Discussion 6- The Ramayana; The Bhagavad-Gita

ramayana1

Retrieved from:  https://hinduism.iskcon.org/tradition/1110.htm

  1. I do not think that Rama being a virtually perfect man makes him less interesting than other heroes. Actually when reading this I found him more interesting, but not because of his perfection,   but because I had never heard of or read his story it was completely new to me. Rama’s perfection is shown not to be innate but an achievement by him almost losing it when Sita is taken from him and his brother Laksmana helps calm him. This shows his struggle with imperfection, and his ability to sensibly deal with situations even when he is completely overwhelmed by emotion. As with his mother Kausalya who is devastated at the exile of her son and is everything but excepting to the thought and then after talking with him calms herself and excepts it. It seems to me that there is bold and defined incurring theme throughout this writing and it says “DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD, REMEMBER YOUR PLACE AND BE HAPPY WITH IT, DO YOUR DUTY AND REMEMBER THE GODS ARE ALWAYS RIGHT”, I think that this sums up both of the literary pieces we have been assigned to read in week six.

gita-1-1

Retrieved from:  https://www.bhagavad-gita.us/

2.  It seems to me that the major difference between Arjuna’s dilemma and with that of most of the other heroes we have read about is that Arjuna does not want to kill, which is the exact opposite of the others. The others we have read the stories of have killed with little regard to much of   anything and that was part of their blight  that they then had to cope with what they had done or the effects of their murder sprees . Arjuna gives thought not to the victory or glory, but to the act of killing one’s own kin, and the kin left after the killing is done. To me this point of view is really quite admirable and it is really too bad that Krishna ruined it by talking Arjuna into fighting because it was his duty. Not his duty to obey the gods, but the duty of his status or role if you will, unlike Achilles who only refused to fight out of spite for his king, and then returned to fight when he is angered at the death of a friend.

 

4 thoughts on “Discussion 6- The Ramayana; The Bhagavad-Gita

  1. sbutler12

    I agree with you on your outlook that Arjun did not want to kill. I think this is because either way he went, there would be a loss. I am still torn as to whether or not he made the right decision but I do admire he conscience and that it was such a hard choice for him because he was so unselfish.

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  2. geborgeson

    I also had never read this before so was really interested to read how Rama would be portrayed, as the ‘virtually’ perfect being. While I was reading it I kept thinking how similar the story of Rama seemed to Jesus. Early in the story he seems very similar when he’s preaching to his mother about how to act, or achieve a higher dharma. Whats more interesting about Rama is it does feel like he is struggling to achieve this enlightened state, making his story that much more relate-able to me.

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    1. swtrinchet

      If anything, Arjun and Rama are more easy to relate to than Gilgamesh or Achilles for me. Gilgamesh and Achilles were aggressively fighting for honor and glory, frequently in the name of masculine soldier-bonds. These are pretty unfamiliar concepts to my life, whereas Arjun and Rama struggling (on two very different levels) to retain composure and decency in the face of adversity, while trying to do right by the people around them is much closer to home.

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    2. sehoyos

      I also some some connections to Christian literature. In Job, we got an introduction into how we do not always understand why things happen to us, but as God told Job, who is he to question it. Job accepts that he will cannot see the greater picture as God does. Similarly, Rama says that ” the end of ones own action cannot be foreseen: and this which we call [divine will] cannot be known and cannot be avoided by anyone,” (731). He readily accepts his ill fate because he cannot know what is to come or the reasons behind it.

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