Sri Rama Tirtha Sarovara
It’s a very important site of the great sage Valmiki ashram is in Amritsar. Valmiki wrote Ramayana here. Mother Sita spent her period of exile at this place in Valmiki ashram, after Rama banished Sita, His wife and eternal consort, during His afterwards earthly pastimes. Pregnant and by itself, Sita sought shelter at the ashram of Valmiki, where she shortly offered birth to Lava and Kusha, sons of Lord Ramacandra as of this ashram. Lava and Kusha spent their childhood here at Valmiki ashram. During Ashvamedha Yajna by Lord Ramacandra, Lava and Kush captured a challenge horse. The combat between Lord Ramacandra’s forces and Lava and Kusha took place at Rama-tirtha-sarovara. Lava and Kusha tied Hanuman to a tree near to today’s Durgiana Temple. Nearby metropolitan areas to Amritsar, Lahore and Kasur, which are both right now in Pakistan, are said to be founded by Lava and Kusha, respectively. At Sri Rama Tirtha there are actual sites where there was Valmiki ashram, birth site of Lava and Kusha, kitchen of Mom Sita, well where Sita washed clothes and others. Recently a beautiful Temple is constructed in the middle of Rama Tirtha Sarovara to commemorate Valmiki ashram.
Banishment of Sita
One day Lord Ramacandra understood that Sita was pregnant. He expressed His great satisfaction, saying,“O wonderful princess, is there any desire within your heart that you feel has not yet been gratified? Please inform Me if there is, for I shall fulfill your every desire without fail.” Sita replied, “O Lord, in Your association all my desires have been abundantly fulfilled. However, since You are asking, I admit I have a strong desire to visit the asrama of the rsis situated on the banks of the Ganga, and offer my obeisances to the fantastic saints living there.” Rama assured her, “My dear Sita, please know that very soon you will have the opportunity to visit the rsis in the forest.”
Thereafter, Rama entered the royal assembly and engaged in joking and light conversation with His advisors. Rama then asked Bharda, “What do the citizens talk about these days? What do they say about Sita, Laxmana, Bharata and Satrughna? How do they feel about Our mother, Kaikeyi, and Myself? Indeed, kings are always the topic of criticism for the people.” With folded hands, Bharda replied, “O Lord, everyone praises Your success over the ten-headed Ravana. They acclaim You as the greatest of all heroes.” Rama, however, urged, “Tell Me truthfully what they state. Only by knowing matters as they are can one curtail his faults, and thus endeavor for self-improvement. O Bharda, there is no need for you to be afraid. I have already understood that envious people are spreading rumors about Me through Ayodhya. I’ve even personally heard some individuals criticize Me for taking back a woman who remained so long in the house of another.”
Hearing this, Bharda bowed to Rama and replied, “Whether good or bad, I do not know. Nevertheless, this is what individuals are saying in the marketplaces and in the city streets: ‘Rama has performed an extraordinary feat by bridging the ocean and vanquishing powerful Ravana. Still, offers it never occurred to Him that He has brought home a female that was abducted by the Raksasa and forced to sit on his lap? Does Lord Rama not feel disgust while enjoying a woman who remained with Ravana for almost one full season? Whatever a king does, the subjects must follow, and so now we have to tolerate unfaithfulness from our wives.'” “O Lord, it is these and other similar phrases that the people of Ayodhya speak about You.”
Lord Rama felt shocked and dismayed upon hearing this. He asked the additional ministers if what Bhadra had spoken was true, and they all confirmed that it was so. Actually, Lord Rama knew properly well of Sitadevi’s complete purity and innocence. Even so, He could not tolerate the shame of having to hear how people were mocking Him in this way. Due to this, Lord Rama made up His mind to abandon His unsuspecting wife. Lord Rama after that asked the spies to disclose what they had heard from the subjects the previous night time. With great reluctance, and after being repeatedly asked to do so, the 6th spy informed Lord Rama of what the washerman experienced said. Lord Rama was greatly shocked to hear this report. Certainly, He fainted onto the floor. After regaining His composure, Lord Rama called for Bharata and confided in him all that got happened. Enraged, Bharata was ready to go and eliminate the washerman. With great endeavor, he tried to convince Lord Rama of mom Sitadevi’s purity. Lord Rama then said, “I know that My wife is real and uncontaminated, but still, I will abandon her, for I am afraid of public scandal. Take your sharpened sword and cut off My head, or else abandon Sitadevi in the forest.”
