Husband’s Goals….Wife’s Roles (Panchakanya-4)

This is an adjunct to Husband’s Goals….Wife’s Roles (Panchakanya-3)
Seetha is reviewing Rama’s perception of his Dharma. Rama had to spend 14 years in Dhandaka forest as an hermit’s recluse life. There was no other compulsion on him to go deep into forest etc. Seetha highlights these aspects and says the act of elimination of demons without any provocation from them is unjust[ 3-9-2]. She defines 3 self gratification acts 1. Telling lies, 2.coveting others wife, and 3rd. cruelty towards those who are not enemies. [ 3-9-24,25]. The constant awareness of weapons will make the mind avaricious [ 3-9-28]. She reminds him, he should aim to be a sage not a warrior [ 3-9-29]. She makes a very wise statement that everything can be achieved by Dharma alone and seeking pleasure will not get pleasure or for that matter one cannot get wealth by chasing wealth [ 3-9-30], [ 3-9-31]. These two slokas are the very essence of Ramayana. A strange statement as this is being made to Rama who is supposed to be the aficionado of Dharma.
Let us summarize it a bit. Seetha says Rama is making a mistake of carrying Bow into forest as he is seeking self gratification, this can lead to unnecessary killing of demons in the forest with whom he has no enmity. She accentuates it by emphasizing Dharma alone can bring prosperity, pleasure, and everything. Carrying a bow is an a-dharma when he is expected to live a hermit’s life in forest.
Let us see what Rama replies. Rama acclaims her suggestions as good and praises her high upbringing for having excellent knowledge of dharma [ 3-10-02]. Rama says as a Kshatriya (warrior class) he has to protect the hermits and heed their request for protection from demons.[ 3-10-04]. The hermits request for freedom from demons have to be heeded. As Rama has promised he has to fulfill the promise[ 3-10-17]. Rama says he will forgo anything including Lakshmana and Seetha to keep up his promise [ 3-10-20]. He appreciates Seetha’s advice as coming from well-wisher [ 3-10-21]. Thus Rama extolls the virtue of keeping up promise as his dharma and shall pursue demon extinction.
Conclusion: whenever contradictory dharmas clash, a situation of dharma in quandary, is created and choice of correct action becomes difficult. In this case Rama rejected the advice given by Seetha and pursued the action of clashing with demons thereby inheriting a situation which Seetha had predicted. Here also Rama by overlooking Seetha’s advice rues later when he had to use his bow and fight many wars, and loses Seetha and even Lakshmana for sometime. This is exactly what happened to Vali when he ignores Tara’s advice.

Part of Rama….. a human character!!!

Referaence of Slokas

Sanskrit English
अधर्मम् तु सुसूक्ष्मेण विधिना प्राप्यते महान् |
निवृत्तेन च शक्यो अयम् व्यसनात् कामजाद् इह || ३-९-२
“Gross unjust will accrue to any in an abstruse way if his indulgence is enkindled merely by his own desire, and in this world it is possible to fend them off, to have a recourse to justness… Back
स्नेहात् च बहुमानात् च स्मारये त्वाम् न शिक्षये |
न कथंचन सा कार्या गृहीत धनुषा त्वया || ३-९-२४
बुद्धिः वैरम् विना हन्तुम् राक्षसान् दण्डक आश्रितान् |
अपराधम् विना हन्तुम् लोको वीर न कामये || ३-९-२५
“In affinity and in respect I am reminding but not tutoring you, and in anyway improper is that thought of yours to wield your bow to kill the demons dwelling in Dandaka without any enmity, oh, brave one, undesirable is the killing of offenceless…
तदार्य कलुषा बुद्धिः जायते शस्त्र सेवनात् |
पुनर् गत्वात् तत् अयोध्यायाम् क्षत्र धर्मम् चरिष्यसि || ३-९-२८
“Weapon admiring mind becomes maligned with avariciousness, you may therefore follow the tenet of Kshatriya-s on going to Ayodhya again… Back
अक्षया तु भवेत् प्रीतिः श्वश्रू श्वशुरयोः मम |
यदि राज्यम् हि संन्यस्य भवेत् त्वम् निरतो मुनिः || ३-९-२९
“Everlasting satisfaction will be there to my father-in-law and mothers-in-laws, on your becoming a devout sage even after forfeiture of kingdom Back
धर्मात् अर्थः प्रभवति धर्मात् प्रभवते सुखम् |
धर्मेण लभते सर्वम् धर्म सारम् इदम् जगत् ||
“From virtuousness prosperity emanates, from righteousness happiness, and by honourableness all are achieved, and this universe is the essence of probity… Back
आत्मानम् नियमैः तैः तैः कर्षयित्वा प्रयत्नतः |
प्राप्यते निपुणैः धर्मो न सुखात् लभते सुखम् || ३-९-३१
“Experts will make efforts to exhaust their own selves with those and those principles, thus they realise sublimity… unachievable is pleasure by pleasuring alone… Back
हितम् उक्तम् त्वया देवि स्निग्धया सदृशम् वचः |
कुलम् व्यपदिशन्त्या च धर्मज्ञे जनक त्मजे || 3-१०-२
“You have said beneficial, friendlily words that are seemlier to your disposition, oh, lady, which are apt to speak of your familial brought up, for you are the daughter of virtue-knowing Janaka. Back
ते च आर्ता दण्डकारण्ये मुनयः संशित व्रताः |
माम् सीते स्वयम् आगम्य शरण्याः शरणम् गताः || 3-१०-४
“Oh! Seetha, those shleterable sages of Dandaka forest have approached me sombrely on their own, and thus they came into my refuge… Back
संश्रुत्य न च शक्ष्यामि जीवमानः प्रतिश्रवम् || ४-१०-१७
मुनीनाम् अन्यथा कर्तुम् सत्यम् इष्टम् हि मे सदा |
“Having promised to the sages it is incapable of me to implement it otherwise while I am alive… truth is dearer to me, isn’t it… Back
मम स्नेहात् च सौहार्दात् इदम् उक्तम् त्वया वचः || ४-१०-२०
परितुष्टो अस्मि अहम् सीते न हि अनिष्टो अनुशास्यते |
“With your friendship and good-heartedness you say these words, oh, Seetha, I am contended… uninterested ones do not forewarn, indeed… Back
सदृशम् च अनुरूपम् च कुलस्य तव शोभने |
सधर्म चारिणी मे त्वम् प्राणेभ्यो अपि गरीयसी || ४-१०-२१
“Appropriate and seemly is your word of caution to your bloodline, oh, graceful Seetha, you are the co-pursuer in dharma with me, hence you are loftier to me than my own lives…” So said Rama to Seetha. Back

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sachin
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 11:20:51



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