Scene 1

(Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and a vast audience. Sita is weeping with joy.)

RAMA: Sita, my heart is overflowing with joy to see you again. But, Sita, to me dharma, Divine Justice, is more important than my concern for you. You have stayed at the wicked Ravana’s palace for several months. I am sure he has cast his lustful gaze on you. I am sure you are impure. My subjects will misunderstand me if I accept you now. Therefore, I am compelled to disown you. You must leave. You may go wherever you want to. Even if you want to have somebody else as the partner of your life, I will have no objection.

(Sita’s tears become tears of grief.)

SITA: You speak like an ordinary human being, Rama. I thought that you were great, really great, but now I think that you are worse than any human being on earth. Can’t you see with your occult vision whether or not I have lived an impure life at Ravana’s palace? He tempted me with his wealth. He tried to force me to be his, but my inner strength protected and saved me. I wanted only you, and I still want only you, but now you discard me like a filthy rag. I am prepared to leave you, but before I leave, I wish to prove to you that I am Purity itself. I shall consign my body to fire and you will see what happens to me. (To Lakshmana) Lakshmana, with all your heart’s magnanimity you have helped me millions of times. You have listened to me millions of times. You have always considered me as your mother. Listen then to one final request. Please light a blazing fire for me. This is my last request, my last prayer to you.

LAKSHMANA: Mother, not a prayer, not a request, but a fatal command. Rama, what am I going to do now?

RAMA: You have always pleased her. Now please her this time, too.

SITA: I know that fire is the cosmic Reality and Rama is the cosmic Reality. If I come out of fire unburned, then the world will know that I was pure — Purity itself. And if I do not come out of the fire, then I will enter into the cosmic Reality, which is my Rama.

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