Understanding the Lord's Actions - Part 11

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled, "Understanding the Lord's Actions". We will continue to meditate on the Lord Rama's strength and valour.

Lord Rama fought with Ravana for 7 continuous days and nights. Lord Rama fought with Ravana in the capacity of a kshatriya so that the war will be relished by His pure devotees and glorified by them. If He kills Ravana without any effort in a second, then there will not be any subject matter for His pure devotees to discuss and relish. So the Lord fought in such a way that we have many slokas glorifying this and also all the devatas, sages and gandharvas watching it from the sky and glorifying it. The great sage Valmiki glorifies the war as follows. Ramayana Yuddha Khanda.110.23:

gaganam gaganākāram sāgaram sāgaropamā
rāma rāvanayor yuddham rāma rāvanayor iva

Just as sky can be compared with sky alone and ocean can be compared with ocean alone, the Rama-Ravana war can be compared with Rama-Ravana war alone (no other comparison is possible).

So the Lord's fighting for a long time with Ravana was just to make it exciting for his pure devotees. Not only the devotees who witnessed the battle relished it, but devotees who even heard the battle fought by Lord Rama with various demons such as Khara, Dushana, Ravana even after thousands of years of Ramayana, relished and became absorbed in the Lord's pastimes. So to benefit all the devotees, the Lord made the entire war exciting and Ramayana also describes the war as "sughoram roma haranam" (It was deadly war and can make hairs stand on end). Just to enhance the pleasure and to create subject matter for their discussion, the Lord exhibited only a fraction of His valor and fought with Ravana exactly like a human king. Not only for devotees, the Lord did this to enhance the thrill of Ravana in fighting with Him. He wanted Ravana to feel joyful by exhibiting his valour. Lord Rama Himself makes this statement as follows during the war with Ravana.  (Ramayana, Yuddha Khanda 100.56,57)

adya rāmasya rāmatvaṃ paśyantu mama saṃyuge
trayo lokāḥ sagandharvāḥ sadevāḥ sarṣicāraṇāḥ
adya karma kariṣyāmi yal lokāḥ sacarācarāḥ
sadevāḥ kathayiṣyanti yāvad bhūmir dhariṣyati

Let the three worlds (viz. the earth, heaven and the intermediate region) including Gandharvas the celestial musicians, the gods, the sages and the celestial poets see today the Ramahood of Rama during the course of my battle. I shall perform today a feat, which people in the world including all living beings both mobile and immobile, as also gods, will narrate together forever, describing how the battle proceeded, as long as this world exists.

Srila Prabhupada explains in the commentary of the Srimad Bhagavatam verse 9.11.20, "The Lord has nothing to do (na tasya kāryam karanam ca vidyate); whatever He does is His pastime. The Lord has no duty to perform to oblige anyone. Nonetheless, He appears to act to protect His devotees or kill His enemies. Of course, no one can be the Lord's enemy, since who could be more powerful than the Lord? There is actually no question of anyone's being His enemy, but when the Lord wants to take pleasure in pastimes, He comes down to this material world and acts like a human being, thus showing His wonderful, glorious activities to please the devotees. His devotees always want to see the Lord victorious in varied activities, and therefore, to please Himself and them, the Lord sometimes agrees to act as a human being and perform wonderful, uncommon pastimes for the satisfaction of the devotees."

We will see how these pastimes of the Lord invoke spiritual emotions in His pure devotees and how these pastimes help aspiring devotees like us in the next offering, Lord Rama willing. 

Hare Krishna.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna das
Chennai.