Ramachandra, or Lord Rama, is one of the Supreme Person's many avatars on earth. He appeared during a previous age, Treta-yuga, and ruled as emperor of the world. A chronicle of His activities is presented extensively in the epic Ramayana, and concisely in the ninth canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, a biography of Krishna's many incarnations.
Ramachandra's life is considered to be exemplary in every way. Followers of India's Vedic culture see Him as the ideal king, the most powerful warrior, and the most faithful husband. It is said that He ruled His kingdom just as a loving father cares for his children. Lord Rama's nobility, integrity, decency, and virtue are spoken of with reverence even today.
Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) Canto 9, Chapter 10-11
Translation and purport by His Divine Grace, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Shukadeva Goswami said: The son of Maharaja Khatvanga was Dirghabahu, and his son was the celebrated Maharaja Raghu. From Maharaja Raghu came Aja, and from Aja was born the great personality Maharaja Dasharatha. Being prayed for by the demigods, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth Himself, directly appeared with His expansion and expansions of the expansion. Their holy names were Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. These celebrated incarnations thus appeared in four forms as the sons of Maharaja Dasharatha.
O King Parikshit, the transcendental activities of Lord Ramachandra have been described by great saintly persons who have seen the truth. Because you have heard again and again about Lord Ramachandra, the husband of mother Sita, I shall describe these activities only in brief.
To keep the promise of his father intact, Lord Ramachandra immediately gave up the position of king and, accompanied by His wife, mother Sita, wandered from one forest to another on His lotus feet, which were so delicate that they were unable to bear even the touch of Sita’s palms. The Lord was also accompanied by Hanuman, king of the monkeys, [or by another monkey, Sugriva] and by His own younger brother Lord Laksmana, both of whom gave him relief from the fatigue of wandering in the forest. Having cut off the nose and ears of Shurpanakha, thus disfiguring her, the Lord was separated from mother Sita. He therefore became angry, moving His eyebrows and thus frightening the ocean, who then allowed the Lord to construct a bridge to cross the ocean. Subsequently, the Lord entered the kingdom of Ravana to kill him, like a fire devouring a forest. May that Supreme Lord, Ramachandra, give us all protection.
In the arena of sacrifice performed by Vishvamitra, Lord Ramachandra, the King of Ayodhya, killed many demons, Rakshasas, and uncivilized men who wandered at night in the mode of darkness. May Lord Ramachandra, who killed these demons in the presence of Lakshmana, be kind enough to give us protection.
O King, the pastimes of Lord Ramachandra were wonderful, like those of a baby elephant. In the assembly where mother Sita was to choose her husband, in the midst of the heroes of this world, He broke the bow belonging to Lord Shiva. This bow was so heavy that it was carried by three hundred men, but Lord Ramachandra bent and strung it and broke it in the middle, just as a baby elephant breaks a stick of sugarcane. Thus the Lord achieved the hand of mother Sita, who was equally as endowed with transcendental qualities of form, beauty, behavior, age and nature. Indeed, she was the goddess of fortune who constantly rests on the chest of the Lord.
While returning from Sita’s home after gaining her at the assembly of competitors, Lord Ramachandra met Parashurama. Although Parashurama was very proud, having rid the earth of the royal order twenty-one times, he was defeated by the Lord, who appeared to be a kshatriya of the royal order.
Carrying out the order of His father, who was bound by a promise to his wife, Lord Ramachandra left behind His kingdom, opulence, friends, well-wishers, residence and everything else, just as a liberated soul gives up his life, and went to the forest with Sita.
While wandering in the forest, where He accepted a life of hardship, carrying His invincible bow and arrows in His hand, Lord Ramachandra deformed Ravana’s sister, who was polluted with lusty desires, by cutting off her nose and ears. He also killed her fourteen thousand Rakshasa friends, headed by Khara, Trishira and Dushana.
