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Ramayan of Krittivas Ojha: a study *New updt pg 11 (Page 2)

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.Vrish.

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.Vrish.

Joined: 25 October 2008

Posts: 20800

Posted: 17 June 2011 at 12:39pm | IP Logged
@ Vrish,

Here are my replies to you
Smile sorry for the late, I saved your questions in a word file & then edited it with my replies, so my replies are in red color along with your questions.
 
Thanks so much.  My responses in blue - since QUOTE doesn't work, I avoided its use this time round.  My comments in this font color.

1)      Krittivas changed the name pf Balkand & YuddhaKand. In this version, BalKand is named as "AadiKand" & YuddhaKand as "LankaKand".

This tends to follow Tulsidas as far as Lankakand goes - although Tulsidas still calls the first kand Balkand, like Valmiki did

 

As Krittivas precedes Tulsidas, we have to conclude that either Krittivas himself changed the names, or he was influenced by some other sources.

Yeah, that's what I meant - there were no links b/w these 2, and Krittivas did precede Tulsidas.  I should have said that Krittivas and Tulsidas had the same name for 'Lankakand', but different ones for Balkand.

2)      The wonderful story of king Harishchandra (the grandfather of king Sagar) is nicely & elaborately narrated in Krittivasi Ramayan. This story tells how king Harishchandra became helpless with the plan of sage Viswamitra; even the poor king had to sale not only his wife & child, but also himself finally! 

So that was a part of the epic as well?  Does Krittivas have the entire Raghuvansa captured here - does he narrate the stories of Dilipa, Raghu and Aja as well?

 Yes, Krittivas narrated all the stories of Dilip, Raghu & Aja-Indumati elaborately & they are similar with that of Kalidaas's Raghuvangsha.

How about Dasharath - does he describe Dasharath's rule as well in length, aside from his marriages and battles w/ Shambara?  How about Shravan Kumar - is that something narrated only indirectly via Dasharath (as in Valmiki), or does it get narrated separately in Adikand?  How does the transfer of the kingdom from Aja to Dasharath take place?
 
Also, does Krittivas have Dasharath having 350 more wives, like in Valmiki & Kamban?
 
3)      Marriage of Dasharath with Kousalya, Kaikeyi & Sumitra is elaborately narrated. According to this version, Kousalya & Sumitra's marriage with Dasharath was arranged by their parents, but Kaikeyi had to face swaymvar & she choose Dasharath.

In the ACK Dasharath, it's shown that Kaikeyi was given to Dasharath by Akshawati (forget the exact name) on condition that her son becomes king.  Wouldn't have been the case had she voluntarily chosen him in a swayamvar, so wonder whether Krittivas had translated this from something else?  I thought that the reason Akshavati put this condition on was that he was giving a young Kaikeyi in marriage to a pretty old Dasharath

The name of Kaikeyi's father was Ashwapati. In Valmiki Ramayan, Dasharath became severely injured in the war with demon Sambar. Then Kaikeyi saved his life, & grateful Dasharath promised to give her two boons. Kaikeyi didn't want them at that moment, in Ayodhyakand, Manthara reminded her about them. & Krittivas too told the same. But yes, in 107th sarga of Ayodhyakand Shri Ram told Bharat that Dasharath promised to Ashwapati to give the kingdom to Kaikeyi's son. I think it doesn't matter that Kaikeyi faced swayamvar or not, because those two boons were responsible for Ram's destiny, during that time nobody remembered Ashwapati's promise, so I think that promise made no effect on Dasharath's decision. It seems that either the king forgot that promise or ignored it. I guess it might make Krittivas to eliminate that ineffective promise. So he showed swayamvar to delete the story.

This succession was discussed in a separate thread in the Ramayan forum by Kal El - I'll dig it up sometime 

6)      When Kousalya & Kaikeyi shared the holy kheer with Sumitra, Kousalya told her, "Your son will accompany my son" & Kaikeyi told, "Your son will be a servant of my son", Sumitra agreed to those conditions & then she got the share.

 (not @ you, Urmila, @ this account) Anyway, this a/c seems to match Tulsidas, not Valmiki.  Valmiki gave the first half to Kaushalya, 2nd quarter to Sumitra, 3rd eighth tch o Kaikeyi and 4th eighth again to Sumitra.

I know, Vrish, this part matches with Ramcharitmanas but not with Valmiki Ramayan. Perhaps this appears from Adhytma Ramayan as Krittivas couldn't copy from Tulsidas LOL. But how is this addition of Krittivas? I mean, what do you think about these two promises made by Sumitra?

I tend to believe Valmiki's version on this one.  While Kaikeyi may have been capable of extracting such a promise from Sumitra, I don't believe Kaushalya could have done it.  Valmiki has Dasharath distribute the payash and not Kaushalya & Kaikeyi, which is why I tend to believe it more.  (Not to mention that as a rule, I believe Valmiki over anyone else, but Krittivas tends to be more 'Valmiki-compatible' in a lot more aspects than some other versions) 

Another point - in Valmiki, Shatrughan went on to become the ruler of Madhupura after killing Lavanasura, so obviously, he didn't remain Bharat's 'servant'.  In one version of Adhyatma that I read, when he accompanied the horse in Rama's Ashwamedha yagna, he fought Lavanasura then and killed him, but instead of becoming king himself, he installed his son Subahu on the throne, and continues on the yagna, during which he battles Luv and gets wounded.
 
What does Krittivas have?  Does Shatrughan become the ruler of Madhupura himself, or does he crown his son?  Or is there just no mention of that feud w/ Lavanasura?

7)      According to Lord Shiva's order, Parshuram gave Shiva's bow to king Janak & told him, "I want to marry your daughter Sita, but now I'm going for 'tapasya', so keep this bow, if anyone can lift this bow before I return, you may accept that person as your son-in-law".

 In other words, Parashuram had his evil eyes on Sita?  Incidentally, did Parashuram accost Rama in the swayamvara itself (Tulsidas) or when the baraat was returning to Ayodhya (Valmiki)?

Parshuram appeared when Dasharath was returning Ayodhya with sons & daughters-in-law, so this again follows Valmiki. Listening to the noise of crowd Parshuram thought, "Surely someone has married Sita" & then rushed to the spot.

I myself don't think that Parshuram had evil eyes on Sita. As he was an incarnation of Vishnu himself, it is not abnormal that he wanted to marry Lakshmi (Sita).

Okay, then this is similar to Valmiki, who had Parashuram confront Dasharath, not Janak.
 
8)      When Viswamitra pleaded to Dasharath for Ram, being overwhelmed with affection & fear, the king made a plan & sent Bharat-Shatrughna instead of Ram-Lakshman with sage! On the way, Viswamitra could recognize them & became furious on the king. As a result, the king had to send Ram-Lakshman finally!

 Mahakavi Krittivas Dasharather naam Dubiye chereche 

I couldn't guess that you know so clear Bengali! Yes I agree, this incident lorwers Dasharath's character, & a great poet like Krittivas should not do that. But I think it's only to represent Dasharath's heavenly love & affection towards Ram. I agree that he should not send his other two sons to face such a danger as they were his own children too, but most probably Krittivas wanted to prepare the reader for the next facts. & so he made Dasharath to play such a trick just to express the extremeness of his affection to Ram, that affection which can even end a father's life, & poet wanted to give a hint of this extreme love previously in first kand. That's completely my opinion. But also, Vrish, we don't know which source Krittivas translated from, so we can't decide whether this fact is his brainchild or not. So we can't blame him alone, can we?   

Yeah, I don't fault Krittivas @ all - I am just curious as to his sources.  I don't think he meant to malign Dasharath, but either he, or the person he was translating, unintentionally ended up doing just that, while probably thinking that they were glorifying Dasharath for his love of Rama.  Besides, chances are likely that Bharat or Shatrughan could have killed Taraka just as easily, so in the real story, neither of them got the chance to.

Incidentally, I once heard from someone that Shatrughan, when he was very young, killed a rakshasha called Ripu, and got the name Ripudamman as a result.  Is there any account of that in Krittivas?
 
(About my language, I am a Bong, but not a fluent reader, and Krittivas, being written in 13th century Bengali, is even more difficult to follow.)
9)      Guru Vasistha fixed such a holy moment for the quadruple marriage of RLBS & SUMS that would result never separation between husband & wife. But all the Gods became worried by this arrangement & plan fully made that moment over!

