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Unlike Krishna, Rama did not show any extraordinary powers or miracles. He was more of a human being. In that case, why can’t we all possess characteristics like Rama?

According to Valmiki Ramayana, Rama was an avatar of Vishnu and he came to earth with the prime purpose of annihilating Ravana, based on the requests of devas and sages who suffered immensely under Ravana’s mighty power.

His very birth was unnatural because he was born by divine blessing that came in the form of a sweet pudding brought by a divine messenger at the end of Putra Kameshti yaga conducted by Dasaratha. Only after drinking the pudding, Dasaratha’s wives could become pregnant and Rama was born as Vishnu’s avatar to Kousalya.

Unlike Krishnavatar of the next yuga where Krishna demonstrated His divinity at every opportune moment, Rama always underplayed his divinity and was content to show just a perfect human face. That was his greatness.

According to Yoga Vashita, Young prince Rama attained Brahma Gnyana, was gripped with extreme vairagya (dispassion) and became disinterested in leading a life of a royal prince. Sage Vashita advised him that one can remain in whatever status one is living already and a Gnyani is never affected by his external worldly activities; there was absolutely no need to relinquish royal life and Rama agreed.

Only because he was a gnyani possessing total mental equanimity, he could accept the life of a forest-dweller at the behest of Kaikeyi without batting an eyelid, despite enjoying all royal comforts. At the same time, in Ramayana, he has been portrayed as a person easily succumbing to emotional depression too (like when he found Sita abducted by Ravana).

On many occasions, Rama indirectly displayed his divinity. Being a divine, he was above dharma and adharma. He displayed this divine aspect when he killed Vali, because he could boldly face criticism of acting in adharmic way in killing Vali by hiding behind a tree.

He showed his mighty power to Samudra Raja, when his prayers to the lord of Seas was not responded initially. Only when he stood up with his Brahmastra with an intent of drying up the seas, the lord of the seas came and surrendered.

During Lanka war, when Rama fell unconscious due to the attack of Nagastra, Lord Vishnu’s vehicle – Garuda came and removed the poisonous effects of the serpant astra. This is another indication of Rama’s divinity and his status as an avatar of Vishnu.

During the final stages of battle with Ravana, Lord Indira sent his chariot along with the charioteer Madhali to assist Rama. It was Madhali who reminded Rama to use the Brahmastra to kill Ravana. Ordinary human beings don’t get such privileges!

Coming to your second part of question: Why can’t we possess similar characteristics like Rama?

The Vedanta says all of us are potentially divine. In Bhagavad Gita, lord Krishna says He is the in-dweller in all. The only problem is that we are totally unaware of our true status, as we are deluded by Maya and ego.

If only, we can get totally rid off maya and discard our ego, we too become God. That’s is precisely Self-realization or God realization.

But still, do we become equal to Rama? Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa explains that while as Brahman (God) we may all be fundamentally same, the expression of divine Shakti in each of us is quite different. An ant and an elephant are God in essence alright, but the power of an elephant is not same as an ant!

An Avatara Purusha is one where God’s power gets expressed in a massive scale. Sri Ramakrishna used to say that an Avatar is like a huge steamer that can carry lots of people to cross the sea of samsara. On the other hand, a normal Jivan Mukta (a person who attained God realization through lots of effort and sadhana) will not have so much power to save many others from samsara. He is at the best like a small boat that can fetch a couple of persons across the river.

When Rama’s avatar came to an end, he took the entire populace of Ayodhya along with him to immerse in the Sarayu river and gave Moksha to all of them. Now you know the difference!

Monogamy – Is it nature or nurtured?

It really appears that God has created men with some undue advantages and privileges over women. Perhaps on account of this advantageous position, the basic mental and physical tendency of a man is polygamous; on the other hand, due to the physical and mental nature of women, they tend to be more monogamous. Thus there lies a natural phenomenon that leads one to subscribe that monogamy in a woman is her “nature” and in a man it develops by “nurturing”.

Motherhood and monogamy in woman

God seems to have created every woman with the intention of making her life wholesome essentially through her motherhood. This mother instinct is deeply etched in every female species, including the animal kingdom. Amidst human beings, even the life of a nymphomaniac undergoes a metamorphosis, both physiologically and emotionally, once she gives birth to a baby. The inexplicable bondage of love a woman develops with her baby and the desire to protect and nurture the child calls for an emotional attachment towards the man who was the cause of the arrival of the child.

Through her love and care a woman nurtures monogamous commitment in man.

Through her love and care a woman nurtures monogamous commitment in man.

In a woman, God seems to have made this emotional bondage with her man and her sense of loyalty associated with it very strong indeed. Added to this natural phenomenon, there exist the moral and ethical standards imposed by the society on women. The society as a whole imposes (or expects) the morality of monogamy in a woman and it cannot simply be brushed aside accusing that it is males’ scheme of things to subjugate women this way. No woman possessing basic moral values ever respects a woman who practices polygamy. It is not again because of traditional moral conditioning, but because, deep within her psyche every woman seems to feel comfortable and peaceful with having just one man as the father of her children.

It is true that in the present day scheme of things where marital discords and divorces have become too common, a woman may bear the children of more than one father one marriage after another (what is now called serial monogamy) , but definitely the society would not easily accept a woman having more than one sexual partner simultaneously.

