Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sita on Fire

If someone were to ask me what is the only thing that you hate in Ramayana, I would say Rama making Sita go on fire (agni pariksha) to prove her chastity. [Later, he abandons her in spite of the fact that she comes out clean in the agni pariksha, just to satisfy the rumour spread amongst his people] However much Rama is praised on being the 'Ideal Gentleman' (Maryada Purush as he was called), I am of the opinion that his action of testing Sita/abandoning her was not the right thing to do. If Vishnupuran had continued till the tenth avatar, perhaps I would have known something that I do not know about this particular episode to change my opinion...


Anonymous said...

The story should be seen in the perspective of its times and in totality of the original poets vision.
Few points
1> His father was polygamous and so were most other kings.
2> It was easier for a king to marry anyone

Rama's Moral Idealness comes from the fact that
a) He chose to be monogamous in spite of being able to be polygamous legally
b)He chose to test and abandon his wife ( in a safe place.. not on the street) and remain monogamous in a time when polygamy was easy and acceptable
This is a testimony to a man's control of Desire, sense of duty as a king and love for his wife ( despite abandoning her __in a safe place__ he chose to use her gold idol, not next wife, for Ashwamedha).

But if you analyse from today's value system perspective, he should have filed a FIR for abduction and kept quite, not raise an army and kill the abductor, for the sake of a replaceable wife( the last comment holds good even now)

Kulbhushan Singhal said...


This is not the way to decide on important Dharmic issues like this. Agni pariksha and disownment of Sita after Shri Ram became King are connected.

Please ponder:

1. Shri Ram was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who came to this earth to establish Dharm, and the rule is that HE would establish this Dharm living as human being. Now what was the Dharm HE established when HE asked Sita for Agni pariksha? This requires an answer. There can be only two Dharm from Agni Pariksha…
o Ram wanted Hindus to accept and follow this, OR
o Shri Ram rejected it and declared this as ADHARM

2. Agni pariksha at that time was the NOBELEST, the FINEST and DHARMIC tradition of that time to determine the loyalty and chastity of a female. In case of Shri Ram, if YOU WERE THERE, would you have disowned your wife, who had successfully passed the fearsome Agni pariksha without giving her a FAIR trial? Remember the policy of APPEASEMEMT (after all disowning ones wife for the sake of remaining king is a policy of appeasement) is followed by weak persons, and such person can never bring any reforms. Shri Ram, subsequently established RAMRAJYA, which required fair and just rule of law.

3. In case you are an expert social scientist and you are required to advise the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi (Ram and Sita in this case), as to how to establish, for all future humanities, for lakhs of years to come, that Agni paiksha was an Adharm and not a Dharm, HOW WILL YOU DO IT?

Remember that Shri Ram asked Sita to undergo Agni pariksha test because that was the noblest and Dharmic tradition of that time—but as soon he became the King of Ayodhya, he rejected the result of Agni pariksha and RULED that such decisions can be taken on the basis of physical evidence only(pl. Read my post : Agni Pariksh Of Sita… Facts at URL: EVEN TODAY THE LAWS OF THE FREE WORLD IS THE SAME AS WHAT SRI RAM HAD RULED, LAKHS OF YEARS EARLIER, REGARDING CONSENT OF A FEMALE.

We also have to remember that Agni pariksha is remembered lakhs of years later by us, BUT because of the ADHARMIC nature of advise being provided by leaders, we are not in a position to appreciate that subsequently Shri Ram ruled that Agni pariksha is Adharm and that is why we have had NO further case of Agni pariksha, even after lakhs of years.

The problem presently existing with Hindu Religion is that we have been cajoled or coerced to accept the results of these Dharmic Historical events, as stories( I am afraid, I am using a dirty word ‘story” for History, but that is how everyone is treating ancient history), without going into details of historical background, which results in erroneous conclusions.

Since Shri Ram is a Dharmic figure, such erroneous conclusions are classified as Dharm, and since statistically(and statistic seldom gives wrong results), we are already moving in a negative direction, we become, unintentionally, a party who is responsible for taking Hindu Dharm in the negative direction. Everyone who is writing about religion or problems of society does have a very serious responsibility to take the society forward.

Sir, I want you to approach his question, impartially and accepting that, when we are dealing with issues concerning Dharm or society, our answer should assist in positive growth of society.

Kulbhushan Singhal