“We see how the effulgence arising from the Lord Ram, who overcame Ravana in a fair fight, is as brilliant as ever; and since it has an abiding inviolability, no power on earth can undermine it.”
From “God, The Almighty: Commonly Entitled The Second Coming of the Lord,” A Talk Given on the Occasion of the Silver Jubilee of Emperor Haile Selassie I
“The victory of Lord Rama signifies the victory of righteousness and justice. In the same way, we can transform our own lives to a victory of righteousness and justice over all the forces of evil that enslave mankind.”
From a speech given by Haile Selassie I at the 62nd Convention of the Supreme Council of The Order of DeMolay, Washington, D.C, October 2, 1966.
“Lord Rama is an example for whole of mankind, for he was a merciful and just ruler who accepted punishment for his mistakes as readily as he accepted victory for his righteous actions.”
From a speech given on the occasion of the 1975 Silver Jubilee celebrations of Emperor Haile Selassie I.
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The Ramayana is an ancient epic poem that tells the story of Rama and Sita, an iconic Hindu deity couple. It is a revered text within Hinduism and esteemed by followers as one of the greatest works of world literature. As part of the larger Hindu tradition, Rama and Sita have come to symbolize many things including ideal righteousness, loyalty, and the divine power of true love.
Sita and Rama have become legendary figures in Hinduism and throughout South Asia due to the prevalence of the Ramayana. They represent the perfect couple and exemplify the characteristics of dharma, devotion, and sacrifice. Devotional texts often portray Sita as the link that binds Rama to his personal dharma in performances of moral and dutiful acts. She is also venerated for her selfless devotion to her husband and her willingness to sacrifice her own safety and well-being in order to bring honor and virtue to their relationship.
Rama is seen as the epitome of morality and devotion. He is a great warrior renowned for his courage on the battlefield and skill in fighting the demoniac forces of evil. As an incarnate of the god Vishnu, Rama is a source of divine strength that inspires his followers to rise to heroic heights and achieve great feats of devotion. In the Ramayana, Rama represents the highest ideals of dharma, and his willingness to practice them even when they cost him great hardship or personal sacrifice is seen as a source of moral inspiration.
The legends of Sita and Rama have been very influential within Hinduism and shaped the way devotional expression to the deity couple has developed over time. Numerous stories and devotional songs have been written about their relationship and have become part of the Ramayana tradition. As a result, the characters of Sita and Rama have been woven into the fabric of many Hindu communities, and their stories are told and re-told throughout Hindu literature and culture.
In conclusion, the legends of Sita and Rama are deeply shared within Hinduism, and their stories represent a powerful example of dharma and loyalty. They have become an integral part of Hindu tradition, and followers often look to their relationship as a source of moral guidance. As two of the most influential deities in Hinduism, Sita and Rama are symbols of true love and devotion.
Sita and Rama, two timeless souls, Who walked by faith, made life their goal. Oaths of love and promises they made, Their love so strong, it could never fade.
Rama strong, brave, and true, An epic hero, that much is true. His love for her like none before, Made many a heart even more sore.
Sita, the beautiful and brave, She shed light in life’s darkest cave. A lesson of pure devotion, An archetype for modern woman.
A love story for all to hear, Of devotion and strength, so sincere. Their love through thick and thin, Their legacy, forever within. ?
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When Haile Selassie, the emperor of Ethiopia was gifted with a Ramayana by an Indian sannyasi, he smiled, and said they were all descendants of Lord Rama. He explained how the Ethiopians are called as Cushites, or coming down from Kusha, a son of Rama. The country is called Kushadwip, or the land of the son of Rama.
Ethiopians admit their ancestor as Kush, and they quote the Biblical story of Cush being a son of Ham (a phonetic misnomer of Ram). This only confirms to the widespread influence of Ramayana, even in a land that is 3000 miles away from the mainland of India.
