Friday, 25 January 2013

38. A spoke in the wheel.

      After the citizens left, Dasaratha consulted his ministers and decided that Rama should be crowned as as crown prince on the very next day.  Thereafter, king Dasaratha asked Sumantra to get Rama again and Sumantra promptly executed the command.  Rama fell prostrate before his father, who took him lovingly into his embrace.  Then they settled down comfortably and Dashartha told Rama "My dearest son, I have faithfully and dutifully fulfilled all the duties as a king.  Now I have become very old and I have no duty other than to anoint you for the crown.  Hence, do what I tell you. Now all the people want you to be the next king.  Hence, I intent to install you as the crown prince.  Dear  Rama!  Apart from the people's desire, I have some other special reason, too.  These days I am getting fearful and inauspicious dreams.  Here, thunderous comets are falling with great sound, during day time.
       "Astrologers inform me that fearful planets like Sun, Mars and Raahu are encroaching my birth star.  Whenever such inauspicious signs are produced, the king generally will either die or have a fearful accident.  Oh, Rama! Before some such a thing happens,  I want to get you anointed to the crown.  Today, the moon is entering the constellation known as Punarvasu which comes before Pushyami star.  The astrologers inform me that the coronation ceremony can be fixed for tomorrow, when the moon joins Pushyami star. Hence, get anointed for the crown on the day of Pushyami star.  My mind is urging me to expedite things.  I, therefore shall anoint you for the princely kingdom tomorrow.
      "Because of that, you along with your wife should observe fast for this night from now on, and sleep on a couch made of Kusha grass.  Generally, there are many obstacles for such a type of functions.  Hence, your friends should guard you vigilantly from all directions.  I do not know why, but I feel that your coronation function should occur while Bharata is away from the city.  There is no doubt that Bharata, your brother, goes according to his eldest brother (viz. you).  He is righteous, compassionate and keeps his senses under control.  He verily follows the path of good people.
      "Oh, Rama! It is well known that the minds of men  and women are inconstant.  Even most righteous people, endowed with ample goodness, sometimes unexpectedly act incorrectly on impulse." 
     With these words the king permitted his son to leave.   Rama on leaving his father went straight to his mother's place.  He found Sumitra, Lakshmana and Seetha there.  He told the Queen Kausalya "Oh, mother! Father ordered that I should rule the people.  He informed me that there will be anointing ceremony to me tomorrow.  Seetha too, along with me should observe fast this whole night."
      Then Rama bid good-night to his mother, step-mother and Lakshmana and  went to his house along with Seetha.
      After Rama left, king Dasaratha called Vasishta and requested him to make Rama and Seetha prepared for the ceremony the following day.  Sage Vasistha agreed and went to Rama's place and explained the prince what he and his consort were required to perform that night and the next morning until the anointing ceremony.
      Vasishta, while leaving Rama's house noticed that  the royal palace was filled with people who were high-spirited and extremely happy.  All the royal highways in the city of Ayodhya were filled with groups and groups of delighted people and was congested.
Then, on the royal road, the resonance created by the rush of the people moving hither and thither like waves combined with their rejoicing, resounded like the roar of an ocean.  On that day, in the city of Ayodhya, all the roads were cleaner and sprinkled with scented water.  There were rows of trees on both sides of the roads and flags were hoisted on the tree-tops and on the top of the houses.
      Then, the people of Ayodhya including children, women and the aged were waiting for the sunrise, raring to watch the anointing ceremony of Rama.
         Manthara, a housemaid who was residing with Kaikeyi since her birth, hearing all the noise outside, ascended the balcony of Kaikeyi's palace and noticed that the entire city of Ayodhya was absolutely agog.  She did not then know about the coronation of Rama the next morning.
      There is a legend floating around about Kaikeyi and Manthara.  The same is as under.

The daughter of the mighty Ashwapati, a long-term ally of Kosala, Kaikeyi married Dasharatha after the latter had assured her father that her son would succeed him as the King of Kosala.  Dasharatha was able to make this promise as his first wife, Kausalya, was childless and not likely to produce a son of her own.  Kaikeyi also remained barren for many years of marriage, as a result of which he married Sumitra, the princess of Magadha, another kingdom with strong political ties to Kosala.

