Rama is considered the most noble and the embodiment of righteousness, and is referred to as Maryada Purushottam. Rama is also one of the most popular avataars of Vishnu and indeed one of the most popular Hindu Gods. Ram temples are spread through out India and in several other parts of the world.
Attributes and Depiction
Rama is often shown in idols along with his brother Lakhmana and his wife Sita. He is shown in human form with a bow as his weapon on his shoulder.
Vishnu appeared as Rama to save the world from tyranny of Ravana the demon king of Lanka. Ravana had been given by Brahma the gift of invulnerability against Gods which led to his evil rule on people. As he could not be killed by any God or Goddess, Vishnu had to appear in human form to destroy him.
Rama is considered to be the perfect hero. He had only one wife and was completely devoted to her. He has no blemishes towards his character and was also the perfect ruler, his rule known as Ram Rajya, a just kingdome where people live in peace and prosperity and are honest, true and happy.
Some of the major Hindu festivals are associated with Rama:
- Diwali (or Deepavali, the festival of lights), one of the biggest festivals of Hindus is a celebration of return of Rama to Ayodhya, after slaying Ravana and serving his exile of 14 years. Diwali is celebrated with much fanfare throughout India and is accompanied with burning crackers and decorating houses with lights.
- Dussehra, is celebrated to rejoice on the slaying of Ravana. It is the culmination of 10 days of Ramlila (plays depicting Ramayana) organized throughout India. Effigies of Ravana and his brothers Indrajit and Kumbhkarna are burnt to celebrate Dussehra.
- Ramnavmi is the celebration of Lord Rama's birth. It falls on the ninth day of the Chaitra month of Hindu calendar.
Rama: Ram, Raama, Raam