07 May The Wife is the Shadow of the Husband
This is an excerpt from a lecture by Srila Prabhupada on how Lord Rama and Sita Devi were an ideal couple and completely faithful to each other. This lecture was given in Hawaii on 27 March, 1969 on Rama-Navmi, the appearance day of Lord Ramacandra.
So here Lord Ramacandra exhibited the quality how He renounced the whole kingdom simply on the order of His father, His obedience to father. He could have argued with His father, “My dear father, you, simply for keeping your promise and actuated by the dictation of a woman, you are doing this. Let us stop it. Everyone is expecting that tomorrow My coronation will be there, and they love Me so much.”
Because He, just like Krishna was so much loved, similarly, Lord Ramacandra was the life of the people. They were very much expecting that Ramacandra was going to be enthroned tomorrow. So how they were celebrating, how they were decorating the whole city, everything. He never argued. He accepted immediately: “Yes, father. I am ready.”
So then His one of the brothers, Lakṣmaṇa, He also requested Ramacandra, “My dear brother, You also take Me. I am Your constant companion. I must go with You.” So He said, “That’s Your wish. Voluntarily, if You want to come, You can come with Me.” Then Sita, His wife, young wife, she also said, “I’ll go with You.”
Ramacandra requested His wife, “Oh, you cannot go with Me. It is very difficult. You are a king’s daughter, and you were brought up in so nice way, and you are so beautiful. You cannot go. You cannot take the trouble of living in the forest.” So she said, “Oh, I am Your wife, married wife. So I must go even if You go to hell.”
This is ideal wife. She could have refused: “Oh, Your father has ordered to go to forest. You can go. I shall go to my father’s house or I shall remain here.” No. This is ideal wife. She must be prepared to accept any circumstances of the husband. Not that when the husband is rich the wife is very faithful, and when he has come down to be poor or he’s going to forest the wife gives up his company. No. Wife means better half. She must abide. Just like, it is said, just like a shadow follows the reality, similarly, the wife is the shadow of the husband. Wherever the husband goes, she must go. Whatever the husband wants, she must carry out.
Of course, in this country this interpretation is taken differently, that wife is made a slave. But actually it is not so. When Sita was kidnapped in the jungle, Ramacandra expected that, that she was beautiful, she was young, and “We shall be in open jungle. It may be some demons may come,” and actually it so happened. So for Sita, Lord Ramacandra massacred the whole family of Ravaṇa. Only for Sita. So as the husband, so the wife. The wife was so faithful that she could not remain alone. She must accompany the husband even in the forest. And the husband was so faithful that “Oh, my wife has been kidnapped,” so He massacred the whole family of Ravaṇa.