Lock-down has changed our lives completely whether it is our mindset, attitude, habits, thinking patterns and may be overall perspective towards life. The same I experienced when I started watching Ramayana again with my children.
I was five years old when it was first telecasted on National Television. It was a channel or a medium that bonded the entire family in one spiritual thread.
Watching it is a great reminiscent of many cherished and fond memories of my childhood.
I am very close to my father as he is my spiritual guru as well. A very simple man but with a very strong spiritual foundation. He has devoted his entire life in spreading the teachings which he has gathered through his profound readings of the spiritual literature, the prominent being the Ramayana and the Bhagawad Geeta. He never differentiated and discriminated with anyone in his life on the basis of caste, creed or religion. In fact, he taught me how to think above so-called social disparities and social delinquencies. He used to narrate stories based on the spiritual context and made me understand that humanity is the only religion and the best way to serve mankind is through utmost dedication and devotion to the social causes and helping others in need. Generosity is his way of life.
I was just 10 years old, when he made me learn how to read Tulsidasa’s Shri Ramcharit Manas by singing all the chaupais and thereby reading their corresponding meanings. As I grew older, he kept on inculcating the teachings of Ramayana and when I got married, he gifted me Ramayana as the most priceless possession in the name of wedding gift. I have no words to express my gratitude to my Paa as no vocabulary in the whole world or dictionary can replace his teachings and love for me. For me, he is the epitome of divine grace and elegance. It is rightly said that your parents are your best teachers, guides, philosophers and mentors. Under their able guidance and protection, you are the safest and in the best of the phases of life.
It is when you come out of their shelter and cocoon, you learn the lessons the hard way. After marriage, the whole life changes and you enter a new dimension of life which you have never experienced and imagined. Though you carry the teachings given by your parents with you, but the circumstances and challenges faced by you prove to be the real acidic test. Sometimes you succeed and many a times you fail also. And the teachings ingrained within you come to the forefront and guide you on your path consciously, subconsciously or unconsciously.
I went through such experiences many times in my married life. And whenever I faltered, some or the other teaching came in front and maneuvered my discourse of life. It was not easy as it takes a lot of courage and willpower to fight your inner demons. Lord Rama’s life is an example of all such inner struggles and sacrifices. Rama’s victory of good over evil is symbolic of the fact that through inner wisdom, loving and kindness, gratitude, humility, generosity, selflessness, surrender, willingness to do good, responsiveness and awareness, one can conquer all odds, be it personal, mental, emotional, social, economical or many others.
Lord Rama’s qualities are supreme and are imbued in spiritual exuberance and it is very difficult to imbibe and implement them in today’s world. But by following them with great conviction and persistence, we can change and alter our lives.
As I was learning and going through the various nuances and facets of married life, I always wondered why Shri Ram left his devoted wife Mata Sita alone when she needed him the most. I could not understand his character in that context and thereby had some reservations about him. But slowly and steadily, as I moved up the ladder of my life, I realized what a great sacrifice he had made of his personal life to keep the social flame burning. Those societal conditions and circumstances were completely different from our times. Yes, it is sometimes difficult to relate to those times but the deep meanings and essence they carried are everlasting and far-reaching even today. We need to learn them wisely and smartly.
What i understood as per my knowledge is that he suffered intrinsically but did not falter from performing his duties. He did not show his pain to the outside world and kept on smiling throughout while carrying out his worldly tasks. He had set the example of astute statesmanship in the whole universe by giving up his self-interest and personal life. And there are many deeper dimensions to all this which is still beyond human mind and comprehension.
The telecast of the great epic again has enlivened those teachings in our lives and specially in these testing times. There is so much to gain and grasp by applying such great learnings in our life from the life of Legendary Lord Rama. Based upon my knowledge from the rich legacy he has left behind, I am sharing his 21 qualities. His life is an open book and I strongly believe that by following these, we can definitely make a change not only in our lives but also in the lives of others around us. It is just a humble attempt and a pious intent to bring forth the human essence of our most revered spiritual guru, Shri Ram:-
Acceptance - Lord Rama showed us that acceptance is the first key to happiness. He accepted every situation in life gracefully and never retaliated. He had no expectations and lived his life as it came and handled every situation accordingly.
Calm and composed - Lord Rama always remained calm and composed. He kept his cool and never lost his temper. He remained composed while carrying out even most tedious tasks.
Charismatic Aura - Lord Rama was blessed with a divine charisma. His personality and aura attracted all and sundry.
Controlled chivalry - Lord Rama eulogizes great courage and chivalry but the best part was that his heroism was controlled and restrained. Though being a great and supreme warrior, he did not resort to weaponry just for the heck of it. He showed the whole world how to be calm and serene in the face of danger.
Devotional - Lord Rama was a devotional being. His obeisance towards Lord Shiva, his parents, his teachers, Holy Gurus prove that his devotion was unique and unmatched.
Diligent - Lord Rama displayed great diligence as well as intelligence while performing any task. Nothing could provoke him, and he carried out his duties consistently and constantly.
