The rishis depicted Rama as an ideal man, though they knew that He was an Avatar of Vishnu come to save mankind, including themselves. They subordinated the divine aspect and highlighted the human aspect, so that He may serve as a model to inspire man. Each of the rishis who lived in the forest through which He passed knew the Avatar but they did not reveal it since the purpose of the incarnation was the destruction of the rakshasas (demons). Sarabhanga, one of these rishis, was invited by Indra, the king of gods, to accompany him to heaven. But he declined the offer, for, he said, Rama was about to pass through the forest and he did not want to miss His darshan!
- Baba -