Fun-filled, traumatic, joyous, troublesome, boring, cruel, pleasing, satisfying, challenging, tempting, misleading - yes Life is full of 'em - that is why life is so very SPECIAL - and yet the thrill is in "living" life! And all the accompanying ordeals are the frills attached with the thrills.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mythical Cynicism

I have great respect for our mythological works. More than being stories, they impart valuable insight into theories of life, how to be and how not to be. But I am quite cynical about certain aspects in the mythological works. Ofcourse, please view them as my take on stories only, not as my take on God or any exihibition of atheism. I am very much a theist ;-)

Rama's treatment of Sita :
Rama is always potrayed as an "eka pathini virathan". But I still cannot relate to the ending chapters of Ramayanam where he abandons his wife on hearing a washerman's rant against his wife. So how does Rama deserve the reverence when after having fought a war, after taking the hard way in the forests and having putting so many other people to hardships/sacrifices, got carried away by a single statement? So is it that he had the poison tree sowed already and the statment of the washerman was like the 'last straw'? How does it matter if he was an "eka pathini virathan" when he had subject his wife to the biggest toture - of doubting her celibacy?

Slaying of Vaali :
The reason, as quoted by Rama, for slaying Vaali is that he (Vaali) had wished for another man's wife, which is immoral. But... Vali and Sugriva are not human beings but Vaanar kings. Animals do not have such rules. It is survival of the fittest. Infact in most animal races, the males fight it over for the female.

Draupadi :
Instead of taking her wrath on her husbands who pledged her during the dice game, she takes a vow against the Kauravas. There is an interesting anecdote in the movie "Bharathi". When Bharathiyar is a kid, he watches a streetplay of "Paanchaali Sabadham" (he later went on to create a work on the same title). In the play when Draupadi vows to take revenge against the Kauravas, the little boy Bharathi interrupts and says "Why do you get angry over Kauravas when its your husbands who pledged you. Women should also pledge their husbands. If all women were to pledge their husbands in a game, will one husband be spared?" and the whole audience bursts into laughter applauds his rational thoughts.

Karna :
My most favourite character in Mahabaratha is Karna. But more than anyone else in the epic, it is Karna who was subject to atmost discrimination - right from the time when he was rejected by Dronacharya (owing to his caste), the curse by Parasuram, the way he was (tried to) deceived by Indra in taking his kavasa-kundalam, the promise taken by Kunti asking him to spare Arjuna, his charioteer abandoning him in the last minute owing to his caste, till the end when Krishna takes all his good deeds (punyam) so he could die. Though he was wary of Duryodhana's acts, he stood by him only as a token of gratitude. And Karna ever remains an epitome for friendship, gratitude and generosity.

Ekalavya :
Though he was turned down by Dronacharya because he belonged to a tribal clan, Ekalavya still considered Dronacharya as his guru, made a statue of him and practised before it every day. And he proved to be better than Arjuna. Since Dronacharya had promised Arjuna that Arjuna would be the best archer ever, shamelessly, he asked for Ekalavya's thumb as gurudakshinai so that he would never be able to use the bow and arrow in his life and Ekalavya complies without hesitation.

The Kauravas' wrongful act is well known but Krishna/Pandavas were not far behind. Krishna's advise to Duryodhana to cover his private parts when seeking Gandhari's blessings (which would give him immsense power), weakening of Dronacharya's morale by falsely declaring his sons Ashwathama's death (by blowing victory trumpets when Yudhishtra says "Ashwathama, the elephant, is dead") are all not honest acts, which were done aimed at getting victory at any cause.

Maybe there is a reason for everything. Though Krishna played a very cunning role in Mahabharata to ensure Pandavas' triumph, when being questioned by Arjuna about their act, he says "Everyone's fate is based on karma and destiny". And his words proved true in his case too as a dejected Gandhari seeing all her sons dead and the kingdom devastated curses Krishna that he would never have a heir and Krishna gracefully accepts it.

I am sure I might have missed a point somewhere and that's for you, my blogger friends, to fill up in the comments section :) Thanks!


Balaji S Rajan said...

The first time I heard the story 'Ramayana', I did not like the way Vaali was killed. When I grew up and heard the story again, I did not like Sita being treated like that. I did not get deep into Mahabaratha.

I did not like the way Rama killed Vaali again. Why should he do that from behind? Why didn't he negotiate with him?

Ravi said...

Hello Balaji Sir,
It is said that Vaali would get half of his opponent's strenght as per a boon. That is the reason Rama had to do it from behind. But yes, even I cannot accept it after knowing the 'rationale' behind the killing.

