Thursday, February 19, 2009

AGNI PARIKSHA OF SITA ..FACTS


REASONS~~WHY SHRI RAM DISOWNED MATA SITA
Lot of confusion had been created regarding the role of Shri Ram in Agni Pariksha of Sita. The question still remains to be answered whether Shri Ram supported or opposed Agni Pariksha.
After a very complete and comprehensive victory over Ravan, Vibhishan was coroneted as King of Lanka. The victorious Ram asked that Sita may be brought back. And Sita was brought back with full protocol as a queen of the victorious army chief.
But Ram always respected the existing tradition (Maryada) of that time. He declared that Sita had to pass the Agni Pariksha test so that he could accept her back. Laxman strongly opposed this.

Yet the victorious army chief insisted that Agni Pariksha was the only thing which could make him accept her. Sita agreed and after the satisfactory completion of the ritual ‘Agni Pariksha’, Shri Ram gladly accepted her back as his wife.

Returning back to Ayodhya, Ram was coroneted as king of Ayodhya. Shri Ram was the king who had inherited the throne of great King Dasrath, which was subsequently and ably ruled by Bharat on behalf of Shri Ram. They had an efficient system of obtaining feedback from the public on the basis of which laws were made for the welfare of the public.
And now King Ram was receiving these feedbacks.

Some of these feedbacks were very disturbing. 
They were all about Sita and how she could not be accepted back as queen after staying with Ravan. Initially these feedbacks were ignored. Slowly these feedbacks started increasing and dissatisfaction became much more apparent. Something had to be done. It was then King Ram decided, as per the existing Maryada of that time, that he would personally hold a Court of Enquiry in which People would appoint their representative to plead their case and Royalty would appoint their representative to plead the case of Sita.

The main objection of people regarding Sita, was that Ravan approached Sita in the form of a ‘Bhikshuk’ and as a ‘Brahmin’ he was perfectly eligible to do that, and Sita, after transgressing Laxman Rekha went with Ravan on her own free will. As such Shri Ram had no reason to attack Lanka, kill unaccountable people and then ‘forcibly’ bring Sita back.

In the court which was presided, as King, by Shri Ram, the representative of Royal family pleaded that Sita was forcibly abducted by Ravan who came in the guise of Bhikshuk for that very purpose and that she was coeresed in transgressing the Laxman Rekha. Sita also personally testified the same.

As a further proof they cited the example of Jatayu who died fighting Ravan. Laxman gave this evidence because Jatayu, of course was dead. They further provided evidence, as how Sugrive had seen Sita being forcibly taken in the southern direction by Ravan and wailing the name of Ram she threw her ornaments were Sugrive was. They also made Hanuman testify, how in pathetic condition Sita was living in Ashok Vaatika waiting for Ram to rescue here.

The Peoples representative informed the Court and King Ram that Ravan approached Sita in the form of a Bhikshuk and disgusted Sita offered herself as BHIKSHA, and demanded that she be taken away. Ravan, as a Brahmin, was perfectly qualified RELIGIOUSLY to accept her as Bhiksha.

Since no one else was present at the site except Ravan and Sita, Laxman Rekha was an important piece of evidence. Even Sita had accepted that no physical force was used to make her transgress the Laxman Rekha. They also contended that, now, when Sita was in absolute and physical control of King Ram and further because she was pregnant, she was in no position to say anything else.

They also contended that after she voluntarily left Panchvati with Ravan, the only time she met any outsider was Hanuman, whom too, she tried to cajole in eating fruits of the nearby garden so that he could be captured by Rakshas. A woman in distress would have motivated Hanuman to go back and inform Shri Ram of her where about and then have food. She did just the opposite, they argued. 

Regarding Jatayu episode, they informed that since Jatayu was a friend of Ayodhaya and an enemy of Ravan and since he was already dead, the testimony of Lakshman needs to be ignored. Regarding the testimony of Sugrive they contended that it supported their case as Sita merely abandoned her garments, given by Shri Ram, at a safe place from where Shri Ram could get them back.

