The combined grace of Brahma, Saraswati and Narada was bestowed on Valmiki when he began to compose the Ramayana, which is the essence of the Vedas. The divine couple incarnated as Rama and Sita and they exemplify the dharma people have to uphold at all times, pointed out Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a lecture.

Service to Lord Rama is Sita’s most precious duty. She is determined to follow the dharma of the ascetic life that Rama has accepted. As Rama tries to dissuade her from it, she tries her best to convince Him. She cannot bear to be left alone in Ayodhya. To her, life in Ayodhya without Rama would be worse than suffering in hell.

On the other hand, forest life in Rama’s company would be blissful. To Rama’s reasoning that forest life portends dangers and hard life, she argues that in the presence of the heroic Rama, there is no need to contemplate any danger at all. She recalls her father’s words at the time of their marriage: “This Sita will follow the dharma you uphold. She will be inseparable from you as your shadow.”

She harks back to her childhood when soothsayers had predicted that she would dwell in the forest for some time.

When none of these pleas brought about any change in Rama’s stance, she raises a daring argument: “If my father Janaka hears that you went to the forest alone and did not take me along, he would think that he had miscalculated Rama’s worthiness as a hero and warrior and that his son-in-law is only a woman in man’s garb.”

Sita’s innate propensity to uphold her dharma is comparable to the moon’s effulgence that cannot be taken away from it. Kausalya advises Sita thus: “My son Rama enjoyed a high status in life so far. Now because of fate, he is forced to leave the kingdom. Do not treat him slightly because of this.” Sita promises Kausalya that she will uphold the dharma ordained for her as Rama’s wife in its entire spirit.

When her whole being is steeped in Rama how would she even dream of showing any disrespect to Rama, she tells her. She adds that she is proud of her parents who had inculcated this dharma in her from a very young age.

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