Do we need to celebrate DeepavaliÉ [PART:03]

 Deify Rama as a God? 

Rama is the hero of the Ramayana and as Valmiki saw something extraordinary in Rama  he undertook to compose the Ramayana.The story of the Ramayana is very  simple and there is nothing in this story to make Rama the object of worship ,But He is only a dutiful son.However,Rama is  believed as the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu by Hindus and he is considered to be the perfect embodiment of dharma (righteousness), virtue and strength and is also considered to be the ideal man.But,is Rama a worthy personality of deification? Let those who accept him as an object of worship as a God consider the following facts:Rama was non monogamy. Valmiki refers to the many wives of Rama. These were of course in addition to his many concubines as below:

Valmiki Ramayana (2-8-12)/(Ayodhya Kanda Chapter 8 Sloka 12)
हृष्टाः खलु भविष्यन्ति रामस्य परमाः स्त्रियः |
अप्रहृष्टा भविष्यन्ति स्नुषास्ते भरतक्षये ||
"Rama's wives will get delighted. Your daughters-in-law will be unhappy because of Bharata's waning position."The words ‘Rama’s wives’ here do indicate that Rama had multiple wives.
Similarly Dasharadha (Rama's father) had 3 dharmpatnis but 350 wives(2-34-13)
अर्ध सप्त शताः ताः तु प्रमदाः ताम्र लोचनाः |
कौसल्याम् परिवार्य अथ शनैः जग्मुर् धृत व्रताः || २-३४-१३
"Encircling Kausalya, three hundred fifty women, steadfast in their vow(of devotion to their husband), with their eyes reddened, went there slowly."
In this he was the true son of his nominal father Dasharatha who had not only the three wives referred  but many others.In speaking of him as an individual,We can  refer atleast three incidents - one relating to his treatment of Vali ,second relating to his treatment of his own wife Sita and other  
relating to his treatment of Sambuka.

To retrieve his wife from  Ravana, Rama sought the help of Sugriva and Hanuman,But ,Before helping Rama,they made Rama to conceal himself behind a tree and then shoot with arrow  Sugriva's

own twin brother,Vali in the back and only then  they helped god Rama How can a "god" indulge in such a criminal act for personal gain?Being Maryada Purushatam, he should not have done this. Again he killed him when he was engaged in a fight with some one else. The reason for killing Bali was just to get help of Sugriva to conquer Lanka. This is a coward. 

This murder of Vali is the greatest blot on the character of Rama. It was a crime which was thoroughly unprovoked, for Vali had no quarrel with Rama. It was a most cowardly act, for Vali was unarmed. It was a planned and premeditated murder. Maryada has several layers of meanings but loosely it translates to "propriety of conduct" or  
noblest tradition of that time.

He is called Purushottam (peerless among men) in propriety of conduct precisely because he stuck to it all through his life.
  If we see this situation from this view,it is definitely a wrong deed and He was far from the ‘Maryada Purushottam’[ (मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम)] !
When it came to his beautiful wife,Sita, who was coveted by others, Ram was suspicious. He portrayed sinister thoughts, yet had tears in his eyes. An interesting point to note: Rama freed Ahalya from her curse for adultery,The most striking proof is at the end of Yuddha Kanda where just after the battle,The first thing Rama does was crowned Ravana's  younger brother Vibhishana as the king of Lanka,who freely divulged many secrets that became key to the success of Rama's attack and it was after the coronation that he sends Hanuman to Sita to inform her that he have killed Ravana. Even when the coronation was over he did not go himself but he sent Hanuman only And what was the message he sent him with? He did not ask Hanuman to bring her. He asked him to inform her that he was healthy and strong. It was Sita who expressed to Hanuman her desire to see Rama. Rama did not go to see Sita, his own wife who was kidnapped and confined by Ravana for more than 10 months. Sita went to him and what did Rama say to Sita when he saw her? It would be difficult to believe any man with ordinary human kindness could address his wife in such dire distress as Rama did to Sita when he met her at Lanka if there was not the direct authority of Valmiki. This is how Rama addressed her: "I have got you as a prize in a war after conquering my
enemy, your captor. I have recovered my honour and punished my enemy. People have witnessed my military powers and I am glad my labours have been rewarded. I came here to kill Ravana and wash off the dishonour. I did not take this trouble for your sake."Could there be anything more cruel than this conduct of Rama towards Sita? He does not stop there. He proceeded to tell her:"I suspect your conduct. You must have been spoiled by Ravana. Your very sight is revolting to me. Oh you daughter of Janaka! I allow you to go anywhere you like. I have nothing to do with you. I conquered you back and I am content for that was my object. I cannot think that Ravana would have failed to enjoy a woman as beautiful as you are."Sita went through the Agni Pariksha(an ordeal of fire) as she understood Ram's struggle.It is then that Rama agrees to take her back to Ayodhya and It is recorded by Valmiki in his Ramayana that some days after the coronation of Rama and Sita as king and queen in Ayodhya, Sita conceived.But,it soon became evident that some people[particularly a washer-man] in Ayodhya could not accept Sita's long captivity under the power of Ravana, spread rumors of Sita's sexual infidelity with her former captor Ravana and blamed Rama for taking such a woman back as his wife.To get rid of this malicious gossip,He simply abandon her, a woman in a somewhat advanced state of pregnancy in a jungle alone- in a most treacherous manner,even  without considering whether the way was fair or foul.How can a man become so cruel towards his wife that he sends her to live in a forest alone,after her purity was questioned by a washerman of his kingdom?.The life of Sita simply did not count. What counted was his own personal name and fame. He of course does not take the manly course of defending his wife and stopping the gossip, which as a king he could have done and which as a husband who was convinced of his wife's innocence he was supposed to do.
part :04 will be next week....

[By Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]


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