On the occasion of Sri Rama Navami (31-Mar-2012/Sat - in some calendars it is on Sunday), I am happy to share the following rare Stotras on Lord Rama.

1. Sri Sita Rama Stuti - Hanuman - Skanda Puranam - this is a rare stuti on Lord Rama and Devi Sita by Lord Hanuman. This hymn is found in Skanda Purana, Brahma Khanda, Setu Mahatmya, Ramalinga Pratishtha Kathanam. The chapter in which this stuti is found explains the context of the installation of Ramalinga (Lord Shiva) by Lord Rama/Hanuman.

2. Sri Rama Stuti - Lord Parashurama - Padma Puranam - this is a short prayer on Lord Rama by Lord Parashurama after the latter was overcome by the former.

3. Mantra Varnakshara Yukta Sri Rama Ashtottaram - this is a rare set of 108 names on Lord Rama.

Innumerable are the hymns on Lord Rama - some of them are well-known while the rest not. I have not seen the above falling into the 'known' category and included here. There are at least about 5-6 different Ashtottarams, 4-5 Sahasranamas and a few Kavachas. As Vasishta Samhita declares:

rAmasya nAma rUpaM ca lIlA dhAma parAtparam |
etac catuShTayaM sarvaM saccidAnanda vigraham ||
(Meaning : Lord Rama's Name, His Rupa, His Leela and Dham are indeed the embodiments of Paratpara)

With respect to Sahasranamas :

1. Rama Sahasranama - Ananda Ramayana - this is the most commonly used one.

2. Rama Sahasranama - Padma Purana/Uttara Khanda - though it is mentioned so, I am yet to locate this in Uttara Khanda. I have only seen a rare Ashtottaram and a few stutis but not the Sahasranama. Need to search again.

3. Rama Sahasranama - Ramayana - I have a version in Namavali form which contains rAma rAma rAma rAmA as the ending verse of each line.

4. Rama Sahasranama - Rudra Yamala - I have been searching for this for years. As per manuscript catalogs, Rudra Yamala is supposed to contain Rama and Ramachandra Sahasranama. Not sure whether these two are one and the same or different.

5. Rama Sahasranamavali - I have another one in Namavali form (akArAdi xakArAnta). The source of this is unknown.

6. Sita Sahasranama - Ramayana - this is well-known

7. Janaki Sahasranama - this is said to be available in manuscript form in a north Indian library and I am still looking for it.

As all will know, the impact of Ramayana has been wide-spread far beyond the shores of India - especially South East Asia.
1. Thailand/Bangkok has street names titled Ramayana I/II/III/etc. and its former capital is Ayodhya (pronounced as Ayuttaya).

2. A large section of Indonesian names are Indian names (I was quite amused by a Muslim Indonesian introducing himself recently as Lakshmana in Surabaya which is far away from Bali, the seat of Hinduism in Indonesia. Bali has a traditional Kacak dance depicting Ramayana and I attended this one during my visit to Bali last month. Though language can't be understood, the scenes are easily understood.

The largest temple in Bali (known as Besakih Temple) is said to be built by Sage Markandeya as was told to me by a local guide. Their temples are quite different from our present day temples in India in terms of forms and structure although the concepts are the same. http://www.balistarisland.com/Bali-Information/Besakihtemple.html. Saraswati is an important deity (though they use different spellings Widia for Vidya, Wati for Saraswati, etc.!)

May we endeavor to seek the blessings of Lord Rama. Sri Bodhendra Swamigal (a great Rama Nama Upasaka and a former Peethadhipati of Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt) make the following beautiful prayer in his magnum opus work, "Sri Bhagavan Namamrita Rasodayam" (First chapter, Verse 4):

sarvasya lokasya sadA suguptyai - nAmAtmako bhAti harIshayor yaH |
dayA sudhAbdhi lalitAtmako me - rAma sadA vaktra saroruhe .a stu ||

(Meaning : May Lord Rama, who shines with the names as Shiva and Vishnu for protecting all the worlds, be seated in the lotus of my mouth always).

Thanks & Regards,
K. Muralidharan (Murali)

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