October 23, 2021

Lakshmana: A deep look

By Nilakhi Banerjee

Brother from another mother. This saying best suits the case of Ram and Lakshman. The two brothers were like two bodies and one soul. And hence, even today, devotees take their name in the same breath. Therefore, where there is Ram, there is Lakshman.

Lakshman is believed to be the avatar of the Shesha Nag or Adishesha, the king of serpents, an ardent devotee of Shri Hari Vishnu. The pictorial depiction of Shri Vishnu lying in the anantashayanam posture in Vaikuntha shows Adishesha shielding him with his seven-headed hood. And since Adishesha is an integral part of Shri Hari Vishnu’s life, he took birth in the Tretayuga as Lakshman to serve Shri Rama as his younger brother.

In this web-post, we will tell you why Lakshman of Ramayan is one of the greatest heroes of all times, the one who epitomised dedication, devotion and unconditional love.

Lakshman selflessly served Rama without expecting anything in return. Hence, without having second thoughts, he decided to accompany Rama for his van vaas (his stay in the forest), despite knowing that Kaikeyi only wanted Rama to go to the forest, and not anyone else.

Lakshman was the son of the third wife of King Dasharath. His mother, Sumitra, had asked him to serve Shri Rama during the van vaas. She also asked him to remain awake all night to protect him from threats. And Lakshman followed every instruction of his mother and proved that he can never disobey her.

Though Lakshman was Sumitra’s son, he loved and respected Kaushalya (Ram’s mother) equally. Hence, he asked Urmila, his wife, to look after Kaushalya, while he stayed in the forest for fourteen years.

Those days, royals could have many wives. But like Ram, Lakshman remained devoted to Urmila alone and did not marry anyone else.

After Lord Rama’s coronation ceremony, Rama wanted to make Lakshman his successor. But Lakshman humbly declined the proposal and asked Rama to make Bharat, the Yuvraj. Pleased by his devotion and righteousness, Rama vowed to serve Lakshman in the Dwapar Yuga and express his gratitude. Ram was born as Krishna while Lakshman (Shesha Nag) took birth as Balaram.

After the 14 years of exile, when Lord Rama came back to Ayodhya, then Agastya Rishi came to meet him and the conversation of Lanka war broke out. Lord Ram told him how he killed raging heroes like Ravana and Kumbhakarna and also Lakshmana killed many powerful asuras like Indrajit and Atikayya. Then Agastya Rishi said, ‘Of course Ravana and Kumbhakarna were very brave, but the greatest asura was Meghnad (Indrajit). He fought Devraj Indra in heaven and tied him and brought him to Lanka. Indra was freed when Brahma asked Meghnad to leave him. Laxman killed the most powerful person, so he became the greatest warrior.

Lord Ram was very happy to hear the praise of brother’s bravery from. Agastya rishi, but curiosity was arising in his mind that why. Agastya Rishi is saying that Indrajit’s slaughter was more difficult than Ravana. To calm the curiosity of Lord Ram, Agastya Rishi said. “Indrajit had the blessing that he can be killed by someone who had not slept for 12 years, who had not seen a woman’s face for 12 years and has not eaten anything for 12 years. Hearing the words of Agastya Rishi Lord Ram said, “I used to give fruits and flowers of Laxman’s share to him regularly for 14 years during the exile period”.

“I used to live in a hut with Sita, there was Lakshmana in the adjacent cottage, then how he had not even seen the face of Sita and had not slept for 12 years, how is this possible”. Laxman was called and asked about the same. Then, he answered “When we went to the mountain, Sugriva asked us to identify her by showing her jewelry. I did not recognize any jewelry except Nupur on her feet, because I never looked at her. When you and Goddess Sita used to sleep in a hut, I used to guard outside all night. When sleep tried to capture my eyes, I had blocked my eyes with my arrows”.

Then Laxman told about being hungry for. 12 years, “You used to do 3 parts of the fruits and flowers that I used to bring. You used to tell me by giving a portion – keep this fruit Lakshman. You never asked me to eat fruit – then how can I eat it without your permission? On hearing these things of Laxman, Lord Shri Ram embraced him”. This was the reason that due to these harsh vows, he could do the courageous task of killing. Meghnath and was called a brave warrior.