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Ramayana and Rama - a perspective

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a-TB

Well-known member
In Valmiki Ramayana, Rama is not presented as God. All supernatural things described either have symbolic significance or they are just a poetic license to make the epic interesting .

By making Rama as a Godhead, I think humanity has lost something since God is unreachable
Rama as a historical character was a near ideal man whose character had traits of divinity - commitment to integrity, truth and dharma. He had some flaws that makes him human and a figure to aspire for,

By making him a god, worship becomes the natural thing along with some rituals. He has become sectarian god instead of a role model for the entire humanity

There were no religions during Rama's kingdom.

Most recently in about 1000 years ago, it was declared that Rama is avatara of a god called Vishnu sitting in Vaikunta. They made Ravana, a Rakshasa as ardent devotee of Siva. Rama of course kills Ravana and thereby a subtle hit on the sects .

I think all of these have not served humanity well.
 
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praveen

Life is a dream
Staff member
I edited and removed two lines that were derogatory and uncalled for remarks against certain sects.

Please keep the discussion civil and free of slander.
 

renuka

Well-known member
I am pasting this here..took it from Quora but before I pasted it, I opened the Sanskrit Valmiki Ramayan I have with me, by Gita Press Gorakhpur as I clearly remember reading Shree Rama being praised as Narayana/God in Yuddha Kanda.
I checked up all these verses and it does exists in the Yuddha Kanda.
Valmiki Ramayan does describe Shree Rama as God.

इति ब्रुवाणं काकुत्थ्सं ब्रह्मा ब्रह्मविदां वरः || ६-११७-१२
अब्रवीच्छृणु मे वाक्यं सत्यं सत्यपराक्रम |

12. kaakutthsam = to Rama; iti bruvaaNaam = thus speaking; brahmaa = Brahma; varaH = the foremost; brahma vidaam = among the knowers of Brahma the Absolute; abraviit = spoke (as follows); shruNu = listen; me satyam vaakyam = to my true word; satyaparaakrama = O the truly brave lord!"

Hearing the words of Rama, Brahma (the creator), the foremost among the knowers of Brahma the Absolute, spoke as follows: "Listen to my true word, O the truly brave lord!"

भवान्नारायणो देवः श्रीमांश्चक्रायुधः प्रभुः || ६-११७-१३
एकशृङ्गो वराहस्त्वं भूतभव्यसपत्नजित् |

13. bhavaan = you; prabhuH naaraayaNaH = are the Lord Narayaa himself; shriimaan devaH = the glorious god; chakraayudhaH = who wields the discus; tvam = you; varaahaH = are the divine Boar; eka shR^iN^gaH = with a single tusk; bhuuta bhavya sapatnajit = the conqueror of your past and future enemies.

"You are the Lord Narayana himself the glorious god, who wields the discus. You are the Divine Boar with a single tusk, the conqueror of your past and future enemies."

अक्षरं ब्रह्म सत्यं च मध्ये चान्ते च राघव || ६-११७-१४
लोकानां त्वं परो धर्मो विष्वक्सेनश्चतुर्भजः |

14. brahma = (you are) Brahma; akSharam = the imperishable; satyamcha = and the Truth; madhye cha antyecha = in the Middle and at the end; tvam = you are paraH dharmaH = the Supreme righteousness; lokaanaam = of people; viShvaksenaH = whose pwers go everywhere; chaturbhujaH = and the four-armed one.

"You are Brahma, the imperishable, the Truth abiding in the middle as well as at the end of the universe. You are the supreme righteousness of people, whose powers go everywhere. You are the four-armed."

शार्ङ्गधन्वा हृषीकेशः पुरुषः पुरुषोत्तमः || ६-११७-१५
अजितः खड्गधृग्विष्णुः कृष्णश्चैव महाबलः |

15. shaarN^gadhanvaa = you are the wielder of a bow; called Sharnga hR^ishiikeshaH = the lord of the senses; puruShaH = the supreme soul of the universe; puruShottamaH = the best of men; ajitaH = the invincible; khaDgadhR^ik = the wielder of a sword named Nandaka; viShNuH = the all-pervader; kR^iShNashchaiva = the bestower of happiness to the earth; mahaabalaH = and endowed with great might.

"You are the wielder of a bow called Sarnga, the lord of the senses, the supreme soul of the universe, the best of men, the invincible, the wielder of a sword named Nandaka, the all-pervader, the bestower of happiness to the earth and endowed with great might."
 
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a-TB

Well-known member
I am pasting this here..took it from Quora but before I pasted it, I opened the Sanskrit Valmiki Ramayan I have with me, by Gita Press Gorakhpur as I clearly remember reading Shree Rama being praised as Narayana/God in Yuddha Kanda.
I checked up all these verses and it does exists in the Yuddha Kanda.
Valmiki Ramayan does describe Shree Rama as God.

इति ब्रुवाणं काकुत्थ्सं ब्रह्मा ब्रह्मविदां वरः || ६-११७-१२
अब्रवीच्छृणु मे वाक्यं सत्यं सत्यपराक्रम |

12. kaakutthsam = to Rama; iti bruvaaNaam = thus speaking; brahmaa = Brahma; varaH = the foremost; brahma vidaam = among the knowers of Brahma the Absolute; abraviit = spoke (as follows); shruNu = listen; me satyam vaakyam = to my true word; satyaparaakrama = O the truly brave lord!"

Hearing the words of Rama, Brahma (the creator), the foremost among the knowers of Brahma the Absolute, spoke as follows: "Listen to my true word, O the truly brave lord!"

भवान्नारायणो देवः श्रीमांश्चक्रायुधः प्रभुः || ६-११७-१३
एकशृङ्गो वराहस्त्वं भूतभव्यसपत्नजित् |

13. bhavaan = you; prabhuH naaraayaNaH = are the Lord Narayaa himself; shriimaan devaH = the glorious god; chakraayudhaH = who wields the discus; tvam = you; varaahaH = are the divine Boar; eka shR^iN^gaH = with a single tusk; bhuuta bhavya sapatnajit = the conqueror of your past and future enemies.

"You are the Lord Narayana himself the glorious god, who wields the discus. You are the Divine Boar with a single tusk, the conqueror of your past and future enemies."

अक्षरं ब्रह्म सत्यं च मध्ये चान्ते च राघव || ६-११७-१४
लोकानां त्वं परो धर्मो विष्वक्सेनश्चतुर्भजः |

14. brahma = (you are) Brahma; akSharam = the imperishable; satyamcha = and the Truth; madhye cha antyecha = in the Middle and at the end; tvam = you are paraH dharmaH = the Supreme righteousness; lokaanaam = of people; viShvaksenaH = whose pwers go everywhere; chaturbhujaH = and the four-armed one.

"You are Brahma, the imperishable, the Truth abiding in the middle as well as at the end of the universe. You are the supreme righteousness of people, whose powers go everywhere. You are the four-armed."

शार्ङ्गधन्वा हृषीकेशः पुरुषः पुरुषोत्तमः || ६-११७-१५
अजितः खड्गधृग्विष्णुः कृष्णश्चैव महाबलः |

15. shaarN^gadhanvaa = you are the wielder of a bow; called Sharnga hR^ishiikeshaH = the lord of the senses; puruShaH = the supreme soul of the universe; puruShottamaH = the best of men; ajitaH = the invincible; khaDgadhR^ik = the wielder of a sword named Nandaka; viShNuH = the all-pervader; kR^iShNashchaiva = the bestower of happiness to the earth; mahaabalaH = and endowed with great might.

"You are the wielder of a bow called Sarnga, the lord of the senses, the supreme soul of the universe, the best of men, the invincible, the wielder of a sword named Nandaka, the all-pervader, the bestower of happiness to the earth and endowed with great might."
Dear Ms Renuka

Thank you. That is a tremendous find. Let me look in detail and come back if I have questions.

As a poet Valmiki has a right to poetic license. You are a lion or boar does not mean that the person is a lion. Literality will give a primary meaning. But taken in context of the entire Ramayana will the primary meaning fit ? A person is a lion means he is brave.

