Ramayana: Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa Essay

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One of the most striking relationships throughout the entire Rāmāyaṇa is that between India's epic hero Rāma and his half-brother Lakṣmaṇa. What is interesting about this affair is Lakṣmaṇa's pure fidelity toward his brother and all his goals. While Rāma is the king on leave throughout most of the Hindu epic, Lakṣmaṇa acts more or less as his royal servant and bodyguard of his most prized possession, that being Rāma's wife, Sītā. Interestingly enough, Lakṣmaṇa is very much an intelligent being himself, and one who revels in the longevity of his brother's interests and aims. This paper will deal with how these Lakṣmaṇa creates himself as the most loyal of companions within the first book of the Rāmāyaṇa. In the Bāla Kāṇḍa, Vālmīki sets …show more content…

A common ideology of fraternity develops, and even more so when Rāma entrusts his own dear wife with Lakṣmaṇa while he seeks out the monkeys. However, this is neither here nor there, as this paper centers on the developing relationship in the first book of the Bāla Kāṇḍa. Since we know of Lakṣmaṇa's evident devoutness to Rāma, there is also a word to say regarding Lakṣmaṇa as a sort of errand boy. Was his sole purpose in the ancient epic just to bid the successful completions of not only Rāma's "irksome tasks," as G.S. Ghurye put it, but also that of the sage Viśvāmitra in the beginning chapters of the Bāla Kāṇḍa? For the text reads: After the necessary preliminary purification, Rāma received the divine mysteries from the sage; and immediately he shone with a new brilliance. The three spent that night on the bank of the holy river Sarayū, and Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa rendered the sage all the personal service that a disciple is expected to render the preceptor. Although the text reads here that both brothers provide Viśvāmitra with "personal service," the reader can gather from careful introspection that Lakṣmaṇa is serving both his brother and the old and wise sage.

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