O King Parikshit, when Ravana, who had ten heads on his shoulders, heard about the beautiful and attractive features of Sita, his mind was agitated by lusty desires, and he went to kidnap her. To distract Lord Ramachandra from His ashrama, Ravana sent Maricha in the form of a golden deer, and when Lord Ramachandra saw that wonderful deer, He left His residence and followed it and finally killed it with a sharp arrow, just as Lord Shiva killed Daksha.
When Ramachandra entered the forest and Lakshmana was also absent, the worst of the Rakshasas, Ravana, kidnapped Sitadevi, the daughter of the King of Videha, just as a tiger seizes unprotected sheep when the shepherd is absent.
Then Lord Ramachandra wandered in the forest with His brother Lakshmana as if very much distressed due to separation from His wife. Thus He showed by His personal example the condition of a person attached to women.
Lord Ramachandra, whose lotus feet are worshiped by Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, had assumed the form of a human being. Thus He performed the funeral ceremony of Jatayu, who was killed by Ravana. The Lord then killed the demon named Kabandha, and after making friends with the monkey chiefs, killing Vali and arranging for the deliverance of mother Sita, He went to the beach of the ocean.
After reaching the beach, Lord Ramachandra fasted for three days, awaiting the arrival of the ocean personified. When the ocean did not come, the Lord exhibited His pastimes of anger, and simply by glancing over the ocean, all the living entities within it, including the crocodiles and sharks, were agitated by fear. Then the personified ocean fearfully approached Lord Ramachandra, taking all paraphernalia to worship Him. Falling at the Lord’s lotus feet, the personified ocean spoke as follows.
O all-pervading Supreme Person, we are dull-minded and did not understand who You are, but now we understand that You are the Supreme Person, the master of the entire universe, the unchanging and original Personality of Godhead. The demigods are infatuated with the mode of goodness, the Prajapatis with the mode of passion, and the lord of ghosts with the mode of ignorance, but You are the master of all these qualities.
My Lord, You may use my water as You like. Indeed, You may cross it and go to the abode of Ravana, who is the great source of disturbance and crying for the three worlds. He is the son of Vishrava, but is condemned like urine. Please go kill him and thus regain Your wife, Sitadevi. O great hero, although my water presents no impediment to Your going to Lanka, please construct a bridge over it to spread Your transcendental fame. Upon seeing this wonderfully uncommon deed of Your Lordship, all the great heroes and kings in the future will glorify You.
Shukadeva Goswami said: After constructing a bridge over the ocean by throwing into the water the peaks of mountains whose trees and other vegetation had been shaken by the hands of great monkeys, Lord Ramachandra went to Lanka to release Sitadevi from the clutches of Ravana. With the direction and help of Vibhishana, Ravana’s brother, the Lord, along with the monkey soldiers, headed by Sugriva, Nila and Hanuman, entered Ravana’s kingdom, Lanka, which had previously been burnt by Hanuman.
After entering Lanka, the monkey soldiers, led by chiefs like Sugriva, Nila and Hanuman, occupied all the sporting houses, granaries, treasuries, palace doorways, city gates, assembly houses, palace frontages and even the resting houses of the pigeons. When the city’s crossroads, platforms, flags and golden waterpots on its domes were all destroyed, the entire city of Lanka appeared like a river disturbed by a herd of elephants.
When Ravana, the master of the Rakshasas, saw the disturbances created by the monkey soldiers, he called for Nikumbha, Kumbha, Dhumraksha, Durmukha, Surantaka, Narantaka and other Rakshasas and also his son Indrajit. Thereafter he called for Prahasta, Atikaya, Vikampana and finally Kumbhakarna. Then he induced all his followers to fight against the enemies.
Lord Ramachandra, surrounded by Lakshmana and monkey soldiers like Sugriva, Hanuman, Gandhamada, Nila, Angada, Jambavan and Panasa, attacked the soldiers of the Rakshasas, who were fully equipped with various invincible weapons like swords, lances, bows, prasas, rishtis, shakti arrows, kadgas and tomaras.
