An August gathering for the Ikshvaku King!

‘Jai Shri Ram’ is not just a slogan but an emotion for many Hindus who revere Shri Ram. Now that He is returning to Ayodhya this August, the Raghuvamshi is no ordinary one. It will be India’s date with history.I would often wonder why is Shri Ram so popular with Hindus? Some say, he is Maryadapurushottam, which translates to being ‘righteous supreme man’ and some call him Pitrabhakta, who followed his father’s orders obediently and many others say he is Ramabhadra, a security to one and all. It somehow didn’t convince me as to why was this particular incarnation of Vishnu be so revered besides Krishna?There was Narasimha to kill the demons and restore peace while Vamana did the same in his dwarf form. By far, Parushuram stood beyond Rama in valour. He roamed the earth 21 times with his axe and killed most of the Kshatriya kings of that time to avenge his father, Jamadagni’s death. He did it to eradicate the unjust kings. In fact, he was a great Pitrabhakta, as he obeyed his father’s orders to kill his mother! That is something unmatched. Now, one wonders what did Rama possess then? The answer is, everything!When Parashuram, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu cleansed the earth of wicked kings, there was a need for a King to look up to; one, who could stand tall and establish a just rule. This scion from Ikshvaku dynasty, was born to Dasharatha, who was one of the few surviving Kings of that time. He grew into a handsome brave lad. It is interesting to note that he showered immense love on his brothers, although they were his step brothers. He conducted himself with utmost dignity and showed the way for his younger brothers. This is a very far-fetched idea in the present day of bickering families.At the age of 16, he protected Sage Vishwamitra from demons, Mareecha and Subahu. Such was his valour and respect for his teachers. He was known to be a Dhanurdhari, always with his bow and arrows, ready to fight and protect his people.The young prince showed his true strength in Mithila city, while lifting the Dhanush (Shiva’s bow) and breaking it into two, while the rest of the Kings were unable to push it by an inch. He married Sita and was known popularly as Janakivallabha! Read the name again! It means husband of Sita. Now ladies, isn’t he then an ideal man? He was the only one to have agreed to be addressed as Mr.Janaki ? Here too, he set a record of sorts.Ramabhadra, meaning auspicious Rama, was a security blanket for his father. Although a crown prince, he gave up his opportunity to be a King and retired to forest on an exile with his wife and brother. A newly married young prince lived a life of a simpleton, who survived on meagre food and simple clothing, in the forest. He was a true Jitendriya, which means, controller of senses.His woes didn’t end there. His wife was kidnapped by the ten-headed demon, Ravana. Rama had to fight his own war. Interestingly he did not seek his father’s help for rounding up an army to fight the demon. Instead, he used the local resources and relied on the monkey army and his foremost devotee Hanuman for the same. He did not indulge in micro-management, unlike the present-day managers and let Hanuman handle the war strategy for him.Resource gathering skills, strategic alliance with Sugreeva and Vibheeshana exhibit his sophisticated leadership qualities. Interestingly, after conquering Lanka, he did not annex the kingdom but handed it over to Vibhishana. Rama gave up what he possessed and also showcased the fact that all top leaders must have an exit strategy at some point. Letting go is the word! He was a true Jitamitra, a person who had no enemies. Now that was the Ikshvaku King who walked this earth! Why wouldn’t anyone revere him? Jai Shri Ram!