I told this whole thing to the people, fifty thousand people, and they were all Hindus, followers of Rama, followers of Gandhi, followers of Vinoba and I told them that his explanation is ugly. It simply shows that he was afraid to see the face. This fear is already part of desire and passion: he is perfectly aware that if he sees her, he would like to have her. All this must have been going on in his mind. He must be dreaming of Sita, because it is not that he had never seen her – before the marriage, Laxmana and Rama had both gone to see her.
In those days in India, the king’s daughters used to have a certain ceremony; it was called swayamvara. The princess chooses her husband by a certain device. Sita was the daughter of a very big emperor, hundreds of kings had come to marry her. The device was that Sita’s father had one very long bow – which was known as “Shiva’s bow” – and the condition was that anybody who can, just by hand break the bow into pieces, would be the person to marry Sita. The bow was so heavy that many kings tried to take it up from the platform but they themselves fell, they could not move the bow. There was no question of breaking it just by hand. Sita was sitting there ready with the garland; whoever breaks the bow…
Laxmana was getting too eager. They had gone with their teacher, Vashishtha. The father of Rama had sent Vashishtha to take care of the boys and see that they were not defeated, that no cunningness was being used. Laxmana was getting so excited that he was asking again and again, “Vashishtha, just give me permission and I will break it.”
Vashishtha said, “You just keep quiet. Rama has the first right, he is your elder brother. If he fails, then you have a chance.” Of course Rama broke the bow. Laxmana had seen Sita, seen the beauty of the woman. She must have been a rare woman: now he had to treat her as if she were his mother – you can think of his mind.
I explained to those people that Vinoba’s explanation simply shows Vinoba’s mind, it has nothing to do with Laxmana. Vinoba was a celibate, and he knew perfectly what celibacy means: your dreams are full of girls, your whole day is continuously a fantasy of sexuality. The repressed sex tries in every possible way to break your unnatural idea of celibacy.
Vinoba was afraid of meeting women, seeing women. He used to live isolated; he never lived in Gandhi’s ashram itself, because there were women there. He lived a few miles away: he used to come every day at the prayer time, reading the story of Rama or some other scripture, and would go back. But he lived in isolation: Gandhi’s ashram was dangerous, there were women – beautiful women – and he was a celibate monk.
The explanation that he gave was his own mind, and the explanation is a condemnation of Laxmana, it makes him a repressed sexual person. It is a condemnation, it is not appreciation. Neither Vinoba understands the psychology, nor Gandhi understands the psychology, because he confers the degree of acharya for this stupid explanation.