Navratras to Diwali is the season of revisiting the messages from Ramayana, the largest epic of our country which was once classified as one of the Puranas.
One can understand the story of Ramayana as the story of mind, body and soul and the story of causation and prevention of a disease, where the soul is represented as Rama and the physical body as Sita. Body is made up of five elements with earth being the predominant. Sita was the daughter of earth (prithvi).
Soul and body can only unite in presence of a determined mind holding them together. Determination means “aim” and in Hindi it is called “lakshya”. The mind with a defined aim, therefore, represents “Lakshmana”.
Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, therefore, represent the union of mind, body and soul. The three will stay together as long as one has his/her 10 senses (five motor and five sensory) under control. Senses are Chanchal like horses. Chariot of two horses is called Rath and chariot of the 10 horses is called “Dasharatha”. Therefore, mind, body and soul will be together with the resultant health only if the body is ruled by “Dasharatha” by controlling all the ten senses.
The next part of Ramayana talks about the causation of disease and worries. The causative factors are “kama, lobha and ahankar”. In Ramayana kama is depicted by Kaikeyi, lobha by Mareech and ahankaara by Ravana. Ramayana would not have happened with any one of them not being there. The sum total of the three is responsible for any disease or miseries in life.
When kama (Kaikeyi) predominates, senses (Dasharatha) have to die. When moha (Mareech) dominates, the mind (Lakshman) gets diverted and when Ahankar (Ravana) takes over, it controls the body (Sita) and makes the mind (Lakshman) and soul (Rama) wander.
The next part of Ramayana is how to win over ego or Ravana. The first step is to win over the mind by controlling the prana Vayu component of the body by indulging in Pranayama. In Ramayana context it means winning over Hanumana, the son of Vayu. Once he is controlled, all the thoughts representing as the Vanar Sena (Chanchal natures) get controlled.
The next step is to control the intellect (King Sugriva). He can only be influenced by killing lust (Bali), who is living with Sugriv’s wife. Lust cannot be killed from front and has to be killed from behind and that is what Rama does to Bali. Killing of the lust from behind is depicted as Pratyahara in Yoga and means living a disciplined satvik lifestyle.
The next step is to follow “one point contemplation” or living in the present. In the context of Ramayana, it represents one point determination or “the war over Lanka”. Once that happens firstly the tamas (Kumbkaran), than the rajas (Meghnad) and finally the ahankar (Ravana) dies. Both tamas and ego dies automatically by the consciousness (Rama) but for killing the rajas one has to conquer it with the mind (Lakshmana).
Once this happen the Satwa or Vibhishana takes over and the mind, body and soul are reunited leading to inner happiness again.
Lastly when Rama, Lakshman and Sita go back to their journey of life, back to Ayodhya, Hanuman goes with them as in Ayodhya, Dasharatha is no more.
If you cannot control your 10 senses by yourself you need to continue Pranayama or carry Hanuman with you for life. These are what the spiritual message from Ramayana.