LAKSHMANA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology]
Son of King Dasaratha by his wife Sumitra. He was the twin brother of Satrughna, and the half-brother and especial friend of Ramachandra. Under the peculiar circumstances of his birth, one-eighth part of the divinity of Vishnu became manifest in him. But according to the Adhyatma Ramayana, he was an incarnation of Sesha.
When Rama left his father's court to go to the hermitage of Vishvamitra, Lakshmana accompanied him, and afterwards attended him in his exile and in all his wanderings.
He was also very attached to Rama's wife Sita, which gave rise to the reproach that the two brothers were husbands of one wife. On one occasion, indeed, Sita reproached Lakshmana that he did not hasten to rescue Rama from danger, because he wished to obtain herself. His own wife was Urmila, the sister of Sita, and he had two sons, Angada and Chandraketu.
While Rama and Lakshmana were living in the wilderness, a Rakshasi named Surpanakha, sister of Ravana, fell in love with Rama and made advances to him. He jestingly referred her to Lakshmana, who in like manner sent her back to Rama. When she was again repulsed she attacked Sita, whom Rama was obliged to defend. Rama then called upon Lakshmana to disfigure the Rakshasi, and accordingly he cut off her nose and ears. The mutilated female called upon her brother to avenge her, and a fierce war ensued. When Sita was carried off by Ravana, Lakshmana accompanied Rama in his search, and he ably and bravely supported him in his war against Ravana.
Rama's earthly career was drawing to a close, and Time was sent to inform him that he must elect whether to stay longer on earth, or to return to the place from whence he had come. While they were in conference, the irascible sage Durvasas came and demanded to see Rama instantly, threatening him with the most direful curses if any delay were allowed to occur. To save his brother Rama from the threatened curse, but aware of the consequences that would ensue to himself from breaking in upon Rama's interview with Time, he went in and brought Rama out. Lakshmana knowing his fate, retired to the river Sarayu and resigned himself. The gods then showered down flowers upon him and conveyed him bodily to heaven.
Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM