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Re: Ramayana Doubts

From: Balakrishnan M (balakrsna007_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Fri Jan 31 2003 - 23:05:41 PST

Dear respected members of the group,

At most times in the discussions on Ramayana,
reference and quotations are made from Valmiki as this
is the original Ramayana or the first kavya as its
author Valmiki, the first poet (adi kavi). Valmiki
Ramayana is like an ocean of literal beauty with
spiritual instructions but it requires very deep
analysis to get the gems or the real meaning of
Valmiki’s instructions. Valmiki stresses the human
aspect of Rama, Rama as son of Dasaratha although
Valmiki recognizes that Rama is Vishnu himself. In
treta yuga the teachings of  Vedas itself was revealed
by Valmiki in form of Ramayana (vedavedye pari pumsi
jate dasarathaatmaje vedah prachetasadasit
sakshadramayanatmana). 

The hearing, reading, remembering as well as
discussion of Ramayana purifies the mind as it is also
a part of devotional service (sarvanam kirtanam vishu
smaranam……..). Almost everyone of the personalities in
Ramayana has a lesson to teach Rama as the ideal son,
brother, husband, king and etc, Sita as the ideal
wife, Lakshmana the ideal brother and so also Baratha
and Satruguna, Sugriva as the ideal friend, Hanuman as
the ideal servant plus many more lessons that can be
learnt from Dasaratha, Sumantara, Guha, Vibisheena,
Ravana, Kumbakarna, Indrajit, Jatayu, Sampati,
Jambavan, Angada, Maricha and the rest of the
characters in Ramayana. 

The lessons from Ramayana can also be applied in
modern management of organization especially the
leadership qualities of Lord Rama in administration of
Ayodhya and there are also many modern management
concepts such as EQ, MBO, Kaizen, strategic planning,
organising principles and etc where its origin can be
traced from Valmiki Ramayana.

Ramayana has great influence in many part of the
world. Even here in Malaysia in the state of Kelantan
the Ramayana show, Wayang Kulit (the local Malay
version) is popular pastimes in kampungs or villages
narrated by Pak Dalang or the story teller. The
Indonesian also recognizes Jatayu and Sampati (their
airlines known as Sempati air) and of course the name
of Rama is also used by kings in Thailand and other
parts of Indo China.

In studying and analyzing Ramayana one need to take a
macro approach rather than a micro approach. In a
macro approach we get the birds eye view of the whole
picture whereas in a micro approach we only get a worm
eye view or a limited view. As a result of analyzing
Ramayana taking micro approach a lot of confusions and
questions arises eg why did Rama kill Maricha, kill
Vali from behind, accuses Sita, exiled Sita, killed
the sudra and etc. 

In a macro approach on the other hand, we need to look
at the starting point (the origin of the issue) the
which can be found in Srimad Bhagavatam, reference to
Jaya and Vijaya incident in the 1st Canto followed by
appearance of Jaya and Vijaya as Hiranyaksa and
Hiranyaksipu and in Ramayana as Ravana and Kumbakarna
and latter in Dwapra Yuga as Sisupala and Danthakara.
In the bigger picture we can see that the lord appear
to exhibit his transcendental activities and past
times and Jaya and Vijaya plus all other devas came to
take part in the lord’s past times. In other word,
Rama knows that he will killed Ravana, Sita knows that
she will be abducted, Ravana knows that he will be
killed yet they do their functions as ordained. This
version is based on  Adhyatma Ramayana, a part of
Brahmanda Purana said to be composed by Vyasa Muni. In
Adhyatma Ramayana at every step we are reminded that
Rama is Vishnu himself. His sorrows and sufferings are
only external. Even when he appeared, Adhyatma
Ramayana presents him at birth as four handed Vishnu
and at Kausalya’s request he transforms himself into
human infant.

Reference to Adhyatma Ramayana can also be used to
explain Sita’s fire ordeal. Before Ravana came to
abduct Sita, Rama informed Sita to stay with Agni for
one year leaving behind Maya Sita (Vedavati, reference
to Uttara Kanda of Valmiki). The Sita abducted by
Ravana was not thereal Sita but Maya Sita. After
Ravana was killed Rama in order to get his real Sita,
Maya Sita was ordered to enter Agni.

One of the only English translations of  Adyhatma
Ramayana that I managed to find is by Swami
Tapasyanada published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Madras.
This text is a good source of reference although it
has more advaitic flavor. 

Most of the questions can be answered if we study not
only the entire Valmiki Ramayana or Adyhatma Ramayana
but also other versions such as Tulasidas, Kambar plus
the other vedic literatures such as Mahabaratha,
Srimad Bhagavatam and the other puranas. In Valmiki
Ramayana itself answers for various questions can be
found such as why Dasaratha Maharaj was separated from
Rama (killing of a young ascetic boy and the curse by
his parents, Ayodhya kanda) why Rama was separated
from Sita (curse by Bhrigu Muni, Uttara Kanda), why
Hanuman could not do anything when Sugriva was
banished by Vali (cursed of the rishis, Uttara Kanda)
and many more. From Ramayana also we can get answers
in latter incidents in Mahabaratha, Srimad Bhagavatam
and etc.

To the respected members of the group, I am just
giving my viewpoints. I may be wrong, correct me if I
am wrong as I am still learning Ramayana and other
vedic literatures and of course there are lot more to
learn by discussions with all of you. 

For members who are staying far in places when
Ramayana texts are hardly available, below I have few
urls where you can download and read different
versions of Ramayana. 

For Valmiki, great translation work in English are
carried out by Desiraju Hanumanta Rao & K. M. K.
Murthyat at the following url


http://www.valmikiramayan.net

Ramayana resources can be found at the following url

http://www.valmikiramayan.net/resources.htm

For online reading of the entire Tulasidas Ramayana
please go to the following url

http://www.gitapress.org/english/epbooks_eng.html
<http://www.gitapress.org/english/epbooks_eng.html>

Online Ramayana by Rajagopalachari (the entire book)
can be found at

http://home.att.net/~gitaprasad/ramayana.htm

I could not find any online English translation of
Kamba Ramayana so far.

Excellent articles on Valmiki and Kamban by Sri Hari
Krishnan who posted series of article on Vali Vadham
can be found in  www.chennaionline.com   religion and
festival section.

I do hope the above resources will plus our
discussions help members in learning and understanding
Ramayana.

Regards

Bala
Penang, Malaysia.


=====

Balakrishnan A/L Muniapan

Mobile: 6-016-4838038

http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/District/9622/resbala.html


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