வேதா said...

wow ravi enakum intha doubts ellam iruku particularly about sita. each and everytime when i read sundara gandam i used to think how could ever rama do this to sita? ithukellam reason irukumnu enaku thoninaalum enakulla irukara antha pen manasu 'che enna irunthaalum rama ipdi pani iruka koodathu' apdinu uruthikittey iruku. i even read some explanation for this, i dont remember it explicitly. some say rama did that bcos he wanted women to hate him for such kind of act bcos he took away lakshmana from his wife for 14 years. some say that rama had punished sita by sending her away bcos sita had doubted lakshmana when he refused to leave her alone in the forest and save rama. enna thaan sonnalum enakum innum athu seriya thelivagala.

வேதா said...

சூதாட்டத்தில் தோற்ற தர்மரிடம் திரெளபதி கேட்கும் இன்னொரு கேள்வி மிக அருமையானது, தன்னை தோற்ற பின் என்னை பகடையாக வைக்க உனக்கென்ன உரிமை இருக்கிறது? என்று கேட்பாள். ஆனால் அன்று சபையில் அதர்மம் தான் வென்றது.

and then about karna ofcourse he is the best character. he is the one who really potrays as how a good human should be.
nice post yaar:)

Ravi said...

thanks, thanks! (for your two comments). Neenga Sita pathi kurupitta 'angle' nalla irundhadhu. Have not read it before.

Enna dhaan Draupadi sonnalum, finally nothing was done to punish her husbands. So Kauravas-a mattum pazhi vaangi enna payan? when the root cause was her husbands. Illaya?

simple said...


Talking about Ramayana,I sometimes feel Seetha would have been happier with Ravan than Ram.Her life is so full of tears.Our so called Ram listens to a Dhobi,(after all a washerman) and suspects his wife.Shame on him!!!!

Beleive it or not we were discussing the very same aspects of Mahabharat in our cab with my friends just the other day.And exactly about Karna and Duryodhana,it's a lovely coincidence

Sree's Views said...

Hello Ravi...
A very nice post :)
My all time fav is Karna..I have great admiration for him.
enga paati oru kadhai solluvaanga...
oru murai Dhuriyodhananum avanga wifeum dhaanam seidhu kondu irundhaangalaam...kaathala aarambicha dhaanam raathiri aagiyum mudiyalaiyaam....appo Karnan vandhu paathuttu..."what is going on ?" maari kettaaraam..dhuriyodhanan was very tired and said "enatha seiyaradhu....innum niraiya irukku dhaanam thara..." .
Karnan had a hearty laugh and said...
"dhaanam pannara murai idhudhaana?..ippo paar" and he said that he'd take over :)
Makkal munnaadi vandhu
"Inga paarunga...Yaarukku enna venumo eduthu kondu ponga" nnu sonnaaraam :)
U can imagine what happened next..
So edhavadhu velaiya medhuva seidhukonda irundha my grandma used to say this story :)

Then I really fell for a cpl of traits in Dhuriyodhanan.
First , the way he gets angry at Karna being insulted and imm coming to his rescue . A friend who'd give the shirt of his back.

Second and the most attractive trait...
when Karna and Dhuriyodhana's wife play a board game and the lady wants to run away without finishing the game , Karna totally engrossed in the game tries to catch her by grabbing her pallu..and the pearl strings gets ripped and roll on the floor.
Karna realises the gravity of the situation and gets all flustered and Dhuriyodhana enters, gets the picture and starts collecting the pearls from the is a most touching scene and brings out the sportive and self-assured nature of Dhuriyodhana.

As for Sita..the less said the better...I have no respect for a lady who wld dbt the intentions of a brother-in-law like Lakshmana..
Rama does not interest me.

Nice post , Ravi :)

Ravi said...

Hengidhiraa? And I was really surprised to read about the coincidence!! Yes, Ravana indeed had noble deeds. Infact that is why it is said that Rama was hesitant to slay him. Infact on the last day, he gives another chance and asks him to come the next day. Imagine, having Sita under his (Ravana's) control, he could have done anything but he didn't and as per one version while abducting Sita, Ravana does not even touch her. He airlifts her along with the ground around her.

Btw, I still cant access your blog Soumya!

Thanks! Yes, Karna has been my most favourite character ever since I came to read about him. And I have so much sympathies for him as well.

And Sree, I can understand your frustration against Sita (ha ha, I loved the way you vented it out in the last few lines). Even I too feel the same way at times!! And thanks for those interesting snippets.

simple said...

Ravan honoured Sita more than Rama,
She would have lamented later...Giggles...coz Ram insults her to the core.....dirty boy

Ravi said...

giggles here too... Probably! I think every wo/man loses his/her mind at some point and that is exactly what happened to Ravana as well. He is a pious Siva bhaktha, a proficient veena player, a loving husband/brother and looks like he was a gentleman too!

simple said...

Yes!I agree everybody can trip but unfortunately our society considers men who have affairs as "Rasika" but women are called using ugly languages,isn't it weird.

simple said...

That was the result of watching too many kannada movies,not my dialogue.

Indian Voter said...


R.Prabhu said...

