Bala kanda Reviewed………by MKS

Contributed by M K Subramanian
Without any argument I wish to give my views, for what it is worth:
Vishwamithra arrives in the same chapter where Rama’s advent is described (ie. Sarga 18 and not 19). Rama’s age was 15 years complete (and 16 running) when Rama leaves along with Vishwamithra. So Valmiki’s skipping of childhood of Rama up to that age is deliberate. Why? Because there were no events during the period that contributed towards prosecution of the basic premises of Ramayana as established in Sarga 1 of Bala Kanda, (in the dialogue between Narada and Valmiki). The only point made by Valmiki is (a) that Dasaratha was very fond of his children particularly, Rama (b) Rama and Lakshmana were having special attachment – they were inseparable! (c) Dasaratha, after their basic education was anxious and concerned about finding matching brides for sons who were very so virtuous!
Arrival of Vishmithra on the scene was providential (He will be instrumental in finding the brides!). Although he gives a different reason for taking Rama along with him, actually his intent was to surrender to Rama and also to play a role in His marriage!
Another very interesting thing to observe in Balakanda is that First Act among the total 7 Acts of Ramayana, (in Dramatic parlance), ends. Briefly, it starts with Dasaratha longing for offspring. After being blessed with children his second worry on their marriage starts. With Vishwamithra’s positive role, play both worries end, happily. So Bala Kanda ends logically!
In the First sarga of Ayodhya Kanda why are the virtues of Rama enumerated(?) First by Dasaratha, and then by the citizens’ representatives? When one problem is resolved another emerges. This is human experience. Now the King wants to perform ‘Yuva Raja Pattabhisheka for Rama, post haste!
So, What is the problem?Ascendency to the throne was automatic for Rama as per Raja Dharma. So what’s the problem. Formally he recounts his virtues to establish eligibility and credibility of Rama. Secondly in his kingdom ‘democracy’ was also practiced side by side. So he wanted the consent of the people. So when they too give a positive feed back he is gratified and reassured of the right choice in Rama! [Another reason: When such a person who has virtues, whose inheritance to the throne is routine and who is also approved by public – when such a person is sent on exile by one person, Kakeyi, the story gets the right emotional uplift! The people should have protested against the change of the collective decision. No. When they realize that Dasaratha acquiesced to Kakeyi only to honour his own oral promise, given years back, they too could not over rule. ‘Truth’ was binding all. ‘Satyameva Jayathe’ was not a slogan. It was practiced by all.]
These are some thoughts. There are many more. But this is only for your info.

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