The demon who chose to perish in the enemy’s hand than his master – Marich

Marich had an important role to play in Ramayan. It was because of Marich that Shri Ram and Mata Sita get separated and Ravan’s cunning scheme works out. But this act of being the golden deer was not chosen by Marich, but forced upon him by his master Ravan. Caught in an act of agreeing to the master’s wishes or face death, Marich chose to be absolve, but not in the hands of Ravan, but in the hands of Shri Ram.
In the Bal Kand of Ramayan, Marich appears in the ashram of Rishi Vishwamitr wherein along with his brother, when he sets out to destroy the rishi’s yagna, he is given a taste of Shri Ram’s arrow which hurls him across the ocean and throws him in Lanka. After tasting defeat in Shri Ram’s hands, Marich understands Shri Ram’s power and stays away from him and devotes his life in meditation. However, things change for him the day Ravan approaches him. Instigated by Shurpanakha to abduct Mata Sita, Ravan approaches Marich. Ravan knew that he could not win over Shri Ram through a direct battle and hence he resorts to deceit. He asks Marich to turn into a golden deer and attract Mata Sita so that he could abduct her when the brothers go in search of the deer.
Marich trembles at the name of Shri Ram. As he is a well-wisher of Ravan, he gives him the advice of leaving the thought of abducting Mata Sita. He mentions that enemity with Shri Ram would do him no good to him or his clan. Marich says that whoever has given him this advice does not wish for the welfare of Lanka, but its destruction.
Marich also mentions the virtues of Shri Ram as a person who always the follows the path of Dharma. He also warns Ravan about Shri Ram’s vow of making the Dandak forest free of demons and how the sages are directing him to do so. Marich finally says, for him, the fear of Shri Ram is so great that he shivers even at the sound of Ra, even though the sound refers to something else. But, Ravan does not like any of his words. He threatens Marich that he would kill him if the order was not obeyed. Marich then realises that Ravan is upto his own doom.
Letting destiny do its own work and realising that it was no use of giving advice to Ravan, Marich firmly accepts his own fate. He believes that getting absolved in the hands of Shri Ram was always a good option than falling prey to Ravan and he agrees to become the golden deer and lure Mata Sita. Although he succumbs to Shri Ram’s arrow, he is happy that he has done his job and even more happy that he died in the hands of Shri Ram.
Marich as a golden deer is often quoted as a name taken when one has to be warned of not falling for the upper beauty or looks, a name taken when one has to be averted from chasing greed. But Marich is a name which also reminds us as a name who chose to die in the hands of Dharma, rather than being a supporter of an evil scheme. Marich was used as a pawn by his master, but he continued to do his Dharma even though he knew he would meet his end.