Nalla Article Ravi!!! But idhula ennoda Karuthukkal Sila Ulladhu. There is a one viewpoint on why Rama asked Sita to do the Agni Paritchai oh hearing the Dhobi's rants. It is not that he did not believe Sita, but to show it to the world that her wife is pure and pristine as she used to be. If Rama had not asked Sita to do the Agni Parichai, then people would talk the other way around, as Rama is living with a woman whose quality even the Dhobi is commenting about. Rather in a crude sense, Rama acted that way without saying "Paarungada Naaigala, En Pondaati Pathini"

As far as Vaali episode is concerned, the reason to kill Vaali was could be that of the writer's thought, cos Vaali was so feared by Ravana, that once, Vaali gave Ravana as a toy to his son Angadhan saying it is a 10-thalai poochi. So if Rama had gone in friendship with Vaali, the job would have been easy for Rama to rescue Sita, but Ravana would not have been killed. A weakness cast on Rama to maintain the limelight throughout the epic

Your point about Draupadi is unquestionable, no views from me!!!

Karna, was an icon, the lyrics in the film "Karnan" tells that even Lord Krishna asked for apology to him "Mannavar Pani Yaerkum; Kannan Pani Seyya, Un Adi Panivaanada Karna. Mannithu Arulvaayada, Karnaa. Mannithu Arulvaayada, Karnaa..."

Ekalyvan, was an example what a real student should be and what Guru Bhakti should be.

In a war, both sides have some cunning acts that were display. For eg the killing of Abhimanyu, Gadothgajan etc who were as powerful were killing by Cunningness which was retaliated

Hope my views are helpful. Anyways nice post Ravi!!!!

The story is told a bit differently though, the Dhaanam story.

Ravi said...

Prabhu, idhai idhai idhai thaan naan edhirpaarthen. Going by your beautiful posts, I know you'd provide some good insight.

But the agniparikshai was when Rama & Sita returned to India from Srilanka right? But inspite of that he again doubted because of a dhobi's comment.

Didn't know the story about Vaali-Ravana. So maybe was it to show that though Rama had advantage thru' Vaali, he still chose the righteous (?) path?

Thanks Prabhu for the nice info and comments.

Prabhu said...

Yes the Agni Parichai was after they heard the Dhobi's comments. And prove that Sita is sacred, she entered the Agni and proved herself as chaste.

As far as Vaali episode is concerned. I will not say that it is the righteous way to kill Vaali, but the true intention of killing vaali was that there could be the following reason behind it. Ravana feared Vaali, so if Rama had become a friend of Vaali. The Ravana would have silently returned Sita back, as he fears Vaali and would not have been killed, because of the Varam he got. The wish was that death should not occur to him by anything in this world and he intentionally missed out humans, because he never even thought that he would be killed by a human, the meanest of species then. So Rama a human has to kill him, that was the intention of Kaikeyee too, Ravana should be killed as he was a Rakshasan.

But how do you kill a person with whom Rama is nowhere related to or does not have the need to fight. So the episode start when Rama was in the forests and Sita gets kidnapped. So it is a sort of invention a new section for a legal action [Section 420AB] where Ravana could be killed by Rama

Hope this makes sense :)

R.Prabhu said...

There is also another story that Ravana was a Dwarapalaga of Lord Vishnu and he was cursed by Lord Vishnu for making a mistake that he has to spend his life on earth for sometime. He was give 2 choices - 7 births as good one and a devotee of Lord Vishnu or 3 births as bad one treating Lord Vishnu as enemy and reach Lord Vishnu. The Dwarapalaga chose the latter option thinking that he could not be away from Lord Vishnu for 7 births as a good one, but he can tolerate only 3 as a bad one. The first one being Eranyan, Ravana and the third Kamsan. In all his three births, he thought Lord Vishnu to be his enemy.

Hope this too helps!

Sree's Views said...

R.prabhu sir..
Andha Dhaanam story unga version solla mudiyumaa?
Adha enga paati thaniya kadhaiya sonnadhu illa...thittum podhu eduthu I cld have lost some points. :)
thanks :)

How are u ?

Ravi said...

unga comments mattum edhuthu, "addendum"-a oru post podalaam pola irukku. Thanks a lot for the nice valuable information and that Dwarapalaka bit was an unkown information to me. Interesting...

Btw, is it both you as Prabhu and R.Prabhu?

Sree, fine... neenga eppadi irukeenga? inga konjam "aanis" jaasthiyaa aayiduchu. Btw, "eve"-kku appuram pudhu post-e podaliye...

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Ravi! Yes, it is both the same me. The "Prabhu" account is the one I use for forums, newsletters and stuff. The "R.Prabhu" one for personal and blogging :D

The story goes like this. Once Krishna was talking to the Pandavas in praise of Karnan, saying that "Karnanai pol yarum dhaanam, dharman seyya mudiyathu, Karnan Dhana Dharmathil Sirandhavan". On hearing that the Pandavas did not like Krishna supporting Karnan and argued with him saying that the eldest of the Pandavas, Yudhistra, was called as Dharmar, not only because of his righteousness, but also for the benefactoring attitude.

