Faith

Facing the inevitable

In His role as son, husband, brother, king or friend, Rama stands out in His commitment to dharma and one cannot but bow down in reverence to His moral authority. But there are incidents in Rama’s life that show His human qualities as well, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a discourse.

When Sumantra is ready to drive Rama, Sita and Lakshmana to the forest Dasaratha cries out in desperation to halt the chariot. But Rama urges Sumantra to go ahead. The charioteer now is caught between the contradictory commands of his two masters. Rama knows that if the chariot is stopped, His exile would be delayed. What is the point in prolonging the sorrow that is anyway inevitable? Neither Dasaratha nor Rama can convert the sorrow to joy by deferring the departure. Surmising Sumantra’s plight at that moment, Rama tells him that in case Dasaratha pulls him up for disobedience when he returns to Ayodhya after leaving them in the forest, he should tell the king that amid the din at that time he had not heard his orders.

Rama then adopts a ruse to get away from the persistent people who follow Him. They are so devoted to Rama, adore Him with all their heart, are always loyal to Him and determined that He should yield to their request to return to Ayodhya. They cannot imagine life without Rama. Rama knows He has to resort to some trick if He has to get ahead with His plans. So He tells Sumantra to drive the chariot northwards as if he were trying to return to Ayodhya. This would mislead them and Rama, Sita and Lakshmana would join Sumantra and they could drive away without the people knowing about it.


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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 2:59:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/facing-the-inevitable/article6571397.ece

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