Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Is Rama Godly?

We call Rama, the ultimate God and the paragon of virtue.

What did he do? He killed Ravana, who stole his wife, the beautiful Sita. And there is nothing on record to indicate that Ravana even touched Sita, when she was in his custody. The claim to Rama's fame was that he was the "ekapathini virathar" - the king who was a monogamist among the polygynous maharajahs of India. I think it was not much out of choice. Probably, no girl was ready to marry him after knowing what he did to Sita.

Most of you would know about Akalya, who was turned into stone by her hubby and later emancipated by the touch of Rama's feet. And what did she do? She was the dutiful and beautiful wife of sage Gautam. She was raped unaware (sexual assault) by Indra, who was in the guise of Gautam (forgery). Sage Gautam comes to know of that and turns poor Akalya into stone, to be later freed by Rama kicking her with his feet. Why didn't Gautam have the balls (or boons if you will. After all, he was a sage right!) to petrify Indra? Probably he was a poor human victim of the system. But, what did 'divine' Rama do? Should not he have killed Indra for raping another man's wife, when he could so "righteously" kill Ravana for just kidnapping? Is kidnapping an offense of higher order than sexual assualt and forgery? Probably, Rama was a mere human avenging HIS WIFE's kidnapping. Nothing more, nothing less.

That said, he readily takes the life of Vaali, by stealthily shooting an arrow into that poor guy, who was busy fighting his brother, Sugriva. Why did Rama, the great warrior, climbed down so low to kill a monkey king? They say it is because Vaali coveted his own brother’s wife. Would he have done the same if a normal monkey citizen had done that? Or would he have done that to his dad, Dasaratha, who supposedly had 11k wives, at least a few among them would have been other’s wives? After all, Dasaratha couldn’t have done anything with the diversified portfolio of his wives, if he really were spending time to validate the virginity of all his wives. The simple reason for Vaali vatha was to ready the logistics to get his wife back from Ravana, whom obviously Rama cannot fight without some help. Rama can’t get Vaali to help him, for he had nothing to offer in exchange. So, by taking revenge on behalf of Sugriva, he ensures he gets an army of monkeys to fight Ravana.

After killing Ravana, he asks Sita to walk through the fire to prove her "purity". They say this part of the story should be taken in an allegorical sense. But even then, how does it justify subjecting Sita to such a mental torture that is equivalent to walking over fire?

Sita was undoubtedly better off in Asokavana than Ayodhya. Just think of what all Sita had in Asokavana. She was more than a queen with a host of maids to take care of her. And a mighty man who loved her more than his own wife. She came back to Rama just to be banished by him to the jungle again, this time all alone. Just because Rama heard a dhobhi expressing his doubts about the “purity” of Maa Sita.

Regarding this episode, it is said that Rama banished Sita because his dharma as a king came before his duty as a husband. Now, doesn’t sending the pregnant Sita away so blatantly expresses the doubts that Rama himself had about Sita, even after she proved her purity by walking over fire? He keeps setting new records of insecurity and doubtfulness. If he was so much worried about public opinion, why did he not give up the throne to one of his loving brothers and keep Sita with him? Didn't he have faith in his brothers? After all, as I said in my previous post, a chair is a chair is a chair. Why keep blaming today's politicians when the 'divine' Rama himself was so much tempted by The Chair?

Sita gives birth to Lava and Kusha in the jungle and after she unites them with Rama, she just goes back to her mom, the Bhoomadevi, who is more than ready to just swallow her. After all, she knows how much Sita had suffered because of Rama. And as a king, he had the duty to provide the heir to the throne. If allegation against Sita was true, how can he crown her sons, as he did later?

Now, which girl in her right senses would want to get married to someone like ever-doubting Rama? Yet, he is being marketed as the perfect husband in India. Rama! Rama!

Next: Is SK Godly?


16 comments:

kriz said...

See what to do Rama is not smarter like krishna to get gals behind him..:P

Jai said...

Mama... unakku engarunthuda ippadiyellam thonuthu... Enna ethavathu Pondicherry poi room pottu mappula yeosichaya... Anyways that was a different way of thinking and does make sense to comment abt a person...

Mahesh said...

Hi SK

I can notice shades of feminism in ur writing nowadays.Getting inspired from Jayakanthan,Balakumaran uh???? Or started watching Aval Appadithaan,Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal,Avargal etc??? Anyways keep goin dude.

This is my first comment abt ur blog. I have been following all ur blogs just as I do Cho's Q&A every week in Thuglak(Belive me ur blogs fascinate me a lot). U improvise and innovate with every new blog of urs.

Waiting for a blog on appraisals,pay hikes,promotions in Indian Software,BPOs & KPOs??? At a time when all comapnies including Irevna r abt to announce their results and also me specialising Performance Management this sem. Perhaps u can add ur wits and humour in ur writing rather than allegations and accusations.

Regds
Machimahesh

Usha said...

Kadaiseela ramar-a local fella aakiteenga :)) Ok, andha avatar-e normal manushana god varardhudhan, so he underwent everything that a normal man would including doubting his wife - appadinradhu oru argument. Aana good thought process, ippadilam yosicha naalaiku kadavul pathi niraya perku doubt vandhudum ;)

sk said...

