यदृच्छया= अकस्मात, எதேச்சையா perchance, at random, accidently.

Ramayan is a mammoth work. Compared to Iliad written probably 5th. Century B.C. this stands out as incomparable both in size and depth of story. Many people do not read it, because they think it is very descriptive and boring. This is a terrible mistake. From Ayodya kanda it is very fast paced, and emotional tear jerker far better than most of the stupid TV serials. In common Indian parlance anything dragging is said to be a ‘Ramayana’. This is definitely not correct. The story is even paced and absorbing. As Valmiki is a good writer he also adopts twists in the story like modern times. Infact there are 2 twists in the story. Both the twists are marked by same word यदृच्छयाLet us see how the story turns.

From Balakanda till Rama getting anointed as Yuvaraja (King in wait) story is even paced. Here suddenly the story takes a twist.
Manthara goes to Balcony !! valmiki makes it clear that she (कुब्जां hunch backed) is a vamp and nothing good is going to happen by her perchance visit to balcony.
ज्ञातिदासी यतो जाता कैकेय्या तु सहोषिता |
प्रासादं चन्द्रसङ्काशमारुरोह यदृच्छया || २-७-१
Manthara, a housemaid who was residing with Kaikeyi since her birth, accidentally ascended the balcony of Kaikeyi’s white palace, which resembled the full moon. From here on all hell breaks out. Rama not only loses his kingdom also had to go to live in forest for 14 years. Then one day again यदृच्छया

Again there are not much incidences in forest except for attack by demons in forest. Until another twist. This time a demon comes and Valmiki gives an inclination of the forebodings with a word आजगाम. The she demon came but Valmiki uses a derogatory term as if she landed or emerged. Normally an author has to be totally detached from the characters to write an effective Novel. But as the calamities that are going to fall on Rama may have moved him and has used the word आजगाम ( in (tamil வந்து செந்தா, or in hindi आपहुंची,). Then it is downhill for Rama all the way upto end of Yudha kanda.
तदा आसीनस्य रामस्य कथा संसक्त चेतसः |
तम् देशम् राक्षसी काचिद् आजगाम यदृच्छया || ३-१७-५
At one time when Rama is sitting in hermitage and heartily absorbed in telling narratives some demoness arrived at that place, fortuitously. [3-17-5].

Both the twists are bringing hell to Rama in one case he loses kingdom in the next he loses his beloved wife.

Thanks to Mr. M H Gopalakrishnan


Ravana & Vali …Evil forces??!!

This is an adjunct to Hinduism under attack. H induism is like sponge it cushions the attack and does not break but more than that it absorbs other religion like a sponge. Sardar Panickar the Historian says Hinduism swallows other religion that is how it survives. For example it absorbed Buddhism and Jainism and there by stopped its growth in India whereas it spread in entire SE Asia and China and even in Afghanistan etc. Let us see how it is done.
Old testament ( Common to Jews, Christians, Muslims) says God made Satan and Satan started causing damage. So Man was created in Eden and preserved there. But When Adam ate the apple and broke the safety net he came under the subjugation of Satan. This is the base of Abrahamic religion common to jews,Muslims and Christians. In Hinduism there is no such devil teasing us or enticing us. But there has been an impact of these concepts and our religion has undergone some change in attitude. Let us take 2 characters From Valmiki Ramayana-Vali and Ravana.
V ali Vadh(Killing) has been analysed in this blog thread bare. But there has been objection to calling him a terrosist ( Aatataayee). This is because he has been designated as the next Indra.How can a terrorist become a King of demi gods. The answer is in Sloka ( 4-18-31) राजभिः धृत दण्डाः च कृत्वा पापानि मानवाः |निर्मलाः स्वर्गम् आयान्ति सन्तः सुकृतिनो यथा ||  ” ‘When kings impose proper punishment on the humans who have sinned, they become sinless and enter heaven as with the pious souls with good deeds.’ So says one verse of Manu..
Thus Rama himself says Vali is absolved of all sins and will go to highest heaven. Such a person cannot be called a Satan or even evil by any standard.
R avana is more complicated. In N India the Burning of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Indrajit is celebrated as destruction of evil force. How is it? Kumbhakarna objects to Ravana’s action of kidnapping Seetha. He opts to fight with his brother unlike Bhibhishana, How can you call him Evil. Indrajit is just a good fighter and gives good fight against army trying to kill his father How can he be called evil. Now we are left with Ravana. See what Hanuman says about Ravana.
[5-51-16]–तत् भवान् दृष्ट धर्म अर्थः तपः कृत परिग्रहः |

bhavaan = you; dR^iSTadharmaarthaH = learnt about religious merit and wealth; tapaH kR^itaparigrahaH = and performed and mastered the austerities; Wealth created by Dharma.
[5-51-25]–तपः सम्ताप लब्धः ते यो अयम् धर्म परिग्रहः | ayam dharmaparigrahaH = is an outcome of your virtue; tapaH samaapa labdhaH = both of which have been acquired by you through the practice of austerities.
So Ravana whatever has been achieved is by virtue Dharma. How can this man be called Evil. Yes he did evil thing of abducting another wife. That is due to carving of passion. And even great fall into this trap.
Thus the evil if it exists in Hinduism it is within us. Ramayana shows how most powerful and most educated ( both Vali are great exponents in Vedas. Ravana has set the musical notes for Samaveda for more… ) fall pray to adharma and reap immense downfall and perish.

Husband’s Goals….Wife’s Roles (Panchakanya-4)

This is an adjunct to Husband’s Goals….Wife’s Roles (Panchakanya-3)
Seetha is reviewing Rama’s perception of his Dharma. Rama had to spend 14 years in Dhandaka forest as an hermit’s recluse life. There was no other compulsion on him to go deep into forest etc. Seetha highlights these aspects and says the act of elimination of demons without any provocation from them is unjust[ 3-9-2]. She defines 3 self gratification acts 1. Telling lies, 2.coveting others wife, and 3rd. cruelty towards those who are not enemies. [ 3-9-24,25]. The constant awareness of weapons will make the mind avaricious [ 3-9-28]. She reminds him, he should aim to be a sage not a warrior [ 3-9-29]. She makes a very wise statement that everything can be achieved by Dharma alone and seeking pleasure will not get pleasure or for that matter one cannot get wealth by chasing wealth [ 3-9-30], [ 3-9-31]. These two slokas are the very essence of Ramayana. A strange statement as this is being made to Rama who is supposed to be the aficionado of Dharma.
Let us summarize it a bit. Seetha says Rama is making a mistake of carrying Bow into forest as he is seeking self gratification, this can lead to unnecessary killing of demons in the forest with whom he has no enmity. She accentuates it by emphasizing Dharma alone can bring prosperity, pleasure, and everything. Carrying a bow is an a-dharma when he is expected to live a hermit’s life in forest.
Let us see what Rama replies. Rama acclaims her suggestions as good and praises her high upbringing for having excellent knowledge of dharma [ 3-10-02]. Rama says as a Kshatriya (warrior class) he has to protect the hermits and heed their request for protection from demons.[ 3-10-04]. The hermits request for freedom from demons have to be heeded. As Rama has promised he has to fulfill the promise[ 3-10-17]. Rama says he will forgo anything including Lakshmana and Seetha to keep up his promise [ 3-10-20]. He appreciates Seetha’s advice as coming from well-wisher [ 3-10-21]. Thus Rama extolls the virtue of keeping up promise as his dharma and shall pursue demon extinction.
Conclusion: whenever contradictory dharmas clash, a situation of dharma in quandary, is created and choice of correct action becomes difficult. In this case Rama rejected the advice given by Seetha and pursued the action of clashing with demons thereby inheriting a situation which Seetha had predicted. Here also Rama by overlooking Seetha’s advice rues later when he had to use his bow and fight many wars, and loses Seetha and even Lakshmana for sometime. This is exactly what happened to Vali when he ignores Tara’s advice.

Part of Rama….. a human character!!!

Referaence of Slokas

Sanskrit English
अधर्मम् तु सुसूक्ष्मेण विधिना प्राप्यते महान् |
निवृत्तेन च शक्यो अयम् व्यसनात् कामजाद् इह || ३-९-२
“Gross unjust will accrue to any in an abstruse way if his indulgence is enkindled merely by his own desire, and in this world it is possible to fend them off, to have a recourse to justness… Back
स्नेहात् च बहुमानात् च स्मारये त्वाम् न शिक्षये |
न कथंचन सा कार्या गृहीत धनुषा त्वया || ३-९-२४
बुद्धिः वैरम् विना हन्तुम् राक्षसान् दण्डक आश्रितान् |
अपराधम् विना हन्तुम् लोको वीर न कामये || ३-९-२५
“In affinity and in respect I am reminding but not tutoring you, and in anyway improper is that thought of yours to wield your bow to kill the demons dwelling in Dandaka without any enmity, oh, brave one, undesirable is the killing of offenceless…
तदार्य कलुषा बुद्धिः जायते शस्त्र सेवनात् |
पुनर् गत्वात् तत् अयोध्यायाम् क्षत्र धर्मम् चरिष्यसि || ३-९-२८
“Weapon admiring mind becomes maligned with avariciousness, you may therefore follow the tenet of Kshatriya-s on going to Ayodhya again… Back
अक्षया तु भवेत् प्रीतिः श्वश्रू श्वशुरयोः मम |
यदि राज्यम् हि संन्यस्य भवेत् त्वम् निरतो मुनिः || ३-९-२९
“Everlasting satisfaction will be there to my father-in-law and mothers-in-laws, on your becoming a devout sage even after forfeiture of kingdom Back
धर्मात् अर्थः प्रभवति धर्मात् प्रभवते सुखम् |
धर्मेण लभते सर्वम् धर्म सारम् इदम् जगत् ||
“From virtuousness prosperity emanates, from righteousness happiness, and by honourableness all are achieved, and this universe is the essence of probity… Back
आत्मानम् नियमैः तैः तैः कर्षयित्वा प्रयत्नतः |
प्राप्यते निपुणैः धर्मो न सुखात् लभते सुखम् || ३-९-३१
“Experts will make efforts to exhaust their own selves with those and those principles, thus they realise sublimity… unachievable is pleasure by pleasuring alone… Back
हितम् उक्तम् त्वया देवि स्निग्धया सदृशम् वचः |
कुलम् व्यपदिशन्त्या च धर्मज्ञे जनक त्मजे || 3-१०-२
“You have said beneficial, friendlily words that are seemlier to your disposition, oh, lady, which are apt to speak of your familial brought up, for you are the daughter of virtue-knowing Janaka. Back
ते च आर्ता दण्डकारण्ये मुनयः संशित व्रताः |
माम् सीते स्वयम् आगम्य शरण्याः शरणम् गताः || 3-१०-४
“Oh! Seetha, those shleterable sages of Dandaka forest have approached me sombrely on their own, and thus they came into my refuge… Back
संश्रुत्य न च शक्ष्यामि जीवमानः प्रतिश्रवम् || ४-१०-१७
मुनीनाम् अन्यथा कर्तुम् सत्यम् इष्टम् हि मे सदा |
“Having promised to the sages it is incapable of me to implement it otherwise while I am alive… truth is dearer to me, isn’t it… Back
मम स्नेहात् च सौहार्दात् इदम् उक्तम् त्वया वचः || ४-१०-२०
परितुष्टो अस्मि अहम् सीते न हि अनिष्टो अनुशास्यते |
“With your friendship and good-heartedness you say these words, oh, Seetha, I am contended… uninterested ones do not forewarn, indeed… Back
सदृशम् च अनुरूपम् च कुलस्य तव शोभने |
सधर्म चारिणी मे त्वम् प्राणेभ्यो अपि गरीयसी || ४-१०-२१
“Appropriate and seemly is your word of caution to your bloodline, oh, graceful Seetha, you are the co-pursuer in dharma with me, hence you are loftier to me than my own lives…” So said Rama to Seetha. Back

Husband’s Goals….Wife’s Roles (Panchakanya-3)

Husband and wife relation has to maintain very delicate balance to make the family a success. In this regard let us see how Panchakanya (Ahalya, Draupadi Seetha, Tara, Mandodari) interact with their husbands in times of crisis. Draupadi is not covered as we are looking into Valmiki Ramayana only. We have already defined the their husbands as Chauvinistic (See Tara(Panchakanya) Ideal wife…….Love(1) ).

Ahalya is not much of a case for this post. That she commits infidelity( 1-48-19) and gets cursed by her husband Gautama( 1-48-29,30) a great saint, and Indra also got malediction ( 1-48-27). But our present post does not cover this. One point to note was the story in Valmiki Ramayana is different and Ahalya was cursed to disappear not converted into a stone. She is absolved of the curse when Rama comes there.

Tara has many lessons for us. When Sugriva challenges Vali the second time, Tara intervenes and humbly says Sugriva cannot come again( 4-15-11) unless he has the backing of Rama ( 4-15-13). Advices him to sort out matters with Sugriva( 4-15-23). When Vali dies, killed by Rama she identifies the cause of killing rightly (as his- Vali’s- misbehavior with Ruma wife of Sugriva ( 4-20-11)). This is exactly what a wife’s role should be to identify major gaps or major pitfalls in husbands actions and warn him at right time. Vali of course side steps her and faces the consequences and pays very dearly with his life.

