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Why four brothers in Raamaayana?

From: Sandhya Chandarlapaty (
Date: Sun Sep 02 2001 - 18:05:29 PDT

Sree Raama Namah:

Dear Bhaktaas,

Being only an avid reader of this list until now, this is my first post. I came across this gem in Sree RamaKrishna Prabha by Sri Tenkatchi RaamaNaathan. I took the liberty to translate  it from Telugu and am posting it.


 A man who used to give religious discourses, once asked me "Do you know why four sons were born to Dasaradha?"

"I do not know, but perhaps you should ask Dasaradha that question."

"In reality, Dasaradha wanted only one son. He wanted one son to rule his kingdom after him, one who would help him attain superior positions. In the same way, the Devataas also asked Lord Vishnu for one Raama to destroy Raavana. So why did Dasaradha have four sons instead?

Let us see the explanation given for this in ancient literature :

There are four Dharmaas in this world. Lord Vishnu incarnated as four brothers inorder to demonstrate to the people to adopt these four Dharmaas - but not to only destroy Raavana. So what are these four Dharmaas?

The first one is ordinary Dharma (Saamaanya Dharma). How should children behave towards their parents? How should a disciple conduct oneself with a guru? How should a husband and wife be towards one another? Answers to questions like these constitute Saamaanya Dharma. 

Sree Raama honored this Dharma and demostrated it.

Once the Saamaanya Dharma is followed in a disciplined manner, one attains a state where only God's proximity means everything that is permanent. One belives that except for this nothing else is permanent. That is why Sri Kulasekhara Alwar has refused the chance to rule Indraloka, saying that God's proximity is enough for him. The author of Sree Krishna Leela Tharangini wrote " Krishna! All I want is to be buzzing around your lotus Feet like a bee." This kind of Dharma is called Sesha Dharma. 

Lakhsmana led his life adopting this Dharma. 

The third kind of Dharma is called Vishesha Dharma. Meaning, constantly thinking about God even while living far away from Him is called Vishesha Dharma. This is more difficult to practice than Sesha Dharma. It is not difficult to live in God's proximity and constantly think about Him. But living away from Him and constantly thinking about Him is difficult. The great Bharata practiced and demonstrated this difficult Dharma.

The fourth Dharma is extraordinary. It involves serving only those who serve God. Satrughna was the symbol of this Dharma. That is why Satrughna was constantly serving Bharata. 

In this manner God incarnated as four brothers inorder to practice and demonstrate the four Dharmaas to mankind."


Sree Raama Namah:

- Sandhya


bantu reeti koluvu eeyavayya Raama


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