Kaikeyi's personality is worth examining and provides a strong clue to her motivations which later led to her insisting on the exile of her stepson from Ayodhya.  As a young girl and the only sister to seven brothers, Kaikeyi grew up without a maternal influence in her childhood home.  Her father had banished her mother from Kekaya after realizing that his wife's nature was not conducive to a happy family life.  Amongst other things, due to a boon, Ashwapati was able to understand the language of birds.  However, this was accompanied by a caveat that if he ever revealed the content of a bird's speech to anyone, even his own mother, then he would forthwith lose his life.  One day, the King and his Queen were strolling around the palace gardens when Ashwapati happened to overhear the conversation of a pair of mated swans.  The conversation so amused him that he laughed heartily, kindling his wife's curiosity.  Despite being aware of the fact that he could not divulge the content of the conversation to her, without losing his life, Kaikeyi's mother insisted on knowing the cause of the King's mirth.  When Ashwapati realized that his wife cared little for his life or well-being, he had her banished to her parents' home.
      Kaikeyi never saw her mother again.  She was raised by her wet nurse, Manthara, who accompanied Kaikeyi to Ayodhya as a trusted maid, upon her marriage to Dasharatha.  Her father's treatment of her mother and the latter's subsequent exile led to Kaikeyi harboring a deep distrust of men in general and husbands in particular, and to considering their love as "fickle" and "passing" in nature.  In addition, she felt that she was very insecure in her position as a secondary consort to Dasharatha.  She realized that Dasharatha deeply respected his Queen and Empress, Kausalya, and had only married her in order to produce the much-needed heir.  To this end, Kaikeyi realized that her position in her husband's affections and esteem relied heavily on her ability to produce that heir.  When she remained barren, she became increasingly insecure and realized that she could never win in her struggle for supremacy over Kausalya, although Manthara proved to be a great solace in this regard.  The older woman schemed constantly to further her own position at the Court.  And since her position depended on Kaikeyi's status at Court, Manthara lost no opportunity to kindle the young Kaikeyi's insecurity and jealousy of Kaushalya, despite Dasharatha's obvious enchantment and love for all of his wives.  
       It is important to point out that other sources state that Kaikeyi was not insecure, that she loved her other Queen sisters, and was the backbone of the group.  She had saved the King Dasharatha in a  battle and demonstrated her warrior courage.
End Legend.
      On inquiry she learned about the great honour to be conferred upon Rama.  Burning with spite and anger, she shook her head vigorously and approached Kaikeyi who was lying cosily on a bed and told her "O, fool! Get up.  How can you sleep?  A dreadful situation is befalling you.  A flood of troubles submerges you.  Why are you so ignorant of this yourself?  Oh, Kaikeyi !  You pride yourself as the most beloved wife for the great king Dasharatha, but in reality that does not appear to be so.  You boast of your fortune.  Like the flow of a stream in summer, your fortune is unsteady".
      Kaikeyi  really did not understand why the old goat was so angry.   Kaikeyi asked kindly the hunch-backed Manthara  "O! Manthara! Are you okay?  You appear to be very sorrowful and more cantankerous today."
      After hearing Kaikeyi's sweet words, Manthara who was an expert in persuasion, spoke with anger.  She told Kaikeyi "Oh, queen! An unending great ruin has encircled you.  King Dasharatha is going to anoint Rama for the princely kingdom.  I am immersed in a bottomless pit of fear.  I am in distress and my mind is burning as if by fire.  I hastened here to inform you of the calamity and advise you to act wisely.  Kaikeyi!  If Rama becomes king, his son will become king after him.  Thus, Bharata's name itself will be removed from the list of royal clan.
      "Oh, Kaikeyi! Having born in a royal family and being an emperor's wife, how is it that you are so ignorant about the cruelty in kingly duties?  Your husband talks about righteousness, but does harm secretly.  He says sweet words but behaves cruelly.  Because you are so innocent and modest, you are not able to know that he is cheating you grossly.
      "Your husband approaches you and talks sweet words, which are useless.  Today he is passing the benefit to Kausalya only.  The evil minded Dasharatha sent Bharata to the house of his relatives and at dawn is going to install Rama on the throne without any hindrance.  O! childish one!  Like a mother, you wish for his well being.  But he is an enemy, and is called husband for a namesake.  But in reality he is like a poisonous serpent in your bosom.
