Mar 3, 2011

राम: अ-मर्यादा पुरुष?

भनिन्छ, तिमी जे चाहन्छौ, तिम्रो भगवानले पनि त्यहि चाहन्छ भने भगवान मानव निर्मित हो भनेर थाहा पाईन्छ अरु जातीलाई हेयका द्रिष्टिले हेर्ने तथा नारीको भावना अनि जीवनको लेषमात्र पनि कदर नगर्ने "भगवान" राम कसले निर्माण गरेका हुन् ? यो प्रश्नको उत्तर खोज्न धेरै टाढा जानु पर्दैन। वाल्मिकी रामायण को पाना पल्टाउँदा रामको नितान्त मानवीय चरित्र तथा त्यसमा वर्गीय स्वार्थको हितमा थोपरिएका इश्वरीय तत्वहरुको फरक स्पष्ट देखा पर्दछ।

रामायण वाल्मिकीद्वारा रचित साहित्यिक रचना भएतापनि धार्मिक मिथकपनि हो, मिथकको प्रक्रिति अनुसार यसका विभिन्न लोक संस्करणहरु छन। तर लोकधारणामा रामको इश्वरीय चरित्रलाई परिभाषित् गर्दै आएका धेरै घटनाहरु वाल्मिकी रामायणमा पाईँदैनन। जस्तै, पानीमा तैरने ढुङ्गा वाल्मिकी रामायणमा भेटिंदैनन। रामसेतुको निर्माणमा वास्तुकार नलले सामान्य अचम्त्कारिक ढुङ्गा, मुढा, रुख र काठ प्रयोग गरेका थिए। त्यस्तै, भनिन्छ ढुङा रूपमा रहेकी अहिल्यालाई रामले खुट्टाले छोई मानव शरीर दिएका थिए। तर वाल्मिकीका अनुसार रामले अद्रिश्य रहेकी अहिल्यालाई मूर्तरूप दिन अहिल्याको नै चरण श्पर्श गरे।

यस्ता थुप्रै झुट्टा चमत्कारका कारण लोककल्पनामा देवताको उपाधि पाएका राम आफ्नो मर्यादापूर्ण चरित्रका लागि पनि प्रसिद्ध् छन्। तर कतिपय ठाउँमा उनका मर्यादित व्यवहारमा पनि वाल्मिकी रामायणले प्रश्न उठाउँछ। जस्तै, पिताको वचनको मान राख्नकालागी उनी प्रसिद्ध छन्, तर त्यो काम उनले सम्पुर्ण मनले पक्कै गरेनन्, किनकि थाहा नपाउने गरी त्यही पितालाई "वासनामा लिप्त बुढा" भन्न उनी चुकेनन् । रामको मर्यादा झल्किने शबरी र बयरको किस्सा पनि वाल्मिकी रामायणमा भेटिंदैन। ।

उनको मर्यादित छविमा एकमात्र धब्बा मानिन्छ: नितान्त आफ्नो स्वार्थका लागि छल गरी बालीको हत्या गर्नु । तर वाल्मिकी रामायणको पठनपछि लाग्यो, यस्ता आत्मरक्षा र स्वार्थ केन्द्रित कदमहरु नै रामका विशेषता हुन्। बालीलाई छलले मारेपछि ज्ञानी भनेर प्रसिद्ध बालीले यस विषयमा उनीसंग आफ्नो असन्तुष्टि पोख्छन्। रामले उत्तर दिन्छन: “तिमी मात्र एक अज्ञानी बाँदर हौ, म जस्तो वरिष्ठ मानवले गरेको फैसला मान्नु नै तिम्रो धर्म हो, र यसमा प्रश्न उठाउने तिम्रो कुनै अधिकार छैन।“ सुग्रीवले वानर सेना बटुल्न ढिलाइ गरेपछि उनी लक्ष्मणलाई भन्छन् “जाउ, म धेरै रिसाइसकें भन्ने कुरा सुग्रीवलाई सुनाइदेउ, बालीको जे हालत भयो उसको पनि त्यहि हुन सक्छ भन्ने कुरा याद दिलाउ”। आज्ञा अनुसार जानीजानी रीसको पारा चढाई लक्ष्मण सुग्रीवका सामु पुग्दा सुग्रीव र सबै वानर डरले थर्थर काम्दै झट्पट सेना बटुल्छन्। मित्रताको अनुभव गरेका जो कोहीलाई पनि थाहा हुन्छ, असल साथीलाई यसरी पुर्वनिर्धारित रूपमा धम्क्याईदैन। सम्बन्धमा शक्तिले जब भूमिका खेल्छ, सम्बन्ध सद्भावको नभई दबावको बन्न जान्छ। श्पष्ट छ, सुग्रीव र रामको सम्बन्ध मित्रताको नभई पारस्परिक आवश्यकता त्रासको हो।

