Faith

Sages seek His protection

Rama spent 11 years in Dandakaranya forest in the company of the many rishis and sages seeking their blessings and following their austere way of life. Dandakaranya is described as a vast expanse of thick forests which is the home to the many rishis and sages constantly engaged in the worship of the Supreme Brahman through performance of rituals. It is also the home of the rakshasas who lived on human flesh, causing obstruction to the yagas and yagnas of the sages.

Rama, who is already warned of the atrocities of the rakshasas and their wily ways when He departs from Chitrakuta to the Dandakaranya forest, is determined to protect the sages at all costs, pointed out Nannilam Sri V. Rajagopala Ganapadigal in a discourse. As Rama, Sita and Lakshmana enter the forest they find that the atmosphere of divine purity of the area most refreshing. It rings with the sacred resonance of Vedic hymns chanted by the rishis engaged in the performance of rituals invoking the Supreme Brahman.

The entire group of austere sages welcomes them with great warmth and hospitality, offering fruits and flowers and water. They also seek Rama’s protection from the atrocities of the demons. They tell Rama of their helplessness to retaliate against the demons in this regard. One might ask whether they could not quell the demons with their power of penance. It could be done, they say, but they do not wish to do so because it would deprive them of the power gained by winning over the senses. Like the foetus in the womb which depends on the mother for protection, they depend only on their penance.


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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 3:21:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/sages-seek-his-protection/article6520830.ece

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