Maryada Purushottam Lord Rama

Sixteen qualities of Shri Rama were presented by Valmiki Maharishi in the form of questions when he enquired Narada Muni if he knew anyone possessing all these virtuous qualities. In response, Sri Narada Muni briefly described the Ramayana in about a hundred verses, and Sri Valmiki expanded these into a Maha Kavya with the inspiration of a curse, Brahmaji’s advice, and, of course, his Guru’s grace.

The Ramayana enumerates 16 qualities of Lord Sri Rama, and on the basis of these, he is regarded as “Maryada Purushottam”.

1. गुणवान् (guṇavān = Principled and endowed with excellent qualities. This is his most endearing quality which makes Him come to this world again and again).

2. वीर्यवान् (vīryavān = Endowed with prowess and potential – ability to lead).

3. धर्मज्ञः (dharmajñaḥ = Conscientious and well versed in Dharma, the universal integral justice).

4. कृतज्ञः (kṛtajñaḥ = One who is grateful even to those like Kaikeyi and have gratitude for her to indirectly helping Him experience many good things during exile).

5. सत्य वाक्यो (satya vākyo = Always walked on the path of satya and lived by those principle including speech).

6. धृढ व्रतः (dhṛḍha vrataḥ = Though surrounded by adversities, never forsakes the dharma – Self-determined & firm in his vows).

7. चारित्रेण च को युक्तः (cāritreṇa ca ko yuktaḥ = Blend with high moral values and known for great personal conduct).

8. सर्व भूतेषु को हितः (sarva bhūteṣu ko hitaḥ = He is munificent well-wisher of all).

9. विद्वान् (vidvān = Knower of everything).

10. समर्थः (samarthaḥ = Competent in doing things that cannot be done by others. His limitless ability was demonstrated by transforming vanvas into a developing alliance, killing Ravana and revealing the remarkable characters of his brothers and Hanuman, all attracted by Sri Rama’s extraordinary capabilities).

11. एक प्रिय दर्शनः (eka priya darśanaḥ = His appearance is eternally pleasing. Even the enemy would be pleased seeing Sri Rama once).

12. आत्मवान् (ātmavān = One who has control over his desires & senses and has conquered his mind).

13. जित क्रोधो (jita krodho = Conquerer of Anger).

14. द्युतिमान् (dyutimān = Special splendor emanating from His body – The brilliant one).

15. अनसूयकः (anasūyakaḥ = Never jealous of another’s knowledge, wealth, progress and power).

16. बिभ्यति देवाः च जात रोषस्य संयुगे (kasya bibhyati devāḥ ca jāta roṣasya saṃyuge = Even demigod’s fear, when He is provoked to war -Varuna and Indra’s son were trembling).

Let’s meditate on these qualities, as our beloved Lord Sri Rama will soon be manifesting in his new temple with a new form, but the spirit of devotion has always been present in the legacy of our ancestors.

– Govinda Das