आत्मीय भनिएका सम्बन्धमा यस्तो कुटनीतिक दुरदर्शिता उनले बार बार देखाउँछन्। रावणका भाई विभीषण उनलाइ भेट्न आउँदा सबै वानरले विभीषणलाई गुप्तचर ठान्छन्। तर चतुर रामले भन्छन् “उ राज्यको लागि आएको हो, आउन देउ, यो सम्बन्ध हमीलाई फाइदाजनक छ।“ वनवास पछि घर फर्किनेबेलामा उनी लक्ष्मणलाई निर्देशन दिन्छन “भरतलाई सत्ताको मोहले गाँजेको हुनसक्छ, हामीलाई खतम गर्न बेर छैन, फर्किनु सुरक्षित छ कि छैन पत्ता लगाउ। यस्तो कुटनीतिक प्रवीणता सफल नेतामा हुनुपर्ने आवश्यक गुण हो, तर चराचर जगतलाई समान माया गर्ने भनिएका भगवानमा भने अलि सुहाएन। त्यसैले होला, लोक संस्क्रितीम उनको ईश्वरीयता कायम राख्न शक्तिमा केन्द्रित यी सम्बन्धलाई भक्तिका आवारणले ढाकिन्छ।

अहंमा आधारित सितासंगको उनको सम्बन्ध पनि यसैगरि प्रेमको आवरणले ढकित छ। सर्वविदित छ, रावणलाई हराईसकेपछि अहंकारी रामले सितालाई अस्विकार गर्छन। त्यसपछि सिताले लक्ष्मणलाई आगो तयार गर्ने निर्देशन दिंदा निष्ठुर रामले लक्ष्मणलाई स्वीक्रिति दिन्छन। आफ्नो प्रतिष्ठामा आँच आउने भएपछि आफु निष्कलंक रहन अग्नि परीक्षा पार गरिसकेकी पत्नीलाई गर्भवती अवस्थामा फेरि त्याग्न पनि उनी हिच्किचाउँदैनन्। कहानीमा यतिखेरसम्म राम-सिताको संबन्धलाई समाजमा नारी र परपुरुषको सम्बन्ध र शुद्धताका नितान्त सैद्धान्तिक विवादका आधारमा मुल्यांकन गर्न सकिन्छ, तर यो मोडदेखि भने विवाद अन्याय, अराजक शक्ति र पथभ्रष्ट रामको निर्ममतामा उत्रिन्छ। शरीर संवेदनशील भएको समयमा सिता परिवारको स्नेहबाट बिछोडिएर जङ्गलमा भौंतारिदै अपरिचित व्यक्तिको शरणमा सन्तान जन्माउन र हुर्काउन बाध्य हुन्छिन। उनको यो दशा हरेक नारीको दु:स्वप्न हो, यशको लोभमा अन्धो भएर जानीजानी पत्निको यो लाचारी निम्त्याउने रामजस्ता बेकार पतिलाई धिक्कार छ। प्रश्ट छ, यो निर्णय नैतिक र न्यायिक नभई शक्तिको दुरुपयोग हो, किनकि अशुद्धताको आरोपमा रामलाई घरबाट निकाल्ने शक्ति सितासंग पक्कै थिएन। त्यति मात्रै होइन, पत्निलाइ आफ्नो निर्णय सुनाई केहि बोल्ने मौका दिने वा बिदा दिने सामान्य शिष्टाचार पनि राम व्यक्त गर्दैनन्: लक्ष्मणले वाल्मिकी आश्रममा लगेर छोडेपछि मात्र रामले आफ्नो परित्याग गरेको कुरा सिताले थाहा पाउँछिन। अर्थात अपरिचित वानर बाली र प्राणप्रिया पत्निमा फरक नराखी पत्निमाथि पनि शक्तिको दुरुपयोग गरि बिना सूचना सर्वश्वहरण गर्दछन् ।

