To the uninitiated, here is a little nudge from ancient history of Ramayana. Just to bring you up to speed, Angad was the son of Bali (the Monkey king before he met his nemesis in Ram). After the death of his father, he joined Ram’s army along with Sugriv, his uncle & new king. Ram wanted to send an emissary to Lanka’s durbar and more specifically to Ravan, as a last ditch effort to make peace. He chose Angad, and there was a reason why! That is what I choose to name as ‘The Angad Effect’!
Angad, as instructed by Ram, arrived at Ravan’s durbar with the message of peace. Ravan, as usual, did not give any credence to Angad and did not even offer him a seat, which was the right thing to offer a visiting emissary. This did not go well with Angad and to show his strength he extended his tail, coiled it into a cylindrical tool and sat on top of it hovering over & above the rest of kingsmen. Ravan was taken aback; Angad has proved that neither he nor Ram’s army can be taken lightly. This made sense as peace offer is well appreciated only when the opponent power is well understood. That is Angad effect #1.
The next few minutes went in different dialogues between Ravan & Angad. Most of it was either sermons from Angad or expression of arrogance by Ravan. Ravan even tried to woo him in the name of Bali but met with little success. Blinded by power & arrogance, Ravan asked his senapati (Chief of Army) to capture & throw Angad out. Angad could have easily fled using his own power but he wanted to leave with a strong impression. That was necessary to let Ravan know that the so called power he boasts off can be challenged effectively by Ram’s army as well. Angad wanted to teach him a lesson. He put forward his right foot, stomped it hard and then threw an open challenge to Ravan’s durbar ‘if anyone is able to remove his right foot from its position, he would proclaim defeat not only for himself but for Ram’s behalf as well’. Ravan fell for the challenge to his own peril. Each & every gallant soldier/ ministers of Ravan tried hard only to fail miserably. Then rose Meghnad! Hopes rekindled in Ravana’s rank. Meghnad is a defeater of God Indra and is known as the best warrior in the ranks. But he also had to face defeat and walk back to his seat, face down & out. Now Ravana himself rose. He is not the one to take challenge lightly. He walks up to Angad in measured steps and kneels down in front of Angad in order to lift his foot. Prompt came Angad’s reaction, he removed his foot immediately and asked Ravana to touch not his feet but Ram’s for forgiveness. Saying such, Angad left the durbar, leaving Ravana & Lankan army seething in anger and fear as well.
Now what made Angad remove his foot? It was probably because Ravana had the strength & power to remove Angad’s feet without much ado. Angad knew it but accepting defeat would have emboldened the Lankan army and hence he removed it himself and sermonized to Ravan on his need to touch Ram’s feet. This is what I call Angad effect#2. It is prudent to know & appreciate owns’ limitation of strength & power but equally prudent to not let others know about it! Is not that a great lesson from this beautiful epic of Ramayana? What happens when an otherwise powerful person forgets his limitations and gets blinded by self? That’s exactly what happened to Bhima in the war of Kuruskehtra! Wait for my next blog to hear more about it.