Archive for March 21, 2010

The Prince of Ayodhya

In the many aeons of human history, there isn’t yet another tale that’s so intensely captivating, enthralling in its magnificence and mesmerizing in moulding and sublimating the human character, as the tale of Rama . Through the many contours of its narration, every conceivable human emotion, from awe to ridicule, from love to despair, from pride to piety, are played out on its majestic canvas. And the colossal persona of Rama distils the epitome of idealism that men through all ages readily reckoned to.   When the vision is blurred by the cataract of attachment, when reason flounders over the grip of caprice, and when the individual is caught in the merciless swirl on the tumultuous sea of life, the story of Rama is the beacon of light, illuminating the path and  guiding the route to the safe shores of righteousness.  The Rama Katha, in the current context, is the “panacea for the removal of the ills”, as a great scholar puts it, caused by and of the “morbid itch for sensual pleasure, the mounting irreverence towards parents, teachers, elders …the disastrous frivolity and flippancy in social, marital and familial relationships and the demonic reliance on violence as a means of achieving immoral ends.”

Chew the cane in any of its parts and the sweetness oozes out uniformly throughout. As the sweetness of the cane is independent of many of its angularities, so also is the nectarine message of Rama and his compassion that flows ceaselessly throughout the many twists and turns of the epic.  When Dasaratha  inconsolably lament over the prospect of exiling his darling to a torturous life of the wilderness, the act of Rama enthusiastically adorning the role of a renunciant ,shunning the regal coronation,  is the exemplary illustration of honouring the vows of a hapless father , even a fraction of its application today would  make one immortal.

As Rama was an ideal son, so was he a consummate brother to his siblings as many of the instances in the epic demonstrate. When Baratha trekked to the forest repenting his cursed fate for having seemingly usurped the throne that was rightfully his, Rama assures him of his incorruptible innocence and coaxing him to discharge his sovereign duty without any remorse. Counselling the young one on the many intricacies of governance, his brotherly affection even succumbs to the plea of offering his sandals as his icon in the royal Durbar. Such is the splendour of their unadulterated love, untinged by even an iota of sibling rivalry that stands out beyond compare.

And Rama as a friend is indeed a celebration to that very idea of comradeship where words of assurances are to be fulfilled even at the altar of one’s ultimate sacrifice. Even when many counselled him against taking Vibhishana, the brother of his arch foe, on his fold, Rama, true to his magnanimity, welcomed him with stretched arms, assuring him of the kingdom of his brother. The vanquishing of Ravana was as much towards the fulfilment of this promise as it was the accomplishment of his avataric mission. The friendship of this calibre is etched  in golden letters that ordinary beings can only marvel.

In the battlefield, Rama was the ultimate warrior, honouring every rule of a fair combat and never transgressing the limits of warfare.  The need to annihilate the opposing force never stood in his way to pay tribute to the fallen heroes of the enemy camp and treat them with respect, even in their death. He is the supreme embodiment of righteousness, of Dharma, on which the entire edifice of a civilization rests. As a pupil, as a husband, as a father, as an emperor,…..  Rama stands supreme in his countless facets.

Ho Rama, the valiant son of Kaushalya, the treasure-chest of auspiciousness, I bow to thee as the foundation for magnificent temple is laid today .



March 21, 2010 at 11:16 am 3 comments

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