सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Rama"







In General

Sri Rama is considered as the seventh incarnation of Mahavisnu and a revered god for Hindus. Rama was born as son of Dasaratha, a very powerful king of the solar dynasty. As a king He was fully devoted to the welfare of society and country. Sri Rama strictly followed all moral codes and does not care about his personal life or that of his family. The life of Rama is the theme of the great epic Ramayana. The story of Rama is told in many other Hindu texts, and also in Buddhist, Jain texts with great respect.

Rama was a philosopher king, an ideal king of Platonic imagination in every respect. Ramarajya is the ideal kingdom for Indians. Gandhiji upheld this ideal during the freedom struggle.

Genealogy. Descended from Visnu thus: Brahma - Marici - Kasyapa-Vivasvan - Vaivasvata Manu-Mahabahu - Prasandhi - Ksupa-Iksvaku - Vikuksi - Sasada- Kakutstha (Puranjaya) - Anenas-Prthulasva-Prasenajit- Yuvanasva-Mandnata-Purukutsa-Trasadasyu-Anaranya- Hryasva-Vasumanas-Sutanva - Traiyyaruna-Satyavrata (Trisanku)-Hariscandra - Rohita va - Harita - Cuncu- Sudeva - Bharuka - Bahuka - Sagara - Asamanjasa- Arhsiiman-Bhagiratha-Srutanabha-Sindhudvlpa-Ayutayus- Rtuparna - Sarvakama - Sudas - Mitrasakha (Kalmasapada) - Asmaka - Mulaka - Khatvariga - Dilipa -Raghu-Aja-Dasaratha-Rama.


Ravana had terrorized the three world and did all kind of cruelties; Bhumidevi assumed the form of a cow and complained to Brahma and other Gods as her noble children find it difficult to lead life on earth. To find an end to the cruelty committed against humanity, Vishnu promised her to born on earth.

Dasaratha was married thrice but none of his wives provided him with a son to continue the legacy of his family. The king expressed his feeling to Sage Lomapada and the sage advised King Dasaratha to conduct Putrakameshti Yajna.

Sage Rishyasringa performed the Putrakamesti Yajna for Dasaratha. In the end of the Yajna a divine person arose from the fire with a vessel full of divine prasada. Rishyasringa received the prasada and handed over this to Dasaratha to be passed over to his wives to have children. The king divided the Prasada into two and gave them to his wives Kausalya and Kaikeyi. The two wives in turn gave haft of what they received to Sumitra, the third wife of Dasaratha. In due course of time Kausalya and Kaikeyi delivered a son each and Sumitra two sons. The son of Kausalya was named Rama, the son of Kaikeyi, Bharata, and sons of Sumitra were named Laksmana and Satrughna. The four sons of Dasharatha grew up in Ayodhya. Though they were equally friendly to one another, intimacy between Rama and Laksmana and also between Bharata and Satrughna came to be thicker.

Once Sage Vishyamitra came to Ayodhya and complained about the Asuras disturbing them and asked Dasaratha to send his sons Rama and Lakshmana with him to fight the Asuras. Dasaratha was ready to go with his army but reluctant to send the children to forest. By the fear of the Visvamitra and as advised by Vasistha Dasaratha sent the boys with Visvamitra. While walking in the forest Visvamitra related many old stories to Rama and Laksmana. They crossed river Sarayu, passed by many asramas of munis and reached thick forest. Here Visvamitra imparted to Rama and Laksmana, who felt too weak on account of hunger and thirst the two mantras Bala and Atibala, which would ward off hunger and thirst. He also taught them the use of certain rare arrows. Mean while a fierce Rakshasi Tataka came across and Rama killed her. Subahu and Maricha were two Rakshasas who use to throw flesh at Yajnavedi. When Rama killed Subahu, Marica ran away in fear and hid himself in the sea. As soon as Rama touched a stone at the advice of Viswamitria a women came out. It was Ahalya, the wife of Gautama Muni who became a stone by a curse. Rama then drove away the other Raksasas and the forest again became a peaceful place.

Hearing about the Svayamvara of Sita, Visvamitra took the princes to the palace of Janaka. The King Janaka was greatly pleased when he learned that the princes were the sons of King Dasaratha of the Solar Dynasty. The next morning, as per the condition of svayamvara Rama lifted up the Siva Bow which Janaka was keeping with his left hand, drew it easily and fastened the string tightly and the bow was broken. Sita jumped with joy like a peacock. A letter was sent to Dasaratha then and there. Friends and relatives arrived. Under the guidance of the presiding priest Satananda, the marriage ceremony was conducted. Rama married Sita, Bharata married Mandavi, Laksmana married Ormila, and Satrughna married Srutakirti. The brides and bridegrooms went to Ayodhya with their parents and relatives.

