In the previous episode we witnessed that Rama, Lakshmana and Sita reach Panchavati and Lakshmana is building a hamlet or a cottage for them to stay. Panchavati is a wonderful place even today, full of natural beauty around and on the banks of the great river Godavari. Lakshmana completes the construction of the hamlet and while Rama was inspecting it, he was extremely happy and moved to tears of joy!
It is at this point that Rama completely reveals his love and affection towards Lakshmana. We had already seen the instance of the “Paadhuka Pattabhisheka” wherein Rama expressed his love for Bharata. He is again going to repeat it for Bharata during the “Yuddha Kaanda” and we shall witness it at that point. But for now, Rama with all his love and affection showing in his eyes full of tears, hugs Lakshmana with him and says,
“Bhaavagnyena krithagnyena dharmagnyena cha lakshmana!
Tvayaa puthrena dharmaathmaa na samvruthaha pithaa mama!!”
Through the above sloka Rama says to Lakshmana, “Oh my dear Lakshmana! By giving you to me, our father has accomplished something great in his life! According to me, my father hasn’t passed away! He is living in the form of you! I see my father, King Dasharata in the form of Lakshmana who is standing in front of me! (“Bhaavagnyena krithagnyena dharmagnyena cha lakshmana!”) Oh Lakshmana! You’re doing such a wonderful service to Sita and me by sacrificing your personal life and personal pleasures of living in the palace! You’re doing a selfless service, which cannot even be imagined by anyone in this world! I’m so gifted to have you as my brother!”
Thus, Lakshmana was extremely happy with Rama’s wonderful compliment! If Bhagawan himself has to say that Lakshmana is like His father, we can imagine the significance of Lakshmana’s selfless service to the Lord!
This is a very important lesson for all of us to learn: Our service towards Bhagawan or Bhaagawathas (Spiritual Masters) should be in such a way that they feel immensely happy and satisfied and this would automatically lead us to attain Bhagawan’s lotus feet! This is why we find many Spiritual Gurus even today like Shirdi Sai Baba, Puttaparthi Sali Baba, Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma) laying huge emphasis on performing selfless service towards mankind! As the old adage goes, “Service to mankind is service to Bhagawan!” we should embrace this advice from all our spiritual gurus, and follow that meticulously in our day-to-day lives. Thus, the important lesson that we can learn from this particular episode of the Ramayana is that, Valmiki Maharishi has indirectly laid stress on performing selfless service and that is the best way to reach Bhagawan!
Thus Rama, Sita and Lakshmana start their life at Panchavati in their new hamlet. It was a beautiful time period for all the three of them. As time progresses, Rama thinks to himself, “Where is this Surpanaka? Where are these Raakshasaas? Why aren’t they coming here? It seems as of now that nothing is moving and my mission is yet to be accomplished! We’re running short of time! Chapter after chapter is rolling by in the Ramayana story but nothing seems to move! 🙂 Only if Surpanaka comes, will my work get going! Else the Ramayana story would be over by today itself! No further episodes and no further trouble at all!” 🙂
As Rama was thinking this way, things start moving quickly! How did it all begin? How did it proceed? Let us wait till the next episode with all our curiosity to find out! 🙂