Krishna challenged that he can prove Karnan to be more mature and Dhanathil Sirandhavan endru. So he held a competition between the Pandavas and Karnan. The competition was that 2 mountains of gold and silver would be given to both of them and whoever donates the most in a single day, will be termed as "Dhaanathil Sirandhavan".

So on the first day the Pandavas started out. As they dug the mountain and started donating, the mountains began growing as the Pandavas dug it. And there was a long queue to be fed with the donations. They went on until dusk but the mountains kept on growing, and atlast they still had about half of the queue left. Satisfied that they have donate about half of the world world's population, they went to rest. Thinking that Karnan is a single person and he could not achieve this feat that was done by the five mighty persons.

Then the next day Krishna told Karnan that he has to donate as much as he can to as many people in this world. Immediately Karnan fell at Krishna's feet and told "Parandhama, neeyae ulagam, neeyae Paramporul. Ulagathil anaithum neeyae, adhanaal ulagam uyiyum poruttu indha malaigalai unakkae dhaanamaga kodukiraen". Krishna was so pleased at the Karnan's act and praised him and later after Karnan went, he looked at the Pandavas, but they bent down their heads in shame.

And that proved that Karnan was Dhaana, Dharmathil Sirandhavan.

And thanks for your version of this story, Sree

Sree's Views said...

r.prabhu sir..
I cant thank u enough..evalo azhaga time eduthu idha ezhudhi irukeenga....
oru vinnappam..
ivvalo azhaga ezhudhanadha Ravi sonna maari postaa poda aasai..
can I do it?

@Ravi.. oru postum podala..
neengalum Prabhu sirum OK sonna..idhaye pottuduven..just the story part.

Ravi said...

Thanks for another wonderful story.

Neenga Prabhu-oda blog padichirukkeengala? If you did then you would not be surprised!! Its a treasure trove of information. Once I read his latest post and couldn't resist and read each and every post of his and I could never stop. I wanted more! Though I don't comment often, I am a BIIIIIG fans of his blog posts!!

// neengalum Prabhu sirum OK sonna..idhaye pottuduven //

Sree, idhu elaam romba over. Prabhu-vai kaetteengana okay, enna poi kaekkureengalae?? Idhu neenga naalu thittu thitti irukkalaam!!

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks for the compliments. Edho ennal mudintha sevai yaan seidhu kondu irukiraen. Mikka Nandri!!! Koodiya viraivil innum sila interesting posts vara irukiradhu!!

Sure Sree, by all means. , I would love to see that!! Idhukku ellam poi permission kettukittu. Ravi neenga sonnadhu correct :)

//Idhu neenga naalu thittu thitti irukkalaam!!//

Also don't sir me please, Enakku innum avalo vayasu agaleenga ungala maadhiri naanum youngster thaan :D

Sree's Views said...

Hello Ravi..

//Sree, idhu elaam romba over. Prabhu-vai kaetteengana okay, enna poi kaekkureengalae?? Idhu neenga naalu thittu thitti irukkalaam!! //
yes..neenga sollaradhu correct..
aana u know enakku indha formality
ellam pudhusu :)
S.V.Sekar 'jeans' la 'mouna viradham' pathi sollaradhu maari
'rules of the games theriyala' :P

yes..naan avar blog padichi irukken..
infact VBR (adhaan naan partner nnu koopiduveney..) stronga recommend
panni irundhar .
Aana , Prabhu oda posts ellam enna maari aalungalukkaanu dbt..romba deepaa thella thelivaana tamizhla ezhudharar...
edho tamizh kathukaren aana comment podara alavukku enakku knowledge illai :(
so adhaan..
but will keep reading them :)

Ravi...unga posts kooda oru personal touchoda , readersa involve panni oru thani style la irukkum..enna ,fortnightly posts :)
see yaa , Ravi !

Sree's Views said...

for r.prabhu

//Also don't sir me please, Enakku innum avalo vayasu agaleenga ungala maadhiri naanum youngster thaan :D //
Vayasa paathu 'Sir' podaradhu illainga Prabhu. Unga thgts , subjects ellam paathu oru mariyadhaioda sollaradhu...ravi ya en sir podalainnu kekadheenga..only diff..I have known him for some time and from the interactions know that he does'nt mind :)

So next post...unga arumaiyaana kadhai, prabhu :)

Ravi said...

Aahaa... appadiye vaanathula parakkara maadhiri irukku. Neenga solradhu poi-nu therinjum oru sandhosham.

I had a smile when I read about your comment on Prabhu. Very true! Inspite of being a youngster, his posts have so much depth. So nichayam adhukku "Sir" podalaam. And yes, thanks for not referring me as "Sir" .

Sree's Views said...

Romba yosichi paathuttu , ennala resist panna mudiyaama idha pottudaren :P

//And yes, thanks for not referring me as "Sir" . //
hee hee...unga postsukku avallo scene illa :)) violence please :P

tnsatish said...

I would like to give my comments based on my knowledge.

First and very important point is, We should NOT understand scriptures based on the movies. I have not seen even one movie, where 100% of the movie is same as the actual scriptures (written by Valmiki or Vedavyasa).

Slaying of Vaali:
Vaali is very powerful, and he could easily defeat ravana. Vaali has a boon that, if he fights with anyone, then he will get half of the strength of the opponent. If rama fights with him, he will get half of the strength of rama. But, Rama is the god, and he has inifinte strength. A normal soul cannot accept inifinite strength. Rama did not want to break the boon that Vaali got. So, he killed from the back. But, Rama told Vaali that, in the next life they both would do a fair fight. In the next life, Vaali was born as Jambavantha, and he fought with krishna, and got defeated by him.

Capturing of sugriva's wife is not the only mistake that he had done. He had captured the kingdom of Sugriva. Rama wanted to give back sugriva's kingdom to him. So, he fought for Sugriva.

Kunti did not take any promise from karna to spare arjuna. She asked to spare all the pandavas. But, Karna said, he would not kill any other pandavas other than karna.
I don't think krishna took all the deeds of karna at the end. My understanding is, Arjuna killed Karna by cutting his head, and he died immediately. Do you have any reference in the scriptures for this?

Dronacharya did not turn down Ekalavya just because of his caste. Archery and other related fields cannot be taught to anyone. The person whoever receives those should not misuse. Ekalavya is a nishada, and he has propensity to misuse. Infact, he misused his archery by using his powerful arrows on a dog. Dronacharya wanted to stop his misuse by taking his thumb. He very well knew that he could not defeat arjuna by anyway.
To become a great archer, just the knowledge of the archery is not enough. One needs to have powerful astras as well. Arjuna, Karna, Aswathama have astras like Brahmastra, Narayanastra, Brahmasirsha, Bharghava etc. Ekalavya could never have gotten astras like that in his entire life time. When bheeshma calculated the strengths of the people on both sides, he categorized karna as artha ratha, because, he has so many curses that he would forget his powerful astras in the need, and his chariot will sink in earth etc. Without those astras, karna cannot defeat arjuna. That's why he categorized karna as artha ratha. So, there is no way for ekalavya to become like arjuna.
Another point is Arjuna was not the greatest archer at that time. Bheeshma was the greatest archer. Nobody could defeat bheeshma in the war. Arjuna could kill bheeshma only when he left his bow. Other than Bheeshma, and Arjuna everybody else were defeated by some body or other at some point in the war.

I don't think krishna advised to cover his private parts. I have seen in many movies. But, it is not there in the scriptures. Krishna did not come into picture till the marriage of Droupadi.

Drona's death:
Yudhishtira lied at that time because, Drona did not follow the right path in the war. After sunset, both parties should stop war. But, Drona inisisted to do war at the night (after the death of Jayadratha). The next day, he used Brahmastra on normal soldiers who do not know what is a brahmastra. Yudhishtira wanted to stop this, and that's why he lied.

When krishna incarnated here, he came with all his devotees from vaikunta. When he goes back, he wanted to go back with all his devotees who born as his children/grand children. There is no one in the world who can kill them. When gandhari cursed him that, all of them would kill each other and die, he felt very happy that, he does not need bother about how to take them back to vaikunta. Others may think this as fate, but krishna wanted that only.

Do you have any scriptural reference for the story of Karna and Duryodhana's wife?

Ravana has a curse from Rambha and one sage that, if he captures any woman without her permission, then his head will be broken. That's why Ravana did not even touch Sita.

Is there any scriptural reference for Krishna asking karna for apology?

The Agni Pareeksha was after killing Ravana. Rama told sita that, it was just to prove her as chaste. After Dhobhi's comments, he left Sita in the forest.

Jaya and Vijaya were the door keepers of Vaikunta. When Santkumaras came, they did not allow them to enter vaikunta. Then they curse Jaya and Vijaya to born on earth. Then, Vishnu gives two options, either 3 lives as demon, or 7 lives as good people. They choose to become as demons for 3 lives. Then they became Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu in first life, Ravana and Kumbhakarna in second life, Sisupala and Dantavakra in third life.

I don't know tamil, so I could not understand many comments.

Ravi said...

frankly unga comment padichittu bayangara sirippu thaangala. I am still laughing for that comment.

Welcome here and thanks for your lovely detailed comments. Yes, I think most of us (maybe not you) get inspired from movie storylines. And even in the versions themselves, there are additions and omissions based on the affinity which the write has towards a certain character. Like the Valmiki and Kambar Ramayanam have the base stories has same but probably different interpretations. Thanks for the lovely insight into the stories. Keep coming!

R.Prabhu said...

