Lord Rama, the Supreme Being is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was the king of Ayodhya and was born in Suryavansh or Raghuvansh as the eldest son of Maharani Kaushalya and Raja Dasharath.
He is depicted as the ideal man and the great human in the sacred scriptures. Shri Rama, the brave king, has set the standard for valor, integrity, and good government in the world. Rama is also the central character of the Hindu epic Ramayana, which describe his superiority. Generally it is anticipated that Rama was born about 1.2 million years ago, for the duration of the Treta Yuga, age that lasted 1,296,000 years. Rama is one of the many admired figures and deities in Hinduism, particularly Vaishnavism and Vaishnava religious scriptures in South and Southeast Asia. Beside Krishna, Rama is considered to be one of the most significant avatars of Vishnu. In a few Rama-centric sects, he is considered the Supreme Being, rather than an avatar.
Shri Ram symbolizes politeness and virtue. He was a fair man in each and every relation. He was an ideal son and husband and a very honest and valiant king. He was also very loving and caring to His brothers. In the words of Swami Vivekanand, “Lord Rama is the epithet of truth, of morality, the ideal son, the ideal husband, and above all, the ideal king.”
Sri Rama is known as Maryada Purushotam, being the ideal man or God of self-control and virtue. Shree Ram married Devi Sita, who is an incarnation of Mata Lakshmi and the epithet of perfect womanhood.
Lord Rama took birth in the Treta Yug to eradicate the evil forces that were dwelling in the world during that period. Lord Ram was also sent to this world to set an example to the people of how a perfect man should be.
Deity Rama is most often seen as a standing figure, with an arrow in His right hand indicating His willingness to annihilate evils, a bow in His left hand and a quiver on His back. His wife Sita, brother Lakshman and the devotee Hanuman who is seated near Lord Rama’s feet can also be seen with Lord Ram. He is depicted with a tilak on His forehead, and have a dark bluish complexion, which shows His resemblance with Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna.
The prefix “Shri” to Ram depicts that Shri Ram is always related with “Shri” which is the soul of the four Vedas. Uttering His name i.e. “Ram! Ram!” while greeting anyone, and invoking Ram at the time of death by saying “Ram Naam Satya Hai!”, shows His recognition and admiration among His devotees.
Lord Rama’s birthday is celebrated as Ramanavami among Hindus. His story is narrated in the holy epic Ramayana. Shri Ram’s three younger brothers, Bharat, Lakshman and Shatrughna admire Him as their fatherly like figure. Under the guidance of His guru Vishwamitra, Shri Ram learned martial arts and defeated many demons. Lord Rama won the hands of the beautiful Princess Sita by broking the powerful bow of Lord Shiva, which other contestants could not even move. When lord Rama was about to be crowned upon His father’s retirement, an envious maidservant Mantara convinced her mistress, Kaikeyi, Dasharatha’s favorite wife and Lord Ram’s stepmother, to ask for the promise which the king Dasharatha had given her years earlier. Rani Kaikeyi did the same and asked the king to exile Sri Rama to the forest for fourteen years and elect her son Bharata to the throne instead.
King Dasharatha was totally heart-broken and pleaded with Kaikeyi, but all his efforts was in vain and the king was bounded to execute her wishes. To fulfill His father’s promise and to keep the words and the respect of His father, Lord Ram went on an exile for 14 years with His wife Sita and His brother Lakshman. Soon thereafter, King Dasharath passed away from grief. Kaikeyi’s son Bharat refused to accept the throne and decided to wait for the fourteen years till his beloved elder brother’s return. However, at Shri Ram’s request, he governed Ayodhya in His absence, keeping Rama’s shoes on the throne.
During their stay in the forest, Lord Rama, Devi Sita and Lakshman encountered many demons. When Shurpanakha, the sister of the evil demon King Ravana tried to woo Lord Rama and assaulted Sita, Shree Ram scratched off her nose and ears. After hearing of his sister’s disfigurement, Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, decided to take revenge and sent a magical golden deer to attract Devi Sita, who asked Shree Rama to catch it for Her. Ravana took the advantage of Lord Rama‘s absence and kidnapped Devi Sita.
When Lord Ram and Lakhman discovered that Devi Sita was missing, they searched for Her throughout the forest and met an old eagle named Jatayu, who informed them that Ravana was the culprit.
On the way to Ravana’s capital, they befriended Sugriva and Hanuman, the leaders of the monkey armies. With their help, Lord Rama and Lakshman constructed a bridge across the ocean and attacked Ravana and the demon soldiers. Lord Rama fought a massive war against Ravana’s armies. In a war of powerful and magical beings, greatly destructive weaponry and battles, Bhagwan Ram slayed Ravana and rescued His wife. They returned to Ayodhya where the couple were joyfully welcomed by all and enthroned as king and queen. That joyful day is still celebrated as Diwali, the festival of lights.
The holy epic Srimad-Bhagavatam describe Lord Rama as the Supreme persona of Godhead who performed sacrifices, gave charity to the brahmanas and enlightened them from within the cores of their hearts. During His reign (known as Ram Rajya) each and everyone was spiritual and blissful. The forests, rivers, mountains and oceans positively supplied the necessities of life for all beings. All bodily and mental sufferings, diseases, grief, howling, distress, fear and fatigue were absent.
Lord Rama taught the world by the example of His own life. He took a promise to accept only one wife. Today Shri Ram is remembered for His unending kindness, bravery and dedication to religious values and duty.
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