Phonetic describes the way spoken words sound or are pronounced. When we closely examine the names of various places across the world, we can logically deduce how the culture of Ramayana must have influenced these lands, even thousands of years ago. Egypt derives its name from Ajpati, a name of one of Rama’s forefathers. Even the various legends in Egypt contain references to Dasharatha, the father of Rama, and thus even five thousand kilometres away, Ramayana had an influence.
The traces of Vedic age can be seen even today. Iranians have the culture of reverence to fire, an essential sacrificial tool in Vedic process. Armenia has an ancient structure, called the ‘temple of the little blue boy’-referring to Krishna. A French historian even claimed that the original Armenians were worshippers of Radha and Krishna.
This is explained in the Vedic scriptures: Parashuram was a great warrior who destroyed warrior class many times. As a result many kings ran to faraway lands and settled there. Over a period of time, due to the far distance from the main land of India, the culture of Rama and Krishna worship deteriorated.
Nearer home, in the South East Asian regions, Ramayana’s influence can be seen even today. Thailand’s national epic is called ‘Ramakien’– glory of Rama. Until the late 18th century, the capital of Thailand was Ayutthaya, derived from Ayodhya- the capital of Lord Rama. Most of the kings of Thailand are called as Rama-I or Rama-II and so on.
When Lord Rama shot an arrow at demon Maricha and disposed him off to the middle of an ocean, he settled in an island there. That place was called Mauricha or later evolved as Mauritius.
These instances prove that story of Ramayana is not simply a story that belongs to India; this is one of the most powerful stories in the history of the world.
Just as Bible has played a pivotal role in shaping the history of the Western world- you can read novels, appreciate art and history, and you will find some Biblical references there- similarly Ramayana has shaped all of Asian civilization. China, Japan and Korea have their own version of Ramayana story telling. Indonesia- the world’s largest Muslim country- even today has a popular puppet show on Ramayana.
Japan created an animated Ramayana made for the Japanese market by the Japanese; they too love to narrate the Ramayana. Over three hundred different versions- from South Indian to Urdu- Ramayana has captured the imagination of the people all over Asia for millennia.
In recent times, lands outside of Asia-like Africa and Europe- have revealed Ramayana’s influence. The Warner bros in US made a movie, ‘A little Princess’; the heart of the movie is the rendition of Ramayana by a young girl Sara.
The Ramayana story thus has a universal appeal. And that’s because it has all the ingredients of a good story: there is a hero, the princess, the damsel in distress. Adventure, romance, action, it’s all there. Yet, there is something more in Ramayana. It is the ‘adi-kavya’– the first poem. And the poetic masterpiece of Ramayana is known to humans for thousands of years.
Unfortunately modern scholars declare Ramayana to be a fiction; in most book stores, Ramayana is classified as ‘mythology’. However we need to remember that Ramayana is not a fairy tale born out of the fertile brains of some creative writers. Ramayana is a product of divine inspiration, revealed in the heart of a devotee by the Lord himself.
Even when Lord Krishna was personally present on this planet-5000 years ago- Ramayana was well known. That’s the reason the speaker of Srimad Bhagavatam, Srila Sukadeva Goswami devotes only two chapters to the Ramayana. The epic was sung in the courts of kings even those days.
*Article written by Vraja Bihari Das*
“Let us tell all of our children, throughout the world, this ancient story of Lord Rama, whose life teaches diligence and justice.” – Haile Selassie I, Speech on the Hindu Epic at Delhi University, May 20, 1956.
“Stories of Rama’s courage and devotion, sagacity and resourcefulness, filial obedience and most of all his unswerving devotion to God, are recorded in the scriptures of India.” – Haile Selassie I, Speech on the Hindu Epic at Delhi University, May 20, 1956.
“In providing us with the great epic of Rama, the Hindu has enshrined for us the rarest gems of moral and religious teaching in such form that, when touched, its emotional appeal rings out like a diamond struck upon a bell.” – Haile Selassie I, Speech on the Hindu Epic at Delhi University, May 20, 1956.
Jai Rastafari! Jah Krishnafari!!
Jai RamaChrista! Jah RastaKrishna!!
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