Category: Shatashloki Ramayana

Shatashloki 20: The extra-ordinary virtues in Srirama make it evident that He is the Supreme Lord

Viṣṇunā sadŗṣo vīrye somavat priyadarsanaḥ

Kālāgni sadŗṣaḥ krodhe kṣamayā pŗthivī samaḥ.


Dhanadena sama styāge satye dharma ivāparaḥ

Ta mevaṃ guṇasampannaṃ rāmam satya parākramam

Meaning- In valour Rama equals Vishnu. He is as charming and pleasant as the moon. In anger, He is as fierce as fire of destruction(kaalagni). In patience, He is like the Earth. He can be compared to Kubera for His charitable disposition. In truth, He is like The Lord of righteousness (Dharma devata).

The extraordinary deeds accomplished by Rama are parallel to the deeds accomplished by Lord Vishnu. Hence in valour Rama has been said to be equal to Vishnu.

In the story of Ambarisha we have heard that Durvasa Mahamuni was angry with Ambarisha and was about to curse him. Ambarisha, the ardent devotee, sought refuge at the feet of the Lord. At once, Vishnu sent forth His Sudarshana Chakra (discus). This discus chased Durvasa Mahamuni endlessly. The sage fell at the feet of the Lord who told him that He was helpless in this situation. The sage was asked to go back to Ambarisha and seek refuge in him. The sage pleaded with Ambarisha, who in turn prayed to the Sudarshana chakra. The discus set the sage free immediately. Thus the sage was saved. Such is the power of the Sudarshan chakra. If the discus of the Supreme Lord has in it so much power, then what will be the power of the Supreme Lord who owns it? Needless to say, it is unimaginable.

A similar incident took place in Rama’s life. The crow-demon Kākasura once attacked Sita. Angered at this, Rama empowered a blade of grass with the requisite mantras and directed it at Kākasura. To escape from this blade of grass, Kākasura ran through all the three lokas (worlds) but to no avail. He pleaded with everyone, but none could protect him. In the end, he sought protection from Rama himself. Rama then protected him.

Terrified of Rama’s valour, the ocean permitted him to build a bridge across the ocean. Rama was thus equal to Vishnu in valour.

Somavat priyadarsanah- Rama is eternally pleasant and charming like the moon. He showers happiness and bliss upon everyone who approaches him. More importantly, He drives away the grief of everyone.

The moon has a stigma by which it cyclically waxes and wanes every alternate fortnight. Rama has no such faults. In radiance and shine He surpasses the moon in showering bliss upon people.

If such a radiant and pleasant Lord gets angry then it is only against those who atrociously trouble those devotees of His, who have sought refuge in Him. His anger at such times is comparable to the fire at the time of destruction of the universe (pralaya kaalagni). Rama who is otherwise pleasant and calm, turns fierce and fearful at times of anger.


Ordinary people experience this anger at times of insult or defeat. Rama does not get angry when He is insulted or defeated. On the other hand, He gets intensely angry when someone troubles or attacks those persons who have placed implicit trust in Him.


Patience is a virtue. In patience, Rama has been compared to the earth. The earth patiently tolerates all the atrocities and the sins that are being committed by the people living on it. Rama likewise exhibits great patience against those who insult him.


Rama, the storehouse of virtues, has been compared to Kubera in matters pertaining to charity. Kubera is a large-hearted and great philanthropist. To be rich is not great. To be of a charitable nature is true greatness. It is a great virtue. Happily and willingly Rama was ever ready to give away in entirety every possession of His. This is a truly admirable trait. Due to this He has been compared to Kubera.

The one who has renounced everything does not have the necessity to tell lies. Rama was eternally truthful. He protected truth in all situations. For this He has been compared to the Dharma Devata (God of righteousness).

In this world, people like Harishchandra can only adhere to their vow of truthfulness (satya vrata) at all times but they cannot absolve others from the sins/ mistakes due to their falsehood (asatya dosha). Rama however protected zealously his vow of truthfulness (satya vrata) and at the same time he was able to protect the others from their sins/mistakes due to uttering falsehood (asatya dosha). In other words, Rama had in him the capacity to protect others from the sins that arose from their own mistakes of uttering lies. For this reason He protected the satya vrata (vow of truthfulness) of his father.

When all these traits are critically and deeply analyzed, then, in our eyes Rama ceases to appear as a mere king. He will appear to us as God. We will understand that He is the Supreme Lord. Sri Ramachandra Parabrahmane namaha.

With this we have completed the Bala Kanda part of the Shata shloki Ramayana. May Lord Rama shower his grace upon everyone so that they can go in depth into the analysis of His traits!

