“The sorrows caused due to adultery i.e. sexual indulgence with women other than one’s wife are like the flowers in the present life. The agonies of hell are the fruits in the next life”. Such is the voice of Great Munis”. There was a city named Lanka in the Island of Rakshashas which was inhabited by the Rakshasha clan. It was a very large and beautiful city.
Once upon a time, this city was governed by King Ravana who had two brothers named Kumbhakama and Vibhishana and a number of sons named Indrajit, Meghanada etc. Ravana had eighteen thousand queens of whom Mandodari was the chief. Ravana was highly influential and much dignified. He was a great statesman.
He had conquered three divisions of earth / “Tina Khand prithvi” (Thrikandathipathi) and established full control over his large Kingdom. He was addressed as an “Ardha Chakri” (i.e.Demi-Chakravarti ) since he had the invincible weapon of wheel- thechkra.
One day Muni Sripal attained Perfect Knowledge- the KevalGnan on Mount Kailash. Knowing this Ravana went to Kailash like many Vidyadharas; paid obeisance to him, and listened to his sermons. He took the vow there to the effect that he would not force any women to his desire or to be his consort, against her wish . Ravana returned to Lanka.
One day, Lakshmana went to a forest named “Dandaka” for recreation where ravana’s sister son (i.e. the son of Khardhushana / named “Shambuk‘’)was engaged in deep meditation- “Manthra sadhana”– exercising magic spell for 12 years to acquire a divine sword. His Guru told him that this this could be achieved only after 12 years of exercise of a specific spell or manthra.
Further he told Shambuka that the divine sword would appear in the sky after the completion of 12 years of meditation, and that the sword should not be touched and be keept hanging in the sky for a week . When Rama and Laksmana were walking in the forest they came to the place where Shambuka was meditating. They saw the divine sword hanging in the sky and ashtonished.
Shambuka was still continuing his “Mantra-Sandhana”, sitting in the midst of a thicket of bamboo . Lakshmana hurriedly took away the sword from the sky and out of curiousity, holding the sword firmly in his hand and cut the bamboos with out knowing that Shambuk was in deep meditation under the bamboo bush; unfortunately the sword in no time cut both the bamboo aswell as Sambuka’s head.
Some time later, Shambhuk’s mother Shurpanakha came there as usual to see her son ; she was very much horrified to see the chopped-off head of her son, separated from his body. She could not believe; she thought that her son had perfected the ‘Widya” and he was exihibiting one of its miraculous powers. This thought amused her; however she slowly understood what had happened.
The moment she cametoknowthe death of Shumbuk, his beloved son, she was much shocked. She, then took the separated head and kept it on her lap ; started weeping and wailing. After some time, she went in search of the offender. She saw Lakshmana, who was extremely charming. Enamoured by the beauty of Lakshmana, she forgot for a while the sad demise of her son and determined to woo and marry Lakshmana.
Shurpanakha skilfuly decorated her so as to appear as an youthful virgin girl of sixteen years of age. She tried first to enslave Lakshmana and then Rama, his elder brother. She failed to attract any of the two, in spite of her best efforts. Watching all these, Sita could not tolerate the bad behaviour of Shurpanakha and reprimanded her. Coveting another man’wife & itsconsequences.
Shurpanakha furiousely left the spot in a revengeful spirit. She then went to her husband Khardushana along with the chopped head of their son and told him that their son was killed by two persons, who were wandering in the Dandak forest. She not only informed him about the killing of their son, but complained to him that one of those two misbehaved with her.
She said that though those two persons were extremely mean and degenerate they could not carry out their evil designs because of her good luck and the power of her husband . After hearing, Khardushana became infuriated.
He vowed to kill those two offenders ; by the beat of drum the public were informed about the killing of his son by two strangers,wandering in Dhandaka forest and their misbehaviour with Surpanaga; on the advice of his ministers he sent a message to his brother-in-law Ravana for help . Then Khardushana went to Dandak forest ,well armed and supported by a large army.
When Rama saw clouds of dust in the sky caused by the march of Kardushan’s army, he instructed Lakshmana to be ready with his bow and arrows. Lakshmana assured Ram not to worry at all. He advised him to be more careful about the safety of Sita, who should in no case be allowed to be left alone.
Lakshmana said that he would make the lion’s uproar “Simha Nada” in case of necessity for Rama’s help. Then and then alone should Ram come for help. After this Lakshmana left the place; met Kharudushan and his forces; fought the battle and defeated all of them: the defeat of Kardhushan was conveyed to Ravana.
He was infuriated and reached the battle field in the Dhandak forest by his “Pushpak Vimana”. On the way he happened to see Sita, an a image of beauty – and was so enamoured by her channing figure that he immediately determined to have her at all costs. He sent a “Vidya”, to bring Sita to him but that “Vidya” failed in her mission and came back empty handed.
The “Vidya” informed Ravana that he could not be successful in his mission as long there. The Vidhya asked Ravana to do something to force Rama to leave the place so that Sita would be left alone. Ravana agreed ; he made lion’s uproar “Simha-Nada” deceptively and Rama heard this. At once he left the cottage to help Laksmana.Sita was left alone.
