There is an interesting short story at the end of Ramayana.
Ramayana is a Hindu epic, which describes the story of Rama, the illustrious prince who lived the life of righteousness in every aspect conceivable and in every step of his life! Sita his wife is also the most illustrious of women in her virtue and valor in spite of all the adversities she had to face in life.
Ramayana in brief is as follows: After an illustrious childhood and after his marriage to princess Sita, Rama is required to travel to live in the forest for fourteen years to fulfill a promise of his father King Dasaratha. During this life in the forest, one day, the demon King Ravana entices Sita through an attractive deer. Sita requests Lakshmana, the brother of Rama, who stands guard for the house, while Rama is away, to catch the deer and bring it to her. When Lakshmana drops his guard for a brief moment and steps away to catch the deer, Ravana kidnaps the princess Sita. Rama pursues hard to locate Ravana, engages and defeats him in an epic battle, and reunites with his beloved wife Sita. After Rama returns triumphantly, he is crowned as the king along with Sita as his queen.
Soon after becoming the king, Rama is required to settle an unique dispute between a noble man on the prosecution side and a dog that is accused!
The noble man was brought to the court in a chariot with all due honors and he was ready to present his case. But, the dog – a stray dog at that – was hanging around in the street corner. When King Rama sent for the dog to show up at the King’s court, the dog refused to come. Instead the dog said, “This is not befitting of the King. He has provided all necessary respects and resources including the chariot to bring the noble man to the court. But, it is not wise of him to treat me, one of the two parties in the case with such disregard! Please request him to send me the most virtuous, who is without any infractions in his life to invite me to the king’s court”! Many messengers were sent one after the other and the dog found one infraction in the life of each of the messengers. Finally, Lakshmana was sent. Those who know the details of the story of Ramayana would know that there are no equals to Lakshmana in his nobility. He is considered as the symbol of loyalty to Rama and respect and adoration for Sita. When Rama, Lakshmana and Sita left for the forest, his mother advised him, “Lakshmana, please always stand guard for your brother. Also there is no one equal to Sita in her kindness and compassion, the best qualities of a mother. Hence, please show every respect to Sita, just as if she was your mother, just like me”. Lakshmana lived every moment in the forest, true to his mother’s advice. Hence, when Sita was stolen by Ravana, during a moment of lapse in guarding her, Lakshmana’s grief knew no bounds. Yet, the dog told Lakshmana that he was not worthy of being a flawless messenger! Lakshmana was shocked! He told the dog, “Look, I would not have left my guard post, which ended in such sad event of Sita being stolen away, but for her harsh words challenging my faith to serve her request”. The dog replied “You may be correct about the harsh words of Sita, while she was demanding that you leave your guard and fetch the deer. But, you did not leave to fetch the deer, as your motive. Instead, you left your guard because your ego was bruised. There is no one equal to mother on this earth. The harsh words of mother are no insult to a virtuous person. Since you took her harsh words as a personal insult, it is a blemish and hence you are not pure or flawless.
Mother has a special place in every one’s life. She is a human being just like any of the rest of us. Hence she could have occasional bout of anger and hence may speak harsh words. It requires a person of virtue to look beyond that and yet stay focused on his/her duty, which includes standing guard to her care and welfare on all occasions.
Happy Mother’s Day!