So how did they undo it, and that too, so well that Sita was separated from Rama twice?

Being worried the Gods sent the Moon-God (Chandradev) to Mithila. He started to dance in the royal palace, & all became so mesmerized with Chandradev's dance that the holy moment fixed by Guru Vasistha passed away, & nobody noticed it!

Not only Sita was separated from Ram, but Urmila & Mandavi were also separated from their husbands later, right? So this plan of Gods became entirely successful. & about the second separation of Uttarkand, I think that Gods didn't want it! & they perhaps didn't thought about that separation, as they knew Lord Vishnu will surely fulfill his devotee's curse. But the first separation was needed for all of them & for mankind. So they only thought about Ravan's death & their liberation from all sufferings caused by demons at that time.  

Was Mandavi ever separated from Bharat?  Both the serials have it, but it's not something I've ever read anywhere.  I mean, she could easily have lived w/ him in Nandigram, and while he may have denied her, I'd be interested as to whether any authors have it.  Does Krittivas have this account?
 
Also, does Krittivas have the account about both the curses - Narad's & Bhrigu's - that caused Rama's 2 separations?  I mean, just b'cos Narad had cursed Vishnu once didn't mean that Bhrigu's curse had to be separate - they could have been overlaid and coincidental.  (Just like in the Mahabharat, both the rishis (Kanva, Vishwamitra, Durvasa, et al) and Gandhari cursed the destruction of the Yadavas, but they didn't have to be destroyed twice, the first one was adequate)
 
10)   In AranyaKand, when Lakshman left Sita alone in the cottage, he drew a line (Lakshman-rekha) to save her. (Tulsidasji didn't show this line in AranyaKand, he mentioned it later as Mandodari's dialogue to Ravan)

Yeah, this is one of the worst inventions in the Ramayan, and contributed much to misogynic thought in medeaval times, that wasn't there in ancient times.

Sorry, Vrish, I can't agree with you in this regard. I don't think that the Lakshman rekha incident can influence misogamy; it was done only to save Sita, not to insult her. Rather people of next era treat this fact as an example of respect to women. We can see that in Ramayan's time people used to respect their sisters-in-law (in human society, don't look at vanar & rakshas society) but in Mahabharat's time this respect disappeared. How could Lakshman leave his motherly sister-in-law alone & unsafe in that cottage after visiting the demons like Khar-Dusan? In Valmiki too, he prayed for Sita's protection to Gods, & here he drew that line only for more security. Remember, he was going to violate Ram's order then, & he had to carry the responsibility of Sita's security. His line was just a representative of him in his absence. & if you think about misogynic thoughts, then I will say that the story of Ahalya, Sita's abduction & the thoughts of Ayodhya's people at Uttarkand had much more contribution to them, as they all are insults to women. Lakshman rekha is a sign of protection, not of offense.      

This was once discussed in the Ramayan forum (around the time the original episodes regarding Sita's abduction took place) and it was pointed out that in Valmiki, there was no Lakshman rekha, and when people inserted it in, and on top of that, piled on statements about 'maryada rekha' which, once a woman crosses, she cannot cross back, it's a foundation for suppressing the freedom of women.  While Lakshman's intensions (as per this, and the Tulsidas version) was to protect Sita, the way it ended up being used was as a stick to signal women that if they dared cross that rekha, they'd have violated the maryada of their family/society/whatever, and lose the right to be respected, and certain protections that automatically accompanied it.

Given that no such convention existed in the millenia preceding it, and that women in both the Treta Yuga and the Dwapar Yuga were considerably more free to do things, I'd say that these medeaval introductions of Lakshman rekha into the Ramayan where they didn't hitherto exist (here, I'm not necessarily pinpointing either Krittivas or Tulsidas, but rather whoever originally came up w/ this Lakshman Rekha story) did a lot to degrade women, whereas their honor was hitherto much more respected.  As for the other instances, people today don't respect Indra for violating Ahalya, or the Ayodhyavasis for doubting Sita, or Ravan for abducting her, so I don't agree that those instances inspired people to suppress women as this invented incident did.
 
