Ram: The Enduring Moral Force of India and the New Dawn with the Ram Mandir


In the intricate mosaic of Indian cultural and spiritual heritage, few figures stand as prominently and with as much reverence as Lord Ram. The protagonist of the ancient epic, the Valmiki Ramayana, Ram’s life and character have been the guiding light for countless generations, embodying the highest ideals of Dharma (righteousness). His story, etched in the heart of India’s collective consciousness, transcends the boundaries of mere religious narrative, becoming a beacon of moral and ethical living.

The significance of Ram in the Indian ethos has been further highlighted by the historic Ram Janmabhoomi movement, culminating in the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict on 9th January 2019. This decision paved the way for the realization of a centuries-old dream – the construction of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, believed to be Ram’s birthplace. As the temple is set to open on 22nd January 2024, it marks not just a triumph of a long-standing aspiration but signals a renewed call to delve deeper into the virtues Ram epitomizes.

Ram’s life, as narrated by the sage Valmiki, offers profound insights into how righteousness, integrity, and compassion can be integrated into the fabric of daily life. The Ramayana is not just a story; it’s a philosophical guide, a mirror reflecting the virtues and vices inherent in humanity. As we stand at the cusp of witnessing a new chapter with the inauguration of the Ram Mandir, it becomes imperative to revisit and imbibe the lessons from Ram’s life, drawing upon the rich wisdom of Valmiki’s words.

This article aims to explore the depth and relevance of Ram’s character, drawing upon key instances from the Valmiki Ramayana, to illustrate how his virtues are more than just ideals of a bygone era but are ever-relevant beacons for individual and societal conduct in the contemporary world.

Ram’s Character: An Epitome of Dharma

Lord Ram’s portrayal in the Valmiki Ramayana stands as an epitome of Dharma, embodying the ideal qualities of truthfulness, duty, moral integrity, and compassion. His life, an intricate tapestry of righteous actions and profound decisions, offers invaluable lessons on leading a life anchored in ethical principles.

Adherence to Truth and Duty

One of the most defining moments of Ram’s character is his unwavering commitment to truth and duty. This is vividly illustrated in the Ayodhya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, where Ram, the heir to the throne of Ayodhya, chooses to honor his father King Dasharatha’s word and willingly accepts fourteen years of exile. This decision, despite its personal cost, highlights his profound respect for his father’s word and his dedication to upholding family honor over personal desire.

Example: Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda, Sarga 21: “I shall indeed reside in the forest of Dandaka for fourteen years, living on roots and fruits. This promise of my father, which he made to you, I shall make it true.”

Compassion and Empathy

Ram’s interactions with people from all walks of life demonstrate his deep empathy and compassion. A poignant instance is his interaction with Shabari, an elderly tribal woman. Despite his princely status, Ram accepts her humble offerings with grace and respect, showcasing his ability to see beyond societal divisions and honor the devotion of a pure heart.

Example: Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda, Sarga 74: “O noble lady, your tapas (penance) has borne fruit today. With love and devotion, you have offered me these fruits. Therefore, I am very pleased with you.”

Leadership and Valor

As a leader, Ram exemplifies valor, wisdom, and a sense of justice. His leadership in the battle against Ravana is not just a display of physical prowess but also of strategic acumen and ethical warfare. He shows respect even towards his adversaries, adhering to the principles of fairness and honor in combat.

Example: Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda, Sarga 108: “He who is standing before me with a bow in hand, that Ravana, by whom all the worlds were tormented, I shall send him to Yama’s abode with sharp arrows.”

Personal Integrity and Sacrifice

Throughout the epic, Ram’s actions reflect a deep sense of personal integrity and sacrifice. His decision to part with his beloved wife Sita to uphold the honor and expectations of his kingdom exemplifies his willingness to put duty above personal happiness.

In every facet of his life, as depicted in the Valmiki Ramayana, Lord Ram embodies the principles of Dharma. His character serves as a guiding light for righteous conduct, emphasizing the importance of duty, compassion, valor, and personal integrity. As the Ram Mandir stands ready to open its doors, reflecting on these virtues becomes not just an act of reverence but a commitment to integrate these timeless values into our lives.

Imbibing Ram’s Virtues in Modern Times

In an age characterized by rapid change and complex challenges, the virtues of Lord Ram, as depicted in the Valmiki Ramayana, hold profound relevance. Imbibing these virtues in our daily lives can provide guidance and a moral compass, helping navigate the intricacies of modern existence with integrity and wisdom.

The virtues of Lord Ram, as depicted in the Valmiki Ramayana, offer profound insights for contemporary society. His life serves as a moral compass, guiding us towards living with integrity, humility, wisdom, and inclusivity. As we witness the inauguration of the Ram Mandir, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on these virtues and integrate them into our lives, striving to embody the righteousness that Ram represents.

Upholding Truth and Integrity

In a world where falsehoods can easily proliferate, especially with the advent of digital media, Ram’s unwavering commitment to truth serves as a vital lesson. Embracing honesty and integrity in personal and professional spheres can build trust and foster healthy relationships and communities. It’s about making choices that are not just legally right but ethically sound.

Compassion and Empathy

The current social landscape, often marked by division and strife, calls for a heightened sense of empathy and compassion – qualities Ram exemplified through his interactions. Practicing empathy involves understanding and sharing the feelings of others, leading to more inclusive and supportive environments. In workplaces, schools, and communities, fostering a culture of empathy can lead to better collaboration, conflict resolution, and a deeper sense of belonging.

Valuing Duty and Responsibility

Ram’s life is a testament to the importance of duty and responsibility. In today’s context, this translates to being accountable in our roles – whether as family members, professionals, or citizens. It involves a conscious commitment to fulfil our responsibilities with dedication, whether in caring for our families, contributing to our workplaces, or participating in civic duties.

Promoting Equality and Social Justice

Ram’s egalitarian approach, as seen in his respectful treatment of all individuals regardless of their social status, is particularly relevant today. Actively promoting equality and social justice in our communities and institutions can help address issues of discrimination and inequality. This includes being allies to marginalized groups and advocating for policies that ensure equal opportunities for all.

Environmental Stewardship

In the face of environmental challenges, embodying Ram’s respect for nature and all life forms becomes crucial. Practicing environmental stewardship, such as conservation and sustainable living, aligns with the reverence for nature inherent in his story.

Balance of Personal Emotions and Duty

One of the most striking aspects of Ram’s character is his ability to balance personal emotions with his duty. When faced with challenging situations, he displayed emotional depth, yet never let his personal feelings override his responsibilities. In contemporary times, managing personal and professional life requires a similar balance – acknowledging and respecting our emotions, yet not allowing them to cloud our judgment in fulfilling our duties.

Respect for Diverse Perspectives

Ram’s interactions throughout the Ramayana show a deep respect for different perspectives and wisdom from various sources, be it his mentors, allies, or even adversaries. This openness to diverse viewpoints is crucial today, where dialogue and understanding across diverse ideologies and cultures are needed to address complex global issues.

Leadership Through Service

Ram’s approach to leadership was rooted in the principle of service – ‘Seva’. He always placed the well-being of his people above his own, exemplifying servant leadership. In the modern context, this approach can transform leadership styles, prioritizing the needs of the team and community, and fostering an environment of mutual respect and cooperation.

Upholding Justice and Fairness

Throughout his life, Ram stood for justice and fairness, even when it meant making difficult choices. This commitment to justice is particularly relevant in our times, emphasizing the need for fairness and transparency in our institutions, workplaces, and communities.

Cultivating Patience and Perseverance

Ram’s journey, including his exile and the challenges he faced, highlights the virtues of patience and perseverance. In an age of instant gratification, these virtues remind us of the value of persistent effort and endurance through difficulties to achieve meaningful goals.

Fostering Unity and Brotherhood

Ram’s ability to unite people from different backgrounds, from the Vanaras to the Rakshasas who chose righteousness, speaks volumes about his ability to foster unity and brotherhood. This aspect of his character is a call for us to build inclusive communities and societies where diversity is celebrated and unity is nurtured.

Grace in Adversity

Ram’s life was rife with challenges, yet his ability to handle adversity with grace and equanimity stands out. During his exile and separation from Sita, Ram demonstrated immense inner strength and acceptance. In today’s fast-paced, often stressful life, emulating Ram’s grace under pressure can inspire us to face challenges with calmness and resilience.

Commitment to Promises

A defining trait of Ram was his unwavering commitment to his promises and words. He honored his father’s promise to Kaikeyi without resentment. In an era where commitments are often taken lightly, Ram’s adherence to his word teaches the importance of integrity and reliability in personal and professional life.

Humility and Simplicity

Despite being a prince and later a king, Ram’s life was marked by humility and simplicity. He treated everyone with respect and dignity, regardless of their social status. This humility, often missing in today’s status-driven society, is a reminder of the importance of staying grounded and treating all individuals with respect and kindness.

Wisdom in Decision-Making

Ram’s decisions, though difficult, were always well-considered and wise. His choice to prioritize the greater good and societal norms over personal emotions during Sita’s abandonment is a complex and controversial aspect of his story. It underscores the heavy responsibilities that come with leadership and the importance of thoughtful, ethical decision-making.

