Lord Rama, also known as Ramachandra is considered the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu. Lord Rama is the Purna Avatar of Vishnu (Complete Avatar) – Lord Rama and Lord Krishna both are Purna avatars as the life of both on the earth was complete from childhood to old age.
Popularly known as the Hero of Epic Ramayana, Lord Rama was born as a prince of Ayodhya to the father, King Dasharatha, and the mother Queen Kausalya. King Dasharatha was a Solar Dynasty king of Ayodhya, a city on the bank of river Sarayu.
King Dasharatha is said to be the descendant of the Ikshvaku dynasty founded by the legendary king Ikshvaku.
The appearance of Lord Rama
Lord Rama is often depicted holding a bow and arrow, which symbolizes his strength, courage, and ability to fight against evil forces. The crown or turban he wears represents his royal lineage and status as a prince and later, a king. The lotus flower on which Lord Rama is sometimes depicted sitting or standing represents purity, enlightenment, and spiritual awakening.
The conch shell he sometimes holds symbolizes his power and authority as a divine being, as well as the primordial sound of creation and the call to action. The bow-shaped tilaka on his forehead is a reference to his proficiency in archery, and his blue skin represents his divine nature and his association with Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe.
Why ‘Shri Rama’?
In Sanatan tradition, the title “Shri” is used as a mark of respect and reverence for divine beings or individuals who are considered to be embodiments of virtues and goodness. The word “Shri” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Shree,” which means wealth, prosperity, and beauty. It is believed that prefixing “Shri” with a name or title enhances the positive qualities and attributes associated with that person or entity.
Shri Rama, who is considered to be the embodiment of righteousness, compassion, and devotion, is often referred to as “Shri Rama” as a mark of respect and devotion. The use of the title “Shri” acknowledges the divine qualities of Lord Rama and emphasizes the reverence and devotion that Hindus have towards him. It is also believed that by chanting the name “Shri Rama,” one can attain spiritual benefits and blessings.
Shri Rama in Ramayana
Birth of Shri Rama
On the ninth day of Chaitra (Lunar Month), Lord Rama was born as the first child of King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya. Bala Kanda of Ramayana talks about the birth of Lord Rama and his youth age. The day is of utmost celebration among Hindus as ‘Rama Navami‘.
The court advisor urged King Dasharatha to offer an Ashwamedha yajna (imperial horse sacrifice). Rishi Rishyashringa, as the chief priest of this great sacrifice, includes an especially powerful offering rite that can cause the begetting of sons.
When the offerings had been placed in the fire, the remnants were divided between the kings’ wives, who ate them. So, after the Ashwamedha yagna was concluded, the three wives of King Dasharatha gave birth to four sons: Rama by Kausalya (in whom Vishnu had incarnated himself), Bharata by Kaikeyi, Lakshmana, and Shatrughan by Sumitra.
Of these four princes Śrī Rāma, the eldest was his father’s favorite, and from his youth, Lakshmana was deeply devoted to his elder brother.
This was the same time when Lanka King, Ravana was troubled in the Swarga Loka, Kingdom of Gods. As the role of preserver, Lord Vishnu incarnated as the son of Dasharata to destroy Ravana.
Shri Rama and His Marriage
When Lord Rama and his brothers had grown to manhood, the great sage Vishvamitra came to the court of Dasharatha, complaining that asuras were disrupting the worship at his hermitage with their persistent attacks.
At his request, Rama and Lakshmana, went forth with him to slay the asuras, for which they were rewarded with magical weapons. Vishvamitra later accompanied the princes to the court of King Janaka of Videha.
King Janaka possessed a wonderful bow named Pinaka, popularly known as “Shiva Dhanus”. He had announced that he would give his daughter Sita in marriage only to the man who could draw the bow.
Prince Rama was the only one out of many princes from different kingdoms who was able to draw the bow, in fact, he broke it. On the fifth day of the Shukla paksha in the Margashirasha month (November – December) princess of Janakpurdham, Sita married the prince of Ayodhya Ram Chandra. This day is still celebrated as Vivaha Panchami. The magical word ‘Sita Ramam’ is of great significance in the Sanatan.
Exile – Vanvas of Shri Rama
Queen Kaikeyi once was promised by King Dasaratha to grant her any two wishes, which she used when King was about to hand over the kingdom to his elder son, Prince Rama. At the suggestion of her mistress Manthara, Kaikeyi requested King Dasharatha to send Rama to 14 years of Vanavasa (Exile to the forest) and place Bharata on the Royal Throne of Ayodhya.
Due to the promise King Dasharatha gave earlier to Queen Kaikeyi, he asks his dear son Lord Rama for the fourteen years of Vanavas. The king was tortured by grief and regret, uncertain of what to do, but when Rama learned of the matter, he unhesitatingly accepted his banishment, so that his father should not be guilty of breaking his word.
In vain his mother Queen Kausalya and his brother Lakshmana tried to dissuade him, but he insisted that it is his highest duty (dharma) to help his father to keep his word. He informed his wife of his decision, asking her to be kind to Bharata.
Lord Rama also asked Goddess Sita to live piously and chastely in Dasharatha’s court and to serve his father and his mothers obediently. But Sita answered him in an eloquent speech on the duties of a woman, declaring that as a devoted wife (Pati-vrata) nothing could prevent her from following him into exile in the wilderness.
Just as Savitri once followed her husband Satyavan even to the world of the dead to reclaim him from Yamaraj, king of the underworld, so, she says, will she follow him wherever he must go? Nor can the faithful Lakshmana be dissuaded from joining his brother in exile. And so, stripped of all the trappings of royalty, clothed only in garments of bark, the three went off alone into the wilderness while all of Ayodhya mourned.
Shri Rama Meets Hanuman
In Kishkinda Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the first meeting of Hanuman and Rama is described. While searching for Sita in the forests of Rushyamukha Parvat near river Pampa, Two brothers encounter Hanuman disguised as a sannyasi at the request of Sugriva.
“You look like Rajarshis and Taapasis but are armed with swords, bows, and arrows. Animals in this jungle are frightened in your presence. Your eyes look like petals of lotus and you have a broad chest. You seem to be unbeatable in a fight and look like the savior of the lives of many. But you seem to be gods disguised as humans. These contradictory observations wonder me a lot.”
He continued “I am Hanuman, Minister of Sugriva. He was banished by Vaali, the King of Kishkinda and elder brother of Sugriva. Sugriva is a righteous person and is seeking your friendship. I want to hear a reply from you.” On seeing Rama, Hanuman gave up his Sanyaas form and took up his original form.
Following the suggestion of Kabandha and Hanuman, Rama ally with Sugriva and help him become the King by killing his brother Vali. Sugriva is consecrated as king, and Angada, the son of Vali, as heir to the throne.
Hanuman, the son of Vayu, was the wisest counselor and minister of Sugriva. Sugriva commissions him to find Sita. Accompanied by a host of monkeys under the leadership of Angada, the resourceful Hanuman sets out toward the south of Lanka.
Shri Rama’s battle with Ravana
Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, abducted Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, while she was in exile with Rama and his brother Lakshmana. Ravana, who was infatuated with Sita’s beauty, disguised himself as a sage and tricked Sita into stepping out of the protective circle drawn by Lakshmana. Ravana then kidnaps Sita and took her to his palace in Lanka.
When Rama and Lakshmana returned from their search for a magical deer, they found Sita missing and discovered the trail left by Ravana. Rama, with the help of Hanuman and the monkey army, set out to rescue Sita and defeat Ravana.
The journey to Lanka was fraught with obstacles and challenges. Rama and his army had to cross the sea, which was accomplished with the help of the monkey king Sugriva and his army of monkeys. Upon reaching Lanka, Rama faced fierce battles with Ravana’s demon army, which was led by his powerful brother Kumbhakarna.
Rama’s army was also aided by the divine weapons given to him by the gods, including the powerful Brahmastra. In the final battle, Rama faced Ravana one-on-one and fired the Brahmastra, which severely injured Ravana. However, Ravana refused to admit defeat and continued to fight. Rama then shot another arrow that struck Ravana’s navel, which was his only vulnerable spot. Ravana fell to the ground and died, and Sita was rescued.
The victory of Rama over Ravana is celebrated as Vijayadashami or Dussehra, which marks the triumph of good over evil. The Ramayana continues to be an important part of the Sanatan, teaching valuable lessons of righteousness, devotion, and the power of faith.
Ram Rajya according to many scholars meant that the state (Rajya) was the sole legitimate agency wielding power (force), which imposes limits upon its exercise of power, either for the greater happiness of the people or to evade a greater tyranny that could be caused by moral outrage or self-righteousness.
