“You do not mean the moon?” I asked incredulously.
Sarbajnanam gave a patient but an all-knowing smile. “Yes, the moon” he said.
“You mean, there is a Ram Janmabhoomi on the moon?”, I barely stammered out these words, completely flabbergasted.
“And why not? Do you think Ram was a mere earthly creature?” Sarbajnanam (or maybe we should call him SJ for short – Supreme Justice?) responded.
“Well, yes, you have a point there” I assented. “I thought he was a mythical person”.
SJ just smiled. I guess he forgave my ignorance.
Slowly I was able to compose my thoughts. Once more, I rallied. “Have they found any evidence of this?”
“Did you read Neil Armstrong’s diary on his landing on the moon? Remember the oddly shaped stone that he spoke about, that was right next to the flag he planted? That must have been the Ram Shila!”
“Of course!”. The light finally started to dawn on me. “Now it makes sense.Though -”
“Though what?” – I sensed the impatience in SJ’s voice. How much longer would he have to tolerate my naivete?
“The only thing I do not understand is that the moon is a barren piece of rock. Where is Ayodhya and surrounding verdant Kishkindhya forest, not to mention the sea and Lanka Puri?”
“Do I have to explain everything?” SJ’s patience was really wearing thin. “Firstly, what do you think Hanuman jumped over? Surely not a paltry few tens of miles over the sea into Lanka! No, he jumped over the space between the moon and the earth. You see, in that yuga, the
moon was green and fertile, and that was where Ayodhya and Kishkindya originally was. Earth was a shadow of what it is now, and inhabited by some demons like Raavana.”
“I see”, I said. Words failed me, as the new realisation started to slowly dawn on me.
“I understand why you were misled”, despite everything, SJ maintained his calm. “But there were hints that you could have picked up on. Remember, the shadow demon who tried to swallow Hanuman when he leapt to Lanka? What could that have been but an eclipse?”
The pieces were all falling into place. How come I had missed this earlier! “Just a few missing bits – why is the moon barren now – and why did they just find Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya – on earth?”
“I thought you would ask that”, SJ smiled. “You see, after Ravana was defeated and Lanka cleaned up and Ram Rajya was established on the moon, there was much prosperity. To meet the needs of the growing population, Hanuman made a second leap to Lanka, that was on
the earth, and this time a one way trip, carrying the Gandhamardhan Parvat and Rama, Lakhsmana and Sita and all the residents of Ayodhya on it. Without Ram, the moon became barren, and on the other hand earth became prosperous and fertile.”
“And about the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya on earth.”, SJ continued. “Now that is a hard one to understand, but let’s give it a try. You see, Rama was also born there.”
I thought I had got a grasp of the matter, but suddenly everything started to slip away. “I don’t see, I stammered out – “how could Rama have been born twice?”
“That is the hardest bit to understand. You are still in a state of ignorance, but that is to be expected. You think that Rama is an ordinary mortal being, who has just a mere mortal birth?”
“No, no, but -”
“Now hear the ultimate truth. Ram is everywhere. He is born at each place all the time, in all the universe. Actually, everything that you see, is Ram Janmabhoomi, now, before now, and for eternity!”
“Holy Rama!”, I could only exclaim.
“Ram is in fact the basic nature of spacetime. Where do you think Einstein got his equation of general relativity, equating gravity, that drives the universe, to the motion we all feel? That is not your Newton’s ordinary equation F=ma. In this very name – Rama, it is actually holds the ultimate equation – R as ma, equating the curvature of spacetime, what Einstein called R, to the acceleration felt by all material things, which is nothing but ‘ma’! Rama is the supreme being, he encompasses everything, and all science and our knowledge stems
A light had sprung all around. I could now feel the divine presence everywhere. Oh, how ignorant had I been!
But there was a catch. I felt a sense of dread. I could not help asking – “Now there are still some people who follow other religions, and do not believe in Rama. What is to become of them?”
SJ’s jaws hardened; his lips became thin, pressing against each other. “I am sorry they will have to go”, he firmly said.
“But go where? If Raama is everywhere, where can these people go?”
“We have made a provision for them. You might know that spacetime has those additional tiny hidden dimensions, where there is a dark matter and other stuff. We can let them have a few of those dimensions to live out their meagre meaningless existence.”
I shuddered. I know the universe was vast, but I preferred my simple earthly life in these three dimensions. And somehow I could only imagine it to be cold and dark and cramped in the curled up hidden extra dimensions.
I wrapped my saffron shawl, the one emblazoned with the words ‘Jai Shri Ram’, tightly around myself.
Poor Sharif. He was such a good friend. We would go for those wonderful walks together. Alas, he would have to go.
But who could question His Supreme Wisdom? Was not this all Ram Lila? And where would I be if I let my feelings show?
“Jai Shri Ram!” I cried out, as if in rapture. “You are so magnanimous!”
SJ gave an understanding smile and nod. Perhaps with a sharp look, or was I mistaken?
Maybe he did see through my words?
Guess I will need to remain careful. One cannot take anything for granted. Maybe one needs to do better and atone for one’s sins and mortal wants of a simple life.
With a heavy heart, I left to pack for my trip to Ayodhya, to help with the construction of the new Ram temple in His new birthplace.
Siddhartha Mitra is a writer based out of New York City