I don't really understand that Ram's play in Ramayana is true feeling or acting. In some situation he clearly shows his super power and he is a god (described in Situation 1). In some other dangerous situation he is like a normal person (described in Situation 2).

Situation 1:

There is an incident at the time of Sita Swayamvar where when he accidently broke Lord Shiva's bow. Lord Rama came forward to calm him down, Parshurama asked Lord Rama to show who he actually is. And then Lord Rama showed him his Vishnu form and thus Parshurama calmed down and returned back. This incident is there in Valmiki's Ramayana.

In another situation where Lord Yamraj came in disguise of a sage to tell Lord Rama that His time is over on earth and if He wants to stay more or end His life as human being. Following is the extract of what Yamaraj said to Lord Rama.

Situation 2:

While kidnapping Sita he just behaving like a normal human. While he saw that jatayu was killed he showed emotion like normal human.

In few normal situation he shows him as god then why he didn't do that in dangerous situation where its actually required to show his power.

If the main intend of his life in earth is not to show him as god and live an exemplary human life then he should not show his power in situation 1 but he doing both the things.

  • It was acting but that deep acting in which it becomes almost impossible to realize if it is acting or not. Even Rama went so deep in his acting that he forgot some times who actually he is. For example, when Sita went with mother earth then Rama decided to destroy whole earth, then Brahma came and make him remember that He is Lord himself. And Sita actually went to SheerSagar.
    – Vishvam
    Aug 11, 2017 at 9:14
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    IMO.Not easy to understand Lord Rama with such human intellect. Aug 11, 2017 at 9:28
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    @Rohit. Agreed with you. Raam ki lila Raam hi janey... Jai Shree Raam
    – Vishvam
    Aug 11, 2017 at 9:31
  • @Rishabh, Really what i am thinking is, if he managed all the situation in his life as normal human that will be perfect exemplary life to human race. Some time in our life in a critical situation, we will have thought like even rama required super power to handle few situation in earth then how it will be possible for a normal human to survive in struggling earth. these actions of rama shows that he is not much distinguish from human behavior but he is treated as god. but in my personal opinion i have so much faith in rama. it feels like a moral dilemma.
    – Gopi M
    Aug 11, 2017 at 9:58
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    @GopiM This will be nothing more than an errogance if someone think that he can live life by their own. Without help of Lord you can't live life peacefully. You need someone like Rama that will help you to reach your goal. Just have faith in Rama, He will make you out from every trouble of life. Human can't do everything But A Devotee can do everything. Power of a true Devotee is even more than Lord Himself. So be a True Devotee and you will be even more powerful than Rama himself.
    – Vishvam
    Aug 11, 2017 at 10:04

1 Answer 1


I think you are confused and under a misconception.

As I discuss in this answer, Valmiki Ramayana is the original and authentic version of Ramayana. The reason is because it was the unparalleled and unbiased version. So, we have to refer Valmiki Ramayana only rather than any other versions if we want to know the life of Rama. Many other Puranas also have the story of Rama in brief but they are also based on the Valmiki Ramayana only. If there is a difference between Ramayana and Puranas, it should be understood it is due to Kalpa Bheda (Time is cyclic and incidents repeat in every kalpa sometimes with a slight variation).

Rama's life should be divided into two parts if you want to understand whether he was aware of his divinity or not.

  1. Before the slaying of Ravana.
  2. After the slaying of Ravana.

Rama was not aware that he was Lord Vishnu himself before slaying Ravana in the battle. He only knew that he was the God after killing Ravana. All the Gods descend to the earth to remind the divinity of Rama.

There are a few things we have to remember.

  • Sri Rama did not break the Shiva's bow accidentally.

    Sri Rama did not break the Shiva's bow accidentally. The bow itself became soft when it came into the hands of Rama. It is because he was an able kshatriya. He wanted to see the bow, lift the bow and aim the bow due to his interest.

    While many thousands of men are witnessing that right-minded Rama the legatee of Raghu stringed the bow effortlessly. [1-67-16]

    Further, that dextrous one has stringed that bow with bowstring and started to stretch it up to his ear to examine its tautness, but that glorious one who is foremost among men, Rama, broke that bow medially. [1-67-17]

    The bow is not broken by itself because of its oldness or dryness. Not to forget it is divine architect Vishvakarma who made the bow. It was maintained by Janaka perfectly. So, there is no point of being broken due to oldness. The reason why it broke was the strength of Rama alone. See the bold part. It was neither broken in the beginning nor the end but in the middle. It is only possible when the arms of the person who is aiming the bow are stronger.

