Today, in observance of Sri Rama-navami, we shall read a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto Two, Chapter Seven: “Scheduled Incarnations.”
yasma adad udadhir udha-bhayanga-vepo
margam sapady ari-puram haravad didhaksoh
The Personality of Godhead Ramacandra, being aggrieved for His distant intimate friend [Sita], glanced over the city of the enemy Ravana with red-hot eyes like those of Hara [who wanted to burn the kingdom of heaven]. The great ocean, trembling in fear, gave Him His way because its family members, the aquatics like the sharks, snakes, and crocodiles, were being burnt by the heat of the angry red-hot eyes of the Lord.
PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada
The Personality of Godhead has every sentiment of a sentient being, like all other living beings, because He is the chief and original living entity, the supreme source of all other living beings. He is the nitya, or the chief eternal amongst all other eternals. He is the chief one, and all others are the dependent many. The many eternals are supported by the one eternal, and thus both the eternals are qualitatively one. Due to such oneness, both the eternals constitutionally have a complete range of sentiments, but the difference is that the sentiments of the chief eternal are different in quantity from the sentiments of the dependent eternals. When Ramacandra was angry and showed His red-hot eyes, the whole ocean became heated with that energy, so much so that the aquatics within the great ocean felt the heat, and the personified ocean trembled in fear and offered the Lord an easy path for reaching the enemy’s city. The impersonalists will see havoc in this red-hot sentiment of the Lord because they want to see negation in perfection. Because the Lord is absolute, the impersonalists imagine that in the Absolute the sentiment of anger, which resembles mundane sentiments, must be conspicuous by absence. Due to a poor fund of knowledge, they do not realize that the sentiment of the Absolute Person is transcendental to all mundane concepts of quality and quantity. Had Lord Ramacandra’s sentiment been of mundane origin, how could it disturb the whole ocean and its inhabitants? Can any mundane red-hot eye generate heat in the great ocean? These are factors to be distinguished in terms of the personal and impersonal conceptions of the Absolute Truth. As it is said in the beginning of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Absolute Truth is the source of everything, so the Absolute Person cannot be devoid of the sentiments that are reflected in the temporary mundane world. Rather, the different sentiments found in the Absolute, either in anger or in mercy, have the same qualitative influence, or, in other words, there is no mundane difference of value because these sentiments are all on the absolute plane. Such sentiments are definitely not absent in the Absolute, as the impersonalists think, making their mundane estimation of the transcendental world.
COMMENT by Giriraj Swami
The Vedanta-sutra begins with the aphorism janmady asya yatah: “The Absolute Truth is that from which everything emanates.” Srimad-Bhagavatam begins with the same words and explains that the Absolute Truth, the origin of everything, is a person—the Supreme Person, Krishna (krsnas tu bhagavan svayam). He is the origin of everything spiritual and material, and in the Bhagavad-gita He confirms, “I am the origin of everything. From me everything emanates.”
aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
“I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.” (Gita 10.8) Further, He says, aham adir hi devanam: “I am the source of the devas.” (Gita 10.2) Srila Prabhupada explains that the three primal devas, or gods, are Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh and that Krishna is the origin of them all—even of Vishnu.
Srimad-Bhagavatam describes the Absolute Truth in detail. It lists twenty-six incarnations of Godhead and states, ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam: “All of these incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krsna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (SB 1.3.28) As such, Krishna includes all of the other incarnations, including the incarnation of Lord Ramachandra. Thus we need not worship Lord Ramachandra separately. By worshiping Krishna, we automatically worship Lord Rama simultaneously.
Krishna, being the origin of everything and everyone, is also the origin of us, the living entities. So whatever qualities we have must also exist in Krishna—originally. We have individuality, so Krishna must too. We have form, and so must Krishna. We have thinking and feeling and willing, so Krishna must too. And we have activities, so Krishna must too. Krishna, the Absolute Truth, has everything that we have plus more—and in greater quantity.
In the specific incarnation of Rama, the Lord acts as the ideal human being—the ideal son, ideal brother, ideal husband, ideal king. The Ramayana, the history of Lord Rama, is filled with the exemplary behavior of the Lord and His associates, and they all show ideal examples. Sita shows the ideal of a chaste wife, Laksmana and Bharata of faithful brothers. The Ramayana is full of ideal examples that we are meant to follow—ideal father, ideal son, ideal brother, ideal husband, ideal wife, ideal servant, ideal ruler, and so on.
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