In the previous episode we had witnessed that as Hanuman was getting ready to talk with Sita, Ravana enters the Ashoka Vana to pay a visit to Sita. His mind is full of desires and the moment Hanuman sees Ravana, he wants to witness the proceedings more clearly. Hence he comes down to the lower branches of the tree from where he could clearly see what Ravana is trying to do. As Ravana comes near Sita, she feels scared and starts to weep. She covers herself with her saree, so as to escape the evil looks of Ravana. In due course we also witnessed that Ravana is trying to tempt Sita to satisfy his desires. At the same time he says that she is never going to see Rama anymore in her life and hence she has no other option but to marry Ravana.
Upon hearing these words from the wicked Ravana, Sita becomes even sadder and starts to weep. Tears are rolling down her eyes and Sita is in utter grief. However at the same time, she knows the strength, valor and invincibility of Lord Rama. Backing herself up, she laughs a little bit, thinking of Ravana’s lack of awareness about Rama and puts a small leaf in between him and her, before she begins to talk. Mother Sita is having that merciful thought that even Ravana (after all his wickedness and cruelty that he showed towards her) should be corrected into the right path of life. Hence she starts to give him advice.
“Dhrudamantharatadh kruthvaa pracchyuvaacha suchishmithaa!
Nivarthaya manomarthaha svajane priyathaam manaha!!”
Mother Sita says to Ravana, “Oh Ravana! Please do not direct your desire towards me (“Nivarthaya manomarthaha”). It is not right. Please direct your desires towards your wives” (“Svajane priyathaam manaha”). Saying thus, she takes a piece of grass and puts it in between herself and Ravana (“Dhrudamantharatadh kruthvaa”).
We might wonder why is Sita putting a piece of grass in between herself and Ravana. Firstly, if another male other than the husband (“Para-Purusha”) comes to talk, it is a practice that the woman shouldn’t talk with him face to face. Hence, if she puts a grass piece in between, it becomes a separation like a screen in the middle (“Tandhi Bedham”). Moreover, there is also another practice – If a king comes to talk, a chair (Aasana) needs to be given for him to sit. The “Shaastraas” (Scriptures) say that if the chair is not available at that moment, either water or grass can be substituted. Hence Sita puts the grass piece. More than all this, Sita indirectly says to Ravana, “If you fight against the invincible Rama, all you would end up doing is to eat this grass, and nothing more! You cannot escape!” Moreover, an in-depth meaning to this says that, “Oh Ravana! Do you know? Even this small piece of grass may become a lethal weapon to destroy you! Hence be careful!”
Sita continues her talk to Ravana, “Oh Ravana, you told me that you would give me all luxuries and comforts in my life! All those are equivalent only to this little piece of grass! I do not wish to have any luxuries in my life other than my beloved Rama. You even threatened me that you would kill me if I do not comply to your desires – I value even my life to this small piece of grass only! I do not care if my life comes to an end!” Saying thus, Sita illustrates many important points by just pointing towards this one small piece of grass.
“Thvam neecha sachavassruchaha sadhu dharmam ivekshasya!
Saadhu sadhu vrathanchara yathaannava tathaanyeshaam! Lakshyaadhaaraa nishaachara!!”
Moreover Sita asks Ravana, “Oh Ravana! Isn’t anybody there in this city who has a good heart and with a sense of wisdom?” While asking this question, Sita thinks once, “Oh! Vibhishana is there! So this question is not valid”. Thinking thus, she immediately changes her sentence, “Oh Ravana! Even if there is someone with a sense of wisdom, you wouldn’t go and listen to him!” Thus we can see from here that, it is not enough if there are good people. They should be other people around who is prepared to listen and learn the wisdom from these good people!
Thus Sita advises Ravana on various fronts. Apart from the above-mentioned points, there are other important points that Sita is going to emphasize to Ravana. From all these points, there are important lessons for our daily life. What are they? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!