Monday, 6 February 2017

Rama - The Most Overrated Warrior in Ramayana!

If ask a general question "who was the best warrior in Ramayana", we are probably going to hear from a majority of Hindus that Lord Rama was the best warrior in the epic. But why? The reasoning of a majority of Hindus would give is that Lord Rama was the best warrior in the epic as he was an incarnation of Vishnu... However, is that a parameter to judge a warrior? Can we just call a person the greatest warrior simply because a large portion of Hindus today consider him an incarnation of Vishnu? Also, what evidence do we have (apart from the highly interpolated Agni Pariksha sequence in Yuddha Kanda) that he was an incarnation of Vishnu? And what even defines an incarnation? For people, like me, that believe in the advaita philosophy that every particle in the universe is divine, how is Rama any more divine than us, as we are made up of the same divine particles that he was made up of? We would all be equally divine, right?

So, to avoid this confusion, lets take out the divinity factor and look at the prowess of Rama to see if he was actually the greatest warrior in the epic. All references will come from Valmiki Ramayana, translated into English by Desiraju Hanumanta Rao and KMK Murthy.

Valmiki Ramayana shows many failures of Rama as a warrior, thus suggesting that he was quite an overrated warrior. Below I will provide a couple of instances of his failures.

Instance 1: Defeat by Viraadha

Viraadha was a rakshasa that protected the Dandaka Forest, under Ravana's orders. At the time, there was an influx of orthodox rishis into the forest, and they entered the forest and then performed animal sacrifices there, which Ravana did not like. They were infiltrating the forest over time. This was a major cause of problem for rakshasas like Viraadha, that had to protect the forest... Then, when on his exile, Rama, Lakshmana, and Seetha decided to enter the forest. Seeing hermits wielding weapons (Rama and Lakshmana), Viraadha got angry as he thought that these hermits had come to infiltrate the forest disguised as innocent rishis. He thought that Rama and Lakshmana would later use their weapons to eliminate the rakshasa hold on the forest (which is what Rama later did). So Viraadha got angry and stopped Rama.

Seeing the beautiful Seetha with Rama, he decided to abduct her for himself, which was the sanctioned practice of those times. This caused a fight to errupt between Rama/Lakshmana and Viraadha. In the fight, Viraadha managed to easily defeat Rama and Lakshmana, and then placed them on his shoulders (like one does with babies) and carried them off into the forest. Below is the text of the entire fight, where both Rama and Lakshmana got easily overpowered by Viraadha. Seeing their defeat and inability to rescue Seetha, Rama let Viraadha carry him and Lakshmana off into the forest, as this would mean that Seetha would no longer be in the captivity of Viraadha (i.e. Viraadha would have to leave Seetha behind, if he were to carry Rama and Lakshmana with him into the forest, since he would only be able to carry two people at a given time):
तम् रामः प्रति उवाच इदम् कोप संरक्त लोचनः |राक्षसम् विकृत आकारम् विराधम् पाप चेतसम् || ३-३-८ 
Rama in reply said this to that ogre Viradha, whose eyes are fully bloodshot in anger, who is monstrous in his body, and evil in intent... [3-3-8] 
क्षुद्र धिक्त्वाम् तु हीनार्थम् मृत्युम् अन्वेषसे ध्रुवम् |रणे प्राप्स्यसि संतिष्ठ न मे जीवन् विमोक्ष्यसे || ३-३-९ 
"You knave, fie upon you... you are in quest of you own death for your meanly measures, and definitely you will get it in this confrontation. Stay! I will not let you to live... [3-3-9] 
ततः सज्यम् धनुः कृत्वा रामः सुनिशितान् शरान् |सु शीघ्रम् अभिसंधाय राक्षसम् निजघान ह || ३-३-१० 
Then, stringing his bow Rama indeed darted very sharp arrows, very quickly and well aiming the demon... [3-3-10] 
धनुषा ज्या गुणवता सप्त बाणान् मुमोच ह |रुक्म पुंखान् महावेगान् सुपर्ण अनिल तुल्य गान् || ३-३-११ 
Indeed seven arrows are let off with perfectly stringed bow, which have golden vanes, and very fast ones that equal the flights of Garuda, the Divine Eagle and the Air-god. [3-3-11] 
ते शरीरम् विराधस्य भित्त्वा बर्हिण वाससः |निपेतुः शोणिता दिग्धा धरण्याम् पावकोपमाः || ३-३-१२ 
But, they the arrows that are akin to infernos and dressed with peacock feathers as their fins, on piercing the body of Viradha they fell onto the ground besmirched with blood. [3-3-12] 
स विद्धो न्यस्य वैदेहीम् शूलम् उद्यंय राक्षसः |अभ्यद्रवत् सुसंक्रुद्धः तदा रामम् स लक्ष्मणम् || ३-३-१३ 
When that demon is thus struck, then he placed Vaidehi down from his arms, hauled up his spear, and very angrily rushed towards Rama and Lakshmana. [3-3-13] 
स विनद्य महानादम् शूलम् शक्र ध्वज उपमम् |प्रगृह्य अशोभत तदा व्यात्तानन इव अंतकः || ३-३-१४ 
And holding fast his spear that is similar to the Indra's Flagstaff he blaringly yelled a ghastly shriek, and thus he shone forth like the wide-mouthed Death, ready-to-gulp. [3-3-14] 
अथ तौ भ्रातरौ दीप्तम् शर वर्षम् ववर्षतुः |विराधे राक्षसे तस्मिन् कालांतक अयम् उपमे || ३-३-१५ 
Then with an effulgent arrow-rain those two brothers incessantly rained on demon Viradha, who is similar to the terminator of lifetime. [3-3-15] 
स प्रहस्य महा रौद्रः स्थित्वा अजृम्भत राक्षसः |जृंभमाणस्य ते बाणाः कायात् निष्पेतुर् अशुगाः || ३-३-१६ 
He that highly horrendous demon laughed at that arrow-shower, and standing for a while he yawned, and on his yawning and stretching his limbs in fatigue those arrows that earlier have gone speedily, spilled out from his body that speedily. [3-3-16] 
स्पर्शात् तु वर दानेन प्राणान् संरोध्य राक्षसः |विराधः शूलम् उद्यंय राघवौ अभ्यधावत || ३-३-१७ 
Demon Viradha held back his lives by the touch of boon, and raising up the spear he ran quickly at Rama and Lakshmana. [3-3-17] 
तत् शूलम् वज्र संकाशम् गगने ज्वलन उपमम् |द्वाभ्याम् शराभ्याम् चिच्छेद रामः शस्त्रभृताम् वरः || ३-३-१८ 
The best wielder of weaponry Rama ripped that spear apart, which is akin to the Thunderbolt of Indra, and that which is like a blaze in the sky, with two arrows in the sky itself. [3-3-18] 
तत् राम विशिखैः छिन्नम् शूलम् तस्य आपतत् भुविः |पपात अशनिना चिन्नम् मेरोर् इव शिला तलम् || ३-३-१९ 
Shattered by Rama's blazing shafts that spear fallen on ground like the boulder mass of Mt. Meru when it is shattered by Indra's Thunderbolt. [3-3-19] 
तौ खड्गौ क्षिप्रम् उद्यंय कृष्ण सर्पौ इव उद्यतौ |तूर्णम् आपेततुः तस्य तदा प्रहारताम् बलात् || ३-३-२० 
They quickly upraised their swords and like a pair of up-swinging black-cobras they rapidly crashed on him, and then battered him mightily. [3-3-20] 
स वध्यमान सुभृशम् भुजाभ्याम् परिगृह्य तौ |अप्रकंप्यौ नरव्याघ्रौ रौद्रः प्रस्थातुम् ऐच्छत || ३-३-२१ 
He that demon thus beaten very firmly by Rama and Lakshmana, then on grabbing those unwavering ones and manly tigers with his arms, that furious demon wished to carry them away. [3-3-21] 
तस्य अभिप्रायम् अज्ञाय रामो लक्ष्मणम् अब्रवीत् |वहतु अयम् अलम् तावत् पथानेन तु राक्षसः || ३-३-२२ 
Knowing the thinking of the demon for sure, Rama spoke to Lakshmana, "Let him easily carry us anywhere on his way... [3-3-22] 
यथा च इच्छति सौमित्रे तथा वहतु राक्षसः |अयम् एव हि नः पन्था येन याति निशाचरः || ३-३-२३ 
"Let this demon carry us as he wishes, and Saumitri, by which way this night-walker goes, that alone will be our way... [3-3-23] 
स तु स्व बल वीर्येण समुत्क्षिप्य निशाचरः |बालाः इव स्कन्ध गतौ चकार अति बलोद्धतः || ३-३-२४ 
But he that night-walker arrogant as he is by his might has uplifted Rama and Lakshmana like babies by that might and courage alone, and placed them on his shoulders as one would place babies. [3-3-24] 
तौ आरोप्य ततः स्कन्धम् राघवो रजनी चरः |विराधो विनदन् घोरम् जगाम अभिमुखो वनम् || ३-३-२५ 
That nightwalker Viradha on placing those two Raghava-s on his shoulders gone towards deeper forest yelling very luridly. [3-3-25]
A couple things may be noted from the above narrative. First of all, as is common with Aryan poets describing a fight with Rakshasas, thentire fight is not described truthfully. For example, if we consider the Bhima-Hidimba fight in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata of Vyasa, we would note that Vyasa puts much emphasis on Bhima's blows to Hidimba, and glosses over the blows Hidimba makes on Bhima, thereby leading an unsuspecting reader to believe that Hidimba was no match for Bhima. However, what is evident from the Bhima-Hidimba war description is that despite Bhima continuously throwing blows on Hidimba, he was unable to do away with Hidimba quickly, with the fight lasting for a long duration. Clearly, there is more than what meets theye. It becomes quitevident that the poet, in this case Vyasa, is trying to brush the accomplishments of thenemy (Hidimba) under the carpet, to portray his hero (Bhima) as more valiant than he actually was in reality. In reality, Hidimba was a worthy rival to Bhima in terms of prowess, not just a petty nuisance that Bhima killed with ease.

I see a similar case here. The above narrative states that Rama shot 7 arrows at Viraadha, all of which pierced him, causing blood to ooze out. Then Viraadha rushed at Rama with a spear. However, Rama and Lakshmana then poured a shower of arrows on him to stop Viraadha's charge. Two of Rama's arrows managed to break Viraadha's spear, and then both brothers grabbed swords and "beat him very badly". After this narrative of the fight, which seems more like a triumph of the two brothers, much to the surprise of the reader, we are told that Viraadha grabbed the two brothers, placed them on his shoulders as if they were babies, and carried them off into the forest, due to the "arrogance (he possessed) on account of his might". Rama did not protest to this, but rather meekly  told Lakshmana the following: "Let him easily carry us anywhere on his way. Let this demon carry us as he wishes, and Saumitri, by which way this night-walker goes, that alone will be our way".

Does this sound like the words of a victor in war? Indeed it does not. It sounds like the words of a man who has been overpowered, and mentally broken in battle. It reeks of a man who knows deep within that he has been defeated. Hence, my argument is very simple. In my opinion, in order to portray his hero (Rama) as a great warrior, Valmiki has tried to brush under the rug the accomplishments of Viraadha, in the battle that ensued beforViraadha carried off the two brothers. By trying to undermine Viraadha's accomplishments in that fight, Valmiki has produced an incoherent narrative, wherein it seems to the reader that Rama and Lakshmana were triumphing over thenemy in battle, only to later, all of a sudden, submissively agree to their capture and abduction by this very samenemy.

The bare facts of thencounter between the brothers and Viraadha should be very simple to grasp. The two brothers werenraged at Viraadha's behavior towards Seetha. So, they attacked him. Viraadha repulsed their assault, and gave a powerful counter assault. He then, due to arrogance and pride in his might, decided to carry off Rama and Lakshmana into the forest, and put them into captivity. Rama, whose initial goal behind fighting Viraadha was to save Seetha from the touch of the rakshasa, meekly consented to Viraadha carrying him off, since being carried off by the rakshasa would mean that the rakshasa would leave Seetha alone. And that is what happened. Viraadha left Seetha alone, and proceeded to carry Rama and Lakshmana off into the forest.

This act of abandoning battle with thenemy, and meekly agreeing to submit oneself to captivityis definitely a defeat.

Image result for viraadha rama

Instance 2: Defeat by Indrajita

On the first day of the war, Indrajita managed to use illusions to become invisible. He then single handedly pierced both Rama and Lakshmana on all parts of their body. Seeing this, Rama realized he had no hope of victory and threw his bow down and lied down on the field, to prevent further fierce attacks on himself by Indrajita. Here is the text of his defeat:
ततो मर्मसु मर्मज्नो मज्जयन् निशितान् शरान् |राम लक्ष्मणयोर् वीरो ननाद च मुहुर् मुहुः || ६-४५-१५ 
That warrior, Indrajit, who was aware of their vital parts, set up a continual shouting, digging sharp arrows into the vital parts of Rama and Lakshmana. 
बद्धौ तु शर बन्धेन ताव् उभौ रण मूर्धनि |निमेष अन्तर मात्रेण न शेकतुर् उदीक्षितुम् || ६-४५-१६
Those two princes, in the forefront of battle, bounded by that net work of arrows in the twinkling of an eye, became incapable of even looking up.
ततो विभिन्न सर्व अन्गौ शर शल्य आचिताव् उभौ |ध्वजाव् इव महा इन्द्रस्य रज्जु मुक्तौ प्रकम्पितौ || ६-४५-१७तौ सम्प्रचलितौ वीरौ मर्म भेदेन कर्शितौ |निपेततुर् महा इष्वासौ जगत्याम् जगती पती || ६-४५-१८
Pierced in their vital parts, exhausted, and covered all over with heads of arrows, those two mighty and courageous archers fell to the earth, they who were the lords of the earth, shaking violently like a pair of flag-staffs in honour of Indra the Lord celestials and freed from their raised of chords.
तौ वीर शयने वीरौ शयानौ रुधिर उक्षितौ |शर वेष्टित सर्व अन्गाव् आर्तौ परम पीडितौ || ६-४५-१९
Those warriors, Rama and Lakshmana, lying on that heroes' bed (on the battle-ground), bathed in blood, all their limbs bristling with arrows and extremely injured, felt distressed.
न ह्य् अविद्धम् तयोर् गात्रम् बभूव अन्गुलम् अन्तरम् |न अनिर्भिन्नम् न च अस्तब्धम् आ कर अग्राद् अजिह्मगैः || ६-४५-२०
There was not a finger's breadth on their bodies form the tips of their fingers to the end of their feet that was not lacerated, implanted and pierced by those arrows.
तौ तु क्रूरेण निहतौ रक्षसा काम रूपिणा |असृक् सुस्रुवतुस् तीव्रम् जलम् प्रस्रवणाव् इव || ६-४५-२१
Struck down by that ferocious demon, who was able to change his shape at will, the hot blood gushed forth from both Rama and Lashmana, as water from a spring.
पपात प्रथमम् रामो विद्धो मर्मसु मार्गणैः |क्रोधाद् इन्द्रजिता येन पुरा शक्रो विनिर्जितः || ६-४५-२२
Rama fell first, his vital parts pierced by arrows of the wrathful Indrajit, who had formerly vanquished Indra the Lord of celestials.
रुक्मपुङ्खेः प्रसन्नाग्रैरधोगतिभिराशुगैः |नारचैर् अर्ध नाराचैर् भल्लैर् अन्जलिकैर् अपि || ६-४५-२३विव्याध वत्स दन्तैश् च सिम्ह दम्ष्ट्रैह् क्षुरैस् तथा |
Indrajit pierced Rama by arrows with golden shafts, with sharp points, which had downward movement, which go fast, Narchas, Demi-narachas, Bhallas (with wide tips), Anjalis, Vatsa dantas, Simha dantas and those shafts like unto razors.
स वीर शयने शिश्ये विज्यम् आदाय कार्मुकम् || ६-४५-२४भिन्न मुष्टि परीणाहम् त्रिणतम् रुक्म भूषितम् |
Throwing asunder his bow bent at three places, adorned with gold, with its string loosened away and detached from the hold of his fist, Rama lied down on the battle-ground.
As you can see above, Rama got crushed by Indrajita and then threw his bow down to prevent further attack by Indrajita, thus reducing the agony he felt from Indrajit's arrows... Now some people will say that Indrajita fought unfairly as he used illusions to make himself invisible. However, this claim has no basis. The use of illusions was common during warfare, and if a warrior is not competent to counter them, then what type of warrior is he? When Chitrasena used illusions against Arjuna, in Vana Parva of Mahabharatha, Arjuna did not whine about unfair fight. Instead, he used shabda vedha techniques (sonic archery) to counter these illusions, and then defeated Chitrasena. So the excuse that Rama was defeated because Indrajita used illusions is simply a pathetic way of hiding Rama's failure...