Ravi & Sree, thanks for the compliments once again! Romba pull arikkudhu ponga! And thanks for the support. Oru kaalathil, Thamizh sariya padikkaama, kayil nalla nalla visayangal ellam irundha podhu vittutaen. Ana adhai ippo thedi alainthu petru kolgiraen. Thaeduvadhu swarasiyamai irundhalum, kayil irundha podhu vittu vittadhu satru varutham alikiradhu.

Btw, vayasu-nu sonnathu chumma oru nakkalukku. What I intended was to feel free to call me Prabhu without the Sir. Cos, at times people may not be able to communicate things freely as they would without the Sir. Ok scentiment over, lets get back to the topic

No i dont have any scriptural references to these. But many such legends are passed on for generations through word of mouth and most hardly have a reference that could be resorted to in case of doubt. But your thoughts are quite correct and good that people get engulfed in what the movies present the historical details.

tnsatish said...

When we say original Ramayana or Mahabharat, it means Ramayana written by Valmiki, and Mahabharat written by Veda Vyas. Even for other puranas like Bhagavatham, Vishnu, and Padma Puranas, when we say original, it always means the puranas written by Veda Vyas. For all theists, and those who believe in those, all these epics and puranas (written by Veda Vyas and Valmiki) are history. Rest all are stories.

If anybody believes Kalidasa, Kambar or any other poet and starts arguing about the characters in the mahabharat/Ramayana based on their writings, then I don't think it is worth of any discussion. Because, all other writings are just poeting works, and they did not happen actually. There is no point in discussing on something which did not happen, and which is a poetic work.

By the way, all the original puranas, Mahabharat, and Ramayana are still available. So, we don't need to believe what our ancestors or movies said.

Another thing that I forgot to mention in my last comment was,
Arjuna is a savyasachi, means he can use his both hands in archery. If Drona had asked arjuna for his right thumb as guru dakshina, still arjuna could have been a great warrior, because he could have fought with his left hand. Where as for ekalavya, it was not the case. Everybody started crticizing dronacharya, but ignored the power of Arjuna.

I am 99.99% sure that following stories are not there in original Mahabharat.
Story of Karna and Duryodhana's wife.
Challenge between Pandavas and Karna in donating.

If it is there, please let me know the Parva and aswas.

Sree's Views said...


//I don't know tamil, so I could not understand many comments. //
I thgt as much.

Do you have any scriptural reference for the story of Karna and Duryodhana's wife?//

I very clearly said in the comment that one of the stories is hearsay...and a funny one.

The other one is as u rightly put it, is from the movies...but so what ? Its just a light hearted discussion and we just say what qualities impress us...

For all the importance we attach to scriptures...there is no proof that these mythological characters inhabited the Earth at any time.

And as Prabhu and Ravi pointed out..the stories get watered down according to each region.

For example NIndians always refer to 'sabhari' but I like to talk abt 'Avvaiyar'..she is dearer to me.

//I am 99.99% sure that following stories are not there in original Mahabharat.
Story of Karna and Duryodhana's wife.
Challenge between Pandavas and Karna in donating.//
u can even be 100% sure and I am not going to contest it.
As far as I am concerned all are stories...and if it has a moral or lesson ,well and good..otherwise let me enjoy the language and the play of characters.

//If it is there, please let me know the Parva and aswas. //
Now we dont need all these just to share our views on famous versions on the behavioral pattern of mythological characters. Our atittude towards certain aspects change with time...and we bring out our opinions on debatable traits..
for eg..Rama is looked upon as the ideal husband....but there are a few of us who feel it is outdated in the present day.

The main thing here is , we are not claiming that these are authentic true happenings...we agree these are stories and convey our observations on them...and shd be left at that.
These are not to be seen as thesis for a Phd in Mythology.

btw...ur versions of these stories also made good read esp the one on Arjuna being ambidextrous in archery :) good one !

Sree's Views said...

Hello Ravi ..
enna week end enssoiiingaa ?
neenga sportiveaa eduthupeengannu theriyum :)

tnsatish said...

The size of your comment can be reduced by 90% with the statement "I don't believe mahabharat as a history. I believe it as a story".

If someone believes mahabharat as a story, then everything is left for interpretation. Most of the debating is not required.

Ravi said...

Better late than never. I can understand your reason for lamenting but ippove indha podu podureenga, so am sure you will get all that (which you think) you missed.

Weekend enjoy? Yes, sort of. I have some friends coming over here. So am playing host.

Interesting insights again, which I have hardly read or heard. Thanks. I think Sree has a point. The very basis of the mythological works is to preach about how "good wins over evil" and how we related to our lives. Maybe there are some deviations here and there but if such deviations can impart some goodness onto the readers/listeners, then why not? But as you said, I would like to read the original versions too sometime! Thanks again for your comments.

R.Prabhu said...

