Rama

Rama pronunciation (Devanāgarī: राम ; Rāma,; Burmese: ရာမ Jàma̰ ; Javanese: Ramavijaya ; Khmer: ព្រះរាម Phreah Ream ; Lao: ພຣະຣາມ Phra Ram ; Malay: Megat Seri Rama; Maranao: Raja Bantugan; Tamil: ராமர் Ramar; Telugu: రామ Rama; Thai: พระราม Phra Ram; Kannada: ರಾಮ) or Ramachandra is the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in Hindu scriptures. In few Rama-centric sects, Rama is considered the Supreme Being, rather than an avatar. Rama was born in Suryavansha (Ikshvaku Vansh) later known as Raghuvansha after king Raghu. As per Valmiki Ramayana, Bala Kanda Sarga 18, Shlokas 8/9/10, Rama was born on 9th Day (now celebrated across India as Ram Navmi) in Chaitra Lunar Month in Ayodhya, India when Moon & Jupiter were rising in the east in Cancer sign and four other planets (Sun, Mars, Saturn, Venus) were exalted in their exaltation signs. Using a free Planetarium Software (Planetarium Gold) that uses NASA JPL data files for planetary positions, Pushkar Bhatnagar has been able to establish in his research that the star positions at Rama's birth match the date of "10th Jan 5114BC" around 12:30pm local time; there is no other match for these planetary positions. As per Based on Puranic genealogy, Rama is believed by Hindus to have lived in the second Yuga called Treta Yuga, before Krishna who was born towards the begining of Dwapara Yuga. Rama is traditionally considered to have appeared in the last quarter of Treta Yuga.

Prior to the eleventh century there were no temples to Rama, since he was viewed as human. Rama bhakti poetry starts to emerge only in the sixteenth century. Rama is one of the many popular figures and deities in Hinduism, specifically Vaishnavism and Vaishnava religious scriptures in South and Southeast Asia. In Ayodhya, the Indian city believed to be the birthplace of Rama, he is also worshipped as an infant or Rama Lalla. Most of the details of Rama's life come from the Ramayana, one of the two great epics of India. Born as the eldest son of Kausalya and Dasharatha, king of Ayodhya, Rama is referred to within Hinduism as Maryada Purushottama, literally the Perfect Man or Lord of Self-Control or Lord of Virtue. Rama is the husband of Sita, whom Hindus consider to be an Avatar of Lakshmi and the embodiment of perfect womanhood.

Rama's life and journey is one of perfect adherence to dharma despite harsh tests of life and time. He is pictured as the ideal man and the perfect human. For the sake of his father's honour, Rama abandons his claim to Kosala's throne to serve an exile of fourteen years in the forest. His wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, unable to live without Rama, decide to join him, and all three spend the fourteen years in exile together. While in exile, Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, the Rakshasa (Asura) monarch of Lanka. After a long and arduous search that tests his personal strength and virtue, Rama fights a colossal war against Ravana's armies. In a war of powerful and magical beings, greatly destructive weaponry and battles, Rama slays Ravana in battle and liberates his wife. Having completed his exile, Rama returns to be crowned king in Ayodhya (the capital of his kingdom) and eventually becomes emperor, rules with happiness, peace, prosperity and justice—a period known as Rama Rajya.

Rama's courage in searching for Sita and fighting a terrible war to rescue his wife and their honour is complemented by Sita's absolute devotion to her husband's love, and perfect chastity despite being Ravana's captive. Rama's younger brothers, namely Lakshmana, Shatrughna and Bharata strongly complement his piety, virtue and strength, and they are believed by many to belong to the Maryada Purushottama and the Seventh Avatara, mainly embodied by Rama. Rama's piety and virtue attract powerful and devoted allies such as Hanuman and the Vanaras of Kishkindha, with whose help he rescues Sita. The legend of Rama is deeply influential and popular in the societies of the Indian subcontinent and across South East Asia. Rama is revered for his unending compassion, courage and devotion to religious values and duty.

Read more about Rama:  Etymology, Literary Sources, Avatara, Initiation of The Avatara, Dharma of Exile, Rama and Sita, Later Life, Maryada Purushottama, Companions, Rama in War, International Influence, Festivals

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