Lord Rama: The Ideal King and Divine Incarnation of Vishnu 

Lord Rama, the central figure in the Ramayana, is revered as the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu and an embodiment of righteousness (dharma). Rama was born towards the end of Treta Yuga, and in the ‘Uttara Kanda’, Dvapara Yuga had begun, signifying Rama’s departure as the transition from Treta Yuga to Dvapara Yuga.

The Ramayana and Mahabharata are known as itihasas, with the Ramayana primarily focusing on the story of Rama. The term “Ramayana-रामायण” is derived from the combination of two Sanskrit words: “Rama (राम),” which signifies someone lovely, charming, and delightful, and “ayan-अयन,” meaning travel or progress. Therefore, “Ramayana” translates to “Rama’s progress” or “Rama’s journey.” His brother Lakshamana, divine consort, Sita, and devoted companion, Hanuman, played crucial roles in the Ramayana.

Early Life and Family:

Sri Rama was a direct descendant of Ikshvaku, one of the sons of Vaivasvata Manu, from the Raghu Vamsha, a family whose lineage is traced back to Surya (Suryavansha, or Solar dynasty), or the sun. The increasing power of the sun in the northern hemisphere after the vernal equinox could be a symbol of the ascension of the Raghu race to glory under Rama’s rule. Rama is also addressed as Raghunatha, Raghupati, Raghava, and other names that begin with Raghu to reinforce this association.

Rama was born Millenniums ago in the beautiful city of Ayodhya to King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya. King Dasharatha was powerful king but had been childless. He performed the Putrakaameshti, a yaagam, and was granted the boon of children. He shared the boon with three wives, Kausalya, Sumitra, and Kaikeyi. Rama’s siblings included Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna.

Birth of Rama is celebrated as Rama Navami, a significant festival in the Hindu calendar. This event happened during the Treta Yuga on the ninth day of the waxing moon, Navami, sometime in April, in the scorching month of Chaitra.

Sri Rama lived like a mortal, facing several trials, including exile, to demonstrate by example an unshakable adherence to Dharma despite severe pressures. Rama’s life is punctuated with critical moral and social dilemmas.

Lord Rama

Rama grows up under the influence of Vasishtha, the great sage who was the family’s guiding light. Even as a tender lad, he is picked up by Visvamitra to save his sacrifices from Maricha, Ravana’s maternal uncle and confidant. Thanks to Viswamitra’s training, he discharges his duty satisfactorily. Thus, the little lad becomes a mighty hero at short notice. He goes on to win Sita’s hand by successfully stringing Lord Siva’s bow (which splits in the process).

Boon of Shiva’s Bow:

Rama’s youth was marked by extraordinary feats, including the breaking of Lord Shiva’s bow during Sita’s swayamvara (self-choice ceremony). This accomplishment earned him the right to marry Sita, the daughter of King Janaka. Sita was a powerful, gifted, and beautiful woman who made her own choices in life.

Exile to the Forest:

Despite being the rightful heir to the throne, Rama willingly accepted exile to the forest for fourteen years to honor his father’s promise to Queen Kaikeyi. Sita and Lakshmana accompanied him in this self-imposed exile.

Abduction of Sita:

The central narrative of the Ramayana revolves around the abduction of Sita by the demon king Ravana. Sita was taken to Lanka, leading to Rama’s determined quest to rescue her.

Alliance with Vanara Army:

Rama allied with the vanara (monkey) king Sugriva and his minister Hanuman in his quest to rescue Sita. The mighty vanara army, led by Hanuman, played a crucial role in the epic’s unfolding events.

Building of Ram Setu:

To reach Lanka, Rama and his allies constructed a bridge known as Ram Setu across the ocean. This feat demonstrated Rama’s strategic prowess and the unwavering dedication of his allies.

Battle with Ravana:

The climactic battle between Rama and Ravana unfolded in Lanka. With the assistance of the vanara army and the divine monkey-god Hanuman, Rama confronted Ravana in a fierce conflict that ultimately led to the demon king’s defeat.

Triumph of Dharma:

Rama’s victory over Ravana symbolized the triumph of righteousness over evil and the restoration of dharma. The return of Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana to Ayodhya marked the end of their exile and the beginning of Rama’s reign as king.

Agony of Sita and the Agni Pariksha:

Rama was considered the epitome of Dharma in his time. He put his duty and commitment to his country over himself and his family.

Despite Rama’s victory, doubts about Sita’s purity arose among his subjects. Sita underwent the agni pariksha (trial by fire) to dispel these doubts, emerging unscathed and affirming her purity. However, this event led to a tragic separation from his beloved wife, Sita, who herself is a role model and an embodiment of virtue and truth.

Birth of Lava and Kusha:

During her exile, Sita gave birth to Rama’s twin sons, Lava and Kusha, who were raised in the hermitage of sage Valmiki.

Reunion with Sons:

Rama met his grown sons under unusual circumstances. The reunion of Rama with his sons and the subsequent acknowledgment of their lineage marked a crucial phase in the narrative. The bond between Rama and his sons played a significant role in the later events of the epic.


Lord Rama, the epitome of virtue and righteousness in the Ramayana, is central to Hindu mythology and philosophy. His life journey, from the ideal son to the divine incarnation, encompasses a spectrum of roles that resonate with universal values.

Rama’s unwavering commitment to dharma, love, duty, and pursuit of higher ideals continues guiding generations toward righteousness. Still, the roles played by Rama in a couple of instances raise questions about his conflicts over dharma. If you read Valmiki Ramayana, many questions about Rama’s adherence to dharma come to mind.

Questions like why Rama took Sita and Lakshmana to the forest during exile, the justification for disfiguring Shurpanakha, the unfair killing of Vali & Shambhuka, and the tests of Sita’s purity are beyond the comprehension of ordinary individuals. These actions have led to criticism and given the platform for sprouting alternative versions of the Ramayana.

Why Hindu

We, a group of youths born into Hindu families, were raised in the rich culture of Vedic Sanatan Dharma, embracing its cultures and traditions. Post-graduation, recognizing the immense value of our Sanatan Dharma for humanity, we initiated the "Why Hindu" project. With guidance from our elders, we aim to create awareness about Hindu Dharma, delve into Vedic scripture, explore Vedic mantras, and elucidate the significance of festivals. Through this endeavor, we strive to share the profound teachings of our heritage, fostering understanding and appreciation for the timeless principles of Sanatan Dharma.

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