Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Underlying Symbolism in Seetha's Agnipariksha!

One of the most important, yet controversial aspects of Valmiki's Ramayana, without which the epic cannot be imagined is Seetha's agnipariksha. For some people, her agnipariksha shows her unflinching devotion and physical chastity to her husband Rama. For others, it shows Rama's divinity as the Supreme Lord. There are even some people who use Seetha's agnipariksha to show that Rama was a horrible husband as he commanded his wife to enter the fire and prove her chastity. With the rise in feminism, this perspective has been a popular one. However, the people who make such claims have clearly not read the epic as Rama never commanded Seetha to enter the fire to prove her chastity. He simply abandoned her, and she then decided on her own accord to enter the fire as she had no "protector" now that her husband had abandoned her. Her reason for entering the fire was not to prove her chastity! There is yet another large group of people that are unable to digest the fact that a man of Rama's stature abandoned his dear wife. Due to this, they call the entire sequence of Seetha's agnipariksha as a later interpolation to the epic. To be honest, a while back, prior to reading the Valmiki Ramayana, I would have classified myself in this group. However, now that I have read the epic, I can vouch that despite all the interpolations present within the agnipariksha sequence, the agnipariksha sequence as a whole is not an interpolation. It was likely present in the original Valmiki Ramayana.

In Vana Parva of Mahabharatha, after Jayadratha's failed attempt to abduct Draupadi, a distressed Yuddhistira asks Markandeya if there is anyone more unfortunate him (Yuddhistira). In response to this question, Markandeya recites to Yuddhistira the story of how Rama was sent to exile for 14 years for no fault of his. Yuddhistira's reaction in response to the story of Rama, presented by Markandeya, suggests that he had not heard of Rama prior to this conversation. However, since there are subtle hints in Sabha Parva that Yuddhistira knew about Rama prior to going on his 13 year exile period, the entire Mini-Ramayana stated by Markandeya is clearly a later addition to the epic. Nevertheless, the Mini-Ramayana, recited in Vana Parva gives us insight into the version of Valmiki Ramayana present at the time the later addition was made. In the Mini-Ramayana recited by Markandeya, we find that Rama abandoned Seetha after killing Ravana, thus suggesting that Rama abandoning Seetha was present in the ancient versions of the Ramayana. For this reason, Seetha's agnipariksha as a whole, is likely not an interpolation. It was most likely part of the original Valmiki Ramayana. However, what is interesting is that in the Mini-Ramayana recited by Markandeya, Seetha does not literally enter fire. Instead, she just appeals to the different demigods (among whom agni deva is included) that she is devoted to Rama. Following her appeal, the demigods order Rama to accept his wife Seetha, which he happily does. This introduces the possibility that Seetha entering the fire in Valmiki Ramayana is symbolic, and should not be taken literally, which is what I will expand on in this post.


In this post, I will explain in depth the entire agnipariksha sequence, paying close attention to the underlying symbolism in Seetha's agnipariksha. I will also talk about the reasons for the agnipariksha, and what it suggests about the Lankan society at that time. All references used in this post will be from:


1. Southern Recession of Valmiki Ramayana

2. Mahabharatha translated into English by Kisari Mohan Ganguly
3. Rig Veda translated into English by Ralph T.H. Griffith
4. Brhadaranyaka Upanishad

Prior to discussing Seetha's Agnipariksha, I will first provide instances of Rama's possessiveness and insecurity towards Seetha throughout the epic. This is essential as it will provide some context to understand the thought process in Rama that led to him abandoning Seetha after conquering Lanka...


Incident 1: Rama's Encounter With Viraadha Upon Entering the Dandaka Forest


Lets start at the point when Rama, Lakshmana, and Seetha enter the Dandaka Forest. The Dandaka Forest was a stronghold of the Rakshasas at the time, and was slowly being infiltrated by orthodox Rishis that would perform animal sacrifices, contrary to the wishes of Ravana and the Rakshasas. To prevent this, Ravana employed a large Rakshasa force in the Dandaka Forest, to protect the forest and its animals from these Rishis. When Rama, Lakshmana, and Seetha entered the Dandaka Forest, they were confronted by a Rakshasa named Viraadha, who was skeptical about them. Viraadha saw Rama and Lakshmana wielding weapons like a kshatriya, and being dressed like brahmins, and hence thought that Rama and Lakshmana are wanting to enter the Dandaka Forest disguised as brahmins, and that they will later exterminate the Rakshasa stronghold over the forest. Indeed this is exactly what had happened later... Seeing the future danger that may arise from Rama and Lakshmana, Viraadha wanted to kill them there and then. However, he also saw the beautiful Seetha accompanying them. This kindled his lust for her, and hence he decided to abduct her and marry her, as a punishment to Rama and Lakshmana. Upon lifting her up, placing her in his lap and engaging in sexual intercourse with her, we find that Rama is highly distressed and laments that anybody even just touching Seetha (regardless of whether it is consensual or not) is more painful to him than his father dying or him losing his own kingdom:


परस्पर्शात्तु वैदेह्याः न दुःखतरमस्तिमे।
पितुर्विनाशात्सौमित्रे स्वराज्यहरणात्तथा।।3.2.21।।


O Lakshmana nothing is more sorrowful to me than the touch of Vaidehi by another. It is more painful to me than the death of my father or loss of my kingdom.


This speech by Rama gives some insight into the possessiveness of Rama towards Seetha. He could not bear another person touching Seetha, even if the act is consensual. This possessiveness will be further demonstrated another time in the encounter with Viraadha...


So, after Rama laments in this manner, Viraadha asks Rama to introduce himself, which he does. Then Viraadha introduces himself and tells Rama that he will spare his life if he leaves the Dandaka Forest without Seetha:


उत्सृज्य प्रमदामेनामनपेक्षौ यथागतम्।
त्वरमाणौ पलायेथां न वां जीवितमाददे।। 3.3.8।।


Therefore, leave this lady and run away to the place you came from. I will not take away your life.


Hearing these words, Rama's possessiveness for Seetha and his manliness get fueled, and he attacked Viraadha with arrows:


क्षुद्र धिक्त्वां तु हीनार्थं मृत्युमन्वेषसे ध्रुवम्।
रणे प्राप्स्यसे सन्तिष्ठ न मे जीवन् गमिष्यासि।।3.3.10।।


O vile, mean creature surely you are seeking death. Wait, you will meet it in the fight.


ततः सज्यं धनुः कृत्वा रामस्सुनिशिताञ्छरान्।
सुशीघ्रमभिसन्धाय राक्षसं निजघान ह।।3.3.11।।


Then Rama strung his bow immediately, shot the sharp arrows at Viradha and hit him verily.


We can see Rama's anger towards Viraadha in these verses, arising from the fact that his possessiveness towards Seetha (which was shown in 3.2.21) was fueled by the words and actions of Viraadha. What is interesting to note here is that he addresses Viraadha as kshudra (क्षुद्र). He abuses Viraadha by trying to equate him with a shudra. This clearly shows his contempt for the lower Varnas. It also shows that he considered southerners, who were not orthodox followers of Vedic Dharma, as a barbaric lot. I will expand on this in later posts. But just keep in mind Rama's view of southerners when reading this post and my later posts. It will help in understanding Rama's behavior towards the Rakshasas...


Shortly after Rama began attacking Viraadha, Lakshmana joined him and the brother launched a group attack on Viraadha. However, Viraadha's prowess began to tell, and hence Rama and Lakshmana were utterly defeated by Viraadha. After defeating the brothers, Viraadha begins to carry them away deep into the forest. Seeing this happen, Rama told Lakshamana to allow Viraadha to carry them away into the Dandaka Forest:


तस्याभिप्रायमाज्ञाय रामो लक्ष्मणमब्रवीत्।
वहत्वयमलं तावत्पथाऽनेन तु राक्षसः।।3.3.23।।


Rama understood the intention of the demon and said to Lakshmana, Let him go his way, no need to stop him.


यथा चेच्छति सौमित्रे तथा वहतु राक्षसः।
अयमेव हि नः पन्था येन याति निशाचरः।।3.3.24।।


O Lakshmana, let the nightstalker go the way he wishes. That is, in fact, our path.


However, where did Rama's anger vanish now? He was angry earlier that his wife was being touched and manhandled by Viraadha. He was also angry that Viraadha attacked his manliness by telling him to leave the forest without Seetha. However, all this vanished once he was overpowered. Once he was overpowered by Viraadha, he thought that if Viraadha just takes them away into the Dandaka Forest, he will leave behind Seetha. That thought relieved his possessiveness for Seetha. He was no longer worried that Viraadha would touch his wife, and hence happily proceeded into the forest... However, this happiness was short lived. Seetha saw Rama and Lakshmana overpowered and taken away and hence quickly thought of a way to save her husband and brother in law from Viraadha:


ह्रियमाणौ तु तौ दृष्ट्वा वैदेही रामलक्ष्मणौ।
उच्चैस्स्वरेण चुक्रोश प्रगृह्य सुमहाजाभुजौ।।3.4.1।।


Seeing those two mightyarmed Rama and Lakshmana being carried away by Viradha, Sita started crying loudly:


एष दाशरथी रामः सत्यवान् शीलवान् शुचिः।
रक्षसा रौद्ररूपेण ह्रियते सहलक्ष्मणः।।3.4.2।।


He that truth-abiding, virtuous, and the flawless Rama of Dasharatha is carried off along with Lakshmana by the demon with a ferocious look...


मामृका भक्षयिष्यन्ति शार्दूलाद्वीपिनस्तथा।

मां हरोत्सृज काकुत्स्थौ नमस्ते राक्षसोत्तम।।3.4.3।।

The wild bears, tigers and panthers will eat me up here. O best among demons, I salute you, take me and leave both the Kakutsthas. 


It should be no surprise that Seetha, after living with Rama for over 20 years, knew of this possessiveness in Rama, for her. She exploited this possessiveness to save Rama and Lakshmana. She cries in a loud voice, initially praising Rama and making it appear to all that she is sacrificing herself for Rama, as a pativrata.


