Rama, the Coveted Wealth of Sage Vishwamitra

viśvāmitrapriyadhana rāma
viśvāmitrapriyadhana rāma

Sri Ram grew up to be a handsome young prince, skilled in warfare and equally well-versed in the knowledge of the Vedas. He possessed unmatched prowess and shone like a jewel, upholding the glory of his ancestry. All his actions were fuelled by good intentions and brought happiness to his people making him the beloved of one and all. He was the apple of his father’s eye and was constantly dedicated to the service of his father.

Soon enough, King Dasharath started deliberating about Ram’s marriage. While he was seeking advice on the same from his counsellors, the great sage Vishwamitra appeared in his court. Dasharath welcomed him with utmost reverence and honoured him with a promise to fulfil the purpose of his visit. The sage revealed his desire to take Sri Rama into the forest to destroy the demons that were disrupting his sacred observances. Dasharath pleaded with him that Ram was too young to take up such a mission, but the sage had complete faith in Ram’s prowess. The sage explained that this body that Dasharath identified with as his son, was much more than that; Ram had transcended the body and was made for a much higher purpose than to just serve the king as a son and heir. Thus the king should not hold back Ram based on his attachment. Sage Vashishta also convinced the king that the patronage of sage Vishwamitra would further empower Ram.

Vishwamitra was a powerful ascetic who had brought all the three worlds to a standstill with his penance. The gods were compelled to grant him liberation in this very life, conferring on him the status of ‘Brahma rishi’ which means someone who was born into a pious environment and had attained enlightenment. Lord Ram, gained all his practical knowledge and received divine weapons while training under sage Vishwamitra. The great sage also made Ram appreciate the glory of his lineage and realise his competence. Vishwamitra had the ability to see beyond the mind and body level, and he clearly saw the divine manifested in Lord Ram. He had a deep love for Sri Ram and gave him the best he could offer. Lord Ram belonged to the lineage of the sun god himself, yet, it was the divinity that radiated from him that made him glisten like the sun setting on the horizon of the ocean.

Ram had transcended the body and was made for a much higher purpose than to just serve the king as a son and heir.

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Chinmaya Udghosh