Scene 3

(Sita and Lakshmana, still at the same spot in the forest.)

SITA: Listen, Lakshmana! Your brother is in danger! He is crying, “Ah Sita, Ah Lakshmana.” He needs you! Go to him!

LAKSHMANA: Mother Sita, I cannot obey. My brother asked me to look after you. If I leave you alone here he will be extremely displeased with me. I assure you, my brother can never be in danger. There is nobody who can defeat him in fighting. He is all-powerful. I am sure that Maricha is playing a trick on us.

SITA (angrily): Lakshmana, you have come into the forest, and you are making everybody feel that you are my husband’s greatest friend, his dearest brother. But you are a rogue, a rogue. Rama is in terrible danger, I feel it. And you don’t want to leave me. Why? You have some immoral interest in me. If your brother dies, you are hoping to have me, you brute!

(Lakshmana covers his ears with his hands.)

LAKSHMANA: O Mother, be calm, please. Do not speak such awful words. Nobody in the world is like Rama. His life is quite safe. The voice that we have heard can never be the voice of my brother. It is a trick of that demon Maricha. Rama has posted me to look after you here. How can I disobey him?

SITA: Yes, Maricha is imitating Rama’s voice and you are imitating Rama’s character, his heart of wisdom and illumination. You rogue! You impostor! You fool! You have all darkness, all filth, all ignorance in your mind and in your heart! Leave me alone! You can’t obey me even when your brother is dying? I know, I know what your secret intention is. I tell you, your dark dream will never be fulfilled. Go! You have your wife, Urmila. Why did she not come with us? Then she could have been with her husband. Why are you bothering me? Who has asked you to come here? Before I let you touch me, I shall throw myself into the River Godavari.

LAKSHMANA: Mother, I shall have to disobey my brother, then, in order to obey you. I am disobeying my brother to please you. Please be alert. I am marking a ring for you. Please do not go outside the boundary of this ring. This ring is the ring of protection.

SITA: Protection? I do not need your protection. You go and protect your brother. He needs your protection. He is dying, and here you are wasting time, delaying, so when you go there you will see that he is no more. Well, no harm. If he is gone I shall join him in the other world. This life of mine is not to be with you. You brute, you unthinkable creature, deceiving the whole world by pretending to be devoted, faithful, unconditionally surrendered to your brother!

(Lakshmana, shedding tears, draws a ring.)

LAKSHMANA: Mother, I go.

(Exit Lakshmana.)

Sri Chinmoy, My Rama is my All, Sky Publishers, New York, 1973