Lakshman is a Raamaayan character.
He was the third son of Dasharath from
Sumitraa (after Raam from Kaushalyaa and Bharat
from Kaikeyee). He had one brother Shatrughn
who loved Bharat as much as he loved Raam, the
eldest son of Dasharath from Kaushalyaa. It is believed that he was the incarnation
of Aadi Shesh Jee who always protects Vishnu. The same thing was true for him on Prithvi
also. He followed Raam and Seetaa to forest to protect them. There are some notable
events of His life.
He had an aggressive snaky short-temperament and used to pick up his bow and arrow
very soon. In fact this nature came from his being Shesh Naag. In Tulasee's Maanas
Lakshman-Parashuraam dialog is a very famous
episode as how he faced Parashuraam's anger. He also showed his anger when Raam asked
the way from Samudra (sea) to cross it to go to Lankaa. Then Raam pacified him saying
that He would do so if Samudra didn't listen to His request.
Lakshman Rekhaa (line)
In the forest, when Seetaa scolded him for
not rescuing Raam even if He called Lakshman and Seetaa for help, She blamed him for
conspiracy with Bharat that he wanted to take Seetaa himself after Raam is killed.
Lakshman thought proper to leave the place immediately but he could not have left Her
unguarded in spite of hearing such a great blame. He prayed the Devtaa of forests and
mountains to guard Her, drew a line around Her hut and requested Her not to cross that
line until they came back.
Traditionally daughters and daughters-in-law in Hindu families do not cross the
limit of their family traditions. So it was that limit which Lakshman reminded
Seetaa not to cross it until the men were around in the house. But Seetaa crossed
that limit and She had to bear its consequences also. For the same reason these
traditions which are followed in day to day lives are also called Lakshman Rekhaa
and it is believed that breaking those traditions brings some kind of misfortune
on the girl and the family.
This episode is also not mentioned in
Maanas, but once Mandodaree mentions about it when she counts Raavan's failures in relation
He Recognized Only Seetaa's Anklets
Seetaa very much, maybe more than his mother. Although in Vaalmeeki Raamaayan,
in Kishkindhaa Kaand - 6th Sarg, Shlok 23 is a controversial one, as it is not found in
ancient manuscripts but still it shows his earnest respect for Seetaa. In Raamaayan, in
Sundar Kaand, Hanumaan inspected the jewelry of
Seetaa (sitting under the tree in Ashok Vaatikaa) in order to identify Her and a list is
also narrated there. But here no such list is given. When Lakshman was asked whether
he could recognize any of the jewelry of Seetaa (bracelet or earring), Lakshman said that
He did not know the jewelry of Her upper body (because he never saw Her upper body), but
could recognize only Her anklets, for he daily saluted Her feet.
The traditionalists attribute the
Kainkarya, the dedicated character to Lakshman, and establish this verse as a supreme
characterization of Lakshman. Lakshman regarded Seetaa as his mother because the wife
of an elder brother is also like mother.
This episode is not in Tulasee's Maanas.
Lakshman and Meghnaad
Tulasee's Maanas says - When Lakshman and
Meghnaad were fighting, Meghnaad guessed that his end is near,
so he used Veerghaatinee power on Lakshman. It made him unconscious. Meghnaad became
fearless and went close to him. He thought that Lakshman had died, so in pride he wanted
to take his body to Lankaa to sho it to his fther Raavan, that he had killed him. He asked
his army to lift his body and take it to Lankaa. Now hundreds of warriors were trying to lift
Lakshman's body but were unable to even shake it. Seeing this Meghnaad came himself and tried
to lift him, but he also couldn't even shake him. At this moment Tulasee says it very nicely -
"Who is the bearer of the whole Prithvi, how can anybody lift that Shesh Jee." So
he shamefully went back. Then came Hanumaan Jee, lifted
him like a flower and took him to Raam. Later, when Meghnaad was
doing his Yagya for being immortal, Lakshman killed him.
