Whether he knew it not, Ravana paid the price. But even before he was slain, there were whispers in the air. Whether it was in keeping with Arya Dharma to bring Sita back to Ayodhya.
Sita’s saga retold
But to return to Ayodhya without Sita! That was unthinkable for Rama. He had not fought an entire war just to show off the prowess of the Aryan Empire. It was for Sita. Even if no one else believed it, he thought Sita would.
Must Sita listen to all that they would say?
If Sita were to be asked to prove her chastity before the people of Ayodhya, would she be able to bear it?
But unless Sita’s chastity was proved, the royal court of Ayodhya would not welcome her with respect and cordiality.
He knew that very well. So he thought it should be resolved in Lanka itself.
Trial by fire — for his Sita.
For his sake, for his sake alone, did Sita, a woman of dignity, agree to it.
He had thought that he would have no option but to fall at Sita’s feet and beg forgiveness for subjecting her to the ignominy.
But Sita understood his situation. She decided to protect him and his worldly and kingly duties. She wanted to assure him that she was there for him.
She hid the seas of humiliation and grief behind her eyelids, and came forth unperturbed like a pot of water and doused the fire.
"Don’t forgive me, Sita —" he held back the words behind his lips. Her lips delicately brushed away those words.
All is well, he thought innocently.
But a shadow of sadness had already gathered in Sita’s eyes. He knew Sita had sustained a wound for his sake. He thought he would be able to heal that wound with his love and with the miraculous power of time.
Today, he cut open that wound again, left it incurable and abandoned her.
He caused her heart to bleed incessantly for her humiliation.
A wound that would never heal.
A wound that would hurt every day.
A wound caused by the throne to the love of Sita and Rama.
He could forsake Sita; Sita belonged to him.
He could not relinquish the throne; it belonged to Raghu Vamsa.
The dynasty. The tradition in which political power passes on to the firstborn. The dharma of preserving that tradition was on his head. The burden of protecting Arya Dharma finally robbed him of all the happiness in his life.
There was no liberation for him.
Rama wailed disconsolately.