Ram and Krishna are Vishnu’s Purna Avatars; in them Vishnu directly descends. In them all the qualities and powers of the Lord Vishnu are expressed. When one compares Lord Rama with Sri Krishna, one thinks of Rama as mature, serious and straightforward. In all situations he calmly listened to people’s woes, followed elders’ advice and did what was right, or what was dharma. Krishna represents the playful side. When teaching someone a lesson, Krishna seldom chose the straightforward path. He chose mischievousness and even trickery path to outsmart the other side. Rama was a one-woman man, Krishna apparently was not. Ram was known for his prowess with the bow and arrow to quell enemies and fight battles. Krishna’s favourite weapon was Sudarshan Chakra. Ram, on occupying the throne, followed Dharma Niti; the code of right and wrong for him was more than his personal opinion or instinct. Krishna believed in quick solutions and was people’s man. Ram was symbolic of truth and beauty. Rama is an ideal son, an ideal husband, an ideal brother and an ideal King. Krishna is ‘Shyam Sundar’, more of a friend and guide. Ram is ‘Dharma Sarathi’, Krishna is ‘Vijaya Sarathi’. Rama is symbolic of rising above and gaining victory over the inner demons, like, lust, anger, greed, infatuation, pride, and jealousy. Krishna believed in giving the people the divine message of discovering their limitless inner strength. The six divine qualities he propagated were: spiritual wisdom, supreme detachment, great valour, forgiveness, righteousness and incomparable fame. The main purpose of Rama was to destroy the Asura, while the principal aim of Krishna was to vanquish evil and bring back justice and righteousness to humankind.
Rama and Krishna are both human and divine. Both are intimately connected with our daily lives. Many mothers treat them as their own child. Both seem different, yet they are the same. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan writes, “An idealist view of life is not expressed in any one pattern. It is many-coloured and its forms are varied; yet underneath all the variations and oppositions there are certain common fundamental assumptions that show them all to be products of the same spirit.” And that spirit is the spirit of man.