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Only through the strength of the human spirit and the virtue of human righteousness can this evil be vanquished.

—Rama to The Emperor

Rama was an incarnation of the Hindu god, Vishnu. He made his first appearance in Episode XXXVII: The Birth of Evil, Part 1. He, along with Odin and Ra, is one of the creators who forged a Magic Katana given to The Emperor and later Jack to destroy Aku.

Character Outline

Rama (/ˈrɑːmə/; Sanskrit: राम, IAST: Rāma), also known as Ramachandra, was a major deity of Hinduism. He was the seventh avatar of Vishnu, one of his most popular incarnations along with Krishna. In Rama-centric traditions of Hinduism, he was considered the Supreme Being.

History

Rama appeared in Episode XXXVII: The Birth of Evil, Part 1. Rama, Odin, and Ra battled The Black Mass in space. Unfortunately, a small fragment of the Black Mass escaped from the scene and went unnoticed by the gods. For countless eons, the fragment floated in space until it crashed into the prehistoric Earth and caused the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. The fragment then became a pool of black tar-like substance and a black forest soon appeared around it.

For untold numbers of periods, the black forest devoured any living creatures by drowning them into the tar or impaled them from the ground. The forest grew at an alarming rate that it started to destroy settlements and its people. The Emperor, Samurai Jack's father, decided to destroy the evil at its source. With a magical elixir that was given by a Buddhist Monk, The Emperor and his cavalry charged into the forest, only to have his entire army slain by trees that suddenly sprang out from the ground and impaled them. Continuing his journey to the black pool, The Emperor recited a sutra, dipped his arrow into the elixir and then fired it towards the sun to ignite it. When the arrow plunged into the pool, it seemed that the elixir had worked when the trees that grew from the pool withdrew to the pool's depth and then re-merged only gave it a humanoid form. Thus, Aku came into existence, and declared that he was the new master.

The Emperor attempted to slay Aku with his arrows and and his katana, only to find them useless. Aku then had The Emperor tied to a gargantuan tree from the pool and proceeded to destroy his kingdom, much to his horror. The gods then send Sleipnir to rescue The Emperor and brought him to a temple on a mountaintop. From the purity of his spirit, the gods crafted a Katana for him to destroy Aku. After he successfully defeated Aku, The Emperor sealed the demon into the Earth and an evil-looking tree then emerged from the ground. After he knew that Aku would return one day, The Emperor then told his wife, The Empress, that he would have a plan to prepare for that.

In Episode XCVIII, Rama made his return along with Ra and Odin to help Jack be reunited with his katana after he had passed the test by vanquishing the angry consciousness that was inside himself, Mad Jack.

Powers and Equipment

Vishnu

Rama with Sharanga.

Rama was an incredibly powerful god. His power was so great that he was able to harm the Black Mass; something that only fellow gods could accomplish.

  • Bow and Arrows: In his fight against the Black Mass, Rama used his bow, Sharanga and arrows glowed with divine energy. Due to having three pairs of arms, Rama could fire three arrows at a time.
  • Speed and Accuracy: Rama's speed at firing and reloading was fast enough to let him fire several shots in just a few moments. His accuracy was just as high as he never missed a shot in the battle.
  • Eye Beams: Rama, along with Ra and Odin used that ability to extract the strength and purity of The Emperor's spirit in order to forge his katana. They also extracted purity and strength of Jack's own spirit and then infused it to his katana, which made it more powerful than before.
  • Shape-Shifting: As a god, Rama was able to change his form and appearance at will, e.g. a Buddhist Monk.
  • Omniscience: Rama was aware of Aku's rise on Earth. He assumed the form of a Buddhist Monk and forged the Emperor's essence of virtue into a katana, which showed that he was knowledgeable of Japanese culture and Buddhism, and his respect of them. It was worth to notice that Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, Jack's faith was one of the avatars of Vishnu.
  • Immortality: As a god, Vishnu was immortal.
  • Astral projection: During the forging scene, Rama was capable of projecting his spirit in a form of a Buddhist monk in order to forge the katana, while his main body was seen behind and glowed in blue.
  • Transmutation: Rama and His fellow gods transmuted The Emperor's virtues into a katana.
  • Precognition: As a god, it was likely that Rama possessed that power that allowed him to see future events.

Quotes

  • "Only through the strength of the human spirit and virtue of human righteousness can this evil be vanquished." (The Emperor)
  • "But be warned, this evil is not of the human world. It has magic beyond your understanding. Trust not what you see, but what you feel." (The Emperor)
  • "You are worthy." (Samurai Jack)

Trivia

  • Rama was the only of the three gods that Jack did not interact with for four seasons, directly (summoning Ra for aid) or indirectly (sending a Viking to Odin's hall) as of the latest episode.
    • Rama was also the only god not seen in the series prior to Birth of Evil.
    • It should be noted that Rama was the only god whose civilization (India) that Jack didn't visit in order to receive training or study of any sort (Jack studied in Egypt and went to Scandinavia to study seafaring under a Viking Captain).
    • Rama finally appeared in person in Episode XCVIII and granted Jack his sword alongside Ra and Odin.
  • Rama rode an elephant during the battle against the Black Mass. In mythology, he rode Garuda.
    • The elephant that Rama rode during his battle with the Black Mass is likely Gajendra, the elephant that Rama as Vishnu once saved from a crocodile.
  • Vishnu mostly appeared in his seventh avatar, Rama in both episodes. In mythology, Vishnu in his Rama avatar had a pair of arms, while in his true form, he had two pairs of arms instead of three in Samurai Jack.