Rama is waiting for the rains to abate, for that is when Sugriva will come and help Him find Sita. But the rains have stopped and still there is no sign of Sugriva. Rama gets angry. When Lord Siva narrated this to Parvati, She wondered if Rama, the embodiment of patience, ever lost his temper. Lord Siva replied that only gnanis knew the answer to Her question. What did Lord Siva mean? There is a message hidden in Rama’s anger, explained V.S. Karunakarachariar, in a discourse.

Rama tells Lakshmana that he should carry a message to Sugriva. Since Sugriva has broken his promise to Rama, the latter will destroy him. But Rama adds that since Sugriva is a friend, Lakshmana’s opening words should not be words of anger, and that he should deliver the message only if Sugriva did not respond positively. Lakshmana too is angry with Sugriva, because his brother is upset. He goes to Kishkinda and shouts, “Shall I break down the gates?” Sugriva, who is merry in the company of women and wine, hears him. Afraid of Lakshmana’s wrath, he sends Vali’s widow Tara to pacify Lakshmana. Tara asks Lakshmana if he does not know the story of sage Viswamitra. The moment Viswamitra set eyes on Menaka, he forgot everything else. If that were the case with sages, what could one expect of a mere monkey like Sugriva? Would he not fall prey to temptation more easily? Sugriva would soon meet him, she assures Lakshmana.

Hanuman tells Sugriva that he should have helped Rama find Sita, as he had promised. Having failed to keep his promise, Sugriva owes an apology to Rama. He should therefore go out and apologise to Lakshmana. Sugriva goes out and apologises to Lakshmana. Lakshmana says that he himself had been upset because Rama had been angry. He now apologises to Sugriva for losing his temper. Thus the message we get is that if we do wrong, we must apologise. Maybe this is what Lord Siva had in mind when he said that only gnanis could understand the reason for Rama’s anger, for it was Rama’s anger that led to Lakshmana’s anger, which led to Sugriva’s apology and Lakshmana’s apology. Thus we get a valuable message because Rama chose to be angry.

Keywords: Ramayana

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