“Very well then, Ravana, unite me, who am distressed, with Rama, as a female elephant gains the company of a great elephant in the forest.” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 21.18-19)
sādhu rāvaṇa rāmeṇa māṃ samānaya duḥkhitām ||
vane vāśitayā sārtham kareṇveva gajādhipam |
We all need something to do. This only make sense. If you sit around all day and do nothing, you’ll eventually go crazy. Long periods of inactivity is symptomatic of depression, which is considered an abnormal condition. With the necessity for action, the natural question is what kind of action should be taken. If you take the wrong route, you can find so much trouble, as was the case with Ravana, a famous king from a long time ago. Here Sita Devi gives him a wonderful option, one that any person can avail themselves of. From the combination of Ravana’s past behavior and Sita’s offer made in person, we see that no matter what we may or may not have done in the present life, we are eligible for this sublime action.
The Vedic opinion on the meaning of life is as follows:
The human birth is the most auspicious. It is the fruit of the journey through the spiritual evolutionary cycle. Only in the human species can one reach the intelligence necessary to slightly understand God. With that intelligence they can take the necessary actions to always be thinking of Him, in effect changing their consciousness. The perfect consciousness is God consciousness, and when it is there at the time of death, the last and final stop is reached, a permanent destination. All other kinds of consciousness are subpar, and they are rooted in the innate competitive attitude towards the Supreme Lord.
This last part seems a bit out of left field. We’re competing with God? How can that be if we don’t even believe in Him? How are the atheists in competition with someone they think doesn’t exist?
Actually, the very denial of the existence of a supreme controller marks a challenge. If there is no God, as He is described in scientific terms in the Vedas, then man himself must be God. From that mindset, the competitive attitude is born, as there are many men and women on earth. There are other creatures as well. They will all vie for supremacy. Supremacy can mean a better way of living, which for one person is great material wealth and for another is the company of an attractive paramour.
As this path is based in ignorance, it is riddled with flaws. The mentality to compete with God starts at the time of birth, where the infant doesn’t know anything. As they are in ignorance, they don’t know their limitations. So many difficult lessons await them in life. At the root of each lesson is the fact that the human being is limited. You think that you can play every day away, but then you are forced to go to school. You think you can get whatever job you want, but then sometimes people won’t hire you. You think you can start your own business, but then you have so much difficulty maintaining a profit. You think you can marry whomever you like, but then they reject you in favor of someone else. You think that earning millions of dollars will make you happy, but then you are left with a void afterwards. In this way the human being is checked so many times, embarrassed over and over again. The final blow comes at death, where the individual is forced to exit their situation they worked so hard to create.
The path of transcendence is rooted in a contrary viewpoint, but this doesn’t mean that there is no action; just the beneficiary changes. Here we have two completely different individuals. One is the fiendish king of Lanka. He was very powerful. He thought he was God because his strength was so great. He ruled over an opulent kingdom, had many beautiful wives, and ate and drank whatever he wanted. He had defeated so many powerful kings, which made him think that he was the strongest person in the world. He hadn’t met very many defeats yet, so his lesson on not being God was awaiting him.
Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, was ready to hand that lesson to him. Ravana thought he could take her away from Rama and make her his wife, but she refused. Though he stole her away and brought her back to his kingdom to be held in captivity, Sita still gave him an option for reformation, as shown here. Ravana really didn’t deserve this, but the saintly characters in this world know that behavior in fiends like Ravana is due only to ignorance. If such fiends can find the right path and stay on it, they will reform themselves.
The option put on the table was this: return Sita to Rama. She was very distressed, and so being reunited with her husband would make her happy. It would be like a female elephant meeting the king of elephants in the forest. The female is under the care of the strong hand of the male in the wild, and in this condition she is very happy. The male is also pleased to have her back with him. Sita would be so happy being with Rama, who was the most powerful person in the world. Ravana had this chance to bring them together again.
Unfortunately, he wouldn’t take it. He would have to learn the lesson the hard way: through death by hundreds of arrows shot by Rama. Rama is the Supreme Lord in His avatara as a warrior prince in the second time period of creation, the Treta Yuga. Since He is all-pervading, He can be worshiped simply by sounding His names. Sita is always with Rama. In other forms, she is known as Radha and Lakshmi. One of God’s names is Hari, and so His energy is referred to as Hare. Sita is that energy. Therefore by chanting, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,” one brings the divine couple together.
Outside intervention is not required for this union, but if others do take action they get some benefit. They learn that they are not God. They learn that the struggle through the material existence is due to ignorance of the existence of Sita and Rama. They learn that every person is happiest when serving the Supreme Lord. That service can be to one of His servants as well, such as in the case of Ravana having the chance to serve Sita. He instead tried to make her his servant, and in that ignorance his giant ego and kingdom would both collapse.
Inactivity when nothing to do,
Indication of depression too.
Vedas say act in way that is right,
Escape darkness and enter the light.
Supreme Lord and His energy unite,
No longer against divine forces fight.
Sita this chance to Ravana gave,
Sadly nothing his demise could save.
Categories: ravana threatening sita