You are Narayans or a boar ( which is a mythological story being referred to) means it is a metaphor

Worship of the kind we see is a recent 1000 year or so phenomena. Ramayana of Valmiki is about 6000 years old when Vedic gods were Indra etc. Plus worship of Gods are not like we see.

Some people have said and I have no references to support this, is that Ramayana has had a few interpolations over 6000 years. One is Rama asking Sita to get into fire to prove her chastity. There is a scholarly analysis on such matters to declare that such passages are interpolations.

Rama is presented as a human being with human frailties in the entire story.

I can give more specific misinterpretations in today’s society of divisions. But they may be seen as a slander.

But deification has created divisions of sects which is s more recent phenomena

I am surprised stating a fact is viewed as slander. Oh well. The larger point remains and will abide by Praveen’s statements
 

sravna

Well-known member
Lord Rama was not a purnavatar of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu took the Avatar of Lord Rama with some of his qualities veiled. He was presented as a human but as a model human.

I would say He was as perfect as a human could be. On the other hand Lord Krishna was a purnavatar of Lord Vishnu and displayed all the magical superhuman capabilities.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Dear Ms Renuka

Thank you. That is a tremendous find. Let me look in detail and come back if I have questions.

As a poet Valmiki has a right to poetic license. You are a lion or boar does not mean that the person is a lion. Literality will give a primary meaning. But taken in context of the entire Ramayana will the primary meaning fit ? A person is a lion means he is brave.

You are Narayans or a boar ( which is a mythological story being referred to) means it is a metaphor

Worship of the kind we see is a recent 1000 year or so phenomena. Ramayana of Valmiki is about 6000 years old when Vedic gods were Indra etc. Plus worship of Gods are not like we see.

Some people have said and I have no references to support this, is that Ramayana has had a few interpolations over 6000 years. One is Rama asking Sita to get into fire to prove her chastity. There is a scholarly analysis on such matters to declare that such passages are interpolations.

Rama is presented as a human being with human frailties in the entire story.

I can give more specific misinterpretations in today’s society of divisions. But they may be seen as a slander.

But deification has created divisions of sects which is s more recent phenomena

I am surprised stating a fact is viewed as slander. Oh well. The larger point remains and will abide by Praveen’s statements
In Valmiki Ramayan, its not Rama who asks Sita to do the fire test.
She opts to do it Herself to prove Her purity.
 
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a-TB

Well-known member
In Valmiki Ramayan, its not Rama who asks Sita to do the fire test.
She opts to do it Herself to prove Her purity.
Regardless the story itself suggests he allowed such a supernatural act. The story is a later day interpolation just like uttarakanda. Also why should she prove her purity. He did not offer to show his purity though society then was polygamous. A person like Rama of such high integrity does not need proof because Hanuman described firsthand what he saw.

Avatara is a word not seen in upanishads. Either all of us are avatara or no one is. Krishna may have said he will come as needed to establish dharma. That does not mean God is watching when to come for God is nameless and formless. It can only mean system will respond to restore order If disorder is excessive

For those into religious beliefs it will be difficult to accept such statements.
 
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a-TB

Well-known member
Lord Rama was not a purnavatar of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu took the Avatar of Lord Rama with some of his qualities veiled. He was presented as a human but as a model human.

I would say He was as perfect as a human could be. On the other hand Lord Krishna was a purnavatar of Lord Vishnu and displayed all the magical superhuman capabilities.
These are pure beliefs. But that is in the society. Krishna did not show any magic. Bhagavatham was written much later and the stories have spiritual content. But people like supernatural stories missing the underlying message. Panchatantra stories are to teach some morals and it does not establish animals used to talk like humans.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Regardless the story itself suggests he allowed such a supernatural act. The story is a later day interpolation just like uttarakanda. Also why should she prove her purity. He did not offer to show his purity though society then was polygamous. A person like Rama of such high integrity does not need proof because Hanuman described firsthand what he saw.

Avatara is a word not seen in upanishads. Either all of us are avatara or no one is. Krishna may have said he will come as needed to establish dharma. That does not mean God is watching when to come for God is nameless and formless. It can only mean system will respond to restore order If disorder is excessive

For those into religious beliefs it will be difficult to accept such statements.
But the fact is the Valmiki Ramayan doesnt deny Rama is God.

