Shatashloki 15: Rama, the Supreme Lord, is over and above everyone

Prajāpati sama śrimān dhāta ripu niṣūdhana

Rakṣita jeevalokasya dharmasya parirakṣitā

Meaning- Rama is equal to the creator, Lord Brahma. He is over and above everyone. He is the protector of one and all. He is the one who nourishes all the planes of existence. He protects and propagates dharma at all times.

Prajapati samaha– Rama is equal to the creator. Although in reality He is a step higher than Brahma and all the other Gods, for the sake of protection of the people, He assumed a human form and acquired fame as one who is equal to Brahma.

While it was Mahavishnu who incarnated as Rama, Mahalakshmi incarnated as Sita. When Mahavishnu incarnated as Krishna, Mahalakshmi incarnated as Rukmini.  A similar pattern is followed in all incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Lakshmi Devi never leaves the side of her husband and incarnates each time He incarnates on earth. This is confirmed in the Vishnu Purana.

‘Sri’ is Lakshmi. Srimanta is Rama, the one who nourishes (sustains) every being. In the phrase ‘prajaapati samaha’ the Brahma aspect in Rama was highlighted, now the Vishnu aspect within Him, of sustenance (nourishment), is being brought out.

After having firmly established dharma within his kingdom, Rama began engaging in  Yagnas and Yaagas. A combined effect of dharma + yagnas ensured that the kingdom was bestowed with timely and adequate rainfall. Through this rainfall, He nourished his people.

It is natural for a person to become egoistic when everything is going in accordance to his wishes and planning. That Rama was not egoistic is understandable. But during Rama’s rule, even the citizens of his entire kingdom were not egoistic! That was the effect of Rama’s rule.   People would willingly go to Rama’s kingdom. Just by stepping into His kingdom, they turned righteous. Wasn’t this Rama’s greatness?

Rama is addressed as the destroyer of enemies (ripu hara). This phrase brings out the aspect of Shiva that exists within Him. If there is one person who has absolutely no enemies, then it is Srirama. He subdues the arrogance of those who trouble saints. More importantly, Rama drives away the feelings of enmity from within the person. He takes the person to this state wherein he finds no enemies anywhere.

Coming to the third part of this hymn, the reason behind Rama’s incarnation on earth is being explained. Rakshita jivalokasya – it means Rama incarnated in order to protect this world of living beings!

It is Rama’s nature to ensure protection to all the living beings. He was concerned about the welfare of each and every being. More often than not, people tend to protect only their kith and kin. Rama, on the other hand, protected the entire universe. Mother Sita herself declared that Rama protected every single living being in this creation.

Now you should not question- since Rama protected everyone, did he also protect sinners? The answer to this is given in the last part of this hymn- dharmasya parirakshita. It means that in addition to strictly adhereing to the rules of dharma, He also ensures that everyone perpetually adheres to it. He then protects them.

A clean golden vessel is preserved in the cupboard. However if the same golden vessel is unclean, it is kept aside for washing. If someone were to ask, ‘what is this? Why is a golden vessel lying outside?’ the reply will be ‘it needs to be cleaned’. Here the vessel is treated (cleaned) first and then protected. Likewise, the human being has to be taught (sikshana, punished) and then protected (rakshana). Rama thus followed the policy of sikshana-rakshana which means He firstly punished the adharmic persons (those who did not abide by the rules and regulations of righteousness) and thereafter he gave them his protection.

Rama is beyond dualities of like- dislike. His sole motive was that beings in entirety should prosper. May all the feelings of hatred/ dislikes (dvesha bhava) be destroyed in everyone by the grace of Rama!

Om Seeta Ramaabhayaam namaha.


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