The golden deer

During their 14 year exile, Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana lived in a hermitage in the forest of Dandakaranya.

One day, they spot a golden deer with silver spots. The deer passes close to them, gamboling to catch their attention. The moment she lays her eyes on the exotic creature, Sita is captivated. She implores Rama to capture the deer, dead or alive, for her keeping.

Rama entrusts Sita to Lakshmana’s safety and sets off after the deer. A long chase ensues, where the deer leads Rama deep into the forest and away from his hermitage. Finally, the deer tires and stops in a shady grassland, where Rama shoots it down with an arrow. However, no sooner than the arrow strikes the deer does the handsome creature transform into the hideous demon Maricha.

The story of the golden deer in the Ramayana alludes to a tendency of our minds to spot something golden and shiny in the horizon. We then pursue it with all our might and acquire it, only to realize that it wasn’t quite what we had expected it to be. What is more? Just as soon as we come to terms with this disappointment, another golden deer appears in the horizon.

Whenever you catch your mind saying, ‘If I have _______, I will be happy’, watch out. It might just be a golden deer.

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