Om Seeta raamabhyaam namaha.

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Shatashloki 19: Through his actions, Srirama taught that parents are to be revered and worshipped

Sa ca sarvaguṇopetaḥ kousalyānandavardana

Samudra iva gāmbhīrye dhairyeṇa himavāniva

Meaning- Rama is replete with every sadguna (good and auspicious trait). He causes joy to mother Kausalya devi. In character, He like the deep ocean. In courage, He is like the Himalaya mountain.

There is no end to the noble virtues of Rama. The phrase ‘sarvaguṇopetah’ implies every good virtue exists within Him! The person who seeks to glorify the Supreme, has to stop at some point or the other because he will eventually run out of words as well as the energy to describe God and not because of shortage of good traits in in the Lord.

Kousalyānanda vardanah Rama through His behaviour always brought supreme happiness and bliss to Mother Kousalya. This phrase contains a very important lesson. One should never trouble or cause pain to his mother and father. He should give them the due respect and look after them lovingly. With an intention of passing on this important teaching, this trait in Rama is being explicitly mentioned.

Old age is a very painful stage of life that cannot even be explained. Many children presume that old people do not serve any purpose and hence it is better to send the aged to the old age homes. It is absolutely wrong.

Once, there lived a king who was annoyed with all the old people in his kingdom. This foolish king called his minister and ordered that all old people should be put to death. The minister was pained at this decision. However, left with no choice, he killed all old citizens of that land barring one. He took this old man and hid him secretly at a far away place.

The sin of killing old people will not simply vanish, will it? This kingdom now was affected by terrible drought and famine. For 5 years there was not a drop of rainfall. When it doesn’t rain for one year, we are desperate for water. To be frank, when the monsoon gets delayed by a month we feel the pinch and begin to get restless. Then imagine the situation that they would have faced with no rain continuously for a period of 5 years. There was no crop and hence citizens were starving. To buy food from the neighbouring lands, the king did not have sufficient money in the coffers.

In complete desperation, the king called the minister and asked him for a solution. The minister in turn asked the king to give him a little time. The minister now directly approached the old man and said, “You are a very aged person. You knew the king’s father and grandfather as well. Are you aware of any treasure that had been hidden secretly by the king’s father or grandfather? Our kingdom is sinking under severe drought and famine. Could you please save us?”

The old man with tremendous difficulty recollected the past happenings and then finally said, “Don’t waste your time searching throughout the kingdom. You will not find anything there. Dig the place where the king’s throne has been kept. A lot of wealth had been buried there in the past.”

The minister returned to the king and said, “O King, I had some expert make predictions. Based on it, I can tell you that a lot of wealth is hidden right beneath your throne. If you have faith in my words, then kindly shift the throne and take the wealth”. Here the minister had to lie a bit.

The king trusted this minister. Anyway, the situation was such that the king had no choice but to trust his minister. So he agreed to the proposal. Within half an hour, the throne was shifted and the place was dug up. Limitless wealth was found. There was enough money to repay all the loans. In addition, the kingdom could now sail through easily for another 10 years even with no rainfall or harvest.

The kingdom was restored to its glory. There was happiness everywhere. The king was also peaceful and happy. One day, when he was calm and peaceful, the king sent for the minister and said, “You have helped me overcome this major problem. You have rescued the entire empire. I trust you. But yet, I am not able to have faith in this prediction that you had obtained. If you don’t mind, I seek to know the details. What is the method used for getting this prediction? Who is the person who does it? Can you give me all the details?”

The minister replied, “O King, you had ordered that all the aged people be killed. It is a terrible/worst sin. Yet, to comply with your orders, I had all of them killed. But, without your knowledge, I had spared one old man. Old people have tremendous knowledge that comes out of experience. In this time of difficulty, I approached the old man and asked him about the secret wealth, if any, which was hidden in the empire. It was because of his knowledge that you were able to get hold of this wealth. So far I did not dare to tell you the truth about the old man. I feared that you would kill both of us. So I lied about this prediction.” At this the king felt great remorse at his past deeds. He now called the old man and honoured him.

Rama loved his parents and always gave them the due respect. With His blessings, may love and devotion towards parents sprout in every heart!

Om Seeta Raamabhyaam namaha.

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Shatashloki 18: Just as rivers rush towards the ocean, all noble, pious persons rush towards Srirama

Sarvadābhigata ssadbhiḥ samudra iva sindhubhi

ārya ssarvasama ścaiva sadaiva priyadarśanaḥ.

