“I am the daughter-in-law of Dasharatha, the topmost amongst the illustrious kings on earth, who is self-realized and who torments the army of the enemy.” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 33.15)
pṛthivyāṃ rājasiṃhānāṃ mukhyasya viditātmanaḥ ||
snuṣā daśarathasyāham śatrusainyapratāpinaḥ |
Lord Chaitanya has declared that as Krishna is worshipable, so is His land. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the detail behind the abstract. He is the only person who holds the opulences of beauty, wealth, strength, fame, wisdom and renunciation to the fullest degree. He is the only being who is all-attractive, from head to toe, from beginning to end, and from inside and out. By His attributes alone He is worshipable, and that which supports Him, which serves to further expand on His infinite attractiveness, is also worthy of honor and respect.
One aspect to God’s beauty is His play. When He is playing the role of the creator of every universe, He rests upon a bed. With ease He makes so many universes manifest by exhaling. When the time for dissolution arrives, He simply inhales. Within those manifest places, He sometimes expands Himself and descends in a form visible to all. During these descents, He does amazing things which are documented in sacred texts.
When appearing, He assigns special personalities to play the important roles in life. If appearing amongst the humans, there must be a mother and a father. His play wouldn’t be as delightful if there weren’t the typical figures around Him. As Krishna, He appears from the womb of mother Devaki. He then gets transferred to the home of mother Yashoda.
As Rama, the Supreme Lord appears in the home of King Dasharatha of Ayodhya. Who is this Dasharatha? What makes him special? Why did Rama choose his home? There are many reasons. There is a ritualistic practice in the Vedic tradition known as the Satyanarayana Vrata. Once a month, on the occasion of the full moon, devotees fast, perform a worship ceremony, and read different stories about Lord Satyanarayana.
One of those stories mentions that a person in his past life followed the vrata very seriously and then was born as Dasharatha in his next life. This means that Dasharatha was a pious soul. He followed religiosity with attention, and the result to his work was accepting the honorable role of father of the Supreme Lord during His famous appearance as Shri Rama.
The above referenced verse from the Ramayana gives us some more information about Rama’s father. He was the foremost among lion-like kings on earth. The role of king itself is important. Especially during that time period, the Treta Yuga, a king yielded much power. They were known to be the best fighters, for that was required of the leader of the nation.
Dasharatha was a lion-like king, raja-simha. Lions are not afraid, even of the larger elephant. Lions are the king of the jungle. Dasharatha was fearless. There were many lion-like kings on earth during his time, and he was the best among them.
He was also a knower of the self, viditatmana. This means that he was not driven by his senses. Though we may not be consciously aware of the fact, we make judgments of others based on how much they are driven by sense urges. A person who is lean and fit shows some control in eating and behavior. The chaste woman is more respected than the promiscuous one. The law-abiding citizen is superior to the thief. The charitable person is liked more than the miser.
To know the self means to not be driven by temptation at all. Responsibility is what takes priority. This was very important for Dasharatha since he was the leader of a nation. If he should succumb to every urge of eating and sleeping, how would he remain alert in defending his people? And in that defense he was terrific. He was known to torment the armies of the enemy. They had to think twice before attacking his kingdom. Indeed, the demigods in heaven called upon Dasharatha whenever they needed help against their enemies, the formidable asuras.
Sita described all of this to Hanuman when first speaking with him. She proudly identified as the daughter-in-law of that great king. She was Rama’s wife, forever with the Supreme Lord. In different descents she appears differently as well, but she is always so dear to God. She is worshipable for her devotion to Rama and her utmost character. Her father-in-law is worshipable as well, and so is the person who was sent to find her, Shri Hanuman.
Thus the qualities of these noteworthy individuals affirm the claim of Mahaprabhu that those things relating to Krishna are worshipable as well. Thinking of Dasharatha brings the mind closer to Rama, as does thinking about Sita and Hanuman.
Worship to Krishna’s land to extend,
And also those who a helping hand land.
By pious deeds role as Rama’s father earned,
More of his nature from Sita Devi learned.
Of all the lion-like kings Dasharatha the best,
Armies tormented when with him they messed.
All of this worshipable that father making,
No wonder Sita identity from relationship taking.
Categories: sita and hanuman