However, for Rama, her speech fueled his possessiveness for her. She addresses Viraadha as rakshasa uttama (राक्षसोत्तम), meaning "best among Rakshasas" and then even offers him a salute by saying namaste (नमस्ते). Then she invites Viraadha to abduct her. This was Rama's worst nightmare come true. As shown earlier in 3.2.21, Rama could not bear anyone touching Seetha, even if it is consensual. However, over here, Seetha herself proposes to Viraadha to touch her. This fuels Rama's possessiveness like anything and as a result, Rama, in an instant, breaks the right shoulder of Viraadha:


तस्यास्तद्वचनं श्रुत्वा वैदेह्या रामलक्ष्मणौ।
वेगं प्रचक्रतुर्वीरौ वधे तस्य दुरात्मनः।।3.4.4।।


On hearing those words of Sita, both the heroes, Rama and Lakshmana hastened to kill the wicked Viradha.


तस्य रौद्रस्य सौमित्रिः सव्यं बाहुं बभञ्ज ह।
रामस्तु दक्षिणं बाहुं तरसा तस्य रक्षसः।।3.4.5।।


Lakshmana quickly broke the left and Rama the right shoulder of that dreadful demon.


As you can see from the above verses, Lakshmana also instantly breaks the left shoulder of Viraadha. Her words too have an effect on Lakshmana as he too was possessive to her. This introduces a new angle to the Seetha-Lakshmana relationship, which I will expand on in later posts...


Even after Viraadha is killed, Rama's anger arising from his possessiveness for Seetha is not pacified, and he angrily places his foot on the neck of the fallen Viraadha:


इत्युक्त्वा लक्ष्मणं रामः प्रदरः खन्यतामिति।
तस्थौ विराधमाक्रम्य कण्ठे पादेन वीर्यवान्।।3.4.12।।


Courageous Rama standing there put his foot firmly on the neck of Viradha and said to Lakshmana,' Dig up a crevice'.


Then the fallen Viraadha tells Rama that he was cursed in the past, by Kubera, to die at the hands of Rama. Even after hearing that the reason for Viraadha touching Seetha was destiny, his anger arising from this possessiveness was still not pacified and he continued to stamp on the neck of Viraadha with his foot:


तच्छ्रुत्वा राघवो वाक्यं लक्ष्मणं व्यादिदेश ह।
कुञ्जरस्येव रौद्रस्य राक्षसस्यास्य लक्ष्मण।।3.4.24।।
वनेऽस्मिन् सुमहच्छ्वभ्रं खन्यतां रौदकर्मणः।
इत्युक्त्वा लक्ष्मणं रामः प्रदरः खन्यतामिति।
तस्थौ विराधमाक्रम्य कण्ठे पादेन वीर्यवान्।।3.4.25।।


When Rama heard those words, he said, O Lakshmana dig for this elephantlike demon of dreadful acts, a big pit. Having said so the mighty Rama stood firmly stamping the neck of Viradha with his foot.


One would expect that after hearing that Viraadha touched Seetha just because of a previous curse, Rama's anger arising from the possessiveness towards his wife would be pacified. However that did not happen. Rama was still angry that Viraadha had dared to even touch Seetha, and moreso, that Seetha even thought of reciprocating...


This incident is a beautiful example of Rama's possessiveness towards Seetha. Now, I will discuss a few examples of Rama's insecurity towards Seetha.


Incident 2: Hanumana's Conversation with Vanaras Upon Discovering Seetha in Lanka


After Hanumana finds out that Seetha is in Lanka, he then goes to his fellow vanaras and reports the good news, Following that, all the vanaras proceed to Rama, Lakshmana and Sugriva. When Hanumana meets them, the first words he tells Rama are:


हनुमांश्च महाबाहुः प्रणम्य शिरसा ततः।।5.64.37।।
नियतामक्षतां देवीं राघवाय न्यवेदयत्।


Then the strongarmed Hanuman with his head bowed down offered salutations and reported, 'Divine lady Sita with her constant devotion to Sri Rama is sound in body'.


As you can see from the above speech, Hanumana's first words to Rama, upon finding Seetha are not that she is safe and sound. Although the translators translated aksatam (अक्षताम्as "sound in body", it refers to a virgin or one that is uninjured or unbroken. Hence, when Hanumana says that Seetha is sound in body, he is referring to her physical chastity (i.e. her chastity was not broken), which was of utmost importance to Rama. Hanumana does not say whether she is physically safe or whether she is being tortured by Ravana.


Instead, Hanumana says that Seetha is constantly devoted to Rama (even in Lanka) and that she is chaste (अक्षताम्), even in Lanka. Why does he say that? Why not mention that she is safe and sound, like most people would normally do in such a situation. The answer to this lies in Hanumana's knowledge of Rama's behavior towards Seetha. Hanumana lived with Rama for a few months prior to going to Lanka. During that time, he probably knew alot about Rama and his disposition towards Seetha. He very well knew that Rama was very possessive towards Seetha and insecure about whether or not she still loves him after falling into the hands of the handsome Ravana. Hence these words of Hanumana were said to relieve Rama of the distress he obtained by constantly thinking of whether or not Seetha succumbed to Ravana and now loves Ravana instead of him (Rama)...


However, even these words do not relieve Rama completely, and after Hanumana's speech, the first words Rama asks Hanumana are:


वैदेहीमक्षतां श्रुत्वा रामस्तूत्तरमब्रवीत्।।5.65.4।।
क्व सीता वर्तते देवी कथं च मयि वर्तते।
एतन्मे सर्वमाख्यात वैदेहीं प्रति वानराः।।5.65.5।।


Hearing of Sita alive and not harmed, Rama asked the vanaras, 'How is Sita? How is she disposed to me? Tell me everything'.


In these verses, the translators translated aksatam (अक्षताम्as "alive and not harmed". However, as I mentioned earlier, it refers to Seetha's virginity in Lanka, or in other words, her physical chastity. So hearing that Seetha maintained her chastity, Rama is still suspicious and asks Hanumana about her disposition towards him. For a husband that completely trusts his wife and selflessly loves her, this question should not even be raised. Such a husband would know without asking his wife that she is dedicated to him, and would therefore exert his 100% to save his wife. However, the speech by Rama shows not only a lack of love towards Seetha, but also constant suspicion on whether Seetha will leave him for a more handsome, brave and well-accomplished man like Ravana. He was highly insecure towards Seetha!


Now that I have given a few examples of Rama's possessiveness and insecurity towards Seetha, lets look at the agnipariksha text in Yuddha Kanda... After killing Ravana, all of Ravana's consorts run out of their palace to the battlefield and lament over the dead body of Ravana. After consoling these consorts, Rama coronates Vibhishana as the ruler of Lanka, on the battlefield itself.


After the coronation, Rama tells Hanumana to go to Seetha with the following instructions:


ततह् शैलोपमं वीरं प्राञ्जलिं प्रणतं स्थितम् || ६-११२-२३
उवाचेदं वचो रामो हनूमन्तं प्लवङ्गमम् |


Thereupon, Rama spoke the following words to the valiant Hanuma the monkey who was equal in size to a mountain and who was standing in humility, with his hands joined in salutation.

अनुज्ज़्नाप्य महाराजमिमं सौम्य विभीषणम् || ६-११२-२४
प्रविश्य नगरीं लङ्कां कौशलं ब्रूहिमैथिलीम् |

"O the benevolent one! Taking permission from this Vibhishana, the great king and entering into the City of Lanka, inform about our welfare to Seetha."

वैदेह्यै मां कुशलिनं सुग्रीवं च सलक्ष्मणम् || ६-११२-२५
अचक्ष्व वदतां श्रेष्ठ रावणं च हतं रणे |

"O Hanuma, the proficient one in speech! Inform Seetha that myself together with Lakshmana and Sugreeva are well and that Ravana had been killed in battle."

प्रियमेतदुदाहृत्य वैदेह्यस्त्वं हरीश्वर || ६-११२-२६
प्रतिगृह्य च संदेशमुपावर्तितुमर्हसि |

"O Hanuma the master of monkeys! Making clear this favourite news to Seetha, you ought to return, taking back her message."

Hearing this speech of Rama to Hanumana naturally raises some questions. Rama was a lovesick man to the extent that Hanumana told Seetha in Sundara Kanda that Seetha's absence was impacting his sleep cycle! He wouldn't even be able to sleep in the absence of Seetha! I would expect such a man to rush himself to the Ashoka Garden, free his beloved wife, and embrace her. But unfortunately, we don't find Rama doing that. Instead, we find him sending Hanumana to Seetha to let her know of the victory in war and to take back her message. From Rama's actions and the context of Rama's possessiveness and insecurity towards Seetha, it becomes quite evident that he thought Seetha may have succumbed to Ravana and had sex with him. He thought she may not love him anymore. So he wanted to play safe and hence wanted Hanumana to convey her message back to him. After that, based on the message, he would decide whether she still loves him and whether or not he should reject her or accept her.

For those who think that Rama was too straightforward to think in such a manner, they should consider this one incident that may change their mind and show the politican-like mindset of Rama. After deciding to return to Ayodhya, Rama sends Hanumana to Lanka to inform Bharatha that he is returning. He also asked Hanumana to survey the expressions and contours on the face of Bharatha to see if he is willing or not to part with the kingdom. This would let Rama know if going to Lanka is associated with any sort of danger or not. For example, if Bharatha was greedy for the kingdom, he could have captured Rama when he was offguard and either imprisoned or executed him. By knowing Bharatha's intentions, he could decide whether or not to go back to Ayodhya. If Bharatha was not willing to part with the kingdom, Rama would not go back to Ayodhya, but would instead attack Ayodhya with his vanara army. However, if Bharatha was willing to give back the kingdom, Rama could happily go back to the kingdom!


So this is only one example of Rama's politician-like mindset. Taking this into context, it is entirely possible for Rama to think the way he did and order Hanumana to convey Seetha's message back to him... So, then Hanumana quickly departs and entered into Lanka:


इति प्रतिसमादिष्टो हनूमान्मारुतात्मजः |
प्रविवेश पुरीं लङ्कां पूज्यमानो निशाचरैः ||६-११३-१


Thus directed by Rama, Hanuma the son of wind-god, entered deeply into the City of Lanka, being respectfully received by the demons.


