In the Ramayana, the war is between Ravana the asura (demonised) king and Ram the mortal(deified) king. The war is seen as a war between the forces of good and evil, with Rama standing for all that is good and Ravana for all that is bad. And while Rama is helped by an army of brave monkeys, Ravana looks to be supported by his own kith and kin.
Many in the family of Ravana are against the war. Some are even devotees of Rama, who is seen as the human incarnation of Vishnu. Ravana is advised time and again against the war by his brothers.
Taranisen and his father Vibhisana (the youngest brother of Ravana) are great devotees of Rama. They try and talk reason with their king asking him to stop the war. But when Ravana refuses to listen to them, Taranisen watches quietly as his father crosses over to the other side and joins Rama. Young Taranisen is left by himself, to figure out what he should do.
As the war progresses, a young warrior appears before Rama and challenges him. He looks more like an ascetic, then a warrior and he has Rama’s name inscribed on every inch of his body moreover he keeps chanting the name of Rama.
Rama wonders how to pierce this armour of faith, that the young warrior wears. Vibhisana advises him to knock of his teeth and slice off his tongue, for the young man has not written the name of Rama on his tongue. This is the young warriors weak spot, Vibhisana tells Rama. ‘But he keeps chanting my name with his tongue,’ cries the helpless Rama. There are pauses between the chants, strike his tongue in that pause, advises the God loving Vibhisana. Rama follows the advise of Vibhisana and the warrior falls to the ground, bleeding and looking at Ram with tear filled eyes, till he breathes his last
Ram is quite shaken by the encounter and wonders whether he is one of Ravana’s sons. And Vibhisana, with tears streaming down his eyes, informs Rama, ‘No, lord he is my son.’
This story from Hindu mythology, reminds me of a passage from the Bible which says, “Do not think I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set man against his father and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter in law against her mother in law, and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”
We need to listen quietly to our myths, and holy books, they are not talking of any external war. The war really is within.