Inclusivity and Respect for All Life

Ram’s interactions reflect an inclusive approach, respecting all forms of life. His dialogue with animals and acceptance of help from diverse groups during his journey illustrate his belief in the inherent value of all beings. This inclusiveness is a valuable lesson in today’s world, emphasizing the need for empathy and respect for diversity in all its forms.

Personal Sacrifice for Greater Good

Finally, the concept of personal sacrifice for the greater good, as demonstrated by Ram, is a powerful principle in today’s individualistic culture. It encourages looking beyond personal gain and considering the broader impact of our actions on the community and future generations.

In essence, the life of Maryada Purushottam Ram is a repository of timeless wisdom. Each facet of his character offers lessons that are incredibly relevant to modern society. By imbibing these virtues, individuals can lead lives of greater purpose and fulfilment, and collectively, we can aspire to create a world that mirrors the ideals of justice, compassion, and righteousness that Lord Ram embodied.

The Ram Janmabhoomi Movement: A Historical Perspective

The Ram Janmabhoomi movement is a pivotal chapter in India’s modern history, encapsulating a centuries-long saga of faith, struggle, and political dynamics. It centres on the Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya, believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram, a figure of immense reverence in Hinduism.

The Genesis of the Movement

The origin of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement can be traced back to the 16th century, when the Mughal emperor Babur reportedly built the Babri Masjid at the site. For centuries, this location remained a point of contention, with many Hindus believing that the mosque was built after demolishing a pre-existing temple that marked Lord Ram’s birthplace.

The Conflict and Quest for Restoration

Over the years, the site became a flashpoint for religious and cultural tensions. The movement to reclaim the site for the construction of the Ram Mandir gained momentum in the late 20th century, becoming a focal point of Hindu aspirations. It was not just about reclaiming a piece of land but was deeply intertwined with the Hindu identity and the desire to restore a symbol of their cultural and spiritual heritage.

Legal Battles and Public Sentiment

The issue led to prolonged legal battles, with numerous court cases and negotiations attempting to resolve the dispute. It also sparked widespread public and political mobilization, with the movement gathering support from various sections of society. The demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 marked a significant, albeit controversial, turning point in this movement, leading to nationwide discussions and sometimes, unfortunate communal unrest.

The Supreme Court Verdict and Aftermath

The culmination came on 9th November 2019, when the Supreme Court of India delivered a landmark verdict. The court ruled in favor of constructing the Ram Mandir at the disputed site, while also providing an alternative site for the construction of a mosque. This verdict was seen as a balanced resolution to a long-standing and emotive issue, paving the way for the construction of the Ram Mandir.


As the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya nears its grand inauguration, it symbolizes much more than the culmination of a historical and religious campaign. It marks a moment of reflection and reconnection with the profound virtues of Lord Ram, a character who has for ages been the epitome of righteousness, moral integrity, and compassion in Indian culture. The temple stands not just as a physical manifestation of devotion but as a beacon calling for the integration of these timeless values into the fabric of modern life.

The journey of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, interwoven with the complexities of faith, identity, and politics, mirrors the multifaceted nature of Indian society. It underscores the deep-rootedness of spiritual values in the nation’s consciousness and reflects the enduring relevance of these ideals in guiding contemporary societal discourse. The movement, through its various phases, challenges, and the landmark Supreme Court verdict, has been a testament to the resilience of faith and the power of collective will.

In today’s world, where individuals and societies grapple with moral dilemmas and cultural shifts, the character of Lord Ram offers invaluable lessons. His life, as depicted in the Valmiki Ramayana, goes beyond the boundaries of religious narrative, offering guidance on leading a life of duty, integrity, and compassion. The virtues of Ram—his adherence to truth, his commitment to duty over personal gain, his empathetic conduct, and his inclusive approach—are not just relics of a mythic past but are strikingly relevant in addressing the challenges of the contemporary world.

As we witness the opening of the Ram Mandir, it invites us to imbibe and integrate these principles into our daily lives. It is an opportunity for individuals, communities, and nations to reflect on the essence of Dharma as exemplified by Ram and to strive towards a society that upholds these values. The temple is a symbol of not just historical triumph but a beacon of hope and moral direction, encouraging us to forge a future that resonates with the virtues of empathy, integrity, and righteous conduct.

In essence, the inauguration of the Ram Mandir is a moment of collective introspection and renewal—a call to revisit and embody the profound spiritual legacy of Lord Ram, ensuring that his teachings continue to inspire and guide us towards a more harmonious and ethical world.

Join the community of seekers and embark on a transformative journey of awakening and healing. Reach out at