15/10/12 RAMAYANA – LECTURE 2 W. ROBINS
India: Rama’s journey...
Un-read chapter: Bharata comes to forest asking Rama to become
king... Rama declines because of father’s boon and his promise.
Whenever Rama, et al, meet new rishi in forest...
- some sort of unique food provided sense of spiritual and
physical nourishment provided
- *hosts normally know who he is (more than he does, i.e. he is
- ask him to stay the night
- some rishis will die
- story is told by one of characters (Sita* or Rama)
Book 3: Aranya Kanda, first part
Agastaya – Rama given amazing, divine weapons
Sutheekshna – after visiting him, Rama et al are to visit every rishi they
Sutheekshna asks him to stay with them forever – Rama declines
(“may kill a deer” – is a Kshatriya, not a rishi)
pg. 164 – Sita: how can it be Dharma to act violently? He is wearing the
hat of rishi and must honour it Rama answers that his [kshatriya]
dharma is not the same as the rishi dharma
*thematic element: importance of human incarnation of the divine (will
be similar to Bible)
- ultimate reality manifests itself as a natural order (“rta”) of
harmony, justice, and truth that suffuses the world.
- this true order of things, as well as the behaviours and attitudes
that maintain it (duty, vocation, religious observances), ae known
your acts which align with dharma contributes not just to your own, but
to that of the world*--lack of dharma = “adharma”
- concept of dharma is more ethical than destiny
*later on, Vedas look down on Rama’s battles: “this is where dharma