|Values for Life :
Life throws challenges and every challenge comes with rainbows and lights to conquer it.
Sri Ram told Hanuman “Go to Lanka soon and meet Sita. Tell her about all the major incidents including that of Ravan’s end. Then go to Vibhishan and tell him to escort Sita, duly bathed and adorned with all fresh clothes and ornaments.” As Janaki was brought in front of Sri Ram, all the ladies in Lanka, young and old, crushed each other on the way to have a glimpse of her. In front of the huge gathering Sita asked Lakshman:“To bring trust into my husband’s mind and the whole world, flicker fire here. I shall jump into it and prove my chastity.” Lakshman looked on Sri Ram’s face and read the message. With the help of the monkeys Lakshman heaped dry logs and lit the fire.Sita saluted Sri Ram and the gathering with folded hands and prayed:“If I have ever thought of anybody in my mind, other than my husband, O God of Fire, you are the witness of the whole world.” With this prayer Sita jumped into the fire. All stood there with agitated mind impatiently. After a few heart beats, the God of Fire emerged from the flames with Sita in his hands and he addressed Sri Ram: “I am the purifier of everything. But by the touch of this divine lady, I have made purer myself. Take her!”
Vibhishan saluted Sri Ram and requested, “Please come and accept my hospitality today with Sita and you may proceed tomorrow. If you have mercy on this servant, please concede to my request.”Ram replied:“My dear friend Vibhishan,” “I have given words to Bharat that I would be at Ayodhya the day my banishment of fourteenth year completes. That is tomorrow. If I do not return by then, he would jump into the fire and immolate himself. I have also taken an oath not to live in a city or consume feasts before I meet my brother. It is not that I have no love or sentiments towards you. You host the Vanars and if they are satisfied, I too am.”
Vibhishan treated all the Vanars courteously with sumptuous feasts and handful of gifts. Thereafter he went to Sri Ram and told:“If you are desirous to go to Ayodhya, the Pushpaka plane is ready.”Before ascending the plain, Sri Ram addressed Hanuman:“You may go in haste in advance, for very little time is left and my brother is looking forward for our arrival impatiently. Our flight will follow. Meet Bharat at Nandigrama and tell him all about us.” Hanuman left the scene at once.
As the Pushpak Viman landed, Sri Ram bid adieu to Vibhishan and Sugreev. Unable to bear the pangs and pain of separation from Sri Ram, Sugreev and Vibhishan urged him:“Permit us also to accompany you so that we can behold the coronation ceremony and also meet the mothers and your brothers.”“Let it be so,”said Sri Ram. Sugreev, Vibhishan and all their followers ascended the flight.
In the Viman, making Sita sit close by Sri Ram who gave her a recount of the places and incidents. He pointed out the city of Lanka, the Trikoota Hills, the war-field, the place where Ravan fell dead, the Sethu Bridge, the Rameswaram Temple, Kishkindha where Sri Ram met the Vanar minister Hanuman and then Sugreev. Sita was very curious and anxious to notice the places and the relevance or sanctity of the places.
According to Bharat it was completion of fourteen years. As promised by brother Sri Ram, he did not return so far. Nor there is any message or clue from him. He told Shatrughan “Brother, you look after our country and citizens well and bring prosperity further. I am going to finish my life as promised to Sri Ram jumping into the pyre. Please make arrangements.” Shatrughan started arranging the glowing fire pit. Bharat taking bath and smearing vibhuti all over touched his brother’s sandals and saluted it, came to the pit and circumambulated around it. After three circumambulations, he was about to jump into the pyre, there heard a loud voice: “Jai Sri Ram.”
Bharat looked up and saw a huge figure flying down. It was a monkey. It landed before Bharat and saluted him and said:“Kumar Bharat, no more mischief. Sri Ram, after killing Ravan, is coming along with Sita Mata, Lakshman, Sugreev, Vibhishan and others. They will reach here soon in Viman. I am Hanuman, the minister of Sugreev. Sri Ram had bidden me in advance to tell you the good news.”Bharat was surprised, glad and anxious at a time. He embraced Hanuman and told him: “You are a divine messenger who donated me my lost life.”
KK Shanmukhan ( To be concluded )