A Life of Equanimity

Lord Shri Ram, the 7th avatar of Lord Vishnu, was born on the ninth day of the Chaitra month in Ayodhya, his birthday is celebrated as Ram Navami across India. Although being an avatar of Lord Vishnu, his life was far from being comfortable. He encountered a series of trials and tribulations in his life, far more than most of us do encounter.

Right from the beginning, instead of inheriting the throne he was initially exiled for 14 years to a forest. There, with little protection to offer, his wife Devi Sita was abducted by king Ravana. Although, he was able to rescue Devi Sita by defeating and killing Ravana, he was subsequently forced to distance himself from her by exiling her to a forest. Later on, he was very close to ferociously killing his two sons (who were born away from him) when he erroneously engaged into a battle with them. The joy of being united with his children only came at the loss of his beloved wife Devi Sita.

All these events would seem excessive misfortune for the average person. Yet Lord Shri Ram maintained his equanimity and kindness, no matter whatever the trials and tribulation he encountered. His life teaches us that whatever the adversity, by maintaining inner balance and equanimity, one can persist and perform one’s proper duties and responsibilities in pursuit of the righteous interests which benefits all.

The symbolism of the bow is used to signify his commitment to a higher purpose (upward orientation of the arrow), through the practise of equanimity (bow stretched perfectly from its centre). Being a source of great courage against all odds, he is revered as Maryada Purushottam or the best upholder of the Dharma (righteousness).

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