|Values for Life:
Chanting the divine mantra of Sri Ram, Maricha was sitting in his ashram, with his mind totally focused on Sri Ram. Ever since his escape from death by the mercy of Sri Ram, he became Sri Ram’s ardent devotee and was leading the life of a perfect saint, away from this mundane world. When he heard the chariot sound Maricha looked out and saw Ravana coming. He was aghast to see Ravana, the most dangerous person according to him at such an odd hour. There should be something very important. Maricha came forward and welcomed Ravana, with a warm hug. Although Maricha was Ravana’s maternal uncle, Maricha hosted him with extreme care and awe. He asked Ravana: “Are you alright? Your face looks gloomy and tired. I should assume that you could not sleep well yesterday. What is tormenting you? If it is not a top secret please tell me. I am in the forefront in looking after your well being. Anything that you command, if it is just and possible, I shall be delighted to do for you.”
Ravana told Maricha,“You are an ever dependable well wisher of mine. And nobody else is so voluntarily available to my help. King Dasaratha of Ayodhya has two sons – Ram and Lakshmana. Right now they along with Sita, Ram’s wife are living at Janasthana. I am told they are very chivalrous and irresistible in war. Lakshmana, the younger one chopped off the breast, ear and nose of my sister Surpanakha. They have executed Khara, his brothers and fourteen thousand battalion of his army in no time. I understand that Sita is the most beautiful girl in the whole world. I request your favour to go there and with some stratagem, keep the boys away so that I shall come in disguise and kidnap Sita.
My suggestion is that you may transform yourself as a golden antelope and fascinate her. Go at once.”
Hearing this horrible errand, Maricha shuddered and his blood froze. He asked Ravana with horror: “Who advised you this evil plan? Whosoever did it, he is your bête noire who cherishes the total destruction of your race. I shall tell you what is good for you. Be Sri Ram’s devotee and sue for his friendship. Entertaining any ruinous thoughts will be disastrous. I have heard that Sri Ram is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and he has incarnated to kill you and finish your lineage. I would suggest you to surrender before him and that will be beneficial to you and your whole clan . Look at my own life. I was about to be killed by his arrow. I ran here and there seeking refuge. No one dared to give me protection against Sri Ram’s arrow. Finally I had to surrender to him. He saved my life. He is so merciful. Be his devotee.”
Ravana laughed loudly for some time and then told very calmly. What you say is right. Thank you very much for your advice. If I need it again, or whenever I need it, I shall come to you again.
Maricha saw that Ravana’s face was changing. “But you are a wise fool. If Ram is Lord Mahavishnu and he has been incarnated to kill me, who in all the worlds can prevent it?” Ravana, with wrath contempt, gave Maricha a peremptory order: “Go at once and do as I say. Otherwise you shall become food of my sword, Chandrahasa.” Maricha thought for a while. If I die at this wretch’s hands, it will be an accursed death and I shall never reach moksha. So it is better to die at the hands of Sri Ram.”
Deciding so, he told Ravana: “No, no. I was telling you my opinion. For your happiness, I am pleased to take up this mission. Good luck.”
KK Shanmukhan ( To be concluded )