Word of honour

How many times have we not been at the receiving end of broken promises? The system and the people who run the world for us seem to be in nexus when it comes to tardiness and dishonesty.

Though we might have the best of intentions, we also tend to compromise on punctuality, discipline or integrity as a ripple effect. At such times we do not hesitate to pass the buck to the nearest sitting duck. We feel vindicated when we believe that we do not have anything to do with our setbacks and failures.

 Sometimes, we also feel vengeful about the people who have let us down and wait for an opportunity to return the favour at the earliest. It is during such times we will do well to remember the flawless truthfulness of Rama. The Ikshavaku prince was sent on exile for fourteen long years. He accepted his exile on the day earmarked for his coronation.

 That he did it without a murmur out of his sheer deference to his father is commendable.  However, what is more praiseworthy is that he stood by his promise despite the fact that his dying father suggested that Rama could rebel against him. He rejected the earnest request of his widowed mothers and Bharatha who beseeched him to return to Ayodhya.

When Rama went in search of his abducted wife Sita, he helped Sugreeva to regain power. Yet, Raghava assigned the duty of coronation to his brother because entering a kingdom during exile would amount to breach of his oath.

When he had to battle

Ravana, he chose to camp outside the limits of Lanka. He bade his sibling to crown Vibhishana as the king of Lanka in the aftermath of the Great War. The last leg of his exile was spent just outside Ayodhya because he could not dream of breaking his solemn promise, come what may.

Rama was answerable to no man. His exile was revoked by the very Kaikeyi who sent him on it at Chitrakoota. Yet he chose to abide by his pledge because he recognised the need to be answerable to himself. No one kept a watch over him when in exile but he carried out his promise to the last letter.

It is imperative that one should carefully consider before making a commitment, for a man’s deed should be as good as his word. If we ourselves fail to honour our promises we cannot expect others to repose trust in us. Besides, it is only then we will merit the moral right to point fingers at others who may be at fault.

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