यो सबै भएतापनि राम-सिताको प्रेम आदर्श कहलाइन्छ। हो, बहुविवाह प्रचलित भएको समयमा उनले एकमात्र नारिलाई प्रेम गरे र पुनर्विवाह गरेनन्। नारीको लागि यो पक्कै आशालग्दो कुरा हो। तर यस्तो अलौकिक प्रेम गर्ने पुरुषले पनि जीवनसंगिनीलाई भन्दा समाजको लान्छनालाई प्रथमिकता दिंदा त्यो आशा चकनाचुर हुन जान्छ। सामान्य मानिसको कहानीमा भन्दा रामको कहानीमा यी घटना झनै दु:खलाग्दा छन्, किनकि राम सामाजिक नियमहरुको पालन मात्रै होइन, परिभाषा पनि गर्न सक्ने पदमा थिए। उनका नकारात्मक कदमले समाजमा सिमान्तिक्रित गरेको नारीको भूमिका अझैसम्म पनि मान्य छ।

धेरै मानिसको मुखबाट “सबै युद्ध नारीका लागी हुन्छन् भन्ने सुनिन्छ, र त्यसको उदाहरणमा सितालाई उभ्याईने गरिन्छ। तर वाल्मिकी रामायणमा भनिन्छ, रावणले सिताप्रतिको आकर्षणका कारणले नभई सुर्पणखाको आग्रहका कारण सिताको अपहरण गरेका थिए। हुन त सुर्पणखा पनि नारी हुन, तर साहित्य तथा सामाजिक धारणामा चारैतिरबाट अपहेलित सुर्पणखाको एक मात्र दोष थियो: रामलाई विवाह प्रस्ताव राख्नु। मर्यादा पुरुष रामले प्रस्तावलाई स्पष्ट अस्विकार गर्नुको सट्टा हाँसोमा उडाई लक्ष्मणतर्फ इशारा गरे। लक्ष्मणले पनि नितान्त उपहासको उद्देश्यले उसको प्रस्ताव रामप्रति नै मोडिदिए। तपाई आफैं सोच्नुहोस्, तपाई कसैलाई प्रेमपुर्ण विवाह प्रस्ताव राख्नुहुन्छ र उत्तरमा तपाइँलाई बिरालोले मुसा खेलाए झैं खेलाएर नाक कान समेत काटिन्छ भने के तपाइँलाई रिस उठ्दैन? यहाँ दोष शिष्ट भाषामा प्रस्ताव राख्ने व्यक्तिको हो कि हिंस्रक व्यवहार गर्ने व्यक्तिको? वाल्मिकीका अनुसार सुर्पणखा कुरूप थिइन र विवाहयोग्य थिइनन्, तर के नारी कुरूप छिन् भन्दैमा उनको उपहास गर्नु सही छ? के यस्तै व्यवहारलाई मर्यादाको उदाहरण भनिन्छ?

युद्ध सिताको लागी लडिएको होइन भन्ने कुरा त रामले आफ्नै शब्दमा स्पष्ट पार्दछन्: "मैले यो युद्ध मात्र अफ्नो स्वाभिमानका लागी लडें, न कि तिम्रो लागी, किनकि यति नगरे दुनियाले मलाई नामर्द भन्थ्यो। तिमिलाई दु:ख दिने रावणको मैले वध गरें - अब तिमी स्वतन्त्र छौ, चाहन्छौ भने लक्ष्मण, सुग्रीव वा विभीषणलाई अङ्गाल !" विवाहित नारीका लागी यी विकल्पहरु समाजमा कतिसम्म घ्रिणित छन् भन्ने थाहा हुँदहुँदै साँचो माया गर्ने पतिले शायदै पत्निलाई यस्तो रुखो शब्दमा सम्बोधन गर्ला। उनका वचन यति कटु छन् कि लाग्छ आफ्नो गाई, धनुष, खराउ अथवा त्रिणमात्रका लागि पनि उनि त्यहि युद्ध लड्थे जुन उनले सिताका लागी लडे।

