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Smt.Anonymous"s question .

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Jan 14 1996 - 14:43:53 PST

Smt . Anonymous asked an important question that has 
attracted the attention of commentators of Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam
such as Govindaraja, Jayatheertha, Uthari and Periya Vaccchaan Pillai.
There are atleast three bewildering situations , where the Conduct of 
Sri Ramachandra is difficult to understand from the modern day point of
view. One of them is the banishment of  pregnant Sita near Valmiki Asram.
The others are the Vali Vadham and the abandonment of Lakshmana , when 
he interrupted the conversation between Rama and Dharmaraja due to the 
pressure from Durvasa Muni. I will provide some background to show how
Rama Bhakthas have grappled with these questions and resolved them .
It may be  long-winded, but may  come in handy for future discussions 
on Ramayana and Rama's nature as the embodiment of Dharma.. . 

Many offshoots of Valmiki Ramayanam like Ananda Ramayanam, Adhyatma 
Ramayanam,Gayatri Ramayanam, Rama Charita Manas of Tulsidas Goswami, 
Kamba Ramayanam and Rama Nataka Kirthanam in South and the 
Maha Natakam in Maharashtra either side stepped the issues or 
gave a different twist to the events that are found in the Uttara Khandam
and Kishkinda Khandam. Number of them stop at the Rama Pattabhishekam 
and ignore Uttara Khandam events altogether..

The Azhwars and the Acharyas and the commentators of the South
have explained the abandonment of Sita along the reasons summarized 
excellently by both  Sri Vidyasankar and Sri Tatachar. One of the five
preceptors of 
Acharya Ramanuja was Thirumalai Nambi, who instructed him on the 
esoteric meanings of Srimad Ramayana. Both of these intellectual giants 
are said to have gone over the  verses of the epic one by one. They together
have 
agreed with Nammazhwar's view that there is nothing more profound to learn
 other than Rama's story. (Thiruvaimozhi 7.5.1: Karpaar Ramapiranai allaal 
marrum Karparoh--).In the next verse ,the Azhwaar  says;
 Nattil Pirandhu Padaathana pattu --to refer to the sufferings of Rama ,
 when he was born as a human on this earth as the son of Dasaratha .
Even in all the trials and tribultions he was subjected to,
he upheld the highest principles of his  Dharma as a King , His personal
sufferings 
took a second place, when he had to follow the dictates of Raja Neethi. Once he
determined, what was correct according to the Pre-Kali Yuga Dharma, he never
hesitated to carry out his duties. He suffered immensely from the separation
from
his beloved Sita. He never married . It was permitted as we guess from the
example 
of his father, who had  three wives. He placed the golden statue of Sita as his 
existing Dharma Patni ,while performing the Aswamedha Yaga and Savana Yagas.
He invited her later  back from Valmiki"s hermitage with the sons . She came and

decided to seek the shelter form her Mother, Bhoomi Devi and her wish was
granted. Rama lost her  and  lamented his profound loss once again. 

Swami Desikan following the sampradhyam of Ramanuja has clearly 
stated  Rama as the embodiment of Dharma (Dharmo Vigrahavaan). He
also composed a stotra on the Archa murthy of the Divya Desam known as 
Thirupputkuzhi and named it Paramartha Stuti or the stotram on the 
most profound meaning of the attributes of Vijaya Raghavan. He salutes 
the Lord of this Divya Desam as Aahava Pungan . Aahavam means both War and 
Yajnas. Swami Desikan also called Ramayana,the Saranagathi Sastra and wrote 
another masterpiece known as Abhaya Pradhaana Saram to salute the 
Kalyana Guna of Rama rooted in Dharma(Saranagatha Vrathi ).He has 
named his  stuti on Thirupputkuzhi Perumal 
as Paramartha Stuti  from the inspiration he got from the passages of
Rama Rahasya Upanishads.. 

In recent times, Saint Thyagaraja has pondered over these questions and has
unequivocally established Rama as the supreme embodiment of Dharma 
in his mind.. He points out inhis SANKARABHARANA kRITI "BUDDHI RAADHU" that
 One might  have read Ramayana and Bhagavatha , but he or she  will not
 understand the TRUE  knowledge of their  significance
unless they grasp the meanings of  the Avatars in the human forms
(Manusha Avatara Charitamulu ). In Todi Raga Kriti,
EMI JESITI, he asks : Of what avail is anything done, when one does  not
 understand the Sastric command of Sri Rama as a King .In the Harikambhoji 
kriti, Undenthi Ramudu , he saluted Rama as Dahrmathmudu, Sarva Samudu.
Here , he describes Rama as the soul of all Dharma and he looks evenly on all.
He hails Rama Rajyam as the most benovolent rule by any king and says in his 
Mukari Kriti (Karu Bharu ), that he protected his subjects and exercised supreme
authority
impartially and cared about the happiness of townsmen and Rishis alike.
He says that  the rains fell three times a month and there  was abundant
prosperity 
due to the strict adherence  to Dharma by the Ruler. In his Gowlipantu kriti,
Kasicchedhe , He points out that the Kings of the Kali age are vainglorious 
and they do not protect one and  all like Rama , who was  a master of the 
science of Polity (Raja Dharmam). In one of  his Suprabhatham kriti, he says
that 
the kings of the Universe were assembled in front of Rama's bed chamber to
learn about the intricacies of Raja Neethi. 

Regarding Vali Vadham,Saint Thygaraja  asks in his Vakulabharanam kriti
: "Is it not correct that Rama killed
 Vali for having deprived Sugriva of the company of his wife
 and children and made him run to the mountains? 

Regarding Lakshman's abandonment, Vasishta advised Rama that he had no choice,
since Lakshmana transgressed the promise made to Yama Raja that no one 
should interrupt his conversation with Rama and those , who did would 
have to be sacrificed. When Durvasa demanded Lakshmana guarding the gate of
the conference chamber and threatned to curse Rama , if he did not see him
immediately, 
Lakshmana broke the rule and interrupted the conversation, fully knowing that
he has to be sacrificed.. 

In summary, Rama's acute sense of carrying out his  Raja Dharma 
put him under tremendous emotional distress and suffering, But he put his 
duties as a king first and executed the course of Action without hesitation..

There is an explanation in Uttara Khandham about Rama's separation from Sita 
through the words of the royal charioteer of Rama a she drove Lakshmana back
from his assigned duty to abandon Sita. Sumantra explains that Sage Bhrigu had
cursed 
Vishnu , when he cut the head of Bhrigu's wife with Sudarsanam . Vishnu was
angry at her for
protecting the Daityas, who were foes of the Devas.Bhrigu cursed that Rama will
be
born as a human son of Dasaratha and will be separated from his wife for 
causing such an anguish to him (51st chapter of Uttara Khandam). This seems to
be 
a easier explanation to accept . 

Sri Ranmachandra Parabrahmaneh Nama:
Sadagopan