The Sharpest Knife: Lakshmana and His Words of Wisdom
“O You of great intellect, not even the demigods can fathom the level of Your intelligence. Due to bereavement Your wisdom is currently in a dormant state, and I am here to rouse it.” (Lakshmana speaking to Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya-kanda, 66.19) More
“Rama bewailing thus, like one who had no protector, being stricken with grief and overwhelmed by great illusion appeared impoverished and lifeless. Thereafter, Lakshmana, the son of Sumitra, lovingly pressing His lotus feet, instantly reassured Him thus: Like the demigods obtaining ambrosia, King Dasharatha, after performing great austerities and great deeds, obtained You as a son. Being attached to Your qualities, the king, as we have heard from Bharata, attained the divine nature due to separation from You. O Kakutstha, if You are unable to tolerate this distress, then how will the common person or the meager be able to tolerate it? Tell me, O best of men, which living entities aren't affected by danger, which is like a fire that catches on and then eventually vanishes? My Lord, if, through Your effulgence, You set the entire planet ablaze and put it into a distressful situation, where will the distressed citizens go, O tiger among men, for solace? This [having to deal with temporary setbacks] is certainly characteristic of this world. Even King Yayati, the son of Nahusha, after ascending to the heavenly planets of Indra was touched with inauspiciousness. Vashishta, who is a maharishi and our father’s priest, begot one hundred sons in one day, only to see them slain again in one day.
O Lord of Koshala, even the Earth, who is the mother of the world and respected by everyone, suffers distress in the form of earthquakes. Even the mighty sun and moon, who are the eyes of the world, the epitomes of virtue and duty, and in whom the whole world is situated, have to suffer through eclipses. O best among men, what to speak of demigods and even great beings [planets] - every living entity who accepts a material body becomes subject to the influence of destiny. We have heard that even the demigods, who are headed by Shakra [Indra], are subject to auspiciousness and inauspiciousness. Therefore, O tiger among men, You should not be perturbed. O Raghava, even if Vaidehi [Sita] has been killed or taken away, it is not appropriate for You, O brave one, to lament in the same way as an ordinary person. O Rama, keen observers such as Yourself never lament even when faced with the most distressful of situations, for they are able to maintain a steady outlook. O best among men, after fixing Your intelligence in transcendental knowledge, do You follow completely the course of action decided by Your mind. Being engaged in activities guided by intelligence [buddhya-yukta], those possessing great wisdom can decipher between auspicious and inauspicious activities. Unseen and indefinite are the good and bad reactions of fruitive work. And without taking action, the desired fruits of such work cannot manifest.
O hero, many times in the past You had spoken the same words of instruction to me. Of course how can anyone, be they even Brihaspati [the priest of the demigods] himself, be capable of instructing You? O You of great intellect, not even the demigods can fathom the level of Your intelligence. Due to bereavement Your wisdom is currently in a dormant state, and I am here to rouse it. O best of the Ikshvakus, considering Your powerful divine and human capabilities, please strive for the destruction of Your enemies. O best of men, what is the use of Your destroying the entire world? After finding out Your sinful enemy, You should uproot him alone.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya-kanda, Ch 66)