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LAKSHMANA

Sugriva's Friendship

Rama and Lakshmana performed the last rites of Jatayu who had just then breathed his last and proceeded southwards. On the way, they learned some facts about Ravana from Kadamba, a woodsman. "Monkey-king Vali's brother Sugriva is in exile in the forest. Make friends with him and he will help you," he advised them.

Further along, they met Shabari, a 'sannyasini' waiting to see Rama. They moved on. Sugriva spotted them and became frightened; he sent his minister Hanuman to know about them. Though the present version of Ramayana describes these beings as monkeys, we should consIder them to be human beings like Jatayu. After talking to Hanuman, Rama and Lakshmana went to meet Sugriva and established friendship with him. Vali had done Sugriva much injustice. His capital was Kishkindha and Vali had driven him out to exile and was keeping Sugriva's wives with him. Hearing Sugriva's story, Rama promised that he would kill Vali and restore Kishkindha to him. Sugriva in turn assured Rama that he would help them in finding out where Sita was and rescuing her.

When they made friends with Sugriva, Rama and Lakshmana got a clue as to Sita's situation. A short time ago, Sugriva and his ministers were sitting on the top of their hill. They sighted a charioteer proceeding with a lady sitting in it. She had tied her ornaments in a piece of cloth torn from her saree and had thrown the bundle down to fall at the spot where they were sifting. Could she be Sitadevi? Rama asked his friends to hurry and get the bundle.

'Yes, they were Sita's' Rama recognized them and asked Lakshmana whether he could also recognise them. To this, Lakshmana replied: I can't recognise the necklace or earrings but can recognise the pair of anklets she used to tie on her feet. I used to see them daily when I went t pay my obeisance to her."

This shows how pure-hearted Lakshmana was. it does not mean that he had not seen her face or did not remember it. He had no doubt seen her well. Once he had even told Rama that her face had paled due to the hot son. But his looking at her was not intended to notice the ornaments she wore.

Rama killed Vali and Sugriva was crowned. By then, the rains started and Sugriva suggested that they would begin the search after the rains stopped. While he stayed at Kishkindha, the brothers camped at a nearby Ashram of a sage.

A month passed and the rains stopped. But Sugriva did not come. Rama and Lakshmana were annoyed. Seeking Rama's permission, Lakshmana went to Kishkindha and chastised Sugriva. He warned him not to be ungrateful. Though Sugriva has stayed behind, he had not forgotten his task. Hanuman had reminded him of his task and Sugriva has sent for monkeyleaders from various places. When Lakshmana came, Sugriva said he would never be ungrateful and came with him to Rama and later made further preparations. Monkey leaders from all corners assembled. Sugriva chose some of the ablest among them and sent them to inspect various areas to find out where Sita was. Hanuman and some others returning from their search reported that Ravana in Lanka imprisoned Sita, Sugriva prepared to proceed to Lanka with Rama, Lakshmana and his army.

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Lakshmana -  Younger Brother Of Sri Rama, personifies brotherly love and self-effacement
About Lakshmana
Introduction
Sage Vishwamitra's Blessings
Rama Obliged To Go In Exile To Forest
"Don't Leave Me And Go"
It Is Bharata- Why Is He Coming?
" I am Ravana's Sister"
Where Is Sita?
You are Here! Sugriva's Friendship
Lakshmana - Heroes' Hero
A Pyre For Sister-In -Law
Ideal Brother
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