Shatashloki 11: The divine qualities of Srirama

Buddimān neetimān vāgmi sreemān śatrunibarhaṇa

Vipulāmso mahābāhuḥ kambugrīvo mahāhanu

Meaning- Rama is intelligent and wise, is virtuous, and is of high moral conduct, speaks only good and well-meaning words at all times (vaagmi), is prosperous, he destroys all enemies, has a raised nape, possesses beautiful conch-like voice, has fine cheeks the upper portion of which is raised.

Buddhimān is a person who is intelligent, wise and ‘all knowing’. All-knowing means to know every thing that happens in every time period i.e. to be omniscient. Omniscience is a characteristic of Parabrahma.

We should be aware that every minute the Supreme Lord is watching each and every action of ours. When this is properly understood, the person will be inclined only towards good deeds.

Being omniscient, King Rama did not have the necessity to get the information of the happenings in the kingdom through spies.  This enabled him to be a very great and efficient king.

Neetimān– Rama predominantly adhered to the most accepted and known ethics and code of conduct (neeti) as stipulated by the Vedas and Shastras (scriptures).

The term neeti has many meanings. It includes the rules of righteousness that apply to a king (raja dharma), code of conduct applicable to him, his limitations and many more. Rama was completely aware of His real identity, the reason behind his incarnation, and the duties He had to execute. Due to this, He could perfectly comply with the neeti.

Vāgmi is He who speaks good, meaningful words. This ability of Rama is visible in many instances in Ramayana and more importantly, in the words which He uttered at the time of Vali’s death. At all times and in all instances Rama only speaks that which is good and beneficial to one and all. The term ‘Good and beneficial speech’ refers to the Vedas. Vedas are the words of the Supreme Lord. As at all times Rama speaks only in accordance with the Vedas, He is Vāgmi.

Controlling speech is a great spiritual exercise (sadhana). Through usage of the word vāgmi, Narada emphasizes that Rama possesses this trait and that He is teaching this wonderful trait to others.

Srimān– This is very commonly understood to mean a person who owns a lot of money. The word ‘Sri’ has many in-depth meanings. ‘Sri’ also means vibhuti. Vibhuti in turn means aishwarya (prosperity). Aishwarya means ‘to have the quality/trait of Eshwara’ (eshwara guna). Rama has in Him this trait of Eshwara in totality and hence is Srimaan.

He who playfully creates this entire world is the real Srimaan. He is Rama. He is said to be together with Lakshmi Devi (Goddess of prosperity). Mother Sita was none other than Goddess Lakshmi. Whenever Lord Vishnu incarnates, the Goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi also incarnates. This should be clearly understood.

Shatru nibarhanah– He who destroys those who go against the dictates of the Vedas is known as Shatru nibarhanah. As everyone is equal in the eyes of God, He, in reality, has no enemies. Only those who harm and torture saints and true devotees are His enemies. He protects his devotees and saints from such people.

Rakshate bhagavān Vishnu : bhaktānām ātma shareeravath- means Vishnu protects his devotees just as one would protect his own body. At certain times He protects them with feelings of compassion (krpa drishti). At certain other times, He protects through his mahima (greatness). At other times He protects through the medium of other persons.

At few other times, where necessary, He himself enters the war field, wages the war and rescues his devotee. Prahlada’s story is an example of this. The body features that are required to achieve this feat are being described in the 3rd and 4th portion (pada) of this hymn. His wide and strong shoulders, long arms, the raised nape of his neck, clear voice which is resonant like a conch are characteristics of a brave, excellent hero.

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