Why did Rama abandon Sita in the forest? (The Secret!)
“Hmm. It’s funny a person from a country that legally allowed divorcing wives by sending a single SMS in this so-called modern world questioning something that happened almost 10,000 years ago.” I said.
“But that doesn’t answer my question and do not justify Rama’s fault…I am really mad at Rama for this heinous act. I have heard a very weak argument in favour of democracy and public opinion as reasons to abandon his wife…Tell me, which part of Dharma Sastra would allow him, as a caring King and a loving husband to abandon a pregnant woman? ”
“You are right. But Rama cannot do anything against Dharma. That means, there should be some other reasons or it may have happened in some other way….” I said.
“Oh, you are also trying to support Rama’s cruel act? It didn’t happen?”
“It happened. Ramayana is an Itihasa (= iti+ha+asa= It happened this way) and100% truthful biography. The real meaning of Ramayana is the route to Rama or travel to his heart. If you had read original Ramayana, you would not ask this question. Obviously, you haven’t. You might have read either coloured interpretations or somebody filled your mind with pre-assumptions. Rama proved that he is the most perfect man living in the earth as the righteous king, loving husband and caring father by sending Sita to Valmiki Ashram (hermitage) in the forest.” I said.
“I am shocked and surprised. But I know you won’t tell without base. Uday sir, please tell me the real reason. Please. I am not able to answer the question asked by people in my country ridiculing our Hindu gods.” he said.
“Rama was NOT a god; he was an ordinary human being. He didn’t show any miracles. Still, all gods and sages worshipped him.”
“The famous ‘Vishnu Sahasranama’ says that just reciting the name of Rama once is equivalent praying to Vishnu thousand times. Hanuman, the most powerful god, preferred to be a slave of this ordinary man. But Rama accepted him as a friend…Hanuman wrote the biography of Rama but later dumbed in the ocean saying that he was not even worthy of writing it…”
“I didn’t know there was a Hanuman Ramayana…” Raghu said.
“Yes. An incident happened in the court of Vikramaditya, first-century BCE emperor of Ujjain, India. Somebody had got a verse (sloka) written in palm leaf (used in place of paper in olden times). Kalidas, the greatest poet in the world, has analyzed it and told the emperor – ‘going by the depth and power of the Sanskrit language used in this, the author must be Hanuman. This sloka should be part of the lost Hanuman Ramayana’…”I told him, then asked: “Do you know who has written Ramayana first?”
“Maharshi Valmiki. Ramayana is Adi Kavya (first poetry), right?” Raghu asked.
“Wrong. Actually, Rig-Veda is Adi Kavya. Ramayana, written by Valmiki at a later period, is the first biographical poetry and is popularly credited as Adi Kavya. Ramayana was originally written by Brahma. Narada also wrote Ramayana. Many scriptures mention about those two Ramayanas that had more than one lakh verses. But we have lost it. Later, Narada advised Valmiki to write Ramayana. There are more than 300 versions of Ramayana including written in many countries around the world. Rama’s life inspired people around the world as he should have been the most popular hero then.”
“But, why are you telling all those things? My question was about abandoning Sita.”
“I am coming to that. Parvati asked her husband Shiva about ‘Loka Tattva’ (Truth about the world). In meditative spell Shiva revealed “Rama Tattva”, which is known as ‘Adhyatma Ramayana’, another version. Obviously he was also meditating on this ordinary man – Rama. The sacred mantra, Gayatri has 24 syllables. Valmiki Ramayana has 24,000 slokas. Each 1000’s sloka start with each syllable in the gayatri. It is said that the name Rama is powerful than Gayatri. The biggest praise of Rama had come from his arch-enemies, Ravan and Maricha. Why did everybody praise and worship him?”
