In the previous episode we witnessed the important event wherein Jataayu Mahaaraaja fought a relentless battle with Ravana, to somehow protect Sita from being abducted by him! Eventually due to his old age and physical weakness, Jataayu Mahaaraaja wasn’t able to withstand the valour of the wicked Ravana and thus his wings were cut off as he fell to the ground! It was a sad moment as Jataayu Maharaaja tried his level best but yet, couldn’t save Sita from Ravana!
What can we learn from this episode of Jataayu Maharaaja? The important lesson for all of us is that, we should never give up our efforts, even though we understand that the going is tough. Moreover, if we perform our actions with dedication and surrender to Bhagawan’s feet, we are directly going to be recognized by Him! This is what happens in the case of Jataayu Maharaaja too! Later on, we are going to see how Lord Rama runs and comes to acknowledge Jataayu Maharaja’s selfless service! If Bhagawan is happy and moved by our actions what more do we need in this world? Let’s think about it! 🙂
Moving on, we’ve seen one side of the events wherein Ravana imprisons Sita in Lanka, as Soorpanaka looks on with a sigh of relief! She has finally achieved her revenge against Rama and Sita! Now looking at the other side, let’s see what happened to Rama and Lakshmana. After killing Maareecha, when Rama was about to return to the hamlet, to his surprise he sees Lakshmana coming towards him with a tensed face! Rama is utterly shocked and asks Lakshmana why did he come there, leaving Sita alone. Lakshmana was speechless for a moment and later conveyed what had happened after Rama had left the hamlet! Now both of them realize that they were tricked into a huge trap! Rama had a deep dear in his mind that something would have happened to Sita!
“Nanoonam raama jaanaasi mahyascha samaathmanaa!
Ayam hi krupayaa raama maam thraathumiha sangrathaha!!”
By the time, both Rama and Lakshmana were hurrying back to their hamlet, all kinds of bad omens started appearing in front of them! Rama was becoming certain that his beloved Sita is in a deep trouble! As they reach the hamlet, to their utter grief, Sita was not to be seen! Rama searches for Sita all over the place but in vein! Sita is lost! The moment Rama realizes what had happened within just a fraction of a few minutes, Rama sinks in utter grief! He is in uncontrollable tears and so is Lakshmana! Thus, Rama and Lakshmana helplessly start roaming in and around that area, hoping to find Sita somewhere. Alas! Sita wasn’t to be found anywhere in the vicinity! As Rama was walking along his way, due to his uncontrollable grief, his feet were burning, as he wasn’t able to take one foot forward and walk on! Lakshmana makes Rama sit at a place and he quickly brings a heap full of dry leaves, spreads them on the ground and takes Rama along the path! Such was Rama’s grief on separation from his beloved Sita!
As Rama and Lakshmana were nearing the banks of the river Godaavari, they helplessly ask each tree, plant, animal and finally river Godavari herself, as to where is Sita! Nobody responded to Rama’s question and this sank Rama further into deeper pain, sorrow and misery!
As mentioned in the previous episode, Sita had requested mother Godaavari to let Rama know what was happening to her, but when Rama comes and asks, Godaavari remains silent, due to the fear of Ravana! Thus, it is said that because mother Godaavari had lost the golden opportunity to involve in the “Raama – Kainkarya” (Service to Lord Rama), her purity was also lost!
Many of us might know this “Paasuram” that comes in the famous “Thiruppaavai” of Aandaal in Tamil, which goes like this:
“…Thooya peru neer Yamunathuravanai! Aayar kulathinil thondrum ani vilakkai…”
Here, Aandaal employs the phrase “Thooya peru neer Yamunathuravanai”, wherein she describes Lord Krishna as the one who glorified the river Yamuna, which was so pure! This is because, river Yamuna involved herself in the “Krishna-Kainkarya” by giving way to Vasudeva while he was carrying little Krishna in his hands! Although the Yamuna was flowing very close to where the demon Kamsa was residing, she was not scared to give way for Vasudeva and baby Krishna to pass by! Hence, it is said that river Yamuna has attained the highest status of being pure, because of its service to Lord Krishna! Whereas, here we see the river Godaavari loses the opportunity to be of service to Lord Rama and hence it is believed that the river Godaavari had lost its purity and sanctity!
However much later after the Ramayana period, Swami Vedaantha Desika composed his famous work called “Godhaastuthi”. In this text, he conveys a beautiful message: Because Aandaal was also referred by another name called “Goodhaa”, the river Godaavari had compensated for what it has missed previously, and now the purity is regained! In other words, yes, the river Godaavari had lost its purity, but now, since Aandaal (who is considered as an incarnation of Goddess Bhoomaadevi) had half it’s name (Godhaa), the purity is regained!
Thus, Rama and Lakshmana wander around, seeking to know the whereabouts of Sita, but unfortunately none of them around were ready to let them know! Now, slowly Rama and Lakshmana walk their way towards the southern direction. We shall also move along with Rama and Lakshmana for today. Let us share Rama’s grief for now and wait till the next episode to find out what happened next!