What does The Ramayana reveal about Lakshmana’s character?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In a word, loyalty is revealed.  Lakshmana's characterization is one of extreme loyalty.  Lakshmana represents the pinnacle of loyalty to Lord Rama and what he represents.  When Lord Rama receives the initial command to have to go to the forest, Lakshmana is the first to jump to his defense, constantly berating Kalkeyi's curse and demanding that Lord Rama not pay heed to it.  When this fails, he surrenders himself to go with his brother to the forest.  While walking, Lakshmana is bothered when Devi Sita walks behind Lord Rama, obscuring Lakshmana's view of the Lord.  This shows the absolute loyalty he has towards his brother, one in which he has no problem laying down his life to protect him.  When Bharata's army approaches, Lakshmana sees them as a threat, demonstrating how loyal he is to his brother, doubting his other brother at the time of banishment.  The essence of filial loyalty is reveals in Lakshmana's character, one showing that the power of loyalty is in itself an intrinsic good.  The sense of honor and dignity with which Lakshmana carries out his loyalty is one of the benchmarks of his characterization in the epic.


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