Saturday, June 07, 2008

#075, Compassionate Valmiki created an unkind hero in his epic

1-2-13, 1-2-14, SANSKRIT:
Tathaa vidhim dvijam drushht`vaa
nishhaadeena nipaatitam
ruishehe dharmaatmaanaha
tasya kaarun`yam samapadyata.
tataha karun`a veeditvaat
adharmoo ayam iti dvijaha
nishaamya rudatiim krounchiim
idam vacanam abraviit.

Maa nishhaada! pratisht`haamtva
magamaha s`aashvatiihi samaaha
yat kraumcha mithunaat eka
mavadhihi kaama moohitam.

Valmiki went to river to bathe. He found a hunter killing a male bird. He was moved by compassion.

When Valmiki finds the dead bird, the righteous sage is moved by compassion. Having seen the female bird wailing, Valmiki feels anguish and said to the hunter: O hunter! Having killed a bird in rut (lust), you will get perennial (ill)fame.

CRITICAL REMARKS: Let Valmiki be a great sage of compassion. But the same sage does not feel any compassion when Rama kills deer in the forest (after killing the demon Maricha in the guise of a golden deer). Deer are also like birds, having sexual partners. When a female or male deer is killed, the partner may feel the pain. Neither Rama nor Valmiki get any compassion. What type of hero, did Valmiki create?

Note: In the Sanskrit drama Uttara Rama Charitra of Bhavabhuti, there is a chapter which indicates that Valmiki gave a feast during Vasishta’s visit. A cow’s calf "Kalyani" was found to be missing. During Ramayana times, there seems to be a custom of offering beef (calf’s meat) for important sages and priests. This was called madhuparkam, because it was cooked with honey. Today, madhuparkam has acquired a different meaning of clothes in worship of Gods and in wedding rituals.

No comments: