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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Rama the icon..



Rama the icon.. 
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The second book of Valmikiramayanam .. Ayodhyaakandam, starts with Bharatha and Shatrungna leaving for a visit to the country of Kaikaya kingdom, on invitation from Yudahjit, the maternal uncle of Bharata.

The Prince Rama , through his character and activities had become the darling of the subjects of Ayodhya..

Sage Valmiki waxes eloquent which describing the sterling qualities of Rama.. He seems to describe for us what an ideal leader of the people should be in his personal life..
An attempt to report what Valmiki says.. in his own words.. 
Free translation from Ayodhyakandam, Sarga 1

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Kauslaya the mother of Rama basked in the sunshine of fame and celebration having the Son Rama of great splendour.. 
she was just enjoying the like mother Aditi who did have for her son Indra, the wielder of thunderbolt.

That Rama was so attractive, and was no other being who can be compared with him.. 
He was of great valour. 
He was free from jealousy. 
He, the son of Dasaratha was matching his father in his virtues. 
( Dasaratha.. also means one having a bird as his chariot.. the bird is Garuda.. so Dasaratha also means lord Vishnu.. )

He was ever of very calm disposition..
He would talk to others very softly. 
Even if someone talked to him in a harsh or sarcastic tone he would never return such harshness.. 
( He would either reply softly, or would not repy at all.)

He was ever very grateful.. 
If someone had rendered him some help even on a rare occasion, he would be pleased with that person for ever. 
He would never remember insults even if such insults are heaped on him repeatedly .
Rama was always engaged in the process of having useful conversations and exchange of ideas with elders 
who were veterans because of their character, 
veterans in knowledge, 
and veterans in age too.. 
He engaged in Satsang even during the small intevals he would get in the course of his rigorous training in archery.

He was of very sharp intellect, 
and had great concern for the welfare of others applying such intellect. 
He spoke sweetly .. 
He would start conversation first, in the nicest possible way even with persons who were not of his own stature. 
He was very strong and valourous 
but he was never arrogant or vain about his prowess.

He would never speak an untruth. 
He was very learned. 
He always paid respect to persons who were of greater age, irrespective of status, and he never waitied for show of respect from them. 
He was deeply concerned about the welfare of the subjects of his kingdom 
and the people too returned the affection with equal fervour.

He was very sympathetic over the sufferings of others.. 
He had completely vanquished anger. 
He always took the initiative to meet learned people and pay them respects. 
He took positive steps to mitigate the difficulties of those who were in dire straits. 
He was well versed in laws and codes of conduct.
He was meticulous in following the rules and laws of the kingdom. 
And his personal image was clean and umblemished.

His mindset and behaviour always befitted the status of his clan.. 
He valued the duties of a Kshatriya in proteting his subjects as the ultimate
more because such action would provide attainment of heaven as a result of right performance of his duties, 
and gaining popularity was not of much concern to him.

His mind never dwelled upon performance of deeds which would bring disrepute and bad name to himself and others. 
He abhorred discussion of subjects which were opposed to propriety and public order. 
While presenting subjects coherently and logically 
he excelled even the preceptor or Gods Brihaspati in oratory and articulateness.
He was a youth perfectly fit in physique without any ailment, 
he did have a perfectly shaped body, 
he was capable of making decisions with enviable precion
and he excelled in making the right moves at the right place and time, 
he could always understand the thought process of people with whom he interacted, 
and he appeared to be a rare and exceptional person created with such great articulatenee and purity of thoughts.
( Vaagmee also indicates that he was Lord Vishnu or Lord Brihaspati himself in human form..)

Endowed with such sterling qualities the son of Dasaratha was just like the very life and breath of all his subject.. It was as if their very life was moving along in the shape of prince Rama.

