Chapter XXXIII - 118 Home | Index | Previous | Next

XXXIII. Ramavatara

Sage Suka resumed his narration, "First I shall describe the Sowmya quality of Sri Rama. By 'Sowmya,' I mean his gentle, soft and mild natures. He wore a leaf-green and had yellow cloth round his wrist; he had on, a golden diadem; but he walked along with his eyes on the ground, as if he was ashamed to look up; the scene melted the hearts of all who saw. No one caught him in the act of casting his look on others. He had always the inner, not the outer vision. Whenever anyone offered anything to him He did not accept it entirely; he used to break off a bit or take out just a portion in order to please them; or he just touched the offering with his fingers and gave it back to the person who brought it."

"He moved with his father-in-law and mother-in-law, not as a son-in-law, but as a son. He seldom opened his mouth to speak to his sisters-in-law or their maids. He never lifted his face and cast his eyes on them."

"All women older than himself, he revered as he revered his mother, Kausalya. He considered all who were younger to him as his younger sisters; all of his own age, he treated as if they were his stepmothers."

"He stuck severely to truth. He surmised that if his father broke his word, the dynasty will earn great dishonour; so, in order to uphold the plighted word of his father and to maintain his reputation, he exiled himself into the forests for 14 years. His father did not ask him to do so; but, he learnt it from his step mother, Kaikeyi. He never argued or gave a reply; he gave up kingdom and started straight for the jungle. He acted correctly according to the words spoken by him, and suited the action strictly to the word."

"Rama had a heart filled with compassion; he gave refuge to any one who sought shelter in him and surrendered to him. When the Vanaras ('monkey hordes') and the Rakshasas (Ogres) were engaged in deadly combat during the battle in Lanka with the wicked Ravana, some Rakshasas changed themselves into Vanaras (monkeys) and penetrated behind the lines; they were promptly caught by the Vanara scouts and brought before him, for drastic punishment. But Rama stopped the Vanaras from torturing them. He told them that they had come to take refuge in him and declared that it was his vow to pardon all those who surrender to him, whatever their wrongs. He had thus given refuge to the brother of Ravana and treated him as his own brother Lakshmana. 'If he says once, I am yours, He is mine for ever,' Rama announced. Rama lived Dharma and taught Dharma through his every act. He established Dharma by practice and precept. He fostered and guarded good men (Sadhus). He removed the sufferings of the godly; he drew them near himself; their lives were fulfilled through his grace. He recognised no distinctions of high and low. He was a master of all the Sastras; he knew the meaning of all the Vedas."