Dear Sri vaishnava perunthagaiyeer,
In the previous 44 posts, we saw 'lakshmaNa' donning 11 roles. The study on the 11 th role of the 'minister' or counsel ended in last post. Now we have to take up that servant role. Just to recollect the minister lakshmaNa was more than a guru teaching dharmam to raama who is 'raamO vigrahavaan dharma:' and the points lakshmaNa said were similar to bhagavadh geethaa being taught by Krishna to Arjuna.
In the next lakshmaNa's roles, many points on servant's role are already covered. This role started just after raama's coronation was announced by father and king dhasaratha in the assembly.
praagEva cha aagathaa thatra sumithraa lakshmaNa: thadhaa |
seethaa cha aanaayithaa sruthvaa priyam raama abhishEchanam || 2-4-31
meaning: Hearing the good news of the coronation ceremony of Raama, Sumithraa and LakshmaNa came there even before Seethaa was brought.
Point: please see here, the king announced the crowning in royal court. Raama was brought to court and the announcement was made there. Now raama is about to reach his mother's palace and about to meet his mother kousalyaa to inform that glad news. There, even before raama arrived, lakshmaNa and his mother came. [About informing seethaa - all that is later].
Is it out of love of raama that lakshmaNa was there? Or is it a premonition of that 'servant' to be present by the side of king raama, when the announcement is just about to be made to the royal mother? I just leave it to you to conclude. That is what is lakshmaNa - great.
Earlier to that announcement of coronation also the attitude of 'servant' may be there in lakshmaNa, in
§ that baala khEla sakhaa – during childhood and adolescent,
§ the bahi praaNa of raama – as lakshmaNa is described by vaalmeeki,
§ the vazhith thuNaivan – while going with sage vi s vaamithra
§ the assistant administrator – during the 12 years stay at ayOdhyaa before crowning.
But that was not pronounced or predominant.
When raama started helping his father king dhasaratha in administration, he always had lakshmaNa by the side of him, but again the role of a servant was not pronounced. [this was after the marriage of seethaa and returning to ayOdhyaa, and after parasuraama incident] [as seen in last sargam of baala kaaNdam]. But once the crowning was announced slowly this role became pronounced.
Continuation: Then when kooni conveyed the crowning to kaikeyee, and made her ask the boons etc, dhasaratha conveyed his acceptance reluctantly. When dhasaratha asked sumanthra to bring raama immediately to kaikEyee's palace, sumanthra rushed to raama's palace. Just see what is happening -
parvathaadhiva nishkramya simhO giri guhaa saya: |
lakshmaNam dhvaarisO~apa syath prahu anjalipuTam sthhitham || 2-16-26
meaning: That Raama, who came out like a lion residing in a mountain cave coming out of the cave, saw Lakshmana standing at the door, bowing with palms of the hand joined and put to the forehead as a mark of respect.
Point: Raama is just about to come out of his own palace chambers and to reach kaikEyee's palace on orders of dhasaratha – that news being conveyed by sumanthra. At that time lakshmaNa was also there ready at doorstep.
But think why lakshmaNa should be standing at the door, and that too the time was night – all these – kooni advising, kaikEyee weeping, dhasaratha conceding, raama being ordered – all happening in one night. Why lakshmaNa should wait at doorstep at raama's palace? Any points from learned members?
And he immediately got into the chariot without being asked to do so. A true servant has to be like that - to do things as per 'expressions' indicated by body language. So the servant has joined duty and is at work even without a formal order to do so.
These days in the subject of 'comminucation' in behavioural sciences, in the human resource side of modern management, a lot is talked about 'body language'. Perhaps they all took clues from sreemadh raamaayaNam. For it is said even people of kOsala dhEsam knew this – kuRippu uNandhu seyal padudhal – doing things by realizing the message or commands thru body language. When common folks were like that why to talk about the ministers of dhasaratha and raama who is a specialist in that.
So dear lakshmaNa bhakthaas, here is the servant role blossoming. After that lakshmaNa accompanied to the kaikEyee's chambers. Raama came out carrying the orders of kaikEyee to leave for forest. Then raama went to inform mother kousalyaa [mother first, then seethaa the wife] accompanied by lakshmaNa. How lakshmaNa reacted as 'an angry young brother' in kousalyaa's chambers, we have already seen.
Continuation: this lakshmaNa 'sOkham' on hearing the news of raama to go to forest also we have seen – raama is about to go to meet mother kousalyaa –
tham baashpa paripoorNa aksha: prushThatha: anujagaama ha |
lakshmaNa: parama krudhdhha: sumithra aanandha vardhana: || 2-19-30
meaning: Lakshmana, the son of Sumithra, felt very angry with his eyes filled with tears and accompanied behind Raama.
