Saturday, April 10, 2010

Morality of Rama

In Ramayan, after defeating Ravan, Rama takes Sita to Ayodhya. But rumors start spreading that Sita is "impure", having been enjoyed by Ravan. Bowing to pressure from the public, Rama abandons Sita.

Today, Ramayan is considered as an authority on moral behavior. So what is the moral that we gain from the abandonment of Sita? Let us assume that the Ayodhya public were correct and Ravan did rape Sita. So how does the public want a rape victim to be treated? Throw her into the forest. She doesn't deserve compassion and understanding of her fellow humans. Rama, a God gives into mob demands. So a mob is more mighty than God (Is that why mob violence is so common in India?).

How can Ramayan teach such depraved moral lessons? How can God stoop to the level of a narrow minded commoner? Why didn't he fight the stupid masses and set an example on how to combat idiocy? The answer will be obvious if Rama was not a God, but a human being. Mobs always have their way. You can fight them and die or you can give into their demands and live to see another day. Rama was just protecting himself, just like most humans would do. If there is any lesson to be learnt from Ramayan, it is to make sure that we never have Ramarajya (Kingdom of Rama). We don't want misogynists running amok on the streets.

Beauty of the Buddha

Do not accept anything by mere tradition ... Do not accept anything just because it accords with your scriptures ... Do not accept anything merely because it agrees with your pre-conceived notions ... But when you know for yourselves – these things are moral, these things are blameless, these things are praised by the wise, these things, when performed and undertaken, conduce to well-being and happiness – then do you live acting accordingly.