In the previous episode we witnessed how Rama appreciated Lakshmana for his selfless and noble service and compares him to King Dasharata! It is to be noted again here that Rama sees his father King Dasharata in the form of Lakshmana! He says with tears in his eyes that his father has not passed away, but is walking and talking with him in the form of Lakshmana! From here we can understand how Bhagawan hails people who do selfless service! Moving on further, we also saw that Rama was waiting for the apt time to destroy the Raakshasaas and according to Rama’s “Sankalpa”, the next set of important events start unfolding one by one!
Thus, as per Rama’s Sankalpa, the first to arrive at the scene is Soorpanaka. She is none other than the Raakshasa King Raavana’s sister! She was just wandering around in that forest area in Panchavati and by chance, her eyes fall on Rama, who was at a distance from her! Valmiki Maharishi beautifully brings out this scene in the following sloka:
“Tan desham raakshasee kaashidh aajagaama yedirchayaa!”
Here Valmiki Maharishi says “Tan desham raakshasee”, meaning “Some demoness coming from an unknown place!” He continues, “Aajagaama yedirchayaa”, meaning, “She comes to that place, by chance where Rama, Lakshmana and Sita were residing.” However, the moment Soorpanaka’s eyes fall on Rama’s handsome face, she immediately falls in love with him! Hence, she changes her form, takes the form of a beautiful girl and comes towards Rama’s hamlet.
During the first few episodes, I had mentioned that Valmiki Maharishi had invoked the “Nava Rasas” in the entire Ramayana text. In this context, we can see that he has placed the “Haasya Rasa” (Comedy). Here is a place to laugh! Valmiki Maharishi tries to compare Rama with Soorpanaka! How similar were both! 🙂 He says,
“Saadhu soorpanakaa naama dashagreevascha rakshasaha!
Bhagini raamamaasaadhya dadarsha kritha shopamam!!
Sukumaaram mahaasathvam paarthiva vyanjanaanvitham!
Sumukham dhurmukhee raamam vruddha madhyam mahodadhi!!
Visaalaaksham viroopaakshi sukhesham thaamra moorthajaa!”
Thus, to begin with, Valmiki Maharishi introduces Soorpanaka into the scene and goes on to make a hilarious comparison between Rama and Soorpanaka! He uses the two opposite words “Sumukham” and “Dhurmukhee”, which directly mean “Handsome” and “Ugly/fearful” respectively! Rama’s face can be admired for days and nights together without a break, whereas, Soorpanaka’s face is so fearful that even if we see her for a minute, we would not get proper sleep for the next ten days! He continues to say, “Vruddha madhyam mahodadhi”, which means, Soorpanaka’s hips are the most prominently seen parts of her body! Whereas, Rama’s body is perfectly according to the “Purushothama Lakshanam” wherein the hip portion is never visible! We would have heard this term called “Saamudhrika Lakshanam” often. According to this “Saamudhrika Lakshanam”, a woman’s hips should be the most negligible part in her entire body! Nobody would know such a woman in today’s life! 🙂 But however, this is how the rule is! It is said that Sita was perfect according to this “Saamudhrika Lakshanam” and Rama was perfect according to the “Purushothama Lakshanam”.
Now Valmiki Maharishi continues with the comparison and goes to the next point. He says, “Visaalaaksham Virupaakshi!” Rama’s eyes are so beautiful that we can keep admiring them for days! Soorpanaka’s eyes – We cannot even know where is she seeing! The eyes are small and have that wicked look in them! He continues further – “Sukhesham thaamra moorthajaa!” Here he compares Rama’s beautiful hair with that of Soorpanaka’s! Of course we’ve seen earlier too that Rama’s hair is so long, beautiful and bluish black in colour! Whereas, Soorpanaka’s hair is described as “Thaamra moordhajaa” meaning, brownish white in colour! Here we can see that Valmiki Maharishi makes fun of “Coloured hair”! I would not comment on it further since nowadays many of them spend so much of money in “Hair colouring”! 🙂
Moreover, the comical comparison concludes by saying that Rama’s way of talking is so soft and pleasing for the ears, whereas the voice of Soorpanaka is so harsh and unpleasing for the ears to listen to! Thus, Valmiki Maharishi makes a beautiful but comical comparison between Rama and Soorpanaka in various aspects!
Thus Soorpanaka approaches Rama and moment she sees Rama in front of her, she wants to propose her love to him! Did she do that? What did Rama say for it? Let’s wait to find out in the next episode! 🙂