How was Rama a Maryada Purushottam ?

Hindus regard Lord Rama as 'a noble of the noblest man' or 'the most Perfect Man' or Maryada Purushottam (मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम).

According to the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana Lord Rama was the prince of Adodhya. He had to go exile due to some circumstances. His wife Sita and brother Laxman followed him. Ravana, King of Lanka, abducts Sita during their jungle stay. Sita refuses to stay in the palace of Ravana and stays under the Ashoka tree. Ravana approaches her softly. He never physically exploits her. Rama attacks Lanka with the help of Hanuman and monkey army to rescue his wife. Ravana gets killed by the hands of Rama in the war. Rama sends Hanuman to return Sita from Ashok vatika. Then they return back to Ayodhya and rule the kingdom for long time.

When Sita comes back to the Rama after the war, he reject her at the first. This is where the modern society can not appreciate what Rama did.

Ramayana Section in Mahabharata, gives the first hand conversation between Rama and Sita.

उवाच रामॊ वैदेहीं परामर्शविशङ्कितः
गच्छ वैदेहि मुक्ता तवं यत कार्यं तन मया कृतम [Mbh 3.275.10]
Rama, suspicious of Ravana's violation to her, said to the Sita,
"Go, Princess of Videha (sita)! You have been freed. I have done what I had to do."

माम आसाद्य पतिं भद्रे न तवं राक्षस वेश्मनि
जरां वरजेथा इति मे निहतॊ ऽसौ निशाचरः [Mbh 3.275.11]
I slew that night-ranger so that you, a good lady, having obtained me as your husband, would not attend old age in demon's house. 

कथं हय अस्मद्विधॊ जातु जानन धर्मविनिश्चयम
परहस्तगतां नारीं मुहूर्तम अपि धारयेत [Mbh 2.275.12]
For how could someone like me, knowing the resolution in Dharma,
support even for a moment a woman who has been in another man's arms.

  1. Ramopakhyana - The Story of Rama in the Mahabharata: A Sanskrit Independent-study 
    By Peter Scharf
  2. Initiation ( Ram Katha) By Narendra Kohli
  3. Summery of Ramayana
  5. Riddles of Hinduism 1995 by Dr. B.R.Ambedkar

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