Sunday, April 17, 2011

The political genius of Sri Rama - Part 5

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Continued from Part 4

Journey of Sri Raama during his exile

This the peak of Rama's life. Thereafter there is a steady decline of his moral stature due to over-insistence on word of Law (dharma) and than spirit of law (Dharma). The agni pariksha, abandonment of seeta while she is pregnant (at age of 42). Yet he ruled for 31 years (36 to 77) and created a Raam-rajya and a new order in which all the power centres from AFG to SL were woven in common thread of interest and peace. 

One can say, Raama created a first "common market" in India by linking all the small-big power centres across the length and bredth of subcontinent. He renovated Dakshinapatha (the road linking Deccan and NI). the internicine rivalries between the river basins stopped for long time. Even during MBH time, the rivalries were not based on riverbasins and geography but between the DI-Axis (Dwarika-Indraprastha) and Magadha (with Kauravas playing secondary role).

The supporters of Rama were interested in status quo. Raama, in his last 6 months, abandonned this status quo and forced the establishment towards a radical change in fabric of dharmaarthik system (socio-politico-economic) of India. 

The actual historicity of Rama is as usual murkier due to lack of more resources. But what we know is, Raama is more popular in foreign cultures than Krishna. While ramayana is very popular in ASEAN region, MBH is not. Krishna is direly practical figure as compared to idealistic Sri Rama who can easily inspire john lennon to write "imagine". While this is not complete truth and Raama was ruthlessly practical too (Vaali episode) and streaks of jealousy (wrt Seeta), this is not how Raama is seen by Janta. 

Anyways, as usual, this story has immense information to assimilate as to how our forefathers behaved, how our kings, our ideals and our gods behaved under what circumstances and to achieve what. One has to learn as much as we can from these stories. There is plethora of information in MBH and Ramayana. This essay was just an aarthik darshana of this itihaasa. 

There are many more motivations for all the characters in this than "aarthik" motivations. The longing for kissing his wife, touching her, taking her in arms is equally motivating and arousing to do actions which Raama did. The longing to establish a common market and end tendencies of monopoly and establish dharma and becoming famous in annals of history can be equally motivating. the longing to achieve moksha by doing duty or dying while doing it (Veer-gati) is equally motivating. human mind is immensely complex and all those motivations are described (overtly or subtly) in our scriptures.

As I said, this was only aarthik exposition, which has been lost from the narratives of Hindus (Indics) in last 1000 years, especially after popularisation of Ramcharitmanas which is overly Bhakti rasa.


Shankara said...

Kaal is this you work? If yes then this is fantastic. Your analysis is a fundamental shift stripped of all the myth. A real political science thriller of something like that exists in political science.

Hey BTW sorry could not spend more time when we met in Mumbai last time. We should meet more often and collaborate. Cheers.

Kal_Chiron said...

Yes, this my work..

thank you for appreciation, sir. :-)

Yes, we will collaborate more and talk more in future.. The Mumbai meet was wonderful learning experience for me. For most of the time, I was observing and learning from gurus sitting there. We will meet up, next time I visit EU.

More on email... :-)

mandar said...

Gone through the series of "The political genius of Sri Rama". Its a much required path you have taken for the analysis of Sri Rama. Political genius of Sri Rama which was not even imagined by the kings at that time. this quality and the deeds of Sri Rama lead him to the status of vishnu avatara.

Basic theme - i found it much in line with what Dr. P. V. Vartak has written in his book "Vastav Ramayan". have you gone through the same?

Kal_Chiron said...

Yes, Dr. Vartak remains one of my favourite marathi authors who somehow manages to tear the unnecessarily associated faiths to certain figures to see the real picture.

while doing so, Vartak does not turn anti-national, though.. this is his beauty. Although with time, he gets a bit too much "brahminical" which can be avoided. But overall a good nationalistic approach of looking rationally towards our heritage.

many other movements tend to insult the Hindu idols by deriving support and inspiration from foreign sources. (like dravida movement in south, OR Brigedi movement in Maharashtra, these days). this makes them dangerous and potentially divisive.

Of course, vartak belongs to savarkar school of historiography which in turn is derived from Tilak and various other Indian (like Ramdas swamy) and foreign sources in principle (like mazzini and garibaldi).

aarshyadharma said...

Vali's assassination is not adharmic and was actually a need of the hour

a. He was extremely powerful and war mongering ape and a forest dwelling creature which a kshatriya king can hunt down to protect dharma

b. Even tough vali defeated Ravana, he accepted the treaty with Ravana that "They are brothers and whatever wealth one owns, can be enjoyed by both". Ravana even reminds sugriva of the treaty he had with vali and asks him to come over to his side.
So depending on vali for sita's rescue was a foolish and dangerous thing to do for Rama.

RamaY said...

Excellent summary on Ramayana Kal_Chiron ji.

This is how 100 Ramayanas came to existence. People saw Ramayana from the frame of reference they want to.

A couple of pointers
- The absence of Rishivatikas (or Gurukulas)south Dandakaranya could be attribute to complete dominance of Rakshasa empire in those areas. We do not see any references to gurukulas in Rakshasa empire, except for that of Sukracharya. Even that is located somewhere in upper Dandakaranya (Story of Yayati?)

- I like your pointer to Raama's over emphasis on Rule of Law (dharma) than spirit of Law (Dharma). We can see similar trait in MKG at the later stages of Independence movement where his Ahimsa/Satya vrata went to the levels where it ended up hurting Hindu interests (thus Indian interests) and a somewhat castration of Hindu social strengths in post Independence India.

Aneesh Gokhale said...

Awesome piece of work .. (y)