Tuesday, 2 August 2016

377. Seetha jumps into a pyre of fire.

                 Hearing the harsh words with indignation, spoken by Rama, made Seetha to seethe with untold anger mixed with anguish which caused her hair to stand on end. She became very much perturbed and started to totter.
          Seetha, who had not heard anything but sweet words from her dear hubby before, was absolutely shocked hearing those horrific words of her husband, that too in the presence of a large gathering of people. made her unequivocally ashamed and, with tears flowing down profusely from her eyes, she started to tremble with shame.
      Then, coming to a conclusion, she, wiping clean her face, which was bathed in tears, addressed her dear hubby with a stammer "O valiant Rama! It is beyond my comprehension as to why did you speak such harsh, cruel, severe, barbarous, despotic, tyrannical, ruthless, merciless, pitiless, and intolerant words, which are violent to hear for me. I don't think that even a common man speaking to a common woman would be so harsh as you did. I am not the one in the way you understand me. Have faith in me. I swear to you by my own character.
          "You are comparing me with a vulgar woman. It was not my fault, when I came into contact with Ravana. I was helpless. My adverse fate was to blame for that.
         "My heart, which was subservient to me, was abiding in you. What could I do, helpless as I was, with regard to my limbs which had fallen under the sway of another? O bestower of honour! If I could not be fully known and understood to you, in spite of our love having simultaneously grown and despite of our having lived together for a sufficiently long period, I am ruined permanently by such ignorance.
         "O king! Hanuman, the great hero, was sent by you as your emissary to search and find me. Why I, who was still in Lanka, was not abandoned then itself? O hero! Life would have been given up by me, when deserted by you, immediately on hearing the message conveying your desertion, before the eyes of Hanuman.
         "You could then have avoided this wasteful endeavour of crossing over to Lanka and waging war against that rakshash Ravana.
            "You, however, like a feeble man, gave priority to womanliness, conforming yourself to just an emotion of anger. O knower of virtuous conduct! You know very well that I am the daughter of Janaka by adoption, and I was actually the daughter of this Prithvi. My sacred birth of such a high degree was not honoured by you.
        "The oath taken by you while taking my hand as your bride seems to have forgotten or ignored by you, now. My devotion to you and my chastity and all are being ignored by you.”
       Seetha, then weeping with tears turned to Lakshmana, who was sad and was in deep thoughts, stammered "O Lakshmana! Create a pile of fire, for me. I no longer wish to survive, smitten as am with such false  and ruthless blames. I will enter a fire, to obtain the only course appropriate for me, who has been abandoned amidst an assembly of men, by my husband who is not satisfied with my traits."
           Lakshmana was absolutely stunned to hear the command of Seetha. Lakshmana, who was considering Seetha as his mother and Goddess, was completely at a loss as to what to do. His face turned pale. He just looked at Rama as if to ask him what he should do now.
          Lakshmana knew Rama very well from the day he was born and as such just by looking at the face of his dear brother, he knew what he (Rama) wanted of him. As per the command indicated in the face of Rama, Lakshmana silently prepared a pyre. No one near and dear to Rama dared to speak or even to look upon Rama, whose face was looking terribly fearsome.
        Thereupon, Seetha, after doing circumambulation to Rama, who was standing with his head bent low, proceeded towards the blazing fire. Having offered salutation to gods and Brahmans as also having joined her palms in the vicinity of the fire, Seetha declared loud and clear for all to hear "As my heart never moves off from Rama, so let this fire, the witness of the world, protect me from all sides. As Rama apprehends me as one who is no longer chaste, and I do not have any means to prove otherwise, I seek the protection of this fire.
           "As I have never been unfaithful in act, thought and speech to Rama, who knows all the virtues, I seek the protection of this fire. Since the adorable Adhithya, Vayu, the four sides and even so Chandra, as also the deity presiding over the day-time and the twilights and the night and the earth and even others who know me to be endowed with good conduct, I seek Agni to protect me."
         After declaring in this manner, Seetha walking around the pyre of fire, entered the blazing fire with her mind free from hesitation,. A large gathering of men, rakshashas, vanaras and bears, including their children and elders saw the shining Seetha entering the fire there. That Seetha, with the shining of fresh refined gold and decked with ornaments of refined gold, plunged into the blazing fire, in the presence of all people.
        All the living beings saw then that wide-eyed Seetha, who looked like a golden altar, plunging into the fire. The sages, gods, and the Gandharvas saw that illustrious Seetha entering deep into the fire as a sacred oblation of clarified butter.
       All the women, who were present there, screamed on seeing her rushing into the fire, like a gush of clarified butter plunging into the sacrificial fire, duly consecrated by Vedic hymns. The denizens of the entire three worlds including the gods, Gandharvas  and rakshashas beheld her falling into the fire, like a goddess, subjected to a curse, falling from heaven to hell.
       While she was entering deeply into the fire, a loud  exclamation 'Ha! Ha!' rose from the mouths of both the rakshashas and the vanaras alike.

No comments:

Post a Comment