Laxman Defeating Sleep for 14 Years

 
Contributed by : Shina Utavani   
Laxman Defeating Sleep for 14 Years

This is a story of Laxman, Ram and Urmila.

Moral(s) of the story: sacrifice

The Ramayan is an ancient Sanskrit epic written by the famous sage Valmiki. It describes Lord Rama's effort to rescue Sita from the demon king Ravana. It also describes the challenges faced by Lord Rama, Laxaman, and Sita when they were exiled from the kingdom for 14 years. Following is a story from “The Ramayana”.

Laxman was devoted to Ram. He wanted to accompany him to the exile of the forest. His devotion was such that he even refused to take his wife, Urmila with him to the forest.

Laxman’s wife, Urmila, wanted to follow her husband to the forest as Sita was leaving with Ram. But Laxman begged her to stay back saying, “I will be busy taking care of Ram and Sita and I will have no time for you. Please help me by staying back so that I do not have to feel guilty about you.” So, Urmila stayed back wondering how she could help her husband.

On the first night in the forest, Laxman kept a watch while Ram and Sita went to sleep. That is when Nindra, the goddess of sleep approached him. Laxman requested her to leave him alone for fourteen years so that he could guard his brother and sister-in-law night and day. The goddess was impressed by his act and agreed. But the law of nature demanded that someone had to sleep on behalf of him to create a balance. Then Laxman asked her to consider Urmila for this. Nindra went to Urmila and asked her if she would like to take up Laxman’s sleep, to which she agreed.

So, Urmila slept for fourteen years day and night, while her husband, Laxman, stayed awake in the service of Ram and Sita. They both sacrificed for protecting Ram and Sita. Urmila’s sacrifice had an impact on the war against Ravana. Meghnadh was the Ravana’s son and he was unbeatable. The man who had not slept for 14 years could only defeat him. Thus, Laxman was able to kill him because of the sacrifice of Urmila.


Moral:

This story teaches us to sometimes sacrifice our needs for the sake of our loved ones.




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