Faith

Rama’s lovely eyes

The pureness of one’s heart reflects in one’s face. Rama had a heart full of love, compassion, and forgiveness. Naturally, His face reflected His goodness. Among all features, the eyes are what hold one’s attention. Krishna is called Kannan in Tamil, because of the beauty of His eyes, said Kidambi Narayanan, in a discourse. Hanuman was among those impressed by the beauty of Rama’s eyes. Hanuman was a Brahmachari, one who had never experienced love. He was a monkey, and monkeys are known to jump from tree to tree aimlessly.

And yet, Hanuman, a monkey and a bachelor, was attracted by Rama’s eyes, says Nampillai in his commentary. Hanuman’s description of Rama’s eyes comes in Asoka vana, where he meets Sita. Sita asks Hanuman to describe Rama to her. Hanuman describes Rama’s eyes as kamala patraakshah — the One with eyes resembling the petals of a lotus.

In Ayodhya Kanda, Rama’s coronation has been announced, and preparations are on for the great day. Rama goes to worship the family deity of the Ikshvakus, Lord Ranganatha, whom we now see in the Srirangam temple. Sita goes along with Rama. As Rama performs Aradhana Sita watches. Valmiki refers to Sita here as Visalakshi — the one with wide eyes. But what made Sita look wide-eyed? Looking at Ranganatha, Sita wondered if there were any eyes which equalled His in beauty. She then looked at Rama’s eyes, and changed her mind. Here were eyes that were the most beautiful in the world. Thus, she looked from Rama to Ranganatha and as she kept looking, Her eyes widened in wonder. Of course, Rama was Lord’s vibhava avatara and Ranganatha, the archa avatara. So, naturally, the eyes of both were lovely.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 4:04:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/ramas-lovely-eyes/article29801061.ece

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