Rama – part II and Bangalore

The fact that Rama has remained the ‘ideal man’ for many aeons – was the principle reason he was supposed to have taken the avatar.  Throughout the Ramayana his behaviour, speech, conduct has been well portrayed to convey the image of a perfect man.  However when we read the Ramayana ……………..seeing Rama as an ordinary mortal like you and me : we still see him as a remarkably good person – but certainly not a perfect person.  There are umpteen instances in the Ramayana where he has gone about with perfect elan, poise and in a manner which suits his stature.  However like any ordinary mortal and just like Ravana – he has had his shortcomings.  Ravana was arrogant and was a womanizer.  Rama was suspicious of his wife and never bothered about the means to reach the end.  

Rama suspected his wife of infidelity when she came out of the Ashoka grove at the end of the war.  If it was a modern wife – then perhaps she would have asked him to go through the fire to prove his fidelity ………………..or maybe she would have shown him the finger and walked off!!!!!Then again when he ditched his heavily pregnant wife in the middle of the forest – just to give credance to some dumb-ass of a subject………………… doesn’t show too much maturity and shows  a poor emotional quotient in taking decisions.  Well that just goes to prove his mortality and his being just like any other human.  He was not perfect.  When you weigh ‘being suspicious’ and ‘being arrogant and being a womanizer’ – the latter is more evil than the former.  And as for ‘using any means to achieve the end’ – both Rama and Ravana resorted to it.  When Rama killed Vali by shooting the arrow from behind – he justified it saying that the end really was to eliminate Vali who had eyed Sugreeva’s wife and usurped his share of kingdom.  So the means used to achieve that end was justified.  This same message comes through in the Mahabaratha.  The means don’t matter as long as the end is fair enough and justified.  Ravana also used this many times over.   So ultimately Ravana and Rama are both great individuals – but Rama was less evil than Ravana. 

Coming back to message of adopting ‘any means to achieve a justified end and a fair enough end’ ……………doesn’t go down too well with me.  But then I realize that in everyday life more often – that is what we end up seeing around us.

Coming away from the epics …………….today I’m in Bangalore and the traffic really sucks.  I’ve never seen so much traffic in my life.  Everytime I come here …………… 😦  – I end up feeling that Chennai is much better than Bangalore in this respect.


7 thoughts on “Rama – part II and Bangalore

  1. “Rama suspected his wife of infidelity when she came out of the Ashoka grove at the end of the war. If it was a modern wife – then perhaps she would have asked him to go through the fire to prove his fidelity ”

    Interesting thoughts. I do not know what was the source you were looking when you wrote this. I do understand the brain behind these words. But if you look at the “ramayana darshanam vachana chandrike” by kuvempu, he answers this portion of it. When Rama suspects his wife for infidelity then she enters the fire to prove, Urmila (wife of lakshmana) asks her husband the same question. Then Rama enters into the fire and brings Sita out. This is depicted in Valmiki Ramayana too but not highlighted.

    I did read about Ravana and Rama from your Blog. The thoughts are expressed beautifully. I appreciate that, but since they are great epics which are written in sanskrit by Valmiki, I would not idealize Rama or Ravana as humans. When you read Ramayana, I was thought that we should look a the characters in it from life point of view and not as humanly! If you do it that way we can see Kaama, Krodha, Moha, Madha, Matsarya all put across as characters. You can even see Love, Passion, Determination, Compassion, Hatered, Belief, Dedication, Renounciation, Evolution, State of Art lifestyle.

    The concepts of Dharma, Artha, Kāma (and Moksha) are central Hindu concepts, collectively known as the Purusharthas, that are explored in the Ramayana. They have used humanly characters to reach more people. These are just my thoughts!

    Narada lists the sixteen qualities of the ideal man and says that Rama was the complete man possessing all sixteen of these qualities. Although Rama himself declares “he is but a man, and never once claims to be divine,” Rama is regarded by Hindus as one of the most important Avatar of the God Vishnu and as an ideal man. Valmiki portrays Rama not as a supernatural being, but as a human with all the attendant shortcomings, who encounters moral dilemmas but who overcomes these by simply adhering to the dharma–the righteous way. There are several instances narrated in Valmiki Ramayana which cast shadows on the pristine character of the hero and reinforce the theme of Rama struggling with mortal flaws and prejudices whilst struggling to follow the path of dharma [Source: Wikipedia]

  2. Some how I had missed this post. You guys seem to have good knowledge on our religious scriptures whereas my reading on this is not behind text books I read in my student’s life.
    One thing I want to know is whether u guys really feel these characters are Historical figures or Divine avatars? My beliefs is they are only fictious characters used very effectively by our ancestors to impart or influence their theory on ideal life to general public. I have come across many good readings which i have thoroughly enjoyed but nothing could influence me to belive that Rama, Ravana, Krishna as real.

  3. Some times I feel that in our scriptures the negative characters also have very strong personality, take for example Kharna, we do not find a single lacking in his personality except that he took the wrong side. Even Ravana or Vaali for that matter. Was Ravana became evil because he was posed against Rama. As Rajiv said he was a womanizer, Even Lord Krishna was womanizer.

    Is there a message given out in our scripture against challenging the established society. Sorry I am presuming that Rama, Krishna was historical figures who lived on Earth some time back. I believe all mortals are humans then are we worshiping some propaganda by some people as scriptures?

  4. Well I take a position that is in between ‘mythical character’ and ‘actual historical person’. As I was mentioning earlier – we don’t know too much about Indian History beyond 1000 BC to really say. The Harappa era itself is around 1250 BC during which time the world had fairly advanced. So since we know so little we cannot really say. Someone did some analysis based on planetary positions mentioned in Ramayana and Mahabarata and when they looked back they realized that these same planetary positions were found around 5000 BC (for Ramayana) and 800 BC for Mahabarata. I don’t know how much of it is true or not – but my position is that we know very little to really conclude on either side.
    About right and wrong ……………..well many people feel so strongly about certain characters being ‘God’ and almighty that they would feel offended. We need to remember one more thing ………….that just because we don’t see them that way – we shouldn’t unnecessarily demonize Rama, Krishna etc. In the same spirit we shouldn’t demonize Karna, Ravana etc. beyond necessity.
    Your other point of seeing them as human or divine : well since these stories have such human elements in them – my personal opinion is to see them humanly and learn human lessons from them.

  5. Ravana is an evil person because he does not recognize the boundaries between what is right and what is wrong especially when it comes to women.

    Rama is an incarnation of virtue and when he asked Sita for Agni pareeksha, it is done not for his sake for others as he never ever doughted Sita and Sita and Rama as soul mates.

    Even when he banished Sita to forrests, it is not for his pleasure, but because of his duty as a King.

    If one can not grasp this simple yet powerful aspect, then one does not know the difference between right and wrong.

  6. People – if I’ve offended anyone – then I’m sorry. However I still stand by what I said. We have been so conditioned to see Rama as divine, God, perfect etc. that we stop thinking critically. We have a Sri Rama photo in our Gods room and I worship it daily (along with a pantheon of other Gods!!!).

    Why should we try to justify the actions of Rama – just because he was Rama. If the same actions were performed by an ordinary mortal – then he would have been worthy of condemnation (doesn’t mean I am condemning Rama).

    All that I am trying to understand is the reason behind what he did. And when reasons given are like : Rama made Sita go through the Agni Pareeksha because “he did it for others sake” and that he banished pregnant Sita to the forest – because of “his duty as king” – the reasons sound very flimsy and don’t hold enough strength.

    I however liked Vishwas reasoning that Rama actually went into the fire to bring out Sita from there. Here the action speaks for itself.

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