For how many years did Lord Lakshmana not Sleep?
In the Great battle that ensued between Sri Rama and the demon king Ravana, when Sri Laxmana is struck by the weapon of Sri Brahma, after the weapon was released by Meghanaad, it was impossible for both Ravana and Meghanaad to even move the apparently frail, injured body of Sri Laxmana, as Sri Laxmana appeared to fall to the ground utterly unconscious. The demon duo, had plans of taking the body of Sri Laxmana with them, to their camp, whereby they could perform the hideous act of executing Sri Laxmana.
However, when Sri Hanumanji Maharaj, arrived at the scene, he could easily lift the body of Sri Laxmana. Sri Hanumanji Maharaj, thus carried with him the injured body of Sri Laxmana into the home camp of Sri Rama. The great demon duo looked at each other and wondered. Ravana, recollected his erstwhile valorous act of lifting the Kailasha mountain, the eternal mountainous abode of Lord Shiva. He wondered why he was incapable of moving Sri Laxmana’s body, even an inch from its original position. He wondered how a monkey was able to lift the body, as if it were feather.
The whole mystery of Sri Hanumanji Maharaj’s act was hidden in an act which Ravana and Meghanaad did not notice. As Sri Hanumanji Maharaj, bowed down to lift Sri Laxmana’s body, Sri Hanumanji, slowly whispered a prayer into His ears (Sri Laxmana’s), “Oh Death Incarnate, who else other than your own self, can lift your body. I am a mere monkey. But I am blessed by my Lord Sri Rama and I am able to witness your Leela (divine play). Kindly support my cause and come with me.” When Sri Hanumanji Maharaj prayed thus, Sri Laxmana, immediately made his body as light as feather, pleased with the kind prayers of Sri Hanumanji Maharaj.
Even the Supreme Lord sleeps peacefully in the presence of Sri Sheshanaga, the snake form of Sri Laxmana, who is Death incarnate. Everything in the world can sleep, but Death is ever awake. The form of Death is apparently cold and hard. It is fearful. But the purpose of hardness and fear is not to demotivate and terrorize anyone. Hardness of Death, is a reminder of the meaning of life. Life is hard and this is to be realized. Death is that great reminder of having lived a hard life. Even so-called materialistic people live a hard life. Their soul knows it. Fear, is to inspire people towards actions that have to be carried out mindful of life’s final destination.
The purpose of Life, is to develop Love for Godhead, to appreciate the Creator and His Creation. That is the one point agenda of the life process. However the Lord does not force anyone into loving Him. Just as the father allows, the toddler to go a little far into the woods, a shrill sound is enough to frighten the toddler, to make him hop back to his father. Similarly the aspect of Death, who is personified in Sri Laxmana, is a landmark stone to frighten the devious beings, who are unaware of their own ultimate welfare. Sri Laxmana represents the boundary of safety, which does not allow any being to transgress it, at any point of time. Death or Time is that boundary, that scares man, at some point, and reminds him of his soul-duties. It is to remind one, about the value of right living that Sri Laxmana exemplifies and emulates in His service to Sri Rama. He also sets the limits for all devious lives, in His form as Time or Death.