“Then I, resembling a cloud and having molten-golden earrings, made my way into Vishvamitra’s ashrama, for I was very proud of my strength due to the boon given to me by Lord Brahma. As soon as I entered, Rama quickly noticed me and raised His weapon. Though He saw me, Rama strung His bow without any fear.” (Maricha speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 38.16-17)
बली दत्तवरोदर्पादाजगाम तदाश्रमम्।।
तेन दृष्टः प्रविष्टोऽहं सहसैवोद्यतायुधः।
मां तु दृष्ट्वा धनुस्सज्यमसम्भ्रान्तश्चकार सः।।
balī dattavarodarpādājagāma tadāśramam।।
tena dṛṣṭaḥ praviṣṭo’haṃ sahasaivodyatāyudhaḥ।
māṃ tu dṛṣṭvā dhanussajyamasambhrāntaścakāra saḥ।।
Should he hide in fear? Should he sit back and let the thieves do their damage? Should he be under constant threat, sleeping with one eye open? Should he resign himself to the fact that life is unfair, that justice never prevails?
Vishvamitra Muni chose to be fearless. He and others like him were accustomed to being attacked in the forest. In the nighttime, after a specific vrata was almost to completion, like clockwork the nishacharas would arrive. These were the night-rangers from Lanka. Grim-visaged ogres, of the Rakshasa specification in terms of body type.
They could change their shapes at will. Kama-rupa-siddhi. At one moment a man-eating villain, at another a deer. Any form they chose. They could also appear and disappear from sight. How will you contain an enemy that cannot be seen? Add the darkness of night to the mix and you see the amazing predicament of Vishvamitra.
That venerable rishi went to get help. He went to Ayodhya and asked the king if he could borrow the eldest son. Shri Rama, though a youth, had potential in the military arts. Dasharatha was quite fond of Rama; he did not want to part ways. If Vishvamitra had only asked for anything else.
An aspect to the illusory energy known as maya is not seeing the intricate connection of events required to reach a certain condition. For instance, I may live in peace and prosperity at the moment. I worry about who will win the upcoming election, if the massive fraud will actually be taken seriously by any person in power.
But otherwise things are okay. I have enough food to eat. A roof over my head. A good job. Happy spouse and children. What I might fail to recognize is that such a lifestyle is only possible through the brave sacrifice of others. There are aggressors everywhere, large and small. There are people who want to blow up entire communities, such is their wicked intent.
A strong military force is what maintains the peace. This is a world governed by the aggressive use of force. King Dasharatha was in his position because he could defend against enemies attacking in the ten directions, simultaneously. Rama was to follow in the line of great rulers.
A great believer in God, Vishvamitra did not simply sit back and pray. He took action. Since he was a brahmana, he was not equipped to apply force in reverse. He was not in the occupation of protecting others from physical injury.
There were people in society fulfilling that role. Vishvamitra went for the best person. Shri Rama offers protection that cannot be matched. One of the night-rangers later attested to that fact. He attacked Vishvamitra’s ashrama during one of these yajnas, but when Rama was standing guard.
The eldest son of Dasharatha provided adequate defense. The vrata finally made it to completion. The noble and dedicated warriors of the world are to be representatives of the Supreme Lord. The Sanskrit word is rajarshi. A king, but also a rishi in spirit.
Vishvamitra desiring peace,
From attacks needing relief.
So assistance sought,
Rama to forest brought.
In defense posture standing,
Bow and arrow commanding.
Such that Maricha blown away,
Divinity saving the day.
Categories: maricha describing rama