Shatashloki 52: Rama listens to the pleas of the sages

Sa teṣām pratiśuśrāva rākshasānām tathā vane


Meaning – In those forests flooded in demons, Rama consented to the request made by the sages.


Various groups of eminent sages who were self-realized and were glowing with divine luster and who were known as Vaikhānaasa, Vālakhilya, Samprakshāla, Mārichipāh, Patrāhārah, Salilahāra, vāyu bhakshakah, ākāśa nilayāh and others pproached Rama and beseeched him to save them from the demons.

All these great eminent sages had undertaken the most stringent practices and austere upasana (worship) of the Supreme. The destruction of Viradha was a proof of Rama’s skill and might. Viradha had boons due to which he could not be killed using any weapon. As a result of this, eliminating him from this earth was almost an impossible task. Yet if Rama could kill him, then it surely meant that he was the mightiest amongst men.

Sharabhanga was a very great sage whose spiritual accomplishments were such that Indra, the Lord of Heaven, and other Devatas used to frequent his residence. When such a great sage, sought to offer all his punya (merit) to Rama, the latter very politely refused. What more was needed to prove the greatness of Rama’s character? This news spread very quickly throughout the forest. The sages were convinced that only Rama, who belonged to this Raghu vamsha (clan), could give them respite from their sufferings.

Hence they approached Him and said, “O Lord, your vow of truthfulness (satyavrata) and devotion to your father are immeasurable. Whether you reside in Ayodhya or are in exile in these forests, to us, to us you are the king. You will be bestowed with everlasting fame for having protected us. We are your children who are living in the forests.  You possess the might and the skill needed to tackle these demons.

Please do not presume that we are superior due to our penance. We do not touch weapons. We have overcome anger. We have complete control over our indriyas (senses). Yet, you have to protect us. In the forests, between the Rivers Mandakini and Pampa, the demons are indulging in the worst atrocities and are mercilessly killing all saints. You are our sole refuge. Please look around. Everywhere you can see heaps of bones, which are the remains of the dead saints. All this is the work of the demons. Rama, please have mercy on us. We, the forest dwellers have no other shelter. We are unable to withstand this anymore.

Please destroy these demons, Rama. This is our prayer to you. Punish the sinners. Establish dharma. Please look at us with compassion, O Lord Rama. We seek your protection. We seek refuge under you, O Lord. Again and again we pray for relief”.

From this earnest prayer made to him, Rama could understand the plight of the saints. His heart wrenched in pain. He made up his mind that he has to grant protection to these great saints, who, at all times selflessly give away their entire accumulated power of penance (tapas shakti) for the welfare of this world.  It deeply pained him that those saints, who endlessly abide by dharma and achara (good traditions), and who ensure that others around them also adhere to dharma, had to fac such life-threatening situations. He resolved then and there to help these sages. He firmly announced to them his decision to destroy the demons and offered them his protection.


Om Seeta Ramabhyaam Namaha.

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