“O Rakshasa, It might be possible for a person to live for a long time after forcibly taking away Shachi Devi, a woman of unmatched beauty and wife of the wielder of the thunderbolt [Indra]. But a person who abuses me shall not be released from death even if they were to drink amrita [nectar which grants immortality].” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 48.24)
जीवेच्चिरं वज्रधरस्य हस्ताच्छचीं प्रधृष्याप्रतिरूपरूपाम्।
न मादृशीं राक्षस दूशयित्वा पीतामृतस्यापि तवास्ति मोक्षः।।
jīvecciraṃ vajradharasya hastācchacīṃ pradhṛṣyāpratirūparūpām।
na mādṛśīṃ rākṣasa dūśayitvā pītāmṛtasyāpi tavāsti mokṣaḥ।।
After the crimes committed against Sita by Ravana, the king of ogres in Lanka, there were several questions to ask in order to gauge the proper response from the offended party. The answers to those questions seemed obvious, that they would be in the negative. On the occasion of Dussehra, we remember and celebrate the lengths to which the Supreme Personality of Godhead will go to protect and defend those dedicated to Him.
We have the premise of Ravana stealing Sita Devi. This was done in secret. Though Ravana was outwardly proud of his fighting ability, he was warned beforehand that he didn’t stand a chance in an honest conflict with Rama. Though Rama was away from His kingdom at the time, bereft of a supporting army, Ravana was still too scared to do anything out in the open.
Sita Devi later warned that Rakshasa of the calamity headed his way. A person might even take the wife of the king of heaven and get away with it, but not so with offense against Sita. That person could drink amrita and think they are safe, but the day of reckoning would still arrive.
An outsider assessing the situation might ask questions along the following lines:
“Will Rama really search the entire world looking for His missing wife? How will He be able to search far and wide, when He is not supposed to go back to Ayodhya and be treated like a king? Who will Rama find to help Him? He volunteered to become a homeless ascetic, per the order of Kaikeyi, who is not even the chief queen to King Dasharatha.”
The love from Sita Devi is pure. She does not base her affection on conditions. It is only natural to be more favorable to someone if they do something for you. A husband has flowers delivered to the home to put the wife in a good move. He buys jewelry as gifts for special occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries.
In Krishna-lila, we have the extraordinary gesture of Shri Krishna fighting off an army of demigods to take the parijata plant back with Him to Dvaraka. This is to satisfy the desire of one of His wives, Satyabhama.
Sita loves Rama whether He is the victor in the contest of the bow, the soon-to-be king in Ayodhya, the loyal eldest son of King Dasharatha, or a person without a penny to His name, living in a thatched-hut built by Lakshmana.
परवानस्मि काकुत्स्थ त्वयि वर्षशतं स्थिते |
स्वयं तु रुचिरे देशे क्रियतामिति मां वद ||
paravānasmi kākutstha tvayi varṣaśataṃ sthite |
svayaṃ tu rucire deśe kriyatāmiti māṃ vada ||
“O Rama, for as long as You shall stand before me, even if it be for one hundred years, I will always remain Your servant. Therefore You should be the one to choose a beautiful and appropriate place for the cottage. After You have selected a spot, please then command me to start building.” (Lakshmana speaking to Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 15.7)
For richer or poorer, she follows her husband. Rama affectionately refers to her as sadharma-charini. She follows dharma with Rama. They share in both the joys and the miseries. Their fate in the afterlife is the same.
सदृशं चानुरूपं च कुलस्य तव चात्मनः।
सधर्मचारिणी मे त्वं प्राणेभ्योऽपि गरीयसी।।
sadṛśaṃ cānurūpaṃ ca kulasya tava cātmanaḥ।
sadharmacāriṇī me tvaṃ prāṇebhyo’pi garīyasī।।
“My dear beautiful wife, what you have said is befitting the occasion and also indicative of the greatness of your family heritage. You are dearer to Me than My life, for you are My companion in the performance of religious duties.” (Lord Rama speaking to Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 10.21)
As Rama is an avatara of the Supreme Lord, Bhagavan, He is able to accomplish the extraordinary. He can find an army of supporting natives of the forest, who are known as Vanaras. He can travel on the back of Shri Hanuman, when necessary. He can send the same Hanuman to find Sita and report back on her whereabouts.
Most importantly, Rama can take down Ravana in a fair fight. Dussehra is the occasion marking that auspicious moment, when the jewel of the Raghu dynasty moved heaven and earth to recover the goddess of fortune, who can only be by His side.
Only by Rama’s side,
Never with adharma to reside.
Just a matter of time,
For destruction to find.
In Lanka sourced to the king,
On Dussehra occasion to sing.
When Sita’s husband arriving there,
Who in battle none to compare.