      "King Dasharatha has acted towards you and your son today in the same way as an enemy or a serpent would behave.  O! stupid one! With his untruthful sweet words to you, who are ever deserving of ease and comfort, the evil minded king is installing Rama on the throne and is thus ruining you along with your son. You have to take an appropriate action immediately, so as to save yourself, your son and me too."
        Kaikeyi of charming countenance rose from her coach full of delight like the crescent moon in autumn.  With astonishment and joy she gave a graceful jewel to the hunch-backed Manthara and told her "Oh, Manthara! You informed a wonderful news to me. What else can I do for you, who informed such a good news?  I do not see any difference between Rama and Bharata.  That is why, I am happy that Rama is being anointed for the crown by the king. You do merit every favour.  I have not heard a more pleasant news than this.  Hence, you cannot ever again inform a more pleasing news than this.  I shall give you a good boon.  Ask for it!"
      Manthara angrily threw down the ornament and with distress shouted at Kaykeyi  "O! foolish one! Not knowing that you are in the midst of an ocean of trouble, what is it that you are so delighted about, in a matter to be grieved?  Though stricken with grief,  I mentally laugh at you in that you are rejoicing at the time when a great calamity is hitting you.
      "I am lamenting over your foolish mind.  Does any intelligent woman feel happy over the prosperity of a stepson who is considered an enemy?   Does it not amount to praising a befalling death?  Rama has a fear about Bharata because Bharata has equal rights over the kingdom.  In thinking about this matter, I am getting anguished.  Do we not get disasters from those who are afraid of us?   
      "Lakshmana, wielding a great bow, joined Rama with all his heart.   Shatrughna is as faithful to Bharata as Lakshmana to Rama.  In line with even the proximity of birth, the claim to the throne of Bharata alone can be pressed; that of Lakshmana and Satrughna who are younger is out of question.
      "Rama is a learned man and a political statesman.  His actions are timely and appropriate.  When thinking of your son's calamity to be resulted from Rama, I get shiver with fear.  Kausalya is very fortunate.  Brahmans are going to anoint her son for the great princely kingdom tomorrow on the day of Pushyami star.
      "With folded arms, as a maid-servant, you have to serve that Kausalya who, having reached a great prosperity, in the height of joy, will dispose of her adversaries (in the person of Bharata and yourself).  Thus, if you become Kausalya's servant-maid along with us, your son Bharata will be Rama's attendant.  Rama's wives will get delighted.  Your daughter-in-law will be unhappy because of Bharata's waning position."
 Comment: The words 'Rama's wives' here do not indicate that Rama had multiple wives.  Manathara refers to a possible future where Rama being a King would marry other women.  It was a norm then for a king to have more than one wife.
End Comment.
      Hearing Manthara speak thus in many distasteful words, Kaikeyi began to extol Rama's virtues, saying  "Rama knows all righteousness.  Very learned elders trained him.  He has a proper gratitude.  He always speaks truth.  He has a clean conduct.  He is the eldest son of king Dasharatha and hence eligible for the kingdom.  The long living Rama will protect his brothers and servants like a father.  Why are you so pained on hearing about Rama's coronation?
      "After Rama's rule for one hundred years, Bharata the best among men will certainly replace Rama on his father's throne, which is that of his ancestors.  Oh, Manthara!  When we got an occasion for rejoicing as at present and when a festive occasion is to come off in future (too in the form of Bharata's installation, no matter even if it comes after a hundred years), why do you feel agonized like this as though burning (with jealousy)?  
      "For me, Rama is as lovable as Bharata and even more.  Is he not doing more service to me than to Kausalya?  If Rama has kingdom then Bharata has it as well.  Rama esteems his brothers just as his own self."
      Manthara, after hearing Kaikeyi's words, felt very sad and after a long and hot sigh, said "On one side, you are getting immersed in an ocean of sorrow filled with misery and danger.  But due to stupidity, you are not able to perceive the truth and you fail to assess your real position.
