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Ram Navami

Jaya Asthana

Ram Navami

"Wherever four Hindus live, Ram and Sita will be there."

So said Swami Vivekananda. The reverse is equally true – wherever Ram and Sita live, the people there will remain and live as Hindus.

Every hill and rivulet of Bharat bears the imprint of the holy feet of Ram and Sita. He is called the Maryada Puroshottam – the great one who never deviated from the norms of Dharma; the touchstone of human excellence is Dharma. Devotion to Dharma came first in Ram's life and considerations of his personal joys and sorrows came last. It was his supreme commitment to Putra-Dharma (duty of a son) that made Ram depart to the forest for fourteen years at the bidding of his father. He upheld the supremacy of Dharma in every one of his human relationships and hence became an ideal son, an ideal brother, an ideal husband, an ideal disciple, an ideal friend, an ideal king, and an ideal foe. His supreme concern was the welfare of his subjects. The night before his coronation Sita asked him, "What is that thing which you hold dearest to your heart?" Ram fell serious and said, "Dear Sita, you know I love you most dearly, but I love the people of Ayodhya more and if their welfare demands, I would not hesitate to give up even you." When Bharat came to him in the forest, imploring him to return to Ayodhya, Sri Ram firmly refused. Here was enacted a scene unparalleled in world history – each of the brothers trying to convince the other to accept the emperorship of a great and mighty kingdom. Sri Ram turned every adversity into an opportunity to serve, to unify the nation, embracing all the people, city dwellers and vanavasis alike, in his travels throughout Bharat. His intense adoration for the motherland is immortalized in the words:

janani janmabhoomischa swargaadapi garreyasi

(Mother and the motherland are to me greater than the heavens themselves) 

Every character in Ramayan has its own greatness. Ram had only words of kindness for Kaikeyi who was responsible for his banishment to the forest. And even for Ravan, the abductor of his wife, Ram had praise for his erudition and prowess. Such acts of truthfulness, self-control, sacrifice, love, devotion, grace and leadership are unparalleled in the annals of human history.


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