Image result for rama indrajit

Instance 3: Defeat by Ravana

In Yuddha Kanda Section 59, a defeat of Rama at the hands of Ravana is described. This instance is especially interesting as it clearly shows the type of altering that has done to Ramayana ever since it was written by Valmiki. Just like Mahabharatha, Ramayana has also undergone severe editing, additions, and removals of text, ever since it was written by Valmiki!

In Yuddha Kanda Section 59, Ravana enters the battlefield and Ravana wreaks havoc everywhere. He defeats Hanumana, Nila, Sugriva, and many more Vanaras. Seeing this destruction, Rama also gets shocked and says:
रावणो हि महा वीर्यो रणे अद्भुत पराक्रमह् |
त्रैलोक्येन अपि सम्क्रुद्धो दुष्प्रसह्यो न संशयह् || ६-५९-४९ 
"Ravana is endowed with great strength and possesses an outstanding prowess during a war. The Three Worlds themselves could not withstand his fury. There is no doubt about it."
Then Valmiki or later poets that edited the epic lie to us and as it would appear to an unsuspecting reader, Lakshmana takes Rama’s permission to fight Ravana, and after a fight, gets hit by Ravana’s spear and falls unconscious. Then, Rama waits for Lakshmana to regain consciousness, and proceeds against Ravana. He angrily tells Ravana:
यश्चैष शक्त्या निहतस्त्वयाद्य |
गच्छन्विषादं सहसाभ्युपेत्य |
स एष रक्षोगणराज मृत्युः |
सपुत्रपौत्रस्य तवाद्य युद्धे || ६-५९-१३१ 
"O, Ravana the King of Demons! The one who was struck by the spear, obtaining distress this day only to recover consciousness quickly, will now, assuming the form of death, claim you, your sons and grandsons in battle. 
एतेन चात्यद्भुतदर्शनानि |
शरैर्जनस्थानकृतालयानि |
चतुर्दशान्यात्तवरायुधानि |
रक्षः सहस्राणि निषूदितानि || ६-५९-१३२ 
"Here is he, under whose blows of arrows, fourteen thousand demons of terrible form perished, who had established themselves in Janasthana and were furnished with excellent weapons."
Now obviously, Rama is referring to himself (as he killed the 14 000 Rakshasas in Janasthana, not Lakshmana), thus suggesting that the one who was struck by Ravana’s spear, obtaining distress, and falling unconscious was him, NOT Lakshmana. The bias of later poets that edited the epic is exposed here, where they try to desperately portray Rama as a better warrior than Ravana by trying to hide the fact that Ravana defeated Rama, and shifting the defeat to Lakshmana.
Keeping that in mind read the fight between Ravana and Rama below, remembering that whenever Lakshmana is mentioned, the warrior that is actually fighting Ravana is Rama, not Lakshmana (i.e. later poets substituted Lakshmana for Rama in this fight to hide Rama's defeat):
विसम्ज्नम् वानरम् दृष्ट्वा दशग्रीवो रण उत्सुकह् |
रथेन अम्बुद नादेन सौमित्रिम् अभिदुद्रुवे || ६-५९-९२
Seeing Nila unconscious, Ravana, eager for fight, in his chariot whose rattling sounded like thunder-clouds, rushed on Lakshmana.
आसाद्य रणमध्ये तं वारैत्वा स्थितो ज्वलन् |धनुर्विष्फारयामास राक्षसेन्द्रः प्रतापवान् || ६-५९-९३ 
Coming to the centre of the battle-field, the powerful Ravana the King of Demons prevented Lakshmana to go forward, halted, standing there in his glory and lifted up his bow. 
तम् आह सौमित्रिर् अदीन सत्त्वो |विस्फारयन्तम् धनुर् अप्रमेयम् |अभेहि माम् एव निशा चर इन्द्र |न वानरांस् त्वम् प्रति योद्धुम् अर्हसि || ६-५९-९४ 
Lakshmana of indomitable courage spoke to that Ravana who was lifting up his unfathomable bow (as follows): "O, King of Demons! Now enter into combat with me; cease from fighting with the monkeys!" 
स तस्य वाक्यम् परिपूर्ण घोषम् |ज्या शब्दम् उग्रम् च निशम्य राजा |आसाद्य सौमित्रिम् अवस्थितम् तम् |कोप अन्वितम् वाक्यम् उवाच रक्षह् || ६-५९-९५ 
Hearing that marvellously modulated voice that resounded like the twanging of a bow-string, Ravana drawing near his adversary, who stood close to his chariot, answered in anger: 
दिष्ट्या असि मे राघव दृष्टि मार्गम् |प्राप्तो अन्त गामी विपरीत बुद्धिह् |अस्मिन् क्षणे यास्यसि मृत्यु देशम् |संसाद्यमानो मम बाण जालैह् || ६-५९-९६ 
"O, Lakshmana! By my good fortune, you in your perverted mind, reached within my range of sight so as to meet your death. This very instant, you will go to the region of Death, after having collapsed by the bang of my rain of arrows." 
तम् आह सौमित्रिर् अविस्मयानो |गर्जन्तम् उद्वृत्त सित अग्र दम्ष्ट्रम् |राजन् न गर्जन्ति महा प्रभावा |विकत्थसे पापकृताम् वरिष्ठ || ६-५९-९७ 
Then, Lakshmana, unmoved spoke to that Ravana who was roaring with his sharp and protruding teeth (as follows): "Greatly dignified ones eschew bragging! O, the foremost of evil-doers! You are sounding your own praises!" 
जानामि वीर्यम् तव राक्षस इन्द्र |बलम् प्रतापम् च पराक्रमम् च |अवस्थितो अहम् शर चाप पाणिर् |आगच्च किम् मोघ विकत्थनेन || ६-५९-९८ 
"O, King of Demons! I know your valour, strength, energy and courage! Come! I now stand here, with my bow and arrows in hand. O what use are vain boasts." 
स;एवम् उक्तह् कुपितह् ससर्ज |रक्षो अधिपह् सप्त शरान् सुपुन्खान् |ताम्ल् लक्ष्मणह् कान्चन चित्र पुन्खैश् |चिच्चेद बाणैर् निशित अग्र धारैह् || ६-५९-९९ 
Thus accosted, the King of Demons, infuriated, loosened seven marvellously plumed arrows which Lakshmana shattered with his beautiful golden-shafted arrows of sharp ends and edges. 
तान् प्रेक्षमाणह् सहसा निकृत्तान् |निकृत्त भोगान् इव पन्नग इन्द्रान् |लन्का ईश्वरह् क्रोध वशम् जगाम |ससर्ज च अन्यान् निशितान् पृषत्कान् || ६-५९-१०० 
Beholding those arrows shattered like great cobras with their hoods shattered, Ravana got angry and loosened other sharp arrows. 
स बाण वर्षम् तु ववर्ष तीव्रम् |राम अनुजह् कार्मुक सम्प्रयुक्तम् |क्षुर अर्ध चन्द्र उत्तम कर्णि भल्लैह् |शरांश् च चिच्चेद न चुक्षुभे च || ६-५९-१०१ 
Lakshmana, however, caused a well-aimed rain of missiles from his bow to fall on Ravana and nay, even broke Ravana's arrows with his arrows called Khura, Ardhachandra, the excellent Karni and Bhalla. He did not feel perturbed. 
स बाणजालान्यपि तानि तानि |मोघानि पश्यांस्त्रिदशारिराजः |विसिस्मिये लक्ष्मणलाघवेन |पुनश्च बाणान्निशितान्मुमोच || ६-५९-१०२ 
Seeing his successive arrows proving in vain, Ravana the King of those hostile to Gods was astonished at Lakshmana's skill and released more whetted shafts upon him. 
स लक्ष्मणश् च आशु शरान् शित अग्रान् |महा इन्द्र वज्र अशनि तुल्य वेगान् |संधाय चापे ज्वलन प्रकाशान् |ससर्ज रक्षो अधिपतेर् वधाय || ६-५९-१०३ 
Lakshmana, the equal of Mahendra the Lord of celestials, fixing some sharpened arrows, swift as lightning and of blazing effulgence on his bow-string, discharged them on Ravana in order to strike him down. 
स तान् प्रचिच्चेद हि राक्षस इन्द्रश् |चित्त्वा च ताम्ल् लक्ष्मणम् आजघान |शरेण काल अग्नि सम प्रभेण |स्वयम्भु दत्तेन ललाट देशे || ६-५९-१०४ 
Whereupon, Ravana the King of Demons shattered those pointed arrows and struck Lakshmana in the forehead with a struck Lakshmana in the forehead with a shaft as bright as the Fire of Time, which had been bestowed on him by Brahma the Lord of Creation. 
स लक्ष्मणो रावण सायक आर्तश् |चचाल चापम् शिथिलम् प्रगृह्य |पुनश् च सम्ज्नाम् प्रतिलभ्य कृच्च्राच् |चिच्चेद चापम् त्रिदश इन्द्र शत्रोह् || ६-५९-१०५ 
Struck by Ravana's arrow, Lakshmana reeled a little and was scarcely able to retain his bow. But, coming to his consciousness with difficulty, he shattered that weapon belonging to Ravana, Indra's enemy. 
निकृत्त चापम् त्रिभिर् आजघान |बाणैस् तदा दाशरथिह् शित अग्रैह् |स सायक आर्तो विचचाल राजा |कृच्च्राच् च सम्ज्नाम् पुनर् आससाद || ६-५९-१०६ 
Then, Lakshmana the son of Dasaratha struck Ravana, whose bow was broken, with three pointed darts. The king, pierced by those arrows, swooned and regained his senses with difficulty. 
स कृत्त चापह् शर ताडितश् च |स्वेद आर्द्र गात्रो रुधिर अवसिक्तह् |जग्राह शक्तिम् समुदग्र शक्तिह् |स्वयम्भु दत्ताम् युधि देव शत्रुह् || ६-५९-१०७ 
Ravana, the enemy of celestials, whose bow was broken, struck by the arrows, his limbs spattered with flesh, and streaming with blood, himself of formidable energy, seized in the battle a spear gifted to him by Brahma the Lord of Creation. 
स ताम् विधूम अनल सम्निकाशाम् |वित्रासनीम् वानर वाहिनीनाम् |चिक्षेप शक्तिम् तरसा ज्वलन्तीम् |सौमित्रये राक्षस राष्ट्र नाथह् || ६-५९-१०८ 
Ravana the Lord of the country of demons hurled with strength on Lakshmana, that blazing spear, emitting smoke and as bright as fire, frightening the monkeys in the fray. 
ताम् आपतन्तीम् भरत अनुजो अस्त्रैर् |जघान बाणैश् च हुत अग्नि कल्पैह् |तथा अपि सा तस्य विवेश शक्तिर् |भुज अन्तरम् दाशरथेर् विशालम् || ६-५९-१०९ 
Lakshmana the younger brother of Bharata struck that weapon falling upon him with arrows and darts, as if it were a sacrificial fire. Nevertheless, that spear entered Lakshmana's broad chest. 
स शक्तिमान् शक्तिसमाहतः सन् |जज्वाल भूमौ स रघुप्रवीरः |तं विह्वलन्तं सहसाभुपेत्य |जग्राह राजा तरसा भुजाभ्याम् || ६-५९-११० 
The mighty Lakshmana, struck by the spear, lay on the earth, breathing fire. The king, rushing suddenly on him who was yet insensible, seized him brutally in his hands.
So, as you can see here, Ravana struck Rama (not Lakshmana) with a spear and made him unconscious, thus defeating him!