      "O, Kaikeyi!  If Rama becomes the king, his son will become the king after him in succession.  Thus, Bharata's name itself will be erased from the list of  royal clan.  O, Kaikeyi! All the sons of a king will not be crowned for a kingdom.  If all are installed, there will be a great lawlessness.  Therefore, kings install their eldest son, even though others may be full of virtues, as their successor to the throne.
      "Your son will be completely distant from comforts and even from the royal clan, like an orphan.  I came here to protect your interests.  But you have not understood me.  You think it fit to give me a present when your step-wife is getting more prosperous.
      "Rama, ascending the throne without hindrance, will either send away Bharata to some other country or have him killed.  This is certain.  You sent Bharata to his maternal uncle's house even in his childhood.  By being nearer, love is born even on inanimate objects.  By sending Bharata to a distant place, you made Dasharatha to have no affection towards him.  Out of sight is out of mind.  Shatrughna was drawn towards Bharata and went along with him.  Just as Lakshmana joined Rama, Shatrughna joined Bharata.
Comment: Sage Valmiki might be implying here that if Shatrughna were to be present then at Ayodhya, he would have tried for the prosperity of Bharata
End Comment.
      "We hear that a tree marked down for felling by foresters, when covered by thorny Ishhiika grass, is saved from this great danger of cutting.  So also, Dasharatha might have supported Bharata if he was staying near to him in Ayodhya.  Lakshmana protects Rama.  Rama protects Lakshmana.  Their brotherly affection is as famous as that of Aswini celestials.  Hence, Rama will not do a sinful act of killing Lakshmana.  However there is no doubt that he will do so in the case of Bharata.
      "Hence, I feel that it is better for your son to go to forest directly from his uncle's house.  This is good for you, too.  If Bharata gets his father's kingdom as per law, it will be beneficial to you and your side of relatives.  Your youthful son, used to comforts, is a natural enemy to Rama.  How can Bharata who failed to achieve his purpose live under the control of Rama, whose flourishing objective has been realised?
      "Rama is chasing and bringing down Bharata as a lion chases an elephant-king in the forest.  You ought to protect Bharata.  Previously, you treated Kausalya with disrespect due to the arrogance that you were more fortunate.  Will not such Kausalya, your rival wife, revenge for that animosity?  O, Kaikeyi! The day Rama becomes lord of this earth with its great oceans, mountains and towns, that day you and your Bharata will get a bad and pitiable position of ignominy.
      "When Rama gets power of the kingdom, Bharata will certainly get ruined.  Hence, think of a solution to get your son Bharata the kingdom and to send Rama, your enemy, to exile."

Thursday, 17 January 2013

37. Preparation for the coronation of Rama as prince.

       King Dasaratha, then addressed the assembly "Oh! I am very much pleased to hear your united consensus.   Incomparable is my fortune in that all of you, without any exception desire my beloved elder son to be anointed as prince "
     King Dasaratha then addressed the Rajaguru Vashista,  Vamadeva and other Brahmans "This is the glorious and auspicious month of Chaitra, in which the forests bloom with flowers.  Let all arrangements be made for the coronation of Rama as prince." 
      These words produced a gleeful applause from the entire assembly.
      King Dasaratha, with a very happy face waited for the applause to subside and then spoke to Vasishta. "Oh Divine Vasishta!  Be pleased to order now for the traditional ceremonial that is to be done and various accessories needed for the anointing ceremony of Rama." 
      Vasishta then ordered the officers who stood there with folded hands before the king "Gather the following in the sacred fire house of the king by dawn: gold and the like, diamonds, things needed to perform worship, various herbs, white floral garlands, corn, honey and clarified butter (நெய் ) in separate vessels, new clothes, chariot, all weapons, the four divisions of army, an elephant with auspicious signs, white fan, flag staff, white umbrella, one hundred golden pots with brilliant shine, bull with gilded horns and a complete tiger skin.
      "If you feel that any other small things are also required, arrange for all of them.  Let the doorways of the royal palace and those of the entire city be worshiped with sandalwood paste, floral garlands and good smelling incense.  Let fine rice of good quality with milk and yogurt, fully sufficient for one hundred thousand Brahmans be arranged.  Let that rice be given with due respect to important Brahmans tomorrow at dawn; along with clarified butter, yogurt, corn, and lots of other gifts.
