Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Perfect Man

From the first poem in the world, Valmik's Ramayana, comes a template for what he defines as a perfect human being. Valmiki asks the following question to Narada

Who, in this world, is a person:
1) of great qualities,
2) of great valor,
3) of acute discernment about right and wrong,
4) that appreciates, remembers and is grateful for the help received from everyone,
5) that stands by his word all the time,
6) and pursues his goals to their completion, unswervingly?

Who is a man
7) of great character,
8) who always wishes and does good to all beings,
9) who is well read about all aspects of life,
10) who is capable of getting the most challenging things done,
11) who is also approachable, personable and pleasing to all alike, at all times?

Who is a person
12) of exemplary courage,
13) in complete control of his temperament,
14) of great intellect,
15) that is unbiased and doesn't indulge in slander,
16) and whose displeasure would be taken note of by even the gods?

Narada replies, "It is indeed difficult to find a person with the admirable and rare qualities that you mentioned. However, there is one such person that I know. Let me tell you about him. 

He is known to all by the name Rāma. He is born into the lineage of Ikshwāku. He is well balanced and in complete control of his words, thoughts and deeds. He is a man of great valor. And he is a person of steadfast character and radiant countenance. 

He is a man of towering intellect. He is judicious. He is learned. His bearing is rich. He is the terror of his foes. His shoulders are broad, arms are strong and long, neck is straight, strong and elegant like a conch, and his cheek bones are strong. 

His chest is mighty. The bow in his hand is impressive. Bones at his shoulder joints are covered by thick muscles. He keeps his detractors under tight control. His long hands stretch to his knees. 
His head is imposing and his forehead is lofty. His majestic gait is like that of a lion. 

His body has the perfect dimensions and is symmetric all over. His skin radiates with translucent sheen. His chest is strong, his eyes are wide. His features are majestic and reassuring. He is endowed with riches and virility. 

His sense of right and wrong is acute and unfailing. He honors his words always. He is constantly engaged in the welfare and wellbeing of the people. His unblemished reputation reached far and wide. 
He has gained a wealth of knowledge from many sources. He is pure within and without. His focus is always on the welfare of people under his protection. 

He is comparable with Prajāpati, endowed with every opulence. He sustains and nourishes all life. 
He is the destroyer of enemies. He protects all that lives. He guards the norms of Dharma against trespass. 

He is scrupulous in discharging his responsibilities. He protects everyone under his care. He has a thorough knowledge of all Vēdas and Vēdāngas. He is an expert in the art and science of archery. 

His knowledge of the Ṡāstras is deep. His attentive memory is amazing. He is very capable of getting things done. He is liked by everyone. He always bears a pleasant disposition. His spirit is dauntless and he is very discreet. 

Noble people from all over the world are drawn to him like rivers would find their way to the ocean. 
He conducts himself equably at all times. And he is always charming. 

In summary, he is the person endowed with all the great qualities one can ask for. 
He is as composed as the great oceans and as confident as the Himalayas. 
He is the delight of Kousalya’s heart. 

He is as valorous as Lord Vishṇu. He is as pleasing as the full moon. His wrath is as unbearable as the heat of burning stars. He is as patient and forbearing as Mother Earth. When he gives, he gives like Kubēra, the god of wealth. There is no one like him established in Truth like the god of Dharma.