Srila Prabhupada speaks about Lord Rama in his various lectures and conversations and following are some of them:

Vande 'haṁ karuṇākaraṁ raghu-varaṁ bhu-pāla-cuḍāmaṇi. So he is offering his respectful obeisances to the Lord Rāma. Karuṇākaram. He comes, paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtam [Bg. 4.8]. Therefore He is karuṇā-ākaram. Ākaram means mine. He is the great mine of mercy. Karuṇākaraṁ raghu-varam. And because He appeared in the dynasty of Mahārāja Raghu, so He is the Supreme Personality in the Raghu dynasty, raghu-varam. And bhu-pāla-cuḍāmaṇi. He is the helmet of all kings. Cuḍāmaṇi. Cuḍāmaṇi means, maṇi means pearl, and cuda means helmet. So the pearl is placed in the crown. So He is the, although He appeared as King, but He is the helmet of all kings.
Rādhāṣṭamī, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī's Appearance Day -- Montreal, August 30, 1968


What was the business of Rāmacandra? To kill Rāvaṇas. [laughter] To kill all the atheists. That was the Rāmacandra's business: to kill Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa was a very powerful atheist, and he was working with the ten heads. Just like materialistic karmīs, they work very hard, and they have got good brain also for wording hard. So Rāvaṇa had ten heads. But the plan was to cheat Rāma. With all intelligence, with all brain, his only plan was how to cheat Rāma. That was his...

He became a sannyāsī and he went to take some alms from Sītā. The purpose was to cheat, to enter. Because according to Vedic civilization, a sannyāsī has open door. He can go even inside. But that... He was the only sannyāsī at that time who tried to cheat. But this kind of sannyāsī or this kind of intelligent persons are killed by Rāma. They may make plan very nice to cheat Rāmacandra, but ultimately they become vanquished with all their planning commission.

Initiation of Rāma-rañjana, July 5, 1971, Los Angeles


Lord Rāmacandra appeared in Ayodhyā. There is a place in Ayodhyā, in northern India. There He appeared. As Kṛṣṇa appeared in Mathurā... That is also northern India. And Mathurā is about ninety miles down southward from New Delhi. You have heard the name of New Delhi, the capital of India. So Ayodhyā is also situated about five hundred miles northeast of New Delhi. So Lord Rāmacandra appeared on this day. Today is called Śrī Rāma Naumi.

On the ninth day of the moon Lord Rāmacandra appeared. His father was the king of Ayodhyā, and he had three wives. So out of... No. He had two wives. So out of two wives he got four sons. Rāmacandra is the eldest son.

[break] The life and activities of Lord Rāmacandra is...

[break] ...in a book which is called Rāmāyaṇa. You have heard the name of Rāmāyaṇa. [break] Rāmāyaṇa is also accepted as history. [break] Vedic literatures [break] are histories also. The Purāṇas, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa, they are counted amongst the history.

The history of Rāmacandra is that His father wanted to retire, Daśaratha, Mahārāja Daśaratha. And he decided to enthrone Lord Rāmacandra and retire. So everything was settled, but just one day before, his youngest wife turned the whole thing into different way.

Sometimes Mahārāja Daśaratha was suffering from what is called whitlow, some trouble in the finger? And this queen served him very nicely, and he was pleased. And he said, "My dear Śarmiṣṭhā, if you want some benediction from me, I can give you." And she replied that "I shall ask you for the benediction when I require it. Not now."

So just one day before Lord Rāmacandra's coronation, she approached her husband, Mahārāja Daśaratha, and reminded him, "My dear husband, you promised to give me some benediction, and I told you that I shall ask you when I require it."

Mahārāja Daśaratha said, "Yes, I remember. You want some benediction just now?" She said, "Yes." "And what is that?" She said that "Rāmacandra cannot be seated on the throne. My son should be, Bhārata." Oh, he was surprised. It is a big demand. So he said, "All right. That will be done. Your son."

