Faith

Commitment to protect

Possession of a weapon is always a cause of danger, says Sita to Rama at the beginning of their sojourn in the Dandakaranya forest.

In a lecture, Nannilam Sri V. Rajagopala Ganapadigal drew attention to the interesting exchange that takes place between Rama and Sita on this issue. Sita points out that though the bow is the natural adornment for a Kshatriya, it is unbecoming in one who has adopted the hermit’s way of life. There are three ways in which one slips into the path of adharma — swerving from speaking the truth, desiring another’s wife and showing antagonism towards those who are in no way connected to oneself. Rama is above the first two sins but Sita wonders if He is doing the right thing by vowing to kill the rakshasas in the Dandaka forest. She then relates a story to illustrate her point.

It is held that a sage who had attained a high degree of penance was tested by Indra who came in the guise of a warrior with a sword and requested him to take care of it for some time until he returned. The sage’s attention now shifts from his penance to the task of taking care of the sword and gradually he gets involved in acts opposed to his hermit’s way of life and he sinks to the depths of sinful deeds.

Rama reiterates that He had vowed to protect the rishis and reminds her of His commitment to His word. He would give up Sita or Lakshmana or even His life to protect the good against the evil forces. Even if the sages had not asked His help He would help them. So where is the need for re-examination of the issue anyway?


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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 3:13:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/commitment-to-protect/article6524183.ece

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