Chapter 12(b)
The Coronation 

"Brother! Of all righteous acts, help rendered to those needing it is the most righteous. Of all evil acts, there is nothing worse than causing harm to others. Know that this is the essence of the teachings of the Vedas and the Puranas. This is the ideal, held forth by good men everywhere. Those who are benefited by birth as men, and yet indulge in injuring others, are degraded into lower bestial levels and have to be born and die as those beings. Or, when born again as men, they commit further evils through their ignorance and the blindness it causes. For such, I am the meter-out of karma-consequence and it is only after a long passage of time during which they have to struggle out of the darkness, that I vouchsafe a vision of Myself. I throw them again and again into the vortex of life and make them experience the ups and downs so that they might be educated." 

"Bharatha! The gods, the sages and the great personages do not engage themselves in acts involving dualities; they are ever engaged in adoring Me in a dedicated state of mind. They engage themselves in activities without any desire or attachment to the consequence of those activities. If austerities are taken up in order to gain some ends, if activities are undertaken with a view to earn the fruits they yield, people have to be born with bodies so that they may be awarded the good and the bad which those activities deserve. When the fruits are not craved for, and acts are still done sincerely and rightly and correctly, they don't bind; on the other hand, they confer wisdom on the doer. The person will have his devotion and dedication advanced a great deal. And as a result, he will be nearer to the Supreme and mergence in the Supreme. When you are able to distinguish between the good and the bad on the basis of these characteristics, and act accordingly while choosing company, you will be able to extricate yourselves from the coils of the sea of change, the Samsara Ocean. Brother! Know that all distinctions between good and bad are basically the result of attachment and development, due to your considering the world as real, while it is neither real nor unreal. Those who have escaped this 'illusion' and this duality are the Mahatmas. They have realized that their reality is the unchanging Atma. They know that there are no two; they experience always only the One. Others are the ignorant lot." 

The brother and others who listened to this clarification attained equanimity. Their hearts were delighted with the upsurge of love. They acknowledged the kindness of Rama by gratefully prostrating before him. This they did for each point that was clarified. Hanuman felt the ecstasy more than all others. Later, Rama proceeded to the palace, accompanied by the brothers and Hanuman. This became the normal routine every day - conveying counsel and then, the carrying on of the duties of administration. 

One day, Rama desired that the citizens of Ayodhya assemble in the palace, with the Preceptors and the Brahmins. They all met at the Durbar Hall, and were provided comfortable seats. Rama came into the Hall and addressed them thus: 

"Citizens! Preceptors and Brahmins! Prostrations to you. Listen to my words in peace and to the very end. I am not discoursing to you in pride or selfish conceit. It is also not to declare that I am your monarch. Nor is it to lead you to journey along evil paths. If My words appear good to you, then, follow the path I indicate. But, I must say this: Those who listen to my words and walk accordingly, those alone are dear to me. They alone are my brothers. If I utter anything wrong, point it out to me instantly, without hesitation. Well. Birth as a human being is hailed in the Vedas and Puranas and by wise men of all lands as the rarest chance of all. The human birth cannot be achieved unless a great deal of merit is built up in many lives previous to this. Even gods yearn for the chance and find it hard to get born as men. Birth as a human opens the door to liberation. It provides wide opportunities for undergoing Sadhana and benefiting by them. The human body is to be used not for enjoying sensual pleasures. It is not to be treated as an instrument for reaching heaven and delight in heavenly toys and joys. These pleasures are all momentary. They bring you back again into the tangle of change, the toil of birth and death. Therefore, these pleasures bring about sorrow. Only fools will be led away into the pursuit of these sensual pleasures. Such pleasures are as poison to man; is it proper to seek poison, in preference to nectar? Those who crave for poison cannot be good men. They are like the fools who discard the wish-fulfilling-gem (Chintamani) and prefer a bead of glass. Being endowed with the human body, if a person does not use it for crossing the ocean of illusory existence (Samsar) he is indeed to be pitied as unfortunate and of dull intellect. He is indeed the slayer of his own self, the enemy of his own progress. Therefore, those who are born as men have to realize that God resides in all men as the Atma within and to serve everyone as Divine, and regard that service as the most proper worship of God. Observe the dictates of God with full heart. Carry out all activities as if you are dedicating them to God." 

