Ramayana is not just a story, but also an educational medium used by the ancient sages to make us future ready for the kind of society which will prevail for thousands of years to come. In the story, the society by and large was divided in three sections.
In the first section were people like Lakshmana who always considered his brother Ram’s wife sita as his own mother.
When Ravana took Mother Sita, she threw her jewellery on the ground so Lord Ram would find it. When Lord Ram found it, He showed it to Lakshmana. He showed the ring, the bracelet, the necklace but Lakshmana did not recognize any of it. But when He showed Him the Nupur of the Feet, Lakshmana recognized it immediately.Why? Lakshmana said I have never looked at Mother Sita all my life. I have only looked at Her Lotus Feet and that is why He only recognized the Nupur. Such was the Maryada. Such was the respect.
In the second section come people like Bali, who considered his brother sugreeva’s wife as his own wife.
In a town of Kishkindha, near the River Pampa, the kingdom was ruled by monkeys. Bali and Sugreeva were two brothers who had a dispute over their kingdom. Bali, son of Indra and the eldest was stronger and vulnerable than Sugreeva (son of Surya). Bali became the King. One day, an enemy named Mayavi attacked their kingdom and Bali decided to destroy it. In the process of their fights, both entered a cave and Bali instructed Sugreeva to guard the cave till he returns. Sounds of their roaring fights whirled Sugreeva’s ears and he waited for nearly a month but neither of them came out and so he thought that Bali been killed. With grief he returned and became the King of Kishkindha. However, one fine day Bali returned and thought that Sugreeva had betrayed him. He grew up with anger and being stronger; he defeated Sugreeva and his team. He took the kingdom and his wife forcefully from Sugreeva, recaptured his power and authority as king and became his enemy forever.
In the third section come people like Ravana who considered anybody’s wife as his own.
The evil Ravana, King of the Demons, who had 10 heads and 20 arms, spied Rama’s beautiful wife Sita in the forest. He fell in love with her instantly. Ravana arranged for his servant Maricha to disguise himself as a golden deer and tempt Rama and Lakshman away from Sita. Lakshman drew a circle in the dust around Sita to protect her and told her not to step out of the circle.
But Ravana cleverly disguised himself as an old beggar man, and begged Sita for food and drink. Sita took pity on him and stepped out of the circle. The beggar man turned back into Ravana, catching Sita in his arms and pulling her into his magic flying chariot.
Tell me honestly, isn’t the society still the same? Don’t we find these three classes of people all the time? Have we changed over these 7000 odd years? How learned were those sages who could anticipate the behavior of the society for generations to come. We must always remember that these examples were given to us so we can learn from them and inculcate the good qualities and discard all the evil thoughts inside us. We must learn to live by the ideals that were shown to us by Gods who came in the form of humans to guide us.
Jai Sri Sita Ram Lakshman!!!