The basic theme and explanations under this post are excerpts from a talk by Swami Swaroopanandaji from Chinmaya Mission.
The Lord himself has said that he will appear whenever evil starts ruling the good. It was for such a reason that Lord took Ramavatar. In Ramayana, we can see that the name of every character has a meaning and signifies something. Ramayana teaches us Dharma – Son’s, Husband’s, Wife’s, Brother’s, Friend’s Dharma and many more. What we lack today is Dharma. One expects Dharma from others but is not ready to do Dharma. And little bit on contemplation on Ramayana will make us realise that Ramayana is INSIDE us.
As we all know, the story goes like this…
Lord Rama (Ram – Supreme bliss) was born in Ayodhya (A + yudh = Where there is no war). For any place to be peaceful, the ruler should be great. यथा राजा तथा प्रजा. If the ruler is noble, the citizens will be noble. King Dasharatha, the father of Lord Rama, was a very knowledgeable person. Because of him, Ayodhya was always at peace. He had three wives – Kaushalya, Sumitra & Kaikeyi and all of them lived together in peace. In today’s world, one husband and one wife find it difficult to live in peace together, let alone the thought of a second wife. So we can imagine how great and able Dasharatha must have been.
Dasharatha (दश रथ) – one who has mastery or control over 10 chariots or horses. Ten horses represent our 5 sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue & skin) + 5 organs of actions (hands, legs, speech, gential organs & anus). Dasharatha was a person who had total control over his thoughts and actions.
Kaushalya – one who thinks about the कुशल (well being) of everybody
(When a person is like Dasharatha and has an attitue like Kaushalya, only to such a person’s self will the Lord Ram take birth)
So beautifully Valmikiji and Tulsidasji have put forward the ideas in the form of a story.
When one has total control over one’s own actions, there will not be any conflicts in our mind (Ayodhya) and only then can Dasharatha live in harmony and peace with his wives (representing three thoughts).
Sumitra (सु मित्र) – attitude of best friend.
Kaikeyi – Kaikeyi was a person who had passion and compassion. She was not at all a wicked lady (even though we may think so). If she was wicked, how can she have been such a great king’s favourite wife? Even though she was an embodiment of passion and compassion, she was deluded in the talks of Mandhara. This shows us that, even a great person can think in a wrong way if he is in bad company. And that is the reason why significance of सत्संग is glorified everywhere in our scriptures.
Another example of a fall was Dasharatha. Even though he was such a great & capable person, everybody’s life took a turn because of his ‘open ended promise’ given to Kaikeyi when he was totally excited with the victory of a war.
Moral: Never make a promise when you are excited. Never take a decision when you are agitated. And never make an open ended promise to anyone.
THE FOUR BROTHERS
Ram – signifies The Supreme bliss
Laxman – The Protector who does selfless service without expecting anything in return
Bharat – One who takes care of the nourishment of all
Shatrughna – The silent one…who destroys the greatest enemy – Our Own Ego.
Where Ram comes, the other three brothers automatically follow Him.