In the previous episode we witnessed that Soorpanaka, Ravana’s sister strays her way into Panchavati and her eyes fall on the handsome Rama! We also witnessed a beautiful exhibition of “Haasya Rasa” wherein Valmiki Maharishi makes a funny comparison between Rama and Soorpanaka! Thus the moment Soorpanaka sets her eyes on Rama, she changes her appearance into a beautiful looking girl and approaches the hamlet where Rama, Sita and Lakshmana were staying! She has now fallen in love for the handsome prince!
Now Soorpanaka reaches Rama’s hamlet and asks, “Oh Handsome prince!! Who are you?” This was the only question that she asked! For a moment let’s introspect within ourselves – If a stranger comes and asks us who are we, what would we reply? Most of the time we would ask back, “Who are you?” 🙂 We’re so straightforward! We would never reveal our identity to anybody! Sometimes it would be very interesting to note people who pick up the phone and start a conversation – If the other person asks “Hello! Who’s speaking?”, we would immediately shoot back, “Whom do you want?” 🙂 Thus, normally we never reveal our identity to anyone so easily! Of course, in the modern day there are other reasons that are valid for not revealing identities to strangers! However in this context, the moment Soorpanaka asks Rama “Who are you?” here comes a long reply!
What did Rama reply her? We would have expected Rama to atleast tell his name and stop! However on the contrary he started with describing who King Dasharata was!!! 🙂 It looks like Rama himself loves to narrate the Ramayana so much! He starts, “Aaseeth dasharatho naama ratha kunjara vaarimaan…” In short, he starts by saying, “There was a great King by name Dasharata! He ruled Ayodhya for over 60,000 years but however he was childless for a long time! Then he conducted the “Puthra-Kaameshti Yaaga” and thus four of us were born to him. I’m the eldest of the four and my name is Rama! Here is Lakshmana, one of my brothers! Bharata and Shathrugna are in Ayodhya. At the age of 12, Sage Vishwaamithra came to Ayodhya and took me to Mithilapuri. There was a Shiva Dhanush and I had the opportunity to lift it in my hands and thus I married Sita who is nearby me! We lived together happily in Ayodhya for the next 12 years and after that Kaikeyi, King Dasharata’s second wife had a desire that her son Bharata should rule Ayodhya henceforth and thus we had to come on exile to the forest for fourteen years! We were visiting so many places for the past 12 years and now we’ve come to Panchavati to spend the last 2 years of our exile and after that we would be going back to Ayodhya and meet our family members who are eagerly awaiting our return! Once we return back, I’ll have to take charge of the Ayodhya Kingdom and I’ve to protect my people!” After narrating all these stories to a stranger, Rama asks, “Who are you?” 🙂
Soorpanaka was utterly surprised and thought to herself, “Oh wow! I’ve never heard anyone narrating such a long story just for one question!” 🙂 Valmiki Maharishi was so impressed with Rama’s honesty and straightforwardness during this particular episode! Here is a very important lesson for our modern day life – If we are honest and straightforward, we can be ourselves! We needn’t fear for anyone! We needn’t hide anything from anybody and we can be transparent! It is only when we are not honest and straightforward, we tend to start lying to people and thus the transparency is gone! It should also be remembered that if one lie has to be upheld and “protected”, we need to utter a thousand other lies!
This is why we see numerous unethical happenings in our society today – Be it the politicians who run governments, CEO’s who run big corporates! Why do we see innumerable allegations against various people in public life? It is because they are not true to themselves and to what they do! They get carried away by their “Power” and “Position” to perform unethical actions and for that period of time it would be enjoyable! However, sometime later if some of their unethical actions get exposed in the public domain, they’re unable to accept the reality and accept their fault!
Hence the important lesson to be learnt from today’s episode is that, whatever maybe the situation or position that we come across in our personal/professional life, we should never sacrifice our honesty and straightforwardness! It can be seen from this episode that Lord Rama is an epitome of this impeccable character and we should try and follow this example in our day-to-day life!
Upon reading this, one might immediately pose a question, “Oh! You are talking about the “Threthaa Yuga” wherein Rama was honest and straightforward! Now it is “Kali Yuga”! Will it still be applicable today?” My answer to this question is very simple – Honesty and straightforwardness is the same for any “Yuga” or Age! There is no point in blaming the “Yuga”. Bhagawan creates all the four “Yugas”! We’ve to note that Bhagawan never creates anything that is bad for us! There are certain good aspects with respect to “Kali Yuga” too! It is upto us to grasp those good aspects and follow them, rather than blaming the “Yuga” or Bhagawan or any other person! We should always keep this in mind!
Thus, once Rama gives this long explanation it is Soorpanaka’s turn to introduce herselves. She now says, “I’m Soorpanaka – sister of the Raakshasa King Ravana! You must have heard of Vibhishana who is a “Dharmaathma”! I’m his sister!”
Rama now slowly asks Soorpanaka, “All this is fine. For what purpose did you come here?” Now Soorpanaka breaks the ice finally and replies, “Oh Rama! I just wanted to see all of you and thus I came here! However upon seeing you, I fell in love with you! Hence I wish to marry you and be your beloved wife for the rest of my life!”
What was Rama’s reaction upon hearing this from Soorpanaka? Did Rama accept her proposal or did he reject it? What happened next? Let’s wait curiously for the next episode to find out! 🙂