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
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.
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.
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.
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!