The answers of Agastya Muni to the generic questions posted by devotees can be found here.
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During the time of Ramayana, Sri Agastya has appeared before Lord Rama and guided him on crucial moments. In Yuddha Kanta, he gave the famous Aditya Hrudhayam slokha and helped Rama win the battle against Ravana. This sloka has helped many others to this date. The reason is, Agastya has mercifully thought about the good ones in the Kali Yuga and to make them win evil. In that sloka, only an expert scholar who is a master of Sanskrit can say how many subtle, yet powerful Beejakshara’s are included. Even for that scholar, Agastya’s grace is required to know them.
There is a pressing question by many, that why Sri Krishna indulged in Rasa Leela. Some rationalists and people with vested interest to malign Sanatana Dharma ridicule and picture it in bad light. As Agastya Himself said, there will be many a subtle meaning in every word He says. Sri Agastya has clearly explained about the Rasa Leela of Shri Krishna.
Rasa Leela is the act that Krishna performed with the Gopika ladies in the water and in the land to make them happy. The normal eyes can perceive those ladies as youthful and beautiful, everything around the physical plane only. But a realized soul knows that it is a ‘left over’ part of Ramavatara that is getting fulfilled in Krishnavatara.
During Tretho Yuga, when Sri Rama went in to the forest to fulfill His Father’s bid, many Rishi Munis long for His darshan, touch His feet and to embrace Him. As they were in severe penance, they could not even move out of their Ashrams. Sri Rama could not fulfill everyone’s desire as such. He met only a few great Rishis, such as Agastya, Bharadhwaja, Sabari etc. In between, the Kishkintha, Yuddha Kanta took priority and hence Rama could not meet hundreds of Rishis. The truthful, simple yet powerful desires of these Rishis gradually got converted to Vasanas and they got hold of Rama!
Agastya appeared before Sri Rama and initiated the Aditya Hridhaya Slokha, when Sri Rama was dis-heartened as Lakshmana lay unconscious. Then He mentioned, “Sri Rama, get the blessings of these Rishi Munis who accompanied me. During your exile, these Rishi-Munis wanted to embrace your holy body, to have your darshan. Some of them could not do this due to the severe penance they had undertaken. I have brought those who have completed their penance. They wish to do Alingana (embrace). Please fulfill their wishes.”
Sri Rama agreed and Agastya asked, “Sri Rama, there are several hundreds of Rishis who still are yearning for this blessing. They were expecting so eagerly that you will visit them during your exile but it didn’t happen. Do you think you will be able to fulfill their desires in this Ramavatara?”
Sri Rama knew that it wasn’t humanly possible at this avatar alone. He prayed to Agastya Muni to show Him a way out of this, for He being the Maryadha Purushotham who did not want to hurt the sentiments of even a single creature, never to such noble souls. (Ramavatara does not portray any super natural abilities of Sri Maha Vishnu, for this avatar was that of a human form).
Agastya mentioned, “Sri Rama! These souls know very well that you are the avatar of Sri Maha Vishnu Himself. When you take the next avatar in Dwapara Yuga as Shri Krishna, these rishi-munis will take birth as Gopika ladies, to fulfill their wish to embrace you, to attain a super-natural blissful state. This is a Avatara-secret.”
Hence, the Rasa Leela is another spiritual dimension of the rishi-munis with their purvasrama vasanas, touch and embrace the Purnavatara Murthy Shri Krishna, they get to experience both the divinity aspects of Sri Rama and Sri Krishna at the same time, reaching a very highly elevated spiritual state.
(Purvasrama = Purva + Ashrama => previous birth)
(Vasanas = loosely translated to thoughts but Vasanas per say has deeper complexity)
If we think about the incidents that happened with the grace of Shri Agastya, we could understand one thing. To know it’s absolute subtlety, we need His grace. As said before, for the one whose thoughts are pure and noble, His subtleties will be clarified, will be known.
Featured image courtesy: Pinterest (brilliant isn’t it?!)