Intellectualization at times doesnt really give answers.
A lot of jnaana comes from surrender.
The mind has to be laid to rest in order to be a " seer".

So its best for me I accept what I can identify with..though I might not agree with all actions of Rama but I have to know the era was different..rules were different.

Also as a religious person I would not really like to go into the act of blasphemy.
 

renuka

Well-known member
T
Lord Rama was not a purnavatar of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu took the Avatar of Lord Rama with some of his qualities veiled. He was presented as a human but as a model human.

I would say He was as perfect as a human could be. On the other hand Lord Krishna was a purnavatar of Lord Vishnu and displayed all the magical superhuman capabilities.
Though not purna its not as if that not so purna isnt purna too..remember purnam adah purnam idam mantra.

Can a drop from God be anything less than God itself?
I do understand what you mean by veiled..its just a Leela to project a non purna status avatar.

A full fledge avatar has a bigger mission..thats the only difference.
But at the level of Divinity, Rama is no different from Krishna.
 

sravna

Well-known member
But the fact is the Valmiki Ramayan doesnt deny Rama is God.

Intellectualization at times doesnt really give answers.
A lot of jnaana comes from surrender.
The mind has to be laid to rest in order to be a " seer".

So its best for me I accept what I can identify with..though I might not agree with all actions of Rama but I have to know the era was different..rules were different.

Also as a religious person I would not really like to go into the act of blasphemy.
Well said. Intellectualization has severe limits. You miss a lot in the process. Direct and total grasp of reality gets to the heart of truth. At some point analytical thinking has to have the support of holistic thinking to not be stalled.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Are we even sure that the Valmiki in the Epic Ramayana is the same as the Poet Valmiki?

There are different versions regarding the time period and life of Valmiki. The Valmiki Ramayana is believed to be dated variously from the period 500 BC to 100BC. But at the same time Valmiki is also said to be the contemporary of Lord Rama. Sita took refuge in her Ashram where Lava and Kusa were born. Against this backdrop, the period of Valmiki is likely to date back to thousand of years.

There is much controversy regarding the life of Maharishi Valmiki. There is a age old belief th;at before turning into a sage Valmiki was a highway robber called Ratnakara. This widely accepted story has been explained in detail below. But a judgement given by Justice Rajive Bhalla of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the year 2010 could change an age-old belief about Maharsihi Valmiki. Justice Bhalla quoted the research done by the head of the Maharishi Valmiki Chair of the Punjabi University, Patiala, Manjula Sehdev, and said that,"actual facts appear to be lost in the mists of antiquity." The judge stated the salient features of the research, saying that "from Vedic literature up to 9th century AD, there is no reference as such that Maharishi Valmiki led a life of a dacoit or highwayman." It was also stated that in his own work 'Ramayana', Valmiki is called Bhagwan, Muni, Rishi and Maharishi and no reference of his highwaymanship is available there.

How old is Ramayana?​

Based on astronomical information such as position of constellations and time of eclipses available in scriptures, they have concluded that events in the Ramayana took place 7,000 years ago and events in the Mahabharata took place 5,000 years ago.


The Valmiki who is written in the Ramayana could not be the same as the person who wrote it.
So if we accept that Ramayana took place 5000 years ago and Valmiki wrote the story in 500 BC, It is still a story retold. So it need not be Historically correct. Valmiki being a poet took some liberties with facts.
 
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a-TB

Well-known member
You cannot intellectualize reasons. The view point in the op was to assert that deification has created sects and divisiveness. It has created god ss remote and taken a human being to reach a sense of universality and oneness.
if one is deeply religious of a any god or set of gods this discussion will make no sense. Issues of society with wrong notions of god will appear a slander.


God in this appearance has endowed with reasoning power. Letting that go is in the domain of faith. Forum is as constituted by active participants not ready for philosophical discussion That is how it appears to me.

