Powerful drama unfolds

Valmiki is known for his master strokes with which the

dharma, culture, traditional family values, etc, are reflected through the characters and events. It is a very poignant moment for all, and for Lakshmana in particular, when Rama asks him to identify Sita’s jewels that are in Sugriva’s possession, pointed out Srimati Prema Pandurang in a discourse.

This deliberate gesture on Rama’s part establishes

emphatically Lakshmana’s nobility and integrity that had

been openly doubted by Sita. One has to recall the tense moments at the hermitage just before Sita was abducted. Sita had succumbed to fear and doubt on hearing the cry ‘Ah Sita, Ah Lakshmana’ which she believed to be Rama’s appeal for help. Lakshmana faced the dilemma of serving two masters, Rama and Sita. Here was Sita urging him to go to Rama’s rescue when Rama had already given strict instructions not to leave Sita alone at any cost. Lakshmana tried to explain that this must be a ploy of the wily rakshasas. Sita reached a state of frenzy and misconstrued this. She imputed false charges on Lakshmana. Doubting Lakshmana’s integrity was a sin Sita committed at this juncture and had to face the consequences soon. That Lakshmana’s equation with Sita has always been one of reverence and love is made explicit in the verse he utters when asked to identify Sita’s jewels.

Lakshmana says that except for the anklets which he can

vouch as Sita’s, he does not know about the other ornaments such as the armlets or earrings. He recognises Sita’s anklets as he has seen them everyday when paying obeisance to her. He has diligently upheld his mother’s advice to regard Rama and Sita as his parents.