“Yes – that’s confusing, why this man is worshipped so much?” Raghu said: “But, sir, my question was…”
“Yes, I know, don’t be jumpy. Now about Sita. She was not a meek or weak woman. In her childhood, Sita had easily lifted the table over which the powerful ‘Pinaka’ or ‘Shiva Dhanush’ (the bow of the Shiva) had been placed – no one else in the world could lift it. Sita was so powerful and well-balanced. When Rama decided to go in exile, Sage Vasistha advised: “Let Rama go as an obedient son. But Sita can stay back here and rule Kosala kingdom from its capital Ayodhya. (The modern world is still apprehensive about making a woman leader) to which Sita replied ‘Is not the wife’s dharma to be at her husband’s side? Let me walk ahead of Rama so that I may smooth the path for his feet,’ And she walked in the front, not behind and submissive, as portrayed in many movies, pictures and interpreters.”
“Oh, really…I didn’t know that Uday Sir…”
“Rama is known as Sitarama. Can you show anywhere in this world, where they put wife’s name as first? Okay. Before answering your question on banishing Sita, I have ten questions for you. Have you heard about Janaka?”
“Yes, Sita’s father. He loved his daughter so-much that she is also known as Janaki”
“Yes – even in the Gita, Krishna portray Janaka as man of wisdom. A powerful King. Question 1. Why didn’t Janaka take Sita back to his palace when Rama had sent her to forest? Why did he support Rama’s decision?”
2. Even today the worst husband would show the basic minimum courtesy to leave his wife in her father’s place. Why didn’t Rama do that?
3. We have seen how powerful and dharmic Sita was. Would she allow Rama to desert her just like that, if it was not right?
4. Rama had two sons, Luv and Kush who were singing in the streets of Ayodhya praising the valour and qualities of Rama. If Sita was hurt by Rama’s action would she allow that? Obviously, she was not hurt. She was worshipping Rama’s idol in the hermitage. Why?
5. The Sages during his time and the authors of Ramayan were Dharmic. If Rama did anything adharmic, why would they praise or worship him? Why would they project him as a role model to entire universe?
6. Do you think great Sages like Vyasa, Valmiki and all are fools to include the incident of abandoning of Sita (Sita parityaga) in Ramayana to tarnish Rama’s image? They would have easily written that Sita delivered two children in the Palace and lived ever happily thereafter. Then nobody would have raised such question. Why did they intentionally add this incident in Ramayana to make people question him?
7. During those days it was a practice for kings to have several consorts. Rama didn’t marry again. In fact he suffered more than Sita. He was lonely in the huge palace. He was always immersed in the thought of Sita. His love to Sita is unquestionable. Then why did he leave her in the forest?
8. Rama is particular that even the shadow of another woman should not touch Him. He never even looked at any woman other than Sita. Every cell of his inscribed with love to Sita. He was totally dedicated to Sita. Why would such a person banish her?
9. Rama guarded the rights and honours of women (Tara, Mandodari etc) who were wives of his slain enemies. Why did he not guard even the basic rights of his own wife?
10. When his people demanded he remarry for the Ashvamedha Yagna (A sacrifice ritual of emperors), he placed a golden statue of Sita in place of his wife and challenged his kingdom to disprove him. He could have made the statue out of anything, stone, wood, silver, but why gold?
“Sir, those are hard-hitting questions. I could never ever think like that…”
“That’s what – you are taught to think in a particular way by those modern mentally retarded (or disturbed) pseudo intellects. They have conditioned your mind through the text books and media, so that you would NEVER think logically or rationally. Such questions would never come to your mind…These secrets will be revealed only to an earnest seeker with non-biased mind.”
“Please explain the secret, Uday sir”
“First reason is the same that you portrayed as a weak argument – in fact it is a strong one. Hindu dharma says: ‘A King’s (ruler) first and foremost duty is to take care of his country and his subjects. A ruler should be a Sevak, serving his country and subjects. Citizens likes and dislikes are important than his selfish ones. A King had to lead an unblemished life. He should be whiter than white and give no reason for anyone to find any flaws in the façade of his perfect life.’ Those who pointed fingers at Rama and Sita, though lead less than perfect lives themselves, expected Rama and Sita to lead an exemplary life. In fact, Rama preferred to hand over the kingdom to any one of His brothers and leave to forest with Sita. But none of his brothers accepts to take over the kingdom as it is against their own dharma! So he has to follow the dharma as a King. He could not abandon his subjects. He cannot abandon his perfect plan of a perfect society ‘Rama Rajya’. So, he abandoned any chance of happiness in his life for the happiness of his people.”
