Inspires you to attain that level of greatness which he himself has reached. There is an episode in the Ramayana when Ravana is asked, “When you are such a great maayavi, why don’t you appear in front of Sita in the form of Sri Rama? That way you will be able to touch her to your heart’s desire.” Ravana replies, “If I take Sri Rama’s form, I will have no desire to touch Sita, since She is another man’s wife. In fact I cannot think of doing anything wrong when I take Sri Rama’s form.” This small episode explains Sri Rama’s greatness. If just by thinking of Him, one eschews bad, then how much change can come into one’s life by absorbing Sri Rama into one’s thoughts and actions.
In today’s world, being a great ruler means one who has built great buildings, has improved trade and economy in a country, kept away enemies, made the country and its people prosperous, been just and so on. Going by that, any European Regent should have been the greatest, especially any British Monarch. But do you remember any ruler of those countries? No… This is because everything they did was on the material plane alone. And it was only for the benefit of the self, be it for achieving fame or wealth or satisfying one’s lust. It was temporary, it was with a selfish motive.
Sri Rama was unique in many ways:
Every action of His was selfless. Whatever He did, He did for the benefit of others, of his people, or for mankind in general. He neither sought the pleasures of the flesh, nor of money, nor of power.
He fulfilled His purpose and after that, did not even show a moment’s craving for life. He was completely detached with respect to life.
He was detached even in his love for his parents, siblings, kingdom, friends, children and wife. He loved them as much as anyone could, but was still detached. This was the main reason why he never took a decision which would not stand the test of Dharma.
Whether it was birds (Sampaati), animals (Jaambhavan), mountains (Dronagiri) or plants (Sanjivani), he showed them love and care and did not believe in disturbing their natural settings for any gain or sport.
He accepted the smallest of offerings of food or service (the squirrel, Shabari), and made the opposite person feel uplifted with his/her contribution.
In war, he never made the enemy feel ashamed of himself / herself; he never insulted any of his opponents.
Even while engaged in combat, he never lost his temper or stooped to treachery or unfair fights. (Note: when he attacked Vali from behind, it was because he did not want to disrespect the Mala worn by Vali; this neckpiece was given by Lord Brahma to him as a boon for his penance; Sri Rama could have broken the Mala and killed Vali, but he did not want to do so).
He never crossed the limits of decency or boundaries of fair play; he always remained true to propriety of conduct – Maryaada Purshottam.
He never broke a promise nor did he allow his father to break his promise given to Kaikeyi Mata.
Once he became a King, he ruled without using military force at all and there was peace and contentment all around.
He gave utmost respect to the learned people of his age – the Rishis. He learnt at their feet about life, warfare, spirituality and goal of life.
He was completely without ego. Even though many people
throughout his life told him that he was God, he never mentions himself that he is Maha Vishnu and he never uses his super-powers.
He is so humble that he prays to the mighty Shiva and seeks his blessings before and after his war with Ravana. He prays to Varun Dev to grant him permission to cross the ocean & to advise him on how to cross it.
He never looted any wealth from the kings whom he subjugated and never attacked the ordinary citizens. This was very evident on 2 important occasions in his life – after he won over Lanka and during the Ashwamedha Yagna.
His biggest contribution to mankind was that he inspired all his subjects to become sattvik in nature. When Bharata insists that he would use Sri Rama’s padukas (footwear) as the symbol of Regency and Bharata himself would only be his servant, it is not just because Bharata was great – it was also because Sri Rama brought about the best in the opposite person. This is what made his rule something that every ruler aspires for – Rama Rajya. When the ruler himself thinks truly beyond himself, the subjects too tend to think of others before self. In such a period of time, there has to necessarily be peace, contentment and happiness all around.
Ra-Ma kindles in us the lustre of the Sun with the coolness of the Moon. We can aim to be all-powerful and attain all greatness, but it has to be tempered with the healing touch of the heart.
Ra-Ma is also the ability of man to rise from his basest instincts (Muladhara) to the most sublime (Sahasrara).
Sri Rama today stands for the collective psyche of the Bharatiya who aim for prosperity, peace, brotherhood and stabilization of Dharma – the righteous way of living.