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From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Tue Oct 13 1998 - 15:34:36 PDT
Before reading any responses to his question, my friend had a few further comments: ---------------------------------------------- Seeing that no one has answered - I shall venture to say my two cents worth. This is something that has particularly struck a chord in my heart - especially when it came to Sri Raama. I do not particularly care when this is brought up with respect to the Para, Vyuha, Archa and the other Vibhava avataras of the Lord. But Sri Raama is special. I feel a physical blow when someone claims that Raama did not have KaaruNyam when he was without Mother Seetha. I guess some Sri Vaishnavaas particularly like to labor the point of the Piraatti being the compassionate one. I like to respectfully differ. Here are my repertoire of examples from my limited reading of the Srimad RaamaayaNam. 1.) Jataayu - Sri Raama on seeing the remains of his battle with Ravana and seeing a giant body in the darkness initially "mistakes" it to be the demon that had kidnapped Seetha and lifts his bow to finish it off. Coming closer he hears Jataayu's faint cries. Everyone knows what the Lord did after that. Jataayu went to the Lokas that even Dasaratha did not get. No Sita here. (Strike one for Sri Raama) Now this can be explained away by saying - afterall Jataayu died trying to protect the Mother. But this is all stretched. If Maariicha died simply because he was a couple miles away from Seetha and if the 14000 guys at Janasthaana died because they were just out on an open ground a furlong away from the cave where Sita was - this does not make sense. 2.) Shabari - No contact with Siita at all. None whatsoever. So where did she go? Okay - so her aacharyan Matanga Maharishi had already promised her the higher lokas before Sri Raama blessed her with his presence. I guess the Sri Vaishnavaas would claim that the "U" kaaram in the OM signifies both the Piraatti and the Aacharyan since they do identical work. In my view - this is stretched even more taut than the first one. 3.) Sri Raama's protection of the spies sent by Raavana. If one were to say that he only was a disciplining force bereft of the Mother - he could have had those two guys killed (Shuka and Saarana). 4.) Sending back Raavana himself without killing him on the first day of the battle. He kept giving him innumerable chances to come under his protection and only disposed him off at the end seeing Raavana adamant in his stand. 5.) And I have one more - Raama was not even Sri Raama when he ran into Maariicha first. He killed Subaahu and dumped Maaricha a hundred yojanas away into the Ocean. Did not kill him then - but waited until Siita was a couple miles away to finish him off - after a gap of 23 years???? Raama, you are not being logical. These are the ones at the top of my head. Doubtless there are many more. My point is simply this. While it cannot be argued that Piraatti is Purushakaara and bears no sentiment other than KaaruNyam, it is not true to say that the Lord who has KaaruNyam as one of his KalyaaNaguNaas - leaves it to be dormant until the Mother awakens it with her presence or her words mediating in favor of the Jeevaatma. I would disagree to think of the Lord as simply a stern disciplinarian meting out justice in a detatched manner - when the Mother is not around and then turning on his syrup of KaaruNyam when he listens to her. But I guess when upanyaasakars talk on these points ( and they are very sweet ) they do tend to use more emotion than logic and stress a point by painting a deliberately darker picture on the other side. BTW, in the Srimad RaamaayaNam too when Bhagavaan Vaalmiki talks about scholars debating in the afternoons of the Ashwamedha yaaga - he says one party would deliberately start a debate criticising some aspect of the Divine - the other party would defend it and in the end both would bask in the collective experience of the exposition of those qualities.