Ram Rajya, where peace, prosperity, and tranquility reigned, for there was no one to challenge the seat of Ayodhya, literally the land without wars. Incidentally in Hindi, “Ayodhya” means “a place where there is no war.” Hence “Ram Rajya” is described as an ideal society led by the ideal king.
It is believed that there were no dacoits during his regime. All led a virtuous life. Nobody spoke of any untruth. Anybody could place a bag of gold or jewels even on the main street. No one would touch it even.
Who is Shri Rama for Sanatan?
Sanatan Dharma views the war between Rama and Ravana as a battle between good and evil. Ravana symbolizes the darkness of ignorance and ego, while Rama, who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, represents the light of righteousness and virtue. Rama’s victory over Ravana is seen as a triumph of good over evil and a reminder of the power of devotion and righteousness.
The war between Rama and Ravana was not just a physical battle but also a spiritual one. Ravana, who had immense strength and magical powers, posed a formidable challenge to Rama and his army. However, Rama’s devotion to Lord Vishnu and his unwavering commitment to righteousness gave him the strength to overcome Ravana’s army and defeat the demon king.
The war between Rama and Ravana also highlights the importance of loyalty, courage, and sacrifice. Lakshmana, who was deeply devoted to his brother Rama, demonstrated his courage and loyalty by fighting alongside him and risking his life to protect him. Similarly, Hanuman, who was an ardent devotee of Rama, used his incredible strength and intelligence to assist Rama in his battle against Ravana.
Rama Gayatri Mantra
May the blessings of Lord Rama be bestowed upon everyone, here is the Rama Gayatri Mantra for peace, prosperity, and spiritual upliftment.
ॐ दशरथाय विद्महे सीतावल्लभाय धीमहि। तन्नो रामः प्रचोदयात्॥
Om Dasharathaya Vidmahe Sitavallabhaya Dhimahi | Tanno Rama Prachodayat ||
“We meditate upon Lord Rama, the son of King Dasharatha and the beloved husband of Sita. May Lord Rama enlighten and guide us.”
Shri Rama Ashtottara Shatanamavali
|1.||ॐ राम रामाय नम:||Om Ram Raamaaya Namah|
|2.||ॐ राम भद्राया नम:||Om Rama Bhadraaya Namah|
|3.||ॐ राम चंद्राय नम:||Om Rama Chandraya Namah|
|4.||ॐ राम शाश्वताया नम:||Om Ram Shaashvataaya Namah|
|5.||ॐ राजीवलोचनाय नम:||Om Raajiivalochanaaya Namah|
|6.||ॐ वेदात्मने नम:||Om Vedaatmane Namah|
|7.||ॐ भवरोगस्या भेश्हजाया नम:||Om Bhavarogasya Bheshhajaaya Namah|
|8.||ॐ दुउश्हना त्रिशिरो हंत्रे नम:||Om Duushhana Trishiro Hantre Namah|
|9.||ॐ त्रिमुर्तये नम:||Om Trimurtaye Namah|
|10.||ॐ त्रिगुनात्मकाया नम:||Om Trigunaatmakaaya Namah|
|11.||ॐ श्रीमते नम:||Om Shrimate Namah|