Upon hearing this, Bharata lost consciousness and fainted. Lord Rama after that needed Laxmana and stated, “My dear brother, what I have to say is very painful, but please listen to Me with great care and attention. I have just learned that many of the citizens are criticizing Me for bringing Sita back from Lanka. Just see how distressed I’ve become! I have appeared in the royal dynasty of Iksvaku, and so I would rather die than have any stain of dishonor become attached to My name. After killing Ravana, I acquired also considered, ‘How can I take Sita back to Ayodhya?’ It was to allay these fears that I produced the princess of Mithila enter the fire in the presence of all the demigods and great rishis. At that time Vayu and Agni had declared that Sita was genuine, and within My heart, I knew that she was chaste, therefore i happily accepted her, but now rumors are becoming spread everywhere, and I am getting blamed in My own kingdom.”
“O Laxmana, provided that one’s misbehavior is the subject of rumors, one has to suffer great humiliation and defamation. Improper activities are usually condemned, and that is what motivates the noble-minded toward good works. I am ready to give up My life if necessary, to avoid open public scandal. In fact, I am prepared to renounce even you, My dear brother, if it is required for insuring My good name and reputation, therefore what to speak of Sitadevi! I feel as if I am drowning in an ocean of sorrow! Never before possess I experienced such misfortune!” “My dear Laxmana, tomorrow at dawn I want You to take Sita to the Ganga and give her a tour of all asramas of the great rishis. When You come to Valmiki’s asrama, which is by the side of the River Tamasa, I’d like You to abandon her and come back to Ayodhya alone.” “My dear brother, You must carry out My order without any argument, for actually the slightest hesitation on Your part will make Me very displeased with You. Actually, let it end up being known that anyone who objects to My decision will immediately become My worst enemy. Just a little while ago, Sita told Me that she wants very much to visit all the asramas along the shore of the Ganga. Right now move and fulfill her desire.”
Laxmana became brokenhearted even though hearing Lord Rama speak, but since he was the very obedient servant of his elder brother, he gave His consent without hesitation. Early the next morning, Laxmana went to Sitadevi and said, “Your husband has ordered Me to fulfill your desire. I’ll escort you to the Ganga so that you can worship the fantastic rishis residing there. Sumantra is definitely ready with the chariot, and so I request you to come at once.” Sitadevi was delighted. After putting on her finest dress and most exquisite jewelry, she told Laxmana, “I will distribute these, along with other gifts, to the wives of the great rishis.” Laxmana helped Sitadevi onto the chariot, plus they quickly departed, but as they proceeded, she anxiously stated, “O Laxmana, my right eye has begun to twitch and my brain feels strangely uneasy. I suddenly feel very fragile, and the world seems to look so gloomy. I hope that my Lord can be alright.” Sitadevi offered prayers to the demigods for the welfare of her spouse and other relatives. Laxmana replied in a voice choked because of his tears, “I am hoping that you do not meet with any misfortune.”
By evening, Sitadevi, Laxmana and Sumantra came to the River Gomati, and so they spent the night there. Early another morning they continued their journey, and by afternoon they found the Ganga. However, after dismounting, Laxmana broke down and cried, for He could no longer contain His grief. With great concern, Sitadevi inquired, “My dear Laxmana, what’s wrong? Now that we have reached our destination, You should be happy! Your sadness makes me experience very uneasy. Has just two days separation from my Lord brought You such anguish? I love my husband very dearly, but nonetheless I am not really disturbed like You! O Laxmana, please compose Yourself. We have to cross the Ganga to ensure that we can meet the great rishis. After that, we can quickly return to Ayodhya, for I also miss my Lord quite definitely.”
After wiping the tears from His eyes, Laxmana arranged for a boat and escorted Sitadevi across the Ganga. When they reached the various other part, Laxmana tearfully confessed, “O princess of Mithila, all-great Lord Rama provides entrusted Me with a very painful task, and by executing this duty I’ll become infamous in the eyes of the world. It would have been better if I had died rather than execute your husband’s order! Noble lady, make sure you forgive Me for what I am being forced to do.”
After stating this, Laxmana fell to the ground and began weeping extremely bitterly. With great agitation, Sitadevi asked, “O Laxmana! What is the matter? I cannot understand what You are saying. Please tell me clearly what is troubling You. Is there some great misfortune that has befallen my Lord and You do not have the courage to tell me?” Laxmana stood up, and along with his head bowed low He replied in a faltering voice, “While sitting in the royal court, Lord Rama learned that vicious rumors had been circulating throughout Ayodhya, accusing Him of acting with impropriety. Everywhere, people blame Lord Rama for having recognized you back, and this stain on His popularity pains Him unbearably. O mother Sitadevi, I know you are faultless, and so does Lord Rama. Make sure you do not misunderstand your husband. He is having to relinquish you, to keep the good name of the lksvaku dynasty.”