12)   Vasmalochon, a demon of Ravan's court, had such a power that his one glance could burn anything! When Ram's battle crossed the bridge, Ravan sent Vasmalochon to kill all of them. But Ram destroyed him using the mirror-weapon (darpan-astra) which made mirrors on everyone's face! As a result, the demon saw his own image on their faces & died by the fire of his own eyes! (This story was an influence of European Myth & legend, there was a similar character named Balor who had the same power.)

Yeah, this is one of the famous, but usually glossed over, since Valmiki & Tulsidas don't have it: dunno about the others.  Except that in the Kumbhakarna ACK, it's shown as happening early in the war, whereas in Krittivas itself, from what I could gather, it actually happened after the death of Indrajit.  This really surprised me, as one would have thought that as yuvraj, Indrajit would have been the last one to be sent by Ravan 

Indrajit is always the last person sent by Ravan. Valmiki, Krittivas, Tulsidas, all have shown the same.

In Krittivas, I looked for the account of Bhashmalochan, and found it after Indrajit's death, not b4.  Also, Mahiravan's incident too happened after Indrajit's death. 

15)       Vibhison had a son named Taranisen. He was a great devotee like his father, but after Makaraksha's death Ravan forced him to join the battlefield. His parting scene from his mother Sarama is very touching. In battlefield, Taranisen uttered a divine prayer to Ram, hearing which the Lord became affectionate to him, He told, " I can't hurt my devotee,--------I know there is no other way to escape Sita,-------but I can't tolerate my devotee's pain! My devotee is my all!" Then Taranisen thought that he will never achieve "mukti" if Ram disagreed to slay him. He changed his words & started to insult Ram, which was completely acting. After his death, Vibhison revealed that Taranisen was his son. Lord Ram broke down in grief. The whole incident is full of tears.

Yeah, I too had read somewhere that Vibhishan had a son, who fought in the war and was killed by Rama.  But what I recalled from that account was that he voluntarily went to battle, and got killed, don't remember whether it was Rama who killed him, or someone else.  Was he that formidable - I'd have thought that even someone like Sugriv could have made short work of him

In Krittivasi Ramayan, Vibhison's son was too powerful to defeat vanar warriors very easily. Then Ram had to appear to fight with him. Actually he was a true devotee of Shri Ram & wanted to die in Ram's hand, so he had to remove others to fight with Ram only. I will post the whole story later.   

I also read somewhere that Indrajit too had a son, who after Indrajit's death, was sent by Ravan to avenge him.  He too fought and died - Ravan was left w/ no successors.  Is it Krittivas who has something like this?  Also, does Krittivas go into the character of Sulochana?

No, Krittivas had no such story about Indrajit's son, here Indrajit had many wives but Krittivas didn't mention any of them in particular, so Sulochona's story is missing from this version. I think Sulochona is the brainchild of Tulsidas only.

What is the source of this story of Indrajit's son? Can you please tell me?

I don't know, but like Vibhishan's son, I recall reading about that somehere many years ago.  Was just wondering whether it was in any Krittivas translation (incidentally, are there any?) 

17)      The Shktishel episode. Shkti was the weapon of Ravan (not of Indrajit) which was given by his father-in-law Mayadanav & Ravan applied it after Indrajit's death (just like the Valmiki Ramayan). Here also, Susen is the doctor of Kiskindhya (not of Lanka) & he was in Ram's side as always.

In this aspect, Krittivas seems to follow Valmiki more than Adhyatma (I won't say Tulsidas, since Krittivas preceded him).  Although in Valmiki, Lakshman was downed twice - once by Indrajit, and second time after Indrajit's death, by Ravan.

Yes this part is from Valmiki but Krittivas added many new incidents here like Kalnemi vadh, Sun-God story, Hanuman's meeting with Bharat & Hanuman's fight with Gandharvas of Gandhamadan etc.     

18)  After Kalnemi vadh, Ravan became worried & forced Sun-God (SuryaDev) to rise earlier in the mid-night. Sun-God initially disagreed to do so as it's a violation of natural rules, but al last he had to agree fearfully. But Hanuman stopped his chariot & requested him not to do so. SuryaDev happily agreed but asked for a plan. Hanuman took him under his arms!

