God of the Week: Rama

God of the Week 01/18/10: Rama

More than just a mysterious satellite in which to rendezvous with, Rama is a principle deity in Hinduism and an avatar of Vishnu. He is believed by many Hindus to have been an historical king, an ideal man that lived a perfectly virtuous life despite many hardships.

Much of his story is told in the epic Mahdbhdrata. It tells of a childless king who prayed for sons. At the same time, the gods were looking for a means of dealing with the evil  demon Ravana. The gods begged Vishnu to take human form, and so Rama was born to the king.

The other great incarnation of Visnu is that as Rama, whose story, as told both in the Rdmdyana and in a long episode in
the Mahdbhdrata, presents him as none other than Visnu.
Dasaratha, king of Kosala, with his capital at Ayodhya, was
a wise and powerful ruler, but he had no sons, wherefore, to
obtain children, he performed the horse sacrifice with the aid
of the sage Rsyasrnga. At the time the gods were in fear of the
demon Ravana, to whom Brahma had granted the gift of invulnerability, and they sought a means of killing him. This, they found, could be accomplished only by a man, and for this end they begged Visnu to take human form. Visnu accordingly came to life as Rama, the son of Dasaratha …
-Mythology of All Races, Vol 6
by A. Berriedale Keith
Louis Herbert Gray, Editor

Rama worship appears to be very old, indeed. Iconography of Rama has been found in the city of Moenjo-daro, the ruins of which have been dated to 2,600 BCE.

Rama may have been a local god similar in character to Indra, but representing the views of a society which was essentially agricultural and not pastoral; and his identification with Visnu was doubtless instigated by the same motives which led to the identification of [Krisna] with that great god and which has in the course of time brought many other deities into the fold of Visnu.

A prayer to Rama:

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2 Comments on “God of the Week: Rama”

  1. Sabio Lantz Says:

    Two Indian epics: The Mahabharata and The Ramayana.

    What inspired you to write this?

    • The series? Or the Rama post? I just thought it would be fun to have a series of some sort and I’m a fan of mythology and religion. I don’t know too much about the Hinduism and their gods so I’m using it as an excuse to learn more about that, as well. I don’t do them an any sort of order, whatever happens to tickle my fancy at the time.

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