Lessons from the Life of Sri Rama – Part 1



The foremost lesson to be learnt from the Rama-story is how to foster unity and harmony in a family. When each family is united, the village enjoys unity. When the villages are united, the nation basks in prosperity. The reign of Rama was marked by concern for justice and morality. 

The Ramayana is a work which holds out ideals for every home and every family. What should be the relations between a father and a son, how should a husband and wife conduct themselves, how should brothers behave towards each other, what should be the relations between the rulers and the citizens, how should sisters-in-law conduct themselves, all these are exemplified in the story of the Rama-Avatar. 

“Ideals of the Rama Avatar”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 24,
March 24, 1991, Prasanthi Nilayam 


Although by Sadhana, one can get the grace of Lord Rama, yet, if one does not understand and recognise the human qualities in Him, one cannot comprehend the Divinity in Him either. It is very necessary, at the present time, to look upon Rama as an ideal human being who is an example for all people rather than simply believe Him to be an incarnation of God. When we cannot understand Rama as an ideal example of a human being, how are we going to understand Him as God? 

In every family, the kind of relationship that should exist between mother and son, between husband and wife, between brother and brother, has been amply demonstrated by Ramachandra during His life. The entire story of Rama is such that all of it can be related to the daily experience in the life of all individuals. 

“Opening Address”, Summer Showers in Brindavan 1977, Brindavan 


There is a significant connection between the Rama principle and the Vasanta Ritu (season of spring). In the spring, the trees put forth new leaves and flowers and fill the world with gladness. When the sun’s rays fall on the fresh leaves, they acquire a golden hue. The whole world puts on a glorious new look in spring. The beginning of the New Year is celebrated in various regions by preparation of special edibles from a mixture of flowers and fruits of the neem and mango trees. In consuming these edibles, people are reminded that life is a mixture of pleasure and pain, profit and loss and both are to be treated with equal-mindedness. 

In the spring season, the air is redolent with the fragrance of the mango blossoms and the song of the kokila (cuckoo). There is joy in the air you breathe. The cuckoo calls are never as sweet as in the Vasanta (spring). The kokila’s song is sweet to the ears. If a crow sits on our roof, we wish to drive it away, but we welcome the kokila’s song. Why this difference? The crow seeks nothing from us. The kokila has not given us a crown. The difference lies in their voice. The crow’s cawing jars on the ears. The kokila’s song is music to the ears. When the speech is sweet, the speaker becomes endearing. Hence men should learn to speak sweetly and pleasingly. Sweet speech confers peace. It is the means to Self-realisation. It is in the heart of the man who is sweet-spoken that Sri Rama loves to dwell. 

“The Name that Redeems”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 22,
April 14, 1989, Kodaikanal 


Rama Nama (name) will save you, if you have at least the Pitru Bhakti and Matru Bhakti (devotion to father and to mother) that Rama had. If not, Rama Nama is merely a movement of the lips. Meditate on the Rama Swarupa (Form of Rama) and the Rama Swabhava (the true nature of Rama), when you recite or write Rama Nama. That will give exercise to the mind and it will be made healthy and strong, in the spiritual sense. 

“True Nature of Rama”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 03,
April 01, 1963, Rajahmundry 

Rama’s face was spotless because His heart was pure and was filled with feelings of sacrifice. He never did anything for Himself. Whatever He did was only for Lokasamrakshana (the welfare of the world). ‘Ramo Vigrahavaan Dharma’ (Rama was the embodiment of Dharma). If one follows Dharma, he is protected by the same Dharma. Rama sacrificed all His comforts and enjoyments of royal life and endured the privations of forest life. He is to be taken as the ideal for the students. They should respect and obey their parents’ words. The Guru, teacher, comes only after the parents. 

“See the One in the Many”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 27,
May 13, 1994, Brindavan 


Rama is the supreme exemplar of how people should conduct themselves in the world, how a country should be governed, how the integrity and morality of human beings should be protected. High-minded actions, ideal qualities and sacred thoughts are basic foundations of character. Rama is the very embodiment of these three attributes. This means that every human being should cultivate sacred thoughts, right actions and good qualities. Rama demonstrated by His words, thoughts and actions how such a life can be lived. Rama acted upto the ancient injunction: “Speak the truth, Practise righteousness”. Eschewing harsh words, Rama pleased everyone by His sweet speech. He countered harsh speech by others with His composure, patience, sweetness and smile. 

“Install Rama Rajya in Your Hearts”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 28,
April 09, 1995, Brindavan 

Very often the mistake is committed, of forgetting that Rama came, in order to lay down the norms of life and that His life has to be observed and followed by mankind. He is the ideal man, with qualities and virtues which every man can earn to elevate himself. Rama underwent trouble, disappointment and distress like any man, in order to show that joy was but an interval between two griefs, that grief was but a challenge, a rest, a lesson. 

“The Four Brothers”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 14,
March 25, 1980, Brindavan 

Rama never pried into affairs of others, never took notice of their faults, never indulged in ridicule, and never caused any pain to others by the way He spoke to them. It is essential for everyone to follow the example set by Rama and cultivate His many noble qualities and do righteous actions. People should entertain sacred thoughts. 

“Install Rama Rajya in Your Hearts”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 28,
April 09, 1995, Brindavan 

To ignore the deities who are directly visible, in the form of one’s parents, it is delusion to search for an invisible God. Rama exemplified this truth when He told king Janaka that without the consent of His parents He would not consent to wed Sita, although He had won her hand by lifting Shiva’s bow. Similarly; when Bharata and Vashishtha came to the forest to appeal to Rama to return to Ayodhya to rule over the kingdom, Rama firmly declared that He had to fulfill the pledge given by His father to Kaikeyi and complete His term of exile in the forest. Honouring the words of the parents is the highest virtue. This has to be observed by one and all. 

“Love and Sacrifice will save Mankind”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 28,
November 23, 1995, Prasanthi Nilayam 

By showing equal affection to all people, Rama used to attract all the people. In His childhood, Rama spoke very little. He was conducting Himself in that manner in order to show the world the ideal that is contained in limited speech. Limited talking will always promote the Divine strength in one and will also promote his memory. It creates respect for him in the community. If one talks too much, it will, to an extent, destroy one’s memory. Not only this, if one talks too much, the strength in the nerves will diminish and the person will become somewhat feeble. It is in this context that all great saints were observing the path of silence, whenever possible. By observing silence, one can get strength. Because the youth of today talk too much, it so happens that their memory becomes weak; and when they go to the examination hall, they forget what they have read. Amongst the many ideals which Rama has given to the young people, the first one is to talk less. The second one is that when you meet elders, to show them respect. The third one is to happily obey the orders of one’s parents. 

“God is beyond Description through Words”,
Summer Showers in Brindavan 1977, Brindavan 




2 comments:

  1. Sai Ram. The talks given by our Swami Sai Rama is nothing but of Sri Rama only as our Sai Rama was Sri Rama in yhretha yuga. If one follows the talks of our Sai and follows, definitely they will have a peaceful, healthy life.

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