Image result for sita and hanuman


Upon entering the Ashoka Garden, Hanumana saw that Seetha, who had already received the news of Ravana's death and Lanka's defeat in war, was bereft of freshness and was looking joylessly. Hanumana then saluted Seetha. However, even after that, Seetha was sad and kept herself silent. She soon becomes mindful that Hanumana may realize her true feelings, so she puts on a (fake) smile in front of Hanumana:

प्रविश्य च पुरीं लङ्कामनुङ्ञ्प्य विभीषणम् |
ततस्तेनाभ्यनुज्ञातो हनूमान् वृक्षवाटिकाम् ||६-११३-२
संप्रविश्य यथान्यायम् सीताया विदितो हरिः |
ददर्श शशिना हीनां सातङ्कामिव रोहिणीम् ||६-११३-३
वृक्षमूले निरानन्दां राक्षसीभिः परीवृताम् |
निभृतः प्रणतः प्रह्वः सोंअभिगम्याभिवाद्य च ||६-११३-४


That Hanuma, the monkey, known to Seetha, having entered the City of Lanka, seeking permission from Vibhishana, getting approval from him and entering Ashoka grove as per the prevailing regulation, saw at the foot of a tree, Seetha, who was bereft of freshness, looking joylessly like a frightened cow and surrounded with female-demons. Approaching her humbly by offering salutation to her in bending his head, he stood there silently.


दृष्ट्वा समागतं देवी हनूमन्तं महाबलम् |
तूष्णीमास्त तदा दृष्ट्वा स्मृत्वा हृष्टाभवत्तदा ||६-११३-५
Even after seeing the mighty Hanuma who came there, Seetha kept herself silent. Then, seeing and becoming mindful of him, she became rejoiced.
[Note: Some people may translate smritva (स्मृत्वा) as "recollecting". However, it is derived from the root smra (स्मृ), which also means "to be mindful of". I have used the translation of "to be mindful of" as it is more suited for the situation because the aforementioned verse says "that Hanuma, the monkey known to Seetha", thus implying that Seetha had not forgotten Hanumana when he entered Lanka. So where does the need to recollect him if she already knew whom he was? Furthermore, it is hard to believe that she would forget the face of a person so important to her husband. For these reasons "to be mindful of" would be better suited. Seetha was sad when Hanumana met her and she remained sad once she saw him. But after becoming mindful that Hanumana was seeing her and could read through her facial expressions, she put up a (fake) smile to make Hanumana think she was happy after hearing the news that Ravana was defeated and killed in war.]
After seeing Seetha's joyful face, Hanumana begins to describe to Seetha how Rama defeated and killed Ravana. However, Hanumana soon noticed that even after repeating this good news, Seetha was still immersed in grief. He was confused as to why Seetha was not happy from within that Ravana is now dead and Rama is victorious. Seeing that Seetha was still immersed in grief, Hanumana questioned her as to why she was upset even after hearing this good news. He told her that now that Ravana has been killed, she ought to be free from her grief and fear:
प्रियमाख्यामि ते देवि भूयश्च त्वां सभाजये ||६-११३-९
तव प्रभावाद्धर्मज्ञे महान् रामेण संयुगे |
लब्धोऽयं विजयः सीते स्वस्था भव गतज्वरा ||६-११३-१०
"O the divine lady! I am telling a pleasant news and again eulogizing you. O Seetha, the knower of righteousness! Rama accomplished this great victory in the battle, because of your power. Be free from your grief and be comfortable."
रावणश्च हतः शत्रुर्लङ्का चैव वशीकृता |
मया ह्यलब्धनिद्रेण धृतेन तव निर्जये ||६-११३-११
प्रतिज्ज़्नैषा विनिस्तीर्णा बद्ध्वा सेतुं महोदधौ |

"Ravana, the enemy was killed. Even the Lanka has been subdued. With a firm determination to win you back, by me who have had no sleep, a bridge has been constructed across the great ocean and this vow (of winning you back) has been fulfilled."

संभ्रमश्च न कर्तव्यो वर्तन्त्या रावणालये ||६-११३-१२
विभीषणविधेयं हि लङ्कैश्वर्यमिदं कृतम् |

"You ought not to have any fear, living as you do in Ravana's abode. This kingdom of Lanka has now been placed indeed under the dominion ship of Vibhishana."

तदाश्वसिहि विस्रब्धं स्वगृहे परिवर्तसे ||६-११३-१३
अयं चाभ्येति संहृष्टस्त्वद्दर्शनसमुत्सुकः |

"That is why, console yourself complacently. You are staying in your own house. This Vibhishana too is coming to you with a rejoice, as he is so eager to see you."

As you can see from the aforementioned verses, even after Hanumana narrated Rama's victory over Ravana, Seetha was immersed in an ocean of grief and fear. This shows atleast some sort of emotional attachment to Ravana and to Lanka, on Seetha's part. If we put ourselves in her shoes, it would be obvious that Ravana is no longer with her and that she would have to leave Lanka. Possibly both these options could be a reason for her grief?

Hanumana is still unable to understand Seetha's true feelings for Ravana and Lanka, and hence is confused why Seetha is still displaying fear and grief after knowing that Ravana had died.

Seeing that Hanumana was realizing that she was not delighted upon hearing of Rama's victory, Seetha tried to disguise the grief she felt upon Ravana's death with delight (प्रहर्षेणावरुद्धा). She tried to do this to convince Hanumana that she was happy that Rama won the war and killed Ravana:


एवमुक्ता तु सा देवी सीता शशिनिभानना ||६-११३-१४
प्रहर्षेणावरुद्धा सा व्यहर्तुं न शशाक ह |


Hearing these words, Seetha the divine lady, whose face resembled the moon, was not able to speak, but disguised (her feelings) with delight.


However, even this could not fool Hanumana and Hanumana realized that she was not happy from within. So he then asked Seetha what is she worrying about (चिन्तयसे) and why she is so quiet (नाभिभाषसे):


ततोऽब्रवीद्धरिवरः सीतामप्रतिजल्पतीम् ||६-११३-१५
किं त्वं चिन्तयसे देवि किं च मां नाभिभाषसे |


Thereupon, Hanuma spoke to Seetha, who was not making any answer (as follows): "O divine lady! What are you worried about? Why don't you speak to me?"


Hearing these words of Hanumana, Seetha, who was filled with love (for Ravana/Lanka) broke down in tears... Clearly, Hanumana hit a raw nerve in Seetha via his questions. She was clearly uncomfortable with his questions and then tried to divert Hanumana's attention away from the matter by saying that she was speechless as she was overpowered by joy:

एवमुक्ता हनुमता सीता धर्मपथे स्थिता ||६-११३-१६
अब्रवीत्परमप्रीता बाष्पगद्गदया गिरा |

Thus asked by Hanuma, Seetha, who was ever established in a righteous path, was very much in love and spoke (as follows) in a voice choked with tears.

प्रियमेतदुपश्रुत्य भर्तुर्विजयसंश्रयम् ||६-११३-१७
प्रहर्षवशमापन्ना निर्वाक्यास्मि क्षणान्तरम् |

"Hearing these pleasant tidings about the victory of my husband, I became speechless for a while, overpowered as I was, by extreme joy."

[Note: Some people may say that the "love" in the above verse refers to her love for Rama. But that does not make sense... Why would she remain so quiet upon hearing that her husband Rama was victorious if she loved him? Her quietness was enough for Hanumana to notice and feel that she was bothered and not happy from within. The quietness was clearly not due to shock... Her behavior suggests that a loved one had been defeated. This suggests that she was referring to Ravana and Lanka]
Then she further tried to divert Hanumana's attention away from her sorrow by praising Hanumana and his accomplishments to the skies:
न हि पश्यामि सदृशं चिन्तयन्ती प्लवङ्गम ||६-११३-१८
मत्प्रियाख्यानकस्येह तव प्रत्यभिनन्दनम् |
"O, Hanuman! I indeed do not see any appropriate thing here, which pleases you in return, to offer you, who have announced these tidings pleasant to me, even after enervating my brain."
न च पश्यामि तत्सौम्य पृथिव्यामपि वानर ||६-११३-१९
सदृशं मत्प्रियाख्याने तव दातुं भवेत्समम् |
"Nor, do I perceive anything worthy for you on this earth for you act of conveying this agreeable news to me and on bestowing which on you, happiness may come to me."
हिरण्यं वा सुवर्णं वा रत्नानि विविधानि च ||६-११३-२०
राज्यं वा त्रिषु लोकेषु नैतदर्हति भाषितुम् |
"Neither silver, nor gold nor even diamonds nor the sovereignty of the three worlds, can be worthy of this message."
These words effectively managed to divert Hanumana's attention away from Seetha's sorrow and he does not again ask Seetha why she is immersed in sorrow or fear. On the contrary, he became pleased with her and then began to praise her, very joyfully. Hearing this praise, Seetha again begins to praise Hanumana for all his qualities, thus completely diverting Hanumana's attention away the sorrow she felt upon hearing of the death of her beloved Ravana...
Then, Hanumana asks Seetha for permission to slay the female rakshasis that were protecting her, and had previously scolded Seetha for rejecting Ravana (as a husband) in Sundara Kanda. He expresses the desire to vent his anger on these females, with utmost cruelty:
अथोवाच पुनः सीतामसंभ्रातो विनीतवत् ||६-११३-२९
प्रगृहीताञ्जलिर्हर्षात् सीतायाः प्रमुखे स्थितः |
Thereafter, having joined his hands together in salutation, standing in front of Seetha in humility and free from flurry, Hanuma again spoke to Seetha (as follows):
इमास्तु खलु राक्षस्यो यदि त्वमनुमन्यसे ||६-११३-३०
हन्तुमिच्छामि ताः सर्वा याभिस्त्वं तर्जिता पुरा |
"If you permit me, I wish to kill of all these notorious female-demons, by whom you have been scolded earlier."
क्लिश्यन्तीं पतिदेवां त्वामशोकवनिकां गताम् ||६-११३-३१
घोररूपसमाचाराः क्रूराः क्रूरतरेक्षणाः |
इह श्रुता मया देवि राक्षस्यो विकृताननाः ||६-११३-३२
असकृत्परुषैर्वाक्यैर्वदन्त्यो रावणाज्ञया |
"These cruel female-demons of terrific form and behavior, with still more cruel eyes, having ugly faces, were heard by me here speaking again and again harsh words to you, who are so devoted to your husband, at Ravana's command, when you were suffering hardships in the Ashoka grove, O divine lady!"
विकृता विकृताकाराः क्रूताः क्रूरकचेक्षणाः||६-११३-३३
इच्छामि विविधैर्घातैर्हन्तुमेताः सुदारुणाः |
राक्षस्यो दारुणकथा वरमेतं प्रयच्छ मे ||६-११३-३४
"I wish to kill with various kinds of strokes, these cruel, extremely rough and deformed female-demons, with distorted features and terrific hairs and eyes, talking together roughly. (Pray) grant this boon to me."
मुष्टिभिः पाणिभिश्चैव चरणैश्चैव शोभने |
जङ्घाजानुप्रहारैश्च दन्तानां चैव पीडनैः ||६-११३-३५
भक्षणैः कर्णनासानां केशानां लुञ्चनैस्तथा |
भृशं शुष्कमुखीभिश्च दारुणैर्लङ्घनैर्हतैः ||६-११३-३६
विभिन्नशङ्कुग्रीवांशपार्श्वकैश्च कलेवरैः |
निपात्य हन्तुमिच्छमि तव विप्रियकारिणीः ||६-११३-३७
"I wish to kill the female-demons, who have spoken harsh words to you and wronged you, striking them down with my fists, hand-blows, long arms, blows of my shanks and knees, by causing pain to their teeth, biting off their ears and nose and pulling out their hair, making them severely dry-mouthed, tearing them off, leaping over them, encountering them and throwing down their bodies, with their burst cheeks, necks, shoulders and ribs."
एवम्प्रकारैर्बहुभिर्विप्रकारैर्यशस्विनि |
घातये तीव्ररूपाभिर्याभिस्त्वं तर्जिता पुरा ||६-११३-३८
"O illustrious lady! Striking them with several blows in this way, I would destroy the female-demons of terrible form, by whom you have been threatened in the past."
Hearing these words, Seetha ponders for a while, but then tells Hanumana not to kill them as she is very compassionate towards these female rakshasiis that are protecting her:

