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Ramayana

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Shrew, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Shrew

    Shrew Active Member

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    I have some questions regarding the epic and its heroes, maybe some of you have some insight for me.

    I cannot get over the role of Sita in Ramayana.
    She is supposed to be an avatar of the Divine Mother and could have killed Ravana & his allies by a mere glance, but there She sits and waits until Rama comes.
    Why does She behave that way?
    Hinduism has a great number of goddesses like Durga & Kali, they kill demons and don't wait for a guy to come along and help them.
    Why is Sita so passive?

    Is it true that when Lakshmana dies (before Hanuman brings the medicine mountain and revives him) Ramana says He would commit suiccide when Lakshmana dies because I might find another woman like Sita but I will never find another brother like Lakshmana?

    Is it true that Valmiki's Ramayana does not contain the fire test of Sita?

    Rama's army consisted of monkey & bears, we know about Hanuman the monkey but what about the bears?
    Is there a divine bear in Hinduism who receives worship as Hanuman does?
     
  2. Fireside_Hindu

    Fireside_Hindu Jai Lakshmi Maa

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    The Role of Sita can be viewed and explained in a variety of ways and not all of hem appeal to our 21st century ideals, which doesn't necessarily mean the stories have no value. However, as a Shakta who also loves the Ramayana, I will try to explain the best I can.

    There are many ways to fight adharma and ignorance and even more ways to depict that fight/victory. When we limit the ways we can battle adharma because of something as temporary as gender, we do ourselves a disservice. So in Hinduism, as you ave pointed out, there are demon fighting Goddess that use an array of weapons and who display characteristics that are very "un-ladylike". However, there are other ways to dispel ignorance and fight injustice that do not involve physical weapons.

    Ravana knew that if he tried to rape sita he would suffer immeasurably, so the only way to defeat her was to use the weapon of coercion and maya to break down her will power and make her give up. Not only on Rama but herself. So Sita fights back in kind. She uses the strength of her conviction and Ravana's own fear and weaknesses against him. By consitantly saying no and denying him what he wants, she robs ravana of the only power he has over her. The Demon King of Lanka, who bent the three worlds to his will and made armies bow before him, cannot get a woman to do as he says. Rama may have made the killing blow, but Ravana's doom was sealed the moment he thought he could manipulate Sita the way he had manipulated so many other women.

    Rama's comment about his brother's value over Sita's has a lot to do with the different social values of the time. In the west, Romantic love is seen as the most valuable and worthy thing to fight for. But in Rama's world, familial love is the kind that conquers all. This is hard for our romantic minds to stomach but it's just a different way of thinking about love and relationships. If the sentence had been reversed, wouldn't it be just as sad? (To say one can replace their brother but not their bride?) Also take into account that people say and act in ways they normally wouldn't when confronted with extreme grief. Rama is an avatar, but he also struggles with his humanity (in the same way we all struggle with our coexisting divine and human natures). The Ramayana is meant to connect with human listeners at all stages of spiritual development, so the message/lesson that is received will be slightly different depending on who is doing the interpreting.

    As for the Fire test, I am no scholar but I have read that most believe it was added later. However, even if it was, in my opinion it carries important lessons and isn't just a horrible misogynistic spectacle. However that is a longer post for a different time =)

    The leader of the bear army that fights with Rama is named Jambhavan. He is said to be the king of the region which is now known as Nepal and that is why India and Nepal have a close relationship. I do not think he is widely worshiped in the traditional sense, but I could be wrong. However he is honored through the retelling of the Ramayana.
     
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  3. Shrew

    Shrew Active Member

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    I read the Ramayana has about 300 different versions, among them also some tell the story from a Shakta point of view.
    Are there any English translations of one of these Ramayanas?
     
  4. Fireside_Hindu

    Fireside_Hindu Jai Lakshmi Maa

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    Not that I can think of. There is also a version of the Ramayana where Sita is actually Ravana's biological daughter (The result of one of his attacks on a forest nympth I think and unbeknownst to him)

    There are so many versions.
     