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Instance 4: Another Defeat By Indrajita

In Yuddha Kanda Section 73, Indrajita single handedly defeats many Vanara warriors. He then injures Rama and Lakshmana with a shower of arrows. Rama realizes that he will not be able to overpower Indrajita and then decides along with Lakshmana that they will accept some of Indrajita's arrows and get pierced. Once pierced, they would pretend to fall down and fool Indrajita into believing they were dead. So both brothers accept the arrows and happily accept defeat at the hands of Indrajita:

हनूमन्तं च सुग्रीवमङ्गदं गन्धमादनम्|जाम्बवन्तं सुषेणं च वेगदर्शिनमेव च || ६-७३-६२मैन्दं च द्विविदं नीलं गवाक्षं गजगोमुखौ|केसरिं हरिलोमानं विद्युद्दंष्ट्रं च वानरम् || ६-७३-६३सूर्याननं ज्योतिमुखं तथा दधिमुखं हरिम्|पावकाक्षं नलं चैव कुमुदं चैव वानरम् || ६-७३- ६४प्रासैः शूलैः शितैर्बाणैरिन्द्रजिन्मन्त्रसंहितैः|विव्याध हरिशार्दूलान्सर्वांस्तान्राक्षसोत्तमः || ६-७३-६५ 
With lances, spikes and sharp arrows, charged with sacred texts, Indrajit the excellent demon struck all those foremost of monkeys, namely Hanuman, Sugreeva, Angada, Gandhamadana, Jambavan, Sushena, Vegadarshina, Mainda, Dvivida, Nila, Gavaksha, Gavaya, Kesari, Hariloma, Vidyuddamshtra, Suryanana, Jyothimukha, a monkey called Dadhimukha, Pavakaksha, Nala as also a monkey named Kumuda. 
स वै गदाभिर्हरियूथमुख्यान् |निर्भिद्य बाणैस्तपनीयपुङ्खैः |ववर्ष रामं शरवृष्टिजालैः |सलक्ष्मणं भास्कररश्मिकल्पैः || ६-७३-६६ 
Tearing asunder the principal monkey-warriors by maces and arrows, which were of golden colour, that Indrajit rained a multitude of showers of arrows equal to sun's rays on Rama and Lakshmana. 
स बाणवर्षैरभिवर्ष्यमाणो |धारानिपातानिव तान्विचिन्त्य|समीक्षमाणः परमाद्भुतश्री |रामस्तदा लक्ष्मणमित्युवाच ||६-७३-६७ 
Ignoring that showering rain of arrows, as though they are mere showers of rain, that Rama of the most wonderful luster, looking around thoroughly, then spoke to Lakshmana as follows: 
असौ पुनर्लक्ष्मण राक्षसेन्द्रो |ब्रह्मास्त्रमाश्रित्य सुरेन्द्रशत्रुः|निपातयित्वा हरिसैन्यमुग्रम् |अस्माञ्शरैरर्दयति प्रसक्तम् ||६-७३-६८ 
"O Lakshmana! This Indrajit, by a great missile, is throwing down our army of monkeys and tormenting us incessantly with his sharp arrows." 
स्वयम्भुवा दत्तवरो महात्मा |खमास्थितोऽन्तर्हितभीमकायः |कथं नु शक्यो युधि नष्टदेहो |निहन्तुमद्येन्द्रजिदुद्यतास्त्रः ||६-७३-६९ 
"How can the mighty and composed Indrajit on whom a boon has been bestowed by Brahma and who has concealed his terrible form who stands with his weapons uplifted even though his body is visible be killed in the battle today? 
मन्ये स्वयम्भूर्भगवानचिन्त्यो |यस्यैतदस्त्रं प्रभवश् च योऽस्य|बाणावपातांस्त्वमिहाद्य धीमन्मया सहाव्यग्रमनाः सहस्व || ६-७३-७० 
"I think the self-born Brahma who is the source of the universe is inconceivable and this missile is presided over by him. O wise one! Remaining undistracted in mind, you bear along with me today the hail of arrows here." 
प्रच्छादयत्येष हि राक्षसेन्द्रः |सर्वा दिशः सायकवृष्टिजालैः|एतच्च सर्वं पतिताग्र्यवीरं |न भ्राजते वानरराजसैन्यम् || ६-७३-७१ 
"Let this chief of demons, who is surpassing all, be covered with a multitude of showers of arrows. This entire army of Sugreeva, whose leading warriors have fallen, looks no more charming." 
आवां तु दृष्ट्वा पतितौ विसंज्ञौ |निवृत्तयुद्धौ हतरोषहर्षौ|ध्रुवं प्रवेक्ष्यत्यमरारिवासं |असौ समादाय रणाग्रलक्ष्मीम् || ६-७३-७२ 
"Finding both of us fallen unconscious without displaying any joy or anger as also having desisted from fighting, Indrajit will certainly return to Lanka, after having obtained laurels of battle in its beginning itself." 
ततस्तु ताविन्द्रजिदस्त्रजालैर् |बभूवतुस्तत्र तदा विशस्तौ|स चापि तौ तत्र विषादयित्वा |ननाद हर्षाद्युधि राक्षसेन्द्रः || ६-७३-७३ 
Thereafter, Rama and Lakshmana there became struck by a multitude of arrows of Indrajit. That leader of demons also there, causing affliction to both of them, roared with a thrill of rapture in battle. 
ततस्तदा वानरराजसैन्यं |रामं च सङ्ख्ये सहलक्ष्मणेन|विषादयित्वा सहसा विवेश |पुरीं दशग्रीवभुजाभिगुप्ताम् || ६-७३-७४संस्तूयमानः स तु यातुधानैः |पित्रे च सर्वं हृषितोऽभ्युवाच || ६-७३-७५ 
Thus causing the army of monkeys along with Rama and Lakshmana to become despondent in battle, that Indrajit, getting eulogized by the demons, quickly reached the city of Lanka which was being protected by Ravana's arms. Then, Indrajit cheerfully informed all that had happened, to his father.
As you can see here, both brothers accepted Indrajita's arrows and pretended to be badly afflicted and unconscious/dead so that Indrajita would think them to be dead, and then happily return to Lanka. They did this as they saw that it was impossible to counter Indrajita on that day. Indrajita's prowess was just superhuman that day. This just shows how scared Rama and Lakshmana were of Indrajita's prowess! This perhaps, may even be the first time in history where warriors get defeated by their enemy on purpose. Such was the fear that Indrajita struck in the hearts of Rama and Lakshmana.

