The Three Meanings for the Name RAMA and the Meaning of NARAYANA

The word Rama has three meanings:
One meaning is "the only entity from which yogis attain bliss". Spiritual aspirants do not get happiness from finite, worldly objects. They want something infinite. Bliss cannot be obtained from finite objects.

The infinite object which supplies them with infinite happiness is nothing but Rama. The Ananda Sutram says infinite happiness is anandam not sukham.
Another meaning of Rama is: Rama is the most glittering entity of the entire universe. It is the first syllable of rati, that is, 'ra' or glittering.

The first letter of the word Mahidhara, is ma, meaning, the world. Hence Rama. All glittering entities get their glitter from Him, no entity posses-ses glitter of its own.

The moon gets its glitter from the earth; the earth in turn derives its glitter from the sun. The sun gets energy from the cosmological nucleus. There are countless solar systems in the cosmos and the hub of all is Parama Purusha. He is the nucleus of all energy.

Scriptures say: "Before that effulgent Supreme Entity, neither the sun shines, nor the moon nor stars nor the lightning flash, what to speak of fire. In Parama Purusha's light all other entities shine. His effulgence illuminates all entities".

The third meaning of Rama is 'Ravanasya maranam'. The first syllable of Ravanasya and the first syllable of maranam make up "Rama". Ravana means a mind that moves away from the nucleus drifting away by the centrifugal force, dissipating mental energies in all 10 directions.

He is depicted as a 10-faced demon. Ravana can be defeated or destroyed, only when one takes shelter in Rama. So one under whom Ravana automatically dies is "Rama".

The meaning of Rama and Narayana is the same. Hanuman was asked why he insisted on taking the name of Rama and not of Narayana. He replied: "I know that philosophically there is no difference between Narayana and Rama, yet I will channelise my mind towards One Entity with all my sincerity and devotion and not many.

For me there is no Narayana, there is only Rama". In spiritual parlance such a word is called Ishta mantra and the spiritual aspirants treasure their Ishta mantra.

Narayana and Rama are the same Entity; only their names differ. The word Narayan comes from nara, that has three meanings: Parama, Prakrti and devotion or bhakti.

Nara + da = Narada, the distributor of bhakti. Nara means devotion. And 'ayana' means ashraya. Narayana means Parama Purusha - the Cosmic Consciousness, the shelter of Parama Prakrti.

Is the name more powerful or the nami (named). Who is more powerful, Parama Purusha or His name? The bhava, or ideation, for an object goes together with its name. One cannot name oneself. You need somebody else to name you.
Before leaping across the ocean, Hanuman consulted Rama. Rama replied, "Go ahead, Hanuman. You can jump across the ocean. But I cannot". And Rama asked him, "How will you cross it?

"Hanuman replied, "With your power" Rama asked, "How will you get My power?" And Hanuman replied, "I will take your Name and jump". Hence the nama is more powerful than the nami. The named, before being named, remains nameless. When there were no devotees, God had no name He was nameless.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Thank you for taking the time for creating this lovely blog. I will surely be spending a lot more time here.

Radha Rayasam

hrishikesh.srivatsa said...

Excellent blog !!!

One small correction, "the last sentence the nama is more powerful than the naami" is against dvaita. It means that there is something higher than Sri Hari which is wrong. Sri Hari is ultimate. The very thought suggesting to differentiate between Sri Rama and the name is absurd and should be critized.

I share whatever little information I gather. :) Please visit my blog at

Jai Bharateesha,

Anonymous said...

i am in love with the contents of this blog.i certainly dont follow dwita(i am sri vaishnava-visitadwiga)but the explanation pleased me..its hari/narayana we all believe is the ultimate.
great work

bhattathiri said...

Saint Tulsidas 's meaning of Rama in his Ram Charit Manas .. Rama as ocean of bliss and happiness for all .
जो आनंद सिंधु सुखरासी । सीकर तें त्रैलोक सुपासी ॥
सो सुख धाम राम अस नामा । अखिल लोक दायक बिश्रामा ॥