body and limbs steady !
May the glorious Indra bless us !
May the all-knowing Sun bless us !
May Garuda, the thunderbolt for evil, bless us !
May Brihaspati grant us well-being !
Aum ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

Here ends the Rama-Tapaniyopanishad, as contained in the Atharva-Veda.

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