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What if Krishna became the charioteer of Rama? Note Pg4

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Posted: 05 May 2011 at 4:53pm | IP Logged

I have come across an interesting blog article written by a person on the internet combining Krishna's philosophy with Rama's duty mindedness.

I think this may give food for thought for lot of the people here>> Here is the blog below> Please put ur comments below::

  

[CAUTION: This blog is a fiction written to highlight how the percepts of Dharma changes from one Yuga to another, purely from the intellectual point of view. In Treta  Yuga, the emphasis of Rama was on the sovereignty of personal conduct and character.. In Valmiki Ramayana, Rama has been portrayed as a great personality with divine qualities ' an Avatar, who was mostly concealed in the garb of a human being- "Ram the Son of Dasaratha". Rama has been portrayed as an extremely humble person, who does not prefer to expose his divinity.  His character, actions and emotions are laid threadbare by Valmiki without any attempt to conceal or excessively glorify them.

 

As for as Krishna of Dwarapa Yuga is concerned, he has been portrayed as GOD, who knows and displays his divinity openly and he does not display any self imposed humility. In Dwapara Yuga, the emphasis of Dharma seems to have shifted to more of a sociological level from a purely personal level. Krishna is very outspoken, extremely sharp in intellect and possess the capacity to convince others on his line of argument.

 

The reader is requested to keep the above in mind while assessing the contents of this blog. There is no malicious intention to degrade the Avatars of Rama and Krishna in this blog. This blog is not for emotional and sentimental Bhaktas of Rama and Krishna]

 

Guards had an exasperatingly tough job of controlling the restive crowd; The moment Rama came out of the King's palace accompanied by Lakshmana on one side and Sita on the other side, the cordon virtually bulged out of control. "Rama! Rama! Don't Go" was the chorus that rent the air. Women wailed hysterically as they could not bear the sight of their Prince and his consort dressed like penniless monks walking out of the palace leaving all the grandeur and comforts behind. Rama walked majestically towards the chariot kept ready to take them away from the hysterical crowd of Ayodhya to a distant forest. Palace secrets had spilled out in no time. Rama could not miss hearing a few shouts like  "Down, down womanizer Dasaratha, Down down greedy Kaikeyi'" and he shook his head in disapproval.

 

Rama climbed up the chariot and extended a helping hand to Sita. As he looked around, all he could see was faces profuse with tears and arms shaking 'don't go'. The ever tender heart of Rama melted instantly and tears welled up his eyes. "What's it that I have done to earn such an unconditional love from these people? How can I ever pay back this love?" He knew it is not the time for sermons; no amount of spirited talk would convince this emotionally surcharged milieu. The best course is to move; Move with bowed heads.

 

Making sure that Lakshmana too had ascended the chariot, Rama said to the charioteer, "Sumantra, let's move".

 

The charioteer, who was all along showing his back to him turned and smiled at him. It was not Sumantra! With a bunch of peacock feathers adoring his crown, and with the unmistakable world-bewitching smile that radiated from his lips and a pair of shining and bright lotus eyes, it was unmistakably Krishna!

 

"Hare, Krishna! You? Here? As my charioteer?" Rama was flabbergasted.

 

"What to do, my dear counterpart! It has been destined on me that whenever Dharma slackens and Sadhus suffer, I have to take up the role of a charioteer!"

 

Rama's face expressed a look of hurt. "I don't understand! I am very much here and I am precisely doing my part to nurture Dharma; I am setting example to the world on the dharma of "Pitru Vakya Paripalanam" ' keeping up words of commitment to the Parents'"

 

"My dear Ram, in your excessive preoccupation to display your timidity, non-attachment, and saintly tendencies - some qualities to be revered rather by the Brahmin-class, you have totally forgotten that you belong to the Kshatriya Class. You have become woefully ignorant of the Dharma of the Kshatriyas!" ' Krishna interjected sharply and then added with a tinge of sarcasm, "The problem perhaps stems from the fact that you had spent rather a considerable period of your childhood and youth in the company of Saints like Vasishta and Viswamitra! A faulty association for a warrior class!"

