Faith

Path of ruin

Valmiki says that Soorpanaka arrives at Rama’s hermitage in Panchavati ‘by chance’ when he uses the term ‘yadruchaya’. He has used this term earlier with reference to Manthara’s arrival at Kaikeyi’s chambers on the eve of Rama’s coronation. Both occasions become the starting point of far reaching consequences, pointed out Nannilam Sri V. Rajagopala Ganapadigal in a lecture. If Manthara assists in the purpose of Rama avatar by averting the coronation and sending Him to the forest, Soorpanaka aids in the abduction of Sita that alone can bring about Ravana’s downfall.

When Rama and Lakshmana find that their attempts to ward off Soorpanaka’s overtures with them turn futile and that she is in earnest about her desire to marry Rama and therefore proceeds to kill Sita, Rama asks Lakshmana to teach her a lesson. Lakshmana cuts off her nose and ears and maims her. The disgraced Soorpanaka wishing to avenge Rama and Lakshmana seeks her brother Khara for help. The powerful army of Khara is routed to nothingness by Rama’s skill in archery. Sita witnesses Rama’s valour and embraces her Lord with the pride of a Kshatriya wife, says Valmiki. Akampana alone survives the onslaught of Rama because he had disguised himself as a woman. He now rushes to Lanka to tell Ravana of the devastation in Janasthana. This news angers Ravana and he wishes to finish off Rama in battle. But Akampana cautions Ravana about Rama’s prowess. He makes it clear that none can face Rama in battle. He advises Ravana to abduct Sita instead which would make Rama weak and powerless. Soorpanaka too nurses a grouse against Sita who stood in the way of her desire to marry Rama. She also instigates Ravana to bring Sita as a captive.


Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 8:46:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/path-of-ruin/article6561592.ece

Next Story