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Date: Thu Jan 18 1996 - 20:57:05 PST
It is not totally correct to say that Rama has not been portrayed as an Avataara. It is true that Valmiki has not portrayed Raama in the same way that Vyasa has portrayed Krishna. But when requesting Rama and Lakshmana to be sent with him Vishvamitra tries to convince the appalled Dasharatha by describing Rama as "rAmam satyam parAkramam" or that Rama is the absolute truth - a description not applicable to jivatmas. Rama Himself says in His famous charama shloka "Sakradeva prapannAya tavAsmiti cha yAchatE. abhayam sarva bhutebhyo dadAmye tat vratam mama." For one who even once surrenders to Me tells Me that I am Yours, I promise all protection." Vedanta Desikar states in RTS that (1) One jivatma cannot become a dasa of another jivatma, and (2) One jivatma cannot protect another jivatma. Being a maryAda Purusha and an expert in Dharma shastras Rama would not have been unaware of these two facts before making the statement. and (3) in the conversations between Dasaratha and Kaikeyi which my wife was reading to me a couple of days ago Dasaratha indirectly indicates that Rama is Bhagavan. I do not have my references here but I could research it if anyone else wants the exact context. Regarding a point made earlier that Dharma as indicated in the Itihaasas are not as clear as our Acharyas have made them out to be: Dharma is perfectly clear for our Acharyas. We have difficulty in understanding the same because of avidya. Avidya gets reduced in proportion to Acharya seva and Bhagavata Seva and is got rid of totally at the time of Moksha. Jaganath.