Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Rama was a perfect personality who lived within the limits and precepts of the human tradition. His birth was under auspicious circumstances. He was a boon from Agni, and the boon of fire is a perfect gift. Rama had those qualities which are transcendental, which are divine.

Rama's attitude and behaviour were never egotistical. He never considered himself to be the knower of everything; he maintained humility; he maintained the attitude of a disciple. All the personalities with whom Rama was involved during his lifetime were very highly realized souls following the precepts of dharma, duty, and karma, action; and some who deviated from the path of dharma but still had all the understanding of it.

Now it happens that when consciousness is transcendental, in order to gain experience of the lower qualities of consciousness, there is a tendency for the pure consciousness to be pulled downwards to gain that experience of the gross manifestations of consciousness. If we stay on land we want to experience the water, we want to swim. Whenever we see water there is a desire to go in. If we stay in the water, after some time we want to come out to be on dry land again. We experience dwandwa, conflict.

As a child Rama was perfect. It is known that children are very innocent, simple-minded, and that within them they have developed intuitive capacities. They are free, open and outgoing, they are not inhibited in any way. While maintaining the state of a child, the Supreme Being also maintains a state which is pure. Then there is the desire to experience the lower qualities, the lower tendencies. Without experience nothing can be called perfect.

Rama was already perfect, his perfection only needed to be expressed. To be able to express that perfection, he had to pull that consciousness down to the gross consciousness. The moon, of course, represents gross matter, the worldly, sensory experience, and, therefore, Rama wanted the moon. The story of the moon is not emphasized in the history of the other great personalities. Of all the other ten different incarnations, Rama is supreme. He wanted to have the experience of the gross so he asked for the moon. Then his mother, the shakti aspect, came with a mirror because Rama was only permitted to see the reflection of the moon. He had the indirect experience of worldly affairs, senses, pleasures, matter, and then he was satisfied.

Even when we talk of consciousness, a supreme conscious- ness cannot, while maintaining its universality, have direct experience of gross matter; it can only have indirect experience. It can only have direct experience when it loses that universality and out of one it becomes many. Out of one it develops an ego and identity and then it is subject to the plays of maya. In the life of Rama there was never any dwandwa; he accepted his destiny without conflict.