हुन त रामका सकारात्मक पक्षहरु नभएका होइनन्। उनको पिताप्रतिको प्रेम, कुटनैतिक चातुर्य, नेत्रित्व क्षमता, अनि साहस र पराक्रम प्रशंसा योग्य छन्। एकदिन रावण युद्धमा थकित भएको बेलामा आक्रमण नगरेर उनले आफ्नो उदारताको परिचय पनि दिए। उपलब्धि देखिएको ठाउँमा श्रेय दिनैपर्छ: आफ्नो प्रलयंकारि शक्तिको मद्दतले संसारभर हावी रावणलाई परास्त गरी शक्तिशालि साम्राज्यको स्थापना गर्न सफल भए। फेरि त्यहि शक्तिदेखि त्रसित समकालीन कवि वाल्मिकीद्वारा भजन लेखाई देवत्व स्थापना गर्न पनि उत्तिकै सफल भए। अथवा भनौ, अझ बढि सफल रहे, किनकि उनको साम्राज्यको नामोनिशान मेटिसक्दा पनि पूजा अर्चना कायम छ। उनले अवर वर्गलाई सधैं दमन गरे, विकल्पहीन पत्निलाई पटक पटक समाजका अगाडि दोषारोपण गरि लज्जित बनाए, के यस्ता व्यक्तिलाई मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम भन्न सकिन्छ?

यस्तो कुत्सित व्यवहारलाई मर्यादाको खोल ओढा एको भएतापनि रामायणको पूजा किन कायम छ त?रामायणका सिद्धान्तले रामजस्ता कुलीन वर्गका हिन्दु पुरुषलाई मात्र अधिकार तथा प्रतिष्ठा दिन्छन्, र उनीहरुका लागी मात्र राम पूजनिय छन्। यस्ता वर्गले उनको पुजा वा वकालत गरेमा कुनै आश्चर्य छैन, तर बाँकीका वर्गले पनि मन परोस् वा नपरोस्, रामायणको एकतर्फी सामाजिक संरचना स्वीकार गर्नुपरेको छ, किनकि यहि वर्गले नै समाजमा सही गलतको निर्धारण गरिआएका छन्। अर्थात, अक्षर नचिनेका मानिसलाई शिक्षित ब्राह्मण पण्डितले रामायणको आफ्नो बुझाई सुनाउँथे। उनीहरुको बुझाई पुर्वाग्रही हुनु स्वाभविक हो। हरेक ब्राह्मणले आफ्नो पुर्वाग्रही धारणा समाजमा लाद्ने षडयन्त्र गरे भन्न खोजेको होइन, किनकि व्यक्तिगत विचार वा पुर्वाग्रहका कारणले भन्दा पनि ज्ञानमा एउटा वर्गलाई मात्रै पहुँच दिने सामाजिक संरचनाका कारण यो वर्ग आफ्नो हितानुसार सम्पूर्ण समाजका मुल्य, मान्यता र आस्था समेत रचना गर्न सफल भयो।

शैक्षिक तथा धार्मिक पद र पदमा नीहित आधिकारिक शक्तिमा उच्च वर्गका पुरुषको एकाधिकार भईआएको हुनाले साहित्यको रचना, प्रचार र मुल्यांकनमा पनि यही वर्गको आधिपत्य रहन्थ्यो। लिखित क्रितिमा पहुँच नहुँदा अरु वर्गले पुर्वाग्रही विवरणमा भर पर्नुपर्दथ्यो, र क्रितिको सही मुल्यांकन गर्ने अवसर पाउँदैनथे । रामायण पक्षपाती छ भनेर कोही नारी वा दलित वर्गका पुरुषले मुल्यांकन गरिहाले भनेपनि उनीहरुको बुझाई आधिकारिक होइन, त्यसैले सही होइन भन्ने भावनाका कारण उनिहरुको विचारलाई मान्यता दिने र प्रचार गर्ने काम संभव थिएन। यी कारणले गर्दा वर्तमान समयभन्दा अगाडि यस्ता पक्षपातपूर्ण क्रितिलाई समाजमा चुनौति दिनु सम्भव थिएन। तर अब वञ्चित वर्ग पनि शिक्षित हुन थालेपछि पुर्वाग्रही क्रिति तथा विचारधारामा प्रश्न उठ्नु स्वाभाविक हो। अर्थात, आज म शिक्षित भएर रामायण आफैं पढेर आफ्नो आस्था र विश्वास जस्ता नितान्त व्यक्तिगत विषयको मुल्यांकन आफैं गर्न, र व्यक्तिगत धारणामा मध्यस्थ वर्गको उपादेयता समाप्त गर्न कदम चाल्दै छु। स्मरण रहोस्, मध्यस्थकर्ता होइन उपादेयतालाई, अर्थात व्यक्ति होइन सामाजिक संरचनालाई लक्षित गर्दैछु। यी अभिजात्य पुरुषका भगवान रामलाई बाँकि वर्ग तथा लिङ्गका व्यक्तिहरुले भगवानका रूपमा बहिष्कार गरी साहित्यिक र ऐतिहासिक पात्रका रूपमा मात्र मुल्यांकन गर्ने बेला भएको छ।

