Often times, we end up in "to be or not to be" situations where the heart (manas) tells us one thing to do, but our mind (buddhi) says something else.

The speaker in this YouTube video (Telugu) therefore cites the following śloka from Agni Purāṇa as a remedy and says that chanting it during times of indecision will give you enough clarity to choose the right path.

rāvaṇādapi marttavyaṃ marttavyaṃ rāghavādapi // 14cd
avaśyaṃ yadi marttavyaṃ varaṃ rāmo na rāvaṇaḥ / 15ab

Either I have to die at the hands of Rāvaṇa or at the hands of Rāghava (Rāma). If I have to die, it's better (to die at the hands of) Rāma than Rāvaṇa.

The reason he says the śloka is particularly helpful is because the rākṣasa, Mārīca, had faced a similar situation in Rāmāyaṇa. He had two equally bad options in front of him;

  1. Face instant death at the hands of Rāvaṇa if he ignores Rāvaṇa's request (which later becomes a threat) that he turn into a golden deer to help kidnap Sītā.

  2. Or die becoming a target of Rāma's arrows should he execute Rāvaṇa's plan.

Now, in Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Mārīca went with Option 2, the lesser of both evils (at least in his opinion), because he probably felt dying at Rāma's hands would bring him salvation when he can't avoid a certain death.

But I think Mārīca had a 3rd option; better than the above two, which is to surrender to Rāma (i.e., śaraṇāgati) like Vibhīṣaṇa did after escaping from Rāvaṇa.

Why didn't Mārīca go for śaraṇāgati?

It appears that before turning into a golden deer, Mārīca did penance, transformed himself into a sage-like person, spoke highly of Rāma ('rāmo vigrahavān dharmaḥ') etc. So how did he miss this 3rd option?

Instead of becoming a deer he could have turned himself into a brāhmaṇa and sought refuge in Rāma.

Also, before he died, he could have avoided shouting 'hā Sītā, hā Lakṣmaṇa' but he still kept his word. For what reason did he follow through on his promise to an evil king like Rāvaṇa?

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