“Yes, I agree with you, it’s a known fact. You have gone further deeper, that’s all – But didn’t he fail in the dharma of a Husband and father? So how can he be perfect man?” he asked.
“Valmiki said that Rama spent a whole sleepless night before taking the decision of leaving Sita to his Ashram in the forest. Here, Valmiki reveals how Rama reached to a righteous, self-less, dharmic, non-emotional decision. It shows Rama’s love and care.”
“What was that?”
“He loved his wife more than himself. Once tainted by gossip, there was little he could do to shake it off. As an ordinary man, Rama could practically do nothing to protect her. If he did, he would be accused of favoritism. When people started attacking the reputation of Sita with venomous scandals, Rama couldn’t tolerate it. He wanted others also to treat Sita as pure and divine. Sending her to ashram will divert the public fury and slander towards him, instead of Sita. He was right. Now, see, including you, everybody is accusing Rama but nobody criticizes Sita. This shows his pure love and care for Sita as also the respect to chastity of womanhood…”
“Wow! I didn’t think that way. Yes, he has done his dharma as a loving husband. What about the dharma of a father?”
“Talk to scientists or psychologists. They would tell you about the atmosphere that is needed for a pregnant lady, otherwise, how the child will be in the future. The pregnancy time decides the long-term health of future child as also the baby’s development and thoughts. The calm, quiet, serene and pious atmosphere in the ashram and the neuro-linguistic effect of and Vedic chants would be a boon to the unborn child. The example is Prahlad. The demon King Hiranyakashipu’s pregnant wife, Kayadhu was in Narada’s ashram. The unborn child (Prahlad) has become very pious and devotee of Vishnu and later as powerful righteous King. If pregnant Sita was in the palace, the scandals and slanders will reach there and inhabitants will talk ill or indirectly victimize her. She will have miserable, stressful and depressed life in the palace, affecting the child in the womb. Rama’s intelligence had won here too. He had got two smart kids who were powerful enough to defeat even Rama. They continued the legacy of the legendary Solar Dynasty (Suryavansa)…”
“No words. But you didn’t tell about the gold statue of Sita…”he reminded me
“Rama wanted to give a clear message to the public – Just as gold never tarnishes, Sita in his view could never have a tarnished character.”
“I am sorry; I didn’t know all those things. I wasted my time and poisoned my mind listening to ignorant people. I lost chance to worship Rama “he was sad.
“I was also hesitant to pray to Rama…” I couldn’t finish before he asked: “So you also did question Rama in the past…” (See also: http://www.udaypai.in/?p=899)
“No. Never. May be due to accumulated good karma of my forefathers I had the opportunity to read Ramayana during my school days itself…”
“You said you didn’t want to pray.”
“After reading Ramayana, I didn’t know if I am even worthy of reciting the word “RAMA”, let alone praying to him. We are sitting here, brain-washed by pseudo intellects, and criticizing Rama. What qualification do we have to criticize the greatest man ever lived, without even knowing about him? He is the ONLY perfect man came to the earth. A man of unlimited love, care and compassion. So the ancient world had elevated him to the level of Vishnu as an avatar…” I said.
I think Raghu was tearful then. He said he was going to do penance by writing “Sriramajayam” (Jai Sriram) 100,000 times. I told him it was not necessary. Rama’s energy is there in this universe. It loves all; we all are his subjects that mean he will do anything for us. We don’t have to do anything to please Rama. He will be pleased if we live happily and peacefully because that was the concept of Rama rajya.
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