This was indeed a very cowardly and shameful act by the scions of the Ikshvaku dynasty. They had an entire army of Vanaras for support and yet had to resort to such cowardly tactics to save their dear life. On the other hand, look at warriors like Ravana and Indrajita. Both were outnumbered and attacked simultaneously and in all directions, on the day they died, by many Vanara warriors, Rama/Lakshmana, and even the demigods (yes the demigods led by Indra did take part in the conquest of Lanka). Even in such circumstances, neither of them used such cheap tactics to save their life. Death was more preferable to those warriors than such cheap tactics to save their own life...

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Instance 5: Inability of Rama to Save Lakshmana from Ravana

On the final day of the war, after most of Ravana's army was slaughtered, Ravana set out with some rakshasa warriors and three maharathas (Virupaksha, Mahodara, and Mahaparsva). These three maharathas were quickly killed by Rama's army, leaving Ravana alone to fight off the Vanara army. Ravana was encircled that day by the Vanara army and had no way to escape, nor any external support. Even in such an unfortunate position, he managed to nearly kill Lakshmana in the very sight of Rama. All Rama could do was pray that the weapon launched by Ravana prove to be futile against Lakshmana. Obviously, his prayers did not help him, and his dear brother Lakshmana was nearly killed by Ravana. Rama was just lucky that Ravana stopped combat at that time to give Rama time to recover from this blow. Otherwise, that would have been the end of Rama, there and then...

Without further delay, I am posting this terrible defeat of Rama at the hands of Ravana:

मोक्षितं भ्रातरन् दृष्ट्वा लक्ष्मणेन स रावणः |लक्ष्मणाभिमुखस्तिष्ठन्निदन् वचनमब्रवीत् || ६-१००-२७ 
Seeing Vibhishana his brother rescued by Lakshmana, that Ravana, turning his face towards Lakshmana spoke the following words: 
मोक्षितस्ते बलश्लाघिन्यस्मादेवन् विभीषणः |विमुच्य राक्षसन् शक्तिस्त्वयीयं विनिपात्यते || ६-१००-२८ 
"O Lakshmana, exalter of your own strength! As Vibhishana was rescued by you in this way, this spear, on letting off Vibhishana the demon, is being hurled on you now." 
एषा ते हृदयं भित्त्वा शक्तिर्लोहितलक्षणा |मद्बाहुपरिघोत्सृष्टा प्राणानादाय यास्यति || ६-१००-२९ 
"This spear, having blood-marks and hurled by bludgeon-like arm, having pierced your heart, will depart only after taking your life." 
इत्येवमुक्त्वा तान् शक्तिमष्टघण्टां महास्वनाम् |मयेन मायाविहिताममोघान् शत्रुघातिनीम् || ६-१००-३०लक्ष्मणाय समुद्दिश्य ज्वलन्तीमिव तेजसा |रावणः परमक्रुद्धश्चिक्षेप च ननाद च || ६-१००-३१
Thus saying, the greatly enraged Ravana roared and hurled towards Lakshmana, that unfailing spear, which was adorned with eight loudly clamouring bells, which had been designed by Maya the demon by dint of his conjuring trick, capable of destroying adversaries and blazing as it was with splendour.
सा क्षिप्ता भीमवेगेन शक्राशनिसमस्वना |शक्तिरभ्यपतद्वेगाल्लक्ष्मणन् रणमूर्धनि || ६-१००-३२ 
That spear, with a sound equal to Indra's thunder-bolt, hurled by the terribly swift Ravana, soon fell with speed on Lakshmana in the battle-front. 
तामनुव्याहरच्छक्तिमापतन्तीन् स राघवः |स्वस्त्यस्तु लक्ष्मणायेति मोघा भव हतोद्यमा || ६-१००-३३ 
Rama repeatedly uttered to that spear even as it was rushing forth (on Lakshmana) as follows: "May it be well with Lakshmana! May you prove useless! May your effort be frustrated!" 
तावणेन रणे शक्तिः क्रुद्धेनाशीविषोपमा |मुक्ताशूरस्यभीतस्य लक्ष्मणस्य ममज्ज सा || ६-१००-३४ 
That spear, which was looking like a venomous serpent, released by the enraged Ravana in the battle, quickly penetrated the bosom of Lakshmana, who stood fearless. 
न्यपतत्सा महावेगा लक्ष्मणस्य महोरसि |जिह्वेवोरगराजस्य दीप्यमाना महाद्युतिः || ६-१००-३५ 
That spear, like the tongue of Vasuki (the lord of serpents), blazing with a great dazzle, fell on the broad chest of Lakshmana, with enormous speed. 
ततो रावणवेगेन सुदूरमवगाढया |शक्त्या निर्भिन्नहृदयः पपात भुवि लक्ष्मणः || ६-१००-३६ 
Penetrated very deeply and pierced through his heart by the spear due to the force exerted by Ravana, Lakshmana fell to the ground. 
तदवस्थन् समीपस्थो लक्ष्मणं प्रेक्ष्य राघवः |भ्रातृस्नेहान्महातेजा विषण्णहृदयोअभवत् || ६-१००-३७ 
Seeing Lakshmana in that state, Rama, of extraordinary splendour, who was stationed in the vicinity, became sorrowful at heart because of the love towards his brother.
So, as we see from the text above, Rama was unable to use a weapon to counter Ravana's spear charging towards Lakshmana. Instead, he was just able to pray for Ravana's weapon to prove to be futile on Lakshmana. This shows two things:

1) Rama was completely scared of Ravana's prowess that day (in fact he had tasted some of Ravana's deadly prowess earlier that day - Yuddha Kanda Section 100).