कौसल्या शुशुभे तेन पुत्रेणामिततेजसा।
यथा च देवी देवानामदितिर्वज्रपाणिना॥८
स हि रूपोपन्नश्च वीर्यवाननसूयकः।
भूमावनुपमः सूनुर्गुणैर्दशरथोपमः॥९
स तु नित्यं प्रशान्तात्मा मृदुपूर्वं च भाषते।
उच्यमानोऽपि परुषं नोत्तरं प्रतिपद्यते॥१०
कथञ्चिदुपकारेण कृतेनैकेन तुष्यति।
न स्मरत्यपकाराणां शतमप्यात्मवत्तया॥११
शीलवृद्धैज्ञानवृद्धैर्वयोवृद्धैश्च सज्जनैः।
कथयन्नास्त वै नित्यमस्त्रयोग्यान्तरेष्वपि॥१२
बुद्धिमान् मधुरभाषी पूर्वभाषी प्रियंवदः।
वीर्यवान् न च वीर्येण महता स्वेन विस्मितः॥१३
न चानृतकथो विद्वान् वृद्धानां प्रतिपूजकः।
अनुरक्तः प्रजाभिश्च प्रजाश्चाप्यनुरञ्चते॥१४
सानुक्रोशो जितक्रोधो ब्राह्मणप्रतिपूजकः।
दीनानुकंपी धर्म्मज्ञो नित्यं प्रग्रहवान् शुचिः॥१५
कुलोचितमतिः क्षत्रं धर्मं स्वं बहुमन्यते।
मन्यते परया कीर्त्या महत्स्वर्गफलं ततः॥१६ 
नाश्रेयसि रतो यश्च न विरुद्धकथारुचिः।
उत्तरोत्तरयुक्तौ च वक्ता वाचस्पतिर्यथा॥१७
अरोगस्तरुणो वाग्मी वपुष्मान् देशकालवित्।
लोके पुरुषसारज्ञः साधुरेको विनिर्मितः॥१८
स तु श्रेष्ठैर्गुणैर्युक्तः प्रजानां पार्थिवात्मजः।
बहिश्चर इव प्राणो बभूव गुणवत्तरः॥१९
श्रीमद्वाल्मीकीये रामायणे आदिकाव्ये अयोध्याकाण्डे प्रथमे सर्गे 
kausalyā śuśubhe tena putreṇāmitatejasā |
yathā ca devī devānāmaditirvajrapāṇinā||8
sa hi rūpopannaśca vīryavānanasūyakaḥ|
bhūmāvanupamaḥ sūnurguṇairdaśarathopamaḥ||9
sa tu nityaṁ praśāntātmā mṛdupūrvaṁ ca bhāṣate|
ucyamāno'pi paruṣaṁ nottaraṁ pratipadyate||10
kathañcidupakāreṇa kṛtenaikena tuṣyati|
na smaratyapakārāṇāṁ śatamapyātmavattayā||11
śīlavṛddhaijñānavṛddhairvayovṛddhaiśca sajjanaiḥ|
kathayannāsta vai nityamastrayogyāntareṣvapi||12
buddhimān madhurabhāṣī pūrvabhāṣī priyaṁvadaḥ|
vīryavān na ca vīryeṇa mahatā svena vismitaḥ||13
na cānṛtakatho vidvān vṛddhānāṁ pratipūjakaḥ|
anuraktaḥ prajābhiśca prajāścāpyanurañcate||14
sānukrośo jitakrodho brāhmaṇapratipūjakaḥ|
dīnānukaṁpī dharmmajño nityaṁ pragrahavān śuciḥ||15
kulocitamatiḥ kṣatraṁ dharmaṁ svaṁ bahumanyate|
manyate parayā kīrtyā mahatsvargaphalaṁ tataḥ||16 
nāśreyasi rato yaśca na viruddhakathāruciḥ|
uttarottarayuktau ca vaktā vācaspatiryathā||17
arogastaruṇo vāgmī vapuṣmān deśakālavit|
loke puruṣasārajñaḥ sādhureko vinirmitaḥ||18
sa tu śreṣṭhairguṇairyuktaḥ prajānāṁ pārthivātmajaḥ|
bahiścara iva prāṇo babhūva guṇavattaraḥ||19