While the convoy of newly wedded couples was on their way to Ayodhya, Parasurama's threatened Rama for breaking the Siva Bow. All the conciliatory talk by Rama failed to pacify Parasurama, who spoke thus to Rama : "You, impudent fellow ! you insulted me and my preceptor. All right, let me see your power. Take this Vaishnava bow with me, and shoot with it." Sri Rama took hold of the bow and bent it easily and fixing an arrow on it asked Parasurama to point out the target for it. Parasurama never thought anybody can fasten the string of the Vaishnava bow; he feared that if the arrow was sent, it might crush the whole universe, he asked Rama so choose the result of his (Parasurama's) tapas as target for the arrow. Both the bow and the arrow were of Visnu's power. That power as well as his own Vaisnava power, Parasurama transferred to Sri Rama and having thus fulfilled the object of his incarnation Parasurama went to Punyasrama for permanent tapas.

Dasaratha decided to install Sri Rama as crown prince and everybody was happy about that. Mantara, an aged maid of Kaikeyi nurtured a feeling in Kaikeyi that she and her son Bharatha will be neglected if Rama comes to power. So Manthara induced Kaikeyi to ask for the two boons the king promised her long back. Accordingly Kaikeyi asked Dasaratha to make her son Bharata, the crown prince and exile Rama for fourteen years life in Dandaka forest. The king fainted when he heard the demand. Rama came forward to honor the word Dasharatha had given to Kaikeyi and left the palace for forest along with Lakshmana and Sita. Unable to control his feeling, Dasaratha died. When Bharatha returned to Ayodhya immediately after the demise of Dasaratha, he felt sorry for his mother’s decision. Bharatha decline to become king and scolded his mother for doing the notorious act.

Bharatha then went to forest along with Kausalya, Sumitra, Vasistha and other noble persons to offer Rama the kingdom and bring him back. But Rama refused as it will be against Dharma and asked Bharatha to take the rein of the country. Bharatha was also not in a mood to accept this request. At last Bharata yielded to Rama's injunction and returned to Ayodhya with the latter's sandals. But he did not entered the palace; instead he built an asrama at Nandigrama and worshipping Rama's sandals and ruled the country on behalf of Rama.

Rama with his wife and brother spend their time in many places like Citrakuta, Kumuda forest, Mrkandu forest and reached the Dandaka forest. On the southern bank of river Godhavari at a beautiful place called Pancavati they built a Parnashala and spend their life as ascetics. One day, Surpanaka, the sister of Ravana visited Rama and Lakshmana and expressed her desire to marry them. When both of them refused she becomes angry and attacked Sita, whom she thought is the stumbling block before her in her attempt to lure the brothers. Lakshmana defaced Surpanaka and the disgraced women complained to Khara and when he got killed by Rama she went straight to Ravana and complained and told him of the beautiful women Sita in the company of ascetics.

One day, Sita spotted a deer playing near the asrama. She desired to have the deer and told this to Sri Rama; after asking his brother to take care of Sita, Rama followed the deer, which enticed him to a great distance in the forest. At last, finding it difficult to catch the deer alive, Rama shot an arrow at it. Hit by the arrow the deer transformed itself into a gigantic Raksasa and fell down dead crying. "Oh ! Sita Oh ! Laksmana, Come and save me”. The Raksasa, who thus fell a prey to Rama's arrow, was really Marlca, uncle of Ravana. Marica had gone in the form of a deer to Rama's asrama at the instance of his nephew to cheat Rama. Sita heard the false cry of Marica and asked Laksmana to hurry up to the spot for Rama's protection. Laksmana at first did not want to leave Sita there alone and go after Rama. But, when she used hard and cruel words against him Laksmana quitted the ashrama and went into the forest. When Rama and Laksmana were thus absent at the ashrama Ravana disguised as an old Sanyasin came for alms at the courtyard. Sita, who came out to offer alms was forcibly carried away by Ravana in his puspaka aerial chariot.

