CHENNAI: The Earth is stated to be the land of Karma because it is here that bonded souls can be born as human beings to strive for release by working out their Karma. God also manifests in this world by assuming different forms from time to time to re-establish Dharma whenever there is threat to it. What then is the difference between human birth and that of the Almighty? The Lord incarnates out of His free will while human birth is the result of Karma. When a child is to be born its parents fervently pray to God that it should be good and uphold the values and tradition of the family. In the case of the Almighty, He chooses His parentage, and the lineage in which He is born attains immortal fame because of His birth in it. The descents of the Lord in human form as Rama and Krishna are a case in point.

In their discourse, Dhamal Sri Ramakrishnan and Srimati Perundevi Seshadri said the choice of the asterism, Punarvasu, for His incarnation as Rama was apt as Punarvasu etymologically meant regaining lost wealth, which is the crux of the Ramayana. Commentators interpret that this star also foretold that He would be born as Vasudeva's (Vasu in Punarvasu) son in His next advent. Besides being divine, Rama's birth was awaited with great expectation by Dasaratha, begotten as He was after the emperor who was childless for long performed a sacrifice. One can imagine the king's elation when instead of one he was blessed with four sons. Not only the citizens of Ayodhya but also the denizens of the heaven and the gods rejoiced.

The epic states how the king performed all the purificatory rites from naming of the children to investiture of the sacred thread. Valmiki observes about their virtues, "The eldest of them, Sri Rama, proclaimed the greatness of His race like a flag and proved to be the delight of His father. All the four princes turned out to be masters of the Vedas and great heroes, and all were intent upon doing good to the people. All were endowed with wisdom and all were adorned with virtues. Sri Rama, however, was exceptionally glorious of them all and possessed of true unfailing prowess... King Dasaratha, the father of them all, who were possessed of such glory and luminous splendour felt rejoiced as Brahma, the ruler of the universe."