Ramayana – Rama slays Subahu

After Tadaka was killed by Rama, it was the turn of her sons – Maricha and Subahu who came roaring from the skies and poured blood in the ritual altar on the last day of the yagna. Rama and Laskhmana were now stronger than before due to their new found knowledge of the divine astras.

Rama used an astra called Maanava on Maricha. The astra hit the asura on his chest and threw him away a hundred yojanas into the sea but did not kill him. Rama realized that the astras that he was using were acting in accordance to his thoughts and that this blessing was due to Vishwamitra. But even after this warning, Subahu continued to dirty the altar. Hence Rama used another astra called Aagneya to kill Subahu. Then he used the Vaayavya astra to decimate the remaining asuras.

Maricha who was let off by Rama, was so clearly shaken by Rama’s valor. We will see about the impact that this meeting had in him in subsequent posts.

But why did Rama kill one asura and let one asura live? While the story is straight forward, the inner meaning is not.

We, as Jivatmas, commit loads of sins in our lives. But after we surrender ourselves to the feet of the lord, he completely washes away the sins that we have committed till that point of time like cotton destroyed in a fire. But what about the sins that we commit after the surrender? Those that we commit unwittingly after the surrender (please note the word unwittingly!)-he whisks them away from us like water from the surface of the lotus leaves so that they don’t stick to us. While killing of Subahu is an allegory to the first situation, throwing Maricha into the sea to remove him from the scene, is a parable to the second situation.

Clearly shows that every little story in our scriptures have more substance and context than what meets our eyes.

In this instance, Rama showed that he was God, although indirectly. But there was another situation in which he acted like a human and true to his role of a husband…

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