THE PRABHUPADA CONNECTION
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Honoring Lord Rāmacandra
(Click to enlarge photo of Sītā-Rāma-Lakṣmaṇa-Hanumān, Bhaktivedanta Manor.)

"There is no difference between Rāma and Kṛṣṇa. Both are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Simply they are expansions of the same Absolute Truth."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Delhi, November 20, 1971)

"Lord Kṛṣṇa is Rāma Himself, and wherever Lord Rāma is, His eternal servitor Hanumān and His eternal consort Sītā, the goddess of fortune, are present."

(Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 1.20, Purport)

"So devotees, they always chant together Kṛṣṇa's name and Rāma's name. So when there is question of rāma-nāma, there is Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare. That is rāma-nāma.

So there is no partiality, that 'These people are simply after Kṛṣṇa.' Of course, we are little more attached to Kṛṣṇa, but that does not mean we do not know who is Lord Rāmacandra. We know that He is also Kṛṣṇa Himself in His different feature of pastime."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, April 1, 1974)

"Although a responsible man in the administration of a state is required to be saintly, he should not be cowardly. For example, Lord Rāma was so saintly that people even now are anxious to live in the kingdom of Lord Rāma (rāma-rājya), but Lord Rāma never showed any cowardice. Rāvaṇa was an aggressor against Rāma because Rāvaṇa kidnapped Rāma's wife, Sītā, but Lord Rāma gave him sufficient lessons, unparalleled in the history of the world."

(Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 1.36, Purport)

"The reputation of the reign of Mahārāja Rāmacandra and that of the kings who followed in the footsteps of Mahārāja Rāmacandra, like the Pāṇḍavas and their descendants, are never to be forgotten because in their kingdom offenseless and honest living beings were never in trouble."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.17.13, Purport)

"Rāvaṇa was made a very powerful man by worshiping Lord Śiva, and he used to offer severed heads to please Lord Śiva. He became so powerful by the grace of Lord Śiva that all the demigods were afraid of him, until he at last challenged the Personality of Godhead Śrī Rāmacandra and thus ruined himself."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.3.2-7, Purport)

"There is a saying that when Kṛṣṇa protects someone, no one can do him harm, and when Kṛṣṇa wants to kill someone, no one can protect him. The vivid example was Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa was a great devotee of Lord Śiva, but when Lord Rāmacandra wanted to kill him, Lord Śiva could not protect him. If some demigod, even Lord Śiva or Lord Brahmā, wants to do harm to a devotee, Kṛṣṇa protects the devotee. But when Kṛṣṇa wants to kill someone, such as Rāvaṇa or Hiraṇyakaśipu, no demigod can protect him."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.7.47, Purport)

"Because Lord Rāmacandra was the Personality of Godhead, He exhibited superhuman activities which no human being, including the materially advanced Rāvaṇa, could perform. Lord Rāmacandra prepared a royal road on the Indian Ocean with stones that floated on the water. The modern scientists have done research in the area of weightlessness, but it is not possible to bring in weightlessness anywhere and everywhere. But because weightlessness is the creation of the Lord by which He can make the gigantic planets fly and float in the air, He made the stones even within this earth to be weightless and prepared a stone bridge on the sea without any supporting pillar. That is the display of the power of God."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.3.22, Purport)

"A powerful devotee of the Lord is, by the grace of the Lord, more than the Lord Himself. The Personality of Godhead Śrī Rāmacandra attempted to bridge the Indian Ocean to reach the island of Laṅkā, but Śrī Hanumānjī, the unalloyed devotee of the Personality of Godhead, could cross the ocean simply by jumping over it. The Lord is so merciful upon His pure devotee that He presents His beloved devotee as more powerful than Himself."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.4.10, Purport)

"Śrī Hanumānjī crossed the Indian Ocean by jumping over the sea, and Lord Śrī Rāmacandra engaged Himself in marching over the bridge, but this does not mean that Hanumānjī was more powerful than the Lord. Sometimes the Lord gives extraordinary powers to His devotee, but the devotee knows always that the power belongs to the Personality of Godhead and that the devotee is only an instrument. The pure devotee is never puffed up like the nondevotee class of men who falsely think that they are God. It is astonishing to see how a person who is being kicked by the laws of the Lord's illusory energy at every step can falsely think of becoming one with the Lord. Such thinking is the last snare of the illusory energy offered to the conditioned soul."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.9.30, Purport)

"A cobra is very fierce before ordinary persons, but before an enchanter who can play with him, he is a plaything. Similarly, a demon may be very powerful in his own domain, but before the Lord he is insignificant. The demon Rāvaṇa was a fierce figure before the demigods, but when he was before Lord Rāmacandra he trembled and prayed to his deity, Lord Śiva, but to no avail."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.18.13, Purport)

"People in the material world are very fond of the goddess of fortune, and they want her favor in the form of riches. They should know, however, that the goddess of fortune is inseparable from Lord Viṣṇu. Materialists should understand that the goddess of fortune should be worshiped along with Lord Viṣṇu and should not be regarded separately. Materialists seeking the favor of the goddess of fortune must worship Lord Viṣṇu and Lakṣmī together to maintain material opulence. If a materialist follows the policy of Rāvaṇa, who wanted to separate Sītā from Lord Rāmacandra, the process of separation will vanquish him. Those who are very rich and have taken favor of the goddess of fortune in this world must engage their money in the service of the Lord. In this way they can continue in their opulent position without disturbance."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.15.3, Purport)

"Riches come from Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, and the goddess of fortune is the property of Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The goddess of fortune cannot stay anywhere but by the side of Nārāyaṇa; therefore another of her names is Cañcalā, restless. She cannot be peaceful unless she is in the company of her husband, Nārāyaṇa. For example, Lakṣmī was carried away by the materialistic Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa kidnapped Sītā, the goddess of fortune belonging to Lord Rāma. As a result, Rāvaṇa's entire family, opulence and kingdom were smashed, and Sītā, the goddess of fortune, was recovered from his clutches and reunited with Lord Rāma. Thus all property, riches and wealth belong to Kṛṣṇa."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.14.24, Purport)

"Although Rāvaṇa tried to abduct the goddess of fortune Sītādevī from the custody of Lord Rāmacandra, he could not possibly do so. The Sītādevī he forcibly took with him was not the original Sītādevī, but an expansion of māyā, or Durgādevī. As a result, instead of winning the favor of the real goddess of fortune, Rāvaṇa and his whole family were vanquished by the power of Durgādevī."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.18.22, Purport)

"Unless one is saturated with love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot appreciate the transcendental value of Lord Rāmacandra; one cannot see Him with material eyes. Because demons like Rāvaṇa have no spiritual vision, they consider Lord Rāmacandra an ordinary kṣatriya king. Rāvaṇa therefore attempted to kidnap Lord Rāmacandra's eternal consort, Sītādevī. Actually, however, Rāvaṇa could not carry off Sītādevī in her original form. As soon as she was touched by Rāvaṇa's hands, she gave him a material form, but she maintained her original form beyond his vision. Therefore in this verse the words pratyak praśāntam indicate that Lord Rāmacandra and His potency, the goddess Sītā, keep themselves aloof from the influence of the material energy."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.19.4, Purport)

"By the grace of Lord Śiva, a devotee gets the opportunity to be blessed by the goddess Durgā. Rāvaṇa, for example, was a great worshiper and devotee of Lord Śiva, and in return he got all the blessings of goddess Durgā, so much so that his whole kingdom was constructed of golden buildings. In Brazil, in this present age, huge quantities of gold have been found, and from historical references in the Purāṇas, we can guess safely that this was Rāvaṇa's kingdom. This kingdom was, however, destroyed by Lord Rāmacandra.

By studying such incidents, we can understand the full meaning of īśa-vidhvaṁsitāśiṣām. The Lord does not bestow material blessings upon the devotees, for they may be entrapped again in this material world by continuous birth, death, old age and disease. Due to materialistic opulences, persons like Rāvaṇa become puffed up for sense gratification. Rāvaṇa even dared kidnap Sītā, who was both the wife of Lord Rāmacandra and the goddess of fortune, thinking that he would be able to enjoy the pleasure potency of the Lord. But actually, by such action, Rāvaṇa became vidhvaṁsita, or ruined. At the present moment human civilization is too much attached to economic development and sense gratification and is therefore nearing the path of ruination."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.22.36, Purport)

"So far the Advent Day of Lord Rama Candra, it should be celebrated as Lord Caitanya's Birthday was done. Fasting up to evening, and then take prasadam, and chant Hare Krishna whole day, and be engaged in reading and chanting off and on, chant for some time, then read for some time, then again have Kirtana and so on, throughout the day. If you have not got a Ramayana, then you can read Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam, that is all right."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 28, 1968)

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