श्रोत: वाल्मिकी रामायण

Reactions:

19 comments:

~ bhoowan ~ said...

एउटा राम्रो बिष्लेशण ,गज्जब लाग्यो !

sewa said...

thank you my loyal reader :)

Rajesh said...

When I read this I felt like Ram is a poor creature.
I used to complain why Ram left Sita, used to tell many wars happened in the world because they wanted the same woman, Sita in Ramayan, Helen in Troy, Draupadi in Mahabharat and many more in the ancient times.

I used to Blame Ram for a lot of things why he left Sita, and I could cite about that, but never thought that Ram was in a position where he could define or modify Rules rather than following it.

I never read Ramayan in total but saw some clips in television while I was a kid and I liked the flashy movies of those days. Like the kids watch cartoons these days, I used to watch these epics and loved them very much because they had magical powers and they used heavenly weapons.

After reading about Ram I was attracted towards blaming Ram and I started agreeing in whatever I read in here, it was hard controlling myself to come back in where I am :D because it is so nicely written.

sewa said...

wow, i m able to convince a person, i m glad :)

luna said...

sabbu, kasto ramro .

arjun said...

well written as always, but to suggest Ram as 'Aa-maryada purush' might not go well with what --around a billion people?
i couldn't find a ' Sarvottam purush' as Ram.
Everyone complains about present day politicians as being selfish and countless other derogatory adjectives. and then there is Ram who left Sita for the general welfare and peace of his country. Only if any present day leaders are able to demonstrate such character.
one comes to mind- Mahatma Gandhi.
but then again, i have heard people say of him as racist, sexist, religious extremist, selfish old prick and what not.
no great persons are immune to such attack because they are scrutinized under a microscope for every action and any faults as if they aren't human. If muslims are happy, hindus are sad, if hindus are happy, muslims are sad. Gandhi did his best under the guidance of ? - Lord Rama. Ram was a human form. he wasnt born of a virgin and lived a human life full of pain and suffering. he could have lived a life similar to that of Muammar Gaddhafi, or Robert Mugabe, or Ravana, or thousands of leaders throughout human history. but he isn't one among thousand. he is sarva uttam purush. he chooses his people first, and thats the underlying message of his life-"with great power comes great responsibilitis". you can't act like a husband and lover when you are a king of a country. only if bill clinton would know that, or gyanendra, paras, mahendra...
Rama has helped countless people throughout history to live a life of virtue..mahatma gandhi was one. i am not the second, but somewhere in the crowd.
I only hope there was love between Sita and Rama despite everything that happened between them.
just a few questions
* Did Ram marry any one else while he was with Sita? or for that matter, after he left Sita? He did have four moms if i recall correctly.
* Did he feel that Sita was at fault when he decided to leave her?
* Didn't he eat some fruit half eaten by an old lady first?
* Did he reject lava and kusha as his son later in life, even though he never saw them before?
* Didn't he leave his country to them?

*

sewa said...

