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Sîtă, Răma, Lakshmana and Hanűmăn

Sîtă, Răma, Lakshmana and Hanűmăn


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Description: Lord Răma is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The worship of Lord Răma is very popular among all Hindus, as is evident by the numerous temples dedicated to him in India. In the temple images, Răma is usually shown with his faithful wife Sîtă, devoted brother Lakshmana, and his beloved devotee Hanűmăn (see color plate 8). The life story of Răma and the main purpose of his incarnation (to destroy the demon king Răvana) is described in the great epic Rămăyana. A study of the epic Rămăyana reveals the following theme:

Răma represents an ideal man, as conceived by the Hindu mind. In the story of Rămăyana, Răma's personality depicts him as the perfect son, devoted brother, true husband, trusted friend, ideal king, and a noble adversary.
In images and pictures, Răma is shown carrying a bow and arrow. The bow and arrow convey that Răma is always ready to destroy evil and protect righteousness. He is himself an embodiment of dharma.
Sîtă symbolizes an ideal daughter, wife, mother, and queen. Whereas Răma symbolizes standards of perfection that can be conceived in all the facets of a man's life, Mother Sîtă represents all that is great and noble in womanhood. She is revered as an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmî, the divine consort of Lord Vishnu.
Lakshmana symbolizes the ideal of sacrifice. He leaves his young wife behind in the palace and chooses to accompany his brother (Răma) in exile. He sacrifices the amenities of his personal life to serve his elder brother.
Hanűmăn, the great monkey hero, also called Maruti, assists Răma in his battle with Răvana to rescue Sîtă, who had been kidnapped by Răvana. Hanűmăn symbolizes the qualities of an ideal devotee of God, which can be represented by the letters of his name, as follows:
H = Humility and hopefulness (optimism)

A = Admiration (truthfulness, devotion)

N = Nobility (sincerity, loyalty, modesty)

U = Understanding (knowledge)

M = Mastery over ego (kindness, compassion)

A = Achievements (strength)

N = Nishkăma-karma (selfless work in service of God)

After his coronation, following victory in the battle with Răvana, Răma distributed gifts to all those who had assisted him in his battle with Răvana. Turning towards Hanűmăn, Răma said, "There is nothing I can give you that would match the service you have rendered to me. All I can do is to give you my own self." Upon hearing these words, Hanűmăn stood by Răma, in all humility, with hands joined together in front of his (Hanűmăn's) mouth, and head slightly bent in the pose of service for Răma. To this day, this picture of Hanűmăn, as a humble devotee of the Lord, is the most popular among the admirers and worshippers of Hanűmăn.

The worship of Hanűmăn, therefore, symbolizes the worship of the Supreme Lord, for acquiring knowledge, physical and mental strength, truthfulness, sincerity, selflessness, humility, loyalty, and profound devotion to the Lord.
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Date: 25.04.2004 18:02
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File size: 128.5 KB
Added by: sunilfotedar
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