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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