One evening, Rama and Sita were putting their twin boys to sleep for the night. Being a little restless, the boys asked for bedtime story to ease them into their slumber.
"Let us tell them the story of Jatayu and Sampathi" Suggested Sita, "They need a little reminder of their brotherhood."
“Once upon a time, in a far away land there was a pair of brothers named Jay and Sam,” Began Rama, “The brothers were inseparable. They spent every day together playing, laughing, screaming, fighting….”
“That sounds awfully familiar,” interjected Sita, as the boys let out a giggle.
“These brothers were the best of friends!” Rama continued, “They loved being with each other very much. One day, as they were playing in the field, they saw a bright, bright light off in the distance. ‘What is that light?’ said Jay and Sam almost simultaneously, ‘We should go explore where that light is coming from’ said Sam. So off they went, full of wonder and desire to find the source of this beautiful light.”
“It was a BEAUTIFUL light, unlike anything the boys had ever seen before!” said Sita, taking over the story.
“They journeyed closer and closer to the light, it soon became a competition for them. ‘I’m faster!’ said Jay as he took off running toward the majestic light. ‘No you’re not!’ exclaimed Sam as he came running after his brother.
Suddenly they stopped,” Sita said with a gloomy voice.
“Oh look it’s time for bed!” Rama interjected teasing the boys.
“What happens, mom? Tell us the rest of the story! What happens! What happens” yelled the boys one after another, eager to hear the gloomy terror that faced Jay and Sam.
“Ohh, alright,” said Rama, “I guess we can finish the story”
The boys squirmed in their bed, excited to hear about the fate of Jay and Sam.
“Suddenly, they stopped,” Rama said picking up the story.
“They had approached the light, but this was no ordinary light. It was a huge forest fire. ‘COOL!’ said Jay as he foolishly stared at the raging fire, ‘Let’s go touch it!’
‘No way!’ screamed Sam, ‘Are you crazy?’
But Jay did not listen to Sam, and he approached the fire.
‘I am SO much stronger and faster than you,’ said Jay to Sam, ‘this fire can’t do anything to me.’
‘I’m fast and strong too!’ Sam said, now filled with anger, ‘Let’s race into the fire to really see who’s best.’
Just as they were entering the fire, a fiery branch fell on Jay and burned his arm.” Rama finished.
“Now children,” Sita began, “The reason Jay was burned is because he was selfish, and unkind to his brother. You two need to remember that you always have each other, and to always be kind to each other.”
“Goodnight kids,” Rama said as he kissed each of their foreheads, and they drifted to sleep with the biggest brotherly bond you could ever imagine.
|Image of Sita|
Author’s Note: Jatayu and Sampathi who in most versions of Ramayana were birds, who would compete in their youth to see who could fly closest to the sun. In the original story, one of the brothers flew too close to the sun and his feathers were burned, however the shade of his wings saved his brother. I took the suggestion of making their story into a simplified bedtime story which has a huge moral for Rama and Sita’s twin boys. In my story, the twins too, are often competitive and often let their rivalry get the best of them. Rama and Sita take turns telling the story of how a sibling rivalry can lead to huge ramifications. I made major changes to the original story, and renamed Jatayu as Jay and Sampathi as Sam, in order to simplify the story. The dialogue of the twins interjections were added in order to make the story more realistic, as if Rama and Sita really were telling their kids a bedtime story. Another change I made was the addition of a burning fire instead of flying toward the sun that caused the boy’s injury. Yet, the story came together in the end to have a lesson that is very important in competing siblings: be kind to one another. I really liked the image I chose. While I may not have used it for its original purpose, the image showed Sita in a maternal role, holding the hand of one of her sons.