Surging questions, lead to validating introspections. Will a validating response be received with deserved honour ?
My story starts with testimony given by a layman from Ayodhya.
1. Rama – Lokabhirama ( one who enchants all) Dasharatha’s court – reference – Kamba Ramayanam (Tamizh)
Dasharatha announces his intent to coronoate Rama and seeks opinions of the citizens. A young lad rises and exclaims ” Greybeard, make way for our new King !” A startled Dasharatha asks the boy from where he garnered to audacity to talk so to his king. The boy clarifies to his King ” Oh great King, please be informed – We love and respect your regime boundlessly. Your son is our Rama. The thought of him being coronated king is very elevating to us all. For every wedding in our house, Rama is the first errands’ boy. One can find your prince, serving food in our weddings. Should there be a demise, Rama is out running to inform our kith and kin. He will be the one staying with us through the ten days of mourning. And if this Rama is going to be our King, aren’t we the most blessed ?”
2. Respect to Sita, referefence – Valmiki Ramayana/ moola Ramayana (Sanskrit )
Who were the first to recite the Ramayana ? Lava and Kusha ! They sang the beautiful verses to an assemblage presided by none other than Rama himself. Rama remarked, “The great sage Valmiki has been kind enough to honour this work about me. But indeed this is the tale of Sita’s chastity, greatness and grit”
Rama never doubte Sita : ever! That’ll be an entire rebuttal by itself.
3. Respect for his brothers, reference Valmiki Ramayana (Sanskrit )
Upon befriending Sugriva, Rama was offered a seat. Now considering that it was a forest, both Sugriva and Rama were on exile : the seat was no throne. But Rama wouldn’t accept unless Lakshmana be offered his place.
Simple actions, make a big difference.
4. Respect for women – This is something all brothers must have been blemishlessly admirable. We all know of how Kambar describes Lakshmana’s Vairagya towards the ape-woman Tara. He stood with the hesitation as of a newly married groom – to quote Kambar. Rama never objectified women. One of the biggest lessons for all men of all times.
5. Love for one and for all
Many beautiful anecdotes, but what touched me the most is again from the Kamba Ramaynam. Vibheeshana surrenders to Lord Rama. That’s when Rama tells that, “We were four brothers when I left Ayodhya, five when I befriended Guha ( a tribesman), six when I gained company to Sugriva (an ape) and seven now – including Vibheeshana( an ogre). ”
In fact in this situation; Sugriva was hesitant to accept Vibheeshana initially and ended up agreeing with Rama. Vibheeshana was standing at a distance and Sugrive was asked to bring Vibheeshana. Rama calls out for Sugriva just to add ” In case Ravana is with Vibheeshana and flinching to join me, please pass my acceptance t him on my behalf “. Who but Rama can have this heart ?
Rama could embrace a vulture, a squirrel, a frog. Sita asks cynically in Valmiki Ramayana, to Hanuman. Hanuman introduces himself as Rama’s dasa and Sita asks with sarcasm ” How is it that my husband Rama and you, of ape descent could be friends ?”
Sita was referring to another incident altogether, her sarcasm here lies in the fact that Rama did not have any difficulty befriending anyone.
6. “Shall you, or Shall I ? ”
This is by far the lost touching part of Rama. Rama never wished to wage war with Ravana, he sends two messengers for peace -Hanuman and Angada. Peaceful negotiations failed, with all doors closed and the way out was war. In the battlefield, Ravana was unarmed. Rama even mentioned to Ravana to return the next day; with all weapons he wishes. Eventually Ravana was killed. With all of Ravana’s progeny dead: it was only Vibheeshana who could perform the last rites to Ravana, but he wouldn’t. Vibheeshana had disowned Ravana and would not accept him a brother. Rama just said ” I had nothing against Ravana. He abducted my wife and I urged to him to return her safe. The war was because Ravana wanted it to happen, now it is over and he is gone. Your hatred ought to go too. Will you perform the last rites to him, or shall I ?”
During Rama’s times, He may constructed many a building and administered to his people’s satisfaction. What are buildings, but that which will reduce to a spec of dust with time. But what remains to this day is the greatness of His uncompromised character. Rama never lied, never got angry, never swayed to to ill character.
Ramo Vigrahavan Dharmaha echoes in the words of the great sage Narada in the Valmiki Ramayana.That is the biggest good one can do, set the epitome of Dharma !