1. First of all, Ram did not eat anybody's jutho berries. The character of Shabari simply does not exist in original Ramayan.
2. Sita had already passed the test of purity. What is the meaning of deserting her again for being impure?
3. Ram left her when she was pregnant. Everyone agrees that this a tough time physically and woman needs every kind of support during these times.
4. Did Sita have any other place or home or people to turn to?
5. Basically Ram just left her to die.
6. Isn’t it unfair that one half of a marriage has the exclusive power to do this to the other half, while the other half has zero powers?
7. Unlike Monica Lewinsky, Sita was Ram's lawfully wedded wife.
8. If a man deserts his lawfully wedded wife in time of distress just because of some gossip, is that a mark of character? I think not, especially as he already knew she was pure. His mark of character would have been if he stood by the truth, that is, Sita's purity. By blaming a poor woman and turning her out of the house, he stands alongside with Bill Clinton and the likes. Clinton did a great injustice to his wedded wife and so did Ram.
9. As you said, his faith is her purity is attested by the fact that he accepted her children and left them his kingdom. Despite having faith in her, he betrayed her, in doing so, he betrayed himself too.
10. Well, if his people gossiped about him, then so what? Is it a king’s duty to allow his people to ruin his wife’s life when she is innocent? Or is it his duty to stand up for the truth?
11. He ended the gossip, but at what cost? At the cost of the future of all women. A peace that stands on lies is as bad as chaos that comes from lies, because his examples meant that women everywhere lost respect at home.
12. Who were these gossipers? They were his people. Couldn't he set a better example to his people of respecting their wives? But no, he instead set a tradition of doubting a wife who had been away even for a second, and turning them out of their house, into the streets, and abuse them in any way they want to. He is an absolute disgrace to women.
13. In Hindu culture, traditionally a woman has no property, no job. She has basically nothing live her live with. How would you feel if your spouse turned you out of the house, you had no money, no property, no job, no prospect of every having any of these, and
14. These are all the things that nobody sees, because our culture is patriarchal, and the feelings of women are not valid. You have to abide by the roles, and if your husband turns you out of the house, you are still supposed to worship him as a God. I don’t think so. Maybe to guys he is a hero but he was unfair to half of the world that consisted of women. Yes, he was a big bleeping idiot and I stand by it.
15. By the way, I never really could understand what his good qualities. You say he could have lived like Mugabe and Ghadafi but do u have any proof that he did not? As I mentioned in the article, Ravan was not wrong in starting the war, the war was brought on by Ram’s own arrogance. His so called friends actually did not love him, but were terrified of his strength. I see no goodness in this idiot who masquerades as God..
16. I really don’t care what the billions of people say. Religion and faith are personal.
17. And if people like mahatma Gandhi praised him, I am sad that they did not see beyond the popular ideas. We can do better than such misogynists. I repeat, He is an absolute disgrace to women, he was a big bleeping idiot and I stand by it.

arjun said...

1. “O best among men, thus I was spoken to at that time by those greatly fortunate sages. O best among men, indeed for Your sake I have collected a variety of forest fruits which were growing on the banks of the Pampa Lake, O tiger among men.” (Shabari speaking to Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 74.17)
i haven't read ramayana. but i would be happy to read one if you have a link to a website or something.
even if Balmiki's ramayana didn't have Shabari in it, someone else's did. and that version of ramayna wasn't written 50 years ago.
2.The meaning of deserting Sita even after she had passed the purity test (I am against the test having occured at the first place) was to maintain peace and stability in his kingdom, where people who weren't present at the test doubted Sita's purity.
3. Yes, Ram left Sita when she was pregnant and hurt her. But he made a decision as a King and not as a husband. Ram did what he thought was good for his country, which is a king's foremost duty.
4.Sita mightn't have a place to turn to, but lets call it fate, and her good luck, and a great piece of suspense filled literature, she did find friends in the wild and a place where she gave birth to her kids.
5.Basically Ram didn't leave her to die. Ram left her so that she could live the rest of her life.
6.It is indeed unfair that one half of a marriage has the exclusive power to do this to the other half, while the other half has zero powers.
7.Sita was the only wife of Rama regardless of any human or divine laws.
8.Ram isn't famous for being the best husband. He loved Sita, but he is famous for being a good king, for fighting against the evil ones, and for trying to live his life by following the principles of what a king's responsibilities are.
9.I do agree that he betrayed himself by betraying Sita. But thats a price he was ready to pay for a cause.
10.A king's duty is to address the problems of his people and protect the kingdom's territories.
11.I really don't see how Ram cost all the women their future. He did bring peace in his kingdom, but that peace wasn't based on a lie. He simply let Sita go to appease his people. He didn't lie, nor did Sita. Also, if i had to, I would rather choose peace based on a lie than chaos based on a lie.
12.He could have set and example of respecting wives. And he gladly would have had if he had an opportunity, but then he would have to subdue the voices of people who were spreading rumors,which could eventually lead to the destruction of peace and sanctity of his country.

arjun said...

