Today is Ram Navami day. The Hindu community celebrates the birth of Lord Ram on this day. Ram was known for his obedience to his father and according to the Hindu mythology he spent fourteen years in exile to keep his father’s promise to his step mother. If Ram was the ideal son, his brother Lakshman was the ideal brother who accompanied him to the forest and his wife Sita who undertook a life of penance by going along with them was the ideal wife. Ramayan tells us about the duties of a son to his father and the bond that ought to exist among brothers and the righteousness exhibited by Bharat when he refused the crown and slipped into the role of caretaker till his brother Ram came back to be crowned as the rightful heir to the crown. I have read Rajaji’s version of Ramayan and listened to various debates concerning the characters in the epic.
All this was easy for me having been born a Hindu. I have accepted the divinity in the character of Ram without question. I feel that in these days of terrorism and changing equation of interpersonal relationships the epic ought to be read and analyzed even by skeptics who question the godliness of the characters. We are living in turbulent times. Unity and integrity at every level needs to be emphasized and the stipulations of good governance understood. There are other aspects like monogamy and loyalty to one’s spouse that are dealt with in the story. There is a dialogue by Lord Ram’s father spoken at the time of his marriage that every parent should realize when the son’s marriage is proposed and negotiated. He says that the girl’s father is giving away his daughter and the boy accepts the girl as wife. The hand of the acceptor has to be at a lower level and he has to always be thankful to the donor for giving away something that was precious and invaluable to him. If every family learnt to look at marriage this way all the fuss created over trivial issues at the time of marriage by the groom’s party could be avoided. The worth and value of the daughter in law/ wife would be realized and all the young girls who responded to my previous blog would feel loved and accepted.