 

"What quality of  Kshatriya have I failed to display? Can you explain?" ' Rama faced Krishna with a look of exasperation.

 

"The first and foremost duty of a Kshatriya is to protect the interests and welfare of his countrymen. When the whole nation is awaiting you to be crowned as the King, you are running away to the forest like a coward! I would even use a stronger term ' like an eunuch'"

 

While Sita expressed a look of shock at the utterances of Krishna, Lakshmana wasted no  time to flare up. He instantly lifted up his Bow and pointing an arrow at Krishna's neck, he shouted, "Hey, Gopal, if you utter a single word of blasphemy against my brother, your head will roll on the holy dust of Ayodhya'"

 

Krishna's smile brightened up on seeing Lakshmana's fury. "This-  this is precisely the type of Kshatriya Blood I was expecting to run in your veins, Rama! I am glad at least one is gifted with it in the Surya Dynasty amongst the off-springs of the hapless King Dasaratha!"

 

Rama could not hide the look of hurt from his face. But his inborn nature of humility prevented him from making any angry retort to Krishna's verbal tease.

"I am not running away, Krishna; I am only keeping my commitment to a higher Dharma. For me, the honor of my father's word to his wife is paramount. I have no attachment to the kingdom of my father. If my father wants me to give up this life, I will sacrifice it willingly. That is my Dharma'"

 

Sri Krishna laughed aloud. "You are again making some fundamental mistakes, Rama. Is it truly the wish of your father that you should relinquish your right to rule the kingdom and run away to forest? Did Dasaratha tell you so, point blank at your face?"

 

Rama hesitated. "Hmm' No. But Ma Kaikeyi told me that it is what my father wishes. I have no need or reason to distrust her'"

 

"But you are from the ruling class! It is your duty to ascertain facts before taking any recourse. It is now obvious that your father had not told you directly to relinquish your rightful ascend to the throne and leave Ayodhya; you have not verified whether at least that was HIS wish; Have you?"

 

Rama remained silent.

 

Krishna continued "So, conceding to the greedy designs of a vicious woman and without verifying the facts, you, a Kshatriya, want to relinquish like a Brahmin and run away to the forest in the garb of a Tyagi! Instead of playing your role as a Ruler who has to verify facts and establish justice, you want to abscond in the jungle! Leave alone calling yourself a Kshatriya! Are you fit enough to be called a Man? How can you be so fluid-minded and take action on hearsay? With such a woeful personality trait'." Krishna closed his eyes for a while and then looking straight at Sita, he thundered "Beware of your holy husband, you venerable lady! He is capable of asking you to prove your chastity by asking you to jump into fire; Even if you come back unscathed, he is capable of driving you from home, if a washer man roaming on the street makes an ugly remark about your impeccable character!"

 

Both Rama and Sita closed their ears hearing these stinging taunts of Krishna, uttering "Siva, Siva!".

 

Lakshmana by now could grasp that Krishna was indeed on his side. While he could not tolerate the intemperate verbal onslaught of Krishna over his beloved brother, he could not at the same time hide his satisfaction that Krishna was capable of driving home the same points that he unsuccessfully tried to elucidate to Rama that morning. Lakshmana now chipped in : "Brother! You have succeeded in shutting up my mouth this morning; But you can not escape from Krishna! I am eager to know how far you are capable of convincing HIM!"

 

Rama stood like a statue. Krishna continued:

 

"Look at the sea of humanity surrounding you and begging you not to leave, Rama! What does it indicate? It is as clear as a crystal! They want a good, honest and a fresh ruler, a ruler of sterling character and impeccable valor. Their longing clearly shows that something is essentially wrong in the rule of Dasaratha, your henpecked, weak-kneed father! If everything were to be wonderful under his rule, the people would lay aloof saying 'What if Rama rules or Ravana rules! 'When there is such an upsurge and expression of good-will upon knowing that you are going to be crowned as the King tomorrow, it is a clear-cut indication of existence of a deep rooted decay in the present administration! Poor people! Unlike their future generations in Kaliyuga, these people have no wherewithal to change the rulers once in five years! Now you have shattered their hopes and see the pain and anguish in their faces! Who else is better qualified than you - a man who has no attachment for the throne, but possessing all the stellar qualities to Rule a kingdom, who has the glorious trait of a true Karma Yogi? Does a Kshatriya like you ever run away from his subjects who beg for his rule?"

 

Rama replied after a small pause. "The issue I am facing is not to do anything with a good administration or bad administration of the country. It is something to do with a promise that my father made to his wife. A man of his stature has to keep up his words of promise. As a duty bound son, I am helping him out to keep his honour. This country after all  is going to be ruled by none other than my beloved brother Bharata, and I have no doubt he will make an excellent Ruler."

 

Krishna had his arguments ready: "It is the fault of Dasaratha to have made a promise to an untrustworthy woman who exploited his weakness for carnal pleasure. It is he who has to suffer for its consequences and definitely not you. As a son, you are not at all morally bound to compensate his immoral lapses! Leave that old man! You are talking about Bharata ruling this country. Whose wish was it? Does your wonderful brother want to rule this country driving you away to the jungle?"

 

Rama could not tolerate this jibe. "You call me names, Krishna, I won't mind! But don't you ever cast aspirations on Bharata. His character is unblemished and pristine! He would not even dream of sitting in the throne by shoeing me away!"

 

"Oh, hear comes the next act of blasphemy from you, my dear Ram! By running away to the forest in full public view, you are smartly planting poisonous seeds in the hearts of these guileless people that Bharata is a dangerously selfish and greedy person; that Bharata goes to the extent of scheming with his mother to pack off the rightful claimant of the throne to the forest and make a back door entry himself!"

 

Rama gripped the rails of the Chariot to steady himself. Krishna was unrelenting in his onslaught. He continued, "All said and done, I know very well how deeply your father loves you. Now you are leaving stealthily from the Palace without his knowledge. Once he comes to know of it, won't his heart burst out if he knows that you have forsaken him for good? Do you think he will survive such a shock? Perchance, if he dies, who will be responsible for it? You, the 'morally upright' who ran away to save the honor of the very person for whom dishonoring of his word is tantamount to death! How funny! "

 

Rama closed his eyes and held his breath. In a rare moment of occurrence,  his mind soared high and reached beyond the threshold of maya to realign with the Absolute, the Parabrahma. It flashed to him - His divine purpose of  the Avatar. Rama regained his consciousness. Now he knew. It was not for public consumption. He leaned himself forward close to Krishna and whispered in his years :"Hshsh'Krishna,  You must be knowing ' I have this duty- Ravana has to be annihilated'"

 

Krishna nodded his head. In a low voice he said, "Yes, I know; I know. But there are ways of doing it. One way is that of a hapless nomad; run to the forest, lose your wife to the enemy and build an army of monkeys to fight him out; but I would prefer the majestic way of a Kshatriya. Is there any king worth his name to stand in front of you and combat your mighty Bow? If you conduct an Ashwameta Yagnya, would there be a king in this Bharat Varsh who would oppose your becoming Chakravarthi - an Emperor of Emperors? Then you have all the kings and their combat force at your command to wage a mighty war against Ravana and annihilate him." After a pause, Krishna continued with a twinkle in his eyes, "I know yet another way too. If I were you, I will use some tricks to make every one else to wage the war against Ravana on my behalf and I will just enjoy the scenario at the warfront sitting pretty as a charioteer without lifting a weapon!" saying this in a whisper, he laughed aloud. His face became serious again.

 

Krishna now stood up and addressing Rama majestically, said, "Oh son of Kousalya, Stand up with valor! Discharge your rightful duty as a true Kshatriya to your beloved nation; Do not shirk the noble responsibility; No other Dharma is greater than your swadharma befitting your status as the rightful king of Ayodhya!"

 

Rama, the Avatar 'who opted to be identified as the Son of Dasaratha' stood there dumb struck and forlorn. Caught in the cobwebs of Maya of his own divine play, torn apart between the gloriously contradicting Dharmas of two different Yugas of his own creation, Rama stood there permitting himself to be bemused by his counterpart, his own self of the next Yuga.

 Copyright : CVRajan


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Edited by esrujan - 07 May 2011 at 3:23pm

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Posted: 05 May 2011 at 6:08pm | IP Logged
Welcome back Srujan! Thank you so much for sharing this very thought provoking article (with extra emphasis on "provoking" Tongue). As can be inferred from the disclaimer, the bhakt in me wants to give the author a solid chamaat for making Shri Ram sound like such a pushover and Shri Krishna so insensitive. But in its essence, it's a pretty common sense fact the entry illustrates - different times call for different measures, and as values change with the times, the old values sound arcane and impractical. This is the difference of a whole yuga the author speaks of; nowadays we may even find the laws and customs from 30-40 years laughable or aggravating. The one point I found really interesting and possibly innovative is right at the end where he speaks of the web of Maya - can that be interpreted as saying that the temptations of Maya are what cause the increased flexibility of values as time progresses? Do we get more "open-minded" because we simply don't have the strength to hold onto old values in the face of new temptations? Is it all about convenience? If that's the note the author ends on, then it's a total curveball in favor of the Treta approach. But in the arguments throughout the body of the article the obvious winner is Dwaapar. I think I'd be most comfortable reading it as a neutral commentary on how values change over time and given that the yardstick is so different, we can't be certain in our judgements of the actions from those times now in Kaliyug. I'll be back with more, I think, until then looking forward to everyone else's interpretations/justifications/objections.

Edited by lola610 - 05 May 2011 at 8:18pm

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Posted: 05 May 2011 at 8:19pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by lola610

Welcome back Srujan! Thank you do
 As can b inferred from the disclaimer, the bhakt in me wants to give the author a solid chamaat for making Shri Ram sound like such a pushover and Shri Krishna so insensitive.
 
Haha, that was my initial reaction too.LOL Ram was never that much of a pushover...in fact, he was not a pushover at all (his whole Yudh with Ravan prooves this), while Krishna was far from insensitive.
 
But I do understand the intention of the author, and though I don't at all agree with his POV that Krishna's approach to Dharma was the right path for Treta Yug and Ram was going about it the wrong way, some of his points were expressed well. The main fact is that Ram was perfect for Treta Yug and Krishna was perfect for Dwapar, but neither would be 'acceptable' today in the Kali Yug because people have more westernized views on things that don't flow with either Krishna or Ram's principles. Each day and age has its own ideal model, and it falls to us to merge Ram and Krishna's discources on Dharma to make our lives more liveable in the Kali Yug. Each by himself would not work.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 at 10:17pm | IP Logged
I liked that original article - wasn't remotely offended.  I actually agree w/ it as well.  Granted, Rama was no pushover nor was Krishna insensitive, but there are occasions when hard truths need to be told, and I guess the authors composed it to be this way.

I think another worthy idea would have been Rama and Sita on the throne in Ayodhya (or Mathura), and having as his courtiers not only Lakshman, Bharat, Sumantra, Guha, et al, but also Krishna, Balaram, Satyaki, Yudhisthir, Karna, Bhima, Arjun, et al there.  A good convo here would have been Rama trying to lay down what an ideal marriage should be, while Krishna returns to him after his conquest of Narakasura, and them discussing his marriage to Narakasura's 16,100 wives, and whether that was the best thing for them or not.  Rama & Krishna can then have a long exchange about the pros & cons of polygamy LOL and have everyone else, including the womenfolk - Sita, Satyabhama, Rukmini, Draupadi, Radha, et al join in.

Or Rama trying to oversee the differences b/w the Vrishnis and the Andhakas - and having the advantage of being neither.  Discuss w/ Krishna the concept of 'Conflict of interests'.  Then the question of Sita's exile comes up, and Krishna tells Rama that he can't be the one ruling on that, since he has a conflict of interests, and won't come out of it looking unbiased.  Then Krishna comes up w/ a decision/solution that both Rama/Sita and the citizens have to accept.  Or better still, let Krishna tackle the whole concept of creating a utopian society where each and every citizen has to be happy.


Edited by _Vrish_ - 05 May 2011 at 10:24pm

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Posted: 05 May 2011 at 10:49pm | IP Logged
OMG, such khatarnaak fanfic ideas you have, Vrish LOL Don't know whether I should say God save us from having to read those, or someone save God Stern Smile Seriously speaking though, I didn't find it real offensive once I reached the conclusion that the author did not intend to satirize these characters - he merely wanted to point out the difference between the way of thinking that we find in the overall epics and used Ram and Shyam as emblems to embody those ways of thinking. In the Ramayan, characters acted upon one dharma or one loyalty at a time - when Ram was being Ram the son, Ram the warrior didn't interfere (as this article would've liked him to)... when Sita was being Sita the wife, Sita the daughter-in-law was not on her mind... Lakshman as brother vs/ Lakshman as husband never arose as a conflict because he was only considering one duty at a time. Uttar Kand can be categorized in much the same way but that's a jumbo topic of its own that's been done all over the place so I'll skip it in this list... but basically everyone from Ramayan fits the bill as that's just how things were then. In Dwaapar people actually did weigh multiple duties against one another and sometimes became conflicted, just like Arjun before the Gita, or in Krishna's case had a clear and stable enough mind to come up with a middle ground. I think the choice examples I gave lend themselves to the conclusion it's tough to choose which approach is the better one since it depends on the situation and the character's other... characteristics.


Edited by lola610 - 05 May 2011 at 11:10pm

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Posted: 05 May 2011 at 11:45pm | IP Logged
In the context of Krishna reminding Rama to abide by his duties as a kshatriya, this portion looked totally out of place, and is the only part I disagree:
"I know yet another way too. If I were you, I will use some tricks to make every one else to wage the war against Ravana on my behalf and I will just enjoy the scenario at the warfront sitting pretty as a charioteer without lifting a weapon!" saying this in a whisper, he laughed aloud.

In fact, Rama could have reminded Krishna of how he had defeated or killed unmatched enemies like Kamsa, Jarasandha, Narakasura, Shalva, Banasura and many others, and asked him how he could have just been a charioteer when he was a kshatriya, not a sarathy.  In fact, the above cited portion is not even accurate - the bulk of warriors who fought on the Kaurava side weren't even his enemies.  Bhagadatta, for instance, was someone he had enthroned after killing Narakasura.  Duryodhan's daughter was his bahu via Samba.  Kritavarma was one of his kinsmen.  In fact, Krishna's entire Shamshaptaka army fought on the Kaurava side.  Rama could have asked him what's he doing giving his army to the side he wants to see defeated.  That's not logically done when one is planning a war.

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Posted: 06 May 2011 at 3:55pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by lola610

Welcome back Srujan! Thank you so much for sharing this very thought provoking article (with extra emphasis on "provoking" Tongue). As can be inferred from the disclaimer, the bhakt in me wants to give the author a solid chamaat for making Shri Ram sound like such a pushover and Shri Krishna so insensitive. But in its essence, it's a pretty common sense fact the entry illustrates - different times call for different measures, and as values change with the times, the old values sound arcane and impractical. This is the difference of a whole yuga the author speaks of; nowadays we may even find the laws and customs from 30-40 years laughable or aggravating. The one point I found really interesting and possibly innovative is right at the end where he speaks of the web of Maya - can that be interpreted as saying that the temptations of Maya are what cause the increased flexibility of values as time progresses? Do we get more "open-minded" because we simply don't have the strength to hold onto old values in the face of new temptations? Is it all about convenience? If that's the note the author ends on, then it's a total curveball in favor of the Treta approach. But in the arguments throughout the body of the article the obvious winner is Dwaapar. I think I'd be most comfortable reading it as a neutral commentary on how values change over time and given that the yardstick is so different, we can't be certain in our judgements of the actions from those times now in Kaliyug. I'll be back with more, I think, until then looking forward to everyone else's interpretations/justifications/objections.


Thanks Lola for your appreciation!!!!!!

Indeed it is a good article illustrating the differences in time. Smile

I wanted to emphasize that Krishna and Rama were both correct in different points of time even though their approaches/actions are so conspicuously different!!!!!!



It is not a question of having strength to hold on to values but it is a question of if the values are needed in this era! If so to what extent and how?

It is an evaluation of how values are differing with lapse of time and so on.


Edited by esrujan - 07 May 2011 at 3:27pm
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Posted: 06 May 2011 at 7:07pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by JanakiRaghunath

Originally posted by lola610

Welcome back Srujan! Thank you do
 As can b inferred from the disclaimer, the bhakt in me wants to give the author a solid chamaat for making Shri Ram sound like such a pushover and Shri Krishna so insensitive.
 
Haha, that was my initial reaction too.LOL Ram was never that much of a pushover...in fact, he was not a pushover at all (his whole Yudh with Ravan prooves this), while Krishna was far from insensitive.
 
But I do understand the intention of the author, and though I don't at all agree with his POV that Krishna's approach to Dharma was the right path for Treta Yug and Ram was going about it the wrong way, some of his points were expressed well. The main fact is that Ram was perfect for Treta Yug and Krishna was perfect for Dwapar, but neither would be 'acceptable' today in the Kali Yug because people have more westernized views on things that don't flow with either Krishna or Ram's principles. Each day and age has its own ideal model, and it falls to us to merge Ram and Krishna's discources on Dharma to make our lives more liveable in the Kali Yug. Each by himself would not work.

Agree with you partly, but what has westernization got to do with this? Is Krishna only the God of Indians? Isn't He the lord of the universe? So His words as well are universal just as He is. Religions differ from each other in terms of traditions, customs and rituals - but Krishna's principles has got nothing to do with any rituals/practices. In fact Krishna discouraged people from practicing hollow rituals. Krishna's Dharma is based on Karma which itself is unchanging and eternal and irrespective of one's faith/nationality/lifestyle.

I myself don't go to temples or bow my head before stone idols or follow any tradition as such. I have always opposed senseless traditions which people blindly follow, I have shunned people for venerating the Miracle Babaas and Astrologers, I have even gone against my family and refused to wear the Sacred Thread which is a mark of Brahmins. Because I have never understood the meaning of all these things. You can even call me an Atheist/Naastik if you wish to - most people in my own family does so! I wear western clothes because I feel more comfortable in them; listen western as well as Hindi music; prefer western/non-Indian cuisine most of the time, but still I think I am on the path which Krishna showed us.

Krishna's Dharma is eternal and for all ages, if we properly understand the meaning of it. Its us who try to confine Krishna in temples and pilgrims and believe that we are devotees of Krishna because we chant His name all day or dutifully worship Him. Krishna has never asked anyone to erect His temples or chant His name or sing bhajans. Karma is the only way of worshiping Krishna, whether you live in Eastern lifestyle or Western. If your actions are directed by your conscience and judged by coherence and reasons then only you are a true devotee of Krishna.

So I think Krishna's words hold true even in Kali Yuga.Tongue


Edited by Darklord_Rehan - 06 May 2011 at 7:21pm

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