Meaning- Just as an ocean eternally associates with all rivers, Sri Rama always associates with pious, virtuous people. Everyone is equal in His eyes. He is affectionate at all times.

Just as the rivers always flow towards the ocean, pious, holy persons (sat purushas) always are eternally drawn towards Rama.  ‘nadīnaam sāgaro gatihi’– the ocean is the sole refuge for all the rivers. Likewise, for all the venerable persons Rama is the sole refuge. There is none apart from Him who can offer them protection.

As Rama is a storehouse of innumerable good traits, He has been compared to the ocean. All venerable persons who approach Him have been compared to rivers.  Rivers from every direction come and merge into the ocean, yet the ocean does not get disturbed. In a similar manner, irrespective of the number of people who came, the direction from which they came, Rama always remained undisturbed.

In Chitrakoot, even though Bharata pleaded with Him in many ways to take back the reigns of the kingdom, even when Maharishi Jabāli vehemently argued with Him for the same purpose, even though Vashista Maharishi preached him extensively about neeti (morals), even though He noticed the grieving and distraught faces of his three mothers, Rama remained unperturbed. He was least distressed. Even major rivers do not maintain the same calmness at all the times.

Rama was a great Satpurusha. Many different types of people, from different directions and from different countries come to meet holy persons. It was the same with Rama. With love, He treated everyone who approached Him. Without debating/ arguing, without scolding or hating them, he helped each and every person. People too gave Him the same love. He nipped the pride of those who were arrogant. He respectfully treated all those who approached Him with feelings of surrender and love.  He ensured that He did not hurt the feelings of those who approached Him. While speaking lovingly without hurting their feelings in any way, He pointed out to them their mistakes and corrected them. He answered in a way that made them blissful and made sure that they left only after they were satisfied.

While He was at home, ignorant and uneducated people would come for His darshan. Both the educated as well as the uneducated always had something or the other to learn from Him. Rivers that merge into the sea are known as Maha nadi (major rivers). Similarly, all those who interacted with Rama turned into very great persons. In turn it increased their fame. However Rama was neither affected by their interaction nor by their absence.

Every great river that merges into the sea loses its identity and is addressed as the sea itself. To highlight this fact, Rama has been compared to the ocean/sea.

The person who performs actions purely based on the dictates of the Vedas (veda hita karma), and who ensures that others around him also follow the same is known as ‘ārya’.

It is natural to presume that very select few people will have had access to a great emperor like Rama. To remove this misconception, the term ‘sarva samaha’ has been used in this hymn. Through this it is clear that without maintaining any forms of differentiation, Rama spoke and treated everyone equally.

At every moment Rama looks new, pleasing and refreshing, such that the person watching Him desires to keep looking into that face forever. He is priyadarshanah.

Om Seeta raammaabhyaam namaha.

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Shatashloki 17: The supreme efficiency and expertise of Rama in every field of knowledge

Sarvaśāstrārtha tattvajñah smŗtimān pratibhānavān

Sarvalokapriya ssādhuh adīnātmā vicakṣana

Meaning- Sri Rama is a master in all various arts. HIs memory is laudable. He takes a great interest in all activities. He is dear to everyone. He is eternally blissful. He is of good nature. He possesses great dexterity.

Rama, the erudite scholar, not only possesses outstanding and expert knowledge in Vedas and Vedangas, but also in the various Puranas, scriptures pertaining to dharma and also other scriptures such as Nyaya, Mimamsa, Saankya, Vaisheshika and Yoga Shastra. He is proficient in the opinions as well as in the doctrines (siddhanta) contained in each of these treatises.

Dharma Shastra elucidates the meaning contained in the earlier part (purva kanda) of the Vedas. Puranas explain the meaning of the Vedantas. Nyaya and Mimamsa are very helpful in understanding of the deeper meaning behind every sound and every word. Yoga Shastra enlightens in totality about the Ashtanga yoga (8 limbs of yoga). Sānkhya philosophy teaches the various tattvas (essence).

Uttara Mimamsa teaches about the union of the individual and supreme (jeeva-Paramatma aikya). Rama was adept in particularizing and describing them individually as well as in explaining the in depth essence contained in each of these treatises. He was a great learned pundit.

What is the use of learning all the Shastras and acquiring deeper knowledge when the person does not have in him the ability to retain them in his memory? Moreover, it is important that the knowledge acquired is put to good use. This will be more clearly elucidated in the next hymn.

In matters of learning, Rama’s retentive memory (Dharana shakti) was unfathomable. He had the ability to remember every minute detail heard or understood. He possessed the special ability to efficiently manage all transactions/dealings (vyavahara).

