1. Rama was heroic to his people because he lived his whole life by the rules of Dharma, which promotes living a righteous life. I believe Rama was more interesting than other heroes because he was constituently tempted by evil and always chose the path that may not have been the easiest but in the end followed the rules of dharma. Throughout the story, he had to make decisions that were based on his beliefs and not take the easier rode. Two indications that showed Rama had to strive to perfection, were when he killed the crow that he thought harmed Sitka, his wife, and when he distrusted his wife when she was kidnapped by Ramana. Rama made her prove her purification to him before he would take her back. Kaushalya, Rama’s mother, also showed moments throughout the story that she had to strive to make the righteous decision in times of turmoil. When Rama was dethroned and had lost his right to be King, she fell down to the earth and sobbed. According to Hindu believe, she should have supported her husband and not question his decision. The story Ramayana is a perfect example of how to lead a spiritual life and how to fulfill one’s duty or dharma. Throughout the story with the intense drama, love story, and strategies to defeat evil, it gives lessons for humans on how to live a spiritual life.
2. Decisions, a strong theme here in both of these stories. Arjuna is faced with a choice in which he must fight and could possibly kill his family and relatives or to not fight and abandon his duty as a soldier. In the story of Medea, she has to make a decision in which what is her duty and what she believes that is necessary. Medea thinks that she must have revenge. Her self-seeking decisions are based on her ex husband and she must get back at him. Arjuna thought process is how to fight without killing anyone of his relatives and to keep the honor of being a soldier. The code of behavior in the The Bhagavad-Gita is a code based on doing the right thing in order to become more spiritually whole. Arjuna would end up fighting, he had to fight because it was evil and that was his code. In the end the good would prevail anyways because death is the attainment of heaven.
I like your answer for question two, the way you word it works very well. I wonder though do you think that Arjuna would have fought if not for the words of Krishna? I have noticed one thing that is indirectly connected between the gods of the pieces we have read is that they all in one form or another encourage war and killing. I felt as I read the story or Arjuna as if it was a fall of a decent man.
I also think that Rama, and his inner struggle (not always apparent) to follow dharma, makes him a more interesting hero than others. The story makes it appear as if it all comes so easy for him, but on closer examination of the passages I think that he struggles sometimes, probably due to the fact that he is human.
I did not agree that Rama was a more interesting person to read about necessarily, but I do appreciate the idea of him as a person always trying to become better and do the right thing. I admire spirituality and think it is a very brave thing to express and follow through on. However, I would take a more action packed story such as Achilles over this any day.
I agree with your opinion of Rama being more interesting. Rama has a different approach than anyone that we have read about and he takes the road less traveled rather than the easiest one.