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Fables. 
Laxmana Faints
by Dr. CS Shah

The news of fall of mighty Kumbhakarna reached Ravana's court. With dismay and concern, Ravana quickly summoned his son Indrajeet and asked him to prepare for the deciding fight against Rama and Laxmana next day. Indrajeet was expert in all kinds of war games. In fact, second to Ravana, his son Indrajeet was the most powerful Rakshasa. He even easily surpassed his uncle -Kumbhakarna in many aspects. By special austerities and Tapas, he had once pleased God Brahma and had acquired special missile, as a boon, called Brahmastra. It could be used once only, but it was sure to render the opponent dead. Only rarely did it fail!

Thus armed with all these special powers and missiles, and with firm resolve to destroy Rama and his army, Indrajeet led his army to the battle ground. All Rakshasas were in joyous mood as they were sure of their victory under the leadership of Indrajeet. [The literal meaning of Indrajeet is 'one who has defeated the king of God -Indra!']

Rama and Laxmana took note of this. They knew about the special powers of Indrajeet. Rama decided to send Laxmana to face Indrajeet and advised Hanuman to accompany Laxmana. Laxmana could counter every move of Indrajeet. But failure made Indrajeet irritable and restless. His mind was not focused nor concentrated. Indrajeet, therefore, out of frustration and anger, threw the deadly Brahmastra at Laxmana. The missile was sure to hit its target. No one could have averted its impact, nor could anyone divert its course. No counter missile was discovered against Brahmastra.

Laxmana Faints

Therefore, Laxmana stood silently with folded hands and started mental repetition of the name of Rama. He knew it was only in the capacity of Rama to lessen its force of impact. And indeed the missile hit him with tremendous force. The nearby monkeys were also shaken. Even powerful Hanuman was put off balance! What was the condition of Laxmana! It uprooted his feet from the ground. he lay flat unconscious on the ground, almost dead. His breathing had stopped. His chest was red and swollen due to the impact. Everyone was terrified and thought Laxmana to be dead.

But Hanuman could not believe that Rama's brother could ever die under the protective umbrella of Rama. He rushed to Rama and narrated the incidence. Rama knew what had happened. He urgently sent for the physician. Rama, the physician and Hanuman rushed to the site where Laxmana lay unconscious. The physician after examination said,

"O Rama, the impact of Brahmastra leads everyone to death. I wonder how Laxmana is still faintly alive! But there is a warning. If Laxmana does not receive a particular herbal medicine within 24 hours, he cannot be revived. So, O Rama, please arrange to bring the medicine without delay."

Hanuman Brings the Medicine

The medicine specified by the physician was a herbal medicine available on a particular mountain in the North India. Who could reach there and bring the medicine within a day! The hope that Laxmana would survive was mingled with sadness of impossibility of finding the medicine. But Hanuman was sure of one thing; he knew that presence of Rama could solve any problem. Hence, he saluted Rama and said, "O lord, I know you are putting your devotees to test. Please bless me that I succeed in my mission to bring that plant for the sure cure of Laxmana."

Rama was pleased with his most faithful and brave devotee. he blessed Hanuman and said, "O Hanuman, I am pleased with your devotion and faith in me. I know today you are the only one who could bring the plant and save my dear brother, Laxmana. I bless you, go and get the plant."

Hanuman acquired huge form and flew northwards high in the sky. Within hours he reached the destined mountain top. But to his dismay, he found innumerable plants adoring the mountain top. And imagine the confusion all those green plants created in the mind of Hanuman! Which plant would be needed for the medicine! Hanuman was not sure. Utter anxiety prevailed in the heart and mind of this noble servant of Rama.

The delay was sure to put Laxmana's life in danger, and incorrect choice of the plant was sure make his efforts useless; and moreover, would make him a laughing stock! This tragi-comic situation is very nicely described in the original text. We also feel one with Hanuman in his peculiar predicament.

The success was near and so far!

And then last minute intuition dawns in the intelligent mind of Hanuman. He decides to lift the whole mountain and take it to Lanka! Taking the name of Rama, "Jai Sri Rama", he lifted the mountain, which had become as light as a flower, Hanuman returned to Lanka in time. The medicine was prepared and put in the mouth of unconscious Laxmana. As if awakened from deep sleep, Laxmana got up yawning and said, "Where am I?"
  

12-Mar-2011
 
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