“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.9)
जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यम्
एवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर् जन्म
नैति माम् एति सो ऽर्जुन
janma karma ca me divyam
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna
Whenever and wherever the Supreme Personality of Godhead decides to appear in person, the circumstances become favorable. What might have been pratikula turns into anukula. Whereas the alignment of the stars was previously considered ominous, that same setting later gets associated with an auspicious event.
The same applies to the place of appearance. Wherever the Supreme Lord goes becomes a tirtha. This is a place of pilgrimage. After the fact, saintly people tend to congregate there. They are looking for conditions favorable for spiritual practice.
Since He is in the heart as Paramatma, God can be remembered at any place and at any time. He is never absent from a situation. I am never truly alone. I am born in this world with that companion in the heart and I leave accompanied by the same.
Due to the influence of maya [illusion], not only do I forget that Bhagavan is close by, I might even insist that He doesn’t exist. This amazing creation came about through randomness, I say. An impersonal force known as nature is responsible for the rising and setting of the sun. The properties of air and water were just put together haphazardly, without any intelligence.
The avatara helps to remove the ignorance, returning me to my senses. With the appearance of Shri Rama, notable events take place in a single area, like the city of Ayodhya.
1. Rama’s janma
The janma and karma for Bhagavan are Divine. The Sanskrit words are used for our understanding, but they have a different meaning. Janma is birth in the sense of appearing before the eyes. Karma is work in the sense of taking action.
But the janma for Rama is not related to accepting a material body. Neither are there consequences forced upon Him based on the work that He does. That is the meaning of the divyam qualification.
The Supreme Lord’s appearance in this world as the avatara known as Rama takes place in Ayodhya. The event is still celebrated on an annual basis. Rama Navami is a sacred day on the calendar, as it was joyously observed the first time around.
The king of Ayodhya, Dasharatha, welcomed four sons into his family. He had previously been without an heir to the throne. He received the most amazing gift, and he was indeed worthy of it. The king would develop such a fondness for Rama that he literally could not live without this beloved son in his presence.
2. Rama’s departure
The pure devotion showed when Rama had to leave the town. This was another important event in Ayodhya. The residents were not happy. They were not going to take the change of events lying down, either.
The women of the households chastised their husbands for remaining stationary. What was the purpose of worshiping the devas if someone like Rama were to be abandoned? The decision was to follow along, to accompany Rama to the forest.
He was travelling with His wife Sita and His younger brother Lakshmana. While this was a sad moment, the vision of the trio departing on their chariot is to be worshiped. The love was reciprocal. The hope was to meet again, and in the meantime no one will forget.
3. Rama’s return
The return took place fourteen years later. The celebration was so grand that an annual tradition emerged: Diwali. King Dasharatha was no longer around. He could not bear the separation when it first occurred. The people were thrilled to finally have their beloved back.
Justice was served. Rama was now king, which He should have been all along. The terror to the world known as Ravana was gone; defeated by Rama and His army of Vanaras. The pious Sita Devi could enjoy royal life and the younger brothers to Rama could happily engage in the service of maintaining the kingdom.
Turning violent chapter’s page,
Everyone now in service engaged.
Returning that Ayodhya’s son,
After grave injustice done.
Where forced by jealousy to leave,
His daily vision not to receive.
Who in that place birth taking,
And joy to Dasharatha making.
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