Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hare Rama, Hare Krishna - Part 1

x: Name the two books which gave rise to popular Hindu Gods, Rama and Krishna.
y: Ramayana and Mahabharata.
x: Wrong answer.
y: What????!
x: Manu Smriti and Bhagwad Gita.

Well, if you knew the above 'correct' answer and also agree that Krishna, Shankara, Buddha and Mahavira were all atheists, then you can skip this series of posts!

I'm fairly convinced that Ramayana and Mahabharata are just propaganda material for two more powerful and influential books of India. First is the Manu Smriti,the bedrock of Aryan Racism and the second, Bhagwad Gita, the most important work on Hindu Philosophy. The characters in the epics being historical, mythical or metaphorical makes no difference to the above conclusion.

Ramayana and Racism:

Have you read the Laws of Manu? If not, I urge you NOT to read them! Because, I have read and can certify that Manu Smriti is the most despicable racist work in the history of mankind! In theory, Manu Smriti lays down the rules of behavior for the four Varnas and Women. But practically it says Shudras and Women should be treated like vermin.

Ramayana and its chief protagonist Rama obey the Laws of Manu to its last word! In other words, Rama was the paragon of Aryan Racism. No wonder the Aryans were so keen to celebrate and propagate Ramayana. Lets see why.

Rama and Brahmins:

Manu Smriti says Brahmins are the ultimate creation and their words are final. So does Ramayana. Do you remember the conversation between Viswamithra and Dasratha, when the former had come to request the services of latter's son Rama? [Hint: you cannot dishonour a rishi's request] Or do you have the count for the number of women and shudras killed by Rama, simply because Brahmin rishis ordered him to?

Rama, the Kshtriya:

Manu Smriti lays down fairly obvious rules for the conduct of Kshtriyas and Vaishyas. We all know Rama waged wars on the other indigenous people of India, adhered to 'Caesar's wife should be above suspicion' thing to banish Sita to the woods and provided Ram Rajya. But its the next two cases that are disturbing.

Rama's treatment of Women:

1. Manu Smriti doesn't seem to encourage polygamy. So nothing great in Rama being married to just Sita. In anycase having seen his father battered by his four mothers, Rama might have just been smart!
2. Rama doesn't hesitate to kill women at all. Infact scores of women are killed in Ramayana. Is it because, Manu Smriti gives very strict guidelines about things women should not do? Well, practically everything except serving her Lord is a no-no for women!
3. Can anyone justify Rama's treatment of Sita? This guy suspects that Sita's modesty was compromised and hence will no longer accept her. And we worship him as God?
4. What about the treatment of Surpanaka, (Raavan's sister) whose nose was sliced off by Lakshman? What's wrong if Raavan wanted to take revenge for this insult?
5. What about Lakshman rekha? Women who disobey the lines drawn by Manu Smriti will meet Sita's fate?

Rama's treatment of Shudras:

1. Manu Smriti says Shudra's only purpose in life is to serve the top three varnas. So says Ramayana with Guha, Hanuman, Sukreeva, Jadayu etc, etc.
2. But Shudras cannot dare usurp the rights of others. For instance Rama will kill Shambhuka, a shudra simply because he did penance. Shudras should know their place!
3. Despite all their help and sacrifices, people of Kishkinta will only be called 'vanar sena'. (I know vanar is not a derogatory word, but even educated people call Hanuman, a monkey god!)
4. And what on earth did Vali do to deserve being stabbed in the back by this God Rama? Rama had seen him only for the second time in his life. The first time he couldn't differentiate between Vali and Sukreeva, to kill the former when they were fighting!

Well, I have just listed some fairly well known flaws in Rama's character. Ram Bakhts would like to think that they're all God's lessons for us. And that Ramayana just happened to obey the rules of the time. But believe me, Ramayana is just racist propaganda! In anycase, its totally anachronistic in this age. Even school kids these days have better morals than Rama ever had.

And now to my hero, Krishna!


Amrutha said...

interesting...I am glad someone has his head in his shoulders...I agree with you on the Rama-is-a-racist/chauvinist part.

K.Shyam said...

There is one school of thought which proclaims that Rama suspected his wife, so that at a later point in time, people will not talk/gossip among themselves that Sita was alone in some forest held in captive and there is no guarantee that she is pure !

I am just bringing to your attention the other side of the coin.

Balaji said...

very true! I think branding Raavan as Brahmin is also an attempt to strengthen arguments that Sita was not harmed in Lanka.

many of the stuff that we have heard about the historical Rama may have never happened or been told that way in the stories.

but the Rama as most people know today or have known for thousands of years did make Sita take the agni parikksha and later banish her to the forests.

I wish more people had perused some other version of the story which would have asserted women's right to equal treatment.

Anonymous said...

Why are you so Anti-Rama? Is coz you are Tamil and you are on the Ravan's side?

Balaji said...

well, this latest string of anti-rama posts started when 'Ram Bhakts' started their Ramar Sethu campaign.

Why I hate Rama? I'm reasonably convinced that he was a racist and a male chauvinist. I hate so many things. Rama is just one of them!

Raavan, a Tamil? Maybe. But I don't think we know anything authentic about him that would make me rally behind him.

And I have never understood why people 'accuse' me of being a Tamil? If my language/state/country/religion etc influence my views, whats freaking wrong with that?

Anonymous said...

"And I have never understood why people 'accuse' me of being a Tamil? If my language/state/country/religion etc influence my views, whats freaking wrong with that?"

I'll tell you what's freaking wrong with it. It shows how racist and bias you are. Anyone but people like you (i.e. mentally challenged) will get this from above statement of yours. And you are talking of Rama being racist. BULL's SHIT.

Anonymous said...

my god! i was shocked! For having read some good posts and this one comes as a shocker! And i certainly a racist and my god isnt a racist too..ur argument is like so selective and wow was amazed to what human mind can percieve what it wants it to be!
U are turning out to be living example of getting influenced to someone else's shit! sorry for that though!
actually look all ur points fall flat on the face! Damn have u read the whole Manu Smriti ? for god sake dont say u ve the utmost knowledge of that scripture!
Ur logic is so scary my god!
Tomo u wil say Pandavas wer god's sons and god donated SPERM to the mother and she s a bttch!
I find it so funny how human mind has the ability to alter things.!
The thing that aryan thing comes up ... dravidians cnt stand it ! ha ha ! Piece of Shhhht

Balaji said...

thanks for reading these posts. this blog is about 8 years old and i used to write provocative things when i was much younger than what i'm now. if i were writing now, i would perhaps be more humble and respectful.

having said that, i don't find anything wrong with this post on Ramayana. i still have no respect for anyone who worships this fictional and questionable character (Rama).

your views on Ramayana might be different, ofcourse.

ps: obviously i'm no expert on Manu Smriti, but I did read significant portions of it and found its treatment of women and shudras, disgusting.