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(Redirected from Lord Rama)
This article is about the Hindu god Rama, Rm, Ramachandra. For other Ram, see Ram
(disambiguation). For other Ramchandra, see Ramchandra (disambiguation). For other
uses, see Rama (disambiguation).
Rama (Ramachandra)
An image collage of Hindu deity Rama.jpg
Rama is a Hindu deity, his iconography varies
Sanskrit transliteration Rama
Affiliation Seventh avatar of Vishnu
Abode Ayodhya and Saket
Weapon Bow and arrow
Texts Ramayana, Ramcharitmanas
Ethnic group Kshatriya Awadhi Indian
Festivals Rama Navami, Vivaha Panchami, Deepavali, Dusshera
Personal Information
Born Ayodhya, Kingdom of Kosala (present-day Uttar Pradesh, India)
Consort Sita[1]
Children Lava (son)
Kusha (son)
Parents Dasharatha (father)[1]
Kaushalya (mother)[1]
Kaikeyi (step-mother)
Sumitra (step-mother)
Siblings Lakshmana (brother)
Bharata (brother)
Shatrughna (brother)
Shanta (sister)
Dynasty Raghuvanshi Ikshvaku Suryavanshi
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Rama or Ram ('r??m?;[2] Sanskrit ???, IAST Rama), also known as Ramachandra, is a
major deity of Hinduism. He is the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu, one of his
most popular incarnations along with Krishna and Gautama Buddha.[3][4][5] In Rama-
centric traditions of Hinduism, he is considered the Supreme Being.[6]
Rama was born to Kaushalya and Dasharatha in Ayodhya, the ruler of the Kingdom of
Kosala. His siblings included Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. He married Sita.
Though born in a royal family, their life is described in the Hindu texts as one
challenged by unexpected changes such as an exile into impoverished and difficult
circumstances, ethical questions and moral dilemmas.[7] Of all their travails, the
most notable is the kidnapping of Sita by demon-king Ravana, followed by the
determined and epic efforts of Rama and Lakshmana to gain her freedom and destroy
the evil Ravana against great odds. The entire life story of Rama, Sita and their
companions allegorically discusses duties, rights and social responsibilities of an
individual. It illustrates dharma and dharmic living through model characters.[7]

Rama is especially important to Vaishnavism. He is the central figure of the

ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, a text historically popular in the South Asian and
Southeast Asian cultures.[9][10][11] His ancient legends have attracted bhasya
(commentaries) and extensive secondary literature and inspired performance arts.
Two such texts, for example, are the Adhyatma Ramayana a spiritual and
theological treatise considered foundational by Ramanandi monasteries,[12] and the
Ramcharitmanas a popular treatise that inspires thousands of Ramlila festival
performances during autumn every year in India.[13][14][15]

Rama legends are also found in the texts of Jainism and Buddhism, though he is
sometimes called Pauma or Padma in these texts,[16] and their details vary
significantly from the Hindu versions.[17]

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology and nomenclature
1.1 Indo-European roots
2 Legends
2.1 Birth
2.2 Youth, family and friends
2.3 Exile and war
2.4 Post-war rule and death
2.5 Inconsistencies
3 Dating
4 Iconography
5 Philosophy and symbolism
6 Literary sources
6.1 Ramayana
6.2 Adhyatma Ramayana
6.3 Ramacharitmanas
6.4 Yoga Vasistha
6.5 Other texts
7 Influence
7.1 Hinduism
7.1.1 Rama Navami
7.1.2 Ramlila and Dussehra
7.1.3 Diwali
7.1.4 Hindu arts in Southeast Asia
7.2 Jainism
7.3 Buddhism
8 Worship and temples
9 See also
10 References
10.1 Notes
10.2 Citations
10.3 Bibiliography
11 Further reading
12 External links
Etymology and nomenclature[edit]
Rama is a Vedic Sanskrit word with two contextual meanings. In one context as found
in Arthavaveda, states Monier Monier-Williams, it means dark, dark-colored, black
and is related to the term ratri which means night. In another context as found in
other Vedic texts, the word means pleasing, delightful, charming, beautiful,
lovely.[18][19] The word is sometimes used as a suffix in different Indian
languages and religions, such as Pali in Buddhist texts, where -rama adds the sense
of pleasing to the mind, lovely to the composite word.[20]

Rama as a first name appears in the Vedic literature, associated with two
patronymic names Margaveya and Aupatasvini representing different individuals.
A third individual named Rama Jamadagnya is the purported author of hymn 10.110 of
the Rigveda in the Hindu tradition.[18] The word Rama appears in ancient literature
in reverential terms for three individuals[18]

Parashu-rama, as the sixth avatar of Vishnu. He is linked to the Rama Jamadagnya of

the Rigveda fame.
Rama-chandra, as the seventh avatar of Vishnu and of the ancient Ramayana fame.
Bala-rama, also called Halayudha, as the elder brother of Krishna both of whom
appear in the legends of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
The name Rama appears repeatedly in Hindu texts, for many different scholars and
kings in mythical stories.[18] The word also appears in ancient Upanishads and
Aranyakas layer of Vedic literature, as well as music and other post-Vedic
literature, but in qualifying context of something or someone who is charming,
beautiful, lovely or darkness, night.[18]

The Vishnu avatar named Rama is also known by other names. He is called Ramachandra
(beautiful, lovely moon[19]), or Dasarathi (son of Dasaratha), or Raghava
(descendant of Raghu, solar dynasty in Hindu cosmology).[18][21]

Additional names of Rama include Ramavijaya (Javanese), Phreah Ream (Khmer), Phra
Ram (Lao and Thai), Megat Seri Rama (Malay), Raja Bantugan (Maranao), Ramudu
(Telugu), Ramar (Tamil).[22] In the Vishnu sahasranama, Rama is the 394th name of
Vishnu. In some Advaita Vedanta inspired texts, Rama connotes the metaphysical
concept of Supreme Brahman who is the eternally blissful spiritual Self (Atman,
soul) in whom yogis delight nondualistically.[12]

Indo-European roots[edit]
The root of the word Rama is ram- which means stop, stand still, rest, rejoice, be

According to Douglas Adams, the Sanskrit word Rama is also found in other Indo-
European languages such as Tocharian ram, reme, romo- where it means support, make
still, witness, make evident.[19][23] The sense of dark, black, soot also appears
in other Indo European languages, such as remos or Old English romig.[24][note 1]


Sarayu river and the Ayodhya Rama Paidi in Uttar Pradesh India.
This summary is a traditional legendary account, based on literary details from the
Ramayana and other historic mythology-containing texts of Buddhism and Jainism.
According to Sheldon Pollock, the figure of Rama incorporates more ancient
morphemes of Indian myths, such as the mythical legends of Bali and Namuci. The
ancient sage Valmiki used these morphemes in his Ramayana similes as in sections
3.27, 3.59, 3.73, 5.19 and 29.28.[26]