Bal-kand : Mangalacharan Shlok 1
Shri Ramcharitmanas (श्रीरामचरितमानस, Śrīrāmacaritamānasa) literally means the "lake of the deeds of Rama" is the greatest of the scriptures of Hindus, composed by Vaishnavkul-divakar Valmikiya-avtara Mahakavi Goswami Tulsidas Ji. In the starting of Shri Ramcharitmanas, Goswami Tulsidas Ji has done Managalcharan of Granth in 6 Sanskrit couplets. It is very auspicious to do Managalcharan in the starting, the middle and the end of the scripture. In the six couplets of Managlacharan Shlokas of Balkanda, Goswami Ji has paid his obeisance to 9 divinities.
It is one of the uniqueness of Śrīrāmacaritamānasa that it has so many Mangalacharan Shlokas in starting, which is not seen or heard in other scriptures, perhaps this could be one reason this divine scripture is widely accepted by human-kind. There exist a number of commentaries (tikas) as expositions on this exemplary scripture. Each and every verse (chaupai and doha) of Shri Ramacharitmanas is extremely terse, and carries one general meaning, and many layers of deeper imports in themselves, which indicates such divine marvel could be composed by a great Rishi alone.
Shri-Ramcharitmanas and secret imports : Balkand, Mangalacharan Shlok - 1
॥श्री:॥
॥ सीताराम ॥
॥ ॐ नमो भगवते श्रीमते रामानन्दाचार्य्याय ॥
॥ श्रीमद्गोस्वामीतुलसीदासाय नमः ॥

वर्णानामर्थसंघानां रसानां छन्दसामपि।
मंगलानां च कर्त्तारौ वन्दे वाणीविनायकौ॥

॥ श्रीरामचरितमानस बालकाण्ड मंगलाचरण श्लोक 1॥

varṇānāmarthasaṃghānāṃ rasānāṃ chandasāmapi।
maṃgalānāṃ ca karttārau vandē vāṇīvināyakau॥

॥ śrīrāmacaritamānasa bālakāṇḍa maṃgalācaraṇa ślōka 1॥

भावार्थ:- 'वन्दे वाणीविनायकौ' अर्थात सर्वप्रथम वाणी के विशेष नायक दोनों वर्ण "रा", और "म" जो वर्णसमूह (अर्थात रेफ, रकारकी अकार, दीर्घाकार इत्यादि षट् कलाएँ) हैं , अर्थसमूह हैं (अर्थात इसीसे प्रणव और त्रिदेवकी उत्पति है), जिनसे सब रसों और गायत्री आदि छंदोंकी उत्पति है, जो मंगलों को करने वाले हैं, जो सभी के कर्ता हैं, मैं (तुलसीदास ग्रंथारम्भ में) उनकी ("रा" और "म" की) वंदना करता हूँ ॥1॥

अथवा,

मैं (तुलसीदास) 'अक्षरों, अर्थ समूहों, रसों, छन्दों और नमस्कारात्मक, वस्तुनिर्देशात्मक, आशीर्वादात्मक' मंगलों को करने वाली वाणी देवी सरस्वतीजी और विनायक श्री गणेशजी, तथा इसी प्रकार की सभी योग्यताओं से संपन्न ('अक्षरों, अर्थ समूहों, रसों, छन्दों और नमस्कारात्मक, वस्तुनिर्देशात्मक, आशीर्वादात्मक' मंगलों को करने वाली) वाणी देवी श्री सीता जी और विनायक : विशेष-धीरोदात्त-नायक श्री राम जी को, एवं वाणी के विशेष नियन्ता राम नाम के दोनों अक्षर 'रा' और 'म' की वंदना करता हूँ ॥1॥

Purport: [At the outset of Ramcharitmanas], I (Tulsidasa) reverence the the two excellent leaders among Sanskrit-alphabets "Ra" and "Ma" (of Raam Naam) [referred by the words 'vandē vāṇīvināyakau'] , as 'Ra' and 'Ma' form a group of alphabets ( — 'Ref' of 'Ra-Kara, 'Ra', the 'A-Kara' of 'Ra-Kara', 'Aa', 'Ma' and the dot (anuswar) over alphabets, so there are six Kala-s of Vedas, or 6 prime qualities of Bhagavan); are a group of secret imports (from these 'Ra' and 'Ma' alone the 'Aum' and Triad gods Brahma-VishNu-Shiva are originated); from these two chiefs of alphabets, all kinds of Kavya-Rasa (poetic-mellows) and meters (Chhanda-s) like Gayatri etc are originated; and in reality they are begetters of all blessings and supreme cause of all the causes. ॥1॥

OR

I reverence Vāṇī (the goddess of speech Bhagavati Saraswati) and Vināyaka (Lord Ganesha) the originators of sounds represented by the alphabet, of the multitudes of objects denoted by those sounds, of poetic sentiments as well as of metres, and the begetters of all blessings; and I reverence Vāṇī Bhagavati Śrī Sītā jī ( the originator of everything including all 50 Varnas, Rasa-s, Chhanda-s etc and begetter of all blessings) and Vināyaka - Viśēṣa-dhīrōdātta-nāyaka Śrī Rāma (the noblest hero), and also the two excellent leaders among alphabets 'Ra' and 'Ma' of the name of Rāma, who also possesses all the aforementioned qualities .॥1॥

- This is the 1st Mangalacharan Shloka of Ramcharitmanas in which Goswami Ji very secretly invoked the supreme truth 'Ram' Naam. This verse is in Anushtup-meter (anushtup-chhand), the meter used majorly in Valmiki Ramayana as well as the first-shloka ever composed in the human history i.e. Valmiki Ramayan 1.2.15. In fact, it has been in the tradition among godly sages like Goswami Tulsidas or Brahmarshi sage Valmiki to compose Mangalcharan shlokas with very secret imports to invoke it to their Ishta-Deva.