Angada and the other commanders of the soldiers of Ramachandra faced the elephants, infantry, horses and chariots of the enemy and hurled against them big trees, mountain peaks, clubs and arrows. Thus the soldiers of Lord Ramachandra killed Ravana’s soldiers, who had lost all good fortune because Ravana had been condemned by the anger of mother Sita.
Thereafter, when Ravana, the King of the Rakshasas, observed that his soldiers had been lost, he was extremely angry. Thus he mounted his airplane, which was decorated with flowers, and proceeded toward Lord Ramachandra, who sat on the effulgent chariot brought by Matali, the chariot driver of Indra. Then Ravana struck Lord Ramachandra with sharp arrows.
Lord Ramachandra said to Ravana: You are the most abominable of the man-eaters. Indeed, you are like their stool. You resemble a dog, for as a dog steals eatables from the kitchen in the absence of the householder, in My absence you kidnapped My wife, Sitadevi. Therefore as Yamaraja punishes sinful men, I shall also punish you. You are most abominable, sinful and shameless. Today, therefore, I, whose attempt never fails, shall punish you.
After thus rebuking Ravana, Lord Ramachandra fixed an arrow to His bow, aimed at Ravana, and released the arrow, which pierced Ravana’s heart like a thunderbolt. Upon seeing this, Ravana’s followers raised a tumultuous sound, crying, “Alas! Alas! What has happened? What has happened?” as Ravana, vomiting blood from his ten mouths, fell from his airplane, just as a pious man falls to earth from the heavenly planets when the results of his pious activities are exhausted.
Thereafter, all the women whose husbands had fallen in the battle, headed by Mandodari, the wife of Ravana, came out of Lanka. Continuously crying, they approached the dead bodies of Ravana and the other Rakshasas.
Striking their breasts in affliction because their husbands had been killed by the arrows of Lakshmana, the women embraced their respective husbands and cried piteously in voices appealing to everyone.
O my lord, O master! You epitomized trouble for others, and therefore you were called Ravana. But now that you have been defeated, we also are defeated, for without you the state of Lanka has been conquered by the enemy. To whom will it go for shelter?
O greatly fortunate one, you came under the influence of lusty desires, and therefore you could not understand the influence of mother Sita. Now, because of her curse, you have been reduced to this state, having been killed by Lord Ramachandra.
O pleasure of the Rakshasa dynasty, because of you the state of Lanka and also we ourselves now have no protector. By your deeds you have made your body fit to be eaten by vultures and your soul fit to go to hell.
Shri Shukadeva Goswami said: Vibhishana, the pious brother of Ravana and devotee of Lord Ramachandra, received approval from Lord Ramachandra, the King of Kosala. Then he performed the prescribed funeral ceremonies for his family members to save them from the path to hell.
Thereafter, Lord Ramachandra found Sitadevi sitting in a small cottage beneath the tree named Shimshapa in a forest of Ashoka trees. She was lean and thin, being aggrieved because of separation from Him.
Seein His wife in that condition, Lord Ramachandra was very compassionate. When Ramachandra came before her, she was exceedingly happy to see her beloved, and her lotuslike mouth showed her joy.
After giving Vibhishana the power to rule the Rakshasa population of Lanka for the duration of one kalpa, Lord Ramachandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead [Bhagavan], placed Sitadevi on an airplane decorated with flowers and then got on the plane Himself. The period for His living in the forest having ended, the Lord returned to Ayodhya, accompanied by Hanuman, Sugriva and His brother Lakshmana.
When Lord Ramachandra returned to His capital, Ayodhya, He was greeted on the road by the princely order, who showered His body with beautiful, fragrant flowers, while great personalities like Lord Brahma and other demigods glorified the activities of the Lord in great jubilation.
Upon reaching Ayodhya, Lord Ramachandra heard that in His absence His brother Bharata was eating barley cooked in the urine of a cow, covering His body with the bark of trees, wearing matted locks of hair, and lying on a mattress of kusha [grass]. The most merciful Lord very much lamented this.
