The garland of Ra:ma:yana

Sri:mathe Ra:ma:nuja:ya Namaha!

From Jan 2016 (English) edition 

Though indignant, Lakshmana is always a servant of Ra:ma. 

Dasaratha orders Ra:ma:’s exile. Ra:ma is ready to comply. Unable to accept this, Lakshmana becomes furious and speaks the words of indignation for he could not tolerate the unfair treatment that Ra:ma is being put up with. Unable to confront Ra:ma directly, Lakshmana turns aside, musters courage and expresses his anguish.

lo:ka vidvishtam a:rabdham thvadanya sya:bhishe:chanam |

no:thsahe: sahithum vi:ra ! thathra me: kshamthu marhasi ||

“Ra:ghava! As you are righteous by nature, you consider all others righteous too! However, the happening events seem to be a conspiracy hatched by Dasaratha and Kaike:yi. They want to crown Bharatha and give him the kingdom. However, the people want you to be their king. Being the eldest son, it is only lawful that you must inherit the kingdom. Will the people tolerate if they deprive you of the kingdom and anoint Bharatha? In the name of keeping the vows, Dasaratha is exiling you and is giving the kingdom to Bharatha. All this is being staged to appease the world around. How is it that Kaike:yi did not ask all these years for fulfillment of two boons given to her? How is that the most truthful among the kings forgot to grant them all these years? Indeed! It is a queer coincidence that both of them should remember those boons now. This is planned by them. Whatever it be, people will not tolerate if the kingdom is not given to you. They will revolt. I too can not tolerate this injustice. O Ra:ma! Forgive me for the harsh utterances of mine. Having great respect for father, you tend to think of this act of his as Dharma. I spoke harshly only to explain this to you.”

Such were the words of Lakshmana, who spoke as a well wisher and was yet dominated by his servitude to Ra:ma. Lakshmana considered himself a slave of Ra:ma. However, he was not a kind of servant who would simply obey his master. He felt the responsibility of doing appropriate good to his master. Even though he knew that Ra:ma would be hurt by his words, he uttered them unable to contain his grief.

“Impelled by their desire, our parents are ill disposed to you, O Ra:ma! However, you consider their words to be highest truth. This fills my heart with grief,” said Lakshmana.

I shall conquer the destiny itself! – Lakshmana

Perhaps the changing countenance of Ra:ma had a softening effect on Lakshmana. He said, “Even if all this is destiny as you have put it, even then it does not befit you to go to forest. We shall oppose the destiny itself!”

viklabo: vi:ryahi:no: yaha sa daiva manuvarthathe: |

vi:raha sambha:vitha:thma: yo: na daiva manuvarthathe: ||

(Ayo:dhya Ka:nda, 23rd Sarga, 16th slo:ka)

Lakshmana continued, “They alone are bound by destiny who have no valor and who are cowards. A hero like you with immense mental strength can change the destiny itself! I shall prove this to the world on your be- half. With my valor, I shall defeat the very destiny which has created obstacles to your coronation. None in the three worlds can defeat me and stop you from becoming the emperor.Whoever, for whosoever’s sake, has exiled you to forest for 14 years, I shall drive them all to the forest. You must rule the land for thousands of years. Thereafter, your children should rule the land. In your blessed rule, we must serve you happily. I shall go to any length to attain this objective.”

Command me! I am your servant!! – Lakshmana

na so:bha:rttha: vimau bahu: na dhanu rbhu:shana:ya me: |

na: sira:bandhana:rttha:ya na sara: ssthambhahe:thavaha ||

(Ayo:dhya Ka:nda, 23rd Sarga, 30th slo:ka)

“Ra:ma! I do not have strong, muscular arms to project myself handsome. The bow I carry is not for ornamentation. It is not to boast myself a hero that I have tied a sword to my waist and carry a quiver with arrows on my shoulder. These are to protect you, my Lord! Their fulfilment lies in using them for your safety, for your purpose. I shall indeed vanquish who ever comes in the way of your coronation. However, I need your command to do so.” Thus did Lakshmana express his servitude. Finally…

yattha: thave:yam vasudha: vase: bhave:th |

thatthaiva ma:m sa:dhi thava:smi simkaraha ||

(Ayo:dhya Ka:nda, 23rd Sarga, 40th slo:ka)

“Ra:ma! Show not your displeasure on me as I speak these rash and harsh words with valor. I am your slave; I wait for your orders. I am servant who fulfills all your commands. However, I am unable to tolerate the adversity that has befallen on you. Command me to do that which will bring this entire earth under your control. Order me to eliminate those who are obstructing you from becoming our ruler. I am yours, your bonded slave. Make me destroy your enemies and be you our emperor. Rule us and this land as well.” Thus did Lakshmana express his sorrow.

The relationship at spiritual level!

Lakshmana was ready to oppose Dasaratha:’s command. He was prepared to eliminate anybody who would create obstacles to Ra:ma:’s coronation. Even his own father, King Dasaratha!

He was determined to challenge destiny itself to see his Ra:ma as the emperor. Full of valour, grief and affection for Ra:ma, he spoke harshly about his own people. If we try to understand them at superficial level, Lakshmana would seem quick tempered and extreme minded. However, Lakshmana spoke these words out of his immense love for Ra:ma. Lakshmana was born as a brother to Ra:ma. Ra:ma’s virtues had captivated Lakshmana. At the spiritual level, Lakshmana identified Ra:ma as the Lord of the lords, as the Soul of all souls.

At the physical level, Lakshmana was bound to Ra:ma by the relationship of a brother. He would serve Ra:ma every time, in all places and in all states. When Ra:ma went along with Visva:mithra without any retinue, Lakshmana followed and served his brother. After his marriage too, he continued to serve Ra:ma. When his father announced Ra:ma’s coronation, Lakshmana chose to become Ra:ma’s body guard. When Ra:ma was exiled, Lakshmana could not put up with the injustice.

Ra:ma is personified righteousness. Lakshmana, his brother would never trespass the dharma. Lakshmana grieved at the fact that Dasarattha had held fast to a trifling truth while he exiled Ra:ma who was personified truth. This infuriated Lakshmana and he decided to oppose even his own father.

Lakshmana was a man of self-realization. Lakshmana knew who he was. He realized what his nature was.

Sri:mathe Ra:ma:nuja:ya Namaha!



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