Who is your favorite character in Ramayana, and why?
Lord Rama is My favorite character in Ramayana. I like the way He carried Himself throughout all that He went through. He descended to teach us by example. One incident in particular constantly amazes me. After shooting down Vali, the powerful monkey king, Lord Rama came before him. A desperate Vali questioned the Lord about His alliance with Sugriva. Upon hearing the story of the kidnapping of Mother Sita and the Lord’s making an alliance with Sugriva to defeat Ravana, Vali laughed. He narrated how he had captured Ravana in one hand and jumped to all four corners of India. If only Rama could have directly approached Vali, Ravana would have had no other choice but to give Sita back out of fear of Vali. And here was Vali, almost dead, shot by Lord Rama Himself. Any ordinary person would have lamented on such a big opportunity going haywire. But the Lord was perfectly calm and composed. Such qualities make Lord Rama my favorite. (Rahul Danait)
To be detached from opulence when there is an opportunity to gain the whole kingdom is highly difficult. When Bharata Maharaja came back to Ayodhya, the kingdom was kingless, so if He had desired to become the king there was none who could oppose. Still He came in search of Lord Rama to give back the kingdom. It is very difficult to be faithful and loyal during turbulent periods of life. Bharata was doubted by many personalities in Ramayana like Kaushalya, Vasishtha, Guha, Bharadvaja Muni, and Laksmana. Still His determination to return the kingdom to Lord Rama was undeterred. Even after Lord Rama declined to accept His proposal, He brought Lord Rama’s footwear to place on the throne, rather than ascend the throne Himself. Bharata Maharaja lived an austere life outside Ayodhya until Lord Rama returned. He, truly, is a loyal devotee. (Ganesh Subramaniyan)
Laksmana is my favorite character in Ramayana as He manifests the qualities of a devoted servant perfectly. If there is something against Lord Rama then He could even destroy the whole world, but for Himself, He didn’t want anything. During vanavasa, Their exile in forest, He didn’t eat or sleep for a single moment during all the 14 years. He was always serving Lord Rama and Mother Sita. That’s the quality a disciple or servant should have: guru mukha padma vakya, cittete kariya aikya, ara na kariha mane asa. (Nandagopal Jivana Dasa)
Ramayana is an emblem of ideal characters. Laksmana is glorified for personal service to Lord Ramachandra and assisting Him in every step. Bharata Maharaja followed the order of Lord Rama and administered the city of Ayodhya, while Hanuman carried out the mission of Lord. All these characters are glorious. In particular, Sri Vaishnavas glorify the character of Satrughna for the service in separation and servant of the servant attitude. Satrughna had free will to choose, as He was not directly ordered by Lord to look after the kingdom. Neither was He appointed for any special mission as Hanuman. Satrughna had the choice to be with Lord in His personal proximity and serve Him. But Satrughna chose to serve in separation. Even in separation, He didn’t take the position of frontiers, but simply assisted Bharata Maharaja. Character of Satrughna exhibits the mood of Vaishnavas to assist those who are executing the mission of Lord and guru, and while doing so not to be in limelight or take the credit. (Pradyumna Misra Dasa)
Laksmana is my favorite character because He was not only an ideal brother but also an ideal servant, one without any personal considerations. He sacrificed His own family life and accompanied the Lord in the forest. He served Lord Rama without even sleeping for a moment for fourteen long years. And when Mother Sita misunderstood His intentions while trying to protect Her from Ravana He did not retaliate; He maintained His service attitude. This is what Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu teaches in Siksastaka (8): “O my Lord, whether You embrace me or You kick me, You still are my worshipable Lord, birth after birth.” This principle of pure unalloyed devotional service without any personal considerations can be seen exemplified by Laksmana. Although being accused of trying to enjoy His elder brother’s wife He still maintained the same degree of respect for mother Sita and continued His service. That is His glory. Love when goes through fire shines. Where do we find such relations today when brothers rival each other for property and people are ready to break relations over minor trifles? (Sri Nimai Dasa)