“Beauty may leave the moon, the Himalayas may become bereft of snow, the ocean may transgress its shores, but I will never violate the promise given by my father.” – Bhagavan Sriram In Ramayana
Although there are twenty four thousand Slokas in the Valmiki Ramayana and every Sloka is a Gem on its own, this Sloka, however, is the most beautiful Sloka in this entire Hindu epic. It is so, because no other Sloka in the Ramayana describes the characteristic traits of Lord Sri Rama in a better way than this Sloka. What makes this Sloka more beautiful is, “it is recited by Maricha, a demon, in praise of Rama”.
Here’s The Sloka
“Raamo vigrahavaan dharmaha, Saadhu satya paraakramaha. Raajaa sarvasya lokasya, Devaanaam iva vaasavaha”
Meaning : Rama is the personification of Dharma and a true warrior saint. Although He’s the Ruler of all the worlds, He’s living in a human form on Earth.
Now, Here’s The Story Behind This Sloka
One day, demon king Ravana’s sister, Surpanakha, turns herself into a beautiful woman and goes to Sri Rama, who was serving his 14 year exile in a forest and proposes to Him to marry her. Rama smiles at her, shows her Goddess Sita and tells her, “I am already married and that beautiful lady Sita is my wife”.
Then in a teasing tone, He tells Surpanakha – as He knows who she actually is – showing Lakshmana, “that handsome man is my brother. You go and propose to him. He will marry you. He would be an ideal husband for you”
Surpanakha goes to Lakashmana and proposes. Understanding the wit played by his brother, Lakshmana tells her, “am nobody in front of Him. Go and request Him again to marry you. So, what He’s married. You can still be His second wife. There cannot be a more ideal husband than Him for you in this world”.
Surpanakha goes again to Sriram and asks Him to marry her. Sriram turns serious this time and tells her, “I cannot marry you, I have already married her”. A jealousy filled Surpanakha quickly pounces upon Sita and tries to attack her.
Reacting swiftly, Lakshmana pulls out his sword, reaches Surpanakha in one go and cuts her nose and ears. A weeping Surpanakha approaches her brother, Khara, a man-eating demon, to help her in avenging her humiliation.
In a fierce battle that took place later between Rama and Khara, Rama kills Khara and also his 14,000 army of demons. A shocked Surpanakha then runs to her elder brother Ravana and tells him the whole story. As Maya befalls Ravana, he hatches a plan and goes to Maricha, his ally, and seeks his support.
Here’s what Ravana tells Maricha, “Maricha, an ordinary human being called Rama and his brother have humiliated my sister. This is an insult to our kingdom of Demons. We must avenge this insult and teach them a lesson. Let us abduct Rama’s wife, Sita. Here’s my plan for that. You must go in the form of a Golden Deer to Rama’s hermitage and lure Sita.
She would like to own you and request her husband to hunt you and grab you. Rama will try to chase you. You would divert Him and run away. Meanwhile, I will go there in the form of a Saint and seek alms from Sita and when she comes out I will pick her up and take her away to Lanka. Is that clear..??”.
On hearing this..
A Shocked Maricha Tells Ravan,
“Dasakantaa, Whom you are referring to as a normal human being is not a human being at all. He’s Maryada Purushottam Sriram, son of King Dasaratha of Kosala Kingdom. Do not get carried away by what is said about Him. He’s God in human form. Your power or even the combined power of all our demons will not be sufficient to even face Him.
I can understand the humiliation of your sister and also your pain, but sorry to tell you, Sriram is a noble personality, a personification of Dharma. Realize this. On His own He will not harm anyone certainly not a woman unless offended. Your sister must have tried to harm them and He must have punished her.
Be happy, He didn’t kill her, maybe because she was in the form of a woman at that time although a demon. Let us forget this here and not make it a big issue. Enmity with a great warrior like Sriram may wipe out our race. Forget everything. Let us live happily the way we are living now”.
A fully angered Ravana tells Maricha in a threatening tone, “how dare you praise an ordinary human being like Rama in front of this all powerful Siva Bhakta, Ravana Brahma. What did you say..?? He’s God. I think you have gone mad, Maricha. You are seeing God in a human being. Wake up from your madness and do what I say”
Almost falling on Ravana’s feet, Maricha says, “hey Ravana Brahma, you are not just a great Siva Bhakta but also a Maha Gnani. Do not fall into Maya and please understand what I am saying and why I am saying so. Sriram is certainly Lord Vishnu in human form. Don’t fight with Him and do not even go in front of Him. One arrow from Him will destroy you for many lives
For your better understanding, let me now share with you my experience with Him. Several years ago, I went along with my assistants to spoil a Yagna being performed by Sage Viswamitra. I did all that I could to spoil that Yagna because if that Yagna was successfully completed, humans will attain more power than us. Suddenly, two boys came from nowhere and started attacking us. The elder boy was 12 years old.
