DHARMA AND TRUTH:
The golden thread that runs throughout the Ramayana web is the nature of Dharma and Truth. Valmiki untiringly emphasizes this doctrine, the inter-relatedness of Dharma, Artha -economic security and Kama-fulfillment of legitimate desires as the goals of human life. The course of action one should pursue if one wants to stay within the path of Dharma is elaborately examined.
Rama vowed Satyaparipaalana Vrata to follow the path of Truth. He followed the path of Truth by himself and by helping others to be truthful. To fulfill his father’s promise to Kaikeyi he had to take the path of Truth or Dharma and that led to the forest. He appealed to Bharata to follow suit. He was committed to Truth and was his own example. He would never be untrue to his own words. He never contradicts what he has spoken once. Keeping a promise was a supreme Dharma and an eternal virtue. Sri Rama says: "I can renounce my life, Lakshmana, and you Sita, but I cannot break my promise."
He was an exemplary husband with the vow of Ekapatnivrata which means monogamy. Of this once Sita Maa tells Mother Ansuya about this quality of her husband. She says: "He is of a steady affection and that his affection for her was like that of her parents besides being that of a husband and a lover." Sri Rama was also a noble brother to his brothers. The brotherly love has been idealised by Valmiki through the characters of Rama, Lakshmana and Bharata. Lakshmana protects Rama and Rama protects Lakshmana. Their fraternal love is like that of Ashvini brothers.
One has to go beyond the Ramayana story to see the metaphorical Rama as the Paramatman or Supreme Reality and that Sita and the brothers were the Jivatman or embodied individual souls. Each man’s body was the Lanka in which the jivatman was enclosed or kept captured. It is in constant desire to be in affinity with the Paramatman or Sri Rama. The guna and various traits of characters shown as Rakshasas would not allow it. Sita, thus imprisoned tries to unite with her Lord. She has a guru or divine teacher, who comes when the disciple is ready, in Sri Hanuman who shows the Jnana ring. That destroys illusions. Finally Sita finds her way home to Sri Rama – Jivatman finds itself one with the Paramatman. Hari Om
Yogi Ananda Saraswathi