Ram Rajya is something we have heard of, but probably never explored what it means.
I spent 6 months reading Ramcharitmanas by Goswami Tulsidas. There are many things I learned from reading the original. A million interpretations, commentaries, extrapolated work could not have given me what investing a little time in reading the original did.
Read my post on – 5 Reasons to read Ramcharitmanas in original
The part that most fascinated me was the description of Ram Rajya. We have often heard this term, whenever politicians talk about good governance. I guess I can safely assume that most of us have not read about what it means.
What is Ram Rajya?
In Ramayana, Ram Rajya is established once Sri Ram returns to Ayodhya after killing Ravana in Lanka. As the king of Ayodhya, he creates a kingdom where everyone is happy. The description of this Ram Rajya may look Utopian to us today. Given the fact that this legend and phrase has survived for so long, this must have been a reality at some point in time, even if that period did not last forever.
Description of Ram Rajya comes in Uttara Kand or the 7th Canto of Ramcharitmanas after Sri Ram has sent back all his friends who came with him from Lanka, Kishkindha and Prayag. Through Dohas and Chaupais, it describes the different aspects of a Ram Rajya. The description is so fascinating that it inspired me to write this post.
I hope, we the people of 21st CE would read it and get inspiration to create our own Ram Rajya.
Elements of Ram Rajya
In this Doha, Tulsidas gives the abstract of what Ram Rajya is:
बरनाश्रम निज निज धरम निरत बेद पथ लोग
चलहिं सदा पावहिं सुखहि नहि भय सोक न रोग
When everyone lives according to the Dharma of their Varan and Ashram 0r when everyone does what they are supposed to do in their work and as per their stage in life as defined in the Vedas. When there is no fear, no sorrows, and no diseases – it is the essence of Ram Rajya.
How beautifully it sums up what we need to have a state that is perfect & to be honest how simple it sounds to achieve. Just do what you are supposed to do to the best of your abilities or as prescribed. Think of it, if we all did what we are supposed to do, 99% of the world problems would be gone in an instant.
After this verse, Tulsidas ji goes on to tell us in detail about Ram Rajya.
People & their behavior
He says in Ram Rajya, no one suffers at physically, spiritually and bodily.
Everyone lives in harmony with affection towards each other while performing their own duties as described in the scriptures. For our times, we can take it as per the law and ethically.
All the four limbs of the Dharma – Truth, Purity, Compassion & Charity are being fulfilled, and no one does a Paap or sin even in their dreams. Everyone does the Bhakti of Ram and hence earn the right to Moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Here Ram may not refer to the king of Ayodhya, and it may refer to the Nirguna Ram that Kabir talks about.
No one dies young. Everyone has a beautiful body free of diseases. No one is poor, sad or pitiable. No one is a fool or without Shubh Lakshana or auspicious signs.
No one is vain. Everyone is pious and busy doing their Dharma. All men and women are smart and talented. All are knowledgeable and respect those who have knowledge. Everyone is thankful and no one engaged in the deceit of any kind.
Everyone is generous, helpful and respect the learned. All men marry only one woman and women are dedicated to their husbands in their body, mind, and spirit.
In Ram Rajya, Dand ( a staff) can only be seen in the hands of Yogis, who use it to rest their hand on it while doing their Tapasya. Jati Bhed ( difference in different Jatis or castes) can only be seen in the dictionary of dancers who use it to define the difference between different rhythms & notes. Jeeto ( winning) only refers to the winning of hearts as there is no enemy left to be won.
Ecology in around Ayodhya
All the forests are full of flowers and fruits. Lion and elephants live together. All the birds and animals live harmoniously without the known animosity between them, with mutual affection.
Birds chirp & different animals live happily without fear. Mild, cool, fragrant wind blows and bees buzz as they collect honey from the flowers.
Read More – Ayodhya – the city of Ram & Ramayana
Vines and trees give you honey, and cows give the milk as soon as you ask for it. Fields are always full of crops. It looks like Satyuga in Treta Yuga. Satyuga preceded Treta Yuga of Ram, and it was a time when everything worked perfectly.
Mountains and hills are mines of precious stones or Manis. All rivers are full of cool, clean and sweet power that is the source of happiness.
Oceans stay within their limits, and they leave their treasures on the shore for humans. All ponds are full of lotus blooms spreading joy in all 10 directions.
Moon sends its cool rays to earth, the sun shines only as much as needed, clouds give as much water as asked.
The Behavior of the Royal Family
Sri Ram himself performs a million Yagnas, gives Daan to the Brahmans. Sita, despite having skilled Sevaks at her disposal, takes care of her home by herself including the Seva of her mothers-in-law. All brothers stay attentive for anything that they may be required to do. Sri Ram teaches them different strategies for statecraft.
Grandeur of Ayodhya
All the people of Ayodhya city are happy. All the mansions have walls full of precious stones. The city wall has colorful Kangooras or Balustrades. Ayodhya competes with Amaravati of Indra in its grandeur. The Kalash or pots on top of the buildings are competing with the shine of sun and moon. Jharokhas or windows of the mansions are lit up with Deeps or Oil lamps that have precious stone sones on them. Thresholds are made of coral, walls of gemstones and golden walls are embedded with emeralds. Courtyards are made of Sphatik or crystals.
Every house has a Chitrashala or paintings on its walls, depicting the Charitra or character of Sri Ram. They are so beautiful that even Sanyasis get lost in them.
Everyone has a garden full of flowers and plants that have perpetual blossom as it blossoms in Basant Ritu or Spring season. You can hear the bumbling of bees as the gentle wind blows. Even the kids have birds as pets who they play with as they fly.
Peacocks, swans, cranes, pigeons park themselves on top of houses and dance when they see their own shadows.
Kids chat with the Parrots and Mainas and talk about Sri Ram. The city has beautiful gates, streets, crossroads, and markets. Markets are full of things at no price. Cloth merchants, jewelers, traders sit in the market like Kuber – the god of wealth.
Saryu and its Banks
Saryu flows in the North with deep clean water. There are ghats along Saryu and there is not an iota of mud on its banks. At some distance horses and elephants drink its water.
All along Saryu are temples surrounded by gardens. Some sanyasis live near the banks of Saryu, who have planted Tulsi all along the banks of the river.
The city of Ayodhya looks beautiful even from a distance as it is full of forests, gardens, step wells & ponds. Later have lovely steps leading to the water. They are full of lotus and the birds invite there with their birdsongs.
Conclusion on Ram Rajya
Ram Rajya is a well-rounded definition of a state when everything works in sync with each other.
What you admire is the sequence in which Ram Rajya is described. First of all, it is human behavior that has to be in place, then the ecology then comes the grandeur of the city or state.
Tell me what do you think about it in the comments below!