They were disciples of Viswamitra. Looking at those boys, I laughed and heckled the Sage saying, “what Viswamitra Mahamuni, you didn’t get any other men older than these milky faced boys to protect you..?? What can they do to stop me..?? Cute boys, don’t even feel like killing them. Ask them to go inside and drink milk”.
Before I could even complete my sentence, that cute 12 year old Boy quickly aimed an arrow at me and shot me displaying extraordinary power; not in His hands but in His eyes. How to describe that power the Boy displayed in His eyes at that moment..?? That arrow hit me so sharply and with so much power that I went and landed on the seashore a hundred leagues away from Viswamitra’s Ashram.
Kekasi Nandana, that 12 year old Boy – a Neela Megha Syama – was Dasaratha nandana, Sriram. He is not just a great warrior but also Swayam Vishnu in human form. And if that is the power He could exercise at that tender age of 12, imagine what would be His power today as a young man.
Remember Raja, only God can have such power. If that was how He had punished me that day, just for disturbing His Teacher’s Yagna, imagine how He would punish us tomorrow for abducting His wife. Am not even able to imagine what He will do. Please listen to me, O’ Raja. You have a beautiful family, please don’t do this. Let us forget everything here. Else He will certainly kill us”.
Fretting and fuming, Ravana tells Maricha in an angry tone, “are you not ashamed of talking like this, you shameless moron Maricha. Am ashamed to have an ally like you. In a battle, one time we take the upper hand and one time our opponent will take it. That’s common. Ultimately who wins the battle is important here.
Looks like with one blow of that Kid you went into madness and forgot all the basics of Yuddha Tantra and uttering nonsense. If He’s so powerful, Maricha, then am the most powerful ruler on earth. Just by seeing me, the Oceans freeze; the Sun shivers; the Moon hides in clouds; the five elements of Nature stop their duties; and every animal, beast and human go breathless.
Now listen to me, Maricha. As the most powerful ruler on Earth, I am now commanding you to do what I say and execute my plan just the way I have designed it for you. Using your tantric powers become a Golden Deer and lure Sita and divert Sriram. Rest of the work I will complete. Obey my orders and save your life.
What did you just say..?? Sriram will kill you..?? I don’t agree with you because I am sure you will run away and save your life. if you refuse my command now you will certainly die in my hands today. What do you say..??”
Turning Philosophical And Submitting Himself To Fate,
It is here, that a hapless Maricha with tear filled eyes recites that most beautiful Sloka in the Ramayana. Here’s what he says,
“Hey Poulastya Brahama Poutra, looks like our death is imminent in the Divine Hands of Bhagavan Sriram. In spite of telling you so many times, you are still saying you are the most powerful King on Earth; and the Sun, Moon, Oceans, elements of Nature and every living being on the planet fear you. But remember Raja, He’s,
“Raamo vigrahavaan dharmaha, Saadhu Satya paraakramaha. Raajaa sarvasya lokasya, Devaanaam iva vaasavaha” which means He’s the personification of Dharma and a true warrior saint. Although He’s the Ruler of all the fourteen worlds, He’s living on Earth in a human form.
Hey raja, if Sriram is God, His wife Sita is Goddess. And by abducting her we would be committing the most heinous crime ever committed in the history of mankind. Posterity will never forgive us for this crime against God and Goddess. By submitting myself to destiny now I am ready to obey your orders and do whatever you say.
If Death is inevitable, hey Raja, let me have the honor of dying in the Hands of the Divine rather than in the hands of a Demon like you. How many sinful Demons like me on Earth will get such an opportunity. I shall attain Moksha – the Salvation. Count me in”
In the later part of time, as their Destinies were so designed by the Divine, Maricha goes in the form of a Golden Deer and dies in the hands of Bhagavan Sriram and attains Salvation. That’s not all.
With that death, he also paved way for the great battle of Ramayana that finally resulted in the killing of Ravana and Kumbhakarna – originally Jaya and Vijaya, the Dwrapalakas of Vaikunta – to kill whom Lord Vishnu had taken the human form of Bhagavan Sriram.
So Maricha – though a demon – was a “Karana Janmudu” the one born for a reason.
“Sri Raghavam Dasarathaatmajam Aprameyam.. Sitapathim Raghu Kulanvaya Ratna Deepam.. Aajanubaahum Aravinda Dalaya Taaksham Ramam Nisachara Vinasakaram Namami”