There are many who nurture their talents into being intelligent, being powerful, being skilful and being powerful. But they are few who nurtures the talents for the benefit of Dharma and they are the ones who are leaders. Shri Ram was an exiled prince, without any comforts away from his people, yet did he make a difference in every life he touched. Ravan had a golden city to live in with all the pleasures and comforts of life, but he only bought the doom of his clan. What made them different from each other was the way they defined leadership. While one became a leader by force on others, one was born a leader to lead.
Leadership starts at home. A good leader always stands for his family, protects them and takes their time to time advice in guiding him. Ravan had a great family which came down from Brahma Ji and were known for their severe austerities and truthful conduct. Yet, Ravan neglected their honour for his own power and fame. All his family gave him wise counsel when he abducted Mata Sita not to lead to the downfall of the clan, but Ravan’s ego was so high that he led his family to doom in the battle against Shri Ram.
For Shri Ram, family honour was everything. Unlike Ravan, Shri Ram sacrificed his own comforts to keep up the name of his ancestors and retained their honour. He went through a life of hardships to not taint his father’s name as a follower of truth. By becoming his family’s inspiration as a leader who united them to stay strong in times of adversities, he laid down steps for his sons also to be followers of Dharma.
A leader who is loud in his words, but not actions is not appreciated. Ravan was lost in self-praise and ridiculed all those who cared for him including his very own wife Mandodari. A leader who does not appreciate or talk gently with his own people loses their trust and as a leader Ravan put his people’s life at stake by his self-boasting and lost their trust.
Shri Ram won the hearts of all with his gentle polite behaviour. He was firm in his principles, but instead of pushing his beliefs on his people, he persuaded them through patient explanation. Be it convincing Lakshman about Bharat’s nature, or convincing Sugriv about giving refugee to Vibhishan, he achieved it through gentle talk and reasoning instead of giving an impression that he is the decision maker which made him adorable to one and all.
A leader stands for his people before his life. When Ravan wanted to abduct Mata Sita, he put Marich as bait instead of fighting face to face with Shri Ram. Shri Ram on the other hand, protected Vibhishan with his life in the battle of Lanka. A leader values the life of his people as his own. While Ravan’s lust took away the lives of all his people, Shri Ram’s generosity made all the Vanars come alive after the battle when he requested the Devas to give back life to all of them who passed away fighting for him.
Leaders are not just who rule by inheritance or power, but leaders are the one who walk on the path of Dharma and inspire others to walk on the same, instead of resorting to name, fame and power and this is what made Shri Ram a better leader than Ravan.