The Ramayana

Lakshmana Character Analysis

Lakshmana is Rama's half brother, and son to King Dasaratha. The two are very close, and Lakshmana represents the ideal brother. He chooses to go with Rama when the sage Viswamithra asks for Rama's help as boys, and when Rama is exiled, Lakshmana chooses to go into exile with his brother. He's extremely adept at fighting and Rama is also surprised to discover that Lakshmana is gifted with the skills of an architect. Lakshmana is, however, somewhat more emotionally driven than Rama is; at several points in the story, Rama has to talk Lakshmana out of making rash or violent decisions without thinking them through. At other times, Lakshmana shows that he's equally as level-headed as his brother. Though he marries Sita's sister, Lakshmana's wife doesn't factor into the story in a major capacity. Similarly, though he's a twin to Sathrugna, he's much closer to Rama than his twin.

Lakshmana Quotes in The Ramayana

The The Ramayana quotes below are all either spoken by Lakshmana or refer to Lakshmana. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Ramayana published in 2006.
1. Rama's Initiation Quotes

You will learn the answer if you listen to this story—of a woman fierce, ruthless, eating and digesting all living creatures, possessing the strength of a thousand mad elephants.

Related Characters: Viswamithra (speaker), Rama, Lakshmana, Thataka
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:
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Just as the presence of a little loba (meanness) dries up and disfigures a whole human personality, so does the presence of this monster turn into desert a region which was once fertile.

Related Characters: Viswamithra (speaker), Rama, Lakshmana, Thataka
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:
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A woman of demoniac tendencies loses all consideration to be treated as a woman.

Related Characters: Viswamithra (speaker), Rama, Lakshmana, Thataka
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:
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3. Two Promises Revived Quotes

"I'll be the fate to overpower fate itself," said Lakshmana, with martial arrogance. Rama argued with him further. "I'll change and alter fate itself, if necessary..."

Related Characters: Lakshmana (speaker), Rama, Dasaratha, Bharatha, Kaikeyi
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
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6. Vali Quotes

The perfect man takes a false step, apparently commits a moral slip, and we ordinary mortals stand puzzled before the incident. It may be less an actual error of commission on his part than a lack of understanding on ours; measured in Eternity, such an event might stand out differently.

Related Characters: Rama, Lakshmana, Sugreeva, Vali
Related Symbols: Bows and Arrows
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:
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"We should not become too analytical about a friend, nor look too deeply into original causes; but accept only what appears good to us in the first instance, and act on it."

Related Characters: Rama (speaker), Lakshmana, Sugreeva, Vali, Bharatha
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lakshmana Character Timeline in The Ramayana

