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Trust is a Delicate thing


Trust is a delicate thing.  Once broken, it’s impossible to repair.  Rama did not trust Ravana to keep his hands off Sita, his beautiful Sita.  By extension, he did not trust the Gods when they told him Sita was untouched by Ravana.  Sadly, as a result, the moment he heard that some singular citizen of Ayodhya doubted the chastity of Sita, Rama abandoned her with unseeming haste.  


How comes they did not have children for 13 years in the forest?  Why was Sita pregnant now ?  Who was the father of the child ?  Could Sita and the Gods have kept in the dark and supplant his throne with the child of his enemy ? 


Who knows the exact thoughts that went on in Rama’s head at the time.  Fact is, he abandoned his pregnant wife without even giving her a chance to put her case to the merciful king of Ayodhya. 

Who can you complain to if the king himself wrongs you ? 

Who can you ask for succor if your own avowed protector abandons you ? 

Who can you turn to for help when the very people you count as your family desert you ? 


The moment Rama renounced Sita, no one, not even her own family, came to her aid.  Totally abandoned and forsaken, Sita had only herself to trust.  Sage Valmiki welcomed her in his ashram and without question or judgment offered her his unstinting support.  He helped bring up her sons and taught them all the arts worthy of their lineage. 


Rama may have doubted and deserted Sita, but he loved her truly.  His heart was still wedded to her and for that reason he refused to marry again.  When he found her, through his sons, Rama was hopeful of reuniting with his wife.  However, years of living apart had not repaired the trust that was broken.  Rama was still looking to find a magic balm that would convince him that Ravana had not ravaged his wife.  Using ‘the pubic’, faceless, nameless ‘public’, Rama asked Sita to prove her chasteness. 


Rightfully, Sita was incredulous.  If after so many years, Rama had no trust or faith, nothing she could say now would repair that rift.  Rama and his nameless citizen’s lack of trust was based on parentage of her children.  Now that everyone could see that her sons were exact facsimiles of their king, there could be no doubt about her chastity.  Yet, the king still demanded proof of chastity !!!  Sita rightly decided that if Rama had no faith in her by now, there was no chance of faith in the future.  What is the point of staying together if you have to keep proving yourself all the time ?


How does this have relevance in today’s modern life ? 

Why do we need to hear this ancient tale in modern time ? 

What possible use can it be to ME ?


If anything, this part of Ramayan is the key to relationship advise in the modern world.  Far too many relationships, marriages, partnerships break up because people’s faith in their partner is far too fragile.  A rumour, a misdemeanor, a wrong turn of phrase, forgotten birthday, missed anniversary – any small thing can shatter their relationship.  If anything, we have to learn from Rama’s incidence that to face challenges in life, we have to unshakable, absolute faith in our partner.  If we don’t, even the best person in the world can’t make us happy.   

See other articles on women of Ramayan
See other articles on women of Mahabharata

© Bhagwat Shah    [email protected]

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