The Ramayana and The Bhagavad-Gita

1. I do not find Rama to be a less interesting hero due to his “perfection.” His story was still interesting, because it was not about a journey of self discovery, but about a “discovered” person navigating through a world of problems and imperfections. Indications of this state not being innate are found in his reminders to his companions that they need to follow dharma and become what he has, showing  that he knows what it takes to get to where he is. Kausalya is reminded at the beginning of the story of her need for discipline. She is not as far  along in her dharma as Rama is.

2. Arjuna’s  dilemma is between two loyalties, his familial loyalty versus his caste loyalty.   His dilemma is whether he should follow through with what his warrior caste asks of him and fight his family, even though they are in the wrong. This is similar to Medea, because she struggles with the decision of exacting revenge on her ex-husband and go against her children in order  do that. It is different, however, in that her children did not do anything wrong. They were innocent and even did what she told them to in seeking the approval of the new wife. Krishna tells Arjuna that evil is committed because of desire and anger which comes from passion. This follows what Homer wrote, as Medea was fully controlled by her emotions. She acted recklessly and without much thought. Even though she did have some around her who wanted to help her, she could only focus on her hurt and acted from that.

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