Shree Rama was a man of towering stature, a leader par excellence, perhaps the most ingenuous and resourceful military leader the world has ever seen or even imagined, a dutiful son, a loving brother, and a doting and perhaps even jealous husband.
He has a long list of shining achievements in his long life, of which, I shall list a few below:
At a tender age of 12 he received an upadesam of Yoga Vaashishtam from Shree Vashishta muni.
He received the mantras bala and adhibala from the sage Shree Vishvaamithra.
He killed the invincible tataka.
He received all the Astras and weapons that Shree. Vishvamithra had obtained from maheshwara.
He guarded the yagna of Vishvamithra and killed Subahu with Agneyastra and dumped Maareecha with Manavaastra on the seashore. He also slew thousands of Raakshasas in the process.
He broke the Rudhra Dhanus at Mithila, married Seetha.
He quelled Shree Parasuraama by handling the Vishnu Dhanusu. He obtained it.
He, without a single word of protest, obeyed his Mother Kaikeyi and his father and left for the forest, sacrificing the kingdom for his younger brother.
He killed Viraatha in the forest.
He killed 14000 raakshasas with no support in 48 minutes!
He killed Kara, Dhooshana and their ilk.
He performed the last rites for the poor bird Jataayu , who he revered as his father, just because he was his father’s friend, and lay his life down for him.
He killed Kabandha;
He killed Vali.
He struck a trailblazing pact with the monkey leader Sugreeva.
He accepted Vibheeshana’s surrender, knowing fully well, he was the brother of his prime enemy Ravana, based on his principle of never turning down a man who says “I am your friend”, even if that means it will cost him his own life.
He destroyed the whole army of raakshasas, killed Kumbakarna and Ravana.
He kept his word to return in time to Bharatha.
Despite all this accolades, if one has to pick something that he has done in his life as the greatest achievement of his, what would I pick?
If we are to know what the greatest achievement of a person is, we need to ask a person who is devoted to that person and knows that person well, and has no personal need to praise that person and get benefited from that. That person should have unconditional love for the person in question. And the person whose achievements are being discussed, must approve that.
I would ask Hanuman. Why not Lakshmana and Seetha?
Lakshmana was his brother and grew up with him. So no wonder he loves Rama so much.
Seetha is his wife. So no wonder she loves him.
Who is this Hanuman? How is he related to Rama? Why should he become so emotional at the first meeting? Why should he risk his life and serve Rama? Why should he search the nook and corner of South India for a stranger whom he knows only for 4 months? Why should he cross the sea, take on vicious demons and risk his life? What has Rama done to Hanuman, so that Hanuman is obligated to help Rama? It’s pure unalloyed devotion. That’s true love for Rama.
Among all, Only Hanuman served Rama out of pure love. Others had some sort of reason to love him or some gratitude for Rama. So, we will ask Hanuman what his greatest achievement was.
Scene moves to Asoka vanam.
Hanumaan has seen Seetha.
Dushkritham krithavaan Raama: heenoya dhanayaa prabhu:|
Dhaarayath yaathmano deham: na shokena avaseedhathi|| 5-16-27
“This Lord of men, Rama has done an impossible act by staying bereft of this one (Seetha); It’s a wonder he is still staying alive and has not perished with sorrow!”
(Shlokam in Sanskrit reads Dushkaram instead of dushkritham, and duhkhena instead of shokhena. They are errors on the part of the type setter)
And Rama also endorses/approves that:
When Hanuman says when he meets Rama afterwards, “Sita will not live for more than one month” to Rama, Rama says to Lakshmana:
chiram jiivati vaidehii yadi maasam dharishyati |
kshanam saumya na jiiveyam vinaa taam asita iikshanaam || 5-66-10
"O gentle lakshmana! If Seetha can survive for a month from now, it means that she will be chiranjeevi (poetic meaning of sorrow, also shows the confidence Rama has that within a month he will save Seetha); without that Seetha with black eyes, I cannot survive for even a moment."
So, that is the real achievement of Raama: He survived for 10 months not knowing the whereabouts of his sweetheart.
That’s a man’s heart for you.
With love and Hearty Greetings for Onam,