Urmilayana -the story of Urmila
(Lon long time, when I was about 10 years old I had read the story of Urmila in Kalaimagal possibly written by great writer Kanchana . After reading the story only I came to know about the very strong women characters in Ramayana. Recently a post in tamil referred to that story. I then wrote it and later I found That Sujatha has written a eleven part story about her in a blog called kathaa-amrit.blogspot.com. It is extensive and very moving and had I seen that I would not have written this. Anyway having written , I wanted to post it.)
Ramayana is a great epic famous for ,
Its great Women characters and I am sure ,
All of you know about Kausalya , Sumithra,
Kaikeyi ,Mandhara, Thadaga, Sabari and Mandodhari.
But when some one talks about Urmila of Ramayana ,
Many of you would definitely ask “Urmila who?”
Urmila was another daughter of Janaka who married,
Lakshmana the very dear younger brother of Rama.
I do not know whether any of you have noticed ,
That in the great epic of Valmiki Ramayana ,
As soon as a character’s role is over, nothing ,
Is mentioned about him or her till he has a role to play.
Bharatha or Kausalya or Kaikeyi or Simithrs,
Or Shatrugna or for that matter their kula guru vasishta,
Is not mentioned in the epic till Lord Rama returns,
After they bid him farewell in the forest after Dasaratha’s death.
Nothing is mentioned about Janaka or Urmila ,
Or Mandavi or Sruthakirthi after the marriage of Sita and Rama,
And based on other versions of Ramayana , I am trying ,
To describe the life of Urmila , the wife of Lakshmana
When Rama decided to go to forest as per wishes of his father,
Sita convinced Rama that if Rama wanted Kausalya not to come with him,
Because she had to look after his father , there was a need ,
For her to go with Rama so that she can look after her.
Rama’s very dear brother Lakshmana also convinced him,
That he needed to accompany him so that Rama and Sita are well protected,
And then Rama made Lakshmana go to his palace,
And take permission of his wife Urmila to go to forest.
But when Rama went to his palace he found Urmila ,
Dressed to kill and living in very great joy and she told,
Her husband, “ My father did not give me as your bride ,
So that I would live in poverty in the forest and so bye to you.”
Lakshmana was greatly shocked and told her in great anger,
“I hate you and would not even like to see your face from now on.”
But Urmila who loved him lot only smiled and bid him farewell .
The Very angry short tempered Lakshmana immediately left her.”
As soon as he left, Urmila who had great love and respect for Rama and Sita ,
Changed her dress to that of a Sanyasini and started living there in Ayodhya,
Looking after well all the three mothers and she told them , “I was harsh to my husband,
Because I wanted him to go and look after Rama and Sita without any distractions.”
Fourteen years in Ayodhya was almost eventless and went away in a jiffy,
And Rama came back along with Sita and Lakshmana and as per,
The wishes of the people Rama was crowned as king of Ayodhya.
But Lakshmana never went back to his palace and nordid he talk a word to his wife.
Sita , who was shrewd and merciful understood something was wrong ,
In the life of Urmila and extracted out of her all that happened to her.
She then promised her that she would tell everything to Lakshmana and convince him,
But God had other plans and Rama decided to sent Sita away to the forest.
While Lakshmana was taking to her the forest , Sita told him everything about Urmila,
Whose self effacing sacrifice had no parallel in any of the stories they have heard.
Lakshmana with tears in his eyes due to the order of his brother as well as ,
The silly way that he tortured Urmila who was a women nonpareil Left Sita in the forest.
Lakshmand as soon as he entered rushed to his palace rather than his brother’s palace ,
And fell flat sobbing uncontrollably at the feet of Urmila and begged her pardon,
But she the one who is humility and sacrifice personified just told him .
That it was she who was solely responsible for what happened to her,.
If Rama who gave up the kingdom that was due to him has done great sacrifice,
If Sita who gave up the life of Luxury in Ayodhya to be with Rama has done great sacrifice,
If Bharatha who patiently waited for his broither’s return worshipping his sandal has done great sacrifice ,
IF Lakshmana who did not eat or sleep for fourteen years to guard his brother has done great sacrifice ,
What of Urmila , who just for helping her husband do her duty , sacrificed everything that she knew off,
And lived a life of a saint and earned the great hate of her husband? Is it not a greater sacrifice?