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Urmila (Sanskrit:: ऊर्मिला) is a character in Ramayana, known for her sacrifice, to help her husband Lakshman, serve his elder brother Rama. She was daughter of King Janaka of Janakpur and his wife Queen Sunaina and also a younger sister of Sita. They had two sons - Angada and Chandraketu. When Lakshman went to exile along with Ram and Sita, Urmila was ready to accompany him but he hesitated and asked her to stay back in Ayodhya to take care of his aging parents.
Accusation on Author
The human mind in the modern times tries to look what the epic authors in the epic have overlooked. Urmila is one of the unsung heroines of Sri Ramayana who has been completely overlooked by Valmiki. Too many, have accused the writer, doing injustice to Urmila and other ladies.
It is important to understand the foundational principle from the characters of Ramayana and the compiler himself rather than trying to sympathetic to someone and spoil the taste of Ramayana. For example, in cooking all the hard labor of the farmer is not seen, of growing different ingredients which were used in making very wonderful recipe. It is most probably all that time the host is glorified than the cook and what to speak of the harvester, the farmer. But the farmer being unnoticed for rest of his life keeps on producing what he is meant to produce. The theme of Ramayana is that some characters are noticed and others are unnoticed but both perform unlimited sacrifice and that is the nature of sacrifice. This is the core theme of Ramayana, and Urmila remained unnoticed but never made it an issue. She was happy serving, being in service of her husband was her pleasure. For her recognition was immaterial .
Sacrifice without Recognition
Valmiki muni is the most sensitive person and certainly intervenes different character according the mood and plot of the story. Ramayana indicates the sacrifice with undercover and not recognized by anyone is superior. Like the farmer is not even remembered while enjoying the high quality food. Do we ever think of them while eating? Do we ever glorify them for producing good quality? Seldom, is it not? But without them food is not there.
In life which is coherent, moves on with so many sacrifice which are completely unnoticed but the sacrifice is sacrifice. The person with substance does not sacrifice with the intentions of being recognized rather he feels dirty if he or she does not dedicate his life. For them the life of sacrifice is a great privilege, and recognition is nothing but by product.