Archive for August, 2011

Why did Ram Leave Sita…

Ramayan has always been a very integral part of a Hindu life. It is a never ending most intriguing story of Ram & Sita, story of their love, their separation, their devotion to each other and story of THE GREATEST SACRIFICE.

Let me make myself clear at this point, just because I am using the word ‘story’ that doesn’t make it a folklore. It is as true as you and i am, as true as our emotions, as true as Death.

We have been reading and listening to ramayan since we were kids. However when we read ramayan there is one thing which at the moment we don’t realize but afterword’s it draws some negative emotions like sadness, anger, some even find it detestable.

It is the major cause of criticism of Ram, The Maryada purushottam. What is that thing which makes us question him?

It is the transition of a man from being called कृतवैवाहिककौतुक राम् (who became happy after marrying sita) to सीतवेदितकाकावन राम् (who became upset because sita cried) and finally विपिनत्याजितजनकज राम् (who had to abandon sita into forest).

There are many interpretations of Ram & Sita’s life, but important thing to notice here is that in every single one of them, Ram leaves sita. Not only that, in lanka after winning the war, he asks her to prove that she is pure, Sita does that successfully but despite of the fact that she has proven herself once in lanka, Ram leaves her when similar suspicion is raised in ayodhya. This time though he doesn’t even give her a chance to defend herself. Doesn’t sounds like Ram Rajya, does it? But wait before you form an opinion..

It is kind of hard to understand why Ram (who is ready to fight anyone just to marry Sita, who can go to any length just to find her trace, who is ready to fight a mighty king who not only has world’s largest army but also has Shiva’s blessing) will leave sita just because some unknown uneducated guy raised a suspicion about her character.

To find the answer we have to go deeper into the matter, require more reading, a better understanding and to say the least, we have to widen our gauge.

Here I have to tell you that there are many forms of ramayan, ranging from valmiki ramayan, vasistha ramayan, agastya ramayan, anand ramayan, ramcharitmanas, etc., there actually is a different version of ramayan in every region of India. Most version of ramayan which I named and which I didn’t are traditionally attributed to valmiki, in fact all of them except one and that is adhyatma ramayan, which is extracted from brahmaand puran ascribed to ved vyas, it is this adhyatma ramayan (not valmiki ramayan as many think) which is the inspiration of tulsidas’s ramcharitmanas.

Now let me take the liberty to draw your attention to the end of the war.  Ram offcourse emerges victorious and then asks vibhishan and hanuman to bring sita. They comply and sita is brought there on a chariot guarded by vibhishans guards. At this very moment something happens which although looks innocuous but is very significant for us in context of this topic.

Ram asks, nearly reprimands, vibhishan to withdraw his guard’s and demands that sita should walk to him. Sita as always complies with her husband’s wish. This gives everyone a chance to look at Sita closely which results in some low character people making some shallow comments on Sita’s character. Ram witnessing all this, immediately (and I emphasize on that word) asks Sita to prove herself. Sita in return without wasting a single second asks laxman to prepare a pyre and when he does, she jumps into it without any hesitation. Maybe she realizes what we don’t, why Ram asked her to walk to her? In the meantime everyone is dumbstruck, not a single sound, every eye wet, every heart pounding, tears flowing down the cheeks, now even those who questioned her integrity are repenting and crying. Then comes out Agni devta himself carrying Sita along and presents her to Ram. Everyone’s emotions are running high; they know what they have witnessed. By this time they know Sita is pure, even purer than fire itself. Ram has achieved his motive.

If you think that the motive of Ram was to prove to himself that Sita was pure then you are absolutely wrong. His motive was to prove to everyone what he already knew, it was to make people realize that a woman who stayed in other man’s custody for around a year is still as pure as ganga, it showed everyone that Sita’s  devotion to her husband is something which even  a powerful king like Ravan could not challenge. Ram on the risk of being brought down from his high podium, makes sure that no one ever raises a suspicion on his wife. This is the sacrifice I talked about when I started. Risking his own respect in society to restore his wife’s honour.

Following this event, they went back to ayodhya and lived happily. What followed was the famous Ram Rajya. Then a dhobi raised some suspicion on Sita and Ram sends her to valmiki’s ashram. He didn’t leave her alone in any forest as contrary to common belief, he asked laxman to take her to valmiki’s ashram and laxman does exactly the same, except however laxman drops her on the gates of ashram rather than taking her inside, may be because he was too terrified to face his guru while indulging in such an act (which according to him was unjustified).

This sudden change of heart on Ram’s part can be understood if you read another source of ramayan, other than valmiki’s. Valmiki somehow misses this point, maybe he was too naive and thought “who will ever dare to question someone like Ram”, by this time we all know how wrong he was. Anyway, so the only ramayan you get which is not derived from valmiki’s ramayan is adhyatma ramayan (I have written few lines about it when I mention it earlier in the post). When you read adhyatma ramayan things start to make more sense.

Here is what actually happens which leads up to sita’s Samadhi in earth.

After few years of ruling ayodhya, one by one Ram’s elders start to leave this world; kaushalya was first to go then kaikeyi, followed by sumitra. Now Ram realises that probably someday he has to go as well but how can that happen, Sita will never let that happen. Sita’s devotion for Ram is something which can neither be explained nor be understood. There are no words good enough to describe that. So  Ram thinks of something.

One day other gods went to Sita and said to her;

“Our lord is still on this earth just because of you, Mother”


“Mother, if you will be gracious enough to come to heaven then our lord will also follow you and will be seated at his most deserved place”

Sita tells this to her Lord (who already knew about it). He tells her that he will leave her to valmiki’s ashram where she will give birth to two boys and then he will visit her after which she will leave this world. At that  very moment Ram told Sita “I will follow you soon”.

Please don’t be fooled by my incompetence in translating the ramayan or by my over simplification of things, this all was very difficult for Ram, more difficult for him than Sita. I say so because despite of the fact that it was all pre planned, Ram’s love for Sita was above all other things. How difficult all this would have been for a man who loved his wife so much that he lived like a sadhu after her demise, we can’t even imagine.

When you consider all these things and look at them objectively then maybe you can connect the dots and see the clear picture.

God who came on earth in form of Ram, who is supposed to be the source of inspiration for every human being doesn’t even think twice before putting himself under the the sword of criticism, just for the love of his wife, for her Honour. In the end by putting a blemish on his persona of MARYADA PURUSHOTTAM, Ram raises Sita above all suspicions…

The greatest love

The greatest sacrifice



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