CREDOS : Lord Ram — III

Shoba Narayan

Nine is a very auspicious number in Hindu mythology and astrology. There are nine planets, and Hari-kathas (discourses set to music) frequently list the nine qualities that set Ram apart from other gods and for that matter, other kings. The list of Ram’s nine qualities varies from one storyteller to another, but include most of the following: Obedient: Ram was a dutiful son, obeying his father and stepmother’s order that he spend 14 years in the forest. Kind: Ram was kind and compassionate to all, even to his evil stepmother Kaikeyi, who banished him. He had sweet words to say to her as he said goodbye.

Just: Ram was a just king and friend. When the monkey-king Sugreeva approached him saying that he had been unjustly deprived of his kingdom and wife, Ram swiftly killed Vali, the usurper, and returned Sugreeva his kingdom. Brave: He fought and killed legions of asuras (demons) including Ravana, Kumbakarna, and Indrajit. Generous: Ram was a generous and faithful brother. He did not flinch while handing over a kingdom that was rightfully his to his younger brother, Bharat. Empathetic: When Ram left Ayodhya for the forest, legions of his subjects wept and pleaded for him to stay, because they felt that he was one of them. His ability to empathise with their problems endeared him to them. Intelligent: Within a short time, Ram learned all that there was to learn about the martial arts and fought and vanquished demons twice his size. He learned all the Hindu scriptures and was an intelligent student. Moral: Ram followed Hindu dharma till the very end, doing what was right even though it wasn’t easy. —