Urmila, the unsung story. Everyone knows about Ramanaya, ram, site and Lakshman. But only a few know about Urmila. Here, today we are sharing the story of the real victim of Exile and this is Urmila.
The sacrifice of Sita and Rama’s siblings has been the subject of endless debates. Amidst all this glorification, one woman’s selflessness goes almost unnoticed by the epic author. That of Urmila, Lakshmana’s wife.
All ready to accompany Lakshmana just as Sita is, Urmila is stopped by Lakshmana. “I have to serve Rama and Sita. You’ll be a distraction. Besides, you can take care of the elders by remaining behind,” he says and she reluctantly obeys.
Lakshman’s wife, Urmila, wanted to follow her husband to the forest as Sita had followed Ram but Lakshman begged her to stay back saying, “I will be busy taking care of Ram and Sita and will have not the time for you. Help me by staying back so that I do not have to feel guilty or anxious about your wellbeing.” So Urmila stayed back, reluctantly, wondering how she could help her husband help Ram.
A 14-year separation is rather harsh on a young bride but Urmila’s sacrifice doesn’t end there. Standing guard over his brother and Sita, Lakshmana has an unusual visitor — Nidra, the goddess of sleep. “You are defying me by not sleeping,” she says. “Leave me alone, I have a duty to perform,” responds Lakshmana. “I will if I have a substitute for you,” declares Nidra. Without a pause, Lakshmana says, “Maybe my wife Urmila can stand in for me. I’ll be ready after 14 years.” Is that a reflection of perfect understanding between the couple or a typical take-her-for-granted attitude? Today’s woman will tick the latter, surely.
So off goes Nidra to Urmila and the young woman obliges so that her husband can perform his duty — not a nice state to be in — by any stretch of the imagination. The story goes that she sleeps continuously for 14 years thus denying herself not only the proximity of her husband and conjugal right but the normal life of a human being. It turns out that, Indrajit can only be killed by a man, who has not slept for 14 years. This comes in handy on the battlefield.
She never enjoyed the luxuries of being a princess in Ayodhya, neither blamed anyone for her miseries; she did what she believed was right.