Truly Valorous

[Lord Rama]“The truly valorous Rama only gives; He does not take. He does not speak even a few unpleasing words, even to save His life.” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 33.25)

dadyān na pratigṛhṇīyān na brūyat kiṃcit apriyam ||
api jīvita hetoḥ hi rāmaḥ satya parākramaḥ |

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“Man is made after God.” This statement may be discounted by the skeptic relying solely on mental speculation, but we can see proof of the concept through simplifying things. Let us assume that “man is made after man.” This is quite easy to prove. The union of a man and a woman brings a new life. That life behaves similarly to the givers of that life; so much so that behavior is purposefully guided by the guardians so as to avoid mistakes that are predicted beforehand.

The new human being eats. It looks for food from the mother first, and then gradually it learns to eat on its own. It sleeps. The parents to the newborn must sacrifice this, along with other things, but even in tough times they get some slumber. The newborn defends. It doesn’t like it when you attack it. It protects its possessions, and very quickly it learns the concept of “mine.” Through the course of time, maturation occurs and the desire to mate emerges.

These are the four characteristic behaviors of all animals, including human beings, but we can also see similarities at a more granular level. The parents sometimes get upset. When something doesn’t go their way, frustration comes. Not surprisingly, their child exhibits similar behavior. They too become unhappy when their desires are not met. Like their parents, they develop intelligence through experience and observation. They also question the meaning of life and why they were put on this earth.

It is easy to see that man is made after man, but to believe that man is made after God requires some faith in the beginning. The noticeable difference in the comparison is that God is much greater than man. He has the same qualities, but the degree to which they are exhibited is much greater. For instance, we see that man has the ability to create. A single person can construct a house if they want to. If they get the right materials, know what they are doing, and put forth enough effort, they can succeed.

[construction]God also creates, but at a much larger scale. He makes the oceans, the rivers, the forests, the mountains, the clouds and the air. That nature which is so complex that many branches of science exist to study it comes from the mind and physical effort of God. He has intelligence, but it is perfect. It is not developed through endeavor. He is correct from the very beginning. We see evidence of this in the laws of nature. You mix certain elements together and you will always get the same reaction. Release an object from your hand and the gravitational force will operate on it the same way every time.

Another quality we see in the human being is valor. Valor is showing a tremendous amount of courage, especially when it is needed. I can boast about being courageous, but if I’m never in danger, my proclamations don’t really mean much. Valor is shown through times that try men’s souls. It is amazing how some people don’t get scared, even when they face grave danger.

Valor exists in the Supreme Lord as well. According to Sita Devi, her husband Rama is truly valorous. This means that His courage is at the highest level. One way to understand His valor is to know that Rama does not speak unpleasing words, even if it is to save His life. Rama is the Supreme Lord in an incarnation form that appeared on earth many thousands of years ago.

[Lord Rama]Obviously there’s a catch here. Rama never dies; so He has no reason to fear the end of life. The meaning to Sita’s compliment is that in situations where a normal person would surely meet death, Rama does not abandon His vows. He voluntarily accepts certain behaviors, which depend on the time and circumstance. In His appearance as Rama, the Supreme Lord strictly adheres to the code of conduct of the warrior class of men.

Another aspect to Rama’s valor is that He always gives. He does not take from anyone. Someone may offer Him things, but that is not taking. He accepts the kind offerings made with love, but He does not keep things for Himself. He returns the offered items after infusing them with a spiritual potency.

“Krishna has no need of food, since He already possesses everything that be, yet He will accept the offering of one who desires to please Him in that way. The important element, in preparation, in serving and in offering, is to act with love for Krishna.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 9.26 Purport)

Rama was once asked to live in the forest for fourteen years. This is a situation of destitution. Even in that desperate moment Rama did not take anything. He simply gave in the form of sacrifice. He had Sita distribute His possessions to the priestly class of men, who lived a meager lifestyle to better concentrate on spiritual life.

[Rama, Sita and Lakshmana in the forest]The truly valorous Rama never abandons His devotees. All qualities in Him give pleasure to the devoted souls. His valor is truly amazing, and it is no wonder then that Sita and Hanuman worship Rama only. In the same way that Rama is courageous in the face of danger, Sita and Hanuman never waver. They each serve according to their relationship to Rama, and each does so without fear. They grant the same fearlessness to one who practices bhakti-yoga following in their line.

In Closing:

In spite of gravest danger,

Rama from vow not to waver.


Showing valor in Him true,

This trait Sita very well knew.


To Hanuman it was explained,

Knowledge to future readers gained.


Every quality in Him giving delight,

Devotees of Him never losing sight.

Categories: sita and hanuman

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