Tuesday, September 26 2017, 09:39:56
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Lavanya Bahuguna


Let’s Talk About The Unsung Wife From Ramayana – Urmila

  • IWB Post
  •  November 4, 2015


I guarantee, they don’t make women like Urmila anymore. Thinking who’s Urmila? The wife of Lakshmana, brother of Rama! Duh.

See, all of us have forgotten Urmila – the woman who agreed to stay without her husband for fourteen long years after he decided to serve his elder brother during the latter’s exile.

According to Ramayana, Urmila wanted to accompany Lakshmana but he stopped her saying she should take care of her in-laws. (whaaaat?) He also stated that he wouldn’t be able to take care of her since his brother was his priority. (And what about the 7 vachans, Mr.?)

I can’t say about you, but I would be really furious if my future husband behaves like this. Urmila’s sacrifice may be unparalled, but is surely unrealistic if we consider the ‘biwis’ of modern age.

And if you consider Urmila’s situation, the society of that age was extremely patriarchal, even if Urmila did not agree with Lakshman’s decision, she would have to comply. Her problems? Nobody would consider.

Another version of the sutra states that Urmila asked Nidra, the goddess of sleep, to let her remain asleep throughout the fourteen years, waking up only when her husband arrives. She told her, “Give me my husband’s share of sleep for fourteen years so that he can stay awake all that time without any fatigue.” (Sati-savitri, much? I would prefer other options though!)

However, I really feel sorry for this woman. Somewhere she sacrificed so much, yet it is Sita who gets to enjoy the highest place in our puja spaces. Urmila and Lakshmana fought a greater battle compared to Rama and Sita and were never recognized, eventually forgotten.

Do you know Ram couldn’t convince Sita after which she accompanied him into the forest? Psst…Urmila should have learnt something from her elder sister Sita. Maybe a lesson or two on how to handle husbands! *evil smile*

For the last time, if you consider Sita the ideal wife, who is Urmila for you?

PS – Urmila is a clear example of “Behind every successful man, there is a woman”.

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