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


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. m.k.subramanian
    Aug 02, 2011 @ 13:23:55

    यदृच्छया: Shreedharacharya who wrote the first thesis (Vyakhyana) on Srimad Bhagavata has given another interpretation to this word.
    यदृच्छया according to him means “Bhagavat Icchaya”. This means ‘as ‘desired/ordained’ by God…’


    • mghariharan
      Aug 02, 2011 @ 22:19:46

      What we call as fate is destained to happen and all that is happening is due to god. But this is too much simplifcation. Our actions or all actions cannot be blamed on God


  2. m.k.subramanian
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 13:33:23

    1.Sorry! I think it is necessary to distinguish between ‘Fate’ and ‘Destiny’. Former is ‘scalar’ quantity and latter is ‘Vector’ quantity. The Newton’s Laws established the distinction empirically! So hasty comments is not called for to reject Shreedharacharya’s interpretation!
    2. I had no intention to blame God So there is no need to drag God.. Personal bias should not affect quality debate.
    3. In Drama parlance the characters cited by you are ‘pivotal’ to change the course of the story. So, (if you don’t like the term ‘God’) we must admit that Valmiki, the author, deliberately introduced these two characters to unfold the plot and steer the story forward, to avoid ‘stale-mate’ .



    • mghariharan
      Aug 03, 2011 @ 16:01:22

      Sure I have no disagreement Your point 3 says it all. I have praised Valmiki’s style of introducing the twist. If at all there is god in Ramayana, then I will say it is Valmiki. He has created or else eulogized that character so well that even if Rama is a god he needed a Valmiki as his promoter. Obviously when Valmik asked Narada Koun asmin etc nobody knew him.


  3. m.k.subramanian
    Aug 04, 2011 @ 15:15:05

    When Valmiki asked this question to Narada, possibly Valmiki didn’t not know all traits of Rama. But how can you say ‘Nobody knew him’!
    Second Sarga of Ayodhya Kanda refers to the lavish praise on Rama conferred by the citizens of the land. They list the superlative traits of Rama when Dasaratha proposed to crown him as Yuvaraja.


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