Playful Rama

Krishna is known as an endearing child, a child who steals our hearts through His mischievousness. But when it comes to Rama, it is not His playfulness that anyone talks about. It is His adherence to dharma, His refusal to go back on a promise, His love for Sita, His approachability, His readiness to forgive and give succour to those who seek Him — all these come to our mind.

But we never think of Rama as having been playful. Yet Rama, too, as a child, and as a youth, must have been playful. Every human being is like a child playing with balls of three different colours. The three colours are symbolic of the three qualities that characterise human beings — red for rajasic, white for satvik and black for tamasic qualities. And who is the One who sends man into the world with these qualities? It is God, who sends us into this world with a definite and fixed plan for our lives, point out the Upanishads. That being the case, would He not, as Rama, have indulged in some playfulness too? He did, and there are accounts of it, said Kidambi Narayanan, in a discourse. They tend to get overlooked by the other events that we read of in the Ramayana.

Sita and Rama enjoyed twelve years of marital bliss. They were happy in each other’s company. As in the case of any other couple, they too had their little playful quarrels and as in the case of all couples, they too made up after quarrelling. On one occasion, Rama entered Sita’s room, and Sita was upset that He had come in without Her permission. She expressed Her anger and the Lord left Her room. But later She was remorseful about Her anger. After all, why should She have been angry with Her spouse, She wondered. Rama too regretted His having annoyed Her. But neither knew how to make up. At last Rama entered the room, and dropped His ring deliberately, and said, to no one in particular, “Has anyone seen my ring?” There was no one else in the room, except Sita, who picked up the ring and handed it to Rama. The anger dissolved and the couple became friends again. Thus it is not as if Rama did not indulge in playfulness. He did, and this was one instance of His playfulness.

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