Ramayana is book of infinite knowledge. Naturally each person interprets it in his own way, based on their experience and their concepts of Justice and faith. This post reviews the Right Honourable srinivasas sastry’s ( an eminant Personality in preindpendence India…More) concepts of Valivadh as extracted from his lectures on the Ramayana (this book is out of print and may be difficult to get hence I shall quote from it).When I was young I was thrilled by this book but now I find deviations from my perspective. The readers may draw conclusions based on their perception of life and justice.
1. First thing that SS assures his his analysis is based on exclusively from Valmiki Ramayana only and will not take quotes from other scriptures.
11. This is exactly what we want as we are also doing the same
2. Then SS starts apologizing on Rama’s behavior based on the Kshatriya behavior at that time and says may not be valid for the present time and margin has to be given in understanding
2. I do not agree with this, as analysis stands to scrutiny even during modern times. In fact it educative and is store house of information of morals and ethics (Dharma) that needs to be understood and followed. In this case the way Vali was killed is exactly as killing of Bin Laden>and justified by Adarvana veda and mnusmriti. No way is the law out of date.
3. Questions the jurisdiction of Bharata’s empire
3. I feel this is superfluous question and authors (Valmiki’s) perspective has to taken as is.
4. The reason given by Rama at the first chance when Sugriva fights is not satisfactory
4. The blogger has no answer but would go by what Valmiki has written Why doubt it?
5. SS thinks that Rama was hiding during killing of Vali. Quoted 4-12-14
5. This blogger thinks the word used is stealth (Like any hunter). Because hiding means fear. Rama was not afraid of Vali but had the duty of killing him which he does not want to botch up. Same as killing of Bin Laden.
6. SS (assumes) says Vali accused Rama of hiding when shooting arrow and Rama makes no answer to it. Rama admits and defends his action.
6. This is patently wrong. Vali asks why he was attacked when he was facing away from Rama. Vali never accuses Rama of hiding. Rama in fact says though you did not ask I shall reply. This proves Vali never asked.
7. SS quotes from Yudha kanda where Hanuman refuses to attack seeing Ravana is fighting with Jambhavan and accuses Rama of undignified behavior
7. Why go so far just a few slokas before in Kishkinda kanda itself Dhundhubhi says killing an unarmed and unaware person is like killing a fetus.There is no undignified behaviour involved. Rama is killing a criminal ( aatataaye) and is not going to give him the respect of fight.
8.SS quotes from Govindacharya:”Vali was killed by Rama although by a fraud just because he had made promise to Sugriva”
8. This is definitely wrong. I have respect for both Valmiki’s hero Rama and Shastry and also Govindacharya. So I would only state facts. Rama promises to kill prior to friendship agreement. This is his duty as king to kill an aatataaye without fore thought covertly or overtly as per manusmriti. I deeply regret the word fraud on Rama.
9. SS also quotes Govindacraya to says that if Rama had attacked from front then Vali would have fallen at his feet and asked for mercy.
9. No Rama would not have given mercy as it is crime to pardon an aatatayee Rama quotes this as a mistake done by his forefathers. If Rama pardons then the sin will accrue to Bharatha the ruling king.
10 SS says Sugriva does not own Kishkinda then how it becomes his kingdom. Sugriva does not ask Vali to be killed.
10 These points have been discussed in postingRama the executioner. Sugrive grieves for his past post as prince in Kishkinda may not be as King from which he has been expelled.
11. SS introduces a problem of Rama intending to fight a war as he uses the word arrow(s) Plural in slokas 4-8-22,4-10-32/33
11. This is not correct. Rama only boasts that he has many arrows never the intention to using all of them is expressed. His first sentence is laughing off the task.(4-8-20) and promises to kill him on the same day (4-8-21).
In conclusion the manusmriti rule has been overlooked by SS and by many more eminent people, hence the distorted view. This is because Ram is projected as God which is not correct. He is a man (/King) who follows Dharma implicitly. Valmiki has created this scene to express that terrorist (one who terrorizes people an aatatayee) should be killed immediately without forethought overtly or covertly. The word covert has not been understood and wrongly Rama is said to be hiding. He is actually camouflaged.
Many more postings to follow based on V S Sreenivasa shastri’s Lectures on Ramayana.