Because of all His good traits, people adored and loved Him very dearly. Through his efficient rule he completely stole the hearts of all citizens. They placed implicit trust in Him. Not even once did He let them down. Never did He misuse their faith. Even when the most severe problems landed on His head, He did not lose His mental balance. Even at such times, He spoke lovingly to all and would take care not to hurt others’ feelings. He would make others happy even at such times. He was extremely adept in discharging the right duties at the right times.

Ramayana has become an ideal treatise. Irrespective of whether people consider Rama as man or as God, they find it hard to comprehend the humanly impossible tasks that he had accomplished. How could He build a bridge across an ocean? How could He kill the mighty demon Ravana who had caused limitless panic amongst all the inhabitants of earth? How did He protect Mother Sita? Doubts regarding this keep arising at all times. This is because none of these tasks can be accomplished by humans. They are even beyond our imagination. Yet, Rama, a human being, accomplished all of them.

Om Seeta Raamaabhyaam namaha.

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Shatashloki 16: Srirama has in him all the auspicious traits that should exist in a ruler

Rakṣitā svasya dharmasya svajanasya ca rakṣitā.

Veda vedāṇga tattvajño dhanurvede ca niṣṭhitaḥ.

Meaning-  While diligently abiding by His dharma, Rama ensures that all his people are well-protected. He has mastered the in-depth essence of the Vedas and the Vedangas (limbs of Vedas). In addition, he has achieved absolute mastery in archery (dhanurveda).

In this hymn, the traits of a ruler are being highlighted. A king should necessarily abide by the rules and regulations of dharma (righteousness) at all times. Further he should mandatorily ensure protection to all those who have sought shelter under him. More importantly, he should ensure that all his citizens unfailingly abide by dharma.

Being the most supreme and excellent ruler, Rama practised all these above-mentioned traits in totality. He was very conscientious and meticulous in the practice of His own dharma (swadharma).

Dharma differs based on caste (varna) and the stage of life (ashrama). Rama safeguarded the dharmas of all people belonging to the different varnas and ashramas.

When it comes to matters pertaining to dharma, almost everyone is ready to preach. However, when it comes to practical implementation of the same, very few come forward. HOwever, Rama practises the dharma that has been laid down and then  He ensures that others around him abide by dharma. This makes Him all the more revered. For this reason, the world quotes Him and states – We should behave like Rama.

Rakshita svasya dharmasya implies Rama protected his bow (dhanus), his horses, chariot, charioteer and His flag. Such a person is titled ‘ati ratha sreshta’. That Rama broke Shiva’s bow is well-known. Defeating Parasurama was yet another extraordinary feat. Through such activities He protected His avatara dharma (dharma of His incarnation).

Svajanasya ca rakshita- protecting citizens is the primary duty of a warrior. True to this rule, Rama zealously protected all his citizens. More importantly He made it His primary duty to protect those who had surrendered and sought refuge in Him.

Veda vedānga tattvajno–  Rama has a thorough and in depth knowledge of all the Vedas and the Vedangas. Veda is that which teaches all dharmas in entirety. Vedas are classified into 4 – Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Saama Veda and Atharvana Veda. Vedangas (limbs of the Vedas) play a very crucial role in helping the person understand the true essence of the Vedas. They are 6 disciplines – Siksha, Kalpa, Vyakarana, Nirukta, Chandas and Jyotisha.

Siksha- this teaches the swaras, phonetics and their positioning, and proper articulation of the Vedic texts. Vyakarana means grammar. It teaches the gentleness (saadhutvam) of the Vedic word. Chandas is the meter (protects the verse through accurate measurement of syllables). Niruktam teaches the etymology of the word. Jyotisha teaches about the karmas that are to be followed as per the dictates of the Vedas. It also teaches the time period for the performance of the karma. Kalpa teaches about the anushthana rituals that should be followed based on the Veda.

Rama was proficient in all this knowledge. He had mastered all the 18 branches of knowledge.

Dhanurvede ca nishtitah– His knowledge in archery was unsurpassed. He possessed the minutest knowledge of wielding the bow. He was adept  in the knowledge of fixing the arrow. More importantly, His expertise at releasing the arrow is praiseworthy. Rama’s arrow never misses the target. To a person of the warrior caste (kshyatriya), knowledge of archery is the primary and most important duty.

Upavedas are 4. They are Dhanurveda, Ayurveda, Gandharva Veda and Artha shastra.  Through using of the phrase ‘dhanurvede ca nisthitah’ in the last part of the hymn, His expertise in all the 4 upa-vedas has been highlighted.

Om Seeta Raamabhyaam Namaha.

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