Saturday, December 15, 2012

Made For Each Other

Sita and Rama“An equal match in character, age, and conduct, as well as equal in family and characteristics, Rama is deserving of Vaidehi. And this dark-eyed lady is deserving of Him.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 16.5)

tulya śīla vayo vṛttām tulya abhijana lakṣaṇām |
rāghavo arhati vaidehīm tam ca iyam asita īkṣaṇā ||

“This Rama just got lucky breaking that bow. He is really not worthy of Sita’s hand in marriage. The princess of Videha should be with a more worthy prince, someone more capable of imposing his will on others. Rama appeared on the scene with His younger brother Lakshmana and the sage Vishvamitra. He was so youthful at the time that no one would have thought He could lift the amazingly heavy bow of Lord Shiva that lay in the middle of the arena. Perhaps Rama used some mysticism to get the bow to become light, thereby cheating His way to victory. Regardless, Sita should be with someone besides Him.”

In spite of the evidence available right in front of their eyes, the miscreant will deny the supremacy of the Supreme Lord. It’s understandable for atheism to run rampant when the presence of the original Personality of Godhead is seemingly absent from society, but even in times when there is an avatara, a personal incarnation, roaming the land, those who have lost all intelligence will still say that there is no God, that they are supreme. In the above quoted verse from the Ramayana, Hanuman further removes any doubts as to the nature of the Supreme Lord and His wife. They are a perfect fit for each other, something proven by their character as well as their behavior.

Ravana, the King of Lanka during the time in question, had the atheist mentality; he was a nonbeliever who didn’t think that Rama was anything special. In fact, after Rama, the eldest son of Maharaja Dasharatha, married Sita by winning the contest in Janaka’s kingdom, He spent fourteen years in the forest as a recluse. To Ravana this was unthinkable. Why would a powerful prince give up the throne that was rightfully His? Why would He live like a pauper, especially when He had such a beautiful wife? Ravana mistook Rama’s renunciation for weakness, and for this he would have to pay dearly.

Ravana pulled off an abduction plot that brought Sita back to Lanka. And to show just how far-reaching the Supreme Lord’s influence is, Rama did not directly go to Lanka right away. Instead, Hanuman was sent to look for Sita, to act as the Lord’s messenger. He was not tasked with bringing her back to Rama, either. He was only to find her location and then report back to headquarters, which was situated in the forest of Kishkindha.

Hanuman was the right messenger because he knew Rama very well. This knowledge didn’t come from studying a book or hearing others give lectures. Instead, Hanuman had personal interaction with Rama, albeit for not a very long time. A single moment’s contact in the proper mood can reveal enough knowledge to carry out the Lord’s interests. Hanuman impressed Rama during their first meeting, and likewise Hanuman knew right away that devotion to Rama would be his life’s mission.

“O sinless one, certainly, how can any king accomplish his objectives if he doesn't have such a messenger working for him?” (Lord Rama speaking to Lakshmana about Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 3.34)

Shri HanumanFinally spotting a person who appeared to be Sita in the Ashoka grove in Lanka, Hanuman assessed her. He says that the match in character, age and conduct made Rama deserving of her. Sita’s character was top-notch. She was chaste, pious, and respectful of her elders. She would not give Rama any trouble in marriage. She would not bother Him or veer Him off of the righteous path with her personal desires. Instead, she would do whatever it took to keep Rama happy. She was so perfect in her role that Rama felt like He couldn’t repay her service to Him.

In marriages of the Vedic tradition the groom is usually several years older than the bride, as this will increase the likelihood of begetting male children. It is believed that if the female is stronger than the male, their union will lead to female children. For the princes in the Ikshvaku line it was especially important to have male children, as this would carry on the family line and business, that of protecting the citizens of Ayodhya.

The male is the enjoyer and the female the enjoyed; this is the natural order. In a marriage, the wife’s conduct should please the husband, and with Sita as a wife Rama saw the best conduct. She renounced her ties to family and home at the time of Rama’s exile, and she followed Him in the forest observing the vow of brahmacharya, or celibacy. She never purposefully did anything to give trouble to Rama, and yet she was not a stone lacking personality. In every way she was a perfect match for Him.

Her family ancestry and characteristics were also a match. Rama was from the Ikshvaku family and Sita the family of King Janaka of Mithila. Though her husband was determined by whoever could lift a bow, Rama’s family ancestry made Him the ideal match anyway. Sita’s bodily features were auspicious, as were Rama’s, providing yet another reason why they were fit for each other.

Sita is worthy of Rama and Rama of Sita. We get further evidence of this fact from their number one servant: Hanuman. He has a flawless character. He is a high scholar and a devoted warrior. He is fearless in his execution of devotional service. Because he says that Sita and Rama are a perfect match we can take it as fact. And since he says they are the Supreme Lord and His wife respectively, we can understand that devotion to them is the highest occupation in life, something easily practiced through the chanting of the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.

In Closing:

Even if to His direct company they go,

Miscreants never God’s standing to know.

 

That He is weak and stupid they’ll think,

In this way to depths of hell they’ll sink.

 

A match for Sita Shri Rama was ideal,

This from vision of her Hanuman could feel.

 

Her features to Rama did all correspond,

Finally success in journey which took so long.

 

Hanuman also a match for Rama and His wife,

Appreciate his devotion to make fruitful your life.

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