Tuesday 14 April 2020

Lakshmana (Mythological Monologues #12)

Tears rolled down my eyes
My heart struggled to beat 
As I heard those orders
Not from my loving brother, Rama
But the resolute King of Ayodhya
Who chose 
Duty over love
Who chose to serve
The people of Ayodhya
At the cost of
His peace and happiness. 
I rebelled, reasoned, debated
Till I was given the final orders
To leave Sita near Sage Valmiki's Ashram
Next day at the holy hour of dawn.

Tears rolled down my eyes
My heart struggled to beat 
As I saw the smiling countenance
Of Rama's Siya 
Excited to take the blessings
Of sages for her unborn children;
Oblivious of the painful reality 
Awaiting her destiny. 
I looked away from her
As I said Brother Rama 
Is busy with his kingly duties.
How badly she wanted to meet him
Before leaving for the forest!
"Raghunandan! Raghunandan!",
She knocked the door hysterically.
Did her soul know
 It might be the last meeting?
The way my brother was aware of it
He stood heartbroken, listening to her voice
From the other side of the door;
And I-poor Lakshmana 
Had to conceal my tears,
As I pleaded her to follow me
Lest we get late. 

Tears rolled down my eyes
My heart struggled to beat 
As I stopped my chariot
In the middle of the forest
To leave Rama's Siya;
I apologized, folding my hands
As she looked at me bewildered. 
"Even if Goddess Parvati tells me
Raghunandan has abandoned me,
I won't believe Her, Lakshmana.", she said.
With a heart torn into pieces, 
I explained her the reason 
Behind the King of Ayodhya's decision. 
She gave me a stoic, resigned look
Told me to return back to Ayodhya.
At that moment, I could feel
The entire forest grieving with her
The leaves and flowers drooping down;
At that moment, I knew
The crestfallen look on Janaki's face
Will not let me sleep for countless nights.

I-Lakshmana sacrificed my sleep
For twelve long years
To protect my brother and sister-in-law,
The mighty Rama and his beloved Siya
My existence is meaningless
Without serving Rama and Sita
Yet I failed that moment,
When I left Sita in the hut of Panchavati
To look for my brother 
Despite knowing he is safe. 
If only I had not listened to her 
On that fateful day, 
I would not have to witness
The tragic separation
Of Rama and Siya again and again. 
I would not have have to witness
The eternal soulmates pining for each other
Like the ever-giving Earth and the unyielding Sky.

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: Lakshmana is the younger brother of Rama and his aide in the Hindu epic, Ramayana. He is the son of Queen Sumitra and King Dasharath. He is married to Sita's sister, Urmila. 

Kunti (Mythological Monologues #11)


  1. How intense! Yes, Ramayana is indeed another tale of the sacrifice of Urmila and Lakshman. Yet another deep and soothing poem Purba. Brilliantly narrated the tale of Lakshman.

  2. It is a heart touching poem. This poem really reflects the need of sacrifice.

  3. Beautifully portrayed Lakshmana’s sacrifices Purba. I personally always felt he is the most underrated in our history. He gave up everything without a word

  4. This is the most heart wrenching part of Ramayan. All through out the epic, Laxman symbolizes sacrifices of highest order. It must have been difficult to be Laxman!

  5. Beautiful poem. I think the personal relationship between Rama and Sita has much more complexity and contrast than the battle between Rama and Ravana, at least in the Valmiki Ramayana. It's a tragedy that the battle is etched in public imagination more than the relationship.

    Best wishes for the rest of the A2Z.

  6. I see Ramayan as giving and sacrificing. Lakshman had followed what his elder brother told him to do. I can't even imagine how hard it would have been.

  7. Hari OM
    Purba, again you grasp the essence of the angst of serving life according to dharma as represented through the most wonderful Ramayana!!! YAM xx

  8. What a wonderful part of the epic you have chosen to portray here. The last line - Like the ever-giving Earth and the unyielding Sky - is magnificent.

  9. Very moving poem. Beautifully rendered, Words fail me to describe how elegant your poems are, dear.


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