इत्युक्ता सा हनुमता कृपणा दीनवत्सला |
हनुमन्तमुवाचेदं चिन्तयित्वा मिमृश्य च ||६-११३-३९
Reflecting as pondering for a while, when spoke thus by Hanuma, the compassionate Seetha, who was kind to the miserable, spoke to Hanuma as follows:
राजसंश्रयवश्यानां कुर्वतीनां पराज्ञया |
विधेयानां च दासीनां कः कुप्येद्वानरोत्तम ||६-११३-४०
"O the foremost of monkey! Who will be angry with servant-maids, who are dependent on their king's command and work in obedience to the orders of others?"
भाग्यवैषम्य योगेन पुरा दुश्चरितेन च |
मयैतेत्प्राप्यते सर्वं स्वकृतं ह्युपभुज्यते ||६-११३-४१
"All this is reaped by me, as a consequence of my bad fortune or an account of a misdeed committed by me in the past. The fruit of one's own making is indeed experienced (in one's life)."
मैवं वद महाबाहो दैवी ह्येषा परा गतिः |
प्राप्तव्यं तु दशा योगान्मयैतदिति निश्चितम् ||६-११३-४२
दासीनां रावणस्याहं मर्षयामीह दुर्बला |
"O the great-armed Hanuma! Do not speak like this. This is indeed a great divine strategy. It was ordained that this type of situation is to be obtained by me, due to the application of fate. Feeble as I am in these matters, I am forgiving the servant-maids of Ravana here."
आज्ञप्ता रावणेनैता राक्षस्यो माम् अतर्जयन् ||६-११३-४३
हते तस्मिन्न कुर्युर्हि तर्जनं वानरोत्तम |
"O Hanuma! As commanded by Ravana they scolded me. As he is dead now, they will not do the scolding."
Note how Seetha is compassionate to these rakshasiis. This compassion probably arose from a friendship/love bond she formed with them while her stay in Lanka. Furthermore, note how she blames herself for her miseries and not Ravana. This is a clear sign of her affection for Ravana and understanding things from his persepective... Truly an emotional bond! She does not want any allegations to fall on Ravana, so, she decides to take the blame on herself and says that she was the reason for her misfortune, and the misfortune was a result of a divine strategy that arose from her previous karma. She takes extra caution to not mention that Ravana was responsible for her miseries... Some food for thought. If she was really tormented by Ravana and hated him, why defend his action of her kidnapping him? She clearly felt emotions for Ravana at some level to be able to defend him in such a manner. Furthermore, why defend the rakshasiis that were scolding her in the Ashoka Garden (in Sundara Kanda)?
[Note: This behavior very different compared to her bitter behavior towards Ravana when he was kidnapping her. When he was kidnapping her, she exclaimed:
ननु सद्योऽविनीतस्य दृश्यते कर्मणःफलम्।।3.49.27।।
कालोऽप्यङ्गीभवत्यत्र सस्यानामिव पक्तये।
The effect of arrogant action cannot be seen right away. Just as the crop yields results only after ripening, in the same way it takes time. Time acts as a supporting factor.
त्वं कर्म कृतवानेतत्कालोपहतचेतनः।।3.49.28।।
जीवितान्तकरं घोरं रामाद्व्यसनमाप्नुहि।
Time has taken a toll of your senses. This has made you do what you have done. A great calamity is awaiting you in the hands of Rama. It will end your life.
As you can see here, when Seetha is being kidnapped, she says that Ravana will be punished (killed) by Rama for his evil act of kidnapping her. Her behavior takes a 180 degrees turn by the time Ravana dies, where she not only defends Ravana, but takes the blame of him kidnapping her on herself, her destiny and bad previous karmas. She takes extra caution to not blame Ravana for anything. I think this is ample of evidence to show the emotional bond she shared with Ravana at the end of the war.
There are more such instances of Seetha's love for Ravana, that is shown on the way back to Ayodhya, in the Pushpaka Vimana, and during Rama's coronation. However, I will save this for a later post that will be dedicated on Seetha's love towards Ravana.]

Hearing these compassionate words of Seetha, Hanumana then asks Seetha for a message that he will convey to Rama:
एवमुक्तस्तु हनुमान्सीतया वाक्यकोविदः ||६-११३-४८
प्रत्युवाच ततः सीतां रामपत्नीं यशस्विनीम् |
Hearing the words of Seetha, Hanuma who was skilled in speech, then replied to the faultless Seetha, Rama's consort (as follows):
युक्ता रामस्य भवती धर्मपत्नी यशस्विनी ||६-११३-४९
प्रतिसन्दिश मां देवि गमिष्ये यत्र राघवः |

"O divine lady! You are the apt wife of Rama, full of virtue. Give me a message in return. I will go to the place where Rama is."

One can just imagine the turmoil that would be going on in Seetha's mind at this time. Ravana had just died and she was only given a few moments to decide on an appropriate message to convey to her husband, the man that had killed her Ravana. Seetha very maturely realizes that Ravana will not come back and that she should move on with her life and go back to Ayodhya with Rama, as her future now lies with him. She realizes that she is now paying for her bad karma she earlier committed...

So she then tells Hanumana to convey to Rama that she wishes to see him:

एवमुक्ता हनुमता वैदेही जनकात्मजा ||६-११३-५०
अब्रवीद्द्रष्टुमिच्छामि भर्तारं वानरोत्तम |

Thus spoken by Hanuma, that Seetha the daughter of Janaka spoke as follows: "O the foremost of monkeys! I long to see my husband."

Hearing this message, Hanumana speedily went to Rama to convey the news... Upon reaching Rama, he offered salutation to Rama, and then conveyed Seetha's message to Rama:

तमुवाच महाप्रज्ञमभिगम्य प्लवङ्गमः |
रामं वचनमर्थज्ञो वरं सर्वधनुष्मताम् || ६-११४-१


Having offered his salutation to that Rama, who was excellent among all the wielders of the bow and whose eyes resembled the lotus-petals, that highly intelligent Hanuma spoke to him as follows:


यन्निमित्तोऽयमारम्भः कर्मणां च फलोदयः |
तां देवीं शोकसन्तप्तां मैथिलीं द्रष्टुमर्हसि || ६-११४-२


"You ought to see Seetha that divine lady who is consumed by grief, for whose sake this course of actions was undertaken and which has (now) borne fruit."


सा हि शोकसमाविष्टा बाष्पपर्याकुलेक्षणा |
मैथिली विजयं श्रुत्वा तव हर्षमुपागमत् || ६-११४-३


"Hearing the delightful occurrence of your victory, that Seetha, was stricken with grief, with eyes filled with tears"

पूर्वकात्प्रत्ययाच्चाहमुक्तो विश्वस्तया तया |
भर्तारं द्रष्टुमिच्छामि कृतार्थं सहलक्ष्मणम् || ६-११४-४

"By her, who has trust in me because of confidence which has trust in me because of confidence which had been inspired me on a former occasion, I was spoken as follows: 'I desire to see my husband, who has accomplished his purpose, together with Lakshmana.'"

Read this message carefully as it forms the basis of the rest of the agnipariksha episode... After offering salutations to Rama, Hanumana tells him that Seetha was filled with grief, and with eyes full of tears, even after hearing of the victory of Rama. This would have definitely got a person of Rama's stature, who was an expert in reading and understanding facial expressions, thinking... Why would my dear wife be crying even after hearing that I have saved her? Why is she immersed in an ocean of grief, even after I rescued her from this ocean? Furthermore, in the last verse above, Hanumana tells Rama that Seetha wishes to see Rama. But note how she doesn't say "I desire to see my husband, who has saved me from Ravana". Instead she says "I desire to see my husband, who has accomplished his purpose". But what purpose was she talking about? If the purpose she is talking about was of Rama saving her, then why not mention that? Why try to avoid confrontation with that fact? Was she upset that Rama had defeated and killed Ravana? Did she not consider Rama defeating and killing Ravana as "saving her"? Such questions would have definitely popped up in the mind of Rama when he heard this message of Hanumana.

And that is exactly what happened. After Hanumana conveyed the message to Rama, Rama realized that his worst nightmare came true. His wife no longer loved him. She was not happy that he killed Ravana and "saved her". This caused Rama to be become a bit thoughtful and overwhelmed  with tears:

एवमुक्तो हनुमता रामो धर्मभृतां वरः |
अगच्छत्सहसा ध्यानमासीद्बाष्पपरिप्लुतः || ६-११४-५

Hearing Hanuma's words, Rama who was the foremost among the supporters of righteousness, was a little over whelmed with tears and suddenly became a bit thoughtful.