Because formerly, the kings... Not only formerly; even up to date there are many kṣatriya kings in India, they have more than one wife. And they are, naturally, there is rivalry between different wives. So the same thing. Human psychology is the same. Even two million years ago the same mentality was there, and she asked that "My son should be the king, not Rāmacandra." Rāmacandra happened to be the son of Kauśalyā, the elder queen.

So Mahārāja Daśaratha agreed and called for Rāmacandra. "My dear boy, your..." She asked also that... She was very diplomatic. She wanted that Rāmacandra go to forest for fourteen years. The idea was political, that "The king may agree to install my son just now. Now, after a few days, this Rāmacandra may come with His army, and there may be some difficulty to continue the kingdom." So she wanted that Rāmacandra should go to the forest and she [He] should not come back till the end of fourteen years from this day.

So Mahārāja Daśaratha agreed, because he was kṣatriya. Just see the promise. A kṣatriya never goes back from the promise, never refuses any challenge. If a kṣatriya is challenged by somebody that "I want to fight with you," oh, he cannot refuse. 

So here Rāmacandra, Lord Rāmacandra exhibited the quality how He renounced the whole kingdom simply on the order of His father, His obedience to father. He could have argued with His father, "My dear father, you, simply for keeping your promise and actuated by the dictation of a woman, you are doing this. Let us stop it. Everyone is expecting that tomorrow My coronation will be there, and they love Me so much."

Because He... Just like Kṛṣṇa was so much loved, similarly, Lord Rāmacandra was the life of the people. They were very much expecting that Rāmacandra was going to be enthroned tomorrow. So how they were celebrating, how they were decorating the whole city, everything. He never argued. He accepted immediately: "Yes, father. I am ready."

So then His one of the brothers, Lakṣmaṇa, He also requested Rāmacandra, "My dear brother, You also take Me. I am Your constant companion. I must go with You." So He said, "That's Your wish. Voluntarily, if You want to come, You can come with Me." Then Sītā, His wife, young wife, she also said, "I'll go with You."

Rāmacandra requested His wife, "Oh, you cannot go with Me. It is very difficult. You are a king's daughter, and you were brought up in so nice way, and you are so beautiful. You cannot go. You cannot take the trouble of living in the forest." So she said, "Oh, I am Your wife, married wife. So I must go even if You go to hell."

This is ideal wife. She could have refused: "Oh, Your father has ordered to go to forest. You can go. I shall go to my father's house or I shall remain here." No. This is ideal wife. She must be prepared to accept any circumstances of the husband. Not that when the husband is rich the wife is very faithful, and when he has come down to be poor or he's going to forest the wife gives up his company. No. Wife means better half. She must abide. Just like, it is said, just like a shadow follows the reality, similarly, the wife is the shadow of the husband. Wherever the husband goes, she must go. Whatever the husband wants, she must carry out.

Of course, in this country this interpretation is taken differently, that wife is made a slave. But actually it is not so. When Sītā was kidnapped in the jungle, Rāmacandra expected that, that she was beautiful, she was young, and "We shall be in open jungle. It may be some demons may come," and actually it so happened. So for Sītā, Lord Rāmacandra massacred the whole family of Rāvaṇa. Only for Sītā. So as the husband, so the wife. The wife was so faithful that she could not remain alone. She must accompany the husband even in the forest. And the husband was so faithful that "Oh, my wife has been kidnapped," so He massacred the whole family of Rāvaṇa.

So these are ideal history how... Rāmacandra, Lord Rāmacandra appeared on this world to educate, or to place ideal example of a king, how the king should be. Therefore when there is good government... The example is given, Rāma-rājya. Rāma-rājya. It is the kingdom of Lord Rāma. Because everyone was happy. Everyone. There are so many instances in the life of Rāmacandra.
Excerpts from Śrī Rāma-Navamī, Lord Rāmacandra's Appearance Day Lecture, March 27, 1969, Hawaii

 

 

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