2) Rama did not have the weapons to counter Ravana's powerful spear. This should be no surprise to those that have read the epic, as it was only with the weapons of the demigods such as Indra, that he was able to kill Ravana, later on in that day.

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All of these instances of Rama's defeats should be more than enough to show that Rama is much overrated as a warrior in Ramayana. No doubt, he was a great warrior compared to the rest of his Vanara army, but he was nowhere close to legends like Ravana and Indrajita. I think that by raising Rama's prowess to the level of such superiors, we are doing great injustice to his character!

Just in case others are wondering how Rama killed Ravana, I would like to say that Rama used deceit to defeat Ravana. He launched a group attack, with Vanaras and demigods, all against a lone Ravana. He also had access to Indra's best weapons, Indra's best charioteer, and a celestial armor. After being defeated many times that day by Ravana, he finally managed to regain his courage, and self confidence, and then used Indra's weapons to make Ravana unconscious. Once made unconscious, Ravana was captured by Rama's army, made prisoner, and then tortured (by the celestials) for his audacity to rise up against the Aryans, and then killed. When Mandodari sees him dead, his body is broken to tiny pieces (by the demigods) such that she cannot even recognize Ravana or embrace Ravana's dead body. However, I will create a separate post that will be dedicated to the treacherous manner in which Ravana was killed!


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  2. Wow! Very Fascinating and Knowledgable Blog.But, Don't you think you will get critisism from Hindu Community? Anyways! Keep creating blogs on epic. All your blogs are tremendous!

    1. Thanks, Harnaman Singh. I create these blogs on mahabharatha/ramayana to remove many misconceptions people have, and expect to get criticism from the Hindu community as most Hindus have not read the epic.

  3. I haven't read all of it but who saved Laxamana then? And how did he survive the war?

    1. Valmiki says that Rama made Ravana flee from the fight and then helped Lakshmana regain consciousness. But that is a pack of lies, for many reasons. First of all, Ravana was surrounded by Rama's army on all sides. He was the only maharathi left and had nowhere to flee. Furthermore, at Ravana's death, Rama tells Vibhshana that Ravana fought like a true warrior and never gave up till the end. That implies that he never fled.

      So, most likely, Ravana stopped the fight for a few moments and gave Rama some time to take care of Lakshmana. Or, perhaps, the Vanaras attacked Ravana in the meantime (to distract Ravana from Rama), and that gave Rama time to bring Lakshmana back to consciousness... The last Ravana-Rama fight contains so many interpolations that its hard to tell with certainty what really happened...

      I plan to write a post on how Ravana was killed using deceit, so I will probably talk about this in that post!

    2. Anyways Rama doesn't seem that overrated. At-least not compared to's-defeats.html Rama only suffered 5 defeats. Karna suffered at LEAST 43........ Also Rama was defeated by only 3 enemies Viraadha, Indrajita & Ravana. Not anyone else.....

    3. Yeah, Karna is much overrated than Rama. But Rama is much overrated as well. I made this post to clear misconceptions as people consider Rama to be superhuman in terms of prowess...

      Rama also launched a group attack on Kumbhakarna to kill him...

    4. Then why did you not include the Kumbhakarna part? Also Rama was superhuman. But he was just weaker than people like Indrajit, Ravana, Viraadha who were MORE SUPERHUMAN THAN HIM.

    5. I didn't include the fight with Kumbhakarna, as Rama had managed to defeat Kumbhakarna (despite the fact that it was a group attack). In what way was Rama superhuman? He was equal to Karna as a warrior. The 14 000 rakshasas killed is an exaggeration. Valmiki makes many such exaggerations. He says that there was 10^17 vanaras fighting in the war against Ravana. This amount is clearly an exaggeration. If that is an exaggeration, then why not the 14000 rakshasas? Also do you think it is logically possible to station that many rakshasas in a single forest? With these rakshasas would be their families as well. Do the math. Thats way too many people for a forest to sustain (in addition to the rishis that infiltrated the Dandaka forest)...

      I don't see anything special that shows Rama's prowess as superhuman...

      This post was just meant to clarify that Rama is much overrated. True that Indrajita and Ravana were superhuman in prowess. But Viraadha was not. He was just one of the rakshasas stationed in the Dandaka forest. As far as I know he does not have any major accomplishments under his belt...

    6. Then why didn't you include the scene where Ahiravan and Mahiravana captured/kidnapped Rama and Lakshmana while Hanumana had to set them free.
      As for the rest of your argument. Milin Patel i think you just don't understand common sense. Sure the population of the vanaras fighting in the lanka war being 10 to 17th power is indeed an exaggeration as it would be impossible as that would be 1e+17's+10+to+the+power+of+17&*
      But 14,000 is indeed possible. Let's assume that each of the Rakshasas had 2 children and one wife or husband (i know they had female warriors as well) so it would be 14,000 times 4 meaning tehir would be 56,000 Rakshasa their then.
      And as we all know Tokyo, Japan is a city and it has a population of over 24 to 26 MILLIONS. Mumbai, India is a city that has a population of 18 MILLION - 20 MILLION.
      If cities can hold such huge populations reaching up in the millions then a forest can MOST CERTAINLY hold 56 thousand.
      Did Rama not defeat Prahasta? Khara? Dushana? Taraka? Subahu? Maricha?
      Karna's best feats were killing some fodder Pancala warriors on the 17th day of Kurukshetra war. And killing Ghatotkatcha through the use of a special dart that he got out of trade. Ghatotkatcha wielded Ravana's bow though.
      I consider this a proper ranking chart.
      1. Ravana
      2. Ghatotkatcha
      3. Rama
      4. Karna

    7. I didn't include the Ahiravana/Mahiravana stuff as thats not mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana. If Valmiki exaggerates the numbers of Vanaras in the war, to show Rama's strength, then what makes you think he won't exaggerate the number of Rakshasas killed in the Dandaka Forest? This is completely common sense...

      Families those days had many children, not just 2. For example, Pandu had 5 children, Dhritarashtra had 101, Dashratha had 4, Janaka had 4 etc... So lets put each family at 5 children. Plus the parents of the husband-wife, so thats another 2. So about 9 people per family. Multiply that by 14 000 rakshasas. That makes about 126 000 people. Add to that the large number of rishis as well. So lets say max 150 000. Do you honestly think that a forest can sustain that many people? This is a forest we are talking about, not a full fledged city. Furthermore, why would Ravana waste so many forces in a single forest?

      In andhra pradesh (where the dandaka forest likely was located), the largest forest is about 46000 km^2. So Dandaka forest is likely smaller in size, making it way too small to sustain the number of people we are looking at, considering things like food supplies as well...

      And there is a difference between cities and forests.

      Yes, Rama defeated those warriors, but they were not all that great in prowess... Karna also killed many warriors in the kurukshetra war. By the way, Karna had already beaten Gatotkacha badly that day, prior to killing him with the dart.

      I agree with your ranking though!

    8. The thing is it would make sense to fit 14,000 Rakshasas over their. It would NOT make sense to fit 1^17 vanaras in lanka. So we can tell if something is an exaggeration or not by simply using common sense.
      So you don't think 46,000 km would be enough to harbor 150,000 people? It's basically 3 people per km. Rajasthan fits 1,000 people per mile. So it's more than enough room.
      Aswathamman was the only one to stay back and face Ghatotkaca unlike Karna who ran away after getting pained by a few measly attacks - Then, thrown by the Rakshasas who had become more powerful in consequence of the night, there began to fall on the field of battle a thick shower of stones. And a ceaseless shower of iron wheels and Bhundis and darts and lances and spears and Sataghnis and axes also fell there. Beholding that fierce and awful battle, the kings, thy sons, and Karna, also exceedingly pained, fled away. Only the proud son of Drona, ever boastful of his might in arms, stood fearlessly.

    9. Yes, 150 000 people can fit in 46 000 km ^2. However, that is the biggest forest in Andhra Pradesh. The Dandaka forest was likely smaller. Furthermore, forests are filled with trees, so room for housing is much less than in cities. Also, access to proper food is also limited there, making it harder to sustain larger numbers of people. Rajasthan is not a forest, is it? So that example does not apply.

      In the final fight with Gatotkacha, Karna overpowered him many times though...

