Sri Kamakoti Mandali  
shrImAtre namaH  
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Sita converses with Ravana


[Query] Some recent discussions on this group have created much confusion in me. I think I am following dakshinacharam, but I am not sure if it is vamacharam or dakshinacharam. Baskararayar got siddhi only through vamachara. Can it be considered vaidigam?

The age old debate of dakSha and vAmAchAra nirNaya as also our mata on tadadhikAra nirNaya has been posted before. Please find them in the archives. As for bhAskara rAya, how do you know he attained siddhi and if he did, through vamAchAra? Did you determine that through his learning, or through myths for neither can proove his level of realization. This is true for others as well. Because bhAskara or someone did something does not mean one should do the same to the extent of deserting svamata or svashAstra that I believe you have chosen after careful consideration. This only indicates lack of bhAvanA dhArDhya and hence non-readiness for an advanced path of upAsanA such as shrIvidyA. These questions should be posed to one's Guru as he alone is qualified to guide a disciple in these matters. If reading posts from me on this forum has led you to this confusion, then I would suggest you to stop reading any further. That will save you from confusion and help you stick to your path with greater conviction and an actual indulgence in practice rather than unneeded thinking, such as the current one. Also, this will save me from the sin of causing chitta bhrAnti in another person [na buddhibhedaM janayedaj~nAnAM karmasa~NginAm]. Probably years of preliminary practice of dakShiNAmUrti mantra saved many of us from such turmoil and we should take this opportunity to thank our gurunAtha for blessing us with this precious gem.

Okay, it is story time! rAvaNa approaches sItA seated in ashokavATikA and begins to speak to her thus:

ekavenI dharAshayyA dhyAnaM malinamambaram |
asthAne.apyupavAsashcha naitAnyaupayikAni te ||

O sIte, A single plait, sleeping on bare ground, meditation on your husband, wearing dirty garments, fasting at inappropriate times, all these are of no use to you!

vichitrANi cha mAlyAni chandanAnyagarUNi cha |
vividhAni cha vAsAmsi divyAnyAbharaNAni cha ||
mahArhANi cha pAnAni shayanAnyAsanAni cha |
gItaM nR^ittaM cha vAdyaM cha labha mAM prApya maithilI ||

O daughter of the king of mithilA! By accepting me as your spouse, you can easily gain spectacular garlands, perfumes, agallochums, garments, best of ornaments, drinks, beds, couches and entertainment such as song, dance and musical instruments.

neha pashyAmi loke.anyaM yo me pratibalo bhavet |
pashya me sumahadvIryamapratidvandvamAhave ||

In the entire world, I do not see another person who is comparable to me in valor, strength and skills in battle.

pratikarmAbhisamyuktA dAkShiNyena varAnane |
bhu~NkShva bhogAnyathAkAmaM piba bhIru ramasva cha ||

O beautiful faced one! Adorned with decorations, eat and drink according to hearts content and enjoy all the luxuries.

yathecChaM cha prayacCha tvaM pR^ithivIM vA dhanAni cha |
lalasva mayi visrabdhA dhR^iShTamAj~nApayasva cha ||
matprasAdAllalantyAshcha lalantAM bAndhavAstava |
buddhiM mamAnupashya tvaM shriyaM bhade yashashcha me ||

Once you agree to sport with me, you can give away wealth and land to whoever you want according to your wish, act freely in all matters and fearlessly pass orders. Not only shall you sport with me, so shall your friends and relatives because of you! Realize the glory of my wealth and fame!

kiM kariShyasi rAmeNa subhage chIravAsasA |
nikShiptavijayo rAmo gatashrIrvanagocharaH ||
vratI sthaNDilashayI cha sha~Nke jIvati vA na vA ||

What will you do with that rAma clad in tattered clothing, hopeless of victory, devoid of fortune, roaming in forests, observing austerities and sleeping on the ground? I even doubt if he now alive or dead!

na rAmastapasA devi na balena cha vikramaiH |
na dhanena mayA tulyastejasA yashasApi vA ||

rAma is not comparable to me in tapas, strength, might, wealth, brilliance or fame.

piba vihara ramasva bhu~NkShva bhogAn
dhananichayaM pradishAmi medinIM cha |
mayi lala lalane yathAsukhaM tvam
tvayi cha sametya lalantu bAndhavAste ||

Drink! Roam freely and enjoy all the luxuries. I shall give you wealth and lands. Sport comfortably with your relatives.

rAvaNa, seeing no change in sIta after all these offers and claims of superiority on his part, now resorts to threats.

dvau mAsau rakShitavyau me yo.avadhiste mayA kR^itaH |
tataH shayanamAroha mama tvaM varavarNinI ||
UrdhvaM dvAbhyAM tu mAsAbhyAM bhartAraM mAmanicChatIm |
mama tvAM prAtarAshArthamAlabhante mahAnase ||

If you do not accept me and ascend my bed in the next two months, you shall be killed in my kitchen and served as my breakfast!

