‘Rama’, made of ‘Ram’ (to be contained or inhabited) and ‘Gham’ (the open space of the universe), residing in the entire creation – movable - immovable and visible - invisible Brahmanda. It is the beauty, grace and splendour of the universe. The realisation, recollection, sensation, or thought of the word ‘Rama’ purges one’s mind and heart by which commitment to follow the Dharma gets strength, whereby the reality of equality, the most precious jewel of life becomes apparent. The essence of justice, freedom and rights - the three inseparable aspects related to human equality fairly sets in.
According to another interpretation, ‘Ra’ in the word ‘Rama’ means ‘glow’ or ‘light’, ‘M’ means, ‘I’ – ‘mine’. Thus, the word ‘Rama’ in a very simple sense means ‘my light’. It can also be said in this way, “I am illuminated by Rama. Rama is my glow or light. Rama is my guide, director and ideal. I will benefit only by following the pathway shown by Rama, my life will be meaningful if I follow the way set by Rama.”
This is a confirmation of the truth revealed by Maharishi Vashishtha on the occasion of naming the sons of Koshala Naresh Dasharatha. The Maharshi had said, “Jo Ananda Sindhu Sukharasi/ Seekar Tain Trailoka Supaasi// So Sukhadhama Rama Asa Nama/ Akhil Loka Dayaka Bishrama// – This, the ocean of bliss and happiness, all the three Lokas get happiness or joy from just one particle of (that ocean of bliss and happiness) Him. The name of that (your eldest sons) is ‘Rama’, who is the house -temple of happiness and reliever to the whole Jagat.”
‘Rama’ is, thus, a name in the minds and hearts of Indians since time immemorial, which gives meaning to their lives. It continuously inspires humanity to step forward on the pathway to having righteousness - the process of righteous acts as the nucleus with the sole purpose of human welfare.
Shrirama is also known as a great warrior, majestic and ideal king who himself was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu - the defender, the foster and the guardian of the Dharma. Shrirama was the icon - a living symbol of the Dharma - Maryadapurushottama, a perfect man. He was an exemplary persona in all relations, as an ideal son, son-in-law, a husband, a brother, a father, a friend, a king and a mentor.
In this regard, He is still worshipped as the most virtuous Being Who is infallible. Shri Rama was a bridge. He connected the two great men, Dasharatha and Janaka. In the same way, he worked as a bridge between two Maharishis, Vashishtha and Vishwamitra. He was the destroyer of the evil from the Earth. Shrirama was the culmination of truth and morality. In His rule –the Ramarajya, free and fair justice was available to one and all without any kind of discrimination. Even a so-called meanest citizen could be sure of a swift justice without an elaborate and costly procedure.
Justice was the basis of the rule in the kingdom of Shrirama, the Ramarajya. Justice was the reflector or the basis of morality and truth. The Ramarajya was, therefore, the living symbol of the “Kingdom of God on Earth.” The rule under Shri Raja Rama was a superior democracy. It does not matter if the election of the Ruler was not made on the basis of a majority of ballot papers. Where every citizen, a woman or man, could rightfully demand justice without any discrimination and hindrance, and she/he got speedy justice, what better democracy would there be than such a rule? An unbiased, free and fair justice is the reflection of the equality of follow beings, and civil equality is the mainstay of a true democracy. In such a rule, there is no possibility of exploitation of anyone and in the atmosphere of prevailing peace, the path of progress of each one remains open. The rule under Shri Rama, the Ramarajya, was, therefore, the best form of democracy. It is accepted as such - an ideal rule until today. Even today, not only Indians but crores of people across the world imagine the Ramarajya, fairly dedicated to justice and they wish to be a part of the rule under Shri Rama.
Crores of people have immense reverence and respect for Shri Rama as an adorable god and the ideal king. Since the time immemorial, Shri Rama lives in the hearts of crores of people, general and elite due to His superior virtues, one better than another, righteous acts and established ideals. He connects the hearts and brings harmony among the people. Even today in India, the mundane routine of crores of people begins with the greeting chant of “Rama-Rama”.
Shri Rama does not know how many times, remains in a day in the centre of well-being of the people. The Lord becomes the medium of one’s reaching the door of salvation - Moksha. “Justice will come eventually”, Shri Rama becomes the basis of this highest hope of the individual. While wishing for blessings of Shri Rama, one should get familiar with the high ideal of justice established by the Lord. Everyone should be committed to place justice in the centre of her/his day-to-day behaviours.
Ramanavami - the birthday of Lord Rama is celebrated to commemorate His “Maryadapurushottama Avatara”. Maryada means honour and Purushottama means best of men. By following His conduct, we can establish Ramarajya once again where no one steals, no one tells lies and hurts anyone. By accepting the truth of homogeneous equality, taking exploitation of anyone in any form as one of the greatest injustices and sins, one must be determined for its prohibition. Doing this would be an act of adopting the ideals of Shri Rama - following the virtuous path shown by the Lord.
The author is a Former Vice Chancellor of CCS University, Meerut; he is also the Editor-in-Chief of Global Peace International Journal.