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Lord Rama is one of the most respected and revered Gods in Hinduism. He is believed to be the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Rama was born during Treta Yuga out of four cyclic Yugas described in religious books. Lord Rama is considered to be one of the most ideal man, a maryada purushottam, who has in himself all the perfect set of values and virtues. Hindus look up to the qualities of Lord Rama. He has been the most divine figure of all times. He conducted himself outstandingly as the perfect man, both in his golden days, and the difficult period. At all times, he displayed exemplary attitude as the perfect human that he was known to be.
Lord Rama as a Devoted Son
When King Dasharatha decided to crown Rama as his successor, every subject of the kingdom was happy with news. However, a day before his crowning, Kaikeyi is brainwashed by her wicked maid Manthara regarding the insecurity of the future of her son, Bharata. Kaikeyi, who was initially pleased for Rama, now gets highly jealous, and asks Dasharatha to fulfill her two boons that was given to her by Dasharatha, after the birth of Rama, and rest of the siblings. The first boon that she asked for was to send Rama away to banishment into the forests for fourteen years, and the second was to crown Bharata as the king of Ayodhya, in place of Rama. Dasharatha was in a state of turmoil, while at the same time he was known to be a king of his words. Rama, at once solves the crisis of his father, by willingly accepting the term of the exile and also gives up his title without the blink of an eye, so that his father won’t have to go back on his promise given to Kaikeyi. Rama, then leaves for his exile, joined by Sita and Lakshmana. Dasharatha couldn’t bear the grief after his son left, and dies thereafter. Rama, even after his father’s death decides not to return to Ayodhya till the completion of his term, as promised by him to his father. Thus, we see the amount of dedication that he had to fulfill his promise that he gave to his father, even after his death. Rama, therefore, symbolizes the ideal devoted son, who can sacrifice anything for his parents. Rama’s natural soul was that of an obedient son.
Lord Rama as a Loving Brother
In the entire story of Ramayana, its protagonist, Rama has acted with responsibility, being an elder brother, and also gave his brothers a lot of love and care. He treated Lakshmana as his equal and did not dominate him, just because he was elder. He was devastated when Lakshmana was seriously injured in battle. He asked Hanuman to make all the efforts to make sure that Lakshmana’s life is saved. The camaraderie he shared with Lakshmana throughout the Ramayana is one that remains the strongest pillar of strong brotherhood in the history of ancient India. He is also never envious or even slightly jealous of any of his brothers’ achievement or success. Even when Bharata becomes King, he wasn’t even slightly distressed about it. This is the reason all his brothers respected him and looked up to him as an awe-inspiring figure.
Lord Rama as a Loving Husband
Rama passed the test of Shiva and broke the arrow with ease to win over the eternally beautiful Sita. He respected Sita’s choice to join him in the forests, and gave her equal authority and decision making power, though at the same time he was trying to dissuade Sita to join him, as he did want Sita to lead the life in the forest wrapped with difficulties and uncertainties at each step. He tried his best to insist her to stay and not sacrifice her comfortable life at the palace, but finally he respects Sita’s decision, who supported her decision as to fulfill her duty to him as his wife, thus proving that he did not dominate his wife and respected her decisions at all phases. Unlike the modern day couples, their arguments did not have a shred of ego or attitude. His dialogues with his wife were based on a calm and peaceful tone.
During their stay at the forests, Rama took great care of his wife, and gave her all the attention that she deserved, and made all efforts to fulfill her wishes. He even went to search for the golden deer, that Sita wanted, even though he knew that it was a trap by Ravana, and his fellow demons in action.
After Rama gets to know that Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, we get to see the emotional side of Rama. He was overcome with emotions, and was deeply upset at the kidnapping of his wife. He then channelized these emotions to bring out his skills of being the perfect man. He showed strength of character and will power. He started gathering all the resources he could, and all that help that was needed to conquer the evil Ravana and rescue Sita from Lanka. He even helped Sugriva kill King Vali in exchange for his help to find Sita, as promised by Sugriva. This is how he gathered the army of monkeys, the vanarsena, ready to help him. He was also helped by his greatest devotee, Hanumana, who was willing to go to all extents to find and save Sita. After gathering all his forces, when he reached Lanka, he successfully vanquished the evil Ravana. After Sita returned to the kingdom, Rama orders Sita to perform the Agni pariksha, the test of fire, to prove her purity, and to shut the murmurings in Ayodhya, once and all. Rama orders Sita to perform the test, as he knew that Sita is pure, even after staying with the lustful Ravana for over months. He had absolute and irrevocable faith in Sita’s loyalty, even when she was far away from her, with another man, on another land. His trust was reaffirmed, when Sita successfully passes the test of fire. Following this, they return to the kingdom for Rama’s coronation, and Sita becomes pregnant after that.
What happens after this in Valmiki’s Ramayana raises questions over him being the perfect husband when he had to send Sita away to exile as the people in his kingdom still did not trust Sita’s chastity after her stay with Ravana. He was torn between his duty as a King, and his duty as a husband. All of his subjects and advisors in the kingdom believed that Sita should be sent into exile again. Rama as king could not accompany Sita to exile as he was forsworn to execute his duties as a King. So, with a heavy heart, he had to send Sita away to exile. However, in Sita’s absence he did not even look at other women or marry again. He was always eternally devoted to Sita. His loyalties to her never wavered. Rama was the perfect husband and the perfect man who had to stick to his commitment of serving the people in his kingdom, as their King. Even though he was physically separated from Sita, his soul was always with her. They were bounded by eternal love, and were still husband and wife, even after being separated. Till the very end, Rama belonged to Sita, and will always belong to her.
Lord Rama’s Abilities as a King and Warrior
Rama was known to be a great warrior and noble king. He was blessed with exceptional qualities and had mastery over the scriptures, the Vedas, warfare. He also possessed excellent administration skills, and was also very clever. Vishwamitra chose Rama to defeat the demons that were interfering with his sacrificial prayers. Rama, along with Lakshmana used the celestial weapons to defeat the demons that were disturbing sage Vishwamitra. His skills were also displayed in the test of Shiva to win over Sita, where he easily lifts his mighty bow that required almost 5000 men to pull it.
In the Great War against Ravana and his army, Rama killed some of the most powerful rakshasa warriors in Ravana’s kingdom, including Kumbhkarna, Ravana’s brother, along with thousands of rakshasa soldiers. In his final face off with Ravana, Ravana invoked all his magical powers, even his boons, granted to him by Brahma and Shiva, along with all the magical warfare possessed by the rakshasas. This battle between Rama and Ravana is one of the fiercest battles in the history of ancient Hindu mythology. They inflicted serious injuries on one another, as both possessed highly potent weapons, capable of destroying the entire universe. Finally, after a long and tiring battle, Rama decimated Ravana’s central head, the source of all Ravana’s powers. Rama, proves that he is one of the most gifted warriors, as he was successful in defeating one of the strongest and most resourceful devils of all time, who had gained all his powers by his years of devotion and tapasya to Lord Brahma.