Thursday, July 05, 2012

The Cloak of Invisible Decency

Farcical Disclaimer: This blog contains content that might hurt your religious sentiments. So, if you one of those who get easily sentimentalized, you can stay away. Should you go ahead and read the article, you have three options in front of you - Compliment, Complaint or Compliant:)

Lord Rama is widely considered to be Maryada Purushottama (The Perfect Man or Lord of Self Control or Lord of Virtue) by Hindus across the globe. He is a human being par excellence and his rule was famously known as Rama Rajya for being full of peace, happiness, prosperity and justice. And yet among the 330 million Gods in Hindu mythology it is with Lord Rama that I have an issue with. The story of Lord Rama is all hunky dory till He protects Sita Devi from the clutches of Ravanna and brings her back. It's the story after that, which makes me wonder if He deserves the Maryada Purshotamma tag that has been conferred upon Him. My grouse with Lord Rama is on three counts
  • When He asks Sita Devi to undergo the Agni Pariksha
  • When He banishes Sita Devi from Ayodhya on again doubting her chastity
  • When He fails to recognize his own flesh and blood, Luva and Kusha and battles with them
Agni Pariksha

In my book Lord Rama loses the Maryada Purushottama tag the moment He asked His wife to prove her chastity. The basic premise of calling Rama a Gentleman fell flat on its nose when He doubted his wife's fidelity. No right-minded gentleman would ever doubt his wife, least of all by listening to a loose tongue. Sure there’s any argument that He listened to the people of his kingdom and wanted to put them at ease. But at what cost? By hurting the sentiments of a woman who's devotion to her husband kept the evil advances of Ravanna at bay? And what kind of a King is Lord Rama who listens to the whispering voices of the mischief-mongering people rather than the thundering voice of His own conscience? If Rama Rajya was all about peace, prosperity and justice for the people, where was justice in asking Sita Devi to undergo Agni Pariksha?

It is this male chauvinist attitude that is still the root cause of all atrocities against women in this country. The women of this country have to constantly prove their loyalty and fidelity to their husbands who themselves can do as they wish with no questions asked. The modern day Ramas’ take refuge in the idea that, if Lord Rama can ask his wife to prove her chastity why not his subjects? Can’t help wonder if we are following the wrong Gods!

Banishment of Sita Devi

As if the Agni Pariksha wasn't insulting enough, comes the banishment of Sita Devi from the kingdom. And with this act His cloak of decency is all but shredded to bits. Suspecting your wife of carrying someone else's child and throwing her out of your house to let the pregnant wife fend for herself is the worst form of cruelty there is. And not surprisingly that attitude is still prevalent in Indian men thanks to God's Testimony over the matter. The women of this country have no chance. They are up against Gods and husbands!

Battle with Luv and Kush

The failure of Lord Rama in identifying His own flesh and blood is the pulling of the last straw. Now common, even a tacky 80's Bollywood movie star would have recognised his sons (lost in Kumbh Ka Mela) even after 25 years. The fact that Hanuman could recognize that Luv and Kush were the Lord’s sons and Rama missing out on the same fact defies all logic of parenthood and Godly sensibilities.

There could not have been a better ending to this story than Sita Devi submitting herself to Mother Earth leaving Rama to live a life of regret. As they say, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Disclaimer: Some of my understanding/knowledge/interpretation about the events may be wrong. I stand welcome to be corrected.
† Courtesy Srikanth Manjunath
Picture Courtesy: MyGuruWikipedia


  1. Even Gomateshwara could be mistaken in this land for popularizing nudity. we are all a common man the doubts created by the actions of Rama in some of the situations explained in the blog as also killing Vaali behind the tree..all this welcomes a debate.

    1. Agnipravesha : One purana says..Ravana kidnapped duplicate seetha, that is padmavathi..who cursed Ravana saying you are going to die because of an woman. When Ravana tried to Kidnap Seetha, the illusion form of Seetha (padmavathi) appears, and seetha goes inside the fire. After the battle, to bring back the original form of Seetha this Agni Pravesha act was enabled. Padmavathi requests Rama to marry her..but he refuses saying "Am one woman Husband..but in next birth as Lord Venakataramana, i will marry you"..story goes like that..
    2. Banishment of Sita Devi : Rama avatar says he stands as model of all the rules. He didnt preached anything..but he followed copy book rules..but here am not justifying his act of banishment..but instead...he set up a bench mark saying doubt is big demon which haunts for life..he didn`t doubted the seetha conduct..but wanted to suppress the doubting toms in his people's mind. (always debate will be there..what he achieved by doing this..hahaha)
    3. Battle with Luv and Kush: it is here our great masala director Man Mohan Desai took the que..and made Amar Akbar the way...Rama act was just proved that..when father follows the copy book rules..his off springs always stands the best..and also his deeds filled his kids the energy to fight on...(again there will be a debate)..

    Always Ramayana is more like Rules in our Indian Constitution..what needs to followed and all...but will be difficult to is what Rama scores the following each and every rule right from his birth..

    I am staunch follower of ask me to chose between the great epics of India..for every 100..i will chose Mahabhaaratha 150 times...

    Your writing is super..and rightly exposes the doubts, and debates of every common man who follows Rama's story...The Ramayana...

    Great buddy..keep rocking your rumblings..and big sorry for lengthy, lengthy like hanuman's tail comment (compliment)

    Joke : The lord Hanuman..simply wasted his energy..He flew across the indian ocean to Lanka, burnt, and brought information about someone's wife..even though he was a bachelor...

  2. What a beautiful insight into the other side of the story. It is for this precise reason I blogged about it - to clear the air about Rama or confirm my doubts on Him.

    But as you put it, the debate still rages. The problem as with all mythology is that for centuries the stories passed from one generation to the other by word of mouth. And human nature is such that we can make a donkey look like a horse.

    So by the time the first epic was "written" in hard copy the story has been so distorted that its beyond recognition.

    We will never be able to get the real truth about the whole issue. So I guess it all comes down to a matter of belief for every individual.

    Thanks Sri, for your comments on this topic.

  3. I like your take. :)

    That was an interesting take. So this is the new blog eh. Good one. I'm already enjoying it. All the best, Kishan.

  4. Oh and coming to 'Are we following the wrong gods?
    Rama was not born god, was he? He was a supposed to have been a great ruler (pun intended) who was worshiped by his subjects who in turn,raised him to the level of God because he supposedly took good care of them. We, who came later blindly followed suit.
    I think it's time separated history from the idea of God.

  5. Thanks D.
    Oh you are right. We never know when the line blurs between Man and God. Even today sections of society consider crooks like Nityananda and the likes as Gods!!!