When Lord Bharata understood that Lord Ramachandra was returning to the capital, Ayodhya, He immediately took upon His own head Lord Ramachandra’s wooden shoes and came out from His camp at Nandigrama. Lord Bharata was accompanied by ministers, priests and other respectable citizens, by professional musicians vibrating pleasing musical sounds, and by learned brahmanas loudly chanting Vedic hymns. Following in the procession were chariots drawn by beautiful horses with harnesses of golden rope. These chariots were decorated with flags with golden embroidery and by other flags of various sizes and patterns. There were soldiers bedecked with golden armor, servants bearing betel nut, and many well-known and beautiful prostitutes. Many servants followed on foot, bearing an umbrella, whisks, different grades of precious jewels, and other paraphernalia befitting a royal reception. Accompanied in this way, Lord Bharata, His heart softened in ecstasy and His eyes full of tears, approached Lord Ramachandra and fell at His lotus feet with great ecstatic love.
After offering the wooden shoes before Lord Ramachandra, Lord Bharata stood with folded hands, His eyes full of tears, and Lord Ramachandra bathed Bharata with tears while embracing Him with both arms for a long time. Accompanied by mother Sita and Lakshmana, Lord Ramachandra then offered His respectful obeisances unto the learned brahmanas and the elderly persons in the family, and all the citizens of Ayodhya offered their respectful obeisances unto the Lord.
The citizens of Ayodhya, upon seeing their King return after a long absence, offered Him flower garlands, waved their upper cloths, and danced in great jubilation.
O King, Lord Bharata carried Lord Ramachandra’s wooden shoes, Sugriva and Vibhishana carried a whisk and an excellent fan, Hanuman carried a white umbrella, Shatrughna carried a bow and two quivers, and Sitadevi carried a waterpot filled with water from holy places. Angada carried a sword, and Jambavan, King of the Rikshas, carried a golden shield.
O King Parikshit, as the Lord sat on His airplane of flowers, with women offering Him prayers and reciters chanting about His characteristics, He appeared like the moon with the stars and planets.
Thereafter, having been welcomed by His brother Bharata, Lord Ramachandra entered the city of Ayodhya in the midst of a festival. When He entered the palace, He offered obeisances to all the mothers, including Kaikeyi and other wives of Maharaja Dasharatha, and especially His own mother, Kaushalya. He also offered obeisances to the spiritual preceptors, such as Vasishtha. Friends of His own age and younger friends worshiped Him, and He returned their respectful obeisances, as did Lakshmana and mother Sita. In this way they all entered the palace.
Upon seeing their sons, the mothers of Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna immediately arose, like unconscious bodies returning to consciousness. The mothers placed their sons on their laps and bathed them with tears, thus relieving themselves of the grief of long separation.
The family priest or spiritual master, Vasishtha, had Lord Ramachandra cleanly shaved, freeing Him from His matted locks of hair. Then, with the cooperation of the elderly members of the family, he performed the bathing ceremony [abhisheka] for Lord Ramachandra with the water of the four seas and with other substances, just as it was performed for King Indra.
Lord Ramachandra, fully bathed and His head clean-shaven, dressed Himself very nicely and was decorated with a garland and ornaments. Thus He shone brightly, surrounded by His brothers and wife, who were similarly dressed and ornamented.
Being pleased by the full surrender and submission of Lord Bharata, Lord Ramachandra then accepted the throne of the state. He cared for the citizens exactly like a father, and the citizens, being fully engaged in their occupational duties of varna and ashrama, accepted Him as their father.
Lord Ramachandra became King during Treta-yuga, but because of His good government, the age was like Satya-yuga. Everyone was religious and completely happy.
O Maharaja Parikshit, best of the Bharata dynasty, during the reign of Lord Ramachandra the forests, the rivers, the hills and mountains, the states, the seven islands and the seven seas were all favorable in supplying the necessities of life for all living beings.