Again, follows Valmiki, not Adhyatma

This part does not follow Valmiki at all. Valmiki never showed Kalnemi vadh & this amazing incident of Sun-God. I guess Sun-God case was shown in new Ramayan (I haven't watched the new serial much, so I may be wrong). I guess they adopted this story only from Krittivas as Tulsidas hasn't it. Read the Valmiki version here, Valmiki Ramayana - Yuddha Kanda

Okay, I stand corrected, it's not there.  And yep, they did show it in the AS Ramayan
 
19)       The meeting of Hanuman with Bharat is slightly modified here. Firstly, Guru Vasistha made Hanuman awake. He scolded Bharat for hurting Hanuman without knowing his actual intention. Hanuman too, scolded Bharat! Secondly, Bharat put Hanuman with the mountain on his arrow & threw it to Lanka in order to save time.

Okay, in Valmiki, Hanuman never met anyone in Ayodhya during that flight

Tulsidas also has this story of Hanuman-Bharat meeting. As I haven't read Adhyatma Ramayan, & guess you have read it, I like to ask you one thing. Is this incident shown in Adhyatma? If not, then we can conclude that Tulsidas adopted this story from Krittivas.

I haven't read Adhyatma, just some accounts of it, so am not sure.  But it is a source of many of the descrepancies b/w Tulsidas & Valmiki, since the former used Adhyatma, not Valmiki, as his source. 

21)       The Mahiravan-Ahiravan incident is far different from that shown in NDTV Ramayan. Here Mahiravan is another son of Ravan who born in patal-lok & lived there.  Here Ahiravan is son of Mahiravan (not brother) & presence of any serpent woman (naag-kanya) is not found in the whole incident. Mahiravan's plan for abducting Ram-Lakshman is very interesting & unique (I will post later, this process of abduction was affected by a European Myth, there was a thief whose character matches with Mahiravan). Devi Durga (Jogaadyaa) told Hanuman the way of Mahiravan's death!

Actually, when I told you I have questions, this is where I had the biggest question.  In school, we had the poem 'Mahiravan vadh' in the ICSE, which was right from here.  In it, Ravan does invoke Mahiravan after the death of Indrajit.  The story is exactly what the ACK Mahiravan has - Hanuman makes a tent w/ his tail surrounding Rama & Lakshman in preparation for Mahiravan's attempt, and he himself guards the only entrance to it.  Vibhishan tells him to beware of anybody, while he does the rounds.  Mahiravan first approaches Hanuman in the guises of Dasharath & Bharat, but Hanuman asks him to wait for Vibhishan, who should be able to see thru his disguise.  Both times, Mahiravan disappears.  Finally, Mahiravan takes Vibhishan's roop and approaches Hanuman, who lets him in.  When the real Vibhishan comes to Hanuman, the latter suspects him to be Mahiravan

OMG! Whatever you know about this part completely matches with Krittivas! Only with a little addition, in Krittivasi Ramayan, Mahiravan took the form of Maa Kousalya & King Janak too after Dasharath & Bharat, & yes, then Vibhison. That's why I told it is an interesting process of abduction.

They go in and find that Mahiravan has put everyone to sleep and captured Rama & Lakshman.  Hanuman goes to patal and finds that the 2 of them are prisoners, and to be sacrificed to Durga (not some Rakshasha god as depicted in the serial).  Hanuman asks Durga how to save them, and she gives him a plan.  He tells Rama & Lakshman about it.  When the time is come to sacrifice Rama & Lakshman, Mahiravan tells them to bow, but Rama tells him that being royalty, others bow to them, they don't bow to anyone, and ask Mahiravan to show them.  Mahiravan throws away his scimitar and does it, and Hanuman, who was shrunken, suddenly assumed his full form and took the opportunity to behead Mahiravan, who like all demons, became released from his curse and returned to the Gandharva realm.

Yes, that part matches with Krittivas too, & Devi Durga is called Yogadyaa here, which is one of her 51 forms of 51 Shakti-pith. & the power Mahiravan had to put everyone to sleep, this is similar with a thief narrated in European myth.

My question - was the story of panchamukhi here?  or somewhere else?  According to that, Hanuman had to simultaneously put out 5 diyas located in different places in a room.  He took this form, where 4 of his faces face the 4 directions, and the 5th upwards, and he simultaneously blows out the diyas.

No, Krittivas had no such story of panchamukhi. What is its actual source?