"Citizens! Those who yearn to be happy here and hereafter! Listen to my words. Have them as your guides and your goals. Follow this path. Of all paths that lead to God and Self-realization, the path of devotion (Bhakthi) (*) is the easiest, it is a path full of delight for the mind. The path of discrimination and elimination of illusion (Jnana) (**) is fraught with difficulties and packed with obstacles. It is well-nigh impossible to extinguish the mind. And, even those who travel along the hard path of Jnana, can become dear to me only if they have devotion and love in their hearts. There is nothing equal to Bhakthi. Bhakthi is not bound, it is free. It endows man with all joys and delights. And, it must be emphasized that you can progress in Bhakthi only when you seek and stay in Satsang, good company." Continuing His discourse to the assembly Rama said, "Listen, O people of My Kingdom! I wish to tell you one very important truth, often not clearly grasped by you. Do not attribute any distinction between Siva and Kesava. Believe that God is one. The Name and the Form are distinct, but, the Divyatma (the Universal Absolute Entity) is the same. That Divyatma is in everyone in equal potency". 


Hearing these nectarine teachings from the lips of Rama, the citizens bowed their heads in reverential homage. One of them came forward to express their gratitude. He said, "Lord! We are attached to you more than to our own lives. Our bodies are healthy and hardy because of you. Our homes are resonant with joy and happiness because of you. It is all due to your Grace. You have rid us of sorrow and drawn us near you. Maharaja! Who else can teach us so lovingly as you do? Our own fathers and mothers seek from us the fulfillment of their selfish desires; that is all. Of what use are we for you? But yet, you train us for attaining the bliss of heaven. This gives us full contentment. You and your excellent followers have done magnificent service to the world, by destroying the demonic race. We can never acquire a Lord, a Friend, a Father, as kind and considerate as You". The people expressed their joy and the sense of enlightenment plentifully before Rama. Rama brightened at their loyalty and eagerness to learn more about spiritual matters. The citizens took leave of Rama and returned to their homes. They reminded themselves of the valuable truths they had been taught. 

In the City of Ayodhya, every house had a flower garden attached to it. The residents tended the garden with love and care. It was perpetual spring in Ayodhya, for, the plants were heavy with fruits and fragrant with blooms throughout the year. Clusters of bees hovered over the blooms and their murmur could be heard all over. A cool breeze, heavy with the scent of flowers, greeted every one. Children of the city had many species of birds as pets; their songs, twitters and chirps mingled to make charming music to the ear. 

The wealth and prosperity of the citizens under the benign reign of Rama cannot be adequately described by even thousand thousand-tongued Seshas. This was the result of the righteousness (Dharma) which Rama fostered and guarded. Rama celebrated many an Aswamedha Sacrifice. Millions and millions of Brahmins were granted generous gifts and they were made happy and contented. Rama, the promoter of Vedic rites and ceremonials and the Guardian of the codes of Dharma, (but yet, above and beyond all obligations and attributes - Gunathitha), as well as Sita, replete with all auspicious attributes and intent on helping all who craved to fulfill their beneficial obligations - were both vigilant in their task of keeping themselves and their subjects on the path of Dharma. Physical illness, mental anxiety and moral downfall were totally absent, when Rama ruled. People had deep love and affection for each other. Every one stuck gladly to the duties and rights sanctioned by the Vedas to the community and the profession. Austerity, charity, sacrifices, spiritual ritual and studies continued unabated and even enthusiastically all over the land. Sinful thoughts dared not peep into minds of people, even in their dreams. Women, men, old persons, children - all were at all times reveling in thoughts of Rama. There was no calamity or natural catastrophe evident anywhere. During the Rama age, there were no poor, no grief-stricken, no one humbled or crestfallen, no one cruel or hateful, no one ugly or ghastly to behold. Everyone had all the marks of charm. No one hurt another with his pride and pomp. No one envied another. All were versed in Atmic wisdom; all were eager to practice and protect Dharma, all were compassionate and intent on serving others. Each one was eager to extol the good qualities of another; no one gave room for egoism in his heart. 