When Lord Ramachandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was the King of this world, all bodily and mental suffering, disease, old age, bereavement, lamentation, distress, fear and fatigue were completely absent. There was even no death for those who did not want it.
[PURPORT: All these facilities existed because of Lord Ramachandra’s presence as the King of the entire world. A similar situation could be introduced immediately, even in this age called Kali, the worst of all ages. It is said, kali-kale name-rupe krsna-avatara: Krishna descends in this Kali-yuga in the form of His holy name—Hare Krishna, Hare Rama. If we chant offenselessly, Rama and Krishna are still present in this age. The kingdom of Rama was immensely popular and beneficial, and the spreading of this Hare Krishna movement can immediately introduce a similar situation, even in this Kali-yuga.]
Lord Ramachandra took a vow to accept only one wife and have no connection with any other women. He was a saintly king, and everything in His character was good, untinged by qualities like anger. He taught good behavior for everyone, especially for householders, in terms of varnashrama-dharma. Thus He taught the general public by His personal activities.
Mother Sita was very submissive, faithful, shy and chaste, always understanding the attitude of her husband. Thus by her character and her love and service she completely attracted the mind of the Lord.
[PURPORT: As Lord Ramachandra is the ideal husband (eka-patni-vrata), mother Sita is the ideal wife. Such a combination makes family life very happy. Yad yad acarati shreshas tat tad evetaro janah: whatever example a great man sets, common people follow. If the kings, the leaders, and the brahmanas, the teachers, would set forth the examples we receive from Vedic literature, the entire world would be heaven; indeed, there would no longer be hellish conditions within this material world.]
Lord Ramachandra Rules the World
Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 9, Chapter 11
Shukadeva Goswami said: Thereafter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Ramachandra, accepted an acharya and performed sacrifices [yajnas] with opulent paraphernalia. Thus He Himself worshiped Himself, for He is the Supreme Lord of all demigods.
Lord Ramachandra gave the entire east to the hota priest, the entire south to the brahma priest, the west to the adhvaryu priest, and the north to the udgata priest, the reciter of the Sama Veda. In this way, He donated His kingdom.
Thereafter, thinking that because the brahmanas have no material desires they should possess the entire world, Lord Ramachandra delivered the land between the east, west, north and south to the acharya.
After thus giving everything in charity to the brahmanas, Lord Ramachandra retained only His personal garments and ornaments, and similarly the Queen, mother Sita, was left with only her nose ring, and nothing else.
All the brahmanas who were engaged in the various activities of the sacrifice were very pleased with Lord Ramachandra, who was greatly affectionate and favorable to the brahmanas. Thus, with melted hearts, they returned all the property received from Him and spoke as follows.
O Lord, You are the master of the entire universe. What have You not given to us? You have entered into the core of our hearts and dissipated the darkness of our ignorance by Your effulgence. This is the supreme gift. We do not need a material donation.
O Lord, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who have accepted the brahmanas as Your worshipable deity. Your knowledge and memory are never disturbed by anxiety. You are the chief of all famous persons within this world, and Your lotus feet are worshiped by sages who are beyond the jurisdiction of punishment. O Lord Ramachandra, let us offer our respectful obeisances unto You.
Shukadeva Goswami continued: Once while Lord Ramachandra was walking at night incognito, hiding Himself by a disguise to find out the people’s opinion of Himself, He heard a man speaking unfavorably about His wife, Sitadevi.
[Speaking to his unchaste wife, the man said] You go to another man’s house, and therefore you are unchaste and polluted. I shall not maintain you any more. A henpecked husband like Lord Rama may accept a wife like Sita, who went to another man’s house, but I am not henpecked like Him, and therefore I shall not accept you again.
Shukadeva Goswami said: Men with poor fund of knowledge and a heinous character speak nonsensically. Fearing such rascals, Lord Ramachandra abandoned His wife, Sitadevi, although she was pregnant. Thus Sitadevi went to the ashrama of Valmiki Muni.
