Welcome to Rama, a city in India that is steeped in history and mythology. This city is primarily known for its association with Lord Rama, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya, which is located in the Rama’s kingdom of Kosala. Rama’s life is described in the Hindu texts as one full of challenges and moral dilemmas. The most notable of these was the kidnapping of his wife Sita by the demon king Ravana, followed by Rama’s epic efforts to gain her freedom. Rama’s life story and his companions allegorically discuss duties, rights, and social responsibilities of an individual, illustrating dharma and dharmic living through model characters.
Rama is especially important to Vaishnavism. He is the central figure of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, a text historically popular in the South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures. His ancient legends have attracted bhasya (commentaries) and extensive secondary literature and inspired performance arts. Two such texts, for example, are the Adhyatma Ramayana – a spiritual and theological treatise considered foundational by Ramanandi monasteries, and the Ramcharitmanas – a popular treatise that inspires thousands of Ramlila festival performances during autumn every year in India.
Rama is also known as Ram, Raman, Ramar, and Ramachandra. Rama is a Vedic Sanskrit word with two contextual meanings. In one context as found in Atharva Veda, as stated by Monier Monier-Williams, means dark, dark-colored, black, and is related to the term ratri which means night. In another context as found in other Vedic texts, the word means pleasing, delightful, charming, beautiful, lovely.
Rama’s birth, according to Ramayana, is an incarnation of God (Vishnu) as human. Rama and his brothers were born to Kaushalya and Dasharatha in Ayodhya, a city on the banks of the Sarayu River. The Jain versions of the Ramayana also mention the details of the early life of Rama. The Jain texts are dated variously but generally pre-500 CE, most likely sometime within the first five centuries of the common era.
The return of Rama to Ayodhya was celebrated with his coronation. It is called Rama pattabhisheka, and his rule itself as Rama rajya described to be a just and fair rule. It is believed by many that when Rama returned people celebrated their happiness with diyas (lamps), and the festival of Diwali is connected with Ramas return. Rama and Sita live happily together in Ayodhya, have twin sons named Luv and Kush, in the Ramayana and other major texts. However, in some revisions, the story is different and tragic, with Sita dying of sorrow for her husband not trusting her, making Sita a moral heroine and leaving the reader with moral questions about Rama. In these revisions, the death of Sita leads Rama to drown himself. Through death, he joins her in the afterlife.
Overall, Rama is a city that is deeply connected to Hindu mythology and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the Ramayana and Indian mythology. The city is home to many temples and other religious sites associated with Lord Rama, and it is a great place to learn more about this important figure in Hinduism. Visiting Rama is an excellent way to immerse yourself in Indian culture and history, and it is sure to be a memorable experience for anyone who makes the journey.