TAMIL NADU

Ramayana contains Vedic directives

CHENNAI MAY 30 . To be generous while extending help to the needy is indeed an enviable noble quality, but at times, a person should be careful not to be too hasty or overzealous in promising to give what is demanded because he may have to feel sorry later as the object wanted may be very dear to him or which he cherishes most. Also, the person who seeks such a help should approach the philanthropist judging his mood and whether he is in the midst of others and if so who they are. This message that one should not regret after agreeing to part with something is one of the many interspersed in the Ramayana, which essentially, is a work bringing out in story form the directives of the Vedas to enable a sincere man to develop an integrated personality and attain perfection.

The epic refers to Emperor Dasaratha summoning a full court to moot a proposal to arrange for Rama's marriage. That very moment Sage Viswamitra arrived there to obtain a favour. The sage was pleased with the warm welcome accorded to him and made enquiries about the welfare of the people, his prosperity and maintenance of peace. The emperor replied that the sage's visit made him feel like one who has found a goblet of nectar; like one whose partner, after long sterility, was to give birth to a child; like a poor man suddenly discovering a large treasure trove and like those who experience refreshing heavy showers after prolonged drought. The sage explained why he was there — to take Rama with him to protect a rite he was performing. The emperor, who earlier was ready to employ all his resources in fulfilling Viswamitra's wish, was upset at the sage's unexpected words and arguing that Rama was too young, showed hesitancy to send his son (at the first instance), but later on persuasion by the family priest, deputed Him along with Lakshmana. In his discourse, Sri R. Aravamudan referred to the several interpretations by the great commentator, Periyavachanpillai, for the verse disclosing the real identity of Rama — that He is God in human form. Sage Viswamithra was surprised that his (once) rival, Vasishta, paid compliments to him that it was only out of his desire to do good to Rama that he sought the emperor's favour and that under his protective wing, there was nothing to cause anxiety and Rama's interests were safe. Viswamithra's visit ultimately resulted in a grand wedding after the arrival of Dasaratha.

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