Smart Quote of the Day, May 14, 2021

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“One who considers another’s wife as his mother, another’s possessions as a lump of dirt and treats all other living beings as he would himself, is considered to be learned.”

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This is from the Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.10.27

[This chapter of the Srimad-Bhagavatam is entitled, "The Pastimes of the Supreme Lord, Ramachandra." This Tenth Chapter describes how Lord Ramachandra appeared in the dynasty of Maharaja Khatvanga. It also describes the Lord’s activities, telling how He killed Ravana and returned to Ayodhya, the capital of His kingdom. In today's verse, Manodari addresses her deceased husband Ravana.]

TRANSLATION

O greatly fortunate one, you came under the influence of lusty desires, and therefore you could not understand the influence of mother Sita. Now, because of her curse, you have been reduced to this state, having been killed by Lord Ramacandra.

PURPORT (excerpt):

Not only was mother Sita powerful, but any woman who follows in the footsteps of mother Sita can also become similarly powerful. There are many instances of this in the history of Vedic literature. Whenever we find a description of ideal chaste women, mother Sita is among them.

Mandodari, the wife of Ravana, was also very chaste. Similarly, Draupadi was one of five exalted chaste women. As a man must follow great personalities like Brahma and Narada, a woman must follow the path of such ideal women as Sita, Mandodari and Draupadi. By staying chaste and faithful to her husband, a woman enriches herself with supernatural power.

It is a moral principle that one should not be influenced by lusty desires for another’s wife. Matrvat para-daresu: an intelligent person must look upon another’s wife as being like his mother. This is a moral injunction from Canakya-sloka (10):

“One who considers another’s wife as his mother, another’s possessions as a lump of dirt and treats all other living beings as he would himself, is considered to be learned.”

Thus Ravana was condemned not only by Lord Ramacandrabut even by his own wife, Mandodari. Because she was a chaste woman, she knew the power of another chaste woman, especially such a wife as mother Sitadevi.

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