|12.||ॐ राजेंद्राय नम:||Om Raajendraaya Namah|
|13.||ॐ रघुपुंगवाय नम:||Om Raghupungavaaya Namah|
|14.||ॐ जानकिइवल्लभाय नम:||Om Jaanakiivallabhaaya Namah|
|15.||ॐ जैत्राय नम:||Om Jaitraaya Namah|
|16.||ॐ जितामित्राय नम:||Om Jitaamitraaya Namah|
|17.||ॐ जनार्दनाय नम:||Om Janaardanaaya Namah|
|18.||ॐ विश्वमित्रप्रियाय नम:||Om Vishvaamitrapriyaaya Namah|
|19.||ॐ दांताय नम:||Om Daantaaya Namah|
|20.||ॐ शरणात्राण तत्पराया नम:||Om Shara Natraa Na Tatparaaya Namah|
|21.||ॐ वालिप्रमाथानाया नम:||Om Vaalipramathanaaya Namah|
|22.||ॐ वाग्मिने नम:||Om Vaagmine Namah|
|23.||ॐ सत्यवाचे नम:||Om Satyavaache Namah|
|24.||ॐ सत्यविक्रमाय नम:||Om Satyavikramaaya Namah|
|25.||ॐ सत्यव्रताय नम:||Om Satyavrataaya Namah|
|26.||ॐ व्रतधाराय नम:||Om Vratadharaaya Namah|
|27.||ॐ सदाहनुमदाश्रिताय नम:||Om Sadaahanumadaashritaaya Namah|
|28.||ॐ कौसलेयाय नम:||Om Kausaleyaaya Namah|
|29.||ॐ खरध्वा.सिने नम:||Om Kharadhva.nsine Namah|
|30.||ॐ विराधवाधपन दिताया नम:||Om Viraadhavadhapan Ditaaya Namah|
|31.||ॐ विभीषना परित्रात्रे नम:||Om Vibhiishhana Paritraatre Namah|
|32.||ॐ हरकोदांद खान्दनाय नम:||Om Harakodanda kha.Ndanaaya Namah|
|33.||ॐ सप्तताला प्रभेत्त्रे नम:||Om Saptataala Prabhettre Namah|
|34.||ॐ दशग्रिइवा शिरोहराया नम:||Om Dashagriiva Shiroharaaya Namah|
|35.||ॐ जामद्ग्ंया महादर्पदालनाय नम:||Om Jaamadgnya Mahaadarpadalanaaya Namah|
|36.||ॐ तातकांतकाय नम:||Om Taatakaantakaaya Namah|
|37.||ॐ वेदांतसाराय नम:||Om Vedaantasaaraaya Namah|
|38.||ॐ त्रिविक्रमाय नम:||Om Trivikramaaya Namah|
|39.||ॐ त्रिलोकात्मने नम:||Om Trilokaatmane Namah|
|40.||ॐ पुंयचारित्रकिइर्तनाया नम:||Om Punyachaaritrakiirtanaaya Namah|
|41.||ॐ त्रिलोकरक्षकाया नम:||Om Trilokaraxakaaya Namah|
|42.||ॐ धंविने नम:||Om Dhanvine Namah|
|43.||ॐ दंदकारंय पुण्यक्रिते नम:||Om Dandakaaranya PunyakR^ite Namah|
|44.||ॐ अहल्या शाप शमनाय नम:||Om Ahalyaa Shaapa Shamanaaya Namah|
|45.||ॐ पित्रै भक्ताया नम:||Om Pitrai Bhaktaaya Namah|
|46.||ॐ वरप्रदाय नम:||Om Varapradaaya Namah|
|47.||ॐ राम जितेंद्रियाया नम:||Om Ram Jitendriyaaya Namah|
|48||ॐ राम जितक्रोधाय नम:||Om Ram Jitakrodhaaya Namah|
|49.||ॐ राम जितामित्राय नम:||Om Ram Jitaamitraaya Namah|
|50.||ॐ राम जगद्गुरवे नम:||Om Ram Jagadgurave Namah|
|51.||ॐ राम राक्षवानरा संगथिने नम:||Om Ram Rakshavanara Sangathine Namah|
|52.||ॐ चित्रकुउता समाश्रयाया नम:||Om Chitrakuuta samaashrayaaya Namah|
|53.||ॐ राम जयंतत्रनवरदया नम:||Om ram Jayantatranavaradaya namah|
|54.||ॐ सुमित्रापुत्र सेविताया नम:||Om Sumitraaputra Sevitaaya Namah|
|55.||ॐ सर्वदेवादि देवाय नम:||Om Sarvadevaadi Devaaya Namah|
|56.||ॐ राम मृतवानर्जीवनया नम:||Om ram Mrutavanarajeevanaya Namah|
|57.||ॐ राम मायामारिइचहंत्रे नम:||Om ram Maayaamaariichahantre Namah|
|58.||ॐ महादेवाय नम:||Om Mahaadevaaya Namah|
