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Impact of Ramayan on Mahabharat

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Posted: 25 January 2011 at 10:15pm | IP Logged

Hi my friends! Today I'm starting a very interesting topic.

We know that Mahabharat was written after Ramayan, & most probably there was a very long gap between our two epics. During that interval, our country India faced a change in its society, & as a literature is always affected with its society, one can identify those changes evidently by reading Ramayan & Mahabharat. But still there are several similarities between the two great epics. As Ramayan was written first, an unavoidable impact of Ramayan can be found in Mahabharat.

Firstly, the main important events of the two epics are almost similar. Let's see them first.

1)      King Dasharath was cursed by a sage, as he mistakenly pierced the sage's son, & that curse was responsible for his tragic death. Similarly, King Pandu was also cursed. He too made same mistake, as he didn't recognize the sage who was disguised as a deer. Pandu too, died of that curse!

2)      The swambar of Draupadi was based on the test of Astra-Vidya, which is similar to the case of Sita. Both Drupad & Janak wanted the real hero as their sons-in-law, & arranged swambar. Only the breaking of Haradhanu is replaced by the piercing of fish.

3)      In both epics, the elder prince had to sacrifice his kingdom & all royal belongings, & both were banished with wife & brother. I know that the background of the Van-gaman of Dharmaraj is not similar to that of Ramchandra, but it may be thaught that the idea of banishing an innocent prince unfairly is the direct effect of Ramayan. Vyasdev has modified the fact & changed the background to keep pace with his society, but couldn't avoid the effect of Valmiki.  

4)      In both epics, heroin welcomed vanavas with her husband, & was abducted. Draupadi was abducted by Jaydrath, but Jaydrath was punished at once by Bheem & Arjun. Besides, Sita had to suffer painful insult from Ravan, similarly Draupadi was also insulted by Duhsashan & Duryodhan.

5)      In both epics, the hero burst into anger after his wife was insulted severely, & became ready to take revenge. In both epics, the causes of war are very close. Ram started war to make Sita released from Ravan's hands, while Pancha-Pandav started war to get back their kingdom! "Patni-uddhar" in Ramayan & "Rajya-uddhar" in Mahabharat, are the main causes of war.

6)      Both of the heroes became the winner, & both were Dharmayuddha. After both of the wars, Dharma was well established in earth.

7)      In both the cases, the desire of the hero was fulfilled, but none could enjoy them! Neither Ram nor Yudhisthir could spend a completely peaceful & happy life even after the war! In both epics, when all of the external problems were finished, the internal problems came into play & threw the heroes into the ocean of unbearable grief. Ram had to banish Sita in order to serve the Raj-Dharma, & Pandavas lost their mental peace, in Shanti Parba, Dharmaraj broke down completely & wanted to leave the kingdom. It can be noted that they didn't face any mentionable happy moment after the war was finished! Rather they had to watch destroy of Yaduvangsa like a dumb spectator; they lost their relatives, & the best friend Krishna. All of those incidents were responsible for the decision of Mahaprasthan.

8)      Both the epics have a tragic end. All the main characters died at last. But it's noticeable that, Ram had to sacrifice Sita & Lakshman first, & then he decided to leave the earth. Similarly, Yudhisthir also had to sacrifice his four brothers & Draupadi, & then he went to heaven!

So I think these similarities are not only co-incidental, but also the impact of Ramayan on Mahabharat. To find that how much Mahabharat was affected with Ramayan, I got that above points. There may be more points which I have missed, if you can find them, then please post here with your analysis. Besides, what do you think about this impact? You can also share your any feelings regarding this topic.

 

 

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Posted: 25 January 2011 at 10:16pm | IP Logged

 

I started research about this topic & found two different articles in which both the authors claimed that, not only the incidents, but also a few characters of Mahabharat were affected by Ramayan's characters! They mainly pointed out the following characters,

1) Yudhisthir. His character was close to Ram, as both dedicated themselves in the service of truth & Dharma. Both were calm & full of mercy. None of them became angry when they were deprived & banished, & both of them easily welcomed their grief. The great sage Markandeya also compared the condition of Yudhisthir with that of Ram during Vanavas. In Van-Parba, when Dharmaraj asked if there is anyone who had suffered like him, then that sage retold the story of Ram. We find there a smaller version of Ramayan in Van-Parba.

2) Arjun. Both the authors claimed him as the Lakshman of Mahabharat! They wrote, Lakshman & Arjun are similar in their heroic nature. Both are Mahavir, & protected their elder brothers during the time of adversity. Besides, both had brotherly love towards their elders, & both were "Jitendriya"! Last but not the least, both of them suffered Vanavas for almost same reason!

(I have a little addition here; I think the incident, in which Yudhisthir had to banish Arjun for 12 years, was affected by the incident of Lakshman-barjan. Lakshman had to enter into Ram's chamber violating his order, just to save the people of Ayodhya from curse of Durbasa. Arjun also had to enter into Yudhisthir- Draupadi's room, just for welfare of a Bramhin! Both were then punished by their elders!)

3) The author has claimed that, Bheem is the new creation of Mahabharat who is not affected by Ramayan, but he thought Bharat & Satrughna became the Nakul & Sahadev later in Mahabharat!

 (I could not support this theory till now, as I could not find any similarity between Bharat & Nakul. Can you find any point to support it?)

4) Later one of the authors said that, Bheem was created with a small part of Kumbhakarna.

5) Vidur can be considered as the avatar of Vibishan, as both of them were the embodiment of justice & were unable to tolerate any unfairness, even if it is done by his near & dear ones!

6) Duryodhan can also be considered as Ravan. Both were proud of own power, both had the lust of power & wealth which became the cause of their death.

7) They considered Avimanyu as the part of Indrajeet, as both fought like real hero till his death.

(But I did not find any other similarities! They don't have the same type of character. Besides, their processes of death were not similar. What do you think, friends?)

8) The Babhrubahan incidents of Manipur are close to the Lav-Kush incidents of UttarKand. Both are the first meeting between father & son, & in both cases, father was defeated by his son! Then the reunion became easy.

Thus, Ramayan has a great impact on Mahabharat. Now I want to see what you are thinking about this topic. 

 

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Posted: 26 January 2011 at 7:14am | IP Logged
Very interesting and informative post Sema! Clap Thanks so much for sharing. Big smile  I only got to skim over it, will be back later to read fully and comment more.

Edited by Vedo - 26 January 2011 at 7:14am

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Posted: 26 January 2011 at 5:17pm | IP Logged
Hey Sema, hats off for starting yet another awesome thread ClapClapClapClapClap It reminds me of a topic that Shivang bhaiya covered some time back at orkut, in which we compared various characters from Treta Yug and Dwaapar Yug for similarities in their traits and behavior. My entry in that thread was in paragraph form, so just for a sampler and to fill this post which I had already reserved LOL I am gonna provide some of the ones bhaiya had initially posted there in list form... feel free to comment on his comparisons Wink

Kumbhakarna - Karna + Vikarna (Fought for adharma sacrificing life despite having inner goodness and knowledge about right & wrong, common word 'Karna' in their names - lol)

Dasharath (Ram's father, Man of truth, Shabdvedhi baan, & curse, Chakravarti) + Janak (Ram's father in law) - Vasudev (Krishna's father, Man of truth & Promisekeeper) + Nand (Krishna's father) + Pandu (Shabdvedhi baan and curse & Chakravarti) + Bhishmak (Krishna's father in law)

Kaushalya + Sumitra + Sunayna - Devki + Yashoda + Rohini + Kunti + Maadri

Keikei - Gandhari + Kunti (Not sure about this equation)

Lav + Kush - Pradhyumn + Aniruddh + Abhimanyu + Ghatotkach (Not convincing comparison - can be modified)

Manthara - Shakuni (Provoking evil thought in others for kingdom without any real direct personal gain - Matsar)

Shoorpanakha - Shakuni (LOL - characters root causes of war)

Nana Malyavaan - Dhritaraashtra (Not totally saint but also not willing for war but couldn't stop it)

Mandodari (Ravan's good natured wife) + Sulochana (Indrajeet's wife) - Bhanumati (Duryodhan's good natured wife) (Not much authentic evidence is available for Bhanumati)

Tara (Vaali's wife - later Sugreev's) - Vrushali (Karna's wife) (Don't know anything about Vrushali or its source)

Urmila - Revati

Sumant (Minister of Dashrath) - Vidur (Minister of Pandu) + Akrur (One of the ministers of Yaadav sabhaa)

Valmiki - Ved Vyas (Both are writers/poets as well as active characters themselves)

Nishad raj - Sudama

Ahalya - Kubja

Shabari (Berry) - Vidur patni (Banana + Sarson da saag) - "Jhoothe phal Sabari ke khaaye, Saag Vidur ghar khaayee"

Maarich + Subaahu + Khar + Dushan - Bakaasur + Aghaasur & co (Long list)

Taadkaa - Putnaa (Demoness, Beginning of the journey of killing evil on the earth by Lord's incarnation)



Edited by lola610 - 26 January 2011 at 7:44pm

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Posted: 26 January 2011 at 7:30pm | IP Logged
Wow, this is indeed an interesting topic! How could you find all those similarities! Beautiful! You could definitely write a thesis on this or something! Another thing in common is that in Ramayan, some of the characters who turned on Ravan fought against him, with Shri Ram, at Lanka. And in the Mahabharat, Arjun had to fight his own relatives, with Krishna as his saarthi. In both, they are supported by God and have to go against their families.

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Posted: 26 January 2011 at 8:09pm | IP Logged
Oh wow, aMAZing thread, Urmi!Day Dreaming It's sooooooo interesting and informative, thanks a bunch for sharing this with us.Hug

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Posted: 26 January 2011 at 9:02pm | IP Logged

Lol. Lola you posted the post before me but I drafted it yesterday night only. But when I pressed the button of post reply, the connectivity of internet also replied me and I had to copy it in word file temporarily.AngryLOL Let me post that yesterday's draft as it is here now.


Brilliant topic Semanti. Similar thread I had created in Ramayan serial community of Orkut. Here is its link. And I will repost the contents also over here with more elaboration and modifications (our personal analysis of character comparisons).

 

 

http://www.orkut.co.in/Main#CommMsgs?cmm=19451816&tid=5438699804058653263&kw=ramayan+mahabharat

 

 

(Criteria of comparison is mentioned in bracket and also elaborated where necessary - at some places, comparison is with the criteria of similarity of situation and at some places the criteria is of mythologically same origin or same relation with Vishnu's incarnation)


(1) Ram - Krishna


(2) Sita (Vishnupriyaa, PRITHVISUTA but having control over AGNI tatva, Reason for war & death of evil, Power of Sati's curse, Form of Parmeshwari) - 
Rukmini with other queens of Krishna & Radha with other sakhis (Vishnupriyaa & Parameshwari) + Draupadi (AGNISUTA, Reason for war & death of evil, Power of Sati's curse)

(3) Hanuman (SHIV's incarnation & Vaayu's powerful son, devotee of Vishnu's incarnation, Brahmachaari) - Aged Hanumanji lost totally in devotion in Dwapar Smile + Bhishma (Vasu's incarnation, lived life like SHIV drinking poison of the earth sacrificing for peace and viewing good & bad children equally, devotee of Vishnu, Brahmachaari) + Bheem (Vaayu's powerful son, Obedient of Vishnu's incarnation)

(4) Lakshman (Incarnation of Shesh and brother of Vishnu's incarnation) - Balraam (Incarnation of Shesh and brother of Vishnu's incarnation)


(5) Bharat + Shatrughna (Brothers of Vishnu's incarnation other than SHESH's incarnation, Bharat's love was purified by Janak's decision in Chitrakoot and he was given the gift of knowledge of true love - filling up of incompleteness in love) -
Uddhav (Brother of Vishnu's incarnation other than SHESH's incarnation, Uddhav's gyan was purified by Gopis and he was given the gift of true knowledge of love - filling up of incompleteness in gyan)


(5) Vibhishan (Devotee of Vishnu's incarnation, Knowledgeable Dharmaatmaa & Man of truth, Ravan's minister, Subject of Ravan's hatred, Ravan's successor for kingdom, Lord's supported friend, Switching over the side to Dharma) - 
Yudhishthir (Obedient of Vishnu's incarnation, Dharmaraaj/Dharma's son & Man of truth, Subject of Duryodhan's hatred, Dhritaraashtra's successor for kingdom, Lord's cousin cum supported friend) + Vidur (Devotee of Vishnu's incarnation, Dharma's incarnation, Dhritaraashtra's minister always giving opinions against will and leaving the post before war) + Yuyutsu (Switching over the side for Dharma) + Vibhishan himself present in Dwapar in Digvijay parva of Sabha parva Smile

(6) Vaali (Elder brother against whom Vishnu's incarnation supported the younger) - Karna (Elder brother against whom Vishnu's incarnation supported the younger)

or
Vaali (Indraputra) - 
Arjun (Indraputra)


(7) Sugreev (Younger brother supported by Vishnu's incarnation, friend of Vishnu's incarnation) - 
Arjun (Younger brother supported by Vishnu's incarnation, friend of Vishnu's incarnation)

or
Sugreev (Sooryaputra) - 
Karna (Sooryaputra)


(8) Nal + Neel (Twins and Vishnu's incarnation supporters and son of devas - Vishwakarma & Agni) - 
Nakul + Sahdev (Sons of Ashwinikumar & supporter of dharma sided by Vishnu's incarnation)

(9) Angad (Ram's servant cum follower, Indraputra Vaali's son, became prince and supported uncle who was responsible for his father's death in the war in favour of dharma, sent as peace messenger in Lanka) - Saatyaki (Krishna's follower/influenced, Indraputra Arjun's student cum friend, accompanied Krishna in peace visit to Hastinapur) - One more funny logic is the actors in the respective serials had same name Bashir - ROFL + Sahdev of Magadh & Dhrishtketu of Chedi (Successor's of Jarasandh & Shishupal who supported their father's killer in the decider war in favour of dharma)

(10) Vashishth + Vishwaamitra - Gargaachaarya + Sandipani

(11) Jambuvan - Jambuvan himself in the cave Smile + Gargaachaarya (Brahma's sons)

(12) Parshuram - Parshuram Smile

(13) Ravan (Main aim of Vishnu's incarnation, Virodh bhakti of Vishnu, Greatest danger to dharma & aaryaavarta, Jay's incarnation, humiliated Vibhishan & Vibhishan succeeded him, Sita became cause of his death, Ambitious king and making his ears shut to right advice) + Indrajeet (Main villain's supporter) - Shishupal (Jay's incarnation, main villain's supporter, Virodh bhakti of Vishnu) + Kans (Main aim of Vishnu's incarnation, Virodh bhakti of Vishnu) + Jarasandh (Greatest danger to dharma & aaryaavarta) + Duryodhan (Draupadi became cause of his death, Dharmaraj got his kingdom after war) + Dushasan (Supporter of main villain of MB story) + Dhritaraashtra (Ambitious king and making his ears shut to right advice)


(14) Kumbhakarna (He had to support Ravan despite having qualities and knowledge of righteousness and consequences, younger brother of Ravan, Vijay's incarnation) - Shishupal's brother (Vijay's incarnation) + Karna (He had to support Duryodhan despite having knowledge of righteous side in general and possible consequences, common word Karna in their names) + Vikarna (Fought for adharma sacrificing life despite having inner goodness and knowledge about right & wrong, younger brother of Duryodhan, Common word 'Karna' in their names again LOL)


(15) Dasharath (Ram's father, Man of truth, Shabdvedhi baan, & curse, Chakravarti) + Janak (Ram's father in law) - Vasudev (Krishna's father, Man of truth & Promisekeeper) + Nand (Krishna's father) + Pandu (Shabdvedhi baan and curse & Chakravarti) + Bhishmak (Krishna's father in law)

(16) Kaushalya + Sumitra + Sunayna - Devki + Yashoda + Rohini + Kunti + Maadri

(17) Keikei (Mother & queen who wanted own son as king who was younger than more deserving step son, eventually hated by own son for sending the other son for exile, Asked for the boon which resulted in hardship for Vishnu's incarnation but Vishnu's incarnation took it happily, remaining life passed in repent, she had continued connection with her father & brother where her son visited for long time during the decider moment) - Gandhari (Mother & queen who wanted own son as king who was younger than more deserving nephew, cursed Vishnu's incarnation but Vishnu's incarnation took it happily, most of her life passed in war inside & complex desire-behaviour mismatch, she had continued connection with her brother residing at her in laws place only Big smile) + Kunti (Abandoned own son and therefore hated by him)

(18) Lav + Kush (Sons of Vishnu's incarnation, mighty warriors) - Pradhyumn + Saamb (Sons of Vishnu's incarnation) + Aniruddh (Grandson of Vishnu's incarnation) + Abhimanyu (Mighty warrior) + Ghatotkach (Mighty warrior) + Parikshit + Barbarik (Next generation final royal successor left on earth at the end of the epic to carry the values to future generations)

(19) Manthara (Provoking evil thought in others for kingdom without any real direct personal gain - Matsar, Character inspiring jealousy & ambitions and responsible for exile of Ramji) + Shoorpanakha (character root cause for the war and inspiring revenge, anger & passion) - Shakuni LOL(Provoking evil thought in others for kingdom without any real direct personal gain - Matsar, main character behind war inspiring jealousy, hatred & ambitions and responsible for exile of Pandavas)


(20) Nana Malyavaan (Not totally saint but also not willing for war but couldn't stop it and left with grief of death of all grand children & witnessed youngest grand children's coronation) - 
Dhritaraashtra (Not totally saint but also wanted kingdom without war but couldn't stop it and left with grief of death of all children and witnessed eldest nephew's coronation)


(21) Mandodari (Good natured wife of main villain believing himself most superior on the earth forcing devatas & navgrah worshipping him & Jay's incarnation who tried to bring her husband to the correct path till the end) + Sulochana (Good natured wife of side villain) - 
Bhanumati (Good natured wife of main villain) (Not much authentic evidence is available for Bhanumati) + Good adviser and triers wives of Shishupal (Jay's incarnation) & Paundrak/Shrunglav Vaasudev (Forcing people to worship him as God)

(22) Tara (Vaali's wife - later Sugreev's) - Vrushali (Karna's wife) (Don't know anything about Vrushali or its source)

(23) Urmila (Wife of incarnation of SHESH) - Revati (Wife of incarnation of SHESH)

(24) Sumant (Minister & friend of Dashrath) - Vidur (Minister of Pandu) + Akrur (One of the ministers of Yaadav sabhaa & friend of Vasudev & Nand)

(25) Valmiki (writer/poet as well as active character himself) - Ved Vyas (writer/poet as well as active character himself)

(26) Nishad raj Guhu (Friend of Vishnu's incarnation of lower caste) - Sudama (Brahmin friend of Vishnu's incarnation suppressed by poverty)

(27) Ahalya (Cursed lady uplifted by Vishnu's incarnation with touch of feet and body reviving with life) - Kubja/Trivakra (Handicapped lady uplifted by Vishnu's incarnation with touch only and body becoming straight & beautiful from bent & ugly)

(28) Shabari (Berry, "Jhoothe phal Sabari ke khaaye") - Vidur patni Vedvati (Banana + Sarson da saag, "Saag Vidur ghar khaayee")


(29) Maarich + Subaahu + Khar + Dushan - 
Bakaasur + Aghaasur & co (Long list)

(30) Taadkaa (Demoness, Beginning of the journey of killing evil on the earth by Lord's incarnation) - Putnaa (Demoness, Beginning of the journey of killing evil on the earth by Lord's incarnation)

 



Edited by ShivangBuch - 27 January 2011 at 11:10pm

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Posted: 27 January 2011 at 7:39am | IP Logged

Wow, awesome posts Lola and Shivang! Clap Clap Very informative, I learnt so much! Embarrassed

Sita Maiyya & Draupadi- neither of them were born, they only physically manifested/emerged, Sita from the earth and Draupadi from the yajna fire.



Edited by Vedo - 27 January 2011 at 7:54am

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