Then, after thinking for a while, he came to a conclusion that his wife was no longer devoted to him. So with a heavy heart, he decided that he had to let her go. So, he drew a deep, warm breath and then casted his looks on the ground and asked Vibhishana to quickly bring Seetha to him (Rama) only after she has bathed her head and groomed herself:

दीर्घमुष्णं च निश्वस्य मेदिनीम् अवलोकयन् |
उवाच मेघसङ्काशं विभीषणमुपस्थितम् || ६-११४-६

Drawing a deep and warm breath and casting his looks on the ground, he spoke (as follows) to Vibhishana, who closely resembled a cloud in hue and who was standing nearby.

दिव्याङ्गरागां वैदेहीं दिव्याभरणभूषिताम् |
इह सीतां शिरःस्नातामुपस्थापय माचिरम् || ६-११४-

"Bring here Seetha, after she has bathed her head, has been anointed with charming cosmetics and adorned with beautiful jewels. Let there be no delay."

So Vibhishana speedily entered the quarters and went to Seetha and conveyed Rama's message to her:

ततः सीतां महाभागां दृष्ट्वोवाच विभीषणः |
मूर्ध्नि बद्धाञ्जलिः श्रीमान्विनीतो राक्षसेश्वरः || ६-११४-९


Then, the glorious Vibhishana the king of demons, after seeing the highly fortunate Seetha, with his palms joined over his head, humbly spoke to her as follows:

दिव्याङ्गरागा वैदेही दिव्याभरणभूषिता |
यानमारोह भद्रं ते भर्ता त्वां द्रष्टुमिच्छति || ६-११४-१०


"O Seetha! Anointed with charming cosmetics and adorned with beautiful jewels if you please, mount on the vehicle. Your husband wants to see you."

However, Seetha could not bear the anxiety and wanted to move on with her life as soon as possible and hence asked Vibhishana to take her to Rama prior to her taking a bath. However, Vibhishana refused saying that it was Rama's order that she mount on the vehicle and come to Rama only after taking a bath:

एवमुक्ता तु वैदेही प्रत्युवाच विभीषणम् |
अस्नाता द्रष्टुमिच्छामि भर्तारं राक्षसाधिप || ६-११४-११


Hearing the words of Vibhishana, replied as follows: "O king of demons! I wish to see my husband, even without taking my bath."

तस्यास्तद्वचनं श्रुत्वा प्रत्युवाच विभीषणः |
यथाहं रामो भर्ता ते तत्तथा कर्तुमर्हसि || ६-११४-१२

Hearing those words of Seetha, Vibhishana replied as follows: "You ought to do the bidding of Rama, your husband, as he has enjoined you to do."

Then she bathed her head, cleansed her body, put on costly robes and adorned her person with jewels. After doing that, she ascended a shining palanquin and was brought to the presence of Rama by Vibhishana:

तस्य तद्वचनं श्रुत्वा मैथिली भ्रातृदेवता |
भर्तृभक्तिव्रता साध्वी तथेति प्रत्यभाषत || ६-११४-१३

Hearing those words of Vibhishana, the virtuous Seetha, regarding her husband as a divinity, endowed as she was with a devotion to her husband, said in reply, "So t be!"

ततः सीतां शिरःस्नातां युवतीभिरलङ्कृताम् |
महार्हाभरणोपेतां महार्हाम्बरधारिणीम् || ६-११४-१४
आरोप्य शिबिकां दीप्तां परार्ध्याम्बरसंवृताम् |
रक्षोभिर्बहुभिर्गुप्तामाजहार विभीषणः || ६-११४-१५

Prevailing upon Seetha to ascend a shining palanquin, covered with an exceedingly valuable cloth and guarded by numerous demons, after she had bathed her head and cleansed her body, had put on costly robes and had been adorned with exceedingly valuable jewels, Vibhishana then brought her to the presence of Rama.

From the three verses above, we find that Seetha follows Rama's instructions and then ascends the palanquin and proceeds towards Rama. However, it seems that the first of the three verses (6-114-13) is a later addition by later poets that wanted to show limitless devotion of Seetha to Rama. The behavior of her in that verse is out of sync with the behavior we have seen ever since the war was won by Rama. When Hanumana asks her to give a message that he will convey to Rama, we don't see any mentions or even the slightest hint of Seetha's patidevata (i.e. regarding husband as a divinity). Nor in that entire section do we see mentions of her bhartribhaktya (i.e. devotion to her husband). Likewise, nor is she likened to a saadhvi (i.e. chaste/virtuous woman). For these reasons, this verse seems like excessive flattery of Seetha's devotion towards Rama by later poets that modified the agnipariksha texts. That being said, lets continue...

After Rama sent Vibhishana to bring Seetha to her, he was absorbed in a deep thought of what he should do next. He continued to be absorbed in this thought even after Seetha had arrived, and hence his attention was not on Seetha when she arrived. For this reason, Vibhishana had to personally go to Rama and let him know that Seetha had arrived:


सोऽभिगम्य महात्मानं ज्ञात्वाभिध्यानमास्थितम् |
प्रणतश्च प्रहृष्टश्च प्राप्तां सीतां न्यवेदयत् || ६-११४-१६


Approaching the great-souled Rama, who was absorbed in thought, even after coming to know that Seetha had arrived, Vibhishana offered his obeisance and with full of great joy, announced to him that Seetha had arrived.

After Vibhishana told him that Seetha had come, he was filled with joy that his beloved wife had come to him after a long time, but was also filled with anger and was miserable because this wife of his had lived in the abode of Ravana as a wife for a long time.

तामागतामुपश्रुत्य रक्षोगृहचिरोषिताम् |
हर्षो दैन्यं च रोषश्च त्रयं राघवमाविशत् || ६-११४-१७


Hearing that Seetha had arrived after living long as a wife of the demon, Rama was filled with joy, anger and felt miserable too all at the same time.

The sanskrit word gRha (गृह) has been translated in the above verse as a wife. However, it can alternatively be translated as "house" as well. So, the verse is essentially saying that Rama felt joy, anger and misery simultaneously, after hearing that Seetha, who lived in the abode of Ravana as a wife, had arrived.

[Note: Some people may say... wait... when did Seetha marry Ravana? To answer these type of questions, I will say that there are many possibilities. First of all, we don't know what transpired in the long time Seetha was in Lanka. Very little about Seetha's lifestyle in Lanka is mentioned in the epic. So it is possible that she married Ravana in the time period between Hanumana meeting Seetha in Lanka and Rama's attack on Lanka. Another possibility is that rumors may have spread that Seetha who was living in Ravana's inner apartments was living with Ravana as a wife. It could also be possible that Rama on his own thought that if Seetha was living in Ravana's inner apartments, she must have married him or have been his mistress. In either case, she would be a wife-like figure to Ravana.]

To Be Continued...

43 comments:

  1. Your post itself states "to be continued..." so, this comment of mine includes not only for this post but also for all your other posts on Ramayan.

    pupils are black. [3-46-18]

    ""Your hips are beamy, thighs burly akin to elephant's trunks, and these two breasts of yours that are ornamented with best jewellery are rotund, rubbing and bumping each other, and they are swinging up and up, their nipples are brawny and jutting out, and they are smoothish like palm-fruits, thus they are covetable for they are beautiful."

    "Oh, allurer, your smile is alluring, teeth are alluring, and your eyes allure, oh, beauty, your waist is palmful, your hair velvety, your breasts are jostling, and you rob my soul as a spate robs riverbank. [3-46-21, 22a]"


    ((if these verses show something its LOL from your side. Ravan in DISGUISE just described the way sita looks. It won't take much time for anyone to describe someone. Who knows Ravn might be just flirting))

    you said:
    This is just your extreme bias here, my friend. The text clearly says that she was perturbed because of love. Love for Lanka? Ok. But what brought about that great love in Lanka? It was obviously Ravana, who brought her to Lanka. I also find it silly on your part that you refrain from commenting on the many verses where she is in grief upon hearing of Ravana's death and how she attributes her kidnap not to Ravana's evilness but to her own bad karma...

    my reply:-
    I have cross- checked the facts, she didn't mourn for Ravan. Ravan in disguise took sita forcibly to Lanka, Kept forcibly in lanka for more than a decade.

    YOu said;
    The distressed time in Lanka made her no longer interested in love? That is utter nonsense. Which person after being kidnapped does not pine for love from their own ones? Furthermore, there is no evidence that she was distressed. She groomed herself well and fed herself well in Lanka. Does a person under distress do that?

    reply:
    doesn't your Ravan scared her with female rakshasas. what's wrong in feeding oneself? Sita was confident that Ram would come for her rescue.

    3) When did I claim it was sexually? It could be emotionally... You just seem ashamed to admit any sexual relationship between Ravana and Seetha... But there is no denying that Ravana had copulated with Seetha on the way to Lanka. There is atleast 5-6 references for it.

    MY reply:-
    I am not ashamed of something never happened. who was the rider of the chariot? did you forget the fight scene between Ravan and jatayu. is this what a King does? showing his prowess on a bird? there's no time for the rubbish you claimed.

    you said:_

    Also, was Seetha a granny? No. She was still quite youthful and attractive, just like Ravana. So a sexual relationship is quite possible, as occurs during love between young ones.

    my reply:-
    maybe your over-thinking, but that's not possible.

    (about painting from 100BCE):-
    why don't look at Ravan instead? was he like Prince-charming for any woman to get attracted at an insatnt? LMAO. when hanuman sees beautiful women of Ravan in lanka, he describes their beauty. Does that mean they were looking at him? After seeing the pic you posted I'm sure he might have taken them forcefully and who knows he might be raping them.LOL

    a few more for you,
    1)Mehanath was more skillful than Ravan
    2)Ravan flew off from the battle-field
    3)Ravan was a weakling compared to Vali

    i'm expecting some straight-forward verses for your claims next time. Don't bring your over-thinking, self-interpretations. Take your time, make a proper response.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lets address your points one by one...

      You said:

      ((if these verses show something its LOL from your side. Ravan in DISGUISE just described the way sita looks. It won't take much time for anyone to describe someone. Who knows Ravn might be just flirting))

      My reply:

      Yes he described how Seetha looks. But what is your point? What was she doing that her breasts were swinging up and up? How much of her thighs did she expose, that he could compare them to the trunk of an elephant? Some points to ponder upon...

      You said:

      I have cross- checked the facts, she didn't mourn for Ravan. Ravan in disguise took sita forcibly to Lanka, Kept forcibly in lanka for more than a decade.

