Ram: A history or a myth

‘Ramayana’  will be aired on DD National from 28th March, 2020 as announced by Prakash Javedkar, minister of Information and broadcast. I felt a lot of excitement among friends and family on social media, whatsapp and even at home. Dadi started telling the stories about how people used to watch Ramayana 33 years back. A very good step in this period of lockdown due to Covid- 19 pandemic, when negativity is all around. But as usual, some so called ‘seculars’, ‘ liberals’ are habitual of putting their nose in everything (though Ramayana is luring with viewers and advertisers). They started calling the telecast a communal step. Why? What is communal about it? ‘Bharat‘ is a land of Shri Rama, if we cannot take the name of Lord Rama without any fear on his own land then where? ‘Jai siya Ram ji, Ram Ram sa are our ways to greet with each other. Even when a person dies, people chant Ram naam satya hai, then why so much chaos on taking Ram naam or on telecast of Ramayana?

Well! Every time when it comes to Ram Setu, Ram Janam Bhoomi and now the telecast of Ramayana etc. people question about Rama’s existence.

While watching Ramanand Sagar’s beautiful creation ‘Ramayana’ my daughter asked me, “Mumma, why Ramji being the God himself, did not kill Ravana with his supernatural powers?” My mother-in-law smiled and said,” Beta, sab prabhu ki leela thi.” But her curious mind was not satisfied with this answer.  So, I gave her Valmiki Ramayana to read. One who wants to understand Rama and Ram Rajya should read only Valmiki Ramayana, a historical book.

To my surprise, the little girl came to me after few days with many answers that even I didn’t know. She very beautifully said to me,” Mumma, Shri Rama was not just the avatar of Vishnu. There are many sargas in Ramayana which proves that Shri Rama was a human being. There is no supernatural story regarding Shri Rama’s birth. As per Valmiki Ramayana (Baal-Kaand – Sarga 18 – Shlok 8), Shri Rama was born on the 9th day (of the bright fortnight) of Chaitra month in Punarvasu nakshatra during cancer ascendance. At that time 5 planets (Sun, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus) were in their exalted signs. Jupiter formed in conjunction with the moon in the ascendant. Moving ahead in Ramayana we see baby Rama crawling on his knees, he grows like a normal child, after coming to an age he studies in Guru Vashishtha’s ashram. In Ramayana’s Bal-Kand, we see Rama as a curious teenager pondering on the questions of life. “Why were we born?” “The purpose of life?” “Who created this universe?” “Why was it created?” The Rama, to whom we all look for motivation, was himself demotivated in the war with Ravana. In Yuddha-Kaanda (Sarga 105), when he was unable to defeat Ravana he was very discouraged. Sage Agastya came to his rescue and inspired him with Aditya Hridya Stotra. It is often said that, “Real men don’t cry” but on the contrary Shri Rama was a very emotional man and he did cry a few times.

As per Valmiki Ramayana (Aranya-Kaand – Sarga 60 – Shloka: 7, 10, 11, 12-20 and 37): When Rama returned after killing Marich, he did not find Sita in the cottage (At that time, Rama was unaware that she was abducted by Ravana). Seeing the desolated cottage, Rama wept again and again. He ransacked the forest, yet did not find his beloved Sita. He appeared like a mad man, his eyes turned red with tears of sorrow. We see Rama losing his state of mind and enquiring with trees in the forest about Sita. Shloka 37 says; Rama rushed through forests, rivers, hills and mountain streams and through dense jungles with an unstable mind.  Rama even planned to commit suicide. Later we again see Rama crying for Lakshmana, when the latter got injured in the war. In a country where millions get emotional for Rama, rarely anybody knows this emotional side of Shri Rama. Had Rama been a divine incarnation by birth, the above situation would have been surely different. But if Rama is a human then why so much devotion for him? Well, even though Rama was human but he was surely not an ordinary human. He had many virtues that make him a role model for any human. Let’s see a few virtues of Shri Rama to overcome all the obstacles in life:

  • Positivity
  • A clear and holistic approach
  • Commitment
  • Courage and conviction
  • Equanimity and tolerance
  • Humility and gratitude
  • The practice of your potency
  • The practice of recreational habits for mental health

The most authentic book on the life of Shri Rama is ‘Valmiki Ramayana’ because Sage Valmiki was contemporary of Shri Rama and played an important role in the life of Shri Rama. But gradually TV serials, movies, regional versions of Ramayana, fabricated stories, Anti-India & Anti-Hindu narratives created an image of Rama which is quite distant from reality. For example; generally in paintings, photos or idols we see Rama as a man with a slim waist and soft physique. But did you ever wonder how such a delicate man killed seasoned warriors like Kumbhakarna and Ravana? How he alone defeated an army of 14,000?

In Valmiki Ramayana (Baal-Kaand: Sarga 1, Shlok 9-11), the physical features of Rama are mentioned as Handsome, broad-shouldered, strong-armed, conch shaped neck, prominent cheeks, broad chest, armed with a great bow, fleshy collar bones, knee-long arms, noble head, graceful forehead, shining complexion, large beautiful eyes and a lustrous body. So, Rama is a historical figure and no myth. Rama is beyond any religion.

This is why Rama is the idol of many people with religions other than Hinduism too. Sir Muhammad Iqbal, a renowned Pakistani poet, paid a tribute to Shri Rama by calling him ‘ Iman- E-Hind’.

Blog By :- Mrs. Sarita Pareek

Department Of Education

Biyani Group Of Colleges

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