      "There will be an invocation tomorrow at sunrise for the well being of all.  All brahmanas be invited and suitable seats be arranged for them.  Let the flags be hoisted and the royal highways be sprinkled with water.  Let well dressed dancers and musicians wait in the second enclosure in the royal compound.  As worshiping is to be done in temples and at road junctions, let some deserving people gather there with rice, eatables, presents and garlands, separately.  Let all the warriors enter the well developed front yard of the royal palace with long swords, armors and clean clothing."
      Both Vasishta and Vamadeva, who were highly experienced in such maters, attentively ordered for all those things that were required to be done there.  Pleased and satisfied with the arrangements made, Vasishta and Vamadeva approached the king Dasharatha and told him that all had been done as per his wish. 
      Dasharatha then asked Sumantra to bring Rama there.  As commanded by the king, Sumantra brought Rama in a chariot.  Afterwards the kings belonging to east, west, north and south, as well as those belonging to Mlechha kingdom, Aryaa Vartha kingdom and those ruling in hill and forest areas sat there and attended on the King Dasharatha as celestials attended on Devendra.
      The sage king Dahsaratha, sitting in the midst of those kings like Devendra in the middle of the celestials, saw from the palace itself, his son Rama arriving in a chariot.  Rama was as handsome and as majestic as the king of Gandharvas.  His valour was world famous.  He had great strength and walked like a vigorous elephant.  He had long arms, and with his enchanting face, he looked like the moon.  He stole the eyes and minds of the people by his looks, generosity and virtues.  King Dasharatha was thus not satiated enough in seeing Rama, coming like a cloud that gladdens people by relieving them from the scorching summer heat.  Sumantra helped Rama to get down from the excellent chariot and with folded hands followed behind Rama, who approached his father.  Rama ascended the steps of the palace, which resembled Mount Kailaasa, along with Sumantra, to see the king Dasaratha.
      Rama with folded hands approached his father, bowed down mentioning his own name and offered salutations to his father's feet. 
      King Dasharatha gave Rama a great throne, which was high, excellent and beautiful, decorated with gold and diamonds.  Rama, occupying that great throne, caused it to shine with his own brightness, just as the spotless sun in the morning causes Meru mountain to shine with brilliance.  Rama by his brilliance made that assembly to shine, just as the moon shines the clear autumnal sky.  King Dasharatha was as delighted in seeing his beloved son, as one delights in seeing oneself adorned, in a mirror.  King Dasharatha smilingly conversed with his son, and addressed Rama as follows, as Kasyapa did to (his eldest son) Devendra (the ruler of gods).
      "Oh Rama!  You are an exemplary son born to my exemplary primary queen.  Being excellent in virtues, you are the most beloved son to me.  As you with your good qualities cherished these people, you get the princely kingdom on the day of  Pushyami star (when the moon appears in conjunction with the constellation Pushya).  Oh, son! By nature, you are very humble and virtuous.  Even then, because of my friendship with you, I can tell you this for your benefit.  Be even more humble and always keep the senses under control.  Scorn the bad habits born out of desire and wrath.  Through direct and indirect means, keep ministers and others happy.  Like the celestials becoming happy after obtaining the nectar, friends of a king (ruler of earth) are delighted when he fills the granaries and armories to the brim, making the common people delightful and happy.  Hence, you too act like this."
      The well-wishers of Rama, after hearing those words, intending to make Kausalya very happy, immediately rushed to her and informed the news to her.  Queen Kausalya became immensely pleased and gave away gold, cows and different types of diamonds to those who informed her the good news.  Rama, after offering salutations to the king Dasharatha, ascended the chariot and went to his splendid house after being worshiped by the crowds on the way.
     Having heard those words of the king, seeing their dearest wish gratified, the citizens took leave of the King Dasaratha and returned to their homes full of joy, in order to give thanks and render homage to the Gods.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

36. Dasharatha seeks and gets the approval of all for making Rama as his successor.

       King Dasharatha addressed the gathering in a friendly, pleasing, clear and loud voice  "It is well known that my kingdom was ruled by all my predecessors as if it was their son.  I desire that my successor should also be like that.  Following the path established by my ancestors, I have always protected my people with alertness and to the best of my ability.  Now I have become quite old and ipso facto tired.