.....13.Its not only Hindu culture where women are disadvantaged. Its a global problem and transgresses religion and culture. There are state organized stoning-to-death punishment for commiting adultery. And a women only needs to be accused of. Its her responsibility to prove her innocence rather than the accuser proving her guilt. We had Sati system. Westerners burnt their women accusing them of witchcraft. People pray on the opposite side of the holy wall based on their gender. Females aren't accepted into the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy. Hiding faces behind some veil is another magnificent trend somewhere. there are worse things in hindu literature regarding gender bias. In Swasthani katha Shiva takes a form of 70 something old man and marries Goma who was 7 or 9 years old and plays with her life despite her being a lovely and kind - hearted creature. Her son does become king of a country at the end of the story and she lives a luxurious life, but still, Gods do like to come and mess around sometimes in our religion. Ram, however, wasn't one of the messing kind.
14.Ram is a hero for so many things that you choose and wish not to see. You point his weaknesses and he indeed had many. He was a human after all. A great human. If your husband turns you out of his/your house, beat the crap out of him. Unfortunately or fortunately, statistically, it is highly unlikely that you will get married to one of the most powerful ruling families in the present world. British Royal family? Japan? Obama's family? If they decide to have you out of their way, I only wish they read Ramayana first, so that they would be kind enough as Rama.
15.Mugabe and Gadhafi are slaughtering their own people. I don't know how many wives and concubines they have. I don't know what sort of activities they indulge themselves with. They don't give a rat's sss about peace and sanctity. They try their best to take care of their family and lawfully wedded wives at the price of humanity by committing atrocities and genocide. I really don't want to compare them with Rama.
16.Religion and faith are personal. and its clear you exercise your right to freedom of speech. you don't worry about hurting billions of people by opining Rama as bleeping idiot and absolute disgrace. I go to extreme measures and choose such language sometimes to prove my point as well. But, i guess thats the difference between you/me and Rama. He would care about the feelings of his people and he carried tremendous burden in his shoulders. Other people born into royal and powerful families take things for granted and act like an "absolute disgrace", and a "bleeping idiot".
17. Lets not feel sad for Gandhi for his failure to not recognize Rama. you are most welcome to feel sad for me for my failure to not recognize him.
If Rama lived a life like you wanted him to, perhaps, we wouldn't have known about him or Sita. So I thank Ram for his choice. I am an agnostic myself and believe that truth doesn't have to be one. I feel multiple truths can exist at the same time. I also believe that our thoughts, wishes, and prayers manifests into some form somewhere in this universe or another. So, Good luck to you. You might one day create a perfect God somewhere. "If God did not exist, He would have to be invented."

arjun said...

Don't Hindus consider Sita as a Goddess , too?

sewa said...

1. let us start with your number 12. Ram did have an opportunity to do the right thing, but chose not to. If he had done as I had wanted him to, I don;t think no one would have heard of him. we would still have worshipped him as the great God, but I and other women would have been proud of him. He should have held on to his integrity and not betrayed himself. He should ahve convinced his people, and that way, by doing the right thing, he could have gotten peace and respect for ever. It is because of men like him, who abuse power against women, that we are in situation we are now. Instead of me being proud of my heritage, I have to be sad that it ranks among all the hideous practices of the world that you listed. At the end of the day, we are no better than them jasto bhayo ni, hoina?

2. I am an atheist myself, have no interest in creating gods. I like your principles of agnosticism, I hope you would consider that in the story of Ram, there is the truth you see and there is the truth I see, about the status of women.

3. I am sorry if I hurt your feelings about Gandhi, but regarding your feelings about Ram, it just reminds me how much more awareness there needs to be to get the women's side of the truth heard or even considered in a patriarchy. This is one truth among many. As such, it should be just one factor of the story, but the sad thing is other side overshadows this side. Women are not allowed opinion in our culture: We only know what Ram felt and did, who knows what Sita felt about Ram? If she had really loved him, she would not have left him at the end of the story. It just shows how much hurt she was. But Hinduism is intent on worshiping her docility without giving any credence to her hurt or her difficult life. I call thsi the ostrich syndrome: bury your head in sand pretend the world doesn't exist. Bury your mind in Sita's gentle nature and pretend she felt no hurt at being treated badly. Ram is just an example of this culture but the sad thing is he gets worshiped of doing that. he had no means of knowing whether or not she lived, which just means that he left her to die. if she hadn't found Valmiki by luck, we can only imagine what her situation would be. A man who ignores such blatant truths staring him in the face(ostrich policy again) is indeed a disgrace to women.