When Rama and lakshmana returned Sita was not there. The two searched everywhere but could not find Sita. While on search they met Jatayu, the giant bird which got injured when resisted Ravana carrying Sita flying away in Pushpaka Vimana. Jatayu told Rama about the direction at which Ravana flew with Sita.

Rama and Laksmana met Sabari , a devout women and then bathed in the Pampa river and thus refreshed they went to the Mount Rsyamuka where they met dethroned Vanara king Sugriva and his minister Hanuman. Rama told Sugriva about his missing wife and Sugriva told Rama about how he was misunderstood by his brother Bali and expelled him from Kiskindha and lost his wife to his brother. As both wanted a support to solve their problem they entered into an alliance. Rama promised to kill Bali and restore his kingdom and his wife to Sugriva and Sugriva undertaking to search for and find out Sita for Rama.

The very next day Sugriva took Rama to Kiskindha, and the former challenged Bali for a combat. Rama, from a distance, viewed the fierce fight between the brothers, shot an arrow at Bali and killed him. Sri Rama crowned Sugriva as King and install Angada as crown prince. Tara one again became the wife of Sugreva. Sugreva sent his men to all four directions in search of Sita. At Mahendragiri Mountain the group lead by Angada and Hanuman met a huge bird called Sampati, brother of Jatayu and from him they came to know that Ravana had abducted Sita and kept captive in Lanka, an island in the sea.

Hanuman crossed the ocean, met Sita in Lanka, sitting in Asoka vana in tears. Hanuman presented to Sitadevi a signet ring given to him by Rama. Sita recognized the signet ring and got convinced that Hanuman is a messenger sent by Rama. To have evidence Hanuman had met Sita, she gave him an ornament (choodamani) she worn on the head. Then, Hanuman destroyed the garden, killed Akshayakumara, a son of Ravana who opposed him. The Rakshasa soldiers caught hold of Hanuman and brought him before Ravana. From there he escaped, collected all information about the fort and burnt a part of the fort. Taking leave once again of Sita, Hanuman crossed the sea and reached Mahendragiri.

The Vanara Army camped on the shores of the south sea without knowing how to cross the Sea. For the success of his mission Rama installed a Sivalinga and prayed to Lord Siva. Rama thought of many option finally decided to build a bridge to Lanka at the advice of Lord Varuna.

The construction of the bund was begun under the leadership of Nala and Nila. Meanwhile Vibhishana, brother of Ravana advised Ravana to free Sitadevi; Ravana become very angry and on fearing death Vibhishana left Lanka and joined with Sri Rama. In few days the bridge was ready and Vanara Army crossed the sea.

Rama first sent emmissery to Ravana to avoid War. Ravana was not ready to return Sita and the war began. Many noted Rakshsas fighters like Mahabahu, Mahaparsva, Mahodara, Mahakaya etc were killed on the first day of war. On the following days great destruction is done on Ravana’s Army. Laksmana killed Atikaya with Brahmastra. Meghanada , the son of Ravana and an expert in use of magic in war confused Vanara Army and subsequently sent Nagastra. Lakshmana, Sugreeva and most of the Vanaras fell unconscious because of that. Rama meditated for a while and from nowhere Garuda has come and removed the effect of Nagastra. In the fighting that followed many prominent Raksasa leaders were killed. Hanuman killed Kumbhakarna, the brother of Ravana.

On the fight on the following day, Meghanada took the cover of clouds and sent Brahmastra against Lakshmana. Lakshmana and all of the Vanara army were then either dead or hit very badly. Rama, Vibhishana, Jambavan, Hanuman were also become weak but not affected much. At this critical moment Jambavan advised Hanuman to bring Mrtasanjivini (a herbal medicine which will put life back into the dead)from Himalaya.

Accordingly, Hanuman started for the Himalayas. Meanwhile Indrajit had told Ravana about his victory, while Rakshasa are celebrating, Hanuman returned with the hill having all the herbal medicine. The smell of the herbs soon spread in the air; all the dead and injured came back to life. When every Vanaras and Lakshmana was brought back to life Hanuman went back with the hill and placed it on its former place.

In the following days of war Lakshmana killed Indrajith. Ravana then came out for the final battle. The fight between Rama and Ravana continued for many days. At last Rama shot the Mahendra arrow against Ravana. The arrow, which represented in itself the effulgence of Rudra, the hardness of diamonds, the intensity of fire and Visnu's glow cut off the ten heads of Ravana. His physical body fell on earth.