There is nothing like natural fatherly instinct!

There is nothing like natural fatherly instinct!

Thus along with motherhood, God appears to have given a woman a far deeper sense of responsibility towards her children and the need to ensure their respectability in the society; that respectability can be ensured by her only by declaring boldly, without any sense of guilt, who their singular father is.

A woman’s psyche, by nature, is haunted by a high degree of guilt and consequent emotional turmoil, if she were to become polygamous by her adventurism, omissions or commissions.

A man can sow seeds everywhere

Contrary to all the above, think of a man’s physical and emotional constitution. Man’s life is NOT built physically and mentally around fatherhood. When a woman produces just one egg in her womb per month that has the potential to become a child, a man produces billions and billions of sperms at every ejaculation which he is capable of releasing every day. A man, like a tree or a plant produces far in excess of seeds than that can create a new life. Why is it so? It leads us to believe that it is purely God’s scheme of things that it be so.

This excess and natural production of seeds tempt a man to sow them at wider and and newer fields and he is not haunted by any emotional sense of guilt as strongly as women are. That’s why there is lot of scope to conclude that God has not created men to be monogamous strictly;He has given him the freedom to play as he likes and face the physical and emotional consequences of practicing such an unbridled freedom, or to restrain himself by accepting moral and spiritual responsibility towards a single woman.

Enforcing monogamy through womanly love and care

God has also given, in a very poetic way, some strong capabilities to woman to keep her man bonded and hooked to her without going astray. Yes. It is the power of woman’s overpowering love, possessiveness and the physical bondage she weaves around a man. It is this beautiful characteristic of woman that attracts and binds a man to one woman. A woman’s way of showing love to her man, the way she goes about satisfying his needs and nurturing him, the way she displays extraordinary motherly characteristics to their children and the extent of sacrifice a women does to do her divinely role of playing the unselfish motherhood — all these create an awe in a man on his wife.

Loving, nurturing, caring, accepting man’s dominance, accepting a man’s many idiosyncrasies and still tolerating and supporting him — all these things are done by women just as a barter deal to ensure men of predominantly polygamous tendencies to remain monogamous. Thus a woman plays her role naturally to nurture monogamous tendencies in a man.

An essentially polygamous man can be tamed and turned monogamous only through the unique strengths, well founded on femininity, as endowed to a woman by God. When women forget to grasp this simple fact, they end up fighting for equality and entangle themselves into more and more emotional turmoil.

If a man, despite his natural and inborn tendency, opts to live monogamous, he is definitely elevating himself spiritually. By nurturing this quality, he may lose some thrills and fun in life, but he gains love, physical well being, mental peace and tranquility in the bargain. On the contrary, if a woman tends to become polygamous, she is going against her basic monogamous nature and thus tend to acquire lowly animal qualities. As women are more of emotional creatures than men, a fallen woman suffers a lot more emotionally than a fallen man.

Such of those women who want equality with men in all respects — women who want to shun their traditional role and monogamous nature and compete with men in all spheres including the domain of loosened moralities, are woefully ignorant of this elementary fact, and the price they pay for it in their physical and mental plane is really too stiff.

The suffering of a family or a society is much more when a woman goes astray, than when a man goes astray. This is not an area where woman should try for equality with men. If they do, not only do they bring themselves to ruin, but also cause a severe damage to the balance of the society at large.

Monogamy & Polygamy – Potent Lessons from Indian Mythology

Lord Rama, the most adored male Monogamist

Sita Rama — the monogamous and ideal husband.

In the grand Hindu Epic Ramayana, the King Rama practiced monogamy as a matter of great virtue, despite the fact that it was quite a common norm those days that Kings had multiple wives. Rama’s father Dasaratha had three queens and other 60 concubines in his palace and Lord Rama never took it as an example to follow for his personal life. With such a great virtue, Rama is being adored as the ideal husband, despite the fact that he got himself separated from his dear wife Sita and sent her to forest in order to uphold his adherence to dharma as a ruler.

Draupati, the much condemned woman polygamist

On the contrary, in the other grand Hindu epic Mahabharata, the 5 pandavas, who were considered sticklers to dharma, got infatuated by the overpowering beauty of Draupati; they opted to marry her as a common wife of all the five, despite the fact that it was only Arjuna who won her by his archery skills at the swayamvara of Draupati. There are explanations and justifications given in this mythology for this deviant act, but the fact remains that Draupati accepted this proposition without protest; it was quite a blasphemous act, even considering the fact that the morality of the ruling class was at its lowest ebb during Mahabharata period.

Only Lord Krishna could come to the rescue of polygamist Draupati.

A scene from Mahabharata – Draupati being disrobed by Duschatana in front of her 5 husbands. Only Lord Krishna could come to the rescue of polygamist Draupati.

This act against the social norm practiced by Draupati and Pandavas can be taken as one of the covert causes of the many hardships faced by the Pandavas in their lives. The total lack of empathy towards their cause by the Kauravas and the utter disrespect meted out to them by kauravas becomes very obvious when Pandavas lost everything to Kauravas while playing the dice game. Draupati was singled out and utterly humiliated by Karna as he was openly laughing at Draupati, calling her a whore that married 5 men and she could very well come and sit on his lap too.

It should be noted that though Pandavas won the war, none of their their children given birth by Draupati was alive to rule the kingdom later.