Sri Rama Navami – Sunday, March 25, 2018
Divine avirbhava tithi (appearance) day of Sri Ramachandra Bhagavan
Srila Prabhupada explains the amazing story of Sri Mula Rama
The word pasandi refers to those who are opposed to pure devotional service. In particular, these are the Mayavadis, the impersonalists. A definition of pasandi is given in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa (1.73), wherein it is stated
yas tu narayanam devam
sa pasandi bhaved dhruvam
A pasandi is one who thinks that the Supreme Lord Narayana, the Personality of Godhead, is on the same level with the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma and Lord Siva. The devotee never considers Lord Narayana to be on the same platform with Lord Brahma and Lord Siva. The Madhvacharya-sampradaya and Ramanuja-sampradaya are mainly worshipers of Lord Ramachandra, although the Sri Vaisnavas are supposed to be worshipers of Lord Narayana and Laksmi and the Tattvavadis are supposed to be worshipers of Lord Krishna. At present, in most of the monasteries belonging to the Madhva-sampradaya, Lord Ramachandra is worshiped.
In the book known as Adhyatma-ramayana, there are statements in Chapters Twelve to Fifteen about the worship of the Deities Sri Ramachandra and Sita. There it is stated that during Lord Ramachandra's time there was a brahmana who took a vow to fast until he saw Lord Ramachandra. Sometimes, due to business, Lord Ramachandra was absent from His capital for a full week and could not be seen by citizens during that time. Because of his vow, the brahmana could not take even a drop of water during that week. Later, after eight or nine days, when the brahmana could see Lord Ramachandra personally, he would break his fast. Upon observing the brahmana's rigid vow, Lord Sri Ramachandra ordered His younger brother Laksmana to deliver a pair of Sita-Rama Deities to the brahmana. The brahmana received the Deities from Sri Laksmanaji and worshiped Them faithfully as long as he lived. At the time of his death, he delivered the Deities to Sri Hanumanji, who, for many years, hung Them around his neck and served Them with all devotion. After many years, when Hanumanji departed on the hill known as Gandha-madana, he delivered the Deities to Bhimasena, one of the Pandavas, and Bhimasena brought Them to his palace, where he kept Them very carefully. The last king of the Pandavas, Ksemakanta, worshiped the Deities in that palace. Later, the same Deities were kept in the custody of the kings of Orissa known as Gajapatis. One of the acharyas, known as Narahari Tirtha, who was in the disciplic succession of Madhvacharya, received these Deities from the King of Orissa.
It may be noted that these particular Deities of Rama and Sita have been worshiped from the time of King Iksvaku. Indeed, they were worshiped by the royal princes even before the appearance of Lord Ramachandra. Later, during Lord Ramachandra's presence, the Deities were worshiped by Laksmana. It is said that just three months before his disappearance, Sri Madhvacharya received these Deities and installed them in the Udupi temple. Since then the Deities have been worshiped by the Madhvacharya-sampradaya at that monastery. As far as the Sri Vaisnavas are concerned, beginning with Ramanujacharya, they also worshiped Deities of Sita-Rama. Sita-Rama Deities are also being worshiped in Tirupati and other places. From the Sri Ramanuja-sampradaya there is another branch known as Ramanandi or Ramat, and the followers of that branch also worship Deities of Sita-Rama very rigidly. The Ramanuja-sampradaya Vaisnavas prefer the worship of Lord Ramachandra to that of Radha-Krishna.
– Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, Madhya 9.11