“O Princess, do not be heart-broken, for the abodes of the brahmarsis located nearby are celestially beautiful. You should consider shelter of the fantastic sage Valmiki, for he was a good friend of your father-in-law, Maharaja Dasaratha. Often think of Lord Rama inside your center and remain unflinchingly devoted to Him. In this way you will attain the highest pleasure. Of this there is no doubt.”
Upon hearing of her cruel fate, Sitadevi immediately fainted onto the bottom. When she came to her senses, Sitadevi piteously cried out, “Today I can see that this existence has been awarded to me simply for suffering! What great sin did I commit during the past? What poor girl’s marriage did I obstruct, so that today my Lord is certainly casting off His innocent wife? I faithfully implemented my hubby into exile, and remained articles despite all kinds of hardships.” “O Laxmana, how will I be able to survive here only? What will I tell the rishis when they request me why I was abandoned by my husband? What wrong have I done? I would gladly end my life simultaneously by throwing myself in the Ganga, but that would cause the end of my Lord’s dynasty.”
Finally, after becoming somewhat composed, Sitadevi told Laxmana, “I understand you are simply carrying out Your duty, therefore i usually do not blame You. Go back to Ayodhya and provide my respects to my mothers-in-law. Touch your feet of my hubby and deliver this message to Him, ‘O Lord, You know that my devotion has always been fixed upon You without deviation. You understand of my chastity and unfailing love, and yet, out of fear of dishonor and shame, You have got rejected me. O Rama, my Lord and only refuge, You should not do this!'”
“My dear hubby, I really do not grieve so much for myself, for I know that I am faultless, and, for a chaste girl, the husband is as good as God. As a result I must accept whatever You purchase as being for my welfare, also if it means giving up my entire life.” Laxmana circumambulated Sitadevi and got onto the boat. After reaching the other aspect, He mounted the waiting chariot. Then, as Laxmana set out for Ayodhya, He turned His head, just to have a last glimpse of Sitadevi. Sitadevi also sorrowfully gazed at Laxmana as He receded into the distance. Being all alone and unprotected, Sitadevi provided full vent to her grief by falling onto the ground and sobbing uncontrollably.
Laxmana said, “O Sumantra, what terrible pain Lord Rama will have to suffer now that He has abandoned His dear wife. It appears as though that great destroyer of Raksasas is normally Himself under the control of cruel Destiny! I am sure that the sorrow Lord Rama will feel now will far go beyond that which He experienced while living in exile by the order of His father.” Sumantra was able to pacify Laxmana, and after spending the night time by the medial side of the river, they resumed their trip early the next morning. Meanwhile, some of Valmiki’s disciples occurred to see Sitadevi weeping. They ran to their guru and said, “Come quickly! There is a girl who resembles the goddess of fortune, sitting by itself in the forest and crying!”
By his mystic power, Valmiki could understand everything. He rushed to the spot where the bereaved Sitadevi sat, and very humbly approached her. Valmiki mildly stated, “O devoted wife of Lord Rama and child of King Janaka, by the strength of my austerities, I understand all that happens within the three worlds, and therefore I can understand your plight. Please do not be scared. Near my asrama some feminine ascetics reside, and they will care for you very devotedly, as if you were their girl. Please come with me now. Consider this to be your new home.”
Valmiki took Sitadevi and placed her beneath the care of the lady ascetics. Meanwhile, after arriving at Ayodhya, Laxmana entered the royal palace. There, He saw Lord Rama seated in a terribly distracted state of mind, shedding tears while absorbed in a state of deep contemplation. Upon seeing this, Laxmana’s eye also filled with tears.
After bowing down, Laxmana spoke as follows, in a voice laden with great sorrow, “My dear brother, in accordance with Your order, I abandoned mother Sitadevi on the shore of the Ganga near Valmiki’s asrama(Rama Thirtha). O Lord Rama, there is absolutely no use in giving way to such grief. After all, in this world, meeting and separation are concomitant factors. It is inevitable that one’s wife, son, and indeed, one’s very lifestyle must one day be given up. For this reason, intelligent persons constantly pass through life’s journey with an attitude of detachment.” “My dear brother, Your unlimited prowess handles the three worlds. Why then do You not suppress this despondency? Cast off this weakness! Otherwise, more rumors will circulate. What will people think?” Lord Rama became pacified by Laxmana’s words, and thus He gradually cast off His grief.