With One Hand Tied Behind His Back

[Shri Rama's arrow]“He killed fourteen thousand Rakshasas in the forest of Janasthana without the help of His brother. What enemy would not become agitated by this?” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.14)

caturdaśa sahasrāṇi rākṣasānām jaghāna yaḥ |
jana sthāne vinā bhrātrā śatruḥ kaḥ tasya na udvijet ||

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This was the reason Ravana resorted to trickery. Sure, he was previously proud of his fighting prowess. He would boast about it after the fact, as well. In between? Not so much. Better to satisfy the senses, in any way possible. You can do damage control later on.

Politicians are known to employ what is called “spin.” They get caught on camera saying something unflattering. They turn against the party and vote for something they promised during the campaign they were against. They did not express themselves properly in an interview, and now everyone is making fun of them. The mistake has gone “viral,” so to speak.

Hire a few consultants to spin the bad news into positive news. Try different fallacies of logic. Remind people of past politicians who made similar mistakes. Attack the people doing the attacking. Go after character. Change the subject. Deny that anything wrong was done. Say that the bill supported will indeed push forward the agenda promised, when in reality it won’t. Make a promise that in the future something will be done to correct the mistake. Try to present black as white if you have to.

[political spin]Ravana wasn’t so worried about reputation at that point. He took Sita away in secret. He already had so many beautiful queens living in Lanka, won fairly in battle against rival kings. He could have tried to win Sita in the same way, but was warned against it.

Ravana had sent fourteen thousand of his own men to go up against Rama. This was in the forest of Dandaka. Not four against one. Not four hundred against one. Not even four thousand against a single person. Fourteen thousand capable fighters, who were expert at black magic, appearing and disappearing at will – these were the people up against Sita’s husband.

[Shri Rama's arrow]The avatara of Vishnu appeared to be an ordinary man, but He wasn’t. Though the younger brother Lakshmana was with Him, Rama went solo. He accepted the challenge Himself, as He was not afraid. Lakshmana took Sita to a nearby cave to wait until the battle was over.

Ravana’s men were routed, and so the king was warned to not attack Rama by himself. He used trickery to steal Sita, and then later he tried to boast of his strength and prowess to win her over. She wasn’t as foolish as the other people in Lanka. Sita remembered that Ravana acted like a jackal when taking her. She compared him to a dog and Rama to a lion.

In the above referenced verse from the Ramayana, Sita asks Hanuman a rhetorical question. Knowing of Rama’s amazing victory in Janasthana, what enemy would not be afraid? Wouldn’t they be agitated from hearing the news? How would they even dream of victory when up against the Supreme Lord and the arrows released from His bow?

Those arrows come in different shapes and sizes. The same potency is there in the holy name, which is the incarnation for the present time period noted for its dark and inauspicious conditions. Four million attackers would have been no match against Rama, and so Sita was confident in her eventual rescue.

In the same way, devotees are confident that through chanting mantras containing the holy name they will be saved from repeated birth and death. Time stands down against that formidable force. The miseries of life begin to operate at His direction instead of through karma. Therefore the wise make the decision to always chant those names and await the eventual reunion with the all-attractive Supreme Lord, who is the greatest protector: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Previously of fighting prowess touted,

But fourteen-thousand of his men routed.

When to Janasthana’s field to go,

Against single man’s arrow show.

Her husband, wedded to Sita so,

Away in defeat Ravana’s army to go.

History soon again to repeat,

Sinful ruler consequences to reap.

Categories: 37

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