Finding Sita alone Ravana seized her by force ; despite all resistance by Sita, he carried her in his aerial car -the pushpak viman.. Angered by the grave evil action of Ravana, Jatayu ,a birrd and a devotee of Rama, valiantly fought with Ravana but failed as he was no match to Ravana. Jatayu was badly wounded and fell on the ground; one Vidyadhar named Ratna Bati tried to rescue Sita but he was also defeated by Ravana.
While going in the aerial car, Sita wept bitterly and loudly and threatened Ravana with dire consequences of the sin of adultery and asked him to think of the agonies of hell which are bound to punish such sinners. Ravana was adament: he took Sita to Lanka and imprisoned her in a beautiful garden. He then tried to persuade her by all means to agree to marry him.
Sita vehemently opposed. She remained firm in her determination. Soon this news spread in the whole city. All tried to dissuade Ravana from his evil designs; but he remained adament. Even Mandodari did not succeed. It has been rightly observed that even the meritorious persons, if their minds are absorbed in sense pleasures – get deprived of all their merits. They cease to be wise, humane, noble and truthful.
When Ram reached battlefield on hearing lions uproar, Lakshmana asked him why had he come unnecessarily. Ram replied j that he did so because of the sound of lion’s uproar. Lakshmana was surprised to hear this. He deined to have made any such sound. He said that it might have been caused by some mischief monger with some evil design.
They immediately rushed to the cottage. Sita was not there; not finding Sita they became un-conscious and fell down on the ground. After regaining consciousness they started weeping and crying and recklessly searching her in the forest. There was no clue ;as days passed by they came to know about the abduction of Sta to Lanka by Ravana.
This was confirmed by a Vidyadhar named Hanuman who went to Lanka and found Sita imprisoned in a garden. Then Rama and Lakshmana wre proceeding to Lanka along with many Vidyadharas: on the way many Kings and Princes along with their powerful armies joined them.
One night, Ravana instucted Bhutas, Pishachas, Rakshashas, Dakins” etc to terrify Sita by their terryfying noises : but Sita could not be deterred. Vibhishana came to know of this ignoble action of his brother Ravana: with all good intentions he advised him to hand over Sita to Rama and got rid of the horrifying consequences of the sin of adultery “Para stri gaman”.
In spite of Vibhishaivs repeated prayers Ravana remained adament and determind not to hand over Sita to Ram and decided to have her at all costs. This made Vibhishana very sad and he joined hands with Rama in his campaign of freeing Sita from Ravana. Both sides made preparations for war and ultimately the war began.
Ravana and Lakshmana fought very valiantly and the battle between the two was very fierce. Ravana continued to lose;therefore he set the powerful weapon of wheel- the invincible chakra- in motion against
Lakshamana. When the chakra reached Lakshamana. instead of killing Lakshamana it changed to some thing like a flower on account of Lakshamana’s inhemt power.
Lakshamana then took it in his hand and set it in motion against Ravana. The chakra killed him. This caused great tumult in Rama’s army, panic and lamentations in the camp of Ravana. All of them were discussing about the evil effects of the sin of adultery.Sita atonce joined with Rama.
Oh! Bhavyas! now look here, and think of Ravana -the monarch of three divisions of world, master of 18000 queens, very wise, skillful and religious minded who has lost everything-even his life, due to one single evil habit “Vyasan” of adultery alone.
He tarnished the fair name of his illustrious family: he tarnished his world wide reputation into great infamy: ill – repute! he became a dishonoured and condemned person for ever. So Brothers ! any of you have this evil thought of adultery even in mind give up immediately: save yourself from miseries and be blissful.
1. Adultery is the greatest crime against humanity.
2. The adulterers lose all peace and happiness.
3. Persons commit murders even, when the secrets relating to their adultery get disclosed.
4. Those who cast evil eye on others wives are considered to be mean and degenerate.
5. He, who is enamoured by the wives of others, lose his liberty / independence and is enslaved.
6. Casting evil – eye on others wives, amounts to show disrespect and dishonour one’s own mothers, daughters and sisters.
7. Adultery is casting evil-eye on all women excepting one’s own wife and establishing sexual relationship with them
8. Adultery ruined a number of great families
9. Adultery results in the loss of all good qualities and merits.
10. How can one be truly religious if he indulges in adultery.
11. If you are unable to control your infirm ities towards other women, why don’t you marry? and if you are married, why don’t you feel satisfied with your wife?
12. Adultery tarnishes your neat and clean career.
13. If you desire on other’s wives , howsoever reliable they be,shall defame you, in times to come.
14. The wife of another with whom you are involved shall definitely cause your downfall.
15. Adultery brings sorrow to family members also.
16. Are you not aware that your evil habit of adultery affects your progeny adversely?
17. Are you not worried about the difficult and dangerous situation which shall be created, at the time of disclosure of your offence?
18. Even a minor joke , cut with wrong intention leads one to the extreme limit of the sin.
19. The moment, you cast an ill-intended look on any woman,you really casts an ill-intended look on you:, you should leave that place immediately. Otherwise you are not safe.
20. The most glaring example of adultery and the damage caused thereby, is that of Ravana who lost his goldem city of Lanka, his great and illustrious family and his life even, because of this evil-habit.
The evil-habits are not only these seven; there are other evil- habits also- one should know about these because there is a tendency in persons of meagre -intellect to leave the Right path and adopt wrong one.
English translation by
Enmity, sin, fear and shame will never leave those, who desires another man s wife.
– Acharya Kunthakuntha – Thirukkural 146