Lesson 6

I found Rama more interesting than other characters because he was supposed to be so virtuous. It’s clear that Rama holds himself to a higher plane because he takes his dharma so seriously. When Rama is so accepting of his banishment it seems quite un-characteristic of a hero. Most people expect Rama to fight for what is his, or act fool heartedly like Achilles. But, Rama accepts his karma and begins his adventure in exile. It becomes clear that Rama is not infallible, as he is fooled by the demon Maricia and loses control of his emotions by the loss of Sita. It’s not till Rama is returned to his senses by Laksmana that he is able to focus again on his dharma and begin his pursuit of Sita. This return to his senses is much like Achilles when he realizes he needs to put his pride aside and fight for his people. Rama’s loss of senses is very similar to the reaction of Kausalya at the news of Rama’s departure. Much like Laksmana helps Rama return to his senses, Rama helps Kausalya return to her senses, by reminding her of her to duty to dharma. What’s important in all of these scenarios is that it’s the idea of dharma that returns all of these characters to their right state of mind Its dharma, or the hero’s sense of duty, that helps the hero prevail and do what they must. This would help the Hindu religions re-affirm the idea of karma and dharma to the people of Hinduism and motivate them to follow their own dharma.

Arjuna’s struggle and Achilles struggle are very different in nature. Arjuna struggles with the reality of killing kin and the evil that it invokes. Achilles acts foolishly over an insult and struggles with his own sense of pride. This does lead to a similar result as both heroes refuse to act. To Krishna this inaction is the worst possible outcome. Whenever you are left with inaction you are not pursuing your dharma, and therefore not achieving a higher existence. This holds true for both heroes. As Achilles is able to see past his pride and chooses to act he fulfils his heroes call. For Arjuna he is able to accept battle and moves to action knowing that by fulfilling his dharma he is fulfilling his own heroes call.

One thought on “Lesson 6

  1. Cas

    I agree with you about Rama’s good character being attractive in a protagonist, after all, positive feeling triumphs negative every time. It’s almost like he’s less relatable because he’s so noble, but more relatable because one would strive to be like him. It is hard to imagine a hero being ok with 14 years of banishment and a kidnapped wife, and yet all of these conditions were out of his control and were eventually handled by them. You would think the heroic thing to do would be swords a blazin’ at anyone that did something unjust, such as the kidnapper Ravana and the banisher, the jealous Queen Kaikeyı. However, instead he just waits it out and everything ends up ok. Certainly a different heroes story but still a good one.

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