Why Raavan Could Lift
Lakshmee Jee and Why Not Lakshman Jee?
Read it here.
Lakshman and Seetaa's Agni Pareekshaa
Lakshman got very upset when Raam asked Seetaa
to appear in a fire test. He asked Raam several times as "Why Seetaa should appear for
the fire test when we know that She is pure." Then Raam said - "But other people
would not know it, so this test is not for us but for others." Although Lakshman's conscious
still didn't allow this but he could not disobey Raam. He himself had to make a pyre for Her.
Tulasee's Maanas is more considerate in this matter. Tulasee's Raam didn't allow anybody else
to touch His Seetaa, so He was using a shadow Seetaa after the appearance of
Shoorpanakhaa. He gave His Seetaa to Agni Dev to be
kept safely until He needed Her. Since He did all this secretly, even Lakshman didn't know about
this, so in reality, it was not the fire test but a way of getting His own Seetaa back from Agni
Dev. How could Raam accept a woman who had lived in somebody else's house for one year? And how
could Raavan touch Raam's Seetaa? And how could Seetaa allow anybody else to touch Herself other
than Her husband? So Tulasee's logic seems logical.
This episode is not mentioned in Vaalmeeki Raamaayan.
Lakshman Leaves Seetaa in Van
This episode is from Raamaayan, not from Maanas,
as Maanas does not go beyond Raam's coronation as the king of Ayodhyaa. When Raam was ruling
the Prithvi comfortably, He, as a King wanted to know what people talked about His family.
Once a secret spy told Him that a washerman (who washes clothes) was scolding his wife on
staying outside the house for one night - "I am not Raam who can keep His wife even after
one year living in a Raakshas' house." Raam got very sad hearing this from a washerman's
mouth. He immediately sent Seetaa in exile.
fact a few days before Raam came to know about Her pregnancy, so He asked Her if She had any
wish during that period. Seetaa expressed her wish to meet Rishi community. So taking the backing
of meeting Rishi, He sent Her to Van. This job was also done by Lakshman.
Swargaarohan of Lakshman
Another Version of Swargaarohan of Raam OR 300 Raamaayan
This story is also from Raamaayan,
not from Maanas. When the time came for Lakshman to go back to His Lok, Kaal
came to Raam in Tapaswee guise and said to Lakshman - "Atibal Muni has
sent me to see Raam for some necessary work." Lakshman informed Raam
about the Tapaswee, and Raam asked Lakshman to bring him inside. Then Raam
asked him the message of Atibal Muni. Tapaswee said - "He has asked me
to give you this message in a lonely place, and if anybody will see us or listen
to us even secretly, you promise, that you will kill him."
Hearing this Raam asked
Lakshman to move the guard away from there and guard their room himself. But when they
were talking, Lakshman's Kaal came in the form of
Durvaasaa Muni. He came and said - "I want to see Raam immediately." Lakshman said - "Bhagavan, He is busy talking to someone, please wait for a
while. As soon as He will finish His talking I will take you to Him."
Muni said - "Don't
make me furious, take me to Raam immediately otherwise I will give Shaap to
everybody, you, your kingdom, Bharat, your children.." Lakshman thought
"It is better to die only myself than to have a Shaap for everybody."
So He went inside where that Tapaswee was talking to Raam and informed Him about
Durvaasaa Muni. He came out after informing Him.
Lakshman knew that he had broken the
promise, so he had to die. He requested Raam to kill Him. Raam was hesitant. Then
Vashishth Jee advised Raam that He should leave Lakshman, that will also
work as killing. For a noble man, leaving
is as good as his death. So Raam said to Lakshman with a very heavy heart - "Lakshman,
To keep my Dharm I leave you." Lakshman started crying hearing this. He
thought what he would do when his brother has let him, so he came out of the
palace and went towards Sarayoo River. He didn't even go to His palace. There he sat down and by
controlling his Indriyaan, he stopped breathing. Indra took his body to Swarg.