“O Vanara, in Raghava there are fortitude, manliness, courage, gratitude, non-maliciousness, prowess and energy.” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.13)
utsāhaḥ pauruṣam sattvam ānṛśaṃsyam kṛtajñatā |
vikramaḥ ca prabhāvaḥ ca santi vānara rāghave ||
There should be no doubt on the matter. The evidence is clear, though the present situation might say otherwise. He is not on the scene at the moment. Does that mean He is not visible? Does that mean He has no witness? Does that mean His mind is elsewhere?
Actually, Shri Rama is there to witness everything automatically. This is accomplished through the feature of Supersoul, also known as Paramatma. It is the superior kind of atma, or soul. Soul is what defines an existence. Without the presence of the soul, nothing could live.
Alongside the individual soul is Supersoul, who is God’s expansion. The notable behavior of this feature of the Divine is non-interference. That is to say judgments are not made. Want to eat that extra slice of pizza? Want to drink again tonight, even though the last time ended in a disaster? Want to get married again after that messy divorce the previous time around? The option is there.
“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)
The Supersoul still has a role to play in the results to actions. He is the overseer and permitter. Nothing would be possible without His sanction first, but in material life there is no influence as to which actions should be taken and which should be avoided.
That judgment is from the personal form, i.e. the true and full identity of God. While Supersoul is invisible and lacking identifiable features, God in the feature of Bhagavan has too many qualities to count. Those devoted to Him make an effort to identify and list some of them, and even the enemies inadvertently stumble upon different aspects. Through their strong antagonism they give some idea as to the degree to which the features are present.
One example is Ravana. It is already known that God is the Supersoul. He witnesses everything, including the many sinful deeds of the evil king of Lanka, who is known as the ten-headed one. In the incarnation of Rama, Bhagavan understands that the devoted wife Sita, who is actually the goddess of fortune, is being held against her will on the island of Lanka by Ravana.
If that is too difficult to believe, Rama’s messenger arrives there also. He is the witness on the outside, observing the situation and hearing from Sita herself. In the above referenced verse from the Ramayana, Sita describes different qualities in her husband. These qualities ensure that Rama will indeed make it to Lanka to rescue her.
Ravana will get a firsthand look at Rama’s fortitude. Despite many months of separation, the Supreme Lord will not lose heart. Ravana will see true manliness; not the kind he exhibited in the Dandaka forest when stealing Sita in the first place. The king of Lanka will see courage to carry forward, despite depressing fake images presented on the battlefield.
Gratitude will be shown to someone in Ravana’s family. The younger brother Vibhishana, having left Ravana’s side, will be crowned the new king of Lanka after Rama’s victory. There will be no lasting enmity after the conflict’s conclusion, and the final battle will display some of Rama’s amazing prowess and energy.
Those incidents described in Vedic texts still only provide a glimpse into God’s glory. One drop of His splendor is enough to create, maintain and destroy many universes, what to speak of a sinful kingdom run by man-eating ogres. Sita’s inclinations would prove correct, as she knew her husband better than anyone else.
Not like Ravana cowardly to be,
Shri Rama’s valor to see.
Courage to continue the fight,
Fiery arrows skies to alight.
Perseverance when problems arising,
Level of ability to enemies surprising.
Already witnessing everything is He,
Knowing well her husband to free.