Please carry on with your beliefs. Thanks for the engagement thus far
 
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a-TB

Well-known member
You cannot intellectualize reasons. The view point in the op was to assert that deification has created sects and divisiveness. It has created god ss remote and taken a human being from reaching a sense of universality and oneness.
if one is deeply religious of a any god or set of gods this discussion will make no sense. Pointing out Issues of society with wrong notions of god will appear as slander.


God in this appearance has endowed with reasoning power. Letting that go is in the domain of faith. Forum is as constituted by active participants not ready for philosophical discussion That is how it appears to me.

Please carry on with your beliefs. Thanks for the engagement thus far
 
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OP
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a-TB

Well-known member
You cannot intellectualize reasons. The view point in the op was to assert that deification has created sects and divisiveness. It has created god ss remote and taken a human being from reaching a sense of universality and oneness.
if one is deeply religious of a any god or set of gods this discussion will make no sense. Pointing out Issues of society with wrong notions of god will appear as slander.


God in this appearance has endowed with reasoning power. Letting that go is in the domain of faith. Forum is as constituted by active participants not ready for philosophical discussion That is how it appears to me.

Please carry on with your beliefs. Thanks for the engagement thus far
 

renuka

Well-known member
You cannot intellectualize reasons. The view point in the op was to assert that deification has created sects and divisiveness. It has created god ss remote and taken a human being from reaching a sense of universality and oneness.
if one is deeply religious of a any god or set of gods this discussion will make no sense. Pointing out Issues of society with wrong notions of god will appear as slander.


God in this appearance has endowed with reasoning power. Letting that go is in the domain of faith. Forum is as constituted by active participants not ready for philosophical discussion That is how it appears to me.

Please carry on with your beliefs. Thanks for the engagement thus far
Its not really about members not being ready for philosophical discussion..but just that eventualy philosophy does not really yield much because its mainly personal opinions of various hues.

The play of the mind takes on many forms..philosophy is one of them.

At some stage of life we do tell ourselves " Bhajo Govindam..samprapte sannihite kale..nahi nahi rakshatin dukreñ karane"
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Avatara is a word not seen in upanishads. Either all of us are avatara or no one is.

For those into religious beliefs it will be difficult to accept such statements.
I think the mahavakyas
Tat Tvam Asi
Aham Brahmāsmi
Ayam Atma Brahma



All run contrary to the Bhakti Gods. I think it is a contradiction.


I had a post regarding the authenticity of Valmiki Ramayan as we know today.
 
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renuka

Well-known member
I think the mahavakyas
Tat Tvam Asi
Aham Brahmāsmi
Ayam Atma Brahma

All run contrary to the Bhakti Gods. I think it is a contradiction.
No...it does not run contrary.
The Mahavakyas denote the final product after "churning".

Our entire existence is a battle of duality, what we denote as " good" and " bad" depending on how the effects.
But both of these states needs to be transcended.

Its not as easy to transcend both these states..both keep pulling to help churn to seek amrit..it yields no results as there is no support at the substratum to steady the effort.

This is where the concept of Bhakti helps.
The form of God we relate to dives into the ocean of our existence and helps be the support for our churning.

In that process, a lot of toxins are released from our mind which again God helps gulp it for us..then after toxins are gone, lots of material richness spring up from the ocean..again its only a distraction for this richness isnt ours.

Finally the amrit is brought up but yet again veiled by the Lord in a bewitching play..hidden from us ..then what next?

Just simply Be! The Lord Himself will give us the Amrit.

That Amrit is the Mahavakyas.


Did we need all the concepts of God, Bhakti and all to get the Amrit..technically No..but we needed a support system.
Bhakti allows you to have your cake and eat it both.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Bhakti allows you to have your cake and eat it both.
Bhakti is a Mirage ( I am being generous). Bhakti in all religions is like Heat haze, also called heat shimmer. That is not real.

If it satisfies your needs then that might be enough for you, but some see through it.
 
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a-TB

Well-known member
Its not really about members not being ready for philosophical discussion..but just that eventualy philosophy does not really yield much because its mainly personal opinions of various hues.

The play of the mind takes on many forms..philosophy is one of them.

