Banishment cruel, says Lakshmana

Lakshmana saw from a distance Sita migrating to Valmiki’s ashram. The helpless one found the whole episode agonizing and he could not bear Sita’s predicament.

Sumantra, the minister and the charioteer was engaged in conversation with Lakshmana.

“Sarathi!” said Lakshmana, “Imagine Rama’s plight in getting estranged from Sita. What more sorrow can he expect than this? He had the mortification of giving up a wife of blemishless conduct and one who happened to be Janaka’s daughter. I would feel that for Rama, estrangement from Sita is doubtless a matter of divine dispensation. It is impossible to transcend the divine calculation. The very person, who was capable of destroying the devas, gandharvas, asuras and rakshasas, has surrendered to divinity.”

 

Cruel to banish Sita to forest

“In the past,” continued Lakshmana, to Sumantra, “Sri Rama spent fourteen years of forest life in Dandakaranya in accordance with his father’s desire. To have sent Sita again to the forest is even more painful than on the previous occasion. I would look upon Sita’s banishment to the forest by listening to the citizens as an act of cruelty.”

 

Lakshmana did not conceal his righteous indignation:-

“Koanu dharmaashrayaha soota

karmanyasmin-yashohare,

Mythilim samanupraaptaha

pourairheenaarthavaadibhihi.” (U. Kan. Sar: 50, Sl:8)

 

“What kind of Dharma,” questioned Lakshmana, “has Sri Rama achieved except such a heinous act of cruelty that is determined to fame and reputation, only to please these citizens who are capable of nothing but unjust and unfair words?”

 

Sumantra consoles Lakshmana

“Lakshmana!” said Sumantra, trying to pacify him, “you should not worry too much about Mythili. This turn of events had been known quite long ago. Some of the Brahmin then had expressed right in front of your father Dasharatha about the shape of things to come. Durvasa had mentioned long ago that Sri Rama would be bereft of happiness and that he would be estranged even from people dear to him. Not only this, Lakshmana! After a long time later, it has been said that Sri Rama will leave you, Mythili, Bharata and Shatrughna. Dasharata had enjoined on me that these words of Durvasa should not be divulged to you or Shatrughna and Bharata. I do not want to go against the discipline Dasharata had imposed on me. That is why I am preserving my equanimity. In fact I should not have told you about it. If you are interested, please listen to my words. Although the Maharaja had asked me not to tell you, I have told you because there is no question of anything happening against divine will. And it is as a result of this will that you have been overtaken by this great grief. At any rate, do not reveal this to Bharata and Shatrughna.”

 

Lakshmana agreed. But he wanted to know more about the future.

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