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ENG150Y1 Lecture Notes - Centrality, Darth Vader, Ravana

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David Roberts

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Lecture 8. English. The Ramayana (Lecture 2) 10-15-2012
India: Rama’s Journey
Book 3, Aranya Kanda, First part
In Chikrakurta
o Asrama: Atri and Anasuya
Encounter: Viradha
Asrama: Sharabhanga (Indra; vow to defeat Rakshasas)
o Asrama: Sutheekshna
In the Heart of the Forest, 10 Years
o Asrama: Sutheekshna
Asrama: Agastaya (weapons; vow to defeat Rakshasas)
Encounter with Jakatu
o Lakshmana Builds Their Asrama
In Pancahavti
Temptation from all of the Rishis, hermits, is what drives the story
164 ‘three sins must be avoided... avoid going into the forest’
o You must honor what you wear,
In the forest, it is a spiritual training... for something
o Slide:
Ultimate reality manifests itself as a natural order (‘rta’) of harmony, justice, and
truth that suffuses the world
This truth order is things, as well as the behaviours and attitudes that maintain
it (duty, vocation, religious observances), are known as ‘dharma’
One’s own Dharma varies according to one’s place in a well-regulated society
(male/female;warrior/priest/merchant/etc) and the time of one’s life.
Behaviours that run contrary to this cosmic order are called ‘adharma’ the
opposite of Dharma
o Similar to destiny. But Dharma is more of a sense of obligations and how your actions
contribute to it, where destiny is something that will happen. Dharma is more of a moral
obligation, a choice. It’s optional
Good vs. Evil
o Not really how it’s working in the Ramayana
o Ravana is comparable to Darth Vader
He went wrong because he let power go to his head
His lust for power and women, he failed in his need to follow Dharma
Became a representative of Adharma, following his own appetites
It’s the idea that evil isn’t actually true evil in a sense. It’s more the lust for
power and other things that aren’t really yours. Wanting more than you can
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