Nāmarāmāyaṇam (The Ramayana conveyed in 108 names)
The human heart has a natural need to adore and glorify illustrious persons greater than oneself. This tendency is seen today in the adulation, bordering on the absurd, offered to movie stars and sports stars.
Such adulation is the misdirection of the heart’s longing to delight in the glory of the other, an other whom it can love and admire and lose itself in.
When we assume that the other the human heart longs for is another person of this world, we end up sooner or later being disappointed and frustrated because no human being can live in the tower of expectation that the heart creates for its beloved to ascend and reside in. The only person who is eternally glorious, who is eternally all-attractive, who is eternally worthy of being the Lord of our heart, is the Supreme Lord.
The tradition of glorification attains its perfection when directed towards the Supreme Person. Since time immemorial, great saints across traditions all over the world have composed verses, hymns and songs in praise of the Lord. Within the Vedic wisdom-tradition, such compositions have been of various forms ranging from invocatory prayers recited before sacrifices to supplicatory prayers offered on completion of austerities. Such prayers provide philosophical exposition, reveal devotional emotion and offer glimpses into the character of the praying saint.
Distinctive among the various prayers in the world’s theological legacy are the prayers comprised of the names of the Lord. The most celebrated among such prayers is the Vishnu Sahasra Naam, the thousand names of Lord Vishnu, recited daily by thousands of devout Vaishnavas the world over. Pregnant with multiple layers of meaning, it is a source of immense devotional nourishment and inspiration for devotees. The great saint Madhavacharya asserted that each of these thousand names had a thousand meanings, unraveling and relishing which can keep devotees absorbed in an ocean of nectar for a long, long time.
Among the many Sahasra Naams and Shata Naams that follow in the footsteps of the Vishnu Sahasra Naam, the Naam Ramayana is special in that it offers not just an endearing list of 108 names of Rama, but offers them in a sequence that correlates with the chronological unfolding of his pastimes. Tradition holds the recitation of these names as equivalent to a condensed recitation of the Ramayana, for al his principal pastimes are included among these nectar-filled names.
On the special occasion of Ramnavmi today, let’s relish these names and seek the blessings of Lord Rama. You can find brief talks explaining these names in the Holy Name Meditations section here
1. shuddha brahma parAtpara rAm
2: kAlAtmaka paramEshvara rAm
3: shESa talpa sukha nidrita rAm
4: brahmAdyamara prArtitha
5: caNDa kiraNakula maNDana rAm
6: shrImad-dasharatha nandana rAm
7: kausalyA sukha vardhana rAm
8: vishvAmitra priyadhana rAm
9: ghOra tATakA ghAtaka rAm
10: mArIcAdi nipAtaka rAm
11: kaushikamakha samrakshak rAm
12: shrImadahlyOddhAraka rAm
13: gautama muni sampUjita rAm
14: sura muni vara gaNa samstuta rAm
15: nAvikadhAvita mrdupada rAm
16: mithilApura jana mOhaka rAm
17: vidEha mAnasa ranjaka rAm
18: tryambaka kArmuka bhanjaka rAm
19: sItArpita vara mAlika rAm
20: krtavaivAhika kautuka rAm
21: bhArgava darpa vinAshaka rAm
22: shrImad ayOdhyA pAlaka rAm
23: agaNita guNagaNa bhUSita rAm
24: avanItanayA kAmita rAm
25: rAkA candra samAnana rAm
26: pitru vAkyA-shrta kAnana rAm
27: priya guha vinivEDita pada rAm
28: takSAlita nija mrdupada rAm
29: bharadvAja mukhAnandaka rAm
30: citrakUTAdri nikEtana rAm
31: dasharatha santata cintita rAm
32: kaikEyI tanayArthita rAm
33: viracita nija pitru karmaka rAm
34: bharatArpita nija pAduka rAm
35: daNDakAvana jana pAvana rAm
36: duSTa virAdha vinAshana rAm
37: sharabhanga sutIkSaNa arcita rAm
38: agastyAnugraha vardhita rAm
39: grghrAdhipa samsEvita rAm
40: pancavaTI taTa sustita rAm
41: shUrpaNakhArthi vidhAyaka rAm
