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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Rāmagitā literally means ‘the song of Rāma.

Teachings of Rāma[edit]

Unlike the Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki, the Adhyātma Rāmāyaṇa pictures Rāma not only as an incarnation of Mahāviṣṇu but also as a perfect spiritual preceptor. The teachings given by him to his younger brother Lakṣmaṇa are found in three places:

  1. Aranyakānda[1]
  2. Kiṣkindhākānda[2]
  3. Uttarakānda[3]

Rāmagitā, A Discourse[edit]

However, it is the third discourse that is normally considered as the Rāmagitā. It is full of the usual teachings on the Advaita Vedānta as propounded by Śaṅkara[4] and his followers.

Teachings of Rāmagitā[edit]

The following are some of the topics dealt with:

  • Lakṣmaṇa’s surrender to Rāma and his request for spiritual wisdom by which he can cross over transmigratory existence
  • Need to purify one’s mind by the performance of one’s duties as per the varṇa and the āśrama
  • Ajñāna being the root cause of bondage, it has to be eliminated only by jñāna or ātmajñāna
  • Defects accruing to Vedic rituals
  • Need to renounce karma or actions altogether
  • Need to get jñāna by approaching a competent guru and get the teaching of a mahāvākya like tat tvam asi by applying the principle of bhāga-lakṣaṇā or jahadajahal-lakṣaṇā
  • Description of three kinds of śarīras
  • Ātman is free from all kinds of changes
  • Adhyāsa or superimposition
  • Different schools of Advaita Vedānta
  • Methods of nididhyāsana or meditation on the ātman leading to its realization
  • How to associate the three syllables of the Praṇava or Om with the meditation
  • Inevitability of prārabdha karma
  • Final dissolution into the Ātman or Brahman
  • Rāma is Brahman

Other Rāmagitā[edit]

There is another Rāmagitā consisting of about a thousand verses spread over eighteen chapters in a less-known work called Gurujñāna-vāsisthatattva-sārāyana. It deals with the subject in a slightly different way. It also deals with:

  • Sixteen vidyās or modes of upāsanā like the ones in the Upaniṣads
  • Cakras or yogic centers in the body
  • Siddhis or miraculous powers of the yogins
  • Practical aspects of sādhanas


  1. Aranyakānda 4.19-55
  2. Kiṣkindhākānda 4.11-40
  3. Uttarakānda 5.3-62
  4. He lived in A. D. 788-820.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore