Thursday, March 01, 2012

#118 Ideal man cannot be worse than a typical man

The poet Valmiki wanted to project his protagonist Shri Rama as an ideal human being endowed with all noble qualities and devoid of all malice. (Readers will please see my post No.000A "What type of hero did Valmiki want to create?" at this blog,to see the list of qualities).

Whoever gets hold of mike in India on public stages, enjoys preaching the audience to be somebody like Rama or Lakshmana or Bharata or Sita and not like an ordinary human being. They will also not forget to add that it is difficult to get "human" and that it is more difficult to get birth of "X caste or Y Caste".

Their urgings suggest that an ideal man should be greater than an average individual and that RLS, Bharata and Hanuman are the ideals to emulate.

We shall, now, see the following verse:
Volume 3, Chapter 2, Verse 21
3-2-21 or araNya kAnDa, sarga 2, SlOka 21

araNya kAnDa = Story of Forest.

para sparshaat tu Vaidehyaa
na duHkhataram asti me
pitur vinaashaat Saumitre
sva raajya haraNaat tathaa

Rama, Lakshmana and Sita entered the forest as a part of their exile. A cursed demon by name 'viradha' lifted Sita aloft. Shri Rama was lamenting.

O LakshmaNa! Others touching Sita is causing me, a grief which is greater than the miseries from father's demise and others grabbing my kingdom.

What call, a typical human, would have given in this crisis situation? Ans: Lakshmana! Let us kill this demon and release Sita. Or probably: This demon is too fierce. Let us run away and save our lives. Or probably: We shall bring some nearby tribals and capture this fellow. Definitely NOT, an average human might not have worried about others touching his wife.

Rama was unnecessarily comparing his grief with his other grievances like loss of father or loss of his kingdom.

Rama was said to have gone to forest voluntarily without a sense of being knocked away from his throne. This verse makes very clear that he took the loss of his kingdom as an evil done to him.

For a typical human, loss of father under tragic circumstances should cause more misery than a person touching his wife. For the ideal hero, outsider touching wife should not cause any misery, because it was not her fault. But he is more worried!

Rama, has in the same context brought irrelevant things into picture considering the emergency with which they had to fight Viradha. He cursed his middle mother Kaikeyi in the verses 18, 19, and 20. Was he not pursuing his forest exile VOLUNTARILY?

Replying Rama, Lakshmana was very forthright and objective, in verse No. 22. Valmiki used the adjective "Lakshmana was hissing like a snake". It was very appropriate.

Valmiki was a wayside robber, prior to becoming a sage. He might have caught hold of many women, touched their legs, waist, breasts, wrists, elbows, ears, noses, fingers and what not, for snatching /pulling out their ornaments if they did not co-operate. Did any of the husbands of the women scream that their grief was greater than something else because an outsider touched their bodies.

This verse might have been an insertion by priests who tended to be excess-crazy about preserving the chastity of women "even by touch".

In medieval India, medical doctors could not afford to touch their women patients. Some physicians developed a technique for examining the wrists of ladies. They would give a stick/rod to the burqa-laden/veil wearing patient, with a prayer to hold it. The physician holds the other end, pretending to feel the pulse of the patient. Hosh! He will then prescribe the medicines. Damn it!

20th Century India has seen some changes. Even now, there is a shortage of lady doctors in rural areas. Male Allopathic doctors have to examine the genetic parts of women for prenatal care. How can male doctors perform surgeries without touching women? Average Indians of today understand the predicament of doctors and allow them to touch their women. If they start worrying like Rama, about the grief caused by "others touching wife", life becomes more miserable. If Lord Shri Rama were to live in the 20/21C India, he may perish with a heart failure if he sees Sita's breast being touched by a doctor with his stethoscope.

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