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Names have Great Significance
The Ramayana of Valmiki is hailed as the "Adikavya", the foremost among spiritual works, in poetic form. The manner in which the sage composed it has an interesting aside to it, which is significant in the spiritual tradition. Valmiki was a hunter by birth and was taught just the syllables "Ma" and "Ra" in the Ram Mantra, which proved to be the turning point in his life.

He chanted it with sincerity oblivious to his surroundings and a anthill grew around him during his penance because of which he came to be known as Valmiki. His spiritual transformation can be gauged from the fact that he became the chosen one to transcribe the life of the Lord. His life is the standing testimony to the efficacy of chanting the Divine name and his immortal work is a source of perennial inspiration. 

In his discourse on the Ramayana, Sri Kalayanarama Bhattachrair said, the names chosen by Vasita for the sons of Dasaratha had great significance.  The name Rama was chosen after great deliberation, as the sage knew that the Supreme Being had manifested in human form. This divine name is unique in that it is also a mantra capable of delivering man from bondage.

The choice of the name Bharatha indicated that he would be one would shoulder responsibility. It was a harbinger of the role he played subsequently when he foiled his mother Kaikeyi's plans by refusing to accept the kingdom of Ayodhya and instead took good care of it for Rama till he returned from his Exile. Lakshmana means one who is blessed by the grace of Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi.

Shatrugana indicates one who has total control over himself.

An extract from the Hindu dated 22 June 1999, Bangalore



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