Avan Deivam Endreno Mandodhariyai Pole
Below is the translation to Veda Paati's story, narrated in tamil, available in below platforms:
THIRUKOLUR PEN PILLAI RAGASIYAM - 19
Did I, like Mandodhari, announce that Rama is God ?
Udayavar Ramanuja thrilled to be taken to the days of Ramayana all thanks to Thirukolur Pen Pillai, eagerly looked forward to her next tale. The melancholic little child said, “Oh Swami, am I like Mandodhari? She who announced that Rama is God?”. EmperumAnAr, who was excited to hear yet another interesting story from Ramayana nudged her to go on! With that the child began narrating the story of Mandodhari, one of the many wives of Ravana.
Mandodhari was very pure and devoted to her husband. She had respect and love towards her husband, Ravana, the King of Lanka. However, upon learning that Ravana had abducted Sita from her family and kept her in Asokavanam, Mandodhari was deeply saddened. She tried to explain, debate, discourage Ravana – what he had done was clearly wrong. The arrogant and stubborn Ravana paid no heed to anyone’s good advice. He was convinced that what he had done was absolutely right.
Hanuman, the valorous, intelligent and divine monkey was sent to Lanka in search of Sita. As He leapt from one place to another in Ravana’s palace, He passed Mandodhari’s bedroom. For a minute, He mistook Mandodhari for Sita. The very fact that she was mistaken for Mother Sita, was proof of her purity and innocence. Such a pure hearted Mandodhari knew deep inside her that Rama was no ordinary human. She had plenty of good reasons to conclude that Rama was extraordinary and celestial.
Firstly, Hanuman had made His way to Lanka all the way from India. He not only arrived in her land, but also created much chaos and instilled fear in many of the strong warrior brother of Ravana. “Imagine, if a mere monkey, and a disciple of Rama Himself could do this, how strong and valorous Rama must be?”, Mandodhari asked herself.
Secondly, Rama, Lakshmana, Hanuman and the rest of the monkey troop had built a long bridge from India to Lanka over the ocean. Is it possible by normal folk? Not at all! This was only conceivable under the leadership of the very able Rama. “He must be extraordinary!”, she exclaimed!
Thirdly, Mandodhari’s robust but unwise son had tried to capture Rama and Lakshmana using his Nagaastra. The Nagaastra had tied the brother together. However, the great and mighty divine bird Garuda came to their rescue and released them. “Why would such a celestial being save Rama? This is all because Rama beheld truth and dharma! He is definitely none other than Lord Sriman Narayana Himself”, said Mandodhari to herself!
During the last stages of the war, Ravana was finally left without weapons. It would have taken Rama just a few minutes to destroy this evil king of Lanka. However, Rama was still willing to give Ravana a chance to redeem Himself and surrender. He asked Ravana to return to the war the next day, hoping he would change. Unfortunately, Ravana’s ego, arrogance and greed blinded his eyes. Rama finally killed Ravana. Rama’s patience, truthfulness, adherence to dharma, all showed His greatness that could never belong to an ordinary human.
Finally, Rama vanquished the great warrior Kumbakarna, the brother of Ravana with a single arrow. Such a task could not have been done by a mere mortal. This too directed Mandodhari towards the ultimate truth that Rama was none other than the Lord of the universe.
While the many wives sat around Ravana and cried over his demise, Mandodhari too joined the grieving. She asked the dead Ravana, “What did you see in Sita that you did not see in me? Look at what your greed has finally brought to you!”. At a distance she caught sight of Lord Rama. Then it dawned upon her that her husband was killed not by an ordinary person, but by the extraordinary Lord Himself. “Rama, you are full of good virtues! You are the Lord Himself. You are God!” exclaimed Mandodhari!
Having related the story, Thirukolur Pen Pillai asked Ramanuja “Mandodhari, due to her good virtues and purity, was able to realize God in Rama. Am I able to claim that Vaithamaanidhi Perumal of Thirukolur is my Lord? Do I have the maturity to know that my Lord would take care of me”, moaned the child relentlessly!