|RAMA - THE KING
Lord Rama is the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. Born during
the second age of the world called TRETA YUGA, he is the immortal hero of the
great religious epic of India, the RAMAYANA. This epic seems to have been
written sometime between the fifth and the first century B.C. though broad- lines
of Rama's noble life were known to the residents of this land much earlier.
|RAMA - THE KING - THE
Rama occupies a very considerable place in the religious life of India and in
the religious history of the world. He is the embodiment of righteousness and
is believed to be the incarnation of the solar aspect of Vishnu. The
most ancient and most striking of the tales of Rama Chandra is the RAMAYANA,
written by sage VALMIKI, who is also said to be the father of epic style of poetry.
Innumerable temples are scattered allover India having the images of Rama, his
younger brother Lakshmana and his consort, Sita. In all images Rama
is invariable depicted to have two arms and not four, which emphasizes the character
of Rama as a human being and the way god Vishnu preferred to adopt this form
just to re-establish the golden age of justice and happiness. The expression of Rama
Rajya even today means the reign in which peace and prosperity prevails.
Rama's story follows this way:
At the end of the Treta Yug or the second age
of the world the sages, the holy men and even gods found themselves in great
terror and alarm at the misdeeds of Ravana, the demoniac king of Lanka, and the
horde of his followers.
Ravana had pleased Brahma by austere penances and Brahma
had given him the boon of invulnerability from the wrath of any god or goddess.
|RAVANA - THE TEN-HEADED ASURA KING OF LANKA
Thus being fortified Ravana started his reign of terror and misused his power
to terrorize people in order to subdue them. All the gods approached Brahma to
relieve them of the looming danger and deliver the sages of their sufferings,
which were the result of the boon bestowed by Brahma and misused by Ravana. Brahma
disclosed to them that Ravana, in his pride, had thought that only gods could
overpower him therefore he did not care to include man in the category of those
who could subdue him and only a being in man' s shape could kill him.
The gods now reached Vishnu to whom they prayed for deliverance. Vishnu promised
to descend on the earth in the shape of a man by being born as a son to Dasharatha,
a king of the Solar Race, reigning at Ayodhya.
When King Dasharatha was performing a religious sacrifice, the fire-god emerged
before him out of the sacred fire and gave him a pot of nectar for his three
wives to drink. King Dasharatha gave half of this nectar to his senior most wife,
Kaushalya, who brought forth Rama with one half of the divine essence; a quarter
to Kaikeyi, the second wife, whose son Bharata was endowed with a quarter of
divine essence; and the fourth part to Sumitra, the junior most wife, who brought
forth two sons, Lakshmana and Shatrughana, each having one-eighth part of divinity.
All four brothers were deeply attached to each other but Lakshmana was more especially
devoted to Rama and Shatrughana to Bharata. Lord Vishnu had thus kept his word
to gods and was born as Prince Rama in the household of King Dasharatha.
|BABY RAMA WITH QUEEN KAUSALYA