Contributing to a Anthology of Ramayana was an experience.

Presenting something new, or wrapping the old text into a new format was a challenge. While I was at it. So many thoughts, arguments surface and then vanish.

Somewhere along the  way I figured, that the two epics that have achieved iconic worship status  are so as we have never bothered to contemplate on it.  If we were to use one word to sum up the epics then

Ramayana is all about compliance.

Mahabharata is about revolution.

Rama obeys Yadu disobeys
There is no division of kingdom Kingdom gets divided
Monogamy was upheld Both polygamy and polyandry are accepted
Social and war rules were honoured The rules have been bent and broken when the need arises.

 

Ramayana is greatly revered and worshipped, yet we are talking about destruction of the forest dwellers and their traditions. We venerating the Holocast at Lanka.

Hasyam Shurpanaka prakarnam is the definition of hasya, I fail to understand what is funny of disfiguring a woman. She was more educated than the women of Ayodhya, she came from a civilization that had different values and priorities   from the ones of Ayodhya. We are conveniently ignoring the fact that Dasharatha did not even pretend to keep his King Kaikeya, about making Bharat the King, he just went ahead and announced Ram his successor. We are condoning and to a great extent even eulogising Rama’s act of denouncing Sita.

Mahabharat on the other hand tackles issues hands on. We have the necessary changed diagnosed and then dealt using either sama-bheda or danda.

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