Doctrine of total dedication - Lord Rama was the embodiment of dedication, determination, discipline and total dedication. Whatever tasks he took over, he accomplished them with elan and became a torchbearer to the entire mankind.
Dutiful- Lord Rama never deterred from his path while performing any of his duties, whether those were of a son, a brother, a husband, a father or a king. He carried out all his duties sincerely, lovingly and above all spiritually without any regret or repentance. He played various roles of his life remarkably well.
Emotionally intelligent - Lord Rama was highly intelligent emotionally. He never got swayed by the flurry of emotions. He too was emotional, but he never lost his emotional intelligence in the wake of challenging situations. He believed that to be emotional is good but displaying any knowledge bereft of emotional intelligence is sacrilege.
Grateful and generous – Lord Rama was highly grateful and generous. In the wake of carrying out his father’s promise, he left everything as it never belonged to him. He was a born giver and lived like a legend till his last breath.
Heightened awareness - Awareness is the key to success. Shallow knowledge and hollow wisdom is of no use when one is not aware of one’s thoughts, actions and deeds. Lord Rama was the true example of such heightened awareness when he performed his worldly tasks and duties.
Honest and transparent – Lord Rama was truly honest and transparent in delivering his judgments. He was completely impartial and never gave his decisions based on false pretenses and contexts. He weighed all the pros and cons before giving his opinions and value-based sermons.
Humility - Lord Rama’s humility is unparalleled in the whole world. He showed us that by remaining humble and grounded to our roots, we can achieve anything in the world.
Indomitable Spirit- Lord Rama was a supreme warrior. He had a daunting spirit while facing any kind of adversity. His courage and valour had deeper dimensions and he faced his enemy with an enchanting smile signifying his divine inner strength.
Non-judgmental - Lord Rama never worked on pre-conceived notions and opinions. His words were soaked in wisdom and he never made any judgments. His decisions were transparent and in the interest of the entire community.
Open minded and receptive - Lord Rama was very open-minded and receptive. He always counselled with his brothers, subordinates and his devotees. He listened to everyone with great patience and was always receptive to various suggestions and advice. He treated everyone equally and never discriminated among others.
Resilient – Lord Rama went through many hardships and struggles in his life, but he maintained resilience throughout his lifetime. He never gave up and showed utmost strength in grave dangers and most testing times.
Responsiveness - Lord Rama never reacted to any situation. He always responded to the situation and took the best decisions in the interest of all.
Spiritual Magnetism- Lord Rama showed to the world what spirituality is. He did not differentiate among anybody on the basis of caste, colour, creed or religion. Whosoever came in his way, he accepted him without any bias, prejudice or inhibition.
Universal brotherhood- Lord Rama’s life is a true example of unbound love and affection towards humanity. His life is symbolic of universal brotherhood as he spread the message throughout his life unequivocally. He loved nature and was full of compassion towards both plant kingdom and the animal kingdom.
Wisdom personified- Lord Rama was the epitome of divine wisdom and guidance. His philosophies and the concept of statehood were completely borne out of his profound and deep knowledge about the state affairs and his theories of statehood.
In the end, I would like to summarize by saying that Lord Rama showed us the way millions of years ago, we only need to follow his path diligently and dedicatedly.
श्री रामचन्द्र कृपालु भजमन हरण भवभय दारुणं ।
नव कञ्ज लोचन कञ्ज मुख कर कञ्ज पद कञ्जारुणं ॥१॥
कन्दर्प अगणित अमित छवि नव नील नीरद सुन्दरं ।
पटपीत मानहुँ तडित रुचि शुचि नौमि जनक सुतावरं ॥२॥
भजु दीनबन्धु दिनेश दानव दैत्य वंश निकन्दनं ।
रघुनन्द आनन्द कन्द कोसल चन्द दशरथ नन्दनं ॥३॥
सिर मुकुट कुंडल तिलक चारु उदार अङ्ग विभूषणं ।
आजानु भुज शर चाप धर संग्राम जित खरदूषणं ॥४॥
इति वदति तुलसीदास शंकर शेष मुनि मन रंजनं ।
मम हृदय कंज निवास कुरु कामादि खलदल गंजनं ॥५॥
मनु जाहि राचेयु मिलहि सो वरु सहज सुन्दर सांवरो ।
करुणा निधान सुजान शीलु स्नेह जानत रावरो ॥६॥
एहि भांति गौरी असीस सुन सिय सहित हिय हरषित अली।
तुलसी भवानिहि पूजी पुनि-पुनि मुदित मन मन्दिर चली ॥७॥
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About the Author
Dr. Gazal Chetan Bansal, Ph.D is a spiritual evangelist and a practical thinker. She is the founder and CEO of ‘Conscience Connect’ which aims to build up people holistically and wholesomely.
She holds Doctorate in Political Science and is an NLP Practitioner, a Pranic Psychotherapist, and an Arhatic Yogi. She is a Blogger and a prolific writer. She has co-authored and edited various books.
She writes to inspire people that deep contentment is the outcome of the passionate actions and courageous commitment towards compassion.