The golden deer

It is not easy to dismiss the glitter of worldly attractions. It was the dazzle of the golden deer in the vicinity of their hermitage that tempted Sita’s desire and she wished to possess it at all costs. This became the root cause of the chain of action that brought the end of Ravana. But Sita had to face much trauma before that could happen.

Maricha as the attractive deer first lures Sita, who excitedly asks Rama and Laksmana to have a look at it. Lakshmana states that it is the demon Maricha in disguise and would not have anything to do with it. Sita is persistent to possess it and urges Rama to get it for her, either living or dead. Rama too is fascinated by it and says that it has to be pursued at any cost.

In a lecture, Sri B. Sundarkumar pointed out that this situation mirrors the perennial human dilemma — the natural affinity towards the glitter of worldly attractions in spite of knowing that these are as unsubstantial as a mere mirage.

A compulsive yearning towards something (an object, person, etc.,) that triumphs over one’s intuitive judgment is indicative of the truth that impending calamities spur human beings towards perceptions and assessments that at the moment appear to be plausible and convincing. Thus goaded they get pushed into extreme situations.

Yudhishtira uses this argument to justify his yielding to the game of dice with Sakuni. Not that he was not aware of the wily ways of Sakuni. Yudhishtira says that people have to face the consequences according to divine will and these fruits are inevitable whether he goes ahead with the game of dice or not. Knowing fully well that it will be destructive to him, he feels he cannot refuse.

Rama willed Himself to be attracted by the golden deer though aware of the impossibility of a golden deer. The purpose of His incarnation being the elimination of Ravana, the abduction of Sita would have to happen. So Rama yields to Sita’s pleas and Maricha leads Him to a sufficient distance and dissembling Rama’s voice, calls out to Sita and Lakshmana. Sita speaks harsh words to Lakshmana to send him away and is then abducted by Ravana.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 6:28:03 PM |

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