42: kharadUSaNa mukha sUdaka rAm
43: sItApriya hariNAnuga rAm
44: mArIcArtti krdAshuga rAm
45: vinaSTa sItAnvESaka rAm
46: grdhrAdhipa gati dAyaka rAm
47: shabarI datta phalAshana rAm
48: kabanda bAhucchEdana rAm
49: hanumat-sEvita nijapada rAm
50: nata sugrIvAbhISTada rAm
51: garvita vAli samhAraka rAm
52: vAnara dUta prESaka rAm
53: hitakara lakSmaNa samyuta rAm
54: kapivara santata samsmrta rAm
55: tadgati vighna dhvamsaka rAm
56: sItA prANA tAraka rAm
57: duSTa dashAnana dUSita rAm
58: shiSTa hanumad-bhUSita rAm
59: sItA vEdita kAkAvana rAm
60: krta cUDAmaNi darshana rAm
61: kapivara vacanAshvAsita rAm
62: rAvaNa nidhana prasthita rAm
63: vAnara sainya samAvrta rAm
64: shOSita sharidhIshArthita rAm
65: vibhISaNA bhaya dAyaka rAm
66: parvata sEtu nibandhaka rAm
67: kumbhakarNa shirash-chEdaka rAm
68: rAkSasa sangha vimardaka rAm
69: ahimahi rAvaNa cAraNa rAm
70: samhrta dashamukha rAvaNa rAm
71: vidhibhava mukhasura samstuta rAm
72: khasthita dasharatha vIkSita rAm
73: sItA darshana mOdita rAm
74: abhiSakta vibhISaNa nata rAm
75: puSpakayAnA rOhita rAm
76: bharadvAjAbhiniSEvaNa rAm
77: bharata prANa priyakara rAm
78: sAkEtapuri bhUSaNa rAm
79: sakala svIya samAnata rAm
80: ratnalasat-pIThAsthita rAm
81: paTTAbhiSEkAlankrta rAm
82: pArthiva kula sammAnita rAm
83: vibhISanAprita rangaka rAm
84: isha kulAnugraha kara rAm
85: sakala jIva sam rakSaka rAm
86: samasta lOkAdhAraka rAm
87: Agata munigaNa samstuta rAm
88: vishrta dasha kaNThOdbhava rAm
89: sItA lingana nirvrta rAm
90: nIti surakSita janapada rAm
91: vipina tyAjita janakaja rAm
92: kArita lavaNAsura vadha rAm
93: svargata shambuka samstuta rAm
94: svatanaya kushalava nandita rAm
95: ashvamEdha krtu dIkSita rAm
96: kAlAvEdita surapada rAm
97: ayOdhyaka jana muktida rAm
98: vidhi mukha vibudhAnanda rAm
99: tEjOmaya nija rUpaka rAm
100: samsrti bandha vimOcaka rAm
101: dharma sthApana tatpara rAm
102: bhakti parAyaNa muktita rAm
103: sarva carAcara pAlaka rAm
104: sarva bhavAmaya vAraka rAm
105: vaikuNThAlaya samsthita rAm
106: nityAnanda padasthita rAm
107: rAma rAma jaya rAjA rAm
108: rAma rAma jaya sItA rAm
O Rāma, Who is the pure Brahman, superior to the (most) superior! O Rāma, Who is the supreme Lord, forming the nature of Kāla! O Rāma, Who is sleeping peacefully on the bed of Śeṣa (serpent)! O Rāma, Who is worshipped (or desired) by the Devas like Brahmā!
O Rāma, Who is the adornment of the lineage of the Sun! O Rāma, Who is the son and delight of the prosperous Daśaratha! O Rāma, Who increased the pleasure of Kauśalyā! O Rāma, Who is the wealth dear to Sage Viśvāmitra!
O Rāma, Who is the slayer of the dreadful Tāṭakā! O Rāma, Who made Mārīca and others fall down [far away]! O Rāma, Who is the protector of yajñas of Sage Kauśika (Viśvāmitra)! O Rāma, Who is the redeemer of the fortunate Ahalya!
O Rāma, Who was greatly honoured by Ṛṣi Gautama! O Rāma, Who is extoled together by the multitude of Deva and best sages! O Rāma, Who entranced the people of Mithilā city! O Rāma, Who pleased the mind of King Janaka!
O Rāma, Who broke the bow of the three-eyed Śiva! O Rāma, Who was offered the Varamālā by Sītā! O Rāma, Who completed the solemn ceremony of marriage! O Rāma, Who destroyed the arrogance of Paraśurāma! O Rāma, Who is the guardian (protector) of Ayodhyā with Sīta!
O Rāma, Who is adorned by collection of innumerable virtues! O Rāma, Who is loved by the daughter of earth (Sīta)! O Rāma, Whose face is (pleasant) like the moon in the night ! O Rāma, Who was exiled in forest by the words (order) of father!
O Rāma, Whose feet (arrival) were announced by the dear Guha! O Rāma, Whose gentle feet were washed by him (Guha)! O Rāma, Who gave pleasure to sages led by Bharadvāja! O Rāma, Who made the Citrakūṭa hill his home!
O Rāma, Who was constantly thought of by Daśaratha! O Rāma, Who was entrusted by Bharata, the sone of Kaikeyī! O Rāma, Who performed His father’s Pitṛkarma!3 O Rāma, Who offered his Padukā (wooden slippers) to Bharata!