    There is another instance to show the strength of arms of Rama:

    Rama and Lakshmana, with two quivers each and two bows in their hands, and making all the ten directions of compass lambent followed Vishvamitra, as if three headed serpents followed Vishvamitra, and with their highly dynamic physiques and spiritedness they look as if like the Ashwin twin gods of unequal charm following Brahma, the Forefather. 1-22-7

    Rama is known to carry two quivers full of arrows onto his shoulders and bows in both the hands. This shows the strength of Rama's shoulders.

  • The bow was not broken at the Swayamwar.

    The bow was shown to Vishwamitra and Rama, Lakshmana by Janaka to show them respect. Parashu Rama arrived after the marriage of the Dasharathis(sons of Dasharathas). So, it was after the marriage and not immediately after the Shiva's bow was broken.

    Parshurama asked Lord Rama to show who he actually is. And then Lord Rama showed him his Vishnu form.

  • Dasharatha Rama didn't show his Vishnu form to Parashu Rama.

    It is being publicised that Rama showed his universal form to Parashu Rama when the latter arrived at Mithila. But Rama of Ikshvaku did not show the universal form to Bhargava Rama. Showing universal form was not at all mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana. This story might be part of later versions of Ramayana. It is because Rama was not aware of His divinity. What actually happened was below.

    Then, when Rama is ready to take aim with the arrow on that inscrutable longbow, and when the worlds are being rendered as insentient, then that Rama of Jamadagni is rendered vigourless and he stared up at Rama of Dasharatha. [1-76-11]

    Rama of Jamadagni is calloused as his vitality is subdued by the radiance of that lotus-petal eyed Rama of Dasharatha, and he spoke to Rama of Dasharatha, slowly and softly. [1-76-12]

    I have realized your touch of nature as that of the Immutable Supreme Being, God of Gods, the Exterminator of the demon Madhu, namely Vishnu, by the touch of your handling that bow... oh, enemy-inflamer, blessedness alone betides you...

    Above verse shows that Bharagava Rama showed realised the divinity of Rama by himself and there was no universal form.

    All of these gods who have come collectively are beholding you and your next move, for you are an unequalled one in you achievements and to whom there is no counter-dueller in conflicts...[1-76-18]

    Here, Parashu Rama is trying to finish the unloosening of the arrow from the bow of Vishnu. Becaue all the Devas were watching these two Ramas from the sky. If these are watching for long time, some devata or a danava might know the secret and purpose of the Rama's incarnation.

  • The purpose of Rama's incarnation is not hiding divinity.

    The purpose of the incarnation is slaying the evil minded Ravana. This can be only accomplished by either a human or a Vanara. It was a boon to Rava that he will be only slain by these both and not by anyone else. So, Lord Vishnu incarnated as a human in the dynasty of Ikshvaku. If Rama knew that he was god, then it will not be able to kill Ravana and the purpose of incarnation would be failed. Hence, the devatas didn't reveal the secret even when they got the chance. This being the first one and the other instance is from the Yuddha Kanda.

    The mighty eagle Garuda appears in the battle field and heals the wounds of the Vanaras, Rama and Lakshmana caused by the arrows of Indrajit. Rama did not recognise him too. He asks:

    Who are you, the one endowed with beauty, having blissful garlands and anointments, wearing clean garments and adorned with divine ornaments? [6-50-44]

    To this question Garuda replies

    O, Rama! I am your dearest friend Garuda dear as your own breath moving outside I came here for the purpose of helping you, both. [6-50-46]

    O, hero! You need not be so curious to know the cause of my friendship. You will know of it, once you have accomplished success in battle. [6-50-57]

    So, it was intentional that the secret of divinity was kept secret from Rama. The devatas waited until the main goal of the incarnation was completed i.e., the slaying of Ravana.

    All this was planned even before the birth of Rama. Lord Vishnu asks the Devatas regarding the strategy to kill Ravana.

    What is the idea to eliminate that demon's chief Ravana, oh, gods, adopting which strategy I will have to eliminate that thorn in the side of sages?" Thus Vishnu asked the gods. [1-16-2]

    They reply that only a human can kill him.

