Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SWAMBER OF SITA

SHRI RAM, the most worshipped incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is a historical figure of Treta Yug. He was, and is, called Maryada Puroshattam Ram. Here we would like to understand why he was called Maryada Puroshattam Ram.
Before venturing any further, we must have a clear and acceptable definition of Maryada. Maryada simply means ‘the noblest and finest traditions of that time’. 
However we have to understand one thing very clearly, Maryadas are time specific, age specific. Maryada of Treta Yug may not be relevant today.
This will become clearer if you have read my earlier post Agni Pariksha of Sita…Facts’Here Ram follows the Maryada of that time, and asks Sita to undergo Agni Pariksha test, only to pass a Royal decree, later, that hence forth this test will not be used to certify the loyalty or chastity of any female.

The other thing which must be absolutely clear to every reader is, that Maryadas, or traditions are followed by human beings...not God, and history records (however weak and disintegrated) are available only of the Powerful, Mighty, and the Noblest.


Shri Ram was the most powerful, mighty and the noblest historical figure of his time. Until and unless we believe that Shri Ram was a historical figure, there is no point in believing in, or discussing, the Maryadas he followed.

I repeat, God does not (and NEVER) follow any traditions or Maryadas. But human being is bound by Dharm and traditions. In the case of Shri Ram, this confusion is very evident, as people, while discussing him as God and an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, also deliberate why he was called Maryada Puroshattam. There is no problem in accepting him as God and also Maryada Puroshattam, but please do not mix the two. Shri Ram was the Maryada Purush of the Treta Yug because he followed the noblest traditions of that time AND he is justly called Maryada Puroshattam Ram because he had the courage and conviction to IGNORE, at least on one occasion, the Maryada of his time for the sake of Humanity.

The first Maryada we are discussing here is when Shri Ram, accompanied by Laxman and Maharishi Vishvamitra is in Janakpuri for the Swamber of Sita. They are here on a very clear mission. The mission was to ensure safe and proper dismantling of Shiv Dhanush- the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. But before reaching the Swamber, Shri Ram already fell in love with Sita, when he accidently saw her in a garden, on the outskirts of city.

On reaching the stage where swamber was being organized, Sage Vishvamitra, and Shri Ram, Laxman were personally received by King Janak himself. They are escorted to the Dias and made to sit comfortably. King of Lanka, Ravan was already there. Kings and Princes from all part of the world were already there. Here King Janak informed the gathering about the serious problem that can be faced by all humanity because Shiv Dhanush had now become old and unreliable. The problem required immediate solution as Shiv Dhanush was a weapon of mass destruction and could cause serious and un-imaginable damage. 

King Janak informed the gathering about an accord which had been concluded recently between Shri Ram, the Prince of Ayodhya, and King Ravan, of Lanka, in his presence and the presence of Sage Vishvamitra (Read my earlier post Ramayan and history).Under this accord Ravan had declared that he had no animosity against any Kingdom. Ravan personally endorsed this and told everyone that he was equally concerned for all humanity and wanted a safe dismantling of Shiv Dhanush.

King Janak then declared that he would offer Sita’s hand in marriage to that prince or king who could ensure dismantling of Shiv Dhanush. After that several prince and king, individually and collectively tried and failed. Shri Ram was sitting on the dais and was a party to the accord. The Maryada of that time did not allow him to participate in the swamber until he was announced and accepted as a candidate. He, neither Sage Vishvamitra had done so. As such in spite of him being in love with Sita, he sat quietly watching the proceedings. That was the Maryada of his time.

Shri Ram did not announce his candidature nor did he inform Sage Vishvamitra about his recent love. It was when King Janak became frustrated seeing that no one in the gathering could even initiate the dismantling, he announced, with contempt, that this gathering is bereft of any worthy or capable nobility, Laxman protested stating that as long as Prince of Ayodhya, Shri Ram was here, no one could use such words. That was enough for Sage Vishvamitra to request Shri Ram to relieve Janak from the agony by dismantling Shiv Dhanush.

But that was Treta Yug. What exactly is the lesson for people today? Well if I am asked to answer this question, my advice would be to announce your candidature immediately. We have to accept and understand that our values are different. Even Shri Krishna had different set of values in Dwaper Yug. Values is not Dharm. Values can change with time but Dharm need not change. What was the Dharm of Shri Ram, we shall be discussing later.

You May also like to read this Hindi Post::
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A Consulting Engineer, operating from Mumbai, involved in financial and project consultancy; also involved in revival of sick establishments.

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.

I am writing how problems, faced by Indian people can be sorted out by revival of Hindu Religion.