“My husband Rama is famous throughout the world. He is pure, truthful, and very gentle. He is mighty-armed, has wide eyes, and is always busy working for the welfare of all living beings [sarva-bhuta-hite-ratah].” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 47.11)Download this episode (right click and save)
God is the most amazing purusha, or person. Though He is above the distinction between spirit and matter, He is spread everywhere throughout prakriti, or the material nature. He hears everything. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, it does make a sound. God’s expansion of the Supersoul is there to hear it.
Resting within the heart of every individual living entity, God is witness to everything. He is within, antaryami, watching what occurs. He remembers, also. In this capacity He is able to hear every call made to Him. No prayer ever falls on deaf ears.
Yet the Supersoul is only one feature. Bhagavan is the complete feature, and in it the Supreme Lord again assumes many roles simultaneously. The incarnation of Rama gives a tiny glimpse into this aspect of Bhagavan.
1. The creator of this and other universes
It is said that Rama is an incarnation of Vishnu. Who came first? Vishnu or Rama? Krishna or Vishnu? There really is no difference. The personal incarnations are identical to one another; hence worship of any qualify as bhakti-yoga, or devotional service.
Vishnu is the personal form of God worshiped typically in the mood of awe and reverence. Vishnu creates this and other universes effortlessly. He lies down in rest, and while doing something considered involuntary, there is creation and annihilation. Vishnu exhales to create and inhales to destroy.
2. The best friend of every living entity
The feature of Supersoul already establishes this truth, but a person may not see it. After all, the Supersoul is more of a passive role, since there is no interference with choice. God is with me right now in the heart, but I don’t take advantage of this close proximity until I know how to connect with Him. The Supersoul is an overseer of actions. He also gives sanction for the different results to manifest.
“Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.23)
Bhagavan is actually the best friend of every living entity. That is to say He wants the best for everyone. Rama’s wife Sita once remarked on this. She said that her husband is the well-wisher of every bhuta, or living entity.
This is true even of the people Rama punished. He played the role of kshatriya warrior, and one of the duties is to protect from injury. That protection, which can involve inflicting pain, is beneficial to both the protected and the punished.
3. The dear husband of Sita
Rama is a kshatriya upholding justice in Ayodhya and throughout the world. He does not turn away a person who seeks His shelter. Whoever that person may be, Rama does not judge. If this weren’t His disposition, He couldn’t be God.
In the incarnation that roamed the earth, Rama also had a wife. He was the whole world to Sita, the princess of Videha. Rama did not abandon His duties to the princess, whose hand He won from the bow contest held by Sita’s father.
4. The elder brother of Lakshmana
Rama had three younger brothers. They all loved Him equally, but Lakshmana was the one who couldn’t bear physical separation from Rama. Rama upheld justice, worked for the benefit of every living entity, maintained His wife, and still found time to be the best older brother.
As antaryami, God knows what everyone is thinking. He knows that people are different; not everyone can tolerate the same situations. Therefore Rama always keeps Lakshmana by His side, knowing that separation is not an option for the dedicated younger brother, who actually embodies the spirit of guru, or dedicated servant in the role of teacher of the spiritual science.
5. The object of service for Hanuman
If you’re unsure about someone, a good way to get confirmation about their character is to judge the people that know them. Shri Hanuman is one of the most amazing people to have ever graced this earth. He is both strong and wise. He is both accomplished and humble. He can fight with the best of them and offer embraces to his friends. He first looks to give credit to others, even when he has done something wonderful.
That person views Rama as the number one object of service. Rama lives up to the role by creating opportunities for further service, which allow Hanuman to shine. The Sanskrit work called the Ramayana has Rama’s name in the title. It is obviously about the incarnation of God named Rama. At the same time, there is an entire section within dedicated to Hanuman and his amazing service. That is another truth about the Supreme Lord. He is always looking to glorify those who love Him.
Many things simultaneously to be,
Shri Rama, Supreme Lord is He.
For every living thing wishing well,
As witness of every incident can tell.
As Vishnu easily work of creation done,
Husband of Sita through bow contest won.
To Hanuman object of service dear,
Keeping devoted younger brother near.