    Thus, on getting boon from the Forefather Brahma he has become arrogant and torturing the three worlds, and he is even abducting women. As such, oh, enemy destroyer Vishnu, his elimination is envisaged through humans alone." So said gods to Vishnu. [1-16-6b, 7]

    On hearing that speech of gods said that way, he that kind-hearted Vishnu then chose Dasharatha as his father in human world. [1-16-8]

    So, the main goal of the incarnation of Rama is eliminating Ravana. As soon as the deed is accomplished, the gods descended to the earth and reminded the divinity of Vishnu and his original nature.

    Lifting their long arms, their hands decked with ornaments, those excellent gods thereupon, spoke (as follows) to Rama who stood there, making a respectful salutation to them with his folded hands.[6-117-5]

    They try to remind him his divinity. But Rama couldn't recollect this and considers himself as a human being. He asks them to remind what he forgot.

    अब्रवित्त्रिदशश्रेष्ठान् रामो धर्मभृतां वरः |
    आत्मानं मानुषं मन्ये रामं दशरथात्मजम् || 6-117-11
    सोऽहं यस्य यतश्चाहं भगवंस्तद्ब्रवीतु मे |

    Rama spoke as follows "I think of myself to be a human being, by name Rama, the son of Dasharatha. You, as a gracious Divinity, tell me that which I as such really am like this."

    Then the creator of the world Brahma explains Rama about his real nature. He says in a verse:

    अब्रवीच्छृणु मे वाक्यं सत्यं सत्यपराक्रम |
    भवान्नारायणो देवः श्रीमांश्चक्रायुधः प्रभुः || 6-117-13
    एकशृङ्गो वराहस्त्वं भूतभव्यसपत्नजित् |

    Brahma said "Listen to my true word, O the truly brave lord! You are the Lord Narayana himself the glorious god, who wields the discus. You are the Divine Boar with a single tusk, the conqueror of your past and future enemies."

    So, it is clear that Lord Rama only knew his original form after the battle with Ravana. This is the reason why he was able to recognise the god of death Yama and talked to him normally. He agreed to depart to his own abode as his purpose of incarnation was completed.

So, the two incidents mentioned Situation 1 should be seen from different perspectives. First one as Rama as human and the second one as Rama as God. The situation 2 took place when Rama didn't know that he was Vishnu. So, he reacted just like how a normal human does.

If the main intend of his life in earth is not to show him as god and live an exemplary human life then he should not show his power in situation 1 but he doing both the things.

The main intention is not hiding his divinity but it was showing how an ideal human and an ideal ruler should be and eliminating Ravana.

Numbers in brackets after English translation denote verse number from Valmiki Ramayana. Format - [Kanda-chapter number-verse number]

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    You can add one sentence, "Vakmiki Ramaya is highest authority and Valmiki Ramayana says this". Some Puranas do say Rama knew his divinity which could be due to Kalpa Bheda.
    – The Destroyer
    Aug 12, 2017 at 4:19
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    Rama was not aware that he was Lord Vishnu himself before slaying Ravana. This is not true at all. Have your forgot Mata Sati came to take test (Priksha) of Rama to check whether he is aware of his Vishnu form or not. She came in form of Sita. If Rama recognize that She is actually Goddess Sati then He is aware of his Vishnu form Else not. But Rama recognized Goddess Sati on one sight. So he was aware that he is Lord Vishnu since Beginning. And you also forgot Parshurama's incident with Rama?
    – Vishvam
    Aug 12, 2017 at 5:58
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    Your lots of points is contradicting with my knowledge.
    – Vishvam
    Aug 12, 2017 at 6:25
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    @Rishabh True, many people wrongly assume that Sri Rama was not aware of his true nature, many times he acted like a human but that doesn't mean that he believes he is human.
    – Pinakin
    Aug 12, 2017 at 6:38
  • @ChinmaySarupria Yes, It was only Maya of Rama that people actually believed that he has no self knowledge/awareness. Even if we believe his answer then, according to him, He got aware that he is Vishnu himself after killing Ravana, Then why he didn't recognize his own kids? he met his kids after killing Ravana but still couldn't recognize them. This simply implies that his logic is totally wrong.
    – Vishvam
    Aug 12, 2017 at 7:00

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