On the seventh day of the Rama Navami utsavam at the Madhava Perumal Temple, the Soorpanaka ‘nose cut’ episode from the Ramayana was presented to the devotees.
While Rama was spending time in exile at Panchavati along with Sita and Lakshmana, Ravana’s sister Soorpanaka, who had the magical power to transform herself to a beautiful woman, was overcome by the handsome features of Rama. When despite her pleas, Rama refused to accept her love, Soorpanaka seeing Sita as the hurdle, attempts to kill her.
It was then Lakshmana intervenes and chops off her nose. It is this episode in Panchavati that led the angry Soorpanaka to head back to Lanka to describe the beauty of Sita and create the lust in Ravana to attain her.
Till this episode, Rama and Sita ably assisted by the dutiful Lakshmana had been leading an enjoyable life in the beautiful Panchavati, almost forgetting that they were in exile in the forest. It was as a consequence of the chopping off of Soorpanaka’s nose that Ravana came to the forest to carry off Sita to Lanka leading to the battle between Rama and Ravana.
The Soorpanaka episode was beautifully presented by the priests of Madhava Perumal Temple. With Rama and Sita watching, Lakshmana giving Soorpanaka a nose cut with his sword and she lifting her left hand in pain left the devotees glued to this beautiful decoration on this seventh day Thiru Kolam of the Rama Navami Utsavam at this Mylapore temple.
- Report, photo; S. Prabhu