At some stage of life we do tell ourselves " Bhajo Govindam..samprapte sannihite kale..nahi nahi rakshatin dukreñ karane"
Philosophy like all words used to describe are just words. Just mental gymnastics. You talked about surrender. It is just a word unless there is direct experience but not imagination masquerading as experience. Or some emotionalism.

With wrong imagination about oneself, God and the universe surrender is a word backed by an idea in the head. So it is all belief supported pseudo intellectualization. This is not an attack on you. Just critiquing statements. Not criticizing.


philosophy means committing to search for truth at all costs. Which cannot be reached by mind but mind helps in negation. Throwing that capacity to negate is like throwing baby with bath water.

my understanding is not mature yet because it is indirect. But it helps to see standard flaws in descriptions often taken as very scholarly.

if faith and beliefs and supernatural things are taken as real then a discussion of search for truth is not possible.
if someone makes god out of Romeo and Juliet creating sects then the value of Shakespeare play to humanity is lost. That is what has happened to ValKiki Ramayana.

I do not know why my prior posts got repeated
 

renuka

Well-known member
Bhakti is a Mirage ( I am being generous). Bhakti in all religions is like Heat haze, also called heat shimmer. That is not real.

If it satisfies your needs then that might be enough for you, but some see through it.
It seems like a mirage at first...the mirage which allows you to thread the path of Dharma to accumulate what we need for sustenance(Artha) and to satisfy our needs and desires( Kama)..this first three steps usually is the mirage that lays a trap for all humans on any path in life..but the one who realizes the futility of the mirage having trascended the Dharma,Artha,Kama states pursues Moksha.

That very same mirage of Bhakti of Dharma, Artha and Kama would be abandoned in total surrender to the Lord/ Moksha.

Hence
sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śharaṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣhayiṣhyāmi mā śhuchaḥ


BG 18.66: Abandon all varieties of dharmas and simply surrender unto Me alone. I shall liberate you from all sinful reactions; do not fear.
 
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a-TB

Well-known member
Bhakti is a Mirage ( I am being generous). Bhakti in all religions is like Heat haze, also called heat shimmer. That is not real.

If it satisfies your needs then that might be enough for you, but some see through it.
What is Bhakti is some imagination coupled with emotionalism. Real Bhakti is essential for growth. Dualistic Bhakti divides humans and it is a mirage.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Philosophy like all words used to describe are just words. Just mental gymnastics. You talked about surrender. It is just a word unless there is direct experience but not imagination masquerading as experience. Or some emotionalism.

With wrong imagination about oneself, God and the universe surrender is a word backed by an idea in the head. So it is all belief supported pseudo intellectualization. This is not an attack on you. Just critiquing statements. Not criticizing.


philosophy means committing to search for truth at all costs. Which cannot be reached by mind but mind helps in negation. Throwing that capacity to negate is like throwing baby with bath water.

my understanding is not mature yet because it is indirect. But it helps to see standard flaws in descriptions often taken as very scholarly.

if faith and beliefs and supernatural things are taken as real then a discussion of search for truth is not possible.
if someone makes god out of Romeo and Juliet creating sects then the value of Shakespeare play to humanity is lost. That is what has happened to ValKiki Ramayana.

I do not know why my prior posts got repeated
Actually I read once the Romeo Juliet is based on some Persian Sufi text some text starting with the word Raudah..I cant remember the second word which starts with the letter J.

Its about how a Sufi seekers seeks to be with his Beloved Lord.
 

renuka

Well-known member
What is Bhakti is some imagination coupled with emotionalism. Real Bhakti is essential for growth. Dualistic Bhakti divides humans and it is a mirage.
It can divide and minus and plus too..no one asked us to do maths.
We were supposed to get into equanimity.

When pursuing any path be it Bhakti or Karma or Jnaana, the human mind is capable of hijacking itself to divide and rule among humans as to install itself as Holier than Thou.

Its not the fault of the marga, its we humans who hijack ourselves and cause divisions.
 

sravna

Well-known member
There is something called as bias. The color that brain gives to something and thinks that coloring is right. It calls it objective. That's how the world works. Logic, rationality blah blah blah are such fanciful words to justify that purported objectivity.
 
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