Why does Lord Vishnu sleep? | Sri Rama killed Tataka Subahu and Maricha | Valmiki Ramayana-13

Sri Rama killed Tataka Subahu and Maricha

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The Lord is Yoga Nidra in Dhama

It is seen in the Divya Desham, Dhama (दिव्य देशम धाम Holy abodes of the Lord) such as the Padmanabha temple in Kerala, Adi Keshavam and Sri Rangam, the Lord is lying down with his eyes closed. Someone may conclude that the Lord is sleeping. This is not the case. Always when the Lord closes His eyes, He is in fact, in Yoga Nidra, attached fully to the welfare of the universe. He is overseeing the affairs of the world, reclining in that position. It is possible for the Lord but it is beyond conception for the ordinary folks of the world. This position of reclining also enhances His facial beauty.

Lord Sri Rama sleeps peacefully

Even if Sri Lakshmana wakes up, Lord Sri Rama continues to sleep peacefully. The devotional song “Kausalya Supraja Rama…” is sung to the Supreme Personality, in the most adorable and sweet manner, to awaken Him from sweet sleep. The purpose of waking up, for the Lord is aimed towards performing Nitya Anushtanam or daily disciplined duties which is observable by the people belonging to the Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya Varnas, according to the injunctions delineated within Sanatana Dharma. Even if the Supreme Personality appears on the planet, He is supposed to follow the purificatory ablutions, every morning, noon and evening. Only if the Supreme Lord sets an example to the common man, during the course of His many incarnations, can Dharma stand executed; this is the opinion of the Shastra.

Sage Vishwamitra sees the Lord sleeping with calm; parental love is aroused within him and he recites only first two lines of the song, without singing the lines that actually are intended to wake up the Lord. Sage Vishwamitra is happy seeing the Lord’s moon-like face and is simply in all-praise of Him. The sage is all-praise of Mother Kausalya for having given birth to the Supreme Lord. It is customary that only mothers are praised if the son has great qualities. So is the case here. Shrimati Kausalya has all the respect and praise of sage Vishwamitra for having become the mother of no less a person than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Rama. This is the respect that even Shastra bestows upon the mother. It is to be understood that during the child’s growing years, only the mother spends maximum time with her offspring and hence all praise of a well-behaved son is automatically transferred to the mother. It is the responsibility of every mother of Bharat Desham to bring up her children with adherence to Shastra alone. Only then can Dharma be inculcated within the child. The Lord immediately got up, as soon as he heard guru Vishwamitra lovingly singing the song to wake him up.

Who are Maricha Subahu and Tadaka?

Maricha and Subahu represent the lust and anger that reside within the hearts of men. Hence they represent Avidya (अविद्या) or ignorance. The demoness Tadaka, who is the mother of Maricha and Subahu represents Ahankara (अहंकार ego). On arriving at a particular spot, a great gushing sound was heard. The Lord asked his master sage Vishwamitra, “Oh Gurudeva what is this gushing sound that we are hearing.” To this Vishwamitra said “This is the point where the river Sharayu is meeting the river Ganga and merging in her.”  It is at this juncture that Tadaka enters the scene. She was a Yaksha woman. However she indulged in all sorts of nefarious activities after her marriage to a demon. She was finally cursed by Sage Agastya and then was transformed into a gory demoness on account of the curse. It is interesting to note the physical size of Tadaka. She had a necklace which was made up of 1000 elephants strung together. A single elephant’s trunk was tied to the tail of the adjacent elephant. The `trunk of this elephant was tied to the tail of the next elephant and so forth. This was the mere size of her necklace.

In Kali Yuga the Jiva becomes disobedient

The sight of the demoness sent chills down the spine of the great sage. Out of great love for the Lord, sage Vishwamitra was only worried with regards to the welfare of the Lord, in the mood of a caring parent. Such was his love towards Lord Rama. Sage Vishwamitra immediately ordered the Lord “Rama, slay her at once.” Without any further question the Lord prepared to release the arrow from His stretched bow. He stopped, for a moment. The Lord was in doubt. “He wondered whether it was alright to slay a woman.” He raised this doubt to His Guru. The Guru replied, “There is no doubt about it, if you let her go, she will be the cause of major destruction.” The Lord felt a little guilty .He wondered, “My father had asked me to obey the Guru without raising any doubts and here I am, questioning the Guru. This should not have happened in the first place.” That was Treta Yuga. A Jiva, sage Vishwamitra was ordering the Supreme Lord and the Lord obeyed.” In the next Yuga, Lord Sri Krishna, is ordering the Jiva to fight a war and yet Arjun, the Jiva would not comply. It took a whole of 18 Chapters and 700 verses of the Gita, before Arjun got down to obeying the commands of the Supreme Lord. How can one, in a Yuga like Kaliyuga, the fallen age, think of obeying the Lord, considering the fall of consciousness to such a great extent?

Sri Rama kills Tadaka and proceeds to Siddha Ashrama

Sage Vishwamitra reminded the Lord about the welfare of all and hence in order to maintain the order of the world it was essential to slay Tadaka. The Lord, then released the arrow which found its mark. Tadaka is the first to be slain by the Supreme Lord during the course of His incarnation, in this form as Sri Rama. The region where Tadaka is slain is even marked today, about 25 miles, on the way to Siddha Ashrama at Buxar. It is at this very spot that Sage Vishwamitra handed over many divine weapons to Sri Rama and Lakshmana and initiated them into the mantras for the usage of those divine weapons. On their way, they came across the hermitage of Sri Vamana Deva, the previous incarnation of the Supreme Lord. Sage Vishwamitra pointed towards the spot to Sri Rama and said “This is the very spot, of your previous residence, when you had descended to the earthly platform as Sri Vamana.”

Subahu is slain and Maricha was dumped too far

Finally the trio, reached the spot of the Yajna at Siddha Ashrama. The Yajna began. It continued for 6 days and 5 nights, both the brothers remained awake and kept duty, in vigilance of the Yajna. Towards the end of day 6, the two demons Maricha and Subahu arrived. Subahu was immediately slain by the Lord and Maricha was dumped to a far corner of the earth by the Lord. It is interesting to see the deep significance of the treatment of the two demons in such diverse ways. Why was one demon slain and the other moved away, could be an obvious question.

Significance of the death of Subahu and dumping of Maricha

To understand the activities of the Lord, it is necessary to see how Karma works. Two major types of Karma are Sanchita Karma and Prarabdha Karma. All our accumulated sins and merits are collected in a group called Sanchita Karma. Sanchita Karma essentially means, those Karma of the past, which are yet to be worked upon. In that set, there is a small set, which has been released into fruition and represents the current life Karma, which are already fructifying as part of daily life. This is Prarabdha Karma. When an individual soul, Jiva undertakes complete surrender and does Sharanagati (शरणागति Surrender at the feet of the Supreme Lord) towards the Lord, the Supreme Lord does two things. First He burns the entire set of sins and merits which form the Sanchita Karma. But the sins and merits which are on its way to fruition, the Lord simply deflects them from the way, which means that they shall fructify and emerge, but they shall be removed from the path of the devotee so that they do not affect the devotee. Subahu represents Sanchita Karma and hence he was slain while Maricha represents Prarabdha and hence, although he was removed to a far off place, he was not slain. Hence it is important to hear the glories of the Lord from the mouth of an enlightened being so as to be able to understand the deep significance attached to the activities of the Supreme Lord.