When the time came, the pregnant mother Sitadevi gave birth to twin sons, later celebrated as Lava and Kusha. The ritualistic ceremonies for their birth were performed by Valmiki Muni.
O Maharaja Parikshit, Lord Lakshmana had two sons, named Angada and Chitraketu, and Lord Bharata also had two sons, named Taksha and Pushkala.
Shatrughna had two sons, named Subahu and Shrutasena. When Lord Bharata went to conquer all directions, He had to kill many millions of Gandharvas, who are generally pretenders. Taking all their wealth, He offered it to Lord Ramachandra. Shatrughna also killed a Rakshasa named Lavana, who was the son of Madhu Rakshasa. Thus He established in the great forest known as Madhuvana the town known as Mathura.
Being forsaken by her husband, Sitadevi entrusted her two sons to the care of Valmiki Muni. Then, meditating upon the lotus feet of Lord Ramachandra, she entered into the earth.
After hearing the news of mother Sita’s entering the earth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was certainly aggrieved. Although He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, upon remembering the exalted qualities of mother Sita, He could not check His grief in transcendental love.
[PURPORT: Lord Ramachandra’s grief at the news of Sitadevi’s entering the earth is not to be considered material. In the spiritual world also there are feelings of separation, but such feelings are considered spiritual bliss. Grief in separation exists even in the Absolute, but such feelings of separation in the spiritual world are transcendentally blissful. Such feelings are a sign of tasya prema-vashyatva-svabhava, being under the influence of hladini-shakti and being controlled by love. In the material world such feelings of separation are only a perverted reflection.]
The attraction between man and woman, or male and female, always exists everywhere, making everyone always fearful. Such feelings are present even among the controllers like Brahma and Lord Shiva and is the cause of fear for them, what to speak of others who are attached to household life in this material world.
[PURPORT: As explained above, when the feelings of love and transcendental bliss from the spiritual world are pervertedly reflected in this material world, they are certainly the cause of bondage. As long as men feel attracted to women in this material world and women feel attracted to men, the bondage of repeated birth and death will continue. But in the spiritual world, where there is no fear of birth and death, such feelings of separation are the cause of transcendental bliss. In the absolute reality there are varieties of feeling, but all of them are of the same quality of transcendental bliss.]
After mother Sita entered the earth, Lord Ramachandra observed complete celibacy and performed an uninterrupted Agnihotra-yajna [fire sacrifice] for thirteen thousand years.
After completing the sacrifice, Lord Ramachandra, whose lotus feet were sometimes pierced by thorns when He lived in Dandakaranya [forest], placed those lotus feet in the hearts of those who always think of Him. Then He entered His own abode, the Vaikuntha planet beyond the brahmajyoti.
Lord Ramachandra’s reputation for having killed Ravana with showers of arrows at the request of the demigods and for having built a bridge over the ocean does not constitute the factual glory of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Ramachandra, whose spiritual body is always engaged in various pastimes. Lord Ramachandra has no equal or superior, and therefore He had no need to take help from the monkeys to gain victory over Ravana.
Lord Ramachandra’s spotless name and fame, which vanquish all sinful reactions, are celebrated in all directions, like the ornamental cloth of the victorious elephant that conquers all directions. Great saintly persons like Markandeya Rishi still glorify His characteristics in the assemblies of great emperors like Maharaja Yudhishthira. Similarly, all the saintly kings and all the demigods, including Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma, worship the Lord by bowing down with their helmets. Let me offer my obeisances unto His lotus feet.
Lord Ramachandra returned to His abode, to which bhakti-yogis are promoted. This is the place to which all the inhabitants of Ayodhya went after they served the Lord in His manifest pastimes by offering Him obeisances, touching His lotus feet, fully observing Him as a fatherlike King, sitting or lying down with Him like equals, or even just accompanying Him.
O King Parikshit, anyone who aurally receives the narrations concerning the characteristics of Lord Ramachandra’s pastimes will ultimately be freed from the disease of envy and thus be liberated from the bondage of fruitive activities.
