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13. Rama - The son of Dashrath
An Arya Samajist writes:
"How can the Rama whom you believe to be immortal, be Rama, the son of Dasharatha and the husband of Sita? 1 often attend your prayer gathering with this dilemma always confronting me and because of it. I am unable to join in the Ramadhun. This hurts me. for you are right when you say that all should take part in it. Cannot you make the Ramadhun such that all can join in the recital ?"
I have already explained what I mean by all. It applies to all those who can join in it from the heart and recite it in tune. The others should remain silent. But this is a small matter. The important question is as to how Rama, the son of Dasharatha, can be deemed immortal. This question was raised by Saint Tulsidas himself and answered by him. The answer cannot in reality be reasoned out. It does not lend itself to intellectual satisfaction. It is a matter of heart speaking to heart. I worshipped Rama as Sita's husband in the first instance, but as my knowledge and experience of Him grew, my Rama became immortal and omnipresent. This does not mean that Rama ceased to be Sita's husband. But the meaning of Sita's husband expanded with the vision of Rama. This is how the world evolves. Rama cannot become omnipresent for the man who regards him merely as the son of Dasharatha. But for the believer in Rama as God, the father of the omnipresent, Rama also becomes omnipresent—the father and son become one. It may be said that this is all a matter of imagination. "To each man according to his faith," is all that I can say. If all religions are one at source, we have to synthesize them. Today, they are looked upon as separate and that is why we kill each other. When we are tired of religion, we become atheists and then, apart from the little self, nothing, not even God, exists. But when we acquire true understanding, the little self perishes and God becomes all in all. Rama, then, is and is not the son of Dasharatha, the husband of Sita, the brother of Bharata and Lakshmana and yet is God, the unborn and eternal. All honour, then, to those who not believing in Rama as the son of Dasharatha still come to join in the collective prayers. This matter of Rama is one which transcends reason. I have merely tried to give to the reader my belief for what it is worth.
Harijan, 22-9-1946