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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