Duty and Devotion- The Two Traits of Aranya Kand

Devotion is the most powerful virtue of all, which when practised with a pure heart is answered by the Almighty. The purpose of Bhagwan Vishnu incarnating as Shri Ram was not only to kill Ravan, but also to give his blessings to devotees who were waiting for his darshan since long time. It is his greatness that he himself creates a reason on the name of exile and went to the door of each and every devotee residing in the dense jungles.

When one looks at Aranya Kand in the deeper sense, It is a lesson by Shri Ram to the whole mankind that when a human choses his path to travel in the journey of life, he faces various situations, good and bad. The true grit lies when the situations are tackled and won over with courage and confidence, thus fulfilling the purpose of being born as a human.

Aranya Kand expounds both devotion and duty. For upholding the word of his father, Shri Ram comes to the exile. However, he just does not spend it in a cottage and finishes it off, but he decides to spend the time in protecting and saving the pious sages of the Dandak forest who were being harassed by the demonic forces. Thus, he starts on an arduous journey in the dense forests which he regards as his prime duty.

There is a point wherein Mata Sita asks him that when he has to lead a life of an ascetic for fourteen years, then why he is taking up the vow of killing the demons as killing is against the rules of asterism. Then, Shri Ram reminds her that he is a Kshatriya first and his foremost duty is to protect and preserve the good. He explains how important duty and responsibility are in human life.

Not only freeing the revered sages from the demonic forces, but Shri Ram blesses them by visiting each one of them. He subtly depicts that the faith of the devotee towards him is always answered, thus denoting the beautiful relation between devotee and God. The Rishis too, perform their duty while guiding Shri Ram in the required route to travel so that he would eradicate all demons on his journey and reach his final destination, Lanka.
Shri Ram does his duty towards Jatayu too. By making friendship with Jatayu and treating him in the same way as Maharaj Dasarath, Shri Ram sets an example that sincere devotion is blessed even if it comes from a flesh eating bird. By giving Jatayu a place in Vaikunth Dham, he sets an example that devotion has no barriers to reach God.


Shri Ram proves that there is no inequality in devotion. He walks miles and miles to reach out to an innocent tribal woman Shabari. By eating the tasted berries of Shabari and accepting her hospitality, Shri Ram simply states that that devotion is not confined to the intellectual people, but it also can be in the low sections of the society, yet is equal and as pure as the devotion of the intellectual ones. Aranya kand is a beautiful kand which depicts the relation of a devotee and God. It can be said that it is indeed apt that this beautiful Kand ends by Shri Ram preaching the Nava Vidha Bhakti to Shabari and personifying its beauty rich of devotion.