Well, you cannot be even sure that Valmiki Ramayana is in its complete form with us. Because there is a legend that says Valmiki wrote the Ramayana in 1 crore verses. Being so divine, the devars (Indran et. al.) and the other gods and even the asuras and of course the humans too, wanted to have it for themselves, but that one copy could not be held by all of them. So they thought of sharing the verses among them. And that resulted in some 24000 verses with the humans. So what if those missing links that are passed as legends went to the Devars and other Gods etc.

Also as regards, Bhagawath Gita, has been interpreted by many stalwarts in different ways. Did Veda Vyasa write verbatim to what Krishna said. Even in the Mahabharata, it is depicted as Sanjayan telling about the Gita to Dhirudhrashtra. How authentic would that have been, when your context is authenticity.

The point is not about the authenticity or claiming that Veda Vyasa or Valmiki are the copyright holders of Mahabharatha and Ramayana. It is all about the essence that is being conveyed as an aspect of our history. It is does not matter in which newspaper you read your daily news, as long as the essence of what happened is delivered correctly. The works by Kambar, etc are similar to this. The essence being conveyed has the touch of the poets eloquence and imagination in telling things. To me it is quite acceptable as long as it does not deviate from the mainline.

// Arjuna is a savyasachi, means he can use his both hands in archery. If Drona had asked arjuna for his right thumb as guru dakshina, still arjuna could have been a great warrior, because he could have fought with his left hand. //

You are right, but Arjuna would have been a great warrior without his right thumb, but would not have been a great archer without his right thumb. Ekalayvaa wanted to be a great archer and not a great warrior. So Dhrona was quite intelligent enough to ask for a thumb, because he had promised that he will make Arjuna the best archer in the world.

I guess the above points make sense. Also I think you will take it in a sportive sense. And I am happy to have such a healthy conversation with you people

// //If it is there, please let me know the Parva and aswas. //
Now we dont need all these just to share our views on famous versions on the behavioral pattern of mythological characters....

Thanks for the supplemental views.

// For example NIndians always refer to 'sabhari' but I like to talk abt 'Avvaiyar'..she is dearer to me. //

Nalla karuthu, pinniteenga ponga.

tnsatish said...

---For theists, who take ramayana and mahabharat as history - Begin

In the hinduism, most of the people follow (And what I believe is) the scriptures written by Veda Vyasa and Valmiki. They are the source of everything in hinduism. We cannot have any better authinticity in this human life. So, we take those scriptures for granted. In this life, they are the authentic scriptures. If a person who is not a normal human being, and if he/she can access the scriptures outside earth, that would be very good. But, I am a normal human being, so, I take the scriptures written by Veda Vyasa and Valmiki for granted. If they say something, it is true for me. If they do not say, then I don't believe it blindly.

Prabhu, You are correct that, we don't have complete Ramayana. We have only 24,000 verses on earth. Mahabharat contains around 60,00,000 verses. But, on earth only 1,00,000 verses available. Valmiki and Veda Vyasa felt that humans cannot understand the entire Ramayana and Mahabharat. So, they deliberately summarized the epics.

Arjuna would have been a great warrior without his right thumb, but would not have been a great archer without his right thumb.

Sorry. I meant Arjuna would have been a great archer without his right thumb. He can use both his hands with the same efficiency. That's why he was called as SavyaSachi. Even if Ekalavya had not given his right thumb, still he would not have become as powerful as Arjuna, because of the reasons in my previous comment.

---For theists, who take ramayana and mahabharat as history - End

--For people who take ramayana and mahabharat as stories - Begin

If you are interested in just knowing the moral, then it is fine to take any poet who wrote Ramayana/Mahabharat. But, if you start arguing about the specific incidents in stories, then it would become very difficult. Because, in my version of Mahabharat (based on my reading from Vyasa Mahabharat, and puranas), Whatever Drona did to Ekalavya was correct. Probably, in some other interpretation of this story, it may be wrong. Nothing is wrong in stories. Everyone can have their own interpretation, moral, and essence. But, if we start mixing up interpretations, then there will be fightings. You can see that type of fightings in many mahabharat groups.

-- For people who take ramayana and mahabharat as stories - End

balar said...

sorry konjam late agiduchu..

ippadi kaapiyangal ellam karaichu kudichu andha chars pathi oru researche panni attakasama indha post pottu irukkeengae..:)

naan raamayanam and mahabharadham padichathum appram serials parthoda sari chars pathi romba yosikkalai..:(
pesame neenga oru 'ravi'yayinam ezhuthalam andha alavukku kappiyangal ellam karaichu kudichirukkeenga..:)

Ungalai comments and kadhais padichen.excellent..still wondering eppadi neenga sub stories ellam ivvalavu yabagama innum ninaivil vaichirukkeenga.:) hmm neengalum oru prabh(u)aradham ezhuthalamnu ninaikiren andha alavukku finger tipsla vaichirukkeenga.:)

Neenga sonna board game chinna vayasula tamil poetryla padichen..adhai pathi enga tamil ayya solrappa "Dhuriyodhanan thannoda wife mela santhega pattanannu theriyadhu aanal thannoda nanban karnan mela avanukku thuli kooda santhegapadalai idhu than natpukku sirantha utharanamunnu sollulam" appadinu vilakkam tharuvaru..

