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  ‼  Aum, Asato maa sadgamaya, Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya  ‼  
     

 


Ram Kinkar

Pandit Shivnayakji was the father of Sri Ram Kinkar.

He gave discourses on the Ramayana. He was a great devotee of Hanuman. It is believed that it was with Hanumanji's grace that a son was born to him during the later part of his life.

Pandit Shivnayakji named his son Ram Kinkar which means "One who would serve Sri Rama."

It is believed that when Ram Kinkarji was 20 years of age. he had a dream which inspired him to spread the word and the interpretation of Tulsidas Ramayana.

Ram Kinkarji has devoted his whole life to the above mission. Wherever he goes audiences flock to listen to his words In pin-drop silence.

As I hear Ram Kinkarji talk I would imagine Hanumanji talking through him.

At times I felt that he was the incarnation of Tulsidas (the writer of the Ramayana) himself or at any rate he surely had a direct link with him.

How could he otherwise interpret passages with such deep understanding, as I believe that only an author can comprehend the purport of his own words In such depths.

As the lecture would start I would think that the knowledge emanated from Ram Kinkarji, then suddenly he would quote Tulsidas couplets in the context In which he was talking, thereby removing the due of such great insights from his own person.

My second book Symbolisms in the Ramayana was inspired by his talks. I gave him the acknowledgment and he gave me the Foreword to the book together with his divine blessings.

I have had the good fortune of meeting Ram Kinkarji when he would lovingly listen to, and answer, my various queries.

The minute I would talk highly about his rhetoric prowess, somehow the smile would leave his countenance or he would hurriedly look the other way. It was like he was not accepting the praise as he probably recognised his talent to communicate, as a Grace from above. Ram Kinkar cleared my doubts on various topics on his every trip to Bombay.

I have always observed that a spiritually ignorant person suffers less; then why not just be plain Ignorant, if, as the saying goes, ignorance is bliss". I put this question, to Ram Kinkar. He answered me thus, "One who is asleep and one who is in samadhi (high state of meditation) seem to be in a similar state in as much that both do not feel pain. However while the one in samadhi has gone beyond it, the one who is asleep will have to go through the waking up stage and feel the pain; until he learns to surpass it."

How does one become immune to pain? According to Maharajshree, as Ram Kinkar is affectionately called, one has to have faith in the scriptures and believe that the world is a dream, and nothing is worth fretting over much. The experience that the world is a dream can be passed on from Guru to disciple, but for that the disciple has to possess a certain receptivity.

Swami Ramakrishna Paramahansa could awaken the latent powers of Swami Vivekananda and yet was unable to do much for his disciples who had served him for several years.

Maharajshree looks upon the karma theory interestingly: He says that when one sees a tree with a fruit in it one knows that the fruit comes from that particular tree. However one can see fruit without necessarily seeing the tree from where it stems — yet one knows without doubt that the mother tree of the fruit exists.

This is how one must see our life — whatever comes to us, be it good or bad, it owes its birth to our own lines of action, which may not come from this particular life, but previous ones.

How much karma can be cut by good deeds? According to Maharajshree, medicine can control disease and sometimes get rid of It, but many factors are involved In the process.

Maharajshree believes that unhappiness is not always due to bad karma - if unhappiness brings you closer to God, then strangely. it may be the result of good karma rather than bad.

Ram Kinkar teaches us how to deal with the ego.

He explains that when you plant a seed of grain. a lot of unnecessary weeds sprout alongside, which withdraw the strength from the soil thereby endangering the main plant.

Similarly, when we perform good deeds, praise comes in the form of rain, and the unnecessary weed of ego sprouts.

Unless these weeds are mercilessly removed from the soil they will eat into our virtues, that is the main plant.

Ram Kinkar is one of the few surviving scholars of Modern India. Despite his sharp intellect he has a very tender corner in his heart for the Bhakti Marg or the Path of Devotion and Love.

A man of knowledge will probe into the qualities of God but a devotee (Bhakta) instinctively knows that God can be achieved through Love.

A Bhakta devotee compares himself to a child who may not be worthy and is helpless: yet his mother loves him and takes care of him.

Ram Kinkar says different people go on the religious path for different reasons. It depends entirely upon what type of person one is and what kind of perception one has. Different people can go to the river and look at it from different points of view.

A person who does not know how to swim would like to know how deep the river is.

A person who knows how to swim would like to know how clean the water is.

A man who may want to drink the water would like to know how sweet it is.

Similarly, a man who takes to the path may do so for different reasons. Some may go for spiritualism for name and fame as it does not require a university degree to become a spiritual teacher.

A lot of people take to the practice for spiritual powers. This belief is not without foundation as people can achieve powers whereby problems can be alleviated.

However such people forget that by being truly religious one achieves the real main miracle" — that the problems of life do not affect you that much.

Very few take to the spiritual path for the real reason, i.e. to know oneself and reach the supreme state of enlightenment.

Ram Kinkar, though a devotee of Sri Rama. decided to hold a discourse for a week in Vrindavan. Vrindavan is the place where Sri Krishna grew up, hence the people there generally do not give that much importance to the discourses on the Ramayana. They prefer to listen to the exploits of their beloved child Krishna.

However Ram Kinkarji's personality so endeared the residents of Vrindavan that Ram Kinkar was made to prolong his stay by eleven months.

He was conferred the honour of becoming a visiting professor In the prestigious Hindu Kashi Vishwa Vidyalaya.

Amongst his admirers was the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad who was himself a great scholar.

Ram Kinkar has interpreted various works of Tulsidas. To ensure that the study of Tulsidas works continue, he founded the 'Tulsi Tatva Anusandhan Kendra".

Once I asked Maharajshree the validity of some people's belief that one should not do acts of charity as it can enhance the ego.

Maharajshree answered that, "that is like stating that one must cut off one's nose in order to get rid of the fly sitting on it." However he seriously added that one must make a conscious effort to give up the desire for merit — one must concentrate on efforts, not the out come.

I consider myself blessed by the fact that I have known Maharajshree — a personality that makes Mother India proud to call as her son.

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