Faith

Bond of service

One interesting feature of Rama avatar is that the four brothers together represent the divine essence of the Supreme Lord. While Rama embodies one half of the Lord’s essence, Lakshmana is endowed with one fourth, and Bharata and Shatrugna with one eighth each of the divine essence. Valmiki also highlights the trait that is noticed to exist right from infancy between the pairs of brothers, Rama and Lakshmana and Bharata and Shatrugna, pointed out Kalyanapuram Sri Aravamudhachariar in a discourse. Lakshmana is shown to be deeply attached to Rama. His equation with Rama is described as if he is ‘the very life of Rama manifest externally’ and Rama too is attached to him in a very special way. Lakshmana is called ‘Lakshmi Sampanna,’ being blessed to render exclusive selfless service to the Lord at all times. He is most fortunate in this regard. Likewise Shatrugna, the younger brother of Lakshmana, is dearer to Bharata even than Bharata’s own life and Bharata is always dear to Shatrugna. Shatrugna is styled ‘Nitya Shatrugna,’ an epithet that extols his conquest over enemies not merely external but also internal.

Kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya, are the chief internal enemies within each individual. They attach themselves naturally to all beings instigating them to be drawn to worldly affairs and diverting them from the pursuit of virtues and higher values of life. Interpreters speak of Lakshmana’s bond of service as representing Bhagavat Kainkarya, service to the Lord, and Shatrugna’s as Bhagavata Kainkarya, service to His devotee. Both of these are special duties to be upheld in the spiritual tradition.


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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 11:33:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/bond-of-service/article26724973.ece

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