The sufferings of human beings are due to each one’s prarabdha karma, and they have to be faced. The Lord is not bound by any such karma when He incarnates out of His sankalpa. Rama’s equanimity in the Ayodhya Kanda has served to inspire generations of mankind to cultivate fortitude and forbearance to withstand the impact of the sorrows and sufferings human beings are subject to. For neither was Rama elated at the offer of the kingdom nor was he desolate when it was denied to Him. Yet, Valmiki describes the experience of His sorrow of separation from Sita in the Kishkinta Kanda to emphasise the futility of such distress, said Sri B. Sundarkumar in a lecture.

After restoring the kingdom to Sugriva and anointing him king of the monkeys, Rama and Lakshmana retire to a nearby cave in the Prasravana mountain. The natural beauties of the place would fill one’s mind and heart with joy normally; but to Rama, who is anxious about Sita, wondering what dangers she would have to face all alone, this place of natural beauty only increases his sorrow. Lakshmana tells Rama: “It is not proper for you to grieve in this manner. Do you not know that nothing works for a person who is filled with sorrow? None could fathom the enigmatic ways of destiny in the lives of people as well as you. You are the one who bestows graces on all beings.”

He advises Rama that it is not becoming of Him to sorrow thus. Sorrow destroys positive traits such as valour and confidence and prevents one from engaging in good deeds. It manifests itself in one’s thought, word and deed. While word and deed can be controlled to a certain extent since these are voluntary acts, the workings of the mind are involuntary and cannot be checked easily. Good and evil thoughts keep crossing the mind and these instigate the word and deed of man. Only through good ‘samskaras’ does the mind get attuned to good thinking bereft of sorrow.

Realised souls learn to accept suffering and patiently tread their lives in a detached manner. They beseech God to grant them a pure mind that longs to be one with Him. It is an effort pursued through many births.

Keywords: Ramayanahinduism