When Vibhishana surrenders to Rama, the monkeys are averse to admitting him. Each has a reason.

The Lord then convinces them, citing the example of a couple of pigeons that helped out a hunter.

The hunter trapped a female bird, which requested her partner to protect him from the cold and ensure that he did not go hungry. The male bird lit a fire for the hunter and jumped into it, offering itself as food to the hunter.

Significance of surrender

While narrating this story, Lord Rama speaks of the pair of birds in the singular. Both birds played a role in helping the hunter. The female, despite being captured by the hunter, requested its partner to keep the hunter warm and well fed.

The male, being separated from the female because of the hunter, did not think twice about keeping the hunter comfortable.

So when both had a role to play, why does Lord Rama speak in the singular? The reason is to show that when we surrender to the Lord, it is both the Lord and His Consort who together save us, Navalpakkam Vasudevachariar said in a discourse. They are to be viewed as One, and not as separate entities.

A whole

The Sastras underscores the significance of the spouse. They emphasise that a husband and wife are but two halves of a whole. Together they are one.

A man cannot perform any yaga, if his wife is not beside him. But the Vedas speak in the singular, because husband and wife are seen as one.

Manu Smriti says wealth is to be shared by the husband and wife and it does not belong to the man alone. The Vedas say a man is to be seen as being whole, only when he is with his wife; he is only half a person without his wife.

Divine Pair

What applies to ordinary mortals applies even more so in the case of the Lord. The Lord and His Consort together constitute a Divine Pair, and they are both to be worshipped for liberation.

Keywords: Ramayana

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