      "All of you know very well that this body in which I am living in, is many thousands of years old.  I am sure that all of you will agree that it requires rest.  
      "This burden of worldly righteousness is very heavy.  This can be sustained only by royal power with qualities like courage and valour.  A person who has no control over his senses cannot carry this burden.  I believe that my son Rama has all the required qualities.  I therefore, desire to  entrust the rule to my son for the benefit of the people, provided all of you who are very learned and close to me agree.
     "My eldest son Rama is acclaimed by one and all as equal to Devendra in valour.  He has conquered the cities of enemies.  His qualities are in no way inferior to mine.  Without any misgivings, I would like to  appoint Rama, who shines like the moon together with Pushya star, who is the best among the protectors of righteousness and who is an excellent man, to the realm of prince.  If Rama becomes the lord, the three worlds also will have the best master.  He is said to be a glorious man.  I opine that Rama is the most fittest lord for the kingdom.  By entrusting this kingdom to Rama, I well feel quite good and extremely happy that this kingdom got a master distinctly superior to any one ruled it so far.
      "I am telling this after giving it a lot of thought.  Give your consent if you feel this to be good and befitting.  If you have any other thoughts in this regard, please discuss the same with your peers here.  Thinking by impartial and  neutral people will be distinctive and well developed through grinding of opposing views."
      Those delighted kings complimented the king Dasharatha for his announcement.  That building appeared trembling by the sweet and reverberating sound made by the gathering of people there with their fond uproar.  Brahmans, important people, urban and rural citizens came to a consensus after discussing inter se and told the king  "Your Majesty!  All of us entirely agree for Rama becoming our next king.  We, therefore have absolutely no objection for inaugurating Rama as the ruling prince.  Now we want to see Rama."
      King Dasaratha, after hearing their words, spoke as follows as though he did not know their minds earlier and sought to know their true intention. 
      "Oh kings and other learned Brahmans and gentlemen!  It seems  that you want Raghava to be your next king just because I desire so.  Please let me know your real opinion and wish in this matter.  Why do you desire to see my son as the prince?  Please let me know if you think that there is someone else in our kingdom who is more capable than my son Rama."
       The entire assemblage spoke with one voice "Oh king!  There is no one in this kingdom or anywhere in the whole world more capable than Rama.  Your son Rama alone has all the auspicious virtues.  We shall tell you now the various virtues of your son Rama.  His qualities are equal to those of Gods.  They are liked by all.  They give happiness to all.  Rama is equal to Devendra in heavenly qualities.  He has true valour.  He is greater than all the kings born in Ikshvaaku clan.  Rama is the world renowned gentleman.  He is keenly interested in truth and righteousness.  Only Rama can make both righteousness and wealth combine without separation.  He is equal to moon in making the people happy; equal to the earth in the quality of forgiveness; equal to Brihaspati in wisdom and verily to Devendra in valour.
      "Rama knows all righteousness.  He is true to his word and has good character.  He has no envy.  He has patience.  He consoles those who are in trouble.  He speaks good words.  He has gratitude.  He keeps senses under control.  Rama is soft natured; has stable mind, always an auspicious man.  He speaks truthful and loving words to all.  He worships aged Brahmans endued with the knowledge of various sciences.  By that, his name, glory and splendor are growing in this world.  He is skilled in the use of various weapons known to celestials, demons and men.  He has duly concluded his vow of studying the various sciences and has systematically learnt all the Vedas along with its branches.  
      "Rama is the best in the world in the art of music.  He has best relatives.  He is gentle.  He is not weak in mind.  He has great wisdom.  Rama was trained in all matters from the best of Brahmans skilled in the art of righteousness and in the science of political economy.   Whenever there was a necessity to go to a battle to protect a village or a city, Rama went with Lakshmana and returned home only after a glorious victory."
      "After returning from battle, Rama goes to the citizens on an elephant or a chariot and inquires about their well being as though they were his own kinsmen, like a father does to his sons.  He asks about their wives and children, about the sacred fires, about their servants and students, always completely as per the due order.  Rama the best among men always asks us 'Are your disciples serving you by keenly performing their actions?'  
