How Could Betrayal Take Place Within Ayodhya

[Sita-Rama]“Being under the control of passion and lust, Rama’s father, Maharaja Dasharatha, wanted to fulfill Kaikeyi’s cherished desire, thus he did not go through with Rama’s installation ceremony.” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 47.12)

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कामार्तस्तु महातेजाः पिता दशरथस्स्वयम्।।
कैकेय्याः प्रियकामार्थं तं रामं नाभ्यषेचयत्।

kāmārtastu mahātejāḥ pitā daśarathassvayam।।
kaikeyyāḥ priyakāmārthaṃ taṃ rāmaṃ nābhyaṣecayat।

“I understand it outside of that place. It makes sense in the present day, within the world that we live. Everyone is driven by kama, after all. Unfulfilled desire leads to wrath, which then causes loss of intelligence. This explains why these domestic agitator/terrorist groups attack innocent women and children in plain sight. They don’t even worry about getting arrested, such is the sad state of law enforcement.

“The Rakshasas of Lanka were similar. Shameless in their aggression. Attacking innocent sages in the remote areas of the wilderness. Spoiling sacrifices and observances dedicated for the pleasure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Their leader, Ravana, once killed and ate a messenger he didn’t like, if I remember correctly.

“We find these historical accounts in the Ramayana poem of Maharishi Valmiki. We learn that some of the gravest injustices took place in Ayodhya, as well. That is where I am puzzled. For instance, Queen Kaikeyi turned against her husband. She was jealous of the other wives. This happened in a few minutes. That is to say, under the normal condition there wasn’t envy.

“Kaikeyi turned so wicked that she demanded Shri Rama, the eldest son of the king, born to the womb of Queen Kausalya, be banished from the kingdom. We know that Rama is an avatara of Vishnu. God the person descending to the land of birth and death for our benefit. The all-attractive one in the role of ideal leader, to set the standard to be followed.

“How could this infighting occur within God’s presence? I thought Ayodhya is the spiritual world, that wherever you find pure devotion you lose the otherwise unwanted qualities and characteristics?”

Goswami Tulsidas references similar defects in highlighting how reputation can never be perfect. In another avatara of Vishnu, there is jealousy within the kingdom to the point that some people suspect Shri Krishna of theft. This refers to the Syamantaka Jewel affair.

[Sita-Rama]Later in Rama’s pastimes, someone in Ayodhya is critical of the new queen, Sita Devi. They criticize Rama for taking her back, after she spent time in another man’s home. This was against her will, of course, and she also passed the fire test of chastity.

The acharyas of the Vedic tradition explain that there are two kinds of illusion found in this world. One is called maha-maya. This is the energy that causes me to forget my true identity as spirit soul, aham brahmasmi. Through the influence of maha-maya I think that I can stay here forever, that I can permanently establish a life of enjoyment, while disregarding the constant onslaught of time against my very existence.

The other illusory energy is yoga-maya. This is the beneficial kind of illusion. This energy works directly under the supervision of the Supreme Lord for the fulfillment of higher objectives. Yoga-maya is at work in Ayodhya when Shri Rama is present in this world.

It is through such an energy that Kaikeyi suddenly turns foe. Goddess Sarasvati inspires the servant named Manthara to use the words necessary to cause a change in disposition. Without Kaikeyi’s envy, Rama would never leave the kingdom and the sages of the Dandaka forest would not gain relief from foreign attack.

The historical account is also symbolic of a truth we experience on a daily basis. In a split second we can forget about the Almighty. Even while seated in a house of worship, gazing directly at the archa-vigraha, contemplating the transcendental features and planning future excursions into devotional excellence, we can forget.

[Shri Rama]Thus the reminder for due diligence. Make plans to remember. Create a lifestyle so that even should we forget, we quickly get back on the right track, the one leading towards liberation. Be protected through numerical strength, in always chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Travelled long in wrong direction,
But reminder for correction.

By numerical strength supported,
Clarity in vision otherwise distorted.

In a second forgetting where,
Despite in front standing there.

That for His pleasure this life meant,
And in bliss only precious time spent.

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