Husband and wife relation has to maintain very delicate balance to make the family a success. In this regard let us see how Panchakanya (Ahalya, Draupadi Seetha, Tara, Mandodari) interact with their husbands in times of crisis. Draupadi is not covered as we are looking into Valmiki Ramayana only. We have already defined the their husbands as Chauvinistic (See Tara(Panchakanya) Ideal wife…….Love(1) ).
Ahalya is not much of a case for this post. That she commits infidelity( 1-48-19) and gets cursed by her husband Gautama( 1-48-29,30) a great saint, and Indra also got malediction ( 1-48-27). But our present post does not cover this. One point to note was the story in Valmiki Ramayana is different and Ahalya was cursed to disappear not converted into a stone. She is absolved of the curse when Rama comes there.
Tara has many lessons for us. When Sugriva challenges Vali the second time, Tara intervenes and humbly says Sugriva cannot come again( 4-15-11) unless he has the backing of Rama ( 4-15-13). Advices him to sort out matters with Sugriva( 4-15-23). When Vali dies, killed by Rama she identifies the cause of killing rightly (as his- Vali’s- misbehavior with Ruma wife of Sugriva ( 4-20-11)). This is exactly what a wife’s role should be to identify major gaps or major pitfalls in husbands actions and warn him at right time. Vali of course side steps her and faces the consequences and pays very dearly with his life.
Manodari plays a pivotal role when Seetha insults Ravana by saying he is no comparison to Rama ( 5-58-72). Ravana in his anger goes to kill Seetha ( 5-58-74). Mandodari who has nothing to lose by Seetha’s death intervenes ( 5-58-75) and counsels Ravana. The quitened Ravana tamely goes back to palace ( 5-58-78). This shows how Mandodari stops her husband from committing a sin in fit of anger. This again is a role of wife to understand her husband and handle him correctly and diligently averting calamities.
Seetha to follow….
Referaence of Slokas
मुनि वेषम् सहस्राक्षम् विज्ञाय रघुनंदन |
मतिम् चकार दुर्मेधा देव राज कुतूहलात् || १-४८-१९
|“Oh, Rama, the legatee of Raghu, though knowing him as the Thousand-eyed Indra in the guise of her husband Gautama, she is inclined to have intercourse ill-advisedly, only to satisfy the impassion of the King of Gods. Back|
तथा शप्त्वा च वै शक्रम् भार्याम् अपि च शप्तवान् |
इह वर्ष सहस्राणि बहूनि निवषिस्यसि || १-४८-२९
वायु भक्षा निराहारा तप्यन्ती भस्म शायिनी |
अदृश्या सर्व भूतानाम् आश्रमे अस्मिन् वषिस्यसि || १-४८-३०
|“On cursing Indra thus the sage cursed even his wife saying, ‘you shall tarry here for many thousands of years to come without food and consuming air alone, and unseen by all beings you shall live on in this hermitage while contritely recumbent in dust. [1-48-29, 30] Back|
मम रूपम् समास्थाय कृतवान् असि दुर्मते |
अकर्तव्यम् इदम् यस्मात् विफलः त्वम् भविष्यति || १-४८-२७
|” ‘Oh, dirty-minded Indra, taking hold of my form you have effectuated this unacceptable deed, whereby you shall become infecund.’ Thus, Gautama cursed Indra. Back|
त्वया तस्य निरस्तस्य पीडितस्य विशेषतः |
इह एत्य पुनर् आह्वानम् शंकाम् जनयति इव मे || ४-१५-११
|“He who is undone earlier by you, particularly after torturing by you, his coming here again and inviting you for a duel is causing a doubt in me. Back|
न असहायम् अहम् मन्ये सुग्रीवम् तम् इह आगतम् |
अवष्टब्ध सहायः च यम् आश्रित्य एष गर्जति || ४-१५-१३
|“I do not think that Sugreeva has come here unaccompanied, and on whom he is dependant must be an unflinching support foregathered by Sugreeva Back|
यौवराज्येन सुग्रीवम् तूर्णम् साधु अभिषेचय || ४-१५-२३
विग्रहम् मा कृथा वीर भ्रात्रा राजन् यवीयसा |
|“Oh, king, let Sugreeva be decorously and quickly anointed as prince regent, and oh, resolute one, let there be no hostility to your own younger brother. Back|
सुग्रीवस्य त्वया भार्या हृता स च विवासितः |
यत् तत् तस्य त्वया व्युष्टिः प्राप्ता इयम् प्लवगाधिप || ४-२०-११
|“By which reason you have snatched away Sugreeva’s wife, oh, chief of fliers, and even expelled him from Kishkindha, that is the reason why you got this result. Back|
न त्वम् रामस्य सदृशो दास्ये अपि अस्या न युज्यसे || ५-५८-७२
यज्ञीयः सत्य वाक् चैव रण श्लाघी च राघवः |
|” ‘You have no similarity with Rama. You are unfit even to do service to Rama. Rama performs sacrifices. He speaks only truth. He is a lover of battle’.” Back|
विवृत्य नयने क्रूरे मुष्टिम् उद्यम्य दक्षिणम् || ५-५८-७४
मैथिलीम् हन्तुम् आरब्धः स्त्रीभिः हाहा कृतम् तदा |
|” ‘Rolling his cruel eyes and lifting his right fist, Ravana was about to kill Seetha. Then, an alarm was raised by a women there’.” Back|
स्त्रीणाम् मध्यात् समुत्पत्य तस्य भार्या दुरात्मनः || ५-५८-७५
वरा मन्द उदरी नाम तया स प्रतिषेधितः |
|“Springing up from the midst of those women, a royal woman named Mandodari, the wife of that evil-minded Ravana, ran to him. He was restrained by her.” Back|
ततः ताभिः समेताभिः नारीभिः स महाबलः || ५-५८-७८
उत्थाप्य सहसा नीतो भवनम् स्वम् निशा चरः |
|“Thereupon, those women together propitiated that mighty Ravana and quickly took him to his palace.” Back|