In the previous episode we had witnessed that as Ravana tempts Sita with all his offers, Sita doesn’t get carried away even a bit! She sticks to her “Dharma” of “Pathi-Vrath” (Complete devotion to her husband) and begins to render some important advice to Ravana to mend his ways. She advises him to show his desire towards his wives, rather than towards the wife of someone else. She also goes on to warn him of severe consequences if he moves away from the track of Dharma.
Eventually, Sita also talks about the valour, invincibility of Rama and explains the dire consequences Ravana is about to face for all his wrongdoings. Hence Sita says, “Oh Ravana! Even if you’ve committed this great sin, you can still have the opportunity to correct yourself!”
“Yevam thvaam papa karmaanaam vakshanthi nikruthaa janaaha!
Mithra maubedhum karthum raamaha prathaanam parichhathaa!!”
As Sita was saying thus, she was intending to say to Ravana, “Please go to Rama and fall on his feet!” However, she suddenly changes her thought and rephrases the above sentence while talking. She thus says, “Oh Ravana! You are not even fit to go and fall on the feet of Rama, however, go to him, join hands with him and be his friend! (“Mithra maubedhum karthum raamaha”) Atleast by that, you can escape the wrath of Rama’s anger! Thus, if you and your entire clan of people have to be alive, please do what I advise you now!”
Sita continues – At this point, she imagines Ravana asking her back “I’ve already done all these sins in my life! Now what is the use of surrendering myself to Rama and seek forgiveness? Will he forgive me?” Thinking that Ravana is asking such a question, Sita answers back:
“Vidhruthah sahi dharmagnyaha sharanaagatha vatsalaha!
Thena maithree bhavathuthe vijeena parimichhasi!!”
Here is a very important answer of Sita. She says, “Oh Ravana! Even if you have such a doubt, you do not know how Rama’s flawless character is! He is a “Dharmagnya” – A person, who sticks to the righteous path, come what may! He will forgive you of all your sins, the moment you surrender to him with a pure heart!” (“Sharanaagatha vatsalaha!”)
We might wonder here, why is Sita asking Ravana to go and join hands with Rama and to be his good friend, rather than falling on Rama’s feet! Why is Sita telling something like this wherein Ravana is not even fit to fall on Rama’s feet, for the amount of sins that he had committed! However, why should Ravana go and hold Rama’s hands and declare friendship with him?
Here is an interesting explanation with a deeper meaning: If Sita had asked Ravana to fall on the feet of Rama, what would have happened? Eventually after going back to Ayodhya and when Rama and Sita are talking with each other, Rama might ask Sita, “Oh my beloved Sita! I heard that you were giving some valuable advice to Ravana! What did you tell him?” If Sita would reply back, “Oh Rama! I asked Ravana to go and fall on your feet for all the sins that he had committed!” If Rama hears this answer, he would ask back, “Oh Sita! What kind of answers have you given? When you are talking with a king, (even if that king had committed the worst sin in his life) you should never ask him to go and fall on the feet of another king! This is “Raaja-Dharma” (The righteous duty of a king). This is like insulting the stature of that king! Two kings can become friends by holding hands, but never should a king be asked to fall on another king’s feet! Oh Sita! Don’t you know this important “Raaja-Dharma”? Didn’t your father teach you all this?” Fearing this, Sita changes her answer and says to Ravana, “Go and join hands with Rama and make friendship with him!” (“Thena maithree bhavathuthe!”)
It should be noted that there is the ocean of around 100 yojanas that is separating Rama and Sita at the moment! Yet, Sita phrases and rephrases every answer of hers, by thinking and analyzing how Rama would see each of her answers! Rama on the other hand is thinking and analyzing how much of trials and tribulations Sita is currently undergoing! Thus we can see here that even if both Rama and Sita are not near to each other, they think alike and for each other! This is why we say that Rama and Sita form a couple that is made for each other (“Dhivya-Dhambadhi”). In the modern day world, we are in a state wherein we are unable to understand each other’s problems and sufferings even when we live together! 🙂
Thus, Sita’s important advice to Ravana is to make friendship with Rama, ask for forgiveness and hand her over back to Rama! Else she warns – “Oh Ravana! If you fail to do this, you would meet a horrible end to your life! Aren’t you aware of Rama’s invincible power with his bow and arrows? Don’t you understand that this Rama single-handedly killed 14,000 Raakshasaas in the Janasthaana? Hence, Ravana! Please stop this mistake. Please hand me over to Rama! Please find a way to escape Rama’s anger!”
Saying thus, Sita advises Ravana in different ways possible, so as to make him realize his mistake. Did Ravana pay heed to Sita’s advice? What was Ravana’s reaction to Sita’s words? Let’s wait to find out in the next episode!