O Rāma, Who sanctified the beings of Daṇḍaka forest! O Rāma, Who destroyed the wicked Virādha! O Rāma, Who was worshipped by Sage Śarabhaṅga and Sage Sutīkṣṇa! O Rāma, Who was gladdened by the favours of Sage Agastya!
O Rāma, Who was served by the king of vultures (Jatāyū)! O Rāma, Who stayed at the Pañcavaṭī banks! O Rāma, Who arranged the loss of Śūrpaṇakhā! O Rāma, Who destroyed the (armies) led by Khara and Dūṣaṇa!
O Rāma, Who followed the dear Sītā wanted! O Rāma, Who swiftly completed the destruction of Mārīca! O Rāma, Who searched for the missing Sītā! O Rāma, Who gave liberation to Jaṭāyū, the king of vultures! O Rāma, Who ate the fruits offered by Śabarī! O Rāma, Who severed the arms of Kabandha!
Kiṣkindhākāṇḍam: O Rāma, Whose feet were served by Hanumān! O Rāma, Who granted the genuflecting Sugrīva his wish! O Rāma, Who killed the haughty Vāli! O Rāma, Who sent out the monkeys as messengers! O Rāma, Who stayed with the favourable Lakṣmaṇa!
O Rāma, Who was constantly remembered by Hanumān, the best among monkeys! O Rāma, Who destroyed the obstructions in his way! O Rāma, Who sustained the life of Sītā! O Rāma, Who was calumniated by the rogue ten-headed Rāvaṇa!
O Rāma, Who was praised by the wise Hanumān! O Rāma, Who was presented by Sītā as (Her) protector from the crow! O Rāma, Who was shown the cūḍāmaṇi of Sītā (by Hanumān)! O Rāma, Who was comforted by the words of Hanumān, the best Monkey!
O Rāma, Who departed to kill Rāvaṇa! O Rāma, Who was surrounded by the armies of monkeys! O Rāma, Who was worshipped by the dried-up Ocean! O Rāma, Who gave assurance of protection to Vibhīṣaṇa!
O Rāma, Who got the bridge of rocks constructed! O Rāma, Who beheaded Kumbhakarṇa! O Rāma, Who crushed the hordes of demons! O Rāma, Who was taken away (to Pātāla) by Ahirāvaṇa and Mahirāvaṇa!
O Rāma, Who cut off the ten heads of Rāvaṇa! O Rāma, Who was together extolled by demi-gods led by Brahmā and Śiva! O Rāma, Who was seen by Daśaratha situated in heaven! O Rāma, Who was delighted by the sight of Sītā!
O Rāma, Who was praised by the anointed Vibhīṣaṇa! O Rāma, Who climbed on to the Puṣpaka Vimāna! O Rāma, Who honoured the likes of Sage Bharadvāja! O Rāma, Who as dear as life to Bharata!
O Rāma, Who was the ornament of the city of Ayodhyā! O Rāma, Who was bowed upon by all His people (subjects)! O Rāma, Who sat on the throne resplendent with precious stones! O Rāma, Who was adorned by the royal anointment with a crown!
O Rāma, Who was respected by the families of kings! O Rāma, Who was offered the red colour by Vibhīṣaṇa! O Rāma, Who conferred favours on the families of monkeys! O Rāma, Who is the protector of all living beings! O Rāma, Who is the saviour of all worlds!
O Rāma, Who was together praised by the group of visiting sages! O Rāma, Who heard the (story of) birth and rise of Rāvaṇa! O Rāma, Who was pleased by the embrace of Sītā! O Rāma, Who protected the subjects with prudence!
O Rāma, Who abandoned Sītā, the progeny of Janaka, to the forest! O Rāma, Who arranged for the death of Lavaṇāsura! O Rāma, Who was worshipped by heaven-entered Śambūka! O Rāma, Who was delighted by his sons Kuśa and Lava!
O Rāma, Who was initiated into the Aśvamedha Yajña (sacrifice)! O Rāma, Who was communicated the time of His (return to) state of Viṣṇu! O Rāma, Who provided Mokṣa to the people of Ayodhyā! O Rāma, Who gave bliss to demi-gods led by Brahmā!
O Rāma, Whose form is full of brilliance! O Rāma, Who is the liberator from the bondage of transmigration (birth and death)! O Rāma, (ever) eager to establish Dharma (righteousness)! O Rāma, Who is the provider of Mokśa to those with Bhakti as the ultimate resort!
O Rāma, Who is the nourisher of all animate and inanimate! O Rāma, Who is the remover of all diseases of (this) world! O Rāma, Who settled in his abode of Vaikuṇṭha! O Rāma, situated in the state of eternal bliss (Nityānanda)!