Five Heroic Qualities of Lord Rama!


Article No.2006

Written by London swaminathan

Date : 20th July 2015

Time uploaded in London : 19-12

A hero, according to Western culture, is one who kills hundreds of people in a war. Then he is awarded the highest order or award or medal of the country. But the Hindu concept of a hero is very different. In India, two holy men were called Maha Veer, i.e. Great heroes. They are Maruti or Hanuman and Mahavira, the 24th Tirthangara of the Jains.

Many others including Lord Rama, Arjuna also bear this title. The word Hero in English came from the Sanskrit word Vira (veera). There is popular Sanskrit couplet about Lord Rama which describes the five ‘heroic’ qualities of Rama. He is

Tyagavira = famous for his sacrifice

Dayavira = famous for his compassion

Vidyavira = famous for his wisdom

Parakramavira = famous for his valour

Dharmavira = famous for his righteousness

One may wonder why the word hero/Vira is attached to virtues such as compassion, righteousness, sacrifice. Hindus have found out that it is easy to kill anyone but to uphold these virtues in situations like “To be or Not to be”, is the most difficult one. One can easily deviate from the set rules in the scriptures for selfish gains; but Rama never did violate any of the rules in the scriptures and positively showed that one can follow it right to the end.

Here are some examples:

Tyagavira: He sacrificed his kingship just to obey his father! Even his own brother Lakshmana asked him to revolt against his father and step mother, but he did not.


Dayavira : He showed compassion to all those he met. He treated tribal leaders like Guhan, Sabari and semi civilized people like monkey tribes, bear tribes, eagle tribes as his own kith and kin. When his opponent Ravana lost all his weapons in the battle, he asked him to go home and come back next day with the weapons.

Vidyavira: He showed complete wisdom in all his actions. He gave enough chances to avoid war with Ravana. He sent Hanuman as ambassador. Wherever he won land, he did not rule those places. He gave them back to Sugreeva and Vibhisana.

Parakramavira: He subdued all the demons from his teenage days. He defeated the most feared hero Parasurama. When Sugreeva doubted his strength, he pierced the seven trees with a single arrow. In all the cantos of Ramayana there are incidents to show his Parakrama.

Dharmavira: Valmiki, the author of the original Ramayana, praised his as the embodiment of Dharma/righteousness. Ramayana is read or acted or recited throughout India and South East Asia because of the incomparable virtues of Rama. No man until today beat him in following the scriptures. When a common man doubted the integrity of his wife Sita, he asked her to do Fire Walking. He spent 14 years in the forest just to satisfy his father’s wishes. He gave equal respect to his brothers and mother and step mothers. There were many situations where one can easily slip. Above, all he was the only Indian king who refused to marry more than one woman. All other Hindu kings married more than one woman according to the rules for the kings. He never spoke untruth!

Here is the famous couplet

Panchaviiraah samaakyaathaa raama evat u panchadhaa

Raghuviira iti kyatah sarvaviiropalakshnah


My earlier articles on Ramayana:-

Lord Sri Rama- the Best PRO in the world, posted on 17 Nov. 2011

Rama – Embodiment of Dharma, posted on 5 April 2014

Aladdin’s magic in Valmiki Ramyana, posted on 25 Dec. 2012

Lord Rama Vs Kama, posted on 20 February 2014

How many miles did Rama walk?, posted on 3 Dec.2012

Maruti Miracle: 660 Kilometres per hour!, posted on 1 June 2013

How did Rama fly his Pushpaka Vimana/plane?, posted on 22 June 2013

How did Ravana travel from Sri Lanka to India?, posted on 20 Sept. 2014

Ravana- Pandya Peace Treaty, posted on 24 June 2014

PICTURE RAMAYANA, posted in 2015 until June, for each canto/Kanda separately.

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1 Comment

  1. R Nanjappa

     /  July 20, 2015

    There is a Tamil saying, attributed to Kambar, but also to Avvaiyar by some, that real hero or veera is one who has controlled (conquered) his five senses: pulan aindum vendraan than verramae veeram. I had heard its Sanskrit version too, but do not recall it readily.

    In this connection, Sri Ramana Maharshi used to relate a story. A sadhu who was also a poet composed a “Bharani” in praise of his Guru, who was also a sadhu. The regular poets objected, saying that a ‘Bharani’ could be composed only in respect of a hero who had killed a thousand elephants in battle, and was not proper in praise of a sadhu.The disciple took the objecting poets to his master and in his presence, they all sat still and did not get up for a day or two! They then realised that the Master was real hero, if he could still the minds of people for so long! It was more heroic than killing a thousand elephants and so the Bharani in his favour was justified!

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