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Re: Raamaayana question

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Thu May 07 1998 - 12:18:34 PDT

[regarding the mAyA-sIta story]

This story does not appear in Srimad Valmiki rAmAyaNam,
neither does it appear in the anubhavam of Alvars or Acharyas,
nor of the great Tamil poet Kamban. It is generally not 
accepted in orthodox Sri Vaishnava circles (and among South
Indian vaidikas in general), the kUrma purANa notwithstanding.

On a purely stylistic note, if there actually had been a 
mAyA-sIta who was abducted instead of the real Sita piraaTTi, 
would it not rob the story of a great deal of interest?

In fact, the Sri Vaishnava acharyas rely heavily on the "real"
Sita's imprisonment in the Asoka Vana in their anubhavam of
the story of the Lord.  The pain and anguish Rama felt at 
discovering her loss, the tragedy of the great eagle Jatayu, 
the consequent struggle Rama underwent at retrieving his beloved,
the visit of Hanuman, etc., are all dependent on the real Sita 
having been abducted by Ravana.

Methinks the mAyA-sItA makes the glorious story of Rama
as colorless as the mAyA of advaita makes Vedanta.

Mani