Maharaja Parikshit inquired from Shukadeva Goswami: How did the Lord conduct Himself, and how did He behave in relationship with His brothers, who were expansions of His own self? And how did His brothers and the inhabitants of Ayodhya treat Him?
Shukadeva Goswami replied: After accepting the throne of the government by the fervent request of His younger brother Bharata, Lord Ramachandra ordered His younger brothers to go out and conquer the entire world, while He personally remained in the capital to give audience to all the citizens and residents of the palace and supervise the governmental affairs with His other assistants.
[EXCERPT from the PURPORT: The Supreme Personality of Godhead does not allow any of His devotees or assistants to be engaged in sense gratification. The younger brothers of Lord Ramachandra were at home enjoying the personal presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the Lord ordered Them to go out and achieve victory all over the world. … Lord Ramachandra showed His favor to His brothers by ordering Them to go out. Many of the Lord’s devotees residing in Vrindavana have taken the vow not to leave Vrindavana to preach Krishna consciousness. But the Lord says that Krishna consciousness should be spread all over the world, in every village and every town. This is the open order of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
prithivite ache yata nagaradi grama
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama
A pure devotee, therefore, must execute the order of the Lord and must not gratify his senses by remaining stagnant in one place, falsely proud, thinking that because he does not leave Vrindavana but chants in a solitary place he has become a great devotee. A devotee must carry out the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krishna’-upadesha. Every devotee, therefore, should spread Krishna consciousness by preaching, asking whomever he meets to accept the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam sharanam vraja: “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.” This is the order of the Lord, who speaks as the supreme emperor. Everyone should be induced to accept this order, for this is victory (dig-vijaya). And it is the duty of the soldier, the devotee, to impress upon everyone this philosophy of life. … ]
During the reign of Lord Ramachandra, the streets of the capital, Ayodhya, were sprinkled with perfumed water and drops of perfumed liquor, thrown about by elephants from their trunks. When the citizens saw the Lord personally supervising the affairs of the city in such opulence, they appreciated this opulence very much.
The palaces, the palace gates, the assembly houses, the platforms for meeting places, the temples and all such places were decorated with golden waterpots and bedecked with various types of flags.
Wherever Lord Ramachandra visited, auspicious welcome gates were constructed, with banana trees and betel nut trees, full of flowers and fruits. The gates were decorated with various flags made of colorful cloth and with tapestries, mirrors and garlands.
Wherever Lord Ramachandra visited, the people approached Him with paraphernalia of worship and begged the Lord’s blessings. “O Lord,” they said, “as You rescued the earth from the bottom of the sea in Your incarnation as a boar, may You now maintain it. Thus we beg Your blessings.”
Thereafter, not having seen the Lord for a long time, the citizens, both men and women, being very eager to see Him, left their homes and got up on the roofs of the palaces. Being incompletely satiated with seeing the face of the lotus-eyed Lord Ramachandra, they showered flowers upon Him.
Thereafter, Lord Ramachandra entered the palace of His forefathers. Within the palace were various treasures and valuable wardrobes. The sitting places on the two sides of the entrance door were made of coral, the yards were surrounded by pillars of vaidurya-mani [color changing gems], the floor was made of highly polished marakata-mani, and the foundation was made of marble. The entire palace was decorated with flags and garlands and bedecked with valuable stones, shining with celestial effulgence. The palace was fully decorated with pearls and surrounded by lamps and incense. The men and women within the palace all resembled demigods and were decorated with various ornaments, which seemed beautiful because of being placed on their bodies.
Lord Ramachandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, chief of the best learned scholars, resided in that palace with His pleasure potency, mother Sita, and enjoyed complete peace.
Without transgressing the religious principles, Lord Ramachandra, whose lotus feet are worshiped by devotees in meditation, enjoyed with all the paraphernalia of transcendental pleasure for as long as needed.
[End of the Eleventh Chapter, Ninth Canto, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “Lord Ramachandra Rules the World.”]