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Lord Shrii Raama Sets the Proper Example

From: Krishna Susarla (krishna_at_ticnet.com)
Date: Wed Nov 11 1998 - 14:55:38 PST

In Bhagavad-Giitaa 3.221 - 3.23, the Lord states:

yad yadaacharati shreShThastattadevetaro janaH |
sa yatpramaaNaa.m kurute lokastadanuvartate || giitaa 3.21 ||

What ever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever
standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues (bhagavad-giitaa
3.21).

na me paarthaasti kartavya.m triShu lokeShu ki~nchana |
naanavaaptamavaaptavya.m varta eva cha karmaNi || giitaa 3.22 ||

O son of Prithaa, there is no work prescribed for Me within all the three
planetary systems. Nor am I in want of anything, nor have I a need to obtain
anything - and yet I am engaged in prescribed duties (bhagavad-giitaa 3.22).

yadi hyaha.m na varteya.m jaatu karmaNyatandritaH |
mama vartmaanuvartante manuShyaaH paartha sarvashaH || giitaa 3.23 ||

For if I ever failed to engage in carefully performing prescribed duties, O
Paartha, certainly all men would follow My path (bhagavad-giitaa 3.23).

In this spirit, we can see how Lord Raamchandra, who had no need to worship
anyone (and certainly not Himself) or follow any dharma, observed the night
before His coronation ceremony. The Vaalmiiki-Raamaayana, Ayodhya-kanda,
sixth canto, states:

gate purohite raamaH snaato niyatamaanasaH |
saha palpaa vishaalaakShyaa naaraayaNamupaagamat || 1 ||

pragR^ihya shirasaa paatrii.m haviSho vidhivat tataH |
mahate daivataayaajya.m juhaava jvalitaanale || 2 ||

shoSha.m cha haviShastasya praashyaashaasyaatmanaH priyam |
dhyaayannaaraayaNa.m deva.m svaastiirNe kushasa.msare || 3 ||

vaagyataH saha vaidehyaa bhuutvaa niyatamaanasaH |
shriimatyaayatane viShNoH shishye nakharaatmajaH || 4 ||

Having bathed himself, when Vasishtha (the family priest) had left, Shrii
Raama with a concentrated mind worshipped Lord Naaraayana with the
co-operation of his wife (Siitaa), who had (exceptionally) large eyes. (1)

Taking up with his head bent low (in reverance) the vessel containing ghee
(for being poured into the sacred fire as oblation), he then consigned the
ghee to the lighted fire with due ceremony for the pleasure of Lord Vishnu
(the Supreme Deity). (2)

Tasting the remainder of that offering and expecting (in return) what was
dear to him, Shrii Raama (son of Dasharatha, the foremost of men) silently
lay down to sleep with his mind fully controlled on a mat of Kusha grass
spread by himself in (the hall of) the glorious temple of Lord Vishnu along
with Siitaa ( a princess of the Videha kings) contemplating on Lord
Naaraayana. (3-4)

As an side, the translator writes in a footnote to the last verse that, "The
learned commentators point out that the Deity referred to here is no other
than Lord Shrii Ranganaatha, who had been worshipped by a long line of the
rulers of Ayodhya as their chosen deity in a separate shrine built within
the precincts of the royal palace. We are told at length in the
Paataala-khanda, of the Padma-Puraana how Shrii Raama so kindly handed over
the image to Vibhiishana, through whom it reached Shriirangam (near
Tiruchirapally) in South India, where it exists even to this day and is held
in the highest reverence by the Vaishnavas and other devotees all over
India."

The Bhagavad-Giitaa translations provided above are those of A.C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami. The translations of the Raamaayana given above come
from the Gita Press edition. Any errors in transliteration are mine alone.

adiyen Krishna Susarla