Thus rAvaNa, a scholar is his own right, first tries to brainwash sItA by describing his greatness and then by describing the shortcomings of her husband rAma. When nothing works, he threatens with dire consequences. The world is filled with people who claim that the path, belief system etc. of the other are wrong and use tarka, kutarka, amisha etc. to throw others out of their path. But like bhagavatI sItA, only a person firmly rooted on his path, through learning, practice and merit of guru and bhagavatkR^ipA, shall remain undaunted and ignore these claims with a claim. The kalpasUtra says the same: agaNanaM kasyApi as also the shruti: na gaNayetkamapi! But look at how bhagavatI sIta, rooted in svamata firmly, responds to rAvaNa!

chintayantI varArohA patimeva pativratA |
tR^iNamantarataH kr^itvA pratyuvAcha shuchismitA ||

bhagavatI sItA, ever thinking of her husband [i.e. ever immersed in the contemplation and practice of svashAstra], replied with a smile, after placing a blade of grass between herself and rAvaNa.

bhagavatI sItA has spoken mountains through this simple action of placing a blade of grass before her! First of all, though rAvaNa resorted to nindA, she does not immediately resort to the same, and adheres to the policy of sarvadarshanAnindA. Also, she avoids unnecessary conversation with an asura, steeped in durAchAra, saving herself of kaNThashoShaNa. And what does she indicate by placing in front of her a blade of grass? Many things..

- sIta indicates through her action, "rAvaNa! You are a para puruSha and that too one with a bad intent. There can be no open conversation between us and loka vyavahAra does not permit that either! Here I place a blade of grass between us that shall act as a screen".

- rAvaNa! You have been boasting about your strength and valor! However, compared to the bala, vIrya, parAkrama, aishvarya, sadguNa, kAruNya, sadAchAra, chAritra etc. of rAmachandra, you are merely a blade of grass! Huh!

- I myself am mahAlakShmi, the great goddess of wealth worshipped even by rudra and kubera! The wealth and prosperity in the entire cosmos resides at my feet! You make the mistake of offering me wealth and lands? Your wealth is nothing more than a blade of grass to me, huh!

- You offer wealth and support to my father and bAndhavas who are filled with j~nAna and vairAgya resulting out of sadAchara. For them, your wealth is nothing more than a blade of grass, huh!

- You claim of tapas and knowledge and also that you brought me here according to dharma! With this kind of parastrI vyAmoha, where is your tapas? Moreover, even rAkShasas get hold of only a kanyA, according to her will, after exhibiting their parAkrama. But you abducted me, a married woman, without my consent and that too through deceit! This blade of grass is better than you in terms of tapas, dharma and yashas, huh!

- Now that you have demonstrated that you have no yuktAyukta viveka or the power to discriminate between dharma and adharma, you are nothing more than a pashu! So, here is a blade of grass that you can chew on, take it!

- So you boast repeatedly of your valor! Have you heard about the great demon kAkAsura who was killed by my Lord shrIrAmabhadra merely through a blade of grass, which assumed the form of brahmAstra and sent the powerful demon to the puri of yamadharma? And the reason was because kAkAsura had bad intentions towards me. Let this blade of grass remind you of his power!

- In the days of yore, my Lord emerged as the great nR^isimha from a pillar to protect his devotee. It is certainly possible that he will now emerge from this blade of grass to protect me, so beware!

- And finally, I am parAshakti myself, capable of destroying you like a blade of grass, or using a blade of grass. Have you not heard of my mahimA when I manifested as haimavatI? Remember my true form!

One can easily see that it is very easy to find inspiration everywhere to reinforce faith in svashAstra and svaguru pAramparya and the goal of epics such as rAmAyaNa and bhArata are indeed in offering assistance in this regard. There is no room for confusion when one is well-versed in svashAstra, anuShThAna and thus has attained guru and bhagavatkR^ipA.

shrIkAmAkShi tava smitAya satataM tasmai namaskurmahe ||