      My reply:

      Maybe you should read the text once more. If you still don't notice something you are quite blind... Yes Ravana did kidnap her forcibly. But how long does it change for opinions to change? After the war was over, why does Seetha defend Ravana's act of kidnapping her by attributing it to her previous bad karma? If you read the sections where she is being kidnapped, Seetha only blames Ravana, not herself. Why is she blaming Ravana now after his death?

      Also, why is she trying to hide her feelings. I gave verses for that above. Why is she still crying and in fear after finding out Rama killed Ravana. You did not address any of these points.

      You said:

      doesn't your Ravan scared her with female rakshasas. what's wrong in feeding oneself? Sita was confident that Ram would come for her rescue.

      My reply:

      Why are you addressing him as "my Ravana"? Your hatred for Ravana and your desperate attempt to insult me is evident through your words. Ravana never asked Rakshasiis to scare Seetha. He asked them to protect her, and the worst they did is scold her. If Seetha was treated badly by the rakshasiis, why would she decide to spare them after the war, when Hanumana expressed the desire to kill them?

      You said:

      I am not ashamed of something never happened. who was the rider of the chariot? did you forget the fight scene between Ravan and jatayu. is this what a King does? showing his prowess on a bird? there's no time for the rubbish you claimed.

      My reply:

      I have always maintained that kidnapping Seetha was a stupid thing to do. He should have attacked and killed Rama/Lakshmana and then went for Seetha...

      Now if Jatayu decides to attack, Ravana has all the right to defend himself. Seetha even told Jatayu to not attack Ravana, but Jatayu wanted to play "hero", so he fought and got killed by the stronger Ravana.

      You said:

      (about painting from 100BCE):-
      why don't look at Ravan instead? was he like Prince-charming for any woman to get attracted at an insatnt? LMAO. when hanuman sees beautiful women of Ravan in lanka, he describes their beauty. Does that mean they were looking at him? After seeing the pic you posted I'm sure he might have taken them forcefully and who knows he might be raping them.LOL

      My reply:

      First of all, it seems your brain is on idle mode... Or maybe you have not read Ramayana at all? Did you forget Valmiki's racism in describing the Rakshasas and how he stressed that Ravana was the villain? Under such cirumstances, isnt it natural for later generations to depict Ravana in that way? The purpose of that picture I posted was just to show the clothing in Ramayana time. So please read posts before commenting on them.

      If you have read Valmiki Ramayana then you should know how many women were attracted to him. Read Sundara Kanda sections 9-12 for a start...

      As for Hanumana, no the rakshasiis were not looking at him. But how is that relevant? He described them in the lusty manner he did because they were naked and were having sex in Ravana's harem.

      I suggest you please read Valmiki Ramayana first.

      Delete

    2. You said:

      a few more for you,
      1)Mehanath was more skillful than Ravan
      2)Ravan flew off from the battle-field
      3)Ravan was a weakling compared to Vali

      My reply:

      1) That is not true. What were Megnath's accomplishments apart from capturing Indra? Ravana on the other hand led his army in many victorious wars... Furthermore, Ravana broke Rama's confidence in the final fight. Nothing like that can be attributed to Indrajita though.

      2) Ravana fleeing from the battlefield are interpolations by later poets. I will show that in a future post on Ravana's death. Even after Ravana's death, Rama says that Ravana fought till the end. Now why would he say this if Ravana had fled? Again, as I said, wait for me to make a post on this.

      3) This gave me a good laugh... Post the text where he is shown to be inferior to Vali.

      You said:

      i'm expecting some straight-forward verses for your claims next time. Don't bring your over-thinking, self-interpretations. Take your time, make a proper response.

      My reply:

      I did take time. I think you got upset when I called you biased though...

      Delete
    3. Let's look at your statements,

      1) swinging up and up could mean Sita was moving faster or can be just taken as a poetic reference.

      2) after ravan's death, Sita blames her Karma. HaHa! feelings for Ravan. it's hilarious!

      3)When did I insult you? I called Ravana as "your Ravan" since you're a fan of Ravana. rakshasis scold Sita for which purpose? you know it well. scold is a small word though , we can replace with "shouting and scaring". This is pointless, just because someone scolds, scares, shout and display a bad behaviour, the punishment can't be death. So Sita did'nt want to kill those rakshasis.

      4) maybe Ravan was weaker at that time to go on for a 2 on 1 match and hence displayed frustration on jatayu. This wouls be a proper interpretation.


      5)ok. it was for clothing during the time of epics.
      valmiki was racisist? i don't think so. He just described the way they look. ravana was black in complexion. so are you expecting valmiki to write it as fair and prince charming?

      Delete
    4. 6)Mehanath was a trickster. He had power of magic and capable of doing illusions. Meghanath broke Raama's confidence by showing a fake image of Sita. He was skillful at arrows, swods. captured Indra too.

      7)8)Ok. i'll wait for that and yes, it's not from Valmiki Ramayan, but i have seen that in an article in the internet.

      Delete
    5. 1) What was Seetha doing that her breasts were swinging? I don't expect her to be running a marathon at that moment :P

      2) Why not? When do you defend your kidnapper's actions? When you feel something on an emotional level for him, right?

      3) They never scared Seetha. The sanskrit word used refers to scolding, anyways. They scolded her, like a friend/well wisher would to give some good advice. Yes, punishment is not always death. But Seetha refused to give any punishment. She let them go free. Why?

      4) No. Actually, Ravana kidnapped Seetha because Seetha provoked him by attacking his ego. One of the reasons Ravana kidnapped her was to show her that Rama is nothing as a warrior before him, and to break Seetha's pride/arrogance/ego. It was a bad, unplanned decision. To think that an accomplished emperor is scared of a small time exiled prince is simply hilarious.

      5) Since when does dark skinned mean ugly? There are very beautiful people with dark complexion. But just see the way Valmiki describes the female rakshasiis. See his descriptions of Shurpanakha and Ayomukhi for a start. Read this post:

      https://ancientbharatvarsha.blogspot.ca/2016/11/the-affair-of-rama-and-lakshmana-with.html

      6) Since when is maya in war not allowed? It is an art, and countering it is also an art. Arjuna used sonic archery in mahabharatha to counter chitrasena's maya. Meganatha did not break Rama's confidence in actual war.

      Delete
    6. 1)it's just a petic guesture made by valmiki. Considering Ramayan happened in 5000 BC and valmiki wrote it in 400 BC, it would certainly be meant to describe the beauty of Sita.

      2)could be of her deep remorse!

      3)Sita might have thought those rakshasis don't deserve any punishment as War is over. The knig (ravana) was dead.

      4) can raavan win a 2 on 1 battle with both Ram and Laxman?

      Delete
    7. regarding "myth of vishvaroop":-

      a)Mahabarata was subjected to interpolations, gita might have been subjected to very few. Ok. anyways, what are interpolations according to you?

      b)The revival of parikshit scene says something extraordinary of Krishna. The same was the case of Ahalya, when Ram restored her life back.

      c)why did you change vlmikiramayan.net to www.valmiki.iitk.ac.in? Have you read ramayan from this site too? if so,which seemed more authentic?

      d)isn't there any critical edition available for Ramayan?

      Delete
    8. 1) It was not a gesture made by Valmiki. It was written in the narrative of Ravana not Valmiki. Also, we dont know the exact year when the epic took place.

      2) Her deep remorse for what? If it is remorse for her being kidnapped, why do we not see such remorse when she is being kidnapped. During her kidnap, she puts the blame for the kidnap entirely on Ravana, not on her own actions.

      3) Yes, Ravana was dead. But if they tortured her, why would she spare them? If they tortured her, they would be equal in crimes to Ravana, right? So why spare them?

      4) Yes he can

      a) How can you just claim that gita was subject to less interpolations. Bhagavad Gita is an important scripture and such scriptures are prone to adulterations over time, sometimes for political purposes. If mahabharatha has interpolations then so does bhagavad gita as bhagavad gita is a part of mahabharatha. An interpolation is any verse added by later poets to the epic.

      b) Do you seriously believe that Krishna revived Parikshit? Just read the section and you will see a high dose of bhakti in it, as is common in interpolated text... The story goes like this. Ashwatthama directs the astra on uttara's womb and it enters her womb and stays there for 9 months till her delivery. Then Krishna revives Parikshit during the delivery. If this happened, Parikshit would have died long back, before the delivery...

      c) The verses I quoted are also on valmikiramayan.net. I used the other site as I like their translations better. They are less biased.

      d) Yes, but it is in sanskrit. There is no english translation.

      Delete
    9. 1)Ok. It was from ravan's narrative and valmiki didn't witness the scene. So, why can't it just be a symbolism of Ravan's lust? We don't have exact timeline of epics. But there's approximate estimation of them. Check this link:-

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Hindu_texts

      2)When some stranger tries to kidnap you, will you go willingly? -No
      She blames her karma after the war because there would be no point in still showing hatred for Ravan (as he is dead)

      3)Just give a death sentence for rakshasis because they scared and scolded her(Sita) would be inappropriate. rakshasis never hurted her physically.

      a) Yes, Gita is a chapter in Mahabharatha. I'm saying gita is subjected to very less interpolations. why not compare Gita in some websites (excluding ISKCON's) with BORI and see the differences?

      b)If parikshit was not revived, there would be no janamejaya, no takshsak, no Epic narration. Then what about Rama changing ahalya from stone to human.

      c)Oh ok.

      d) Ok.

      Delete
    10. 1) If you see a person of the other gender and get attracted do you start describing the beauty of body parts you can see or those you cannot see? And yes Ramayana is around 400 bce, but we cannot say when the war happened. The epic was just penned down in 400 bce.

      2) If she was kidnapped against her wish we should see her anger for ravana during the kidnap and even after the kidnap. How many rape victims forgive their rapists after the death of the rapist? I dont see any reason for her to forgive ravana after his death if he was torturing her in Lanka... People dont forgive that easily. And Seetha was not really a forgiving lady. She wished the destruction of the entire Lanka for the mistake of one Ravana.

      Also when does a rape victim blame their own karma for their rape? Please provide me with an example.

      3) But didnt you earlier say they tortured Seetha? From my reading, they just scolded Seetha, but nevertheless were Seetha's friends. Thats why she created an excuse in front of Ravana to spare them...

      a) Gita is a part of BORI. BORI has attempted to remove some interpolations in Gita.

      b) There is a narrative in udyoga parva about pandavas being grandfathers. So possibly parikshit was born before the war? Ahalya turning into stone is merely symbolism, dont take it literally...