  5. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Don't forget that Rama gave Jambavanta the "Syamantaka Mani" (his/Lord Vishnu's jewel from 'Sagara Manthana') before concluding his 'leela' - and 864,000 years later, the Lord took an avatara as Krishna and married Jambavanta's daughter - Jambavanti, one of his eight chief wives. He is Lord Krishna's father-in-law. The 'Rikshas' (Bears), like the 'Vanaras' (Monkeys), I believe refers to forest dwelling tribes.

    Jambavanta and Hanumana
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Jambavanti's marriage, Jambavana's cave near Rana Vav tank near Porbandar, Gujarat[​IMG]
     
    #5 Aupmanyav, Oct 2, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
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  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Mother Sita's fire-test is mentioned in Valmiki's Ramayana.
    Valmiki Ramayana - Yuddha Kanda - Sarga 118

    Would not know. But as a Hindu I take all stories to be true. It is said:
    "Hari ananta, Hari kathā anantā" (Limitless is the Lord, limitless too are his stories)
    Different people say it in different ways.

     
    #6 Aupmanyav, Oct 2, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  7. Sagarworld

    Sagarworld Sagarworld

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    There is many stories of Syamantaka mani which is depicted in Ramayana, Puranas, Bhagavatam of which one of the story which says how Lord Krishna has 3 chief wifes.

    In the Dwapar age, Satrajit was the devotee of lord Surya. he gifted the syamantaka mani to Satarajit. But Ugrasena was the person who deserve it.

    So Lord Krishna Asked Satrajit to handover the mani to Ugrasena but Satrajit denied saying Lord Surya has gifted him , if he gives the mani to Ugrasena it will be like insulting Lord Surya.

    Oneday when Prasenjit ( Satrajit’s Brother) went for hunting he was killed by the lion, people thought that Lord Krishna has killed him. When lord Krishna heard this he went in the jungle along with some of people. he found prasenjit was killed by the lion .

    Lord Krishna went near a cave where he saw a girl playing with syamantaka mani, soon the Ruksharaj (king of bears) jambvant came. They fought for around 28 days then as soon as jambvant saw Krishna’s body he came to know that he is lord Rama, who has promised that he will meet again in Dwapar age.

    Then jambvant gave the mani and his daughter Jambvanti to lord krishna. When Ugrasena told this whole story to Satrajit he felt ashamed and gave Syamantaka mani and his daughter Satyabama to Lord krishna. Lord Krishna only accepted Satyabhama.

    This how Lord Krishna had 3 chief wifes Satyabhama, Rukmini, jamvanti.
     
  8. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I give the first place to Mother Rukmani and consider the rest of seven as equal. :)
     
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  9. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
    Staff Member Premium Member

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    Primus inter pares... Latin, "first among equals". :)
     
  10. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    That is 'Patta Rani' in Hindi, the first and therefore leading the bunch. Even in Royal households in India, that used to be the way. Though the onus of pleasing the king or nawab got transferred to newer wives. Secondly, the eldest son of the 'Patta Rani' was normally the Heir Apparent (Yuvaraja), like Lord Rama in King Dashrath's household - Kaushalya, Sumitra and then Kaikeyi. Kaikeyi was the favorite but Kaushalya was the 'Patta Rani'.
     
    #10 Aupmanyav, Jul 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  11. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    'Pat Rani' was given the utmost honor by the King, the other queens, royal house-hold as well as the people.
     
  12. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member
    It's My Birthday!

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    Ravana was distinguished by his great power of austerity or tapas. Even Rama on his own was not able to match him in terms of tapas and nor did Sita, but together they were superior to him.

    Abduction of the virtuous Sita by Ravana destroyed much of his power of austerity, and Rama hence was able to defeat him. It was a group effort, and not a solitary one.
     
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