Manodari plays a pivotal role when Seetha insults Ravana by saying he is no comparison to Rama ( 5-58-72). Ravana in his anger goes to kill Seetha ( 5-58-74). Mandodari who has nothing to lose by Seetha’s death intervenes ( 5-58-75) and counsels Ravana. The quitened Ravana tamely goes back to palace ( 5-58-78). This shows how Mandodari stops her husband from committing a sin in fit of anger. This again is a role of wife to understand her husband and handle him correctly and diligently averting calamities.
Seetha to follow….

                                              Part of Rama….. a human character!!!

Referaence of Slokas

Sanskrit English
मुनि वेषम् सहस्राक्षम् विज्ञाय रघुनंदन |
मतिम् चकार दुर्मेधा देव राज कुतूहलात् || १-४८-१९
“Oh, Rama, the legatee of Raghu, though knowing him as the Thousand-eyed Indra in the guise of her husband Gautama, she is inclined to have intercourse ill-advisedly, only to satisfy the impassion of the King of Gods. Back
तथा शप्त्वा च वै शक्रम् भार्याम् अपि च शप्तवान् |
इह वर्ष सहस्राणि बहूनि निवषिस्यसि || १-४८-२९
वायु भक्षा निराहारा तप्यन्ती भस्म शायिनी |
अदृश्या सर्व भूतानाम् आश्रमे अस्मिन् वषिस्यसि || १-४८-३०
“On cursing Indra thus the sage cursed even his wife saying, ‘you shall tarry here for many thousands of years to come without food and consuming air alone, and unseen by all beings you shall live on in this hermitage while contritely recumbent in dust. [1-48-29, 30] Back
मम रूपम् समास्थाय कृतवान् असि दुर्मते |
अकर्तव्यम् इदम् यस्मात् विफलः त्वम् भविष्यति || १-४८-२७
” ‘Oh, dirty-minded Indra, taking hold of my form you have effectuated this unacceptable deed, whereby you shall become infecund.’ Thus, Gautama cursed Indra. Back
त्वया तस्य निरस्तस्य पीडितस्य विशेषतः |
इह एत्य पुनर् आह्वानम् शंकाम् जनयति इव मे || ४-१५-११
“He who is undone earlier by you, particularly after torturing by you, his coming here again and inviting you for a duel is causing a doubt in me. Back
न असहायम् अहम् मन्ये सुग्रीवम् तम् इह आगतम् |
अवष्टब्ध सहायः च यम् आश्रित्य एष गर्जति || ४-१५-१३
“I do not think that Sugreeva has come here unaccompanied, and on whom he is dependant must be an unflinching support foregathered by Sugreeva Back
यौवराज्येन सुग्रीवम् तूर्णम् साधु अभिषेचय || ४-१५-२३
विग्रहम् मा कृथा वीर भ्रात्रा राजन् यवीयसा |
“Oh, king, let Sugreeva be decorously and quickly anointed as prince regent, and oh, resolute one, let there be no hostility to your own younger brother. Back
सुग्रीवस्य त्वया भार्या हृता स च विवासितः |
यत् तत् तस्य त्वया व्युष्टिः प्राप्ता इयम् प्लवगाधिप || ४-२०-११
“By which reason you have snatched away Sugreeva’s wife, oh, chief of fliers, and even expelled him from Kishkindha, that is the reason why you got this result. Back
न त्वम् रामस्य सदृशो दास्ये अपि अस्या न युज्यसे || ५-५८-७२
यज्ञीयः सत्य वाक् चैव रण श्लाघी च राघवः |
” ‘You have no similarity with Rama. You are unfit even to do service to Rama. Rama performs sacrifices. He speaks only truth. He is a lover of battle’.” Back
विवृत्य नयने क्रूरे मुष्टिम् उद्यम्य दक्षिणम् || ५-५८-७४
मैथिलीम् हन्तुम् आरब्धः स्त्रीभिः हाहा कृतम् तदा |
” ‘Rolling his cruel eyes and lifting his right fist, Ravana was about to kill Seetha. Then, an alarm was raised by a women there’.” Back
स्त्रीणाम् मध्यात् समुत्पत्य तस्य भार्या दुरात्मनः || ५-५८-७५
वरा मन्द उदरी नाम तया स प्रतिषेधितः |
“Springing up from the midst of those women, a royal woman named Mandodari, the wife of that evil-minded Ravana, ran to him. He was restrained by her.” Back
ततः ताभिः समेताभिः नारीभिः स महाबलः || ५-५८-७८
उत्थाप्य सहसा नीतो भवनम् स्वम् निशा चरः |
“Thereupon, those women together propitiated that mighty Ravana and quickly took him to his palace.” Back

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