Religion


Sita - RamMy write up on Sita as a strong character in the epic poem Ramayana generated some strong views. A comment from one of my friends got me thinking. What about Lord Ram. The main lead in the entire story. The Ramayana had been a gargantuan effort by Maharishi Valmiki, to describe the virtues that a MAN should live by. Ram is referred to as Maryada Purushottama, literally the Perfect Man. He was the husband of Sita, the perfect woman.

True the acceptable norms and virtues, change with time. Each era has its own acceptable code of conduct. However, something as timeless and eternal as Ramayana applies even today, with era based interpretations, of course. There is that word again! Interpretations… So lets see what kind of a husband was Lord Ram. I would not deign to try and comment on Lord Ram as a Man, the epitome of all things right and correct. However, I believe I can still have an opinion on Ram’s role as a husband, from a woman’s point of view.

Now Lord Ram was above reproach when it came to how he handled his duties as a son, as a king, and as a brother. But how about his duties as a husband?

Lord Ram was after all put on this earth in human form. And like all humans, he too succumbed to emotions of jealousy, caving under public pressure, forsaking his wife. Does that make him an “Imperfect Man”?

Lord Ram peacefully conducted himself through the golden years after his birth, his childhood, initiation, and marriage to Princess Sita. He was the ideal son, obedient, respectful of his father’s honour. He was a perfect elder brother to his three younger brothers. And he was an attentive and loving husband to his wife, princess Sita.

Then adversity struck. As a chance to show mankind a way to conduct itself in adversity, Lord Ram kept his parent’s honour and went into exile. (more…)

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Sita Agni PareekshaTough question to answer. Sita has often been “interpreted” as a docile meek character who followed her husband to the end of the earth/forests. In return, aspersions were cast on her character and she was banished from Ram’s kingdom.

However interpretations are often just that. Here is another interpretation of Sita’s character.

The saints/politicians/rulers of the time may interpret the epic poem (Ramayan) by Valmiki, any-which way they want. The truth still remains. Sita was a smart and graceful lady. She was a strong woman in her own right, but without the anger and aggressiveness of Draupadi style of justice. Quiet strength and not aggression was her trademark. Lets take a quick look at Ramayan from this point of view. (more…)

How can a saviour renounce his wife and new born child? A GOD who shows the path to nirvana (enlightenment)? In Hindu religion each MAN has to go through four ashrams/stages of life. One important stage of this is the ‘grihastha ashram’ or householder phase. This was defined as a time that MAN should spend in raising a family and  fulfilling his duties to society.

So how can a man who renounced his householder duties, deserted two lives that were dependant on him, be regarded as a saint? A man makes a decision, a commitment in fact, when he marries a woman, and begets a child. Once the decision is made, the rightful thing in any religion/culture would require the man to stand by his decision. Renouncing his duties, in pursuit of other things (divine knowledge in this case), can not be condoned. (more…)

Vicars ban ‘un-Christian’ yoga for toddlers 

Yoga, a form of  exercise methodology with its roots in ancient India has been banned by two vicars in somerset, UK.  It is very disturbing to hear leaders of communities have such opinions. All sects and religions have a right to believe in whatever they place their faith in. However, Yoga is just a form of exercise that relaxes body and mind.

Its origin is in Hinduism, but Yoga in itself has nothing to do with religion.

Each culture has something good to offer. And the global citizen should have the right to partake of whatever good things the human race has discovered, irrespective of which country and religion discovered it.

Art Of Living

Art of living is loosing its impact because of its followers. Agreed, that right now it is one of the biggest NGOs in the world, with a following across several countries. However, from being a way of life, Art-Of-Living is being turned into a fashion statement by many poor souls.

This is a very unfortunate turn of events. Nowadays not all who join art of living are in search of answers to their questions. Some are joining it for networking purposes, or to appear spiritual and more humane to others. It is people like these that are misusing the art of living and its teachings to their advantage. In the process, art of living is acquiring a rather mixed image.

True, there are true seekers in this organization, who love Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji (lovingly refrred to as GuruJi) and are eternally grateful to him for giving the world a method (Sudarshan Kriya) to attain peace. Guruji, in himself is a sweet and loving human. There are umpteen followers, whose lives have been bettered by following GuruJi.

I, myself have had the good fortune of meeting GuruJi three times in my life, till now. And I proclaim I love him as a daughter can love a father. Just being near him, can bring tears in one’s eyes, such is his aura.

But as is the case with most good things that become too big. The social climbers will latch onto each new ‘Big’ thing to gain from it. Even if the Big thing is something that affects the lives and hearts of millions, these climbers are not bothered.

But as GuruJi has himself said…

Much energy is wasted in trying to charm others. And in wanting to charm—I tell you, the opposite happens.
—Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,
Seva and the Art of Enthusiasm.”

As usual, Guruji has said it beautifully. There is no need for me to say anything anymore

J