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Glories of Lord Sri Rama

Lord Sri Ramachandra appeared in Ayodhya, as a warrior prince in the Surya (Sun) dynasty that emanates from Iksvaku, the Sun god. Sri Ram, an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared as the Yuga Avatar (incarnation) of the Treta Yuga. more than 2 million years ago. The scriptures describe Sri Ram as being of light green in color, the color of a fresh spring blade of grass. He was the eldest son of Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya, and Kaushalya. Whenever the Lord incarnates, He appears with His intimate associates.

Accordingly, Lord Ram appeared with Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughana as His brothers, Who were the incarnations of Baladeva, Anirudha and Pradyumna respectively . In addition to them, there were many demi-gods who also incarnated to assist the Lord in His pastimes. Sri Krishna mentions in the Bhagavad Gita (4.7-8), that He appears on this planet to fight the rise of irreligion and reestablish the faith of His devotees. At that time, Earth was overrun by many powerful demons, the chief amongst them being Ravan. Under the protection of Ravan, the demons were harassing the devotees of the Lord, spreading infamy and irreligion in the world. It was to fight these demoniac powers and restore the religious principles that Lord Ram, Who is non different from Krishna, incarnated.

In addition to freeing the world of these demoniac forces. Lord Ram also demonstrated the ideal code of conduct as per Vedic scriptures. His life serves as a model for people to learn and draw inspiration from, for all ages to come. Even though He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself and is beyond any scriptural injunctions, Lord Ram lived strictly by these injunctions, to show that even the Supreme Personality of Godhead chooses to respect the code of Vedic conduct, thereby teaching by His own example. This is also explained by Sri Krishna in Bhagavad Gita (3-21), that whatever actions great men perform, common men follow.

On the instructions of His guru, Lord Ram at the tender age of 14 was able to kill powerful demons like Taraka. He thus showed that a disciple who is fully surrendered to his spiritual master gets transcendental power, which is far more potent than material power. As an ideal son, He unflinchingly followed all His father's instructions. When King Dasharatha, to honor the boons he had promised his younger wife, Kaikeya, deprived Ram of His right to the throne and ordered Him to 14 years of banishment in the jungles, Lord Ram unquestioningly followed His father's orders. Indeed, on witnessing the profound grief of Maharaja Dashartha, Lord Ram as an ideal son, berated Himself for being the cause of any distress to His father. In abandoning the opulence of the royal life and embracing the austerities of the forest life, Lord Ram demonstrated the attitude of a self-realized person towards material comforts. He showed that while any one may enjoy material opulence, he must never get attached to it.

He thus demonstrated the symptoms of transcendental consciousness, as later explained by Sri Krishna in Bhagavad Gita (2-56), "One who is not disturbed in mind amongst miseries or elated in happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is considered to be situated in transcendental consciousness". Ravan, himself typifies the attitude of the demoniac people. Ravan was vastly learned, a great scholar of the Vedas. He had become extremely powerful by obtaining several boons from Lord Brahma by practicing severe austerities and was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Despite all his knowledge, austerities, and devotion, he lacked the intrinsic attitude of a devotee. He was proud of his prowess and envious of Ram. In Ravan, we thus see that no amount of knowledge, austerity or devotional practices for material gains will get a person close to the Lord. It is only by complete surrender and acknowledgement of one's subordinate position to the Lord can one hope to become His devotee.

The abduction of Mother Sita, the wife of Lord Ram, by Ravan, is typical of the actions of materialists even in this day. Mother Sita is an incarnation of Lakshmi, the Goddess of good fortune, who bestows wealth and fortune on her devotees. However, Ravan tried to enjoy her separately from her lord and master, Sri Ram, and for this he was killed. The modern day materialist by fruitive actions are trying to amass wealth and fortune, without recognizing the predominant position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As the faithful wife and servitor of Ram, Mother Lakshmi will only stay where her husband is glorified, and any body trying to forcibly keep her will meet the same end as Ravan did. Finally, Lord Ram was the perfect king. Under His rule, the conditions were said to be the same as that in the bygone Satya Yuga, and His people lived in complete harmony.

To demonstrate the duty of a king to his citizens, Lord Ram even banished Mother Sita to the forest. His intense bereavement at the separation of Mother Sita, and the subsequent pastime of banishing her to the forest is explained by Srila Prabhupada in his purports in Canto 9, Chapter 10 of Srimad Bhagavtam. At one level, Lord Ram demonstrated the effects of "stri-sangha" (company of women) that can bewilder the senses of even the most self-controlled persons. At another level He demonstrated that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not devoid of emotions and is indeed the fountainhead of all emotions in the spiritual realm. So on the appearance day of Lord Ram, we must pray to Him to help us live our lives in an exemplary fashion, discharge our duties in the manner prescribed by the scriptures and thank the Lord for His mercy of actually showing us how to live by example (as Lord Ram) and by instructions (as Lord Krishna did in Bhagavad Gita).