|59.||ॐ महाभुजाय नम:||Om Mahaabhujaaya Namah|
|60.||ॐ सर्वदेवस्तुताय नम:||Om Sarvadevastutaaya Namah|
|61.||ॐ सौम्याय नम:||Om Saumyaaya Namah|
|62.||ॐ ब्रह्मंयाया नम:||Om BrahmaNyaaya Namah|
|63.||ॐ मुनिसंसुतसंस्तुतया नम:||Om Munisansutasanstutaya Namah|
|64.||ॐ महा योगिने नम:||Om Mahaa Yogine Namah|
|65||ॐ महोदराया नम:||Om Mahodaraaya Namah|
|66.||ॐ सच्चिदानंद विग्रिहाया नम:||Om Sachchidaananda vigrihaaya Namah|
|67.||ॐ परस्मै ज्योतिश्हे नम:||Om Parasmai jyotishhe Namah|
|68.||ॐ परस्मै धाम्ने नम:||Om Parasmai dhaamne Namah|
|69.||ॐ पराकाशाया नम:||Om Paraakaashaaya Namah|
|70||ॐ परात्पराया नम:||Om Paraatparaaya Namah|
|71.||ॐ परेशाया नम:||Om Pareshaaya Namah|
|72.||ॐ पारगाया नम:||Om Paaragaaya Namah|
|73.||ॐ पाराया नम:||Om Paaraaya Namah|
|74.||ॐ सर्वदेवात्मकाया परस्मै नम:||Om Sarvadevaatmakaaya Parasmai Namah|
|75.||ॐ सुग्रिइवेप्सिता राज्यदाया नम:||Om Sugriivepsita Raajyadaaya Namah|
|76.||ॐ सर्वपुंयाधिका फलाया नम:||Om SarvapuNyaadhika Phalaaya Namah|
|77.||ॐ स्म्रैता सर्वाघा नाशनाया नम:||Om Smraita sarvaagha Naashanaaya Namah|
|78.||ॐ आदिपुरुष्हाय नम:||Om Aadipurushhaaya Namah|
|79.||ॐ परमपुरुष्हाय नम:||Om Paramapurushhaaya Namah|
|80.||ॐ महापुरुष्हाय नम:||Om Mahaapurushhaaya Namah|
|81.||ॐ पुंयोदयाया नम:||Om Punyodayaaya Namah|
|82.||ॐ अयासाराया नम:||Om Ayaasaaraaya Namah|
|83.||ॐ पुरान पुरुशोत्तमाया नम:||Om PuraanaPurushhottamaaya Namah|
|84.||ॐ स्मितवक्त्राया नम:||Om Smitavaktraaya Namah|
|85.||ॐ मितभाश्हिने नम:||Om MitabhaashhiNe Namah|
|86.||ॐ पुउर्वभाश्हिने नम:||Om Puurvabhaashhine Namah|
|87.||ॐ राघवाया नम:||Om Raaghavaaya Namah|
|88.||ॐ अनंतगुना गम्भिइराया नम:||Om Anantaguna GaMbhiiraaya Namah|
|89.||ॐ धिइरोत्तगुनोत्तमाया नम:||Om DhiiroddaattaguNottamaaya Namah|
|90.||ॐ मायामानुश्हा चरित्राया नम:||Om Maayaamaanushha Charitraaya Namah|
|91.||ॐ महादेवादिपुउजिताया नम:||Om Mahaadevaadipuujitaaya Namah|
|92.||ॐ राम सेतुक्रूते नम:||Om Ram Setukrute Namah|
|93.||ॐ जितवाराशये नम:||Om Jitavaaraashaye Namah|
|94.||ॐ सर्वतिइर्थमयाया नम:||Om Sarvatiirthamayaaya Namah|
|95.||ॐ हरये नम:||Om Haraye Namah|
|96.||ॐ श्यामानगाया नम:||Om Shyaamaa.ngaaya Namah|
|97.||ॐ सुंदराया नम:||Om Sundaraaya Namah|
|98.||ॐ शुउराया नम:||Om Shuuraaya Namah|
|99.||ॐ पितवाससे नम:||Om Pitavaasase Namah|
|100.||ॐ धनुर्धराया नम:||Om Dhanurdharaaya Namah|
|101.||ॐ सर्वयज्ञाधिपाया नम:||Om Sarvayagyaadhipaaya Namah|
|102.||ॐ यज्वने नम:||Om Yajvane Namah|
|103.||ॐ जरामरनवर्जिताया नम:||Om Jaraamaranavarjitaaya Namah|
|104.||ॐ विभिषनप्रतिश्थात्रे नम:||Om Vibhiishhana Pratishthaatre Namah|
|105.||ॐ सर्वावगुनवर्जिताया नम:||Om Sarvaavagunavarjitaaya Namah|
|106.||ॐ परमात्मने नम:||Om Paramaatmane Namah|
|107.||ॐ सर्वदेवात्मकाय नमः||Om Sarva Devatmakaya Namah|
|108.||ॐ परस्मै ब्रह्मने नम:||Om Parasmai Brahmane Namah|