Lakshman – facts

Lakshman is an important character of epic Ramayana. He is inseparable from Lord Rama, who is brother to him and an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. His character is famous due to him being the brother of Lord Rama, but there are some facts which make him an important mythological character. Read on some interesting yet unknown stories about him.

Perhaps the most notable fact is that he could only have killed Ravan’s son Indrajit. Killing him required some stringent conditions to be fulfilled, which was not available in Lord Rama or Hanumana. So, despite all the warriors in his army, Lord Rama could not have won this battle.

Lakshman killed Ravana’s son indrajit

After the battle, Sage Agastya came to Ayodhya. There was lot of discussion about the battlefield, about killing of powerful demons like Ravan, Kumbhkaran, Meghnad, Atikaya. Sage Agastya said killing Meghnad was the toughest. People were anxious to know why killing of Meghnad was such a big deal.

Sage said, Meghnad was not a ordinary demon, he was conqueror of Indralok. He also possessed the three ultimate weapon of Trimurty, Brahmastra, Narayanastra and Pashupatastra.

Lakshman killing Indrajit
Lakshman killing Indrajit

He could only be killed by someone who has not eaten, slept or seen face of a woman for 14 years. Peoples were surprised that how Lakshman could fulfill these conditions.

Lakshman explained that, he didn’t sleep for 14 years to guard Ram and Sita at night. Before going to exile his mother told him to guard Ram and Sita while they sleep. He is also known as Gudakesh.

He didn’t eat for 14 years because Ram gave him food but never asked him to eat it. Lakshman in his loyalty believed that he was born to serve Lord Rama and so he never did anything without being told.

He had never seen face of any lady during exile, though he was staying with Ram and Sita but he never saw Sita’s face, he always gazed at her feet. Thus, he was not able to recognize any of Sita’s jewelry except her anklet.

Lakshman is also known as “Gudakesh” because he did not sleep for 14 years

When Ram was exiled for 14 years, Sita and Lakshman accompanied him to the forest. To ensure the safety of his elder brother Rama and sister in law Sita, Lakshman decided to stay awake for 14 years. He approached Nidra Devi, Goddess of Sleep. He requested her not to give him sleep for 14 years so that he can be awake and guard Ram and Sita. Nidra Devi was impressed with his dedication and granted him the boom but only on condition that someone had to bear his sleep. His wife, Urmila agreed to take his sleep for entire 14 years. This is the reason why Lakshman is also known as Gudakesh. This was a very strong condition which made him capable of killing Meghnad. Meghnad had a boon that he can only be killed by a Gudakesh, a person who has defeated sleep.

Gudakesh Lakshman
Gudakesh Lakshman

Lakshman is incarnation of Sheshnag

Lord Vishnu and Sheshnaag
Lord Vishnu and Sheshnaag

Shesh naga is king of all nagas. He holds all the planets of the universe on its hood. Sheshnag and Lord Vishnu are inseparable.Lord Vishnu is often depicted as resting on sheshnag, Shesh shaiya. When Lord Vishnu descended on earth as Rama, Sheshang accompanied him as Lakshman and later when Vishnu incarnated as Krishna, Sheshnag accompanied him as Balram.

Ram’s promise became the reason for his death.

When Rama realised that he had fulfilled his duties on earth, it was time for him to return to vaikuntha. But this could not be possible because of Hanuman as he would not allow Yama, the God of Death to meet Ram. So, he distracted Hanuman by engaging him to fetch his ring which he threw in Patal.
Rama invited Yama, but Yama put a condition that their conversation should be confidential and anyone who entered the room should be punished by a death sentence. So, Rama entrusted Lakshman to guard the room so that no one could enter.
Meanwhile sage Durvasa came and expressed his desire to meet Rama. At first, Lakshman refused politely but sage insisted and threatened to curse Ayodhya. To save Ayodhya, Lakshman decided to intercept the meeting.

Rama and Sage Durvasa
Rama and Sage Durvasa

After the incident in order to fulfill Ram’s promise,he went to the bank of river Saryu and gave his life.
Lakshman’s death was necessary before Rama’s death as he was incarnation of Sheshnag so he had to return before Vishnu could return to Vaikuntha.

He was later reborn as Balram in next birth.

Lakshman was incarnation of sheshnag. Sheshnaag is considered as servant and manifestation of Vishnu. He sings the glory of Lord Vishnu from all his mouths. He is inseparable from Vishnu, so when Vishnu descended on earth as Rama, Sheshnaag incarnated as Lakshman and when Vishnu incarnated as Krishna, Sheshnaag accompanied him as his elder brother Balram.

Krishna and Balrama
Krishna and Balrama

He never saw face of any lady for 14 years

During exile Laksham stayed with his brother Ram and Sister in law Sita, but he never looked at her face. He only gazed at her feet. When Sugriva showed them the jewelry thrown by Sita when Ravan was carrying her to Lanka, Lakshman could only identify Sita’s anklet. He said he had seen them while laying his head on her feet in worship. He was not able to recognize any other jewellery as he has never presumed to look closely at them.

Lakshman at the feet of Sita and Rama
Lakshman at the feet of Sita and Rama

He was the one to leave Sita near sage Valmiki’s ashram

When Rama and Sita returned to Ayodhya after exile, they were crowned as king and queen. After sometime, Ram was disturbed by the gossip questioning about the purity and loyalty of Sita. Sita’s presence was bringing much doubt into the kingdom and and into his heart so, he decided to exile her for second time.
Ram asked Lakshman to leave Sita deep into the forest. After hearing Rama’s decision Lakshman was heartbroken but he did what he was requested to do.He was distraughted on leaving her near sage Valmiki ashram. She took refuge in the ashram and later delivered twins Luv and Kusha.

Lakshman has plan to raise arm on Dasharath, Bharat and Parshuram

Though Dashrath was his father, he was enraged at him. He believed that Dashrath was acting unjustly to his son for a woman.
During exile Bharata came to meet Rama to persuade him to come home. Lakshman thought he came to kill him so was about to raise arm against him.
During Sita’s swayamvara when Ram broke the great bow of Shiva, Sage parshuram was enraged and threatened to kill Rama. So, Lakshman almost fought.
In all the situations Lakshman was about to raise arms and fight for Ram but Ram himself made him calm down and think rationally.

This is the character of Lakshman which is often overlooked.

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