Rama also called as Srirama and Sriramachandra Moorthy, is an avatar of Lord Vishnu, and he is widely worshipped throughout the world by the Hindus. Lord Rama though he is considered as a supreme Lord, but didn’t utilise his powers unnecessarily during the period of his avatar. He is praised for his good qualities, and his significance is increasing day by day, and it would never diminish, since his humble servant Lord Hanuman is continuously chanting the Rama Mantra even still today at the Holy Mountain Kailash.
Rama was born during the Treta Yuga to Ma Kaushalya and King Dasharatha in Ayodhya, and his brothers were Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. He was born on the NAVAMI day, hence every year during March – April, his birthday would be grandly celebrated by his devotees as “RAMA NAVAMI”, and during that auspicious day, butter milk, and jaggery water would be distributed to the devotees in the temples of Lord Vishnu and Rama.
During his childhood, he performed playful activities similar to Lord Krishna. Playfully he used to shot sand balls using his bow to his servants, and used to laugh at them. He has done so, in order to cause happiness to others, and he didn’t injure anybody either through physically or verbally. Once she saw the attendant Manthara, who was a hunch back. Lord Rama wanted to remove the bent from her body, and hence he shot sand balls on her back through his bow. Though he had done it in a good sense, but Manthara had mistaken about the acts of Rama, and she thought that the child Rama had insulted her, and hence from that day onwards, she kept vengeance on the divine child, and due to that, she made tricks and sent Rama to the forest.
Lord Rama was very studious at his young age, he used to learn all the Vedic subjects from the sages and the Vedic pundits, and he also grasped all the subjects quickly. He went along with Rishi Viswamitra to the forest and killed Demons and he was appreciated by Rishi Vishwamitra and others for his excellent bravery and for his good skills in archery.
MARRIAGE AND EXILE
After Rama fulfilled the wishes of Rishi Vishwamitra, he was taken by Viswamitra to the Vidheka Kingdom, which was ruled by the pious king Janaka. As per the instructions of Viswamitra, Rama had broken the Shiva Danussu, the Divine bow, and he had got married with Sita. And during the time of marriage ceremony, his brothers were also married with the relatives of Sita, and they were blessed by the sages, Kings and by the divine gods and goddesses.
When the great princes were happily living in the Kingdom of Ayodhya, Kaikeyi, who was the mother of Bharata and the second wife of King Dasharatha, as per the cunning act of her attendant Manthara, had asked two boons to her husband Dasharata, which he was already granted the boons to her, long time back. The first boon is to make her son Bharata as the next ruler of Ayodhya, and the second boon is to send Lord Rama to the forest. On hearing that, Dasharata was very much upset, and due to the evil act of Kaikeyi, somehow he accepted her proposal and sent his son Lord Rama to the forest, and Sita and Lakshmana also joined with him, and all the three went to the forest. Unable to bear the separation of his son, after some time, Dasharatha was collapsed and died. Bharata, met Rama and others in the forest, he carried the holy slippers of Lord Rama on his head, and kept those things in the throne, and began to rule the Ayodhya Kingdom during the exile term of Lord Rama.
Rama stays at Chitrakuta, for some time, which was situated on the banks of river Mandakini, and he took shelter in the Ashram of the holy sages. During that time, Lord Rama met his staunch devotee Shabari, tasted the fruits affectionately offered by her and also gave salvation to her. After some years, Rama visited Panchavati, which is situated on the banks of the Holy River Godavari. There Ravana’s sister Shurpanakha saw Rama, and fell in love with him. But Rama rejected her proposal citing the reason that he was already got married with Ma Sita. Due to that, Shurpanakha decided to kill Sita. Lakshmana, on seeing the scene,chopped off the nose and ears of Shurpanakha. And very soon the news reached the ears of king Ravana, and Ravana then sent Maricha, his uncle, and as per his instructions, Maricha had transformed himself into a golden deer, went to Panchavati Ashram, stood before Ma Sita, and after some time it ran out from that place and disappeared. Since the golden deer looked very beautiful, Sita wants to keep it as a pet animal for her, and hence he sent Lord Rama to catch it. After some time, she sent Lakshmana also to trace out the deer as well as to find about the whereabouts of Lord Rama.