वन्दे वाणीविनायकौ

- 'वन्दे वाणीविनायकौ' - वंदन है वाणी के स्वामी विशेष (वि) नायकों 'रा' और 'म' को, विनायक का अर्थ विशेष नायक | 'vandē vāṇīvināyakau' - reverence to the two chiefs (Nayak) among alphabets , 'Ra' and Ma'.

Rama Naam is said to be originator of all the alphabets, all Kavya-Rasas (poetic sentiments), and all the meters including the triad-gods Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesha.

By saying Vande Vani-Vainayak, Goswami Ji has done Namaskārātmak-maṅgalācaraṇa (नमस्कारात्मक-मंगलाचरण) in the traditional way found in Puranas. In Namaskaratmak-Vandana, he greets Vani and Vinayak. However the main-subject (प्रतिपाद्य-विषय) of Shri Ramcharitmanas is the 'Rama' Naam e.g. - एहि महँ रघुपति नाम उदारा। अति पावन पुरान श्रुति सारा।। मंगल भवन अमंगल हारी। उमा सहित जेहि जपत पुरारी।।, therefore it is said there is वस्तुनिर्देशात्मक-मंगलाचरण (Vastunirdēśātmak-maṅgalācaraṇa) in reverence of Śrī Rāma nāma as well as Namaskārātmak-maṅgalācaraṇa in reverence of Vāṇī and Vināyak.

- Here Goswami Ji pays reverence also to Maa Saraswati (Vaani) and Shri Ganesha Ji (Vinayaka).

- Vaani is one of the thousand names of Maa Sita as per Janaki-Sahastranaam stotra in Sundari tantra. Thus, Maa Saraswati is one of the prime manifestation of Maa Sita, and she herself says Where there is SriRama-Charitam (the divine exploits of Sri Rama), I (Bhagavati Saraswati) will be always There!

वाणी चैव विलासिनी - जानकी-सहस्त्रनाम, सुंदरी तंत्र

Vinayaka refers to Bhagavan Shri Ram, the noblest hero of the cosmos. Thus Goswami Ji has done Namaskārātmak-maṅgalācaraṇa in eulogy of Sita Ji (Vāṇī) and Shri Ram Ji (Vināyak) in secret way.

It is also in the same pattern of the first ever shloka of human-kind (Valmiki Ramayana 1.2.15) came from the mouth of sage Valmiki, which has very deep imports and is also an eulogy of Bhagavati Sita and Bhagavan Shri Ram by Sage Valmiki.

मा निषाद प्रतिष्ठांत्वमगमः शाश्वतीः समाः।
यत् क्रौंचमिथुनादेकं वधीः काममोहितम् ।। (VR 1.2.15)

- By saying Vani in first before Vinayaka, Goswami Ji has paid reverence to Bhagavati Sita before Shri Ram as same like he has done everywhere. And Devi Saraswati (Vani) is also amsha of Sita Ji, so it is an eulogy of Maa Sita in first, and then Goswami Ji pays reverence to Vinayaka, Shri Rama. Vinayaka is one of famous names of Lord Ganesh, and He is amsha of Bhagavan Shri Ram, he is also a Rāmopāsaka (a devotee exclusively devoted to Shri Ram).

- This Managalcharan Shloka also represents the main-themses of the story of 7 Kandas of Ramayana.
i) वर्णानाम (varṇānām) : representsthe stories of Bal-Kanda such as Brahm without any Varna appears as a Kshatriya-Varna, marriage of Sita and Rama etc .
ii) अर्थसंघानां (arthasaṃghānāṃ) : represents the story of Ayodhya Kanda such as Dasrath willing to anoint Shri Ram as prince of Ayodhya, etc.
iii) रसानां (rasānāṃ) : represents the story of Aranya-kanda such as Ram sporting with Sita in Aranya, elimination of 14 thousand demons single-handedly by Shri Ram in Dandakaranya, etc.
iv) छन्दसां (chandasāṃ) : represents the story of Kishkindha-Kanda such as the Veda-vedaanga-paarangat Hanuman ji talks with Shri Ram in sweet voice, enunciated syllables, properly parting the words, quick and confident, and rhythmic fashion.
v) अपि (api) : represents the story of Sundarkanda where Hanuman locates Sita in Lanka. 'api' is a kind of confirmation, it is confirmation of Sita Ji in Lanka.
vi) मंगलानां (maṃgalānāṃ): represents the story of Yuddha-Kanda where Shri Ram eliminates whole Rakshas-kula along with Ravana and Kumbhkarna in war and liberates them. There is again reunion of Sita and Rama.
vii) कर्त्तारौ (karttārau) : represents the story of Uttar-Kanda where Shri Ram ruled the Ayodhya for many thousand years.

।।श्रीमद्रामचंद्रचरणौ शरणं प्रपद्ये।।
।। श्रीमते रामचन्द्राय नमः ।।

।। śrīmadrāmacaṃdracaraṇau śaraṇaṃ prapadyē ।।
।। śrīmatē rāmacandrāya namaḥ ।।

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The content on website is written purely for the spiritual purpose of spreading love and devotion in the lotus feet of Bhagavan Sri Sri SitaRam by Ravi Shankar (a humble servant of Bhagavan Sri Sri SitaRam) in his enthusiasm and devotion for his Ishta Sri Sri SitaRam.