      "Rama feels very sad towards afflictions of men; and feels delighted in all functions celebrated by people on the occasions of child birth and the like, just as their own fathers do.  Rama speaks only truth.  He is a great hero.  He serves elders.  He always kept the senses under control.  Rama, who talks smilingly, protects righteousness in all ways.  Rama duly procures beneficent deeds.  He is not interested in wrangling talks.  He is an orator like Brihaspati by his replies and rejoinders.
      "Rama, who enchants the world, has beautiful eyebrows.  He has red and broad eyes.  He is absolutely like God Vishnu himself in strength, heroism and valour.  He knew the ins and outs of public administration.  His senses are not afflicted by passion.  He is capable of administering not only earth, but also the three worlds.  Rama's anger or mercy is not arbitrary at any time.  He kills those who are to be slain as per rules.  He is not angered at the innocents. 
      "He gladly bestows wealth to those with whom he is satisfied.  As the sun shines by his rays,  Rama shines by his qualities that are peaceful, enchanting and delightful to men.  All people desire Rama, who is endowed with this wealth of qualities, who has true valour, who is equal to presiding deities like Devendra, to be their lord.
      "Oh king Dasaratha! Rama is born to you as a son, because of your good fortune, and for the welfare of this world.  He has all the virtues befitting of a son, like Kasyapa, the son of Marichi.  All people in the state including those in the capital as well as those in the nearby and in the far off places, pray for a long life, good health and immense strength for Rama. 
      "Both young and aged women are praying with a stable mind each morning and evening to all the celestials, for the benefit of the renowned Rama.  We shall see Rama adorned with the princely kingdom.  Your son Rama has the complexion of a black lotus flower and annihilates all his enemies.  Let the wish of the people be fulfilled by your Majesty.  For our benefit, you gladly and immediately inaugurate your son Rama, who is equal to Vishnu, who is interested in the welfare of the entire world and who is possessing all the virtues."

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

35. The qualities of our Hero, Rama explained in detail.

Book Two - Ayodhya Kända

      Bharatha, along with his brother Satrughna (meaninghe who has no sins and who annihilates his enemies) went to his maternal uncle's place.  Treated with good hospitality and paternal love by his maternal uncle, Yudhaajit, who was a lord of cavalry, Bharatha stayed there with his brother.  Though their stay there did not lack any comfort, they were not quite at ease, as they were constantly reminded of their age old dear father.
       Dasharatha was also very often remembering them.  He loved all his four sons equally as though they were his four hands.
       Rama, like Brahma among all the living beings, the most virtuous and mightiest among those highly virtuous and  mighty brothers, was a great source of joy for his father.
      Like Adithi, who was being shone by Indra, the best among the celestials, Kausalya shone by her son Rama, the mighty, virtuous etc.  Rama was extremely handsome in form, a hero of valour and without envy.  By virtues, he was like Dasharatha.  In this way, he was an incomparable son on earth.  Rama was always peaceful in mind and spoke softly.  He did not react adversely to the hard words spoken by others.  Because of his good bent of mind, he always felt glad when a good thing was done to him irrespective of the manner it was done.  He was immediately forgetting any bad thing done or said to him.  Whenever he found time, even while practising archery, Rama used to converse with elderly people, elder by way of conduct or wisdom or age or with good-nature.
      Rama was a very wise man.  He always spoke sweetly. He was the first to initiate a conversation.  His speech was always compassionate.  He was valorous.  But he was NOT arrogant of his mighty valour.  He did not speak untruth.  He was all knowing.  He used to be receptive and worshipful to the elders.  All the subjects of the kingdom just loved him and he reciprocated.  He had compassion.  He conquered anger.  He used to be receptive and worshipful to the wise.  He showed mercy towards the meek.  He knew what exactly was to be done, always.  He was absolutely self-controlled all the time.  He was clean (in conduct).
      Having an attitude suitable for his social rank, giving due respect to righteousness of warrior-class, he(Rama) believed that by following the righteousness  he would attain great fame and through it the fruit of heaven.  Rama was not interested in vain actions which were not beneficial.  He was a scholar.  He had no taste in tales opposing righteousness.  Like Vächaspathi, his eloquent speech contained a series of strategies for action.  Rama was a young man without any disease, mental or physical.  He was a good speaker.  He had a good body.  He knew both time and place.  He could grasp the essence of men.  He was the one perfect gentleman born on earth.
