Prathama means first and bhashanam is speaking. In Rama+Ayanam which means the journey of the protagonist Rama from Palace to the Forests to Palace again to finally river Sarayu, we have description of the desirable characteristics of a human being. Rama though is deemed firmly as one of the dashavataras (ten incarnations of lord Vishnu), he lived the life as a human being. During his journey on this planet, Rama displayed exemplary qualities for all of us to emulate.
The beginning of Ramayana itself happens with the sage Valmiki requesting the divine sage Narada whether in “these times” there is any individual who possess all the “gunas”? If yes, then he wanted to be briefed about such a rare person. Narada told Valmiki about Sri Rama.
One of the discerning features of any human being is “how he/she interacts” with others, and especially those who are lower in economic/social strata. It is public knowledge that one tries to be nice to the persons with whom he/she has “something to gain”. On the other hand, if one has to deal with a person with whom one doesn’t have anything to gain, then true conduct is displayed.
The majority of communication happens through the body language and contextual signs left or referred to. Through these, the attitude and seriousness to engage get communicated. Whether one is interested in engaging or not gets expressed through whether the person is opening the conversation or not. In this context it is said that Sri Rama was always the first to open the communication. Opening up the conversation conveys the interest, humility, and respect for the other person.
One has to be an “opening communicator” and even if the person is opening up the communication, the next virtue is length of the communication and choice of words. Some of the persons ignore the good gunas, and indulge in sarcasm and negativity. Rama was the first to speak, chose right words, and was also quick to appreciate. The same is depicted when Sri Hanuman approached the brothers with a message from Sugriva. Prathama bhashanam is the beginning of the communication and showcasing interest. Approaching the others with humility, opening up the conversation, and evincing genuine interest are desirable qualities that make world better.
Prof S Ainavolu is a Mumbai-based teacher of tradition and management. He is with VPSM. Views are personal. www.ainavolu.in/blog