@ravi and Prabhu,
Dharmarai pathi solrappa "porumai" ikku miga sirandha utharanam solluvaanga..adhukkku karanama ethavadhu sub story irundha ungalakku therinchirundha engalukku share pannungale..:))

Ravi said...

Late-a vandhaalum latest-a vandhirukeenga. Thanks for your nice comments. Well, enakku therinja stories vechu ezhudhirukken. Satish-oda comments paartheenga-na puriyum, naanum oru "ara vekaadu" dhaan nu.

I did hear about Dharmar. But not sure about any stories. I also adore the character of Bhishma.

R.Prabhu said...

Nice comments! Thanks! Neenga solluradha paarthaal. Kadhaigal ezhudavae oru thani blog arambikkalaam pola irukudhu. Yaena, Dharmar, Bhiman, Arjunan, Naradharnu ega patta kadhai irukku. All nice concepts.

Kadhai solluravanga ellam oru collective/group blog arambichudalam pola irukku. Enna sollureenga :D

swaminathan moorthy said...

Heard from my father another story. Pandavas play again and win before going vanavas (thanks to Krishna).

Ravi said...

Hello and welcome here! This story is new to me. Haven't heard about it. Can you pls explain it for the benefit of others? Thanks!

tnsatish said...

The story that you are saying is not there in the Mahabharata of Vyasa. It is added by few people afterwards. It is not authentic.

Ravi said...

Hi Satish, how are you? Long time no see...??

tnsatish said...

Hi Ravi,
I am fine. Thank you.

You will see me more, if you post any controversial subjects or subjects related to religion or politics. :)

Swaminathan Moorthy said...

long absence :)

There is a story that they won and they still went to forests for the word they had given earlier (the first round of the game where they lost). As someone had pointed out, this is not mentioned in the Mahabharatha written by Vyasa but the story goes around

swaminathan moorthy said...

long absence again :)

Reason why ravana did not harm sita.

He had a curse that if he touches a girl without consent, he would burn to ashes.

Ravi said...

Hi Swaminathan,
Thanks for both your comments. I have also heard about the curse on Ravana (I think someone had also posted it in a comment here). But apart from that it is said that he also had nice virtues. That is why it is said Rama gave a second chance that when Ravanan was to face defeat.

badri said...


ennoda siru moolaiku ettiyadhai solgirenn,ondru mattum unmai nammudaya history ramayanam matrum mahabharatham unmai samvangale adhu mattumillamal oru korrvaiyaana thoguppum kooda:

1. Why Rama always tested Sita's chasticity:
--> once when rishi(if i am not wrong it should dhurvasa maharishi) went vaikuntam to see Mahavishnu,that time he was very busy with his wife Mahalakshmi.On seeing this as usual Dhurvasar gave a curse "You will always live without your wife",even though he is god and can easily overcome curses he smilingly accepted and asked for relief for that sage replied " You will be born as an ordinary human,you will get all things in the life but most of the time will live away from your wife",for that god gracefully accepted.Curse got fulfilled during Ramayana.Noone can match Raghurama in sacrifice eventhough he lived away from his wife during the time of Aswamedha Maha yagnam ,he built golden statue of Matha Sita to sit with him to perform the yaga because a person with a wife only can do such yaga.When Sita mata who was living in Valmiki Ashram heard of it got doubt with Lord Rama and his promise of "Ega pathni viradhan" in his life, when she heard of golden statue of her sitting on the beside of her she felt very sad of doubting his pathi.Sita and Rama were not 2 person but a single soul was proved by this incident,he was born as an ordinary man if wife is not there normal people mentality is get married second time but Rama never did that even when talks of Kashi Raja daughter alliance came to him even Janaga Maharaja was awestruck by Rama's commitment and praised him a lot.Which king would sleep in floor like a rishi when wife isnt there,i have never heard of single person other than Lord Rama.My sincere request to everyone dont come to conclusion about anyone,first let us read fully(not partially because in Ramayana written by Valmiki mention Lord Vishnu's curse just comes like another line but in some other literature it would be mentioned in detailed manner),let us discuss to understand the RCA of every incident in our history(why i say Mahabharatha is history because of recent evidence of Dwaraka City found,Ramayana as history because we are seeing with our eyes Ramar Sethu why there is no such Sethu between Bharat and Africa or America or Australia why only to Srilanka as mentioned in our history is there,why cunning British if its false ried to rename it as Adam's Brdige....When Newton,Einstein,Openheimer(specifically says Atom Bomb which i blased is the first of its kind in modern times who knows about past esp when Brahmastra,Pasupathaastra,Narayanaastra were there) etc say..),then come to conclusion about he events.Let us feel proud of our history.

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