Adisesha, the serpent, is the bed and the seat of Lord Narayana and Goddess Mahalakshmi. Alavandar specifically mentions Adisesha as the bed of the Goddess too. There is reason for the emphasis, said Kidambi Narayanan in a lecture.

It may be the man of the house who decides the pay of a servant, but it is the lady of the house, from whom the servant takes instructions on what work to do. So although Adisesha is the Lord’s servitor, he is also the Goddess’ servant.

Adisesha has a thousand heads; this means he also has a thousand bodies. This further means that he can serve the Lord thousand fold. Adisesha is with the Lord always serving Him in every avatara of His, and in every way possible. He is an umbrella to the Lord, a seat, a soft bed.

In the Rama avatara, Adisesha came as Lakshmana, who did not sleep a wink, but kept watch over his brother, for the 14 years of His sojourn in the forest.

In the Krishna avatara, Adisesha came as Balarama, Krishna’s elder brother.

Lakshmana tells Rama that if he were to be separated from the Lord, he (Lakshmana) will die, just as surely as Sita would. Lakshmana says that he and Sita, if separated from Rama, would die the very moment they are separated.

Fish thrown out of water may take a few seconds to die, but Lakshmana and Sita separated from Rama would not last even a second. He is determined to serve his brother in all countries, and to be by His side always.

When the Rama avatara is about to end, Rama tells Lakshmana that His earthly sojourn is coming to a close. Lakshmana, knowing that he will be unable to bear the pangs of separation, enters the Sarayu river, and ends his stay on this Earth, before Rama leaves this world.

To Lakshmna, Rama takes precedence over everyone else. Rama, to the devoted Lakshmana, is mother, father and God all rolled into one.

When Dasaratha banishes Rama to the forest, Lakshmana reacts in anger. It is rarely that anyone thinks of the Lord’s welfare above all else.

We petition Him for favours all the time, but to think of His comfort is the noble trait of Adisesha.