Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Raam and Animals

Raam, in His life, has met several animals - birds and animals, along with people. His behavior was different with all the animals according to their behavior. To one He taught lesson, to another He paid His respects like an elder, to another He killed and gave him His own Lok, and yet to another He comforted.

His first encounter was with a bird, crow. This crow was not an ordinary crow, he was the son of Indra - Jayant. Once when Raam was in exile, He made some flower ornaments and made them Seetaa wear them. Jayant was seeing all this. He got attracted to Seetaa Jee and he hit his beak on Seetaa's foot. This resulted in bleeding from Her foot. Raam was taking rest keeping His head in Seetaa's lap. He noticed that Seetaa;s foot was bleeding. He looked around and saw a crow perched nearby. He immediately knew that it was that crow's work. He picked up a straw, read a Mantra and released it towards the crow.

Seeing the straw arrow coming towards himself the crow got frightened and flew away. Now he was flying and the straw was following him. He went to several places including his father's Lok, but nobody could help him. Then he met Naarad Jee on the way. Naarad Jee suggested him to go back to Raam only and ask His forgiveness. He said - "Who is the enemy of Raam, nobody could give shelter him." The crow, at last, went to Raam and asked for His forgiveness. Raam forgave him, but as a punishment he pierced his one eye. Since then all crows can see with only one eye.

His second encounter was also with a bird - Jataayu. He met him when he was dying after fighting with Raavan on the account of Seetaa's abduction. After telling Raam about the whereaboluts of Seetaa, Jataayu died. Raam performed his last rites with His own hands with Vaidik method. He even wept for him.

His third encounter was with an animal, deer. This deer was also not any ordinary deer. He was Maareech Raakshas in the form of the deer. He came to attract Seetaa on the order of Raavan so that Raam could follow him and when Lakshman is also gone from the Aashram, he could abduct Seetaa from there. So Maareech went there assuming the form of a golden deer. Seetaa got attracted to him and asked Raam to bring him for Her. As expected Raam followed him. After a while Raam shot an arrow at him. The deer left his body of the deer, assumed his real form and shouted "Haa Raam, Haa Seetaa" in Raam's voice and died. Raam gave him His own Lok. Seetaa got scared hearing Raam's cry and sent Lakshman to help Raam. When Lakshman had left the Aashram, according to his plan Raavan abducted Seetaa from the Aashram.

His fourth encounter was with a little animal - squirrel. It was when Raam was making the bridge over the sea to cross it to go to Lankaa to invade Raavan to recover Seetaa. When all Vaanar were busy in building the bridge, a squirrel was watching all this. She thought if she would help those Vaanar, the bridge would be ready soon. So she went to the sea, drenched herself in the water, came on the shore, rolled in the sand and left that sand on the stones in the sea water. She did this a few times, then she got tired. She came to Raam and got cuddled in His lap. Raam caressed her with affection and her all tiredness was gone. As Raam caressed her, His three fingers left their mark on her body, thus three lines appeared on her body. That is why, in India, most squirrels are found with three lines on their back and are thus called Raam's Squirrel (Raam Jee Kee Gilaharee).

Sushma Gupta

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