    10. Where is the link to the FIRST DEFEAT OF RAMA AT THE HANDS OF INDRAJITA?

    11. Here it is:

  4. First of all Rama is incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
    Second, This was all war. How did you expect Rama to win a flawless victory.

    1. Says who? Rama being an incarnation of Vishnu is in the highly interpolated Agni Pariksha, and as such I don't consider it reliable. Even for arguments sake, if he was a incarnation of Vishnu, does that make him invincible? No, right? Even Indra was defeated by Ravana, Arjuna, etc...

      When did I say Rama had to win a flawless victory. The purpose of this post was just to show that Rama is a much overrated warrior...

      And lastly, this is war. Everything is fair in war... Ravana's main problem was he fought adhering to war rules, while Rama's army broke the rules in the war. For example, they launched group attacks on Ravana's maharathis. They also burned down the houses of innocent civilians in the war... Had Ravana used such means, he could have possibly won the war...

    2. What do you mean "says who?". It's mentioned in Vishnu Purana. Vishnu takes 10 avatars.

      If you think Rama is overrated , does that meant Ravan is underrated?

    3. Puranas were written much after Rama/Ravana's death and are hence not authentic for Ramayana-based events...

      Yes, Ravana is a very underrated character. Many lies are spread, like his (fake) defeats at the hands of Rama, Lakshmana, Hanumana... I would like to expose these in future posts, as I find time...

    4. You're atheist ,
      Why do you accept only Ramayana and Mahabharata.
      Everything is fake to you. How can I make argument?
      Then, why you consider these epics to be true, you can say these are mythology.

      Please don't de-moralise Hindu culture

    5. I am actually a Hindu. I believe in the advaita philosophy, as I said in this post. I accept Mahabharatha and Ramayana as authentic as they were written by contemporaries of Krishna/Arjuna and Rama/Ravana, respectively. Unfortunately, that is not the case for Puranas.

      Everything is not fake to me. If I find an argument/viewpoint convincing, I will accept it.

      I consider the epics as history as a close look at the details in the poetry of Mahabharatha/Ramayana itself reveals it to be non-fiction...

      I am not demoralizing Hindu culture. I am in fact uplifting it. I have not said anything in any of my posts that can be taken as demoralization of Hindu culture. If I say that Rama is an overrated warrior, then at the same time I am also saying that Ravana is an underrated warrior. Ravana too is part of this Hindu culture we speak of...

    6. Ok. So you think soul and God are same. And humans have to find some way to merge with God.

      But how can you say Rama is not incarnation of Lord Vishnu,
      You will also tell that , Krishna is also not an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
      Then who are they and Why did they had blue skin?

      According to, devas helped Rama to kill Ravan, since Rama is a god other devas helped him.

      Also, Vedas and Upanishads are man -written, Rig-Veda says god is Agni, vayu, etc... I don't think they saw the proof

    7. God is by definition formless and never is born, nor dies. Even Krishna mentions this in bhagavad gita. So by that definition Rama and Krishna are not the supreme lord. Arjuna also had similar skin complexion as Krishna. Does that make him god? So did Vyasa and Draupadi. Were they god?

      Krishna and Rama were mortal kings.

      No, devas helped Rama because they despised Ravana and helping Rama would accomplish their goal of getting rid of Ravana. Without the armor, chariot, charioteer, and weapons of Indra, Rama would have died in the final fight with Ravana...

      Rig Veda does not call Indra/Agni/Vayu as god.

      And yes vedas are man written. I never claimed they were written by god.

    8. Ok.
      Last question,
      Name of that God is
      Vishnu or Shiva or Shakti?

    9. You have given a link for valmiki Ramayana in the post.
      Can you give a good link where you read advaitic philosophy.

    10. Vishnu, Shiva, and Shakti are puranic creations. The god of the vedas is the brahman.

      You can read advaita philosophy in the Bhagavad Gita. Here is a link to the first chapter:

      There are a total of 18 chapters in it.

    11. Really helpful link for advaita, thank you :)

      This is my reply for your claim, "Shiva, Vishnu and Shakti are puranic creations.

      Look at these hymn on Vishnu in rig Veda,

      10.113.2: Vishnu is glorified because of who and what he intrinsically is. Indra, on the other hand, is only glorious circumstantially.
      1.156.2: Vishnu is the most ancient of all, yet also the most recent. Nothing and no one creates Vishnu, yet Vishnu creates everyone and everything.

      For Shiva , access this link ,he is called Rudra in vedas,

      Regarding Shakti, access this link, she is described as the Queen of the gods.

      Make a reply when you are free.

    12. In Rig Veda 10.113.2, it does not praise Vishnu. It just says "This majesty of his vishnu extols and lauds", thus suggesting that Vishnu was subordinate to Indra. Rig Veda 1.156.2 does praise Vishnu, but does not make him a diety. Furthermore, it describes Vishnu as one that tends cattle.

      Rudra is not the same as Shiva. Later puranas may have associated Rudra with Shiva, but we don't find the name Shiva in the vedas, so Shiva and Rudra are not the same.

      I checked that link for Shakti. It does not specifically say Shakti anywhere.

    13. But people say Vedas are simplified into purana, so that everyone can understand them easily.

      You also said "Ram and krishna were mortal kings"
      I agree up to some point.
      Let us take Krishna,
      A) Krishna cursed ashwathamma , it became true.
      B) Krishna accepted gandhari curse, dwaraka submerged and almost all yadavas were destroyed. This too worked.
      C) in clearing forest with Arjuna, Krishna used heavenly weapons. Agni burnt the forest and Krishna cursed a snake that tried to escaped.
      D) he brought parikshit also back to Life after ashwathamma attacked uttara womb.

      Maybe this weekend I will try to bring proofs of incarnation from Vedas.

    14. If you take Mahabharata too literally and analyze everything line to line, what happened to all those astras? What happened to all the knowledge? All those weaponary?
      Was that technology ?
      Was brahmastra nuclear bomb? Were those astras smart guns?

    15. Puranas are very different than vedas. Vedas are a bunch of hymns in praise of the devas, whereas puranas are itihasa.

      A) If we go by the curse, then Ashwatthama was said to only wander around for 3000 years. We have no evidence when Ashwatthama died, so we cannot say whether or not the curse succeeded or failed. In my opinion, more than a curse, it was bad wishes towards ashwatthama.

      B)As far as I know gandhari's curse to krishna is not present in mahabharatha. Below is the section where yuddhistira sends krishna to dhritarashtra/gandhari after duryodhana is defeated by bhima. There is no mention of any curse:

      C) That was more of bad wishes for aswasena, than a formal curse.

      D) Most likely that is a later addition to the epic. In that section where parikshit is revived, Krishna says that parikshit will be revived if Krishna never spoke a lie in his life, and parikshit was revived. It is no surprise that krishna spoke many lies in lifetime. It seems like the entire story of Krishna saving Parikshit is an addition by a later poet. Most likely Parikshit was born prior to the war. Karna mentions in Udyoga Parva that he will kill the grandsons of the Pandavas, thus implying that Parikshit may have been born before the war.

      The astras used were not nuclear weapons. They were scalar weapons and their power came from the vibrations of the mantras that had to be learned. Once brahmins no longer taught these mantras, the technology disappeared from the face of the Earth!

    16. But, Ravan was a devotee of SHIVA and got boons( good wishes) from SHIVA. You said Shiva was puranic creation.

      Did you look at 18 book of KMG Mahabharata?

      There's description of afterlife of,

      "Bhishma of mighty energy and great effulgence attained to the status of the Vasus. Eight Vasus, O chief of Bharata’s race, are now seen. Drona entered into Brihaspati, that foremost one of Angirasa’s descendants. Hridika’s son Kritavarma entered the Maruts. Pradyumna entered Sanatkumara whence he had issued. Dhritarashtra obtained the regions, so difficult of acquisition, that belong to the Lord of treasures. The famous Gandhari obtained the same regions with her husband Dhritarashtra. With his two wives, Pandu proceeded to the abode of the great Indra."
      Is this true? Did vyasa had power to see the afterlives, since vyasa is author of Mahabharath.

      Yes, your statement on Mahabharata technology maybe true.

