Ūrmilā (Urmila) is the second daughter of Sīradhvaja (Siradhvaja) Janaka. She is the wife of Lakṣmaṇa (Lakshmana). When Viśvāmitra (Viswamitra), for the purpose of slaying Tāḍakā (Tadaka), took Rāma away from Ayodhyā (Ayodhya), Lakṣmaṇa also followed Rāmacandra (Ramachandra). Along with Rāma, he also went to Mithilā(Mithila). When Rāma’s marriage with Sītā(Sita) was finalised, there arose the issue of the marriage of his other brothers. At that time Janaka proposed Ūrmilā as a match for Lakṣmaṇa. So Lakṣmaṇa got married to Ūrmilā. Ūrmilā had two sons called Aṇgada(Angada) and Candraketu (Chandraketu), sired by Lakṣmaṇa.
After marriage Ūrmilā spent twelve years with Lakṣmaṇa in Ayodhyā, but not for a single instance, we heard her name mentioned as ‘saṁjāmpatye‘ (samjampatye; enjoying marital bliss). So we have an epic disappointment regarding the life and characterisation of Ūrmilā. Rāmacandra took Sītā (Sita) along with himself, to the exile in forest, but Lakṣmaṇa did not take Ūrmilā. While going to the forest, Lakṣmaṇa sought farewell from all the elders, but we do not see in him any urge to say farewell to Ūrmilā. Before entering the forest-path, while spending the night on the northern bank of Yamunā (Yamuna) Rāmacandra asked Lakṣmaṇa to go back to Ayodhyā, Lakṣmaṇa, in his unshakable loyalty to Rāma, said — “I don’t wish to see father Daśaratha (Dasaratha) , brother Śatrughna (Satrughna) and mother Sumitrā (Sumitra), leaving you.” Even here we don’t see him uttering the name of Ūrmilā. Finally, trapped in the biting verbal bindings of Durvāsā (Durvasa) and Aṣṭāvakra (Ashtavakra), when Rāmacandra was compelled to abandon Lakṣmaṇa, he went away without any reaction, to end his life in the river Sarayū (Sarayu). He did not went back to home or wished to see Ūrmilā. But the term ‘Ūrmilānandavardhana’ as an epithet for Lakṣmaṇa, is a favourite of Vālmīki (Valmiki). It is possible that from these unspoken places in the mahākāvya, Rabindranath got inspiration to write the article on ‘Kāvye Upekṣitā’ (‘Kavye Upekshita; ‘The Neglected Woman in Literature’), where he portrays Ūrmilā as a neglected woman.