No idea - just what I had heard.  My above description of Mahiravan was from the ACK, but the poem 'Mahiravan vadh' I alluded to above was by Krittivas only - I should have mentioned that the subject was Bengali. 

Bottom line - Hanuman, not Rama, killed Mahiravan.  Also, Angad, Jambavan, Nala & Neela did not go.

Exactly. So whatever the new Ramayan showed about this does not match with Krittivasi Ramayan.

Now, what was the story of Ahiravan?  Can you narrate that?

Oh sure, I will love to narrate it. Will post later.

Thanks 

22)       Before the final battle, Ravan worshipped Goddess Durga. Being pleased with Ravan, Goddess came & sat on his chariot! Then Ram had to worship Devi Durga according to Lord Bramha's advice. But Maa Durga played a trick. Ram collected 108 blue lotuses with help of Hanuman to offer her, but one of them was hidden by her. Then lotus-eyed Lord Ram decided to offer his one eye instead of the missing lotus! Maa Durga became pleased & left Ravan's chariot. (This process of worshipping Maa Durga with 108 lotuses is still followed by Bengali people today in their well-known Durga pooja fesrival of autumn) 

Was it 108 lotuses or 1000?  The serial showed 1000, and someone commented on that in my YouTube channel - see below.  I checked out the text, and seem to recall it saying 1000 (sahasra).  Just confirm it for me and if you have an YouTube a/c, read those comments and fill in your findings?

 

I read Krittivas from my childhood & it's my bedside reading now. I was 100% sure that it is 108, not 1000. But after your question, I checked it again & again & found that it tells several times that it is 108 (shatasta), not sahasra. & Bengali people still worship Maa Durga with 108 lotuses, as this process of Durga puja came from Krittivasi Ramayan, I'm totally sure that it's strictly 108, not 1000. & yes, I have Youtube channel & I saw the comments on your channel too, don't know why people wrote that it was 1000 in Krittivas version, it is completely wrong information. I will post my comments there too.

Thanks. (Doesn't shatasta mean 27?  Or am I not reading you right?)

In 1 TV program on Durga puja a couple years ago, I recall someone saying that previously, it used to be celebrated in early February, but got shifted to the Dusshera time frame after Krittivas wrote his Ramayan. 

23)      UttarKand is different from that of Valmiki Ramayan & that shown in Ramanand Sagar's Luv Kush. Here Sita herself wanted to visit Valmiki's ashram as her only wish during pregnancy, so Ram had to arrange this. But before that, Bhadra presented the pathetic news of people's talk about Sita, & Ram himself heard the conversation between two washer men which made him sure about the news. Like the Valmiki Ramayan, Sita didn't know about her exile before reaching to the other side of river Ganga. 

Ramanand Sagar's serial had Tulsidas' account of Uttarkand, which didn't have Luv-Kush @ all, but instead had that kaagbhushandi story.  But Sita wanting to visit rishis was very much there in Valmiki, except that she wasn't specific about Valmiki.  However, @ this time, Rama got the news from Bhadra about this rumor mongering about Sita.  In Valmiki, there was no dhobi, so now we know that the dhobi story originates from whoever Krittivas translated from.

Incidentally, in Krittivas, do the rishis visit Rama after his coronation and give him the full story of Ravan, Vali & Hanuman? 

Yes, Krittivas's Uttarkand is too long & it has all the stories of Ravan's dynasty, Ravan's fight with Kuber, Anaranya (Ram's ancestor), Kartabiryarjun, Vali, Yama, Mandhata etc. & full story of Hanuman's past which was narrated to Ram by the sages.   

24)       Shatrughna alone heard Ramayan (story till then) sung by Luv Kush while he returned from Madhupuri after slaying Lavanasur. He spent that night in Valmiki's ashram. He became very emotional to hear Ramayan but could not see the singers. He asked Valmiki about the singers but Valmiki avoided carefully.

In Valmiki, Rama explicitly asks Lakshaman to leave Sita near Valmiki's ashram, and he asks Shatrughtan to visit Valmiki.  While there, on the night of KL's births, Shatrughan actually  meets Sita.
 
Does Krittivas' account match this?
 
