The scheme of Rama’s birth and his life’s worth

By Bal Ram Singh, PhD

 

नौमी तिथि मधु मास पुनीता। सुकल पच्छ अभिजित हरिप्रीता॥
मध्यदिवस अति सीत न घामा। पावन काल लोक बिश्रामा॥

Naumi tithi madhu maas punita, sukal pacch Abhijit haripreeta
Madhyadivas ati seet n ghama, pawan kaal lok vishrama

When, how, and why Ram was born is a mystery for any. There are stories which are read, understood, and retold many times from the perspective of time and space in addition to the perspectives of telling the story.

The story of Ram janma is originally being told to Devi Parvati by Bhagavan Shiva to quench her curiosity about Bhagvan Ram. But this story of Shiva actually telling this story is actually narrated by Kakbhushundi to Garuda to not just tell the story but to put down his ego of being a superior bird and carrier of Bhagavan Vishnu.

In the story, it is also narrated that the primordial human of this manvantara, the Vaivasvat Manu performed tapasya along with his queen Satarupa to gain moksha after taking Sanyas by relinquishing his kingdom to his son Ikshvaaku, the originator of the solar dynasty or the Suryavansh. As a result of his tapasya Bhagvan Vishnu appeared to ask for Manu’s wishes. The king became so enamored by the sight of Bhagavan Vishnu that he forgot his original idea of moksha and wanted to have a son like Bhagvan Vishnu. He received boon to fulfill his desire with the assurance that over a time he would be born as Dasharath in the Ikshvaaku vansh to whom Bhagvan Vishnu would be born as Ram.

Then there is the story of Narada giving Bhagvan Vishnu a curse that the latter will also face longing for his wife, as was Narada enamored with the idea of marrying the princes, whose plan lines indicated that she would marry the lord of the Triloka. Narada got attached to the concept of being the lord of Triloka by marrying her, but he ended up with monkey face thanks to Lord Vishnu who wanted to save him from the misery of his desire. Realizing the fallacy of his thoughts, he eventually appreciated Lord Vishnu’s intervention and generously gave a boon that Lord Vishnu would be helped in his travails by monkey faced (more likely masked) creatures.

There is a story of the courtiers Jai and Vijay in Vaikunthdham, the abode of Bhagwan Vishnu, who had prevented the Kumaras, Sanak Sanandan, Sanatana, and Sanatkumara, the first ever Manasputras of Brahma, who are lifelong brahmacharis. The Kumaras cursed them to fall from the Vaikuntha Loka, and only could be salvaged if Lord Vishnu himself ends their life on earth.

And, finally, there is a story of the requests of the devas and Mother Earth to Bhagwan Vishnu incarnate to end the rampage the demonic forces caused on earth that was resulting in innumerable miseries for humans.

These are just stories, yet carry powerful messages and lessons for all. These different perspectives of various times, places, and people on one happening, that is the birth of Ram.

Thus, the birth of Ram is not coincidental, but a well schemed out event for a highly orchestrated life. All full of messages for humans to live a meaningful life.

One obvious example of his ‘schemey’ life is a sudden plan for his coronation as Yuvraj, with literally overnight planning. As soon as it got announced for his coronation, it wasn’t just Praja of Ayodhya who got ecstatic with the news, but also devas who got into overdrive in their plans to prevent it. They immediately mounted their transport vehicles to Brahmaloka, and after being dismissed by Lord Brahma, approached and convinced mother Saraswati to use Manthara’s crooked scheming mind to change the entire scenario, using Kaikeyi as a vehicle.

Rest is history as they say.

But it is worth examining what bothered devas with Ram’s coronation. They cited the purpose of Vishnu avatar as Ram was to get rid of rakshasas like Ravan, and saw Ram becoming a Yuvraj, a major hurdle in meeting this expectation. Going by current culture in the world of power, most people like to have a powerful position to carry out their tasks or goals.

There are some lessons for the contemporary system where the only way to make any difference in life is to hold a powerful position of a President, Prime Minister, members of legislation, CEO, Professor, Deans, Chancellor, etc., or be wealthy. But the devas somehow didn’t think of it that way.

And, those devas included Fire, Water, Air, etc., and they wanted to prevent Ram from becoming a Yuvaraj, before accomplishing the mission of his life, which was to finish off Rakshas Raj Ravan.

And, one such lesson is that if you go after the power, you become so engrossed in power, that you end up doing only things that keep you in power. The whole sense of righteousness or Dharma is lost, resulting in a life actually not worth living!

 

Balram Singh is a Professor and the President of the Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, researching Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedic education, and Vedic social and political traditions. He is also an adjunct faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.

Images courtesy of Navi and Image provided

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