KIDNAP OF MA SITA
During that time, Ravana transformed himself as a hermit, and stood before Ma Sita in the pretext of asking for alms. When Sita tried to give some fruits to him, Ravana took his original form, and kidnapped Ma Sita. On his way to Lanka, the great Bird Jatayu fought bravely with Ravana, but finally it was killed by Ravana.
After some time, Rama returned to his Ashram, and there he found his consort Sita was missing. By that time, Lakshmana also joined with him and both of them went inside the forest in search for Ma Sita. After walking a long distance, they saw the pathetic condition of Jatayu which was lying in a pool of blood. Jatayu explained about the kidnap incidents to Rama and it died. Rama buried Jatayu in his own hands, and also gave salvation to the holy bird.
RAMA’S JOURNEY TO KISHKINDHA AND TRACING OF MA SITA BY LORD HANUMAN IN LANKA
After a while, both of them met Hanuman and Sugriva in the Kishkinda Kingdom, and they were become friends. As per the wish of Sugriva, Rama killed Vali with a single arrow, and made Surgriva as the king of Kishkinda Kingdom. As per the promise given to Rama, Sugriva sent Lord Hanuman and other Vanaras in search for Ma Sita. Lord Hanuman came to knew about the whereabouts of Ma Sita from Jatayu’s brother Sambati, and with the blessings of Jambavan, he travelled to Lanka, met Ma Sita, destroyed half of the Lanka Kingdom, and he also met Ravana and asked him to release Ma Sita from the Lanka. But Ravana didn’t hear his words, and he has got angry with Hanuman and insulted him with his cruel words.
HANUMAN’S RETURN TO KISHKINDHA, WAR BETWEEN RAMA AND RAVANA, AND RAMA’S RETURN TO AYODHYA WITH MA SITA AFTER KILLING RAVANA
Hanuman returned to Kishkinda, and conveyed the good message about the safety of Ma Sita. Lord Rama was very much delighted on hearing the good news, and he embraced Lord Hanuman with full of joyful tears on his eyes. Later they built a bridge in order to travel to Lanka, and finally Ravana was killed in the hands of Lord Rama with the help of Ravana’s brother Vibhishana, Sugriva and other Vanaras. Rama made Vibhishana as the king of Lanka, and blessed him.
Ma Sita returned to Ayodhya along with Rama, after successfully winning in the chastity test conducted by Rama, and Rama had become the king of Ayodhya, with the blessings of his Kula Guru Vasishta,the holy deities, and other sages, and his brothers were given their full cooperation to Rama, and they acted as his humble servants.
MA SITA’S STAY AT THE VALMIKI’S ASHRAM
While everyone was peacefully living in the Ayodhya kingdom, once after hearing about the rumour news doubting about the chastity of Ma Sita by some Ayodhya people, Lord Rama sent Ma Sita to the forest. There Ma Sita took shelter under Rishi Valmiki’s Ashram. She was properly taken care by the great Rishi by considering her as his own daughter, and after some months, Ma Sita delivered two beautiful twin sons, Lava and Kusha.
DISAPPEARANCE OF MA SITA IN THE EARTH, RAMA’S SUCCESSFUL GOLDEN RULE AND THE END OF THE RAMA AVATAR
When Lord Rama again tried to test the chastity of Ma Sita, the earth mother had become very angry with Rama, and she had taken Sita to her abode.Then Lava and Kusha began to grow under the custody of their father Lord Rama. Unable to bear the separation of his loving consort Sita, with great grief, Lord Rama ruled the Ayodhya kingdom for about 11,000 years, and after the end of his avatar, it is believed that he had taken the people of Ayodhya along with him to the Vaikunta.
Lord Hanuman stayed back in earth itself, and began to chant the Rama Mantra for millions and millions of years, and right now, he is believed to live at a cave in the Holy Mountain Himalayas, and he is still meditating the Rama Mantra with great devotion, perfection and dedication.
SIGNIFICANCE OF SRI RAMA CHARITRA
Whoever read the life history of Lord Rama, also known as Sri Rama Charitra, with sincere devotion, would be blessed by Lord Rama and Hanuman, and they would attain all sorts of prosperity in their lives.