      Delete
    11. 1)" If you see a person of the other gender and get attracted do you start describing the beauty of body parts you can see or those you cannot see?" Is this symbolism of Ravan's lust or X-ray vision?

      Indian Scholars estimate Ramayan to be around 5000 BC and Mahabharatha around 3000 BC.

      2)((I dont see any reason for her to forgive ravana after his death if he was torturing her in Lanka... People dont forgive that easily. And Seetha was not really a forgiving lady.))

      see, you are just making a personality sketch of Sita. There are no historical records of Sita and you were'nt there during the time of the epic. How can you read Sita's mind?


      3)When Rama goes into Ahalya's hermitage, she regains herself from invisibility. what kind of sybolism is that?

      4)How can pandavas be grand-fathers before udyoga-parva? it's illogical. Even if you go by that, Then who was born to uttara after the attack of brahmaastra on uttara's womb?

      Delete
    12. If possible, can you provide me the link for critical edition of Ramayana?

      Delete
    13. 1) It is Ravana's lust, not X ray vision LOL. There is barely a 100 yr gap between the epic. So those dates are not correct. When Sahadeva went for his digvijaya in the south direction, he encountered mainda, dwivida, and vibhishana.

      2) We can learn about the personality of a character from her actions and thoughts throughout the epic. True I did not live in her time, but I do have the Ramayana texts to refer to for her personality...

      3) Her turning invisible is symbolism for her husband not considering her a wife till Rama comes to her.

      4) Pandavas are grandfathers in udyoga parva because there is a narrative calling them grandfathers. Nobody was born to uttaraa after the war. There was no brahmastra attack on uttaraa's womb.

      Here is a link to the critical edition of Ramayana (in sanskrit):

      http://sanskritdocuments.org/mirrors/ramayana/valmiki.htm

      Delete
    14. Characters of Ramayana overlapping with Mahabharath? Does BORI support this?

      ((Nobody was born to uttaraa after the war. There was no brahmastra attack on uttaraa's womb))

      According to BORI, ashwathamma kills upapandavas, then a fight broke out between Arjun and Ashwathamma. Both launch brahmastras.But, Ashwathamma directs brahmastra towards uttara womb and later gets cursed for 3000 years.

      Delete
    15. Yes BORI supports characters of Ramayana overlapping with Mahabharatha.

      Yes Arjuna and Ashwatthama likely had a fight. But I consider him directing the brahmastra towards Uttaraa's womb a later addition to the epic. Ashwatthama was no match for Arjuna and likely defeated by him easily, and then captured and brought to Draupadi!

      Delete
    16. There's only vibhisana though in BORI vol-2, Pg:123.
      There's no dwivida and mainda

      Delete
    17. And vibhisana was believed to be one of the seven chiranjeevis, who can live long.

      Delete
    18. Ok. Mainda and Dwivida are not in BORI. So how does that make any difference? BORI too has its limitations and its purpose is not to remove interpolations. Its purpose is to create a version most similar to all the other versions present... Unless you provide a logical reason (i.e. based on textual evidence) why Mainda and Dwivida are interpolations, I am not inclined to believe what you say.

      Also chiranjeevi means one who lives long. It does not mean immortal. I we take the normal age of a human as 100 max, would a chiranjeevi be 150 max? I dont think a human living over 1000 yrs is logical. It is not supported by science.

      Also, Bharadwaja (Dronas father) is also mentioned in Ramayana. In fact, on the way back to Ayodhya Rama meets Bharadwaja. Furthermore, Bhima meets Janaka (father of Seetha) in the digvijaya:

      BORI CE - Sabha Parva Section 27:

      The lord, tiger
      among men, used conciliation, without the need for terrible deeds, to win over the Sharmakas
      and the Varmakasa and King Janaka of Videha, the lord of the earth.

      This is also in KMG.

      Delete
    19. Even I said chiranjeevi meant living long. I never said it meant immortal. If you want mainda and dwaivida were present. I don't think every character in Ramayana made it to Mahabharath. Well, we didn't find evidence of Sita, Ram, Laxman in Mahabharath,did we?

      Ok. Bharadvaj, janaka were overlapped too.

      You said:
      (( I dont think a human living over 1000 yrs is logical. It is not supported by science. ))

      My reply,
      Seriously? This gave me a good laugh. 'Science and logics' in epics?
      The nuclear warfare too seems illogical then or we've to take the war scenes less destructive or characters in epics to be unreal

      Delete
    20. We dont find evidence of Seetha, Rama and Lakshmana in Mahabharatha because they died off shortly after the war. According to Uttara Kanda (which itself might be an interpolation, nevertheless I will consider it) after Rama found out about Seetha's pregnancy, he exiled her and then later jumped in a body of water and drowned to death.

      I agree that alot of times it does not seem like there is logic in mahabharatha, but that is only if you read the epic as if the person who wrote it wrote the absolute truth. Mahabharatha is the history of the ruling class, and such propaganda is common among the rulers to subjugate the masses.

      As for nuclear warfare, there was none in mahabharatha. The war was still quite destructive as it involved huge armies...

      Delete
    21. The warfare was nuclear

      https://mdaily.bhaskar.com/news/JM-RIT-nuclear-weapons-in-mythology-5477656-PHO.html?seq=3

      The astras could be crafted by the characters in the epics.

      I think the war might not have involved 1-2 billion warriors, but somewhere in lakhs (possibly)?

      Delete
    22. That link is not working. Maybe you were referring to this:

      http://daily.bhaskar.com/news/JM-RIT-nuclear-weapons-in-mythology-5477656-PHO.html

      The verses they use to claim that nuclear weapons were used in the kurukshetra war are not present in KMG mahabharatha.

      Stri parva (in kmg) says that 1.66 billion people died in the war. I don't know if the verse is retained in BORI or not. But anyways, the warriors in the war included warriors all the way from the mleecha lands in the west to china and russia in the east.

      Delete
    23. Yes, your link is correct.

      The weaponary can't be scalar because the weapon gets fuelled by the combination of set of mantras.
      In such case, anyone can learn a brahmastra mantra. Even in the battlefield. Even, Soldiers can learn the most deadly astras.

      Even, Greece was included. It wasn't a world war, but might be a war in India.

      Delete
    24. No, anyone cannot learn the mantras because it takes practice to master the frequency of the sound used in the mantra. That is not possible to do without a good teacher.

      Yes, it was not a world war, but included many territories outside of India.

      Delete
    25. The records of war were found only in India, even meghasthenes wrote Chandra Gupta to be 138th in the lineage of Sri Krishna.
      Even there are no mantras of astras in vedas. no records of the war were found outside India.
      This challenges people whether to believe the war happened really or not.

      Delete
    26. Yes, that is true. The was was only mentioned in India. But the destruction was so vast that entire nation populations were wiped out. If that is the case, I dont expect to find records from such areas.

      Megasthenes does not mention the name Krishna. He uses the name Heracles instead, so we dont know for sure if he is talking about Krishna or someone else.

      Delete
    27. Yes, meghasthenes describes two Indian deities under the names of Dionysus and Herakles.

      These sound like Greek. I really doubt anyone really worshipped these deities. Maybe meghasthenes was referring to some other God or perhaps there could be some falsehood in his writings.

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  2. Well said. Many things written in epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata have a symbolic meaning behind them. They meant to be read symbolically rather than literally. As far as Sita's AgniPariksha is concerned, it is one of the biggest interpolations to portray her chaste and devote wife in text Ramayana. And like u said feminists also use this myth to criticize Ram for questioning her chastity and abounding her and blame mail dominated society for everything .We all know that after winning the war, Ram brought Sita to Ayodhya. Later many people were rumoring that Sita was unchaste as she had spent a year in Ravana' Lanka. Following this incident, Ram abandoned Site, she had to left Ayodya and take a Exile in Forest. So the further generation including you and I wouldn’t question on Sita chastity as many people did at that time, writers loyal to Ram made a fake story of Agni Pariksha to portray her image as devote wife. First they said Ravana had a curse if he touch any women against her will , he would be burned on the spot then they added , real Sita was under a protection of Agni dev and Ravana was abducted her mirror image. Today in 21th Century we know that it is not possible. Mirror image is a reflected duplication of an object and it cannot be separated from us. But people in old days were blind religious fanatics, feudal minded and superstitious thus they easily believed in this myth of Agni Pariksha

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I agree with most of what you said. It is actually funny to see how people can totally disregard logic and make statements like Ravana kidnapped Maya Seetha or that he never touched Seetha when kidnapping her... Even the kidnap sequence mentions Ravana having sex with her.

      I consider the entire uttara kanda an interpolation, so I dont think Rama ever exiled her when she was pregnant.

      Also, as I will show in this article, Rama abandoning Seetha (prior to agnipariksha) is not an interpolation, but the arrival of gods during the agnipariksha definitely is. Rama abandoning Seetha definitely did happen, if you look in context of the few sections prior to him abandoning her. He realized she had emotional feelings for Ravana, and hence abandoned her...

      The agnipariksha just shows that Seetha was not chaste, if you read it carefully. After Rama abandons Seetha because he accuses her of having sex with Ravana when she was being kidnapped on Ravana's lap, Seetha does not say that this is not true. Instead, she first tries to blackmail Rama by saying that he did not understand her after many years of their marriage. She then goes on to say that whatever Ravana did to her was against her will and she was helpless, thus implying that Ravana did have sex with her... I guess people don't read the text carefully to see the hidden meanings behind the actions of the characters...

      This post will take a while to complete though!

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  3. Hi Milin - I really enjoyed reading this article. Your writing is very insightful. I am eagerly waiting for your next posts on Seetha-Lakshmana relationship and further evidence of Seetha's love for Ravana on her way back to Ayodhya. Please post soon.

    Also, if you have any angles on Seetha's sons - Lav and Kush, I'd love to read.

    Thanks.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. Nowadays I remain quite busy, hence it will take a while for me to continue and finish this long post. But I do plan to eventually finish it!

      Yes, I will also post on the Seetha-Lakshmana relationship and about Seetha's love for Ravana.

