“Then I, resembling a cloud and having molten-golden earrings, made my way into Vishvamitra’s ashrama, for I was very proud of my strength due to the boon given to me by Lord Brahma. As soon as I entered, Rama quickly noticed me and raised His weapon. Though He saw me, Rama strung His bow without any fear.” (Maricha speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 38.16-17)
बली दत्तवरोदर्पादाजगाम तदाश्रमम्।।
तेन दृष्टः प्रविष्टोऽहं सहसैवोद्यतायुधः।
मां तु दृष्ट्वा धनुस्सज्यमसम्भ्रान्तश्चकार सः।।
balī dattavarodarpādājagāma tadāśramam।।
tena dṛṣṭaḥ praviṣṭo’haṃ sahasaivodyatāyudhaḥ।
māṃ tu dṛṣṭvā dhanussajyamasambhrāntaścakāra saḥ।।
“Something I have recently stumbled across is online videos of people completing classic video games in a short amount of time. This is of interest to me only because of nostalgia, reminiscing of times past. I owned these video games as a child, and some of them were nearly impossible to complete.
“It was a different time back then. When the first popular home entertainment console was released, my brother and I begged our father to buy it for us. We promised to never ask for anything again. We reasoned that the entire family would derive value from the purchase.
“It was so exciting because really the only other way to play such games was to visit the arcade. There were some machines at the local pizzeria, but it was not like we could go to such a place on a daily basis. The home console was like bringing the arcade into your living room.
“I remember it was such a big deal to even have a single game. The cartridges were expensive. We did not sit back and pontificate as to which game was good or not. We were happy to have any, and we played some of them on and off for years.
“Anyway, with the online videos, some of these gamers are amazing. They finish the games so quickly. Many times they don’t lose a single life, in what is a rather difficult arcade style action game. There are various challenges. Sometimes a player will go the entire game using only the basic weapon. They don’t take any damage, and they beat every level and boss.
“It got me to thinking about how amazing Shri Rama must have been during His time. He was fighting similarly empowered villains, except in real life. Like the Dracula character from these games, the Rakshasas from Lanka could appear and disappear at will. There was no damage meter on the other end; you had to guard against any type of direct blow.
“Is it just another indication of God’s greatness? These gamers spent hours and hours practicing. I have seen older playthrough videos of some of the experts. In the beginning, they barely had any skills. They obviously had to work at it to advance. How was Shri Rama so blessed at an early age?”
The avatara-event of the Almighty is significant. He will not descend to the mortal realm in just any form. He always retains His tejas. He is full in potency, though to the observer the features may not be evident immediately.
This was the case with the Rakshasa named Maricha. As he describes in the first-person testimony in the Ramayana, he one time approached the hermitage of Vishvamitra Muni. He expected a successful strike, as had occurred previously.
Maricha was in for a nice surprise. Shri Rama was there guarding the yajna. The sacrifice would finally make it to completion, to the dismay of the atheist class. Rama noticed Maricha approaching. There was no hesitation. There was no fear.
Rama fitted arrow to bow and released it immediately. The eldest son of King Dasharatha was a youth at the time, barely showing signs of manhood. This incident was an indication of greater victories on the battlefield to come. Rama would take on the most exceptional fighters the world has known, and he experienced no severe damage in the process.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead can accomplish such feats due to His transcendental features. He has perfect senses. He does not commit mistakes. He is not easily illusioned, and when He cheats it is actually to outsmart the wicked opponent, who encroaches upon territory belonging to others.
As He is expert with the bow and arrow, Rama can safely defend my fortunes from the relentless attacks of the material world. The senses can be led astray in every which direction, but the consciousness focused on the beloved husband of Sita, the celebrated disciple of Vishvamitra, and the friend of the Vanara army has protection in the progressive march towards liberation.
No fear in battle to wage,
Rama skilled at early age.
Such as when Maricha to attack,
With single arrow forcing back.
From every direction can see,
Most prepared fighter is He.
So my fortunes similarly guarding,
Despite maya’s forces bombarding.