Rama was aware of all types of Dharma. He had intelligence which could cover every aspect of life. He could demonstrate the need for humility, respect and devotion under the most trying conditions. He was a great individual who conducted Himself and His life consistent with the conditions prevailing around Him, at that time, in the country. Looking at the body of Ravana after his death, Vibhishana expressed unwillingness to perform the last rites that are usually performed. Vibhishana thought that Ravana was a very great sinner, that he was thinking badly of Rama, the incarnation of the Lord, and that it was not right to perform the obsequies of such a person. Rama, who was an embodiment of Dharma, called Vibhishana and said, “If there is any dislike for a person, that should not go beyond his death. Let it end with his death. All hatred should disappear with the death of the person”. Rama asked Vibhishana, “Will you, as a brother, perform the obsequies or shall I perform the obsequies?” As soon as he heard these words from Rama, Vibhishana realised his mistake and was prepared to perform the last rites. It is because Rama knew all the aspects of Dharma, He is referred to by saying “Ramo Vigrahavan Dharmaha” (He is the very embodiment of Dharma.) Thus, Narayana, the Lord, took the human form in Rama and by His conduct and by His adherence to Dharma, He demonstrated that Dharma is part and parcel of the ordinary daily life of a human being. How should one conduct oneself in a family? How should one conduct oneself towards a friend? How should one conduct oneself towards the community? In this manner and in all aspects, Rama was translating every moment of His life to be an example for ideal behaviour.
- “God is beyond Description through Words”,
Summer Showers in Brindavan 1977, Brindavan
|Rama and Sita: The Embodiments of Dharma|
Sita is the daughter of the king of Mithilapura whose name was Videha. Videha means one who has no body or one who has no consciousness of his human body. Sita can be identified with wisdom, and Sita marries Rama or becomes one with Rama who is Dharma. When wisdom comes together with Dharma, in the ordinary course, such a good event will meet with some obstacles. It is customary and quite natural that every good thing is met with by some obstacles. As I state often, pleasure is only an interval between two pains. If there is no pain at all, there is no value for pleasure. Sita is the embodiment of wisdom and she had been taken away by Ravana, who symbolises selfishness and ego.
If one wants his little wisdom to disappear, all that one has to do is to promote his selfishness, jealousy and ego. Ravana symbolises selfishness, jealousy and ego. To make a search for Sita, who had been taken away by the bad qualities, selfishness, jealousy and ego, Rama, in the form of Dharma, along with the other Purusharthas, i.e., Artha, Kama and Moksha, makes a journey. Here Lakshmana is to be identified with the mind. We should notice that Rama, the embodiment of Dharma, combines with Lakshmana, who is identified as mind, and goes to the forest, which signifies life. In that forest of life, Rama searches for wisdom in the form of Sita. In this context, there is an argument between the two brothers Vali and Sugriva. Sugriva can be compared to the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Here the inability or the weakness which is called Dhirathwa has been destroyed in the form of Vali; and Sugriva, who symbolises the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, comes out victorious. Along with Sugriva, who symbolises Viveka, or the ability to distinguish right from wrong, we have Hanuman. The combination of Sugriva and Hanuman is like the combination of Viveka and courage. The Viveka and courage went together in search of Sita, the wisdom. They meet with one obstacle in the form of an ocean of Moha. Thus the ocean of Moha had to be crossed and this crossing was affected with the help of courage in the form of Hanuman.
After crossing the ocean, they encounter the three Gunas: the Rajas, Tamas and Satwa on the opposite bank of the ocean. They are Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana representing the three gunas respectively. The Rajas and the Tamas, Ravana and Kumbhakarna, were removed from the scene and finally the Satwa Guna gets the upper hand in the form of Vibhishana. He has been crowned the king. After making Vibhishana the king of Lanka, Rama has the vision of wisdom, born out of experience in the person of Sita. Rama, prior to finding Sita, could be called a Brahmajnani but when He found Sita, symbolising the knowledge of experience, there is a reunion of the knowledge of experience with the pure Brahma Jnana, and the culmination was the coronation, the story which we called ‘Sahasrartha Ramayana’. This description which has now been given can also be called ‘Adhyatma Ramayana’.
- “Ignorance is the Cause of One’s Sorrow”,
Summer Showers in Brindavan 1977, Brindavan