Published from “Three Minutes” series written by A.S.Rajagopalan Swami of Ohio.
pApAnAM vA shubhAnAM vA vadhArhANAM plava~Ngama kAryaM karuNamAryeNa na kascinnAparAdhyati
(VAlmIki, shrImad rAmAyaNam, yuddha kANDam-113.46)
பாபானாம் வா சுபானாம் வா வதார்ஹானம் ப்ளவ~நகம கார்யம் கருனாமார்யேன ந கஷ்சிண் ஆபராத்யடி
pApAnAm vA = (even committed) profane acts shubhAnAm vA = (or) pious deeds vadhArhANAm = (or) deserve to be killed
plava~Ngama = (hey) monkey ! karuNamAryeNa = show sympathetic kAryam = action (to them) na kascid = (In fact, ) no one (exist) na aparAdhyati = (who has) done no crime.
After the demise of rAvaNa, hanumAn, the loyal servant to shrI rAma, goes into ashoka grove (ashoka vana) to tell the great news to sItA. There, the rAkShasi-s, (demon women) who still had not heard about rAvaNa’s death, continued to torture sItA. hanumAn, witnessing that scene, gets very angry at those rAkShasi-s. He was unable to tolerate anymore of the harm done to sItA and sought Her permission to destroy them. sItA, in turn, advises, “Hey Monkey, whether they have done a heinous crime or have displayed dignified character, or for that matter, even if they deserve to be killed, one who possess the righteous and noble qualities will show mercy on them. Tell me someone who hasn’t committed a flaw?” vAlmIki, the author of the shrImad rAmAyaNa, implicitly brings out sItA’s resentment of hanumAn’s request by calling him as a mere monkey. However, in other places, hanumAn has also been referred as a monkey supreme (vAnara shreShTa). By heeding to sItA’s advice, hanumAn calmed down and refrained from causing hasty damage. Thus, the rAkShasi-s were spared from the impending danger.
Lord shrI rAma said that He will treat Himself as an ordinary human being. But many incidents in shrImad rAmAyaNa reveal that He could not control His bubbling sympathy towards everyone; He is after all a personification of “dayA”, the quality of sympathy. This was repeatedly demonstrated in many instances – like surrendering of kAkAsuran, sugrIvan, vibhIShaNa.
Here, sItA also protects the rAkShasi-s from the wrath of hanumAn. There is one mighty difference. In the case of shrI rAma, He protected those only after they surrendered to Him. vibhIShaNa and others deserted everything, realized their incapability, and sought refuge under the Lord’s feet. Then only, the Lord provided security (rakShaNam) for them. But, sItA, surrounded by enemies, still protected the rAkShasi-s even before they made a plea to Her, even before rAkShasi-s realized that there is a pending threat from hanumAn. That is the affection of the mother.
Our teachers (AcArya-s) are astounded by sItA’s action of extreme kindness and compassion even during the continued harm. Mesmerized by that noble qualities of patience (kShamA) and sympathy (daya), the AcArya-s praise her character in protecting all sentient (jIvAtmA) incredibly, even exceeding that of Her husband, the Lord Himself. Many consider this is one of the amazing incidents in shrImad rAmAyaNa.
What we learn mainly from here is:
1. Seek advice and follow. hanumAn sought and listened to the advice. Don’t ask for the sake of it, if you are not going to follow through, then advice has no meaning.
2. Go through proper channel. Though, hanumAn has the ability and willingness, he sought the permission first. Don’t assume authority especially where one doesn’t have any.
3. Tackle the anger intelligently. sItA very smartly quenched hanumAn’s anger by pointing out the reality. Jesus said a similar one “Let the one without any sins throw the first stone”. Best way to shut down an anger is to separate the reality from idealism.
4. Display good qualities. Pardoning is a virtue. Here, sItA demonstrated an extreme case of mercy. Action is louder than words.
5. Target the cause and not the symptom.
sItA knew that the rAkShasi-s were not to be blamed for their action since they are merely carrying out the orders of their master.
Compassion will cure more flaws than condemnation