Tuesday, December 27, 2016

“The curses of the virtuous wives”

“The curses of the virtuous wives”
Ravana was a sensuous Rakshasa who ran a harem of a thousand women. To be virtuous and faithful to a husband who is equally virtuous and faithful to the wife may be normal and easy of practice, but to be devoted, obedient and faithful to a husband who was fond of many women, and was running after other men's wives, needed patience, forbearance and virtue of a higher order.

Ravana's wife Mandodari possessed these things in abundance, and her memory is still kept alive in the Hindu classics.

In her purity of heart, Mandodari saw that Rama was no mere man. After Ravana was killed in battle, she hurried to the spot where his body lay, and lamented as follows:

"Alas! You who had vanquished the gods have met with death by human hands. But I do not believe Rama to be a mere man. It is clear that Supreme Being, greater than the great, invincible Vishnu of true valour, has taken human form for the good of the world. I implored you to make peace with Peace. You never listened and you have now reaped the fruit of your actions. Death comes to everyone in some form and to you it came in that of Sita. The curses of the virtuous wives whom you have violated have come true; truly it is said that the tears of a chaste woman do not fall in vain."

After lamenting thus, the spirit of Mandodari left her body as if on its way to the heavens in search of the spirit of her husband which was already separated from its body by Rama's deadly missile, the Brahmastra.

Saiva religion flourished in ancient Lanka. Ravana, Mandodari and their parents were all devotees of Lord Siva. Tradition says that they had worshipped at the three important shrines of Ketheeswaram (near Mannar), Koneshwaram (near Trincomalee) and Munneswaram (near Chilaw). It is said that Mandodari's father built the temple at Ketheeswaram, and Ravana's mother aided the construction of Koneswaram, and on his return to India, after crowning Vibhishana, Ravana's brother, as the King of Lanka, to have built the now famous Sivan temple at Rameswaram.

(Excerpts from the book of "Hinduism in a Nutshell" by its author K.Ramachandra, the Editor of Religious Digest.)


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