      People loved the virtuous prince Rama and treated him as their spirit moving outside.  After completing his education properly, Rama, after knowing the science of archery as prescribed, was better than his father in the use of bow and arrows.  Rama, having born in a good clan, was gentle minded.  He was not feeble.  He spoke truth, always.  He was straightforward.  He was properly trained by elderly wise men who knew righteousness.  Rama knew the real form of desire, wealth and righteousness.  He had a good memory power.  He had a spontaneous wisdom.  He had skills in arranging customs useful to the society prevalent at that time. 
      Rama was humble.  He did not let his feelings appear outwardly.  He kept his thoughts to himself.  He helped others whenever necessary.  His anger and pleasure were not wasteful.  He knew when to give and when not to give.  Rama had a firm devotion and steadfast mind.  He was not stubborn nor did he speak evil words.  He was free from idleness and was ever alert.  He recognized his own errors and those of others.
      Rama knew the theory and practice of sciences.  He understood the differences among men.  He could judiciously discriminate whom to protect and whom to punish.  He identified good men and protected them.  He knew the people who deserved reprimand.  He knew the ways and means of getting income as well as the system of spending, as perceived by economic sciences.  Rama could obtain great skill in the groups of sciences along with their subsidiaries.  He was interested in enjoying comforts, only after understanding the economic realities.  He never remained inactive.
      Rama was acquainted with the fine arts useful for entertainment.  He knew how to distribute the wealth.  He was efficient in riding and taming of elephants and horses.  Rama was considered by his people as the best archer in the world; and he was well appreciated by the champions of archery.  He attained high skills in marshalling the army.  He faced and killed nonchalantly the enemies in battle.
      Even enraged celestials and demons could not defeat Rama in battle.  He had no jealousy.  He conquered anger.  He had no arrogance or envy.  He had not humiliated any living being.  He had not surrendered to time.  That Prince Rama, with these good virtues, was fair to the people.  He was agreeable to the three worlds.  By patience and the related virtues, he was equal to the earth, by wisdom to Brihaspathi and by valour to Devendra.
      Rama, by his virtues, was a source of happiness to all the people and a spring of joy to his father.  As the sun shines with his rays, Rama was shining, thus, with his virtues.  The earth wished Rama to be her Lord as he was adorned with self-control and norms of behavior bearing undefeatable valour equal to that of the universal lord Indra.
      Seeing the way his eldest son was shaping, King Dasharatha was wondering whether he would live to see him ruling the entire earth.      
      Rama had many more virtues beyond hitherto stated, virtues not to be seen in other princes and kings.  His virtues cannot be counted and they are said to be better than the best in the world.  Dasharatha wanted to make Rama the prince as Rama the King, at an early date.
       With that thought in view Dasharatha assembled all his ministers and told them that there was a sign of a great alarm being forecast because of comet like things found in earth, heaven and the sky.  He further told the ministers that his body was getting aged.  He thought that if Rama was crowned as king, he would not have any worries, as Rama was a great wise man with many capabilities; and was liked by the people.
       Dasharatha wanted to hurry up the coronation of Rama as it was for his own benefit and for the benefit of the people.  Because it was as per his liking and also the appropriate time had come.  Dasharatha called the other kings and officers staying in various cities and villages in his kingdom separately to Ayodhya.
      The harried Dasaratha did not sent word to the king Kekaya, the maternal uncle of Bharatha or the King Janaka, as he thought they both could hear the good news even afterwards.  The king Dasharatha hosted the invitees suitably with houses and jewelry.  Duly adorned suitably himself, he looked after them in the manner Lord Brahma looks after his children.  All the invited kings, duly liked by their subjects, entered the assembly after the king Dasharatha  occupied his seat.
      The kings thus entered, occupied their various seats allotted to them, as per the prescribed rules.  Surrounded by the respected and humble kings as well as the important heads of cities and villages, sitting closely to him, king Dasharatha shone like lord Devendra surrounded by celestials.