- Religion and Philosophy»
Why the Divine descend in human form?
Rama, an incarnation as a human!
In ancient Indian epics, we have come across characters that are fully evil and perpetrate atrocities on good, peace loving people who were worshipping the Lord in their own way, performing fire rituals (Offerings of grains, fruits, cloths, ghee, straws of wood with appropriate chanting). The fire god “Agni” is the courier who delivers those offerings to the demigods. Such demonic forces exult in causing disruptions of such fire rituals. They used to pour blood, meat and carcass of dead animals to spoil the rituals. They know that once the rituals are performed perfectly, it will bring strength and prosperity to the recluses and ordinary citizens living there. In that era, evil has concretized forms in the name of demons and demon kings. Ravana, the king of Sri lanka and most of their citizens were from demon clans. They lived their life in aberration to righteous living.
Smitten with the beauty of Sita, the consort of Rama who was dwelling in the forest at that time, Ravana devised many ways to abduct Sita. Being well versed in magical illusions, he ordered one of his citizens to assume a form of golden deer and play in the vicinity where Sita lived with her husband Rama. The demon brothers Maricha and Subahu played a trick. Sita saw the golden deer and requested Rama to fetch it for their keeping playing with it. Rama knew that such golden deer is nothing but the magic created by the demons in the forest. He forewarned her not to be carried away by such play. But Sita needed such pet deer to keep and forget her lonely forest life. Finally, Rama had to agree but kept his brother as guard and asked him to protect her in his absence since the deer was running into deep forest. Rama was chasing the deer through the thick forest. Finding that the deer could not be got, he aimed a sure arrow which pierced the demon in the guise of deer. While leaving, he played his final trick. He was calling “Hey Lakshmana, Hey Sita, mimicking the voice of Rama exactly. At that moment Sita heard Rama calling in a pitiable manner. She taught Rama might be in trouble. Hence she ordered her brother in law to help Rama.
Lakshmana, the brother of Rama, knew well that no mishap will befall Rama. Hence he pacified his sister in law, pleading that Rama will never come to harm. I don’t want to leave you alone at this juncture. Rama commanded me to protect you from the demons living in this forest. Sita never listened to the sane counsel of Lakshmana. She started pouring abominable words to him to force him to go! Even then, Lakshmana prayed with her to listen and when she was adamant, he requested her not to cross a line which he draws in front of the hut. Any evil person who will approach the line and try to cross will be scorched by fire! Though Sita agreed to the proposal, Ravana was very clever. He assumed a recluse form and begged food in front of the hut. Sita brought food and standing within the line, she started offering it to the recluse. But Ravana once tried to cross the line, he saw fire engulfing. Hence he requested Sita to come out of the place to offer alms. Not knowing the treacherous design of Ravana, Sita stepped on the line to offer food. Ravana immediately abducted her, placing her in the chariot which is capable of airborne. Thus commenced the most testing and trying time for Sita., Rama saw Lakshmana approaching him in haste. He scolded him for disobeying his words but it is inevitable. Then rushed back to find Sita missing and she was nowhere in the vicinity. Rama cried in vain and called her name and madly rushing through the thick jungle.
A courageous bird fought with the airborne Ravana, finding the cries of Sita. But the bird was no equal to Ravana’s velour. Ravana cut the wings of the bird and it fell down bleeding. Rama was approaching the place where the bird was lying nearing its final moments. Rama took its head on his lap and nursed it to conscious. The bird narrated the episode and died on the lap of Rama. Even while passing through the forest, Sita removed her jewels one by one to drop it in the forest so that there will be some clue to her abductor’s place. After performing the funeral rites of the bird, Rama and Lakshmana resumed their journey. In that region, a monkey called Sugriva was hiding fearing death by its elder Vali. The mighty monkey Vali dares not to visit the region due to a curse. Sugriva was staying there with his trusted guard Anjaneya! Before proceeding further, I will narrate a synopsis. Rama was really an incarnation of God. His sole aim is to destroy the demons that were causing great hardships to the recluses in forests. The abduction of Sita and all the drama are ploys for achieving his aims.
By abducting Sita, Ravana incurred grievous sin to meet out punishment at the hand of Rama. On their way, Rama and Lakshmana met Anjaneya who took them to Sugriva. After introduction, Sugriva narrated the unrighteous manner by which Vali took his wife and usurped the monkey kingdom though Sugriva had a share! Thus, by befriending Rama, Sugriva requested him to restore his wife and kingdom. Rama too was in a similar situation and Sugriva promised Rama that he will search for Sita and bring her back wherever she is. Thus they had mutually agreed to help each other. It so happened, that Anjaneya was able to cross the southern ocean to Sri Lanka and obtained the first hand information about Sita’s captivity in a thick forest. He met her there, gave the proof Rama sent her and handed over the ring Rama gave. She accepted Anjaneya’s words and requested him to convey her sad state. After return from Sri Lanka, Anjaneya came to the presence of Rama, handed over the crown jewel of Sita as a mark of proof. A war ensued after a stone bridge was formed across Palk straits. After a fierce battle with the demons and finally with Ravana, the entire demon clan except Vibishana, a noble brother of Ravana were vanquished. Sita was retrieved after passing through a fire ordeal to prove the world that she was pure and chaste!
The main point, I want to tell is “God incarnates as human being to restore righteousness in the minds of people and to deliver them from ignorance. For that he had to slay the demons that were obstructions in the path of righteousness. Today, everyone is a mixture of good and evil and the present incarnation has to transform the mind of people so that all will tread Divine Path.