The entire Globe, with its seven Dwipas (***) bordered by the Oceans, [see also Prasnottara Vahini] was under the shade of the single Umbrella of Rama's sovereignty. Over this entire region, Rama was the sole undisputed Lord. In this imperial domain, people enjoyed mutual love and mutual help; there was no trace of faction or fight; apart-ness and the big stick were not evident at all. Of course, distinction came to the fore in dance and the arts. The stick was evident in the hands of ascetics and monks. Fighting was to be seen only when used against the senses by Sadhakas. Attachment (raga, also meaning, tunes) could be noticed as raga only in music. When no one had any enemy, how could 'killing' be done? But, people killed the vagaries of the mind instead and won victories over their own lower natures. 

A view on the Yamuna

The City and environs shone with incomparably attractive wells, lakes and tanks. O the pure waters! O the beautiful landing places! Their sublime charm drew admiration from sages and seers. They blamed themselves for being so attracted. The lakes and tanks had lotuses of many colours blossoming on their surface. Many birds were singing on the trees growing thick on their banks. Parrots, peacocks, and others clustered on the branches and made merry. The City was more splendid than even Heaven and people were wonder-struck at its uniqueness. 

One day, Vasishta entered the Palace in order to see Rama, the Grantor of prosperity in all fields. Rama received him in true traditional style, washing his feet and offering sanctified water as drink. He raised his folded palms and said, "O Ocean of Compassion! I have a request to make. I have been watching most delightfully your 'play as man'. I am beset with a big doubt, now. Your potency is limitless. Even the Vedas do not know fully your Nature. Lord! How can I describe You, or decipher You? This profession of Family Preceptor or Priest is rather derogatory. The Vedas, Sastras and Puranas declare that priesthood is inferior in status, since it is a mean occupation. He has to officiate at all the ceremonies in his master's household, both auspicious and inauspicious. Therefore, it is contaminated. First I did not agree at all to enter this profession; but Brahma saw me and understood my plight. He told me, 'Son! You do not know what lies in the future. Accept the profession, without demur. You stand to gain enormously in the coming years. The Parabrahma will incarnate in the Raghu dynasty'. Hearing this, I bowed my head to this profession and became the Family Priest of the Raghu dynasty. I have now, as a result of that decision, attained that Supreme Principle, which can be won only by means of countless years of Japa, Thapa, Meditation (Dhyana)  and Yoga, besides the performance of many Yagas and Yajnas, without putting myself into the hardship involved in these. All those good Karmas have as the goal to be won, and I have won you". 

"What better work have I to do than the one I have chosen? Lord of Lords! Japa, Thapa, Yajnas, Yagas, Vows, Rites and Ritual rules have been laid down in the Vedas. Through the cultivation of wisdom, compassion towards living beings, and virtuous conduct, Your Presence and Grace can be attained. Lord! I am praying for a boon. Grant me that in your infinite mercy. Shower your Grace on me from the corner of your compassion-filled eye. Let my devotion for You be undiminished, however many lives I have to live hereafter; this is the boon I crave for". Later Vasishta returned to his residence, taking leave of Rama. 

The subjects of the kingdom spent their time singing the thrice-holy captivating story of their Ruler, Rama. One might have achieved success in Yoga or performed many ritual vows but, if one has no love in his heart, he could not get Darsan of Rama. The wise man, the ascetic, the hero, the poet, the scholar, the accomplished, no one of these were afflicted with greed in Rama's empire. No one strayed into wrong, urged by pride of wealth. The intoxication of authority did not render anyone deaf. Where was the young man who suffered from the fever of Youth? Or, where could be found the man who lost his fame through yielding to the pull of selfishness? Where was the man tainted by enmity? Where was the man suffering from the paralysis of grief? Where was the man bitten by the serpent anxiety? There was none such - Rama himself standing above and beyond these, as an example for all to emulate. He is the Atmaswarup, God Himself. 

