|Rama: The Ideal|
Rama was an ideal ruler who ruled His people with due regard to their likes and dislikes, having their welfare as His primary concern. As a ruler Rama has no equals. He was a veritable mine of strength, virtue and love. Hence it is essential that every student should take Rama as an ideal to be emulated and derive happiness by practising the ideal of Sri Rama.
- “Perennial Message of the Ramayana”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 25, May 25, 1992, Brindavan
Rama ruled His kingdom in peace recognising that the people’s happiness is His happiness and recognising that the people’s prosperity is the primary concern of the king. Rama never thought that He was the king and that people are under the king. He never had any jealousy or ego in His mind. He regarded Himself as a driver who had to lead the people. Rama, by His own conduct, would make the people go along the right path and demonstrate to them the ideal path. All that He had said or done was only for giving happiness to the people. For setting an example to the people and for protecting the truth, Rama sent His own wife to the forest. If it was for sticking to truth and Dharma, to Rama it did not matter whether the person involved was the wife He married or the son who was born to Him.
- “Sorrow is not Natural to Man:Happiness is his Nature”,
Summer Showers in Brindavan 1977, Brindavan
Rama spoke to His subjects even before they spoke to Him, so ardent was His love towards them. He lovingly enquired about their welfare and was full of sympathy for them. So, the subjects too loved Him as their staunchest friend and dearest kinsman, and they revered Him for His affectionate interest in them. Rama followed strictly the various rules of living, dictated by tradition, whatever the inconvenience or discomfort. To whomsoever He spoke, He had a charming smile on His face, a merry twinkle in the eye and lasting sweetness in His words. No one noticed the slightest trace of anger, dislike, despair or hate in His face.
He was the embodiment of compassion and sympathy. He was full of eagerness to rescue those who surrender their wishes to His will. Undesirable habits to which royalty is an easy prey never dared approach Him. He was not a victim of the evil habit of garrulity and dalliance. In spite of this, if anyone displayed before Him his cleverness in argument, He would never fail to foil him by cleverer counter argument and put him in his place. He never knew illness of body or anxiety in the mind. He recognised the needs of the people and, even before they represented them to the ruler, He considered the response that could be made and remedied the grievance, after taking the permission of Dasharatha and making the ministers interested in the solution. Dasharatha too did not obstruct His wishes in any way. He put them into execution the moment he came to know about them. Rama paid detailed attention to even the smallest detail of administration and took adequate precautions to see that problems and complexities do not raise their heads once they had been solved and set right.
Another quality which was evident in Rama was: He never revealed in advance what He had resolved in His mind. Until it took final shape no one could make out His will or wish. And His anger or resentment, or His satisfaction would never be futile. He would not delay or allow Himself to be diverted or deceived. With such supreme characteristics, Rama shone in glory.
- “Preparations for the Coronation”, Ramakatha Rasavahini, Part 1
As is the ruler, so are the ministers. As are the ministers, so are the administrators. As are the administrators, so are the common people. The ministers strictly adhered to Truth and Righteousness. Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna were assigned the duty of enforcing Sri Rama’s orders in all parts of the kingdom. They kept a close watch over what was happening in every nook and corner of the realm, how far the people were adhering to truth and righteousness and how they were getting on in daily life. For this purpose a large body of officials was employed to go round the country. These messengers gathered all information everyday about the difficulties experienced by the people and their conduct. This system prevailed as long as Rama reigned over the kingdom.
In Rama’s reign, all married women were Sumangalis (whose husbands were alive). Widowhood was unknown. It is natural for parents to die before their children. But it is unnatural for children to die earlier than their parents. In Rama-Rajya there was not a single case of premature death. Death of young people was not known. There were none suffering from disease. There was no sign of poverty. The rains came in the right seasons. The harvests were bountiful. There was no shortage of food. Unrest was unknown. All people were happy and peaceful. Comparing those days with the present times, we realise what apathetic plight is ours. Bharat will enjoy Rama-Rajya only when it has rulers like Rama, ministers like Sumanthra, saintly advisers like Vasishta and Vamadeva and brothers like Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. During Rama’s reign there was no conflict anywhere. People did not indulge in mutual recrimination. Everyone in the kingdom was grateful for any act of help and was eager to repay the act of kindness.
- “The Greatness of Rama-Rajya”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 29, May 29, 1996, Brindavan
Rama was ever active in fulfilling the wishes and responding to the opinions of the people. Highly sensitive even to the remarks of a petty washer man, Rama sent away Sita to the forest out of a feeling that the washer man’s comment might be an indication of the unspoken feelings of many others among His subjects. Rama stands out as an ideal ruler intensely responsive to the wishes of the people. Rama demonstrated the ideal relations that should exist between the ruler and the ruled.
- “Ideals of the Rama Avatar”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 24, March 24, 1991, Prasanthi Nilayam
Rama enlightens every seeker in the spiritual field, since He put into daily practice all that He deemed right. So, He sets the standard for every member of the household, of the society, of the nation and of the human race. He went into exile to maintain the highest ideal of a ruler responsive to the reaction of His subjects. The former holds forth the duty of Pitruvaakyaparipaalana (respecting the command of the father) and the latter, the regal duty of Janavakyaparipaalana (respecting the wishes of the ruled).
- “Rama: The Ideal”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 15, Bangalore
After completing his great epic, Valmiki was considering how to make it known to the world and how to sanctify the lives of people by spreading its message. The Ramayana evokes joy in the listeners by the very sweetness of its poetry. Its Shlokas (verses) relieve people of their sorrow. Kusha and Lava (the sons of Sita) who were dressed like ascetics and who could sing melodiously and move the hearts of the listeners by their charming music came to Valmiki and offered their salutations to the sage. When the two appeared before Valmiki, the sage told them, “Children! I have composed the Ramayana with a pure and unsullied heart through arduous effort. You should proclaim to the world this sacred story”.
Lava and Kusha sang the story of Rama in a manner that moved the hearts of one and all – from commoners to King Rama Himself. Thus Rama Himself enjoyed the narration of His story in song. He posed as if He did not know His own story. In this context, the human aspect of Rama should be noted. He lived like a common man, but ordinary men did not live like Rama. That is the secret of this phenomenon. Though Rama was Divine, He moved about like an ordinary man. Common men should live like Rama to manifest their Divinity. It is not enough to recognise the human aspects of Rama. People should also realise the Divinity in everyone. Rama dwells in the heart of everyone. “Ramayati Iti Ramah” (Rama is the one who pleases).
|Luv-Kush receiving education from Sage Valmiki|
- “The Perennial Message of the Rama Story”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 30, April 16, 1997, Brindavan