    17. During the vedic age, in the vedic literature of aryans (like Rama/Krishna), Shiva was not worshipped. Shiva was worshipped by non-Aryans like Ravana, though. Later the concept of Shiva was absorbed into vedic literature (puranas).

      I don't think Vyasa had power to see afterlife. The entire swargarohana parva is a later addition by poets that did not understand what swarga was in mahabharatha. Swarga was not heaven. It was an actual place of Earth, north of India. See the description of Swarga by the rishis in the passage below:

      "On a certain day of the new moon, the great Rishis of rigid vows assembled together, and desirous of beholding Brahman were on the point of starting on their expedition. Seeing them about to start, Pandu asked those ascetics, saying, 'Ye first of eloquent men, where shall we go?' The Rishis answered, 'There will be a great gathering today, in the abode of Brahman, of celestials, Rishis and Pitris. Desirous of beholding the Self-create we shall go there today.'

      "Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing this, Pandu rose up suddenly, desirous of visiting heaven along with the great Rishis. Accompanied by his two wives, when he was on the point of following the Rishis in the northerly direction from the mountain of hundred peaks, those ascetics addressed him saying, 'In our northward march, while gradually ascending the king of mountains, we have seen on its delightful breast many regions inaccessible to ordinary mortals; retreats also of the gods, and Gandharvas and Apsaras, with palatial mansions by hundreds clustering thick around and resounding with the sweet notes of celestial music, the gardens of Kuvera laid out on even and uneven grounds, banks of mighty rivers, and deep caverns. There are many regions also on those heights that are covered with perpetual snow and are utterly destitute of vegetable and animal existence. In some places the downpour of rain is so heavy that they are perfectly inaccessible and incapable of being utilised for habitation. Not to speak of other animals, even winged creatures cannot cross them. The only thing that can go there is air, and the only beings, Siddhas and great Rishis. How shall these princesses ascend those heights of the king of mountains? Unaccustomed to pain, shall they not droop in affliction? Therefore, come not with us, O bull of Bharata's race!'

    18. I CAN SEE YOU LACK IN UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPTS, How you see Shiva, Shakti and Vishnu thats really funny by the way why do you take them as bodies of flesh and bones they are the symbols of formless Brahm but that brahmm has to govern the universe thta is why he is Ishwara (Shiva) its energy (Shakti) and its Positive form Vishnu.
      How you see A moon and third eye trident,chakras etc.AND MOREOVER Do you think our great sages were fool AND LOST THE VEDAS IN creating Purans they understood the life concepts and they churned the butter from the manthan of Vedas and brought the truth therefore vedas and purans are almost same but it depends upon your vision of western people who cant see the truth.Being born in India Bharath you have to understand that Rama and Krishna are also important to us because they represents fight with in us,Rama is called the god with high principle.What is their role to a society of our culture you needed to understand, it is because of all these we were been able to withstand our culture and all the philosophies including your mine or anybody's in India that have flourished here.

  5. Didnt you say Hanumana was more overrated?

    1. Hanumana is as overrated as well. But Rama is a better warrior than him.

    2. I know but isn't Hanumana more OVERRATED? Also did the Rakshas even succeed inn killing ONE major warrior of Rama's army?

    3. Yeah, I guess you can call him more overrated than Rama. It all depends on how you rate Rama and Hanumana as warriors. There are some people that call Hanumana a better warrior than Rama...

      As far as I know the Rakshasas didnt kill any of the major vanara army leaders in war. However, there were rakshasas that defeated nearly all the vanara leaders.

    4. Read this quora answer Ghatotkaca was NEVER defeated by Karna. Even Dhrishtadyumna defeated Karna twice and stalemated him on the 17th day despite the Vijaya bow and Parshuram chariot.

  6. Dhrishtadyumna defeated Karna 2 times. Ghatotkaca defeated Karna 3 times. Abhimanyu defeated Karna 6 times. Satyaki defeated Karna 8 times. Bhima defeated Karna 11 times. Arjuna defeated karna 13 times. Arey isey toh koi viy harah sakta tha!

  7. Totally idiotic. you take the shlokas out of context to suit you. you simply dont understand the concept of maya (illusion). Ravana was not non aryan. He was born to a brahmin father and rakhasi mother who was from a place in UP.
    Your story more more along the lines of DMK/DK in TN

    1. I did not take any shloka out of context. If I have please tell me, and if I agree that I have made a mistake, I will make the required changes. Maya (illusion) was an accepted form of warfare and countering maya (illusion) in war was an art that had to be learned. Arjuna learned it from Chitrasena and hence was able to counter Chitrasena's illusions when he later fought Chitrasena.

      There is no evidence whatsoever that maya (illusions) in war was adharma. If you disagree, please provide me a quote of a warrior saying that the use of maya (illusions) in war is against dharma.

      What evidence is there that Ravana's mother was from UP?

      Also, Ravana's father was not a brahmin. Ravana's father's father (his grandfather) Pulastya was a manas putra of Brahma. Manas Putra means a son of intellect, so it likely refers to a student. So Pulastya was a student of Brahma. So you cannot call him a brahmin!

      The rakshasas were an non-aryan tribe and that is evident through the hatred of aryans (like Rama) for them. The rakshasas were not dravidians though...

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  9. You really need to first clarify your own misconceptions before correcting others. Rama is never overrated over any other character like you're describing him. We all knows that Rama is good in ruling a kingdom (Ram Rajya) and in other areas but we also knows that Rama could not defeat Ravana and others singlehandedly or with Lakshman and he really needs the help from hanuman and others, that's why we also praise Ravana, indrajit and kumbhkaran due to their superiority over Rama in other fields (fighting).
    Point is not about who is superior to whom but it is all about what is good and bad for the mankind and what side you will choose. Even hanuman couldn't defeat the Ravana or indrajit, but we praise hanuman more than Rama and any other character present at that time.
    Because he had fought against the bad with Rama, no matter whether he could defeat Ravana or not. Even if Rama is overrated he is overrated in other areas and not in fighting/warrior skills and we knows it well.

    The way you had described, it seems that you knows Ramayana better than any other person, may be you're present at that time or maybe you knows the Hindu's understanding (which in reality you don't) .
    Even valmiki in his own writings doesn't biased with anyone like you had done.

    So, please stop correcting others and look inside yourself before advising or correcting other.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Abhishek, thanks for your comment. I think the main thing you are forgetting is that this post is titled "Rama-The Most Overrated Warrior in Ramayana", NOT "Rama-The Most Overrated Character in Ramayana". I have not analyzed the character of Rama as yet, so why did you find the need to bring that point up? Like you, I also agree that prowess in war is a very poor measure of one's character. I never equated prowess in war to how virtuous a character is.

      Now for you saying Valmiki is not biased... I gave one reference in Yuddha Kanda Section 59 where Ravana makes Lakshmana unconscious. However, a few verses later, in that section, Rama approaches Ravana and tells him that he was the one made unconscious by Ravana's arrows. This suggests Valmiki's bias, in that he attempted to hide Rama's defeat by Ravana, during war, in the direct narrative. Another possibility is that the direct narrative was tampered by later poets, but regardless... The fact is that the text of Valmiki Ramayana was written by or had later gone into the hands of biased poets (with a pro-Rama bias), and that is evident at many points in the epic.

      That being said, you said you consider Ravana's side "the bad side" and Rama's side "the good side". Can you tell me why you consider Rama's side the good side, and more importantly why you view one as black and the other as white in terms of qualities?

  10. Who do you think were the 10 best warriors from both Mahabharata and Ramayana?

    1. This is my list, from best (1) to worst (10):

      1. Arjuna
      2. Ravana
      3. Indrajit
      4. Bhima
      5. Angada
      6. Bhishma
      7. Kumbhakarna
      8. Drona
      9. Rama
      10. Lakshmana

    2. Ghatotkaca is more powerful than Lakshmana. Remember Kabandha defeated Lakshmana. Also Bhima has many defeats.

    3. Yes, you are right. I forgot to include Ghatotkacha and Kabandha. Kabandha would be below Rama but higher than Lakshmana in the list. Ghatotkacha, I would rate higher than Rama...

    4. Your list is total trash and worth less than my tati.

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