The timeline below shows where the character Lakshmana appears in The Ramayana. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
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...Kausalya gives birth to Rama, Kaikeyi gives birth to Bharatha, and Sumithra bears the twins Lakshmana and Sathrugna. Dasaratha dotes on his sons and makes sure they're trained in yoga, philosophy,... (full context)
1. Rama's Initiation
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...in close proximity, and he promises to keep Rama safe. Dasaratha asks if Rama's brother Lakshmana can go as well, and orders his minister to fetch the boys. (full context)
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Rama and Lakshmana follow Viswamithra until they reach a spot where Shiva once meditated. Viswamithra explains that ever... (full context)
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Later, Viswamithra tells Rama and Lakshmana the story of Mahabali. He explains that the ground where they're walking was once where... (full context)
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Viswamithra reaches the spot for his sacrifice and instructs Rama and Lakshmana to protect him and the other saints who mean to join Viswamithra in this sacrifice.... (full context)
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By evening, Viswamithra, Rama, and Lakshmana reach the Ganges River. Viswamithra tells the story of Ganga, the goddess of the river.... (full context)
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When Viswamithra, Rama, and Lakshmana catch sight of Mithila City, Rama brushes a slab of stone that turns into a... (full context)
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...they pass her husband's hermitage, Viswamithra tells the sage that Ahalya's heart is purified. Viswamithra, Lakshmana, and Rama then continue to Mithila City. (full context)
2. The Wedding
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...the streets, as there's no reason for the residents to pick it up. As Viswamithra, Lakshmana, and Rama cross the moat, Rama notices Sita on a balcony and is stunned by... (full context)
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...dawn, Rama prepares to meet King Janaka. At the assembly hall, Viswamithra introduces Rama and Lakshmana, and Janaka laments that Rama can't marry Sita. The narrator explains that Janaka owns a... (full context)
3. Two Promises Revived
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...the news begins to spread that Rama won't be king, everyone in the city cries. Lakshmana becomes very angry, dresses for battle, and walks through the streets, vowing to kill anyone... (full context)
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Rama bids his stepmother Sumithra goodbye. A servant brings clothes made of tree bark, and Lakshmana orders tree bark clothes for himself and insists on following Rama. Rama goes to tell... (full context)
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When Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana emerge from the palace in their tree bark clothes, the crowd cries and curses Kaikeyi.... (full context)
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...refuses and sets out with an army to find Rama. They find him quickly, and Lakshmana wants to kill Bharatha until they realize that Bharatha is wearing the same tree bark... (full context)
4. Encounters in Exile
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Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita travel far away from Ayodhya to keep people from trying to persuade Rama... (full context)
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...loveliness, particularly when she wears the jewelry from the sage's wife. They reach Panchvati and Lakshmana constructs a home. Though Rama is delighted with the house and with Sita, he can't... (full context)
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Rama tells Soorpanaka to leave before Lakshmana sees her. Soorpanaka tries to convince Rama again to marry her, but he turns and... (full context)
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...river. She sees Sita leave the house to pick flowers and begins to stalk her. Lakshmana, however, notices her from afar, and when Soorpanaka pounces on Sita, Lakshmana attacks Soorpanaka. When... (full context)
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...her, and Rama realizes that she's the same "damsel" from the night before. Rama asks Lakshmana what happened, and he explains. Rama tells Soorpanaka to leave, but Soorpanaka threatens that Ravana... (full context)
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...she can teach Rama all the tricks of the rakshasas. She then offers to marry Lakshmana, making Lakshmana angry. He asks if he can kill her, and Rama says he can... (full context)
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...his commanders to attack Rama. When Rama sees Soorpanaka and the commanders coming, he instructs Lakshmana to protect Sita, and singlehandedly uses his bow to decimate the army. Soorpanaka returns to... (full context)
5. The Grand Tormentor
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...cottage. Sita notices it and asks Rama to catch it for her. Rama agrees, but Lakshmana insists that the deer is a trick. Rama goes outside to look at the deer... (full context)
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Rama worries that Sita heard Mareecha's false cry, but reasons that Lakshmana will assure her that it was a trick. Sita did hear the cry, and asks... (full context)
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Once Lakshmana is out of sight, Ravana assumes the guise of a hermit and calls to Sita... (full context)
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...Sita and carries her off to Lanka. Jatayu manages to stay alive until Rama and Lakshmana find him. Though he tells them what happened, he dies before he can tell Rama... (full context)
6. Vali
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Rama and Lakshmana enter Kiskinda while searching desperately for Sita. Hanuman, the helper of Kiskinda's king, Sugreeva, watches... (full context)
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Rama tells Lakshmana to get rid of the bones. Lakshmana kicks the bones away, returning the spot to... (full context)
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Hidden away from the battle, Rama is in awe of Vali's strength. He and Lakshmana debate whether involving themselves in this fight is proper. Lakshmana questions whether or not Sugreeva... (full context)
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Vali accepts this and asks Rama why he shot him from hiding. Lakshmana explains that if Rama had spoken to Vali, he might have been forced to break... (full context)
7. When the Rains Cease
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...but Rama tells Hanuman to remain with Sugreeva and counsel him. The monkeys leave and Lakshmana constructs another dwelling for himself and Rama. The rains arrive and fall for months. Rama... (full context)
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...them and suggests that if Sugreeva has deceived them, he should be killed. He sends Lakshmana to go see what happened and to threaten Sugreeva if necessary. Lakshmana leaves immediately. Angada... (full context)
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Lakshmana kicks the gates open and begins the march to the palace. Seeing this, Hanuman asks... (full context)
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Hanuman hesitantly comes out to join Lakshmana and Tara. Lakshmana asks Hanuman if he forgot his own promise, but Hanuman explains that... (full context)
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Angada tells Sugreeva that Lakshmana is at the palace, and tells him about Lakshmana's anger when he arrived. Sugreeva asks... (full context)
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Sugreeva greets Lakshmana and they enter the palace hall. Lakshmana insists on sitting on the floor rather than... (full context)
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...Hanuman will come soon with an army, and Rama sends Sugreeva back to the city. Lakshmana tells Rama after about what happened in Kiskinda. (full context)
9. Ravana in Council
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...abduct a woman while her husband is gone. He goes on to list Rama and Lakshmana's military victories and says that dealing with Rama and Lakshmana first would've been the best... (full context)
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...take the trouble of using armies, and should instead let him singlehandedly kill Rama and Lakshmana. Finally, Vibishana stands up and sadly asks Ravana to listen to him. He reminds Ravana... (full context)
10. Across the Ocean
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...though he's done the right thing. Sugreeva brings Vibishana to meet Rama, and Rama instructs Lakshmana to treat Vibishana as the king of Lanka. Vibishana spends the next several days telling... (full context)
11. The Siege of Lanka
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The battle rages for days. Indrajit at one point attacks Rama and Lakshmana with arrows that make them faint. This pleases Ravana, as he thinks they're dead. He... (full context)
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...the battlefield, but the commander doesn't return. Ravana then decides to join the battle himself. Lakshmana faints at the sight of Ravana, but Hanuman lifts Rama onto his shoulders and they... (full context)
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Later, Lakshmana kills Indrajit. Ravana cries and decides to kill Sita. Some of Ravana's advisors think this... (full context)
12. Rama and Ravana in Battle
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...Rama wonders aloud if the rakshasas sent Matali as a trap, but both Hanuman and Lakshmana insist that the chariot is real. Rama gathers his weapons and climbs into the chariot. (full context)
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...speed, while Rama tells Matali to drive calmly. One of Ravana's supporters tries to attack Lakshmana, but Rama blocks his way and quickly kills him. This makes Ravana even angrier and... (full context)
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Rama, Lakshmana, and Hanuman gather around Ravana's body. Rama notices a huge scar on Ravana's back and... (full context)
13. Interlude
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Sita breaks down crying and orders Lakshmana to light a fire. Lakshmana hesitates, but finally does as she asks. Rama does nothing... (full context)
14. The Coronation
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...reasons why Dasaratha should forgive Kaikeyi, and finally Dasaratha agrees. He blesses Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana, and then returns to the heavens. (full context)
Epilogue
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...crowned, Sita sat next to him, Rama held his bow in his right hand, and Lakshmana stood watchfully below the throne. Hanuman knelt at Rama's feet, ready to do his bidding. (full context)