The redoubtable armies of Maya are roaming allover this world. The soldiers are the passions, lust, greed etc. Pride, unbelief etc. are the commanding officers. But, the same Maya is the bond slave of Raghunatha, Rama. She is 'un-real', but, yet, unless you have the Grace of Rama, you cannot escape from capture and bondage. The Grace flowing from the corner of His eye alone can liberate you from her grip. Maya 'possesses' all movable and immovable things in the universe; no one can be free from her hold. She imitates the earthly glory of the Lord and like a skilled actress, she enacts her role with lust, greed and others as supporting cast. Rama, however, as the embodiment of Sath-Chith-Ananda, as the personification of the Deep Blue that characterizes the Sea and Sky, the Phenomenon that has no Birth, as the Paramatma Itself, has no trace of Maya in Him. 

In the City of Ayodhya, every day was a new festival, every festival was marked out with some novel features of entertainment. Each day, Rama gave away riches as charity. It was laid down that no one should blame another or scorn another. No bad word should be uttered. In every home, there were daily readings of the Vedas and the Puranas. No community of people looked on another or considered another as inferior. Each carried on its traditional occupation and respected the norms laid down. Therefore, compassion and affection towards the subjects grew quick and large in Rama's heart. Observing the devotion and dedication with which wives in Rama's kingdom served their husbands, even the Gods grew envious of men. The husbands too shone as persons deserving such service; no one brought a single tear from the eyes of those wedded to them. Husband and wife had the feeling that each was half the body of the other and so, they got on as one, desiring each other's best interests and devoted to their realization. In Rama's time, no one attempted to have recourse to falsehood under any circumstance. Boys and girls honored the commands and directions of parents and preceptors. Every one was as happy as the Lord of Gods in Heaven, Indra. Grain and riches were as plentiful in every home as in the place of the God of Wealth, Kubera. The Chakora birds were glad as if they were looking on at the Moon in Autumn, Sarathkala. Women watched Rama from behind the doors of their enclosed apartments and were delighted. Bharatha, Lakshmana and Satrughna were thrilled continuously in mind, filling their eyes with the Divine Charm of Sri Rama. The entire world was filled with full splendor while it was being ruled by Rama. There was no trace or mention of 'sin'. The monks and ascetics wandered about fearless in the wildest woods. The mutual affection between the King and his subjects grew more and more from day to day. The earth shone with Love and Light. The forests were shimmering in perpetual green. Birds and beasts had lost their instinctive hatred for one another. Not even an iota of hatred was to be found anywhere, nor was there even a whisper indicating its existence. All were bound by the thickest of comradeships. Every individual evinced great enthusiasm in describing the excellences and achievements of Rama. 



One day, Rama was on his throne, in the Audience Hall, along with his brothers. A Brahmin entered the Hall in great distress. He spoke many harsh words and pleaded angrily for redress. "Alas!", he cried, "the fame of the Solar Dynasty has ended today. I remember the glory of the great kings of the past Sibi [RRV-10b, BV-32, Sathya Sai Vahini], Raghu, Dilipa [RRV-2, RRV-7a, RRV-7c], Sagara [RRV-7a, RRV-7c, BV-32]; for, such iniquities would not have happened when those Kings were ruling. Will a son ever die during the life-time of the father? Can such a disaster happen if the ruler is good? But, this day, I saw this thing happen." Rama, who is omnipresent, was able to know what had taken place; he was affected by the words spoken by the Brahmin. He probed within himself the reason for the death and assured his mind that it had not occurred as a result of any administrative fault. He was aware that it was the consequence of evil thoughts and so, he set about prescribing limits and regulations which would prevent such thoughts from arising in people's minds. Rama paid great attention even to such small matters and designed measures to prevent their recurrence. He laid aside all concern about Himself and sought to realize the goal He had set before Himself, viz., the happiness of his people. He cared for his subjects as if they were as dear to Him as His own body. The people too valued the affection and happiness of the King; he was to them as dear as his heart. The Ruler never worked against the wishes of the people. They, too, did not overstep even by a hair's breadth the orders given by Rama. The Ramarajya of those days was resplendent thus for many years. Rama was Narayana Himself. So, his reign redounded to the glory of the earth and its history. For, truth and righteousness are the real guardians of mankind. 

(*) Bhagavad Gîtâ of Order, Ch. 12.

(**) Bhagavad Gîtâ of Order, Ch. 13.

(***) Srîmad Bhâgavatam, Canto 5: The Creative Impetus, Ch. 16: How the Lord can be Comprehended as a Matter of Fact.





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