25)       The war of Luv Kush with their uncles is interestingly & elaborately narrated here. This is not written by Valmiki, Krittivas adopted this incident from Jaimini Bharat. The whole war is similar with that shown by Ramanand Sagar, only with one difference. The boys not only made their uncles unconscious, they killed them, & also killed Vibhisan's & Sugriv's battle. Only Hanuman & Jamvuban were alive because they had boon of immortality. & they also fought against Ram, but neither Ram nor Luv Kush could win. The children made their father unconscious. Finally Valmiki came & made all of them alive.

Now, you've made me curious about Jaimini Bharat   Besides, Vibhisan too had the boon of immortality, so he too shouldn't have died.  I think the term 'killed' was loosely used by some poets. 

I'm also curious about Jaimini Bharat, but couldn't find it till now. Vibhison didn't die but he did nothing mentionable here, so I eliminated his name. 

Vibhishan was immortal as per Brahma's boon, unless Jaimini Bharat disagrees.
 
  I have noticed that there are lots of similarities between Krittivas & Tulsidas versions, they are so much similar in various incidents & in descriptions that I guess one must be influenced by the other! Now we have to know who appears first, Tulsidas or Krittivas? I found that Wikipedia says (see my first post), Krittivas's time was much earlier. So should we conclude that Tulsidasji read the Krittivasi Ramayan? What do you think, friends?  

Tulsidas used Adhyatma as his source, and not Krittivas, and definitely not Valmiki.  Krittivas does seem to use a lot of Valmiki in his account.  But yeah, Krittivas does precede Tulsidas.

Yes Krittivas used Valmiki mainly but he also added lots of new stories from other sources. Perhaps he didn't use Adhyatma but used some Puranas & some foreign myths.

Thanks again for providing all these accounts  

You are welcome Smile! Glad you are satisfied with these accounts. Keep visiting this thread as I will come soon with some new stories in detail.  

Yup, can't wait Smile - particularly for Ahiravan & Tariansen



Edited by _Vrish_ - 17 June 2011 at 3:16pm

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Posted: 17 June 2011 at 5:00pm | IP Logged
Hello Semanti. Thanks for this thread.

Regarding 108 or 1008 lotuses, I have heard both in different versions. Actually if you are worshiping Mahishasur Mardini Durga (manifestation of Parvati), then the ritual is of offering 108 blue lotuses, corresponding to 108 names of Durga. However if you are worshiping unmanifested Parvati or Adi-Shakti in her primordial form, then its 1008 lotuses corresponding to 1008 names of Lalita Sahasranama. Now it depends upon whether Ram worshiped Durga or Gauri. In Bengal we celebrate Durga Puja as Sharodiya Akal Bodhan which was supposedly held in Basanta prior to Ram.

Incidentally, does this story goes like - Durga hides one lotus from the offerings and Ram intends to replace the lotus with his eye? I have heard this story too. Strangely, this is similar to Vishnu's offering to Shiva where Shiva hides one lotus and Vishnu replaces it with his eye and pleased with this, Shiva gives him the Sudarshana Chakra.

I wish to ask you - does Sita know of her banishment in this Ramayan? I have heard two versions of Sita's banishment

1. Ram reveals his dilemma to Sita who herself willingly accepts banishment. (This was also shown in Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan)

2. Ram has Lakshman escort Sita to other side of the Ganga Ghat, without revealing his intentions to her. Its only while Lakshman sails away leaving her, does Sita come to know of the banishment.

Curiously, both of these versions have been attributed to Valmiki. While the pro-Bhakti Indian sources support the former notion, the neutral, or rather secular, sources tend to support the latter.

What does Krittivas say?


Edited by Darklord_Rehan - 17 June 2011 at 5:04pm

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Posted: 18 June 2011 at 1:00am | IP Logged
Rehan
 
In the Valmiki version, Lakshman is asked to take Sita to Valmiki's ashram, not to the forest, and leave her there.  Lakshman does so, after explaining to her Rama's predicament.  He doesn't stealthily abandon her, as some accounts put it.
 
I too am curious about how Krittivas did it.  As Urmila noted, this version is the one that mentions the dhobi, not Valmiki.  Also, in Valmiki, Sita's whereabouts were never a mystery to Rama, Lakshman or Shatrughan.  I wonder how Krittivas had it.
 
Thanks for the clarification re: 108 vs 1000 vs 