The only other credible evidence that needed to be looked at was Agni Pariksha. While Sita had testified that to prove her loyalty and chastity she had successfully undertaken Agni Pariksha test, peoples representative argued that this age old ritual did not in any way certify the loyalty or chastity of any woman. It was true that it required some special skills but those skills in no way certified the loyalty or chastity of a female. They requested that this test for such purpose be abandoned and hence forth decision on such matters may be taken on the bases of physical evidence.

The Royal representative informed that Agni Pariksha was the noblest of the Maryada (best tradition) prevailing at that time and only very chaste, pious and pure person could have passed this test. What more, they argued, it had RELIGIOUS SANCTITY and while other evidence might lack corroborative witnesses, Agni Pariksha was performed by Sita in front of entire army. Agni Pariksha, they felt can neither be ignored or rejected by the King. 

After listening to arguments of both sides, 
King Ram REJECTED the results of Agni Pariksha 
and held that the only time when Sita was on her own, free to make her own decision, and under NO DURESS, was when she was alone in Panchvati. Her decision to cross the Lakshman Rekha, without the use of any external force, can also be construed as her consent to go with Ravan. He also observed, that after his victory over Ravan, none of the action of Sita can be construed to be her own free decision and without any duress.

He further said that it is true that, as a King, it is difficult to reject the result of Agni Pariksha, because it has religious sanctity, but he would like to go with People’s representative that although Agni Pariksha required special skills, but those skills in no way certify the loyalty or chastity of the lady. He DISOWNED SITA AND TOLD HER TO GO WHERE EVER SHE DESIRED TO GO.

He also declared that hence forth Agni Pariksha will NOT be used for certifying or testifying the loyalty or chastity of a female. Use of Agni Pariksha will be deemed to be an act of ADHARM and NOT an act of DHARM, he declared. 

Let us listen to the famous words of Shri Ram after he disowned Queen Sita:

"Declaration of Agni Pariksha as a Serious Criminal Act today, is a landmark judgment, not only for me but for the rest of the world. For me, it comes with lot of sadness, because I love Sita dearly and had never thought of living without her, and also, because of personal knowledge that Sita was abducted by Ravan. 

"Law of evidence has to have a more balanced approach, rely on physical facts. The judgment is important because in cases of abduction of females, it lays down principle of giving importance to evidence relating to abduction of female when she, according to the judge, cannot be influenced by others.

"The draconian religious law called Agni Pariksha, stands declared as Adharm and Irreligious and Serious Criminal Act. Vast number of cases of abduction, that had had no subsequent relief will now be dealt on the basis of physical evidences only, and provide much needed relief to females.

"This a great sacrifice of Queen Sita, whom I had disowned, as she could not produce any physical evidence that she was abducted by Ravan. 

"Let Sita depict the Lady of Justice, with eyes blindfolded, because it is she, whose sacrifice will usher in a new era of hope for females." Shri Ram desired.

We the mortals know that Shri Ram was an incarnation of Vishnu and Sita that of Goddess Lakshmi. They performed this act so that humanity may never have to suffer such dastardly acts in future. BOTH SUFFERED TREMENDOUSLY BECAUSE OF THIS SEPERATION.

IT IS ALSO ABSOLUTELY CLEAR THAT SHRI RAM COULD NOT HAVE DISOWNED SITA WITHOUT REJECTING AGNI PARIKSHA. After becoming Chakravarti Samraat, Shri Ram ordained that humanity, present and future, would never ask any female to undergo this test. Perhaps this was the first Dharm of the much cherished RAMRAJYA. What were the other Dharm, we would like to know. 
Please also Read: 
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ABOUT MY BLOG: One has to accept that Hindus, though, highly religious, are not getting desired result as a society. Female feticide, lack of education for girls, dowry deaths, suicides among farmers, increase in court cases among relatives, corruption, mistrust and discontent, are all physical parameters to measure the effectiveness or success/failure of RELIGION, in a society. And all this, despite the fact, that spending on religion, by Hindus, has increased drastically after the advent of multiple TV channels. There is serious problem of attitude of every individual which need to be corrected. Revival of Hindu religion, perhaps, is the only way forward.

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