@ Machi
Thanks. Btw, this post is not due to being influenced by Jayakandhan or Balakumaran. That said, I would not say this is a "original" post; it has a lot of borrowed ideas.

Aprom, i too am planning for one on perf appraisals. Donno when it is going to be out.

@ Usha,
aanaa, entha "normal manushan" ramar patta alavukku avan wife-a sandhega paduvaan? ithula, typically indian females-a "unakku entha maathiri purushan varanum?" nu ketta, "Enakku ramar maathiri varanum". Magalae, nee setha. Seekiram roast aaga pora.

Nimme said...

All said and done we should not forget that Idhikasas and puranas are written by human beings. My un-wise guess is Ramayana should have been written by valmiki with the king who ruled him then (aint I rite?!) So, the God that we pereiving today is what our eltern (just oru German word use panikerene) perceived, which in turn is highly influenced y human emotions. Just like present days gals flurting for Abhisheks, Maddys et al.. traditionally women flurt for guys who dont look at other gals. Simple phsyche of Possesiveness (u cant see many guys who r not vulnerable for gals syndrome)... and over possesiveness always leads to things like what rama did... So lets understand that Rama's act are myth created by humane and like any human being who has both gud and bad, rama had gud of lusting with only one women (though this pnt in itself is debatable) but unfortunately he was also over possesive. No question of comparing a human activity with God herer :)

sk said...

@ nimme

nee solrathu ellaam sari thaan. Gals would like their husbands to not to flirt around with other gals. Agreed, quite a few gals would like it that way. But, you can't generalize this. The attitude depends on a lot of things -which require another long post.

btw, i think some king of Surya Vamsa (Sarathkumar illa, ithu Rama porantha kulam) paid some scholar to write Ramayana to manage the image of the Surya vamsa.

Mahadevan said...

A story is a story is a story. Epic, mythology, sacred texts are all merely sub-genres. These are to be treated as such. If one wants to argue on facts, the arguments should be confined to the plane of logic. If one wants to argue on meaning, one has to confine to facts accepted and then argue within that domain.

SK either hasn't yet reached the mental state to understand this and treat it as such or he is selectively quoting facts to make his point appear convincing.

Knowing the nice guy that he is, I hope it is the first. I wish to belong to the (probable) minority which believes that being immature is better than being manipulative.

sk said...

Mahadevan

A story is a story is a story. Agreed. But is Ramayana treated just as a story? When you uphold it as fountainhead of morality, you got to assess the implications - what it tries to teach, irrespective of the whether it is factual or not. And given the "godly" status and huge following, the implications are wide and far-reaching. If it is factual, it is so disgusting and doesnt apply anyday, leave alone today. On the other hand, if it isn't factual, then there is no reason to keep alive lies that are so obviously sexist.

Btw, i dont know who is being manipulative?

Mysorean said...

Well, well, well, great write-up! Absolutely original! Sin or otherwise is not for me to decide, right?! :)

I have a theory as to why he could be marketed as the Perfect Husband. Not a very elaborate one as yours but a small and suspectedly stupid one.

Rama did whatever he did for only one woman throughout his life. It is this part of the character that people worship!

sk said...

hey adi

that was a nice one. so, what u are essentially sayin is that he is "the best of the worst" and obviously not The Best.

Yet, i don't know why people worship him, even if he did what he did to just One woman. Does that make him any better? If the number of women who suffered because of a man is what makes him god, then Hanuman must be more godly (if ever godliness can be called a continuum)than Rama, for the simple fact that NO WOMAN suffered because of him.

Mysorean said...

You have a point. But God is not God because of what he does or is. God is God because people worship him as one. Without people worshipping nobody can become God.

I know this sounds like some dialogue from Thalaivar's mouth, but isn't that the truth?!

If everyone starts thinking like you then nobody would be worshipping them, and there would be no Gods and no such discussions! :) It would get so boring!

sk said...

//If everyone starts thinking like you then nobody would be worshiping them, and there would be no Gods and no such discussions! :) It would get so boring!//

NO!! you don't have to worry about that Adi. There would be no dearth of fools even if there were no Gods. And of course a lot of what they do would make interesting subjects for discussion!

murali said...

//If everyone starts thinking like you then nobody would be worshipping them, and there would be no Gods and no such discussions!//

do we need to have religions first of all.....Its not Atheist attitude to say GOD is not there.....

but i am coming a group of people in korea who say i donot belong an y religion..i dont might even if he exists or not so be it....

By being by those group we atleast need not fight/discuss between religions and fight between theists and atheists....

But as humans we need a reason to fight with..and form our own group....
Why to form a group ourselves based on religions..I prefer to form divisions in entire world with groups of people who likes friends presence more, who likes being in love(me in this league :P), who likes to be loner.... so all the problem of colour, caste ,religion can be stopped....:)...

R-ambam said...

yeah... 'Dhobi ' Manchurian should have been on the menu instead of 'Sita'-65.

sk said...

@r-ambam
Sita-65, 'Dhobi' manchurian.... ramara enna BBQ roast panidalamaa?