4. Maybe Shabri requires more research from my side. I read a translation of Valmiki Ramayan, I will try and see which version first started the incident of Shabri. In light of your arguments, I do realize that I have been focusing only on his bad qualities, I am willing to look at his other qualities except for his mistreatment of women.

5. I truly appreciate your reading, your wide knowledge of cultures, and

sewa said...

reponse.

sewa said...

one of my friend argues that if ram was the sort of person who put his people ahead of his wife, then he should never have married.
I agree wholeheartedly. Marriage is a big commitment. And in Ram's situation, he knows that his wife has no other support except him, in terms of money, property, and care. He violated his responsibilities that he had committed to with all enthusiasm. If he wanted to serve his people, he should never have entered this commitment, and since he did, he should have found a way to reconcile them.

arjun said...

Like your feelings, I too have always felt the same way about Sita's treatment from Rama. I have had countless arguments with my friends about Ram's mistake. All this arguments makes sense if they were only humans and not divine. If they were divine by birth, they new everything and were only role-playing. So, I think it comes down to this:
*If Sita and Rama were just humans then you are right about assessment.
*If Sita and Rama were Gods, we really aren't in a position to judge them.
*If Sita and Rama are only fictional characters, then Ramayana is extremely interesting and filled with all masalas to make a good story.
I had googled stories of Sita's ordeal 4 years ago and I still have them in my notebook. i would like to write one of them. its a english translation of a song sung by women in some villages in India i guess.

arjun said...

Where is the smoke coming from, in the dense forest?
In the dense forest, Sita bai has given birth.
Water is being boiled
Sita bai has given birth.
Where will Sita bai find a bed?
Dark beauty Sita bai,
You better make a bed of rocks
And sleep on it.
Sita bai has given birth
Where will Sita find nourishment?
There is no one to cook her a meal.
Sita is in exile, there is no cradle for her babies.
Sita made a bed of flowers
And placed her twins in it.
Sita bai has given birth.
The hills and the forests are rejoicing.
She has no one else to call her own.
Sita says ‘I have lived a life of rejection.’
All her life she has been neglected by Rama,
Yes, all her life.

arjun said...

Also, if some think that Rama shouldn't have married at all if he put his people ahead of his wife, then who would be the heir to his throne. So his marriage in itself was his commitment towards people as a king. Its really easy to criticize Rama without giving even a slight hint about the time period of the incident and settings. How about some one mentioning when did Rama and Sita walk this planet? or when did Valmiki write Ramayana? That might help people to judge Rama or Valmiki.

sewa said...

wow, so we were on the same side all along :)
thanks for the song, it sums up all i wanted to say so beautifully :)

i like ur three conclusions. My thesis is that they were humans, because Ram lives most of his life believing that he is human, and only in the end there are two boring dialogues which inform him that he is god.

About Ram not marrying, I understand what your are getting at. But first of all, succession need not be from family hierarchy, there are several stories from mahabharat on this subject. Succession could easily have passed to Ram's brothers, and indeed, Ram appointed Bharat as his Yuvaraj until Lav Kush came along. If Ram had wanted to fulfill his duty of succession, he would not have banished his pregnant wife, he had no way of knowing that Lav Kush would come back to him. They only got the kingdom because Bharat decided to leave this world along with Ram.
You advised people to understand the historic times when Ram reigned, and I advise you to read the book!

sewa said...

P.S. I believe all gods are man made, and can be judged from human standards, because they set the standards for human behavior.
For example, you argued with your friends about the rights and wrongs of the situation, because their behavior matters and people often justify their behavior by citing gods.

justanobody said...

just went through this...n am sosad that I wasnt here before.............now the point
have you found some special relationship between the two brothers who were banished into the jungles with sita........something to question their sexuality......??? long ago I read a blog claiming homosexuality.........
.............................n conspiracies awhile ...cn lav kush actually not be his sons !!.........
n why didn't hanuman didn't write ramayan......why the other guy

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