Sootikshna was a disciple of Sage Agastya, a very simple hearted soul. One day he asked his Guru Agastya, to demand his guru dakshina (the price a student traditionally pays to his teacher for teaching him). Agastya said, “When Rama, Lakshman and Sita come to Dandaka forest, you must conduct them to my ashram. That will be your guru dakshina.” That’s why Sootikshna was sure that Rama would come that way some day. Therefore by the power of his mental yogic energy, he awaited Rama’s arrival.
Sharbhang Muni (sage) also asked Rama to visit the ashram of Sootikshna. When Rama arrived there, Sootikshna was seated in a meditation pose under a tree. Therefore Rama, entered his heart in his divine Chaturbhuja (four-armed form) to give him a “darshan” (sighting). This realization made him open his eyes and he was thrilled to see Rama, Sita and Lakshman before him. Moved by his devotion, Rama decided to spend some time in his ashram. There they met several sages and rishis who lived in Dandaka forest. They also saw the piles of skeletons of sages who had been killed by man-eating, nocturnal Rakshasa (demons). Rama then undertook an oath that he would rid the earth of all wicked rakshasa. The sages felt reassured and becalmed and welcomed his proclamation.
Shri Rama asked Sootikshna to suggest a location where they could build an ashram and spend their time peacefully in the forest. It was then that Sootikshna said, “The ashram of my Guru Agastya is close by. Meeting him will be very beneficial to you. He will also be able to suggest the ideal place for you to stay. I will conduct you to Sage Agastya’s ashram. This Dandaka forest is very dense and difficult to cross. I will show you the way and lead you to Guru Agastya. This will also help me to pay the debt of gratitude I owe to my guru.”
Shri Rama gladly accepted his affectionate offer of help. Sootikshna and several rishis of Dandaka forest then began the journey through the picturesque Dandaka forest towards the ashram of Agastya.
Sootikshna – Ramayana Characters