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From: Bharadwaj, Jaganath (jbb0_at_nreca.org)
Date: Thu May 21 1998 - 13:06:23 PDT
Is it possible to deny the story of Maya Sita as told in the Kurma Purana just because Valmiki Ramayana does not mention it? The Valmiki Ramayana does not mention that Ahilya was turned to stone. However the meanings given for Raghuveer Gadyam by the late Sri Villivallam Narayanachariar says that Sri Ramachandra transformed Ahilya from that of a stone to that of a woman. Here is another interesting aspect of Sri's position in the Valmiki Ramayana. The different manifestations of the Almighty were always undertaken with the purpose of protecting the virtuous and destroying those who transgressed dharma. According to Srivaishnava philosophy the Supreme Being is Sriman Narayana denoting that the Lord is never separated from Sri. This is true even during His incarnations. The general notion one is likely to get after reading the Ramayana is that Sita, who was the incarnation of Sri, was separated from Rama, which incidentally was instrumental for the slaying of Ravana who abducted her and refused to return her to Rama though he was prevailed upon to do so by those who knew about the divine nature of Rama and Sita. But he did not heed to the advice as he assumed that he was invincible and dismissed Rama as a human being who was no match for him. In his benedictory address Srimad Azhagiyasingar, the Jeeyar Swami of Ahobila Math said, Ravana's wife Mandodari was well aware of Sita's divine nature and that Sri was inseparable from Her Lord. This idea comes through clearly when Mandodari gave vent to her grief after Ravana's death, ``Assuming a human semblance, prompted as He was by the desire to do good to all the worlds and surrounded by all the gods, who had taken the form of monkeys, evidently the celebrated Lord Vishnu of unfailing prowess, the eternal Supreme Spirit... who carries a conch, a discus and a mace on His person and is distinguished by the mark of Srivatsa on the breast, who is constantly endowed with fortune (Sri) ... made short work of you.'' Another instance is in the Kamba Ramayana. After Rama helped Sugriva to get back his throne from Vali and asked him to assist Him in the task of finding Sita with his Vanara army, he was given four months time to do so since it was the monsoon months not suitable for the task. But Sugriva did not turn up as promised even after a considerable time elapsed and Rama was anxious and was angry that he had forgotten his duty in his new- found comforts. He sent Lakshmana to find out what had happened. Sugriva came to his senses seeing Lakshmana and assembled the monkeys and went ahead of the army with Lakshmana and Angada anxious to meet Rama. Kamban while describing this meeting says, ``Rama was relieved of His anger the moment Sugriva prostrated before Him. `Hurting' Lakshmi resting in His bosom, He embraced Sugriva with His long arms.'' Thus it is apparent that though the Ramayana's focus is on the separation of Sita and Rama and the eventual destruction of Ravana, that the Divine couple is never separated is evident from a perusal of the epic. adiyen jaganath.