      Here are a few verses that show Seetha's reaction on the way back to Ayodhya. When boarding the Pushpaka Vimana, Rama places Seetha on his lap and Seetha is very embarrassed:

      अङ्केनादाय वैदेहीं लज्जमानां यशस्विनीम् |
      लक्ष्मणेन सह भ्रात्रा विक्रान्तेन धनुष्मता || ६-१२२-१२

      He mounted the aerial car along with Lakshmana, his valiant brother wielding a bow and taking the illustrious Seetha, who was feeling embarrassed, in his lap.

      [Seetha was not a woman to be embarassed when intimate with her husband in front of the public. In fact, after Rama killed Khara and Dushana, she gave him a hug in front of Lakshmana and all the many brahmins present in the area (including Rishi Agastya)]

      Then Rama boards the Vimana and takes Seetha on his lap. He then talks about how he killed Ravana and his army. Hearing that, Seetha enters a state of panic/fear due to her love for Ravana (i.e. she did not want to hear about Ravana's death, nor did she want Rama to get intimate with her). So she then asks Rama if he can take the female Vanaras of Kishkindha also with her to Ayodhya, on the Vimana. When saying that she hoped that Rama would stop being intimate with her atleast in the presence of all these female Vanaras:

      अथ दृष्ट्वा पुरीं सीता किष्किन्धां वालिपालिताम् || ६-१२३-२३
      अब्रवीत्प्रश्रितं वाक्यं रामं प्रणयसाध्वसा |

      Seeing the City of Kishkindha, which was earlier ruled by Vali, Seetha, who was in a state of fear due to love, then spoke the following courteous words to Rama.

      सुग्रीवप्रियभार्याभिस्ताराप्रमुखातो नृप || ६-१२३-२४
      अन्येषां वानरेन्द्राणां स्त्रीभिः परिवृता ह्यहम् |
      गन्तुमिच्छे सहायोध्यां राजधानीं त्वया सह || ६-१२३-२५

      "O king! I wish to reach the capital City of Ayodhya along with you, accompanied by the wives of other monkey-chiefs with Tara and other beloved wives of Sugreeva."

      Luv and Kush are mentioned in Uttara Kanda, which has been showed by some scholars to be an interpolation in its entirety... But if we do analyze the Uttara Kanda, it would be evident that the reason Rama exiled Seetha was that he found out that she was pregnant. He was simply not happy from within, hearing of her pregnancy... The dhobi doubting Seetha's chastity is simply a cover up of the true story! What is interesting to note is that Rama does not tell Seetha that he is exiling her. He simply tells her that Lakshmana is taking her to different ashramas so that she can enjoy life there for a while (as she enjoyed forest life). She was under the impression that Lakshmana would take her back to Ayodhya afterwards... But Lakshmana was the one who eventually broke the bubble when at Valmiki's ashrama and told her that Rama had abandoned her... So, I see Rama's decision as more of a punishment to Seetha than a kingly duty...

      The punishment was associated with Seetha's pregnancy, suggesting the possibility that Luva and Kusha are not Rama's children... Either Ravana or Hanumana fathered them!

      And yes, Hanumana did have sex with Seetha in Lanka. He even raped some female Rakshasiis in Lanka. I will dedicate a few separate posts to talk about this!

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    2. Wow, this is all so mind boggling to me. Thanks so much for your reply and comment Milin. I am really stunned to read all this (in a pleasantly surprising way !).

      I understand that you are very busy, but please please do post more as soon as you are able to. I will look forward to reading your posts and comments.

      As a child, I used to watch Ramanand Sagar's Ramayana TV serial and even read Amar Chitra Katha, etc. They used to present Ramayana in such an idealistic manner and in such a pure manner that I later started doubting when I grew-up that how can people and situations in Ramayan be sure pure? When something is too good to be true, it probably isn't true. The society's presentation of Ramayana was/is so much against basic human nature. I understand that the characters are more spiritually evolved than us, but to be so against basic instincts is just unbelievable. Now, I know that it is all a facade.

      Your writing is very refreshing. Thank you so much.

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    3. Yes, I will post more as time permits. Thanks for your interest... I started this blog because there are facts like these that nobody likes to talk about... Wendy Doniger talked a bit about it in her book, but most Hindus don't consider her an authority on Hinduism or Ramayana.

      I also used to watch the Ramayana TV serial, but from reading the actual epic, one can see the extent of disinformation it spreads... Especially the concept of chastity... Chastity is more of a medival phenomenon, due to islamic invasions. Prior to that, Indian women did not care much for chastity. In 305 BCE, Megasthenes says that post-marriage, the majority of Indian women would prostitute their bodies! This was in the prosperous Mauryan Empire.

      As I will show by the end of this article, the agnipariksha has been greatly misinterpreted to show that Seetha was a chaste woman. Her behavior in the agnipariksha sequence itself shows that she did have sex with Ravana at the very minimum!

      The reason I like epics like Mahabharatha and Ramayana is that they teach a lot about human behavior and politics... These epics were never meant to teach us about morals... Neither Rama nor Ravana were saints...

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  4. I like it that not only do you present the facts, but you are providing Sanskrit verses and translations to support, as well as the website links as source.

    I too agree with your last comment. Imposing restrictions on basic human nature is only going to lead to hypocrisy, injustice, suppression of natural desires, and all the criminality that follows. What is sad is, such stupid moral values are not even original Indian values, they were imposed as a result of foreign invasions on India. But, today, it sells as authentic Indian culture.

    Thanks for the blog and your replies to me.

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  5. Nice Post & Good article.
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  6. excellent write up and thought process..

    i read your few verses which says ravana had sex with seeta while kidnap..

    is it so? what verses say?

    is hanuman sex with sita? how it is poosible?

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    1. Aranya Kanda Sections 49-56 talk about Ravana having sex with Seetha. As for Hanumana, I am currently creating a post on that...

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    2. i will read that..thank you..

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    3. You might find my latest post about the sexuality politics of Seetha in her kidnap interesting. It also talks about Ravana and Seetha having sex. Here is the link to it if you are interested:

      http://ancientbharatvarsha.blogspot.ca/2017/12/seethas-kidnap-and-associated-sexuality.html

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  7. Hey Milin - I am very excited to share Valmiki Ramayan yuddh kand verse 113.3 with you (my re-studying of it and interpretation of it). I want to run this comment by you and see what you think.

    Before I give my interpretation on this verse, I will lay out the following background -

    1) After Ravan is killed, all his consorts run out of the harem, on foot, and go to the battlefield, but not Sita. It is understandable, because it is Ram who killed Ravan and because she may or may not have officially been a wife of Ravan. But, the point to make is - Ravan's wives walked to where Ravan was.

    2) When Vibhishan brings Sita to where Ram is, she is brought in a palaquin, heavily guarded. Ram expresses displeasure about it. He asks Sita to be brought to him, then. Vibhishan starts dispersing the monkeys and the crowd, so people would not get a clear look at Sita. Ram does not like that either. He argues that a woman's shield should be her character, not external protection, plus she is in distress. So, vibhishan stops dispersing the crowd and Sita walks out of the palaquin in plain sight of people, to meet Ram.

    3) Sita, when standing in front of Ram, is bashful/shy and folds her body with her limbs (arms). Why bashful? Why cover her body in front of Ram?

    4) When Ram starts speaking to Sita, in a cold and rejecting manner, it is said that his heart is torn out of fear of public scandal. What public scandal is he fearing? He rescued his wife who was kidnapped forcibly. Even if Sita went willfully with Ravan to Lanka, it is still not a cause for public scandal. As Ram himself says to Sita - he fought the war to preserve his honor and that of his lineage. Now, Sita can go about her way. No need for the public of Ayodhya to be alarmed or create a scandal.

    But, what if Sita was pregnant (by Ravan)? And, she claimed her right to be the queen of Ayodhya after they go back to Ayodhya. Would the people of Ayodhya accept a demon's son to be the heir to the throne of Ayodhya? Ram may have received some indication of Sita's pregnancy before she was brought in front of her. Vibhishan must have realized the sensitivity of this issue, hence did what he could to make sure the monkeys and others don't see Sita in clear view.

    During the procession of Ram (as king of Ayodhya), it is said that Sita was not part of the procession and not sitting in the chariot with Ram. Bharat was sitting in Ram's lap. In my opinion, it must have been Mandavi (Bharat's wife) sitting in Ram's lap. It must have been decided that Mandavi would continue in her role as the queen of Ayodhya. It would be palatable for the people of Ayodhya to accept Ram-Mandavi's son as heir to the throne, or the son of Mandavi and an elevated Brahmin invited by Ram to make Mandavi pregnant.

    Now for my translation of 113.3 -

    (Hanuman) entered (garden of harem) per regulations, perceived Sita as carrying/bearing (Hari), saw her face devoid of delight, her curve (anka) as if inflammated (Rohini). The 'anka' refers to the curve/waist of a woman, ie -> Sita's stomach was inflated.

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    1. Rohit,

      Very nice interpretation. I agree with your translation of the verse. It would suggest that she may have been pregnant, however since Ramayana ends with Yuddha Kanda (Uttara Kanda has been shown to be a later addition), we don't really know what happened to her after she returned to Lanka. But I infer, considering Rama's patriarchal mindset, that he would not have been too pleased...

      I just made a post on Seetha's kidnap and the associated sexuality politics yesterday. Here is the link to it, just in case you are interested:

      http://ancientbharatvarsha.blogspot.ca/2017/12/seethas-kidnap-and-associated-sexuality.html

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    2. Thank you Milin for your affirmation. Thanks so much for the new blog article on Sita, I took a very quick glance at it, it maybe the best article you have written to daate, but I will read it carefully over the next few days. You write very well with good proofs and explanations, thanks to you that I have come to know about the secrets of Ramayan.

      In Valmiki Ramayan, there are plenty of hints to completely contradict and shock the understanding of Sita by the general public, yet nobody cares to actually read the Ramayan and BS is fed and BS continues.

      There are hints given about Sita's deceit in having Ram and Lakshman go into the forest for the deer, Sita wanting Ravan to come see her alone in the hut, she exposes and flaunts her body to Ravan in the hut, they have foreplay and sex on route to Lanka, there are some hints to show that Sita is Ravan's daughter and they know it too, finally she is impregnated by Ravan.

      I know that you don't believe in Uttar kand's authenticity, but I have my theory that Luv and Kush are Sita and Valmiki's children, with Lavanasur being Sita and Ravan's son that the people of Ayodhya could not accept as the heir to the throne, and rightly so.

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