I was recently reading the Uttara Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana and came across Chapter 76. Perhaps the most controversial question of all times. Chapter 76:
Hearing the words of Rama of imperishable exploits, that ascetic, his head still hanging downwards, answered:—
“O Rama, I was born of a Shudra alliance and I am performing this rigorous penance in order to acquire the status of a God in this body. I am not telling a lie, O Rama, I wish to attain the Celestial Region. Know that I am a Shudra and my name is Shambuka.”
As he was yet speaking, Raghava, drawing his brilliant and stainless sword from its scabbard, cut off his head. The Shudra being slain, all the Gods and their leaders with Agni’s followers, cried out, “Well done! Well done!” overwhelming Rama with praise, and a rain of celestial flowers of divine fragrance fell on all sides, scattered by Vayu. In their supreme satisfaction, the Gods said to that hero, Rama:—
“You have protected the interests of the Gods, O Highly Intelligent Prince, now ask a boon, O Beloved Offspring of Raghu, Destroyer of Your Foes. By your grace, this Shudra will not be able to attain heaven!”
Because Shri Ram defines an ideal human being, I cannot digest this fact. Was it because Shudras were not allowed to practice penace.
But again Yajurveda Chapter 30 verse 5 says that:
And Shri Ram was never a discriminator between the castes because he hugged the vaanaras, who were deemed to be tribals and not monkeys. Ate with Shabri, and hugged Nishad Raj, these are the minimal examples to show of his modesty despite being the greatest and most celebrated king of the Ishvaku dynasty.
Thus, can someone please provide a concise explanation? Also as a footnote, I know that maybe Shri Ram killed him because he wanted deva Loka. But multiple Rakshasas wanted to sieze the Deva Loka but they were never killed.
Jai Shree ram.