“As Rama is wise, it is not possible for me to be abducted by you. This was ordained for your slaying; there is no doubt.” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 22.21)
नापहर्तुमहं शक्या त्वया रामस्य धीमतः।
विधिस्तव वधार्थाय विहितो नात्र संशयः।।
nāpahartumahaṃ śakyā tvayā rāmasya dhīmataḥ।
vidhistava vadhārthāya vihito nātra saṃśayaḥ।।
“I love Vedic culture; don’t get me wrong. I appreciate that there is a scientific basis to everything, including the rituals. They are like tools to help reach a higher destination. One person may take the stairs, while another opts for the elevator.
“I like how there is acknowledgment of previous lives. There is insight into the animal community, explaining why there are similarities and also differences. The human infant is actually less intelligent than many animals, but this does not make them any less worthy of mercy from those in authority.
“The rules make sense. The culture is beautiful, if you stay on the mode of goodness side. The altars are beautifully decorated. It is difficult to find fault with wanting to protect innocent cows and their children. It is not like anyone is forced to surrender to the Almighty, through some bureaucratic edict.
“There is a doubt I have, though. We see this tendency in everyday life to elevate someone to a higher status after they have passed on. A sort of mythology forms around their biography. The narrative has amazing moments explained away as heavenly intervention, as a Divine purpose.
“Is it not the same with someone like Shri Rama? Yes, He lifted and broke the bow in Janaka’s kingdom. He fought off fourteen thousand attackers in Dandaka all by Himself. He freed many people from curses, wherein they were expecting His presence.
“Still, doesn’t it seem like there is deification, after the fact? We have an extraordinary personality, and people explained everything away as being equivalent with God. They had no other explanation for why Rama was able to do what He did.
“You have the incident in the forest, where Rama’s wife Sita gets taken away in secret. This hints at mortality, at a flawed human being. There is a range of emotions, and Rama doesn’t seem to respond perfectly to everything. Do you see what I am getting at?”
It should be noted that the proper explanations are there from the beginning. The author of the Ramayana, Maharishi Valmiki, went to work at the command of a higher authority. Due to his spotless character and elevated status, he was worthy of narrating the pastimes of Vishnu on earth, as He would soon appear.
There was no post-anointing. There was no wonder or amazement. The wise knew that Rama was an incarnation of Vishnu, that the original person appeared in the manifest version to satisfy various needs. It was neither a great mystery for God to appear in this way nor anything out of the realm of possibility.
Within the narrative itself, you have Sita Devi explaining the workings of time. She concluded that Ravana’s time was coming near. Death was on the horizon, and so that leader of Lanka acted in ways to fulfill the destiny.
Sita only could have been taken from within Rama’s presence if there was a higher force at play. There could be no other explanation. It is not that anyone can trick God. Ravana would soon learn the lesson the hard way.
Countless others find confirmation within the processes themselves. Following devotional service, as recommended and highlighted by the acharya, I can know for myself whether Vedic culture is passing on something genuine or merely bluffing out of hidden ignorance.
Just as a man knows he has eaten well by how he feels in the stomach, so a person feels satisfied in their knowledge of Vishnu and His supreme standing after immersing in activities like the chanting of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
A proper understanding,
After in meditation landing.
Such that Rama to command,
With bow and arrow in hand.
Not deified after the fact,
Valmiki with details exact.
Such that the same after and before,
His lila dharma to restore.