Rama then sent Hanuman to bring Sitadevi. When Sita arrived before Rama she felt Rama is suspicious of her for her long stay in the palace of Ravana. Sitadevi then demanded to lit fire to prove her pativrithya (chastity). Rama agreed and she entered the fire and came out unharmed. Rama welcomed Sita back and the next day they left for Ayodhya in the Puspaka Vimana. Vibhisana, Sugriva, Hanuman and others followed them. Before leaving Lanka Vibhishna was coroneted as king of Rakshsarajya.

Bharata came back from Nandigrama. In the presence of all relations and others concerned the coronation of Rama as king took place. Bharata was appointed as crown Prince, Laksmana Commander-in-chief of armies and Satrughna, Finance minister. Kasala kingdom then become the most prosperous and powerful in Bharatvarsha.

Under Rama's rule the country pregressed with prosperity and peace prevailed. Everybody obeyed law and nobody had to fear anything. Sri Rama used to go about the country in disguise to enquire about the welfare of his subjects. On a particular day he happened to be standing outside the house of a washer man. The washer man scolded his wife, who had gone out of the house the previous night for some or other reason. He suspected that she had gone to meet her paramour. He warned his wife that he was not prepared to act like Rama, who had accepted Sita, though she had lived with another person. Sri Rama, who heard the above talk, returned to his palace very sad. After thinking about for a long time he decided that it was his duty to abandon Sita in the interests of his subjects. Then Sita was in the seventh month of her pregnancy.

In guise of visiting the Muni’s ashrama, Rama sent Sita to forest with Lakshmana. On the way Sita came to know that Rama asked Lakshmana to abandon her in forest for the rumors he heard in the city. Sita at once stopped the chariot, came out and told Lakshmana to go back. Lakshma in tears prostrated before Sitadevi and left for Ayodhya.

After abandoning Sita in the forests Rama led a sad life for many years. He made a statue of Sita to get some relief. Mean while the country becomes famous and prosperous. Rama decided to perform an Asvamedha yajna. Then the yajnic horse, accompanied by the army, was let loose to travel all over the universe. Accompanied by cavalry, the elephant division, infantry and the chariot-force the horse went about the various kingdoms. The army, on its way back to Ayodhya with presents collected from many kingdoms, encamped for rest near Valmiki's asrama. Kusa and Lava playing in the field tied the yajnic horse, which was strolling there unfettered. Consequent upon this action of Kusa and Lava a fight broke out between them and the king's army in which the latter got defeated. Even the arrows of Laksmana failed to have any effect on the boys. The inmates of Ashrama finding the terrible fight then came out and released the horse.

Asvamedhayajna performed at Ayodhya by Sri Rama was attended by the eminent sages and scholers. Valmiki thought it will be the best opportunity to present his work and sent Lava and Kusa to sing Ramayana before the learned audience. The Kavya got instant popularity. When yajna is over Rama visited Valmiki ashrama. There he found Sita and felt sorry for abandoning her. When invited to become his partner in life once again, Sita refused, cried aloud and called her mother Bhumidevi for help. At once earth cracked before her and she submerged in Earth.

Bad omens began to appear in Ayodhya in increasing measure. One day a divine Rsi whom the people of Ayodhya had not seen till then, came to Rama's palace. He told Rama that he had to impart certain secrets to the latter and after making Rama vow that no one would enter the room while they were conversing and that if any one did come when they were talking, he should either be killed or banished for ever; he began to talk with Rama in a secluded spot. Rama posted Laksmana at the entrance with the strict injunctions that nobody should come into their presence. Within a short time great sages like Sanaka came there and told Laksmana that they wanted to see Rama. They were not prepared to wait even for a short time as requested by Laksmana, but threatened ruin to the royal family. Laksmana then, was prepared to suffer the consequence, and went to Rama and told him about the arrival of Sanaka and others. Rama, in keeping with his vow, banished Laksmana immediately. But, when Rama came out and looked for Sanaka and others no one was to be found anywhere there. When he returned to the inner apartment the Rsi also was not to be seen. In fact they were Kala and his emissaries.

Rama, who had already been suffering mental agony on account of Sita's departure, further become desperate on account of Laksmana 's banishment. The mission of Vishnu’s avatara is over, peace prevailed on earth and Rama ended his life by jumphing into river.

Read from story section:

Story of Tulasi and Shaligram

The story of Dasaratha being cursed to suffer from separation of children in his last

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