“O Lakshmana, do you rule this earth with Me. You are like My second self, so this glorious opportunity has been presented to you as well. O Saumitra, do you enjoy all the pleasures you desire and the fruits of the regal life. My life and this kingdom I covet for your sake alone.” (Lord Rama speaking to Lakshmana, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand, 4.43-44)
लक्ष्मणेमां मया सार्धं प्रशाधि त्वं वसुन्धराम्।
द्वितीयं मेऽन्तरात्मानं त्वामियं श्रीरुपस्थिता।।
सौमित्रे भुङ्क्ष्व भोगांत्स्वमिष्टान्राज्यफलानि च।
जीवितं च हि राज्यं च त्वदर्थमभिकामये।।
lakṣmaṇemāṃ mayā sārdhaṃ praśādhi tvaṃ vasundharām।
dvitīyaṃ me’ntarātmānaṃ tvāmiyaṃ śrīrupasthitā।।
saumitre bhuṅkṣva bhogāṃtsvamiṣṭānrājyaphalāni ca।
jīvitaṃ ca hi rājyaṃ ca tvadarthamabhikāmaye।।
You are down on your luck. Things are not going well. The future looks bleak. During this time of adversity, the tendency is to look upwards. Towards the heavens, beyond the clouds, targeting the man upstairs.
“I need help. Is there anything you can do for me? Have you been following my situation? I don’t think I have many days left. To where will I go in the future? I am afraid.”
There needn’t be cause for concern. The Vedic tradition teaches that the Almighty is a person in His full feature. That is to say if we reach the limit of realization, we will find another active, willing to engage partner, an associate to keep for life after life.
There will be another life, as the essence of identity, the spirit soul, lives on. In His avatara of Shri Rama, the Supreme Lord shows His natural inclination for helping others.
1. Offers the kingdom to His younger brother
Rama is the eldest son of King Dasharatha. The great leader of the Raghu dynasty was near desperation for a son. Many years had passed, and thankfully through a fortunate meeting with a brahmana named Rishya-shringa, Dasharatha was able to conduct a yajna that set the stage for Rama’s appearance in this world.
The day eventually came where Dasharatha was ready to pass down the kingdom to Rama. This was in accordance with tradition and the desires of the people. Rama was universally beloved. When news arrived, the eldest son immediately went to His younger brother Lakshmana and offered to share the honor.
This gesture was not necessary, but it reveals the attitude of God the person. He always remembers honor and affection directed His way, and He essentially lives for the pleasure of others. Lakshmana declined the offer; choosing to remain in the seat of service.
2. Distributes charity to the brahmanas
From prince to pauper. A sudden reversal of fortune. Things went the other way, and fast. Instead of being made king, Rama had to leave the kingdom for fourteen years. This was the result of family infighting. Jealousy exists even in close proximity to Divinity.
Prior to leaving, Rama distributed His wealth in charity. The recipients were the brahmana class. The priests lived a simple life to help in their austerities. Tapasya is their wealth, but they still accept gifts distributed to them by Sita Devi and her husband.
3. Liberates Ahalya
In His youth, Rama one time set foot on a stone. Inside was the wife of Gautama Rishi. Ahalya had previously been cursed to remain in that stone due to an accidental transgression. This turned out to be the greatest blessing, as she was liberated through direct contact with the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
4. Makes Sugriva a king
While in exile from Ayodhya for fourteen years, Rama became separated from His wife Sita. In the subsequent search for her, He formed an alliance with the former Vanara-king named Sugriva. Rama offered assistance first. He helped Sugriva to regain the kingdom. Without Rama’s amazing marksmanship, this would never have happened.
5. Makes Vibhishana a king
Lanka was the kingdom where Sita had been taken against her will. Ravana was the culprit. Vibhishana eventually renounced his allegiance to Ravana, who was his own brother; he joined Rama’s side. Vibhishana was essentially the world’s most famous turncoat. A traitor under the material estimation, but the surrender to God was no small matter. It eventually led to Ravana’s overthrow in Lanka, and the brother Vibhishana succeeded him.
If Rama does so much for others, why wouldn’t He liberate the fallen? Why wouldn’t He hear the pleas of desperation, the search for hope and light in this world of illusion? Why wouldn’t He promise the best destination in the afterlife for those who remain conscious of Him? Why wouldn’t He rescue the downtrodden in the same way that He delivered so many during His time traversing this earth?
While on earth to traverse,
Liberating Ahalya from curse.
Sugriva the king again made,
Vibhishana because with Him stayed.
So why not our prayers to hear?
And our confusions to clear.
Rescuing during this desperation,
Of maya’s strong infiltration.