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As Sri Rama Navami falls on 08-Apr-2014 (Tuesday), I am happy to share a short and sweet prayer on Lord Rama from Skanda Purana, Brahma Khanda, Sethu Mahatmya, Chapter 44 by Sages. One understand the sanctity and efficacy of the stuti through the brief Phalashruti at the end of the hymn - it is capable of granting all boons.

Innumerable are the hymns/names on Lord Vishnu but the quintessence of all of them is rAma, as is evidenced at the end of Vishnu Sahasranama from Mahabharata and Padma Purana. Sri Rama Nama Japa is considered equivalent of Gayatri Mahamantra Japa

mAnasaM vAcikaM pApaM karmaNA samupArjitam |
shrIrAma smaraNenaiva vyapohati na saMshayaH ||

Meaning : All sins committed and accrued by mind, speech and deeds are indeed annihilated by Sri Rama nAma smaraNa and let there be no doubt.

There seem to be many Rama Sahasranamas although I have only one. Similarly there are many Ashtottarams. Countless are the Kshetras attributed to Sri Rama and it is quite possible that many of such kshetras may have their own Ashtottarams and Sahasranamas. Perhaps people hailing from such Kshetras could contribute by bringing up such rare and forgotten stutis.

To give an example, I recently came to know that Madurai Azhagar Koil, my kuladaiva temple, has its own Ashtottaram called Sundararaja Ashtottaram from a purana. It is not used anymore and even priests may not be aware of it. So, temples like Vaduvur, etc. might have such rare attributions and everyone could contribute by bringing such rare ones back.

Recently, I got hold of an Ashtottaram of Sri Veera Raghava Swamy of Thiruevvulur (now known as Thiruvallur near Chennai - Markandeya Puranam attributes several chapters to this Kshetra under the title Veeksharanya Kshetra Mahatmyam).

May We Pray To Lord Rama on His Birthday! Bhakti to Rama is not easy - when Parama GYAni and Bhakta like Saint Thyagraja can cry "Theliyaleru Rama Bhakti Margamulu" (I don't know/get the path to Sri Rama Bhakti), do we need to even talk about us? It will be preposterous.

While we talk about this forgotten temples/texts, I am reminded of a personal experience. About 15 years ago, I had gone to Mumbai with a German colleague on official work. He insisted on visiting a temple in Mumbai which apparently is associated with Ramayana. In spite of me having spent 2-3 years there, I had not even heard of it. After lot of enquiry and search we went to the place which was like a small village within Mumbai with a small temple and a tank. Sadly, the value of our own treasures are not known to us - a German has to come and tell!

May I take this occasion to wish those who are following Lunar Calendar a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year Jaya! May The New Year bestow all your wishes!

With Pranams,
K. Muralidharan Iyengar.
Sri Rama Stuti - Tamil

Sri Rama Stuti - Sanskrit



Kannada, Malayala and Telugu Version also available
Will be uploaded on request