Point: The following slOkam also we have seen – why I am adding it here is to show lakshmaNa was there as a servant following his master – even though the 'chair' or position as 'crown prince' has changed but loyalty of lakshmaNa has not changed. Just think these days how soon the loyanties change when a person loses his chair.
LakshmaNa's virtues are described by vaalmeeki – as equal to raama.
tham guNai: samathaam praapthO bhraathaa vipula vikrama: |
soumithri: anuvavraaja dhaarayan dhuHkham aathmajam || 2-19-39
meaning: LakshmaNa, who got virtues equal to Raama, who was having great heroic valour and who was the brother, kept the grief within himself and went along with Raama. [to kousalyaa's palace].
Continuation: Then the angry young brother was subdued by raama.
Seethaa was informed about going to forest. After persuasion by her, raama accepted seethaa in accompanying him. LakshmaNa came there to the place where the couple had their argument, counters, and finally came to understanding that seethaa will accompany raama, the two embracing each other etc not once but twice – [already seen by us in that 'vanaja nayanudani' krithi of thyaagaraaja]
Evam s ruthvaa thu samvaadham lakshmaNa: poorvam aagatha: |
Baashpa paryaakula eekshaNa sOkham sODhum asaknuvan || 2-31-1
sa bhraathu: charaNou gaaDham nipeeDya raghu nandhana: |
seethaam uvaacha athiya saam raaghavam cha mahaavratham || 2-31-2
meaning: Lakshmana who came there earlier, heard the conversation of Seethaa and Raama, having his eyes glut with tears, being unable to bear the anguish, tightly pressed the feet of his brother and spoke (as follows) to Raama who was performing a great vow and to Seethaa who enjoyed great honour.
Point: this means, this servant lakhsmaNa had the rights to enter the 'anthappuram' – the inner chambers, where the couple were alone – a privilege given to certain 'special people' only.
May be as a 'brother' also, lakshmaNa can enter the palace chambers of his elder brother – but then certain protocol to be observed – that too when the couple is in 'Ekaantham' - but for a servant with special status – no rules, no protocols. Hope you can understand the difference.
Now the role is being taken in full-fledged form -
kurushva maam anucharam vaidharmyam na iha vidhyathE |
kruthaarthO~ham bhavishyaami thava cha artha: prakalpathE || 2-31-22
meaning: lakshmaNa to raama, 'Make me your attendant. In this, there is no unrighteousness. Besides, I will be accomplishing my objective. Your purpose also will be fulfilled."
Point: a point to ponder here is, why lakshmaNa has to say 'kruthaarthO~ham bhavishyaami' – 'I will be accomplishing my objective'.
This leads to us to ask – with what object he came into this world? Answer is - It is clear that 'senRaal kudaiyaam' – ananthan – lakshmaNa – is just expressing himself.
Another question also comes up – ' thava artha: cha prakalpathE - Your purpose also will be fulfilled' – means both raama and lakshmaNa talk something in encoded form – which they only know.
These are subtle points, which are to be enjoyed in detail. Of course we came to know that later – that is what is all raamaaaNam about – that avathaara kaaryam. [Just recollect that lakshmaNa remembering he is the part of great vishNu amsam in yudhdhha kaaNdam – a prelude is given here]
What he will do is also spelt clearly by lakshmaNa in next slokam -
dhanur aadhaaya sa saram khanithra piTakaa dhara: |
agratha: thE gamishyaami panthaanam anudhar sayan || 2-31-23
aaharishyaami thE nithyam moolaani cha phalaani cha |
vanyaani yaani cha anyaani sva aahaaraaNi thapasvinaam || 2-31-24
meaning: lakshmaNa to raama, 'Taking my bow and arrows and carrying a spade and a basket, I will walk in front of you showing the path. I will procure for you for all time the tubers, fruits and other things which are good food stuffs available in the forest for sages."
Point: the servant's duties in forest are spelt clearly – showing the path, collection of foodstuffs etc. one more is spelt clearly – do everything what you need -
bhavaamsthu saha vaidhEhyaa giri saanushu ramsyathE |
aham sarvam karishyaami jaagratha: svapatha: cha thE || 2-31-25
meaning: You along with Seethaa enjoy yourself on mountain-ridges. I shall do everything while you are awake or sleeping."
Point: So the servant has taken over his duties – with the express permission granted by raama in lakshmaNa accompanying to forest. Earlier it was more an informal one – now it is formalized.
I think with a listing we can close the series in the next post –
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