Not Afraid Of Anyone

[Sita-Rama]“(For her) fourteen thousand Rakshasas of dreadful deeds were slain in the forest of Janasthana by arrows that were like tongues of fire.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 16.9)

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चतुर्दश सहस्राणि रक्षसां भीमकर्मणाम्।
निहतानि जनस्थाने शरैरग्निशिखोपमैः।।

caturdaśa sahasrāṇi rakṣasāṃ bhīmakarmaṇām।
nihatāni janasthāne śarairagniśikhopamaiḥ।।

“There must be people who like that sort of thing. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a specific genre designated for it. There is money to be made. The more intense, the better, it seems.

“I am speaking of horror films. The intention of the audience is to be frightened. It is like they have a taste for it, wherein they keep the ghastly images in mind. Maybe they like to be transported to a more dangerous situation for the time being, so that when they return to reality they feel safe again.

“I have never had an interest. I get freaked out at the sight of certain insects. I certainly couldn’t tolerate the blood and guts. The terrifying faces of these villains turn me off immediately. I would rather spend the day gazing at the horizon, enjoying the beauty of nature.

“This leads me to ponder the Rakshasas of Lanka, as described in the Ramayana. These creatures were grim-visaged. They had terrible-looking features. Their leader was literally named after his ability to frighten others. If that wasn’t enough, there was the accompanying image of ten heads and twenty arms.

“How were not the people of the time frightened? How could anyone stand against these powerful figures? Rama and Lakshmana, two of the sons of King Dasharatha, faced these combatants head on. How was Rama not afraid in the slightest? I understand that He is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but is there another, possibly hidden, meaning that could explain the interactions?”

Shri Hanuman describes those Rakshasas as bhima-karmanam. This can mean “those who accomplish herculean tasks.” It could also refer to the negative, such as dreadful and terrifying deeds. The latter description is more appropriate for those Rakshasas, who were also known as night-rangers, nishachara.

[Shri Rama]Rama did not face the Rakshasas in ordinary combat. These were not wrestling matches in a tournament. These were full-on attacks. Many against one. Just how many? Try fourteen thousand.

All at the same time. Just one person on the other side. This amazingly cruel and unfair fight took place in the forest known as Janasthana.

Not surprisingly, it was no contest. The victory was swift and convincing. The defeated party, what was left of them, had to run away in fear. It looked like serpents were chasing after them.

नैव देवा महात्मानो नात्र कार्या विचारणा।
शरा रामेण तूत्सृष्टा रुक्मपुङ्खाः पतत्रिणः।।
सर्पाः पञ्चानना भूत्वा भक्षयन्ति स्म राक्षसान्।
येन येन च गच्छन्ति राक्षसा भयकर्शिताः।
तेन तेन स्म पश्यन्ति राममेवाग्रतः स्थितम्।
इत्थं विनाशितं तेन जनस्थानं तवानघ।।

naiva devā mahātmāno nātra kāryā vicāraṇā।
śarā rāmeṇa tūtsṛṣṭā rukmapuṅkhāḥ patatriṇaḥ।।
sarpāḥ pañcānanā bhūtvā bhakṣayanti sma rākṣasān।
yena yena ca gacchanti rākṣasā bhayakarśitāḥ।
tena tena sma paśyanti rāmamevāgrataḥ sthitam।
itthaṃ vināśitaṃ tena janasthānaṃ tavānagha।।

“Neither the demigods nor any exalted personalities were there helping Rama, for He acted alone. You should not entertain any doubt on this matter. Indeed, Rama shot feathered arrows, plated with gold, which turned into five-headed serpents that devoured all the Rakshasas. The Rakshasas were oppressed with fear, and wherever they went and wherever they turned, they saw Rama in front of them. In this way, O spotless one, have your Rakshasas been destroyed in the forest of Janasthana by Rama.” (Akampana speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 31.18-19)

These were the arrows fired by Shri Rama. He was the victor. The one defeated the fourteen thousand. As Hanuman explains, this was done for the protection of Sita Devi, who is Rama’s wife. In that sense, Sita embodies the position of the goddess of fortune. No woman can be as fortunate as the one whose protector heroically defends against ogres of terrible deeds.

The role of the kshatriya is to be unafraid. They rush into action when there is danger. They are not afraid of giving up their life. Protection against injury is everything to them. Others, who are afraid, take solace from the presence of kshatriyas. In this way, those heroic defenders are something like representatives of God on earth.

Terrible deeds do not scare Rama. A frightening image cannot shake him. Amassing power, strength, and wealth through illegal means does not impress Him, nor Sita Devi. Threatening future violence does not cause a deviation from the principles of righteousness, dharma.

[Sita-Rama]As Rama is fearless in His defense against the world’s most fearful beings, so the devotees surrendered to Rama have no fear. Whether they get sent to heaven, hell, or stay on earth, they always see that beloved husband of Sita, standing by, with bow and arrow in hand.

In Closing:

As if at random to land,
Work of nature to understand.

But wherever to go,
Connected so.

To one who successfully defeated,
Terrified Rakshasas retreated.

Because of snake-like arrows chasing,
Rama their massive power erasing.

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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❤️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❤️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

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