Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Affair of Rama and Lakshmana with Shurpanakha!

Ok. So my past few posts have been on Mahabharatha. This post will be a bit different, as it will be on Ramayana... If you ask the average person who was the character responsible for the Ramayana war, it is likely that most would blame it not on Seetha, Rama or Ravana, but instead on Ravana's sister Shurpanakha. Indeed she does play a pivotal role in the epic. After all, she provokes her brother to go and take Seetha for himself. For that reason, most people consider her a selfish lady who was instrumental to the destruction of her brother. However, that is only half the story... The real reason why Shurpanakha went to Ravana for help was that she was angry at Rama and Lakshmana for what they did to her, and wanted some justice... I won't spoil the story now by revealing what actually transpired between Seetha, Rama, Lakshmana and Shurpanakha that caused Shurpanakha to go to Ravana for help and justice. However, what transpired between the four of them will be discussed in this post.

All textual evidence provided in this post is from Valmiki Ramayana, translated in English, by Desiraju Hanumanta Rao. This 6 kanda-long epic can be accessed by the link below:
We have always been hearing how the BAAAD Shurpanakha proposed marriage to the GOOOD Rama, and then when GOOOD Rama refused, BAAAD Shurpanakha proposed to GOOOD Lakshmana. When GOOOD Lakshmana refused, BAAAD Shurpanakha went to GOOOD Seetha to attack her, and was punished by GOOOD Lakshmana by getting defaced. Thus dharma was upheld...
However, this account is full of lies, and nothing could be further from the truth than this account of events. Below, I am analyzing the text from Valmiki Ramayana (Aranya Kanda Sections 17–18) to show what actually happened. Valmiki has tried hard to hide the actual events, but truth always prevails.
I will start off by presenting Valmiki’s biased nature and hatred towards Rakshasas. It is only natural for brahmins (like him) to hate Rakshasas, as they are against Vedic Dharma. Brahmins also hated mleechas, kambojas, yavanas, and sakas as they lie west of the Indus River (outside of the domains of ancient bharatvarsha), and do not follow Vedic Dharma. They are considered barbaric and uncivilized for this reason. Without further delay, I will present Valmiki’s biased nature when he describes Shurpanakha:
Lets go to the Aranya Kanda Section 17 (Valmiki Ramayana - Aranya Kanda - Sarga 17), where Shurpanakha makes entry into the epic. This is how Valmiki describes Shurpanakha’s appearance:
She that demoness who is facially unpleasant one with that pleasant faced one, pot bellied one with the slim-waisted one, wry-eyed one with the broad-eyed one, coppery-haired one with the neatly tressed one, ugly featured one with the charming featured one, brassy voiced one with the gentle voiced one, deplorably oldish one with the youngish one, crooked talker with the pleasant talker, ill-mannered one with the well-mannered one, uncouth one with couth, abominable one with amiable Rama spoke, besieged by Love-god. [3-17-9b, 11, 12a].
This clearly shows Valmiki’s hatred towards Rakshasas. I personally, don’t believe anybody can be that ugly. And also, since Shurpanakha is described as a guise changer, why wouldn’t she present herself in a more pretty way, to attract Rama to herself:
"I will tell you truth, Rama, nothing but truth, I am a guise-changing demoness named Shuurpanakha, and I will be freely moving in this forest in a solitary manner and unnerving all. [3-17-20, 21a]
Other textual evidence in Aranya Kanda Section 17–18 tells us that Shurpanakha was very pretty. She was even more pretty than Seetha. Lets examine that evidence below:
When Shurpanakha sees Rama, she instantly gets sexually attracted to him. She even requests Rama to leave Seetha and take her as a wife. This is what she says:
"Unlovely and unshapely is this one, such as she is, this Seetha is unworthy to be your wife, and I am the lone one worthy to be your wife, hence treat me as your wife. [3-17-26]
[Shurpanakha is calling Seetha unlovely and unshapely. If one with Seetha’s beauty (which itself is quite rare) is considered unlovely and unshapely by Shurpanakha, then it implies that Shurpanakha would be much much more beautiful than Seetha. Just imagine the levels of her beauty… A less beautiful woman would definitely not call a more beautiful woman ugly. Instead, a less beautiful woman would show jealousy towards a more beautiful woman. But that was not shown by Shurpanakha (towards Seetha). The fact that Shurpanakha calls Seetha ugly shows that Shurpanakha is actually more beautiful than Seetha. Also, if she was ugly, and was claiming that Seetha was “unlovely” and “unshapely”, she would have been laughed at by Rama and Lakshmana, and especially by Seetha]
Seeing Shurpanakha, Rama even gets sexually attracted to her, and inquires to know if she is single or not:
"I too wish to know about you. Whose wife are you? What is your name? Or, whose daughter are you? By the way, you are with a most enthralling body, and then you must be a demoness. [3-17-18].
[Rama describes Shurpanakha as having the most enthralling body. He was clearly attracted to Shurpanakha. Hence, Shurpanakha was not at all ugly. She was a very beautiful woman]
Then, in Section 18 of Aranya Kanda (Valmiki Ramayana - Aranya Kanda - Sarga 18), Rama says he is already married, and directs Shurpanakha to his brother Lakshmana, who he says is unmarried (a lie). This is what he says to Shurpanakha:
"You woo him, oh, broad-eyed one, this brother of mine as your husband like sunshine seeking the Mt. Meru, then oh, great-waisted one, you will be without a co-wife " So said Rama to that demoness. [3-18-5]
[This text shows that Rama lied to Shurpanakha that Lakshmana was unmarried. But more importantly, it shows that Shurpanakha had large eyes and a nice waist, just like Seetha. She was indeed beautiful]
So, Shurpanakha then approaches Lakshmana. She asks him to marry her. But Lakshmana declines and tells her to become the second wife of Rama:
"Oh, goggle eyed one, befitting to your complexion that is unblemished, you better become the wife of my brother Rama who is abounding in means, and on becoming the younger wife of that adorable one, you too will achieve your means and thus you will be happy. [3-18-10]
[This shows that Shurpanakha has a very nice complexion, and nice eyes. This also indicates that she is beautiful. If Lakshmana was mocking her, she would have realized instantly. If someone praises the beauty of an ugly woman, she would not be comfortable receiving the praise and would think the one praising is actually mocking her. So Lakshmana was indeed telling the truth]
"Oh, best complexioned one with best waist, is there any wiseacre to simply discard your kind of best personality, indeed, in preference to human females?" Lakshmana said so to Shuurpanakha. [3-18-12]
[This again shows that Shurpanakha had a good waist and a good complexion]
Furthermore, people of the Rakshasa tribe were said to be very beautiful people. When Jayadratha gets astonished seeing Draupadi’s beauty he sends Kotika to first find out who the beautiful lady is. This is what Kotika says to her:
Kotika said, "Excellent lady, who art thou that standest alone, leaning on a branch of the Kadamva tree at this hermitage and looking grand like a flame of fire blazing at night time, and fanned by the wind? Exquisitely beautiful as thou art, how is it that thou feelest not any fear in these forests? Methinks thou art a goddess, or a Yakshi, or a Danavi, or an excellent Apsara, or the wife of a Daitya, or a daughter of the Naga king, or a Rakshasi or the wife of Varuna, or of Yama, or of Soma, or of Kuvera, who, having assumed a human form, wanderest in these forests. Or, hast thou come from the mansions of Dhatri, or of Vidhatri, or of Savitri, or of Vibhu, or of Sakra?
The fact that Kotika asks her if she is a Rakshasii indicates that the Rakshasas were people with extraordinary beauty. Valmiki is biased and tried to portray them as ugly people again and again in the epic, Ramayana.
All this evidence clearly shows that Shurpanakha was very beautiful, and that Valmiki was biased and had a hatred for Rakshasas. So, when reading and analyzing what Valmiki says during the incident where Shurpanakha was defaced by Lakshmana, we must keep in mind Valmiki’s biased nature in reporting the incident. So now that I have addressed Valmiki’s biased nature towards Rakshasas, I will analyze what actually happened between Rama, Lakshmana, Shurpanakha, and Seetha, starting from Aranya Kanda Section 17. Prior to doing that, I would recommend you first read Aranya Kanda Sections 17-18 first, so that you can understand what is going on:
Now that you have completely read those sections, I will begin my analysis of those sections...
In Section 17, Shurpanakha is introduced, and she sees Rama along with Seetha, and Lakshmana. She instantly gets attracted to Rama, and asks him who he is. Rama (who is also attracted to her) replies to her, and and then asks her who she is. She, in her mind, would have mentally surrendered herself to Rama, at that moment, and hence did not want to say a single lie to Rama. This is very common with one whom a person is very dear to. They don’t want to lie to them at any costs, and it may hurt their beloved’s feelings, and distance their beloved from them. Shurpanakha had the same feeling, and therefore decided to speak only the truth to Rama:
"I too wish to know about you. Whose wife are you? What is your name? Or, whose daughter are you? By the way, you are with a most enthralling body, and then you must be a demoness. [3-17-18]. "What for you have come, either, you tell in actuality..." Thus Rama asked her. On hearing the words of Rama she that demoness wetted with love said these words. [3-17-19]. "I will tell you truth, Rama, nothing but truth, I am a guise-changing demoness named Shuurpanakha, and I will be freely moving in this forest in a solitary manner and unnerving all. [3-17-20, 21a].
[See how Rama describes Shurpanakha having an “enthralling body”. This is again evidence of Shurpanakha’s beauty. But more than that, it seems like Rama is also attracted to Shurpanakha (aftr seeing this enthralling body of hers), and then out of this attraction, he enquired about her identity. He possibly wanted to know if she is single or not (hence he asked the question, “whose wife are you”). Then Shurpanakha who had surrendered herself to Rama spoke only the truth to Rama. She was clearly in “love” with Rama]
Then, Shurpanakha tries to persuade Rama to leave Seetha for her. What is surprising is that Shurpanakha threatens to eat Seetha and Lakshmana in this section itself (even before Shurpanakha approaches Lakshmana):

"Shall I eat up this disfigured, dishonest, diabolical human female with a hallow stomach along with him, that brother of yours to make you free [3–17–27]
[I believe this verse has extreme importance in the sequence of events, and I will refer to this much later. But for now, you should keep in mind that Shurpanakha threatened Rama by saying that she would cause “harm” to Seetha and Lakshmana]
Then, in the next section (Aranya Kanda Section 18), Rama smiles and laughs at Shurpanakha (he makes a mockery of her love for him) and tells her to go to Lakshmana as he is single and without a wife (this is again a lie spoken by Rama):
When he is said that way Rama chuckled and that wordsmith started to reply her who eyes are besotted in lovesickness with this sentence. [3-17-29]. Rama then voicing clearly and softly spoke to her, whom the noose of lust has tethered down, with a smile preceding his words. [3-18-1].
[Chuckle means to laugh quietly or inwardly. And also note that Rama is smiling and talking to Shurpanakha. He was making a mockery of her love for him, and that is confirmed by the way he tells her to go to his brother, Lakshmana who is without a wife (a lie spoken by Rama)]
Then Shurpanakha goes to Lakshmana and asks for his hand in marriage. As I showed you earlier, the verses spoken by Lakshmana also show that he was attracted to Shurpanakha’s beauty (he praised her complexion, eyes, and waist). Lakshmana then tells Shurpanakha to go to Rama and be his wife. He says Rama will discard his wife, Seetha and marry her (in a joking way):
"On discarding her who is disfigured, dishonest, diabolically deleterious old wife with a hallow stomach that Rama will adore you alone. [3-18-11]
Lakshmana also praises Shurpanakha’s beauty. It gives a hint that like Rama, he was also attracted to her:
"Oh, best complexioned one with best waist, is there any wiseacre to simply discard your kind of best personality, indeed, in preference to human females?" Lakshmana said so to Shuurpanakha. [3-18-12]
Then, Shurpanakha goes to Rama and she says that she will harm Seetha so that he (Rama) marries her. Upon saying this and randomly charging at Seetha, Rama advises Lakshmana to attack Shurpanakha. He does that, and using his sword, defaces Shurpanakha:
She who is fuddle by lust said to that unassailable enemy scorcher Rama who is sitting in the cottage along with Seetha. [3-18-14]. "Tenacious of her who is disfigured, dishonest, diabolical, hallow-stomached old wife of yours you are not regarding me high. [3-18-15]. "Now I wish to eat up this human female right before your very eyes, and then I can blithely make merry along with you, without the botheration of a co-wife." Said Shuurpanakha to Rama. [3-18-16]. Speaking that way she that torch-eyed Shuurpanakha dashed towards the deer-eyed Seetha in high exasperation as a great meteor would dash towards Rohini, the brightest star in the sky. [3-18-17]. By that the great-energetic Rama took umbrage and checking her who is like the noose of death swooping down on Seetha said to Lakshmana. [3-18-18]. "Punning in any way with the base and brutish is inapposite, oh, gentle Saumitri, mark note of Vaidehi, somehow surviving [3-18-19]. "She is freakish, knavish and overtly ruttish, oh, tigerly man, it will be apt of you to deface this paunchy demoness " Thus Rama said to Lakshmana. [3-18-20]. Thus said to that mighty Lakshmana he infuriately drew sword and chopped off her ears and nose before the very eyes of Rama. [3-18-21]. On hewing off her ears and nose she that ghastly Shuurpanakha blared highly and discordantly, and very speedily fled into forest as she came. [3-18-22]
So I have provided the text for the entire incident. Based on this text, I will propose the true story of what happened:
So, one day Shurpanakha saw Rama along with his brother Lakshmana and wife Shurpanakha. She got sexually attracted to Rama, and fell in love with him. She asked Rama for who he is. Then, Rama, saw her and gave his introduction. Rama, upon seeing her “enthralling body”, also got sexually attracted to her, and asked for her husband as he wants to see if she is unmarried. She then revealed her identity. Since she has mentally surrendered herself to Rama, (out of love), she tells the exact truth of whom she is. Luckily, for Rama, she is unmarried, and hence the road is clear for Rama. They don’t get married, but Rama has an affair with her. Although they have an affair, Shurpanakha was not satisfied, as she wanted to marry Rama and be his wife. So Shurpanakha constantly presses Rama for marriage. One day, her desperation increases to the extent that she threatens Rama that if he does not marry her, she will go and report the incident (i.e. romantic affair) to his brother Lakshmana, and his wife Seetha.
[This is the the threat that Shurpanakha gives to Rama in Aranya Kanda Section 17. She threatens Rama that she will cause harm/pain to Seetha and Lakshmana by telling them of what Rama did to her]
Rama does not want Seetha to find out what he did, as he honestly, did not know how his wife would react. He may have thought that his wife would be extremely pained and would leave him. But what he does realize is that his brother Lakshmana is sexually attracted to Shurpanakha. So, Rama makes a mockery of Shurpanakha’s love for him, and while smiling and chuckling, he says that she should go to his brother Lakshmana, who is single. Shurpanakha was probably really pained by this. But she had no other choice. She wanted to stay close to her beloved Rama at all costs, and hence agreed. Also, she may have thought the Lakshmana is also a very handsome man, similar to Rama. So, she consoled herself by thinking of Lakshmana as Rama, and had an affair with Lakshmana. When Lakshmana got bored of her, he thought of finding a way of pushing Shurpanakha back to Rama.
Seetha lusted after Lakshmana, and Lakshmana probably lusted after her (refer to Valmiki Ramayana - Aranya Kanda - Sarga 45). He wanted to marry Seetha, so he thought that if Shurpanakha tells the entire story of what Rama did, to Seetha, she (Seetha) will get upset and will leave Rama. This would give Shurpanakha an opportunity to marry Rama and myself (Lakshmana) an opportunity to marry Seetha. So, Lakshmana went to Shurpanakha and provoked her to go and reveal the entire truth to Seetha. He promised her that Rama would accept her as a wife. So Shurpanakha went to Rama and told him that she can’t bear the insult any more and she will go and tell the entire story to Seetha. Lakshmana didnt expect Shurpanakha to tell her plans to Rama first. This foiled his plans, as Rama ordered him to deface Shurpanakha before she could reach Seetha and tell her the truth of how Rama treated her in such a disgraceful manner. Lakshmana didn’t know what to do. But he thought it wiser to go and deface Shurpanakha. He thought that if he does not do so, Rama would deface her anyways, and also, he thought that if he does not deface Shurpanakha, it would raise suspicions (that Lakshmana may have provoked Shurpanakha to approach Seetha) in Rama. Lakshmana wanted to avoid that, so he was “forced” to deface Shurpanakha and foil his own plan.
[So, the second threat Shurpanakha made to Rama was that she will cause harm/pain to Seetha by telling Seetha of what Rama did to her (Shurpanakha)]
So, this is the true story of why Lakshmana defaced Shurpanakha. Rama lied that Lakshmana was unmarried so that Shurpanakha would leave him, and go to Lakshmana (who was already attracted to her beauty). This would also prevent Shurpanakha from going to Seetha and narrating his betrayal to her, thus saving his relationship with his dear wife, Seetha.
This is the shameful act by Rama and Lakshmana, that Valmiki tried to hide. But as I said earlier, truth prevails!

So, to conclude, Shurpanakha put her entire soul into this relationship with Rama. But what did she get in return? She got insults and defacement by Rama and Lakshmana. This would have definitely created bitterness towards Rama and Lakshmana in her mind, and led to her appealing to her brother Ravana for help. When she realized that Ravana was not interested in avenging her insult, she hit Ravana's weak spot - lust for women - by praising Seetha's beauty to the skies, and suggesting that he take Seetha for himself.

16 comments:

  1. Guy, You are an a.....le filled with hatred. You are only twisting the facts , you are nothing but a slave of your western godfathers. You are a bootlicker.

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    Replies
    1. Lets try to refrain from abuses. I can also abuse you. If you wish to have a discussion, then post a major flaw in my interpretation of the Lakshaman/Rama - Shurpanakha incident...

      And what western godfathers are you referring to? I am not a bootlicker. This is my own interpretation.

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    2. Milin I found you again!!! Man these things will make you dead. Hope you are not lying. I think that is the reason why in some areas in South India where they chant Jai Lankesh!

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    3. Hi licdkdc mlb,

      Do I know you from before? I can't really remember... I am just expressing a possibility from the verses in Valmiki Ramayana. For example, this explanation attempts to explain why Shurpanakha threatened both Lakshmana and Seetha even prior to Rama's rejection of her. According to other versions the story is a bit different.

      According to Indonesian Ramayana, Shurpanakha is a spy of Ravana, situated in the Dandaka Forest. Ravana kept such spies in the forests wherever the Vedic Aryan Rishis were as he found those Rishis dangerous (after all, it was the Rishi Agastya that led to his downfall)! So, Shurpanakha first sees Rama with Seetha, and filled with shame, she runs away from the area. The text does NOT say that she was attracted to Rama. However, she later sees Lakshmana. She approaches Lakshmana in the disguise of a very pretty woman! Lakshmana sees her and is equally attracted to her. However, he refuses to fulfill her desire and mate with her as she was not a virgin! So he sends her to Rama. Rama is attracted seeing her beauty and says that the reason he cannot have sex with her is that his wife is nearby (i.e. if Seetha was not around, he would have had sex with her). So he sends her back. Shurpanakha goes to Lakshmana and drops at his feet. Lakshmana somehow feels that she is a Rakshasa (perhaps he found out she was Ravana's spy?) and then defaces her.

      Lanka kingdom extended from Central to South India, thats why Ravana is worshiped there! :)

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    4. I was the person who found you on Ramayana movie/video on Youtube.

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    5. If Ravan did have intercourse why didnt they have kids?

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    6. Most of Ravana and Seetha's life is not mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana. There is only a brief description of Lanka when Hanumana comes to visit it for one day (10 months into Seetha's captivity). So I don't expect Valmiki to talk about any children they may have had...

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  2. Wow. This is amazing. I had my own versions but this one also suits well to my theory. Great .

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! The punishment for an adulteress in orthodox areas (like Kosala) was cutting of the nose and ears. So after using Shurpanakha, they would have declared her an adulteress and gave her that treatment.

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  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb18kkVlRh4

    Watch the interview. He is talking about Ravana's group ha ha. Draco Constellation is associated with Daityas/Danavas etc. Nagas are Hydrae contellation. Alpha Draconis. They are here literally. They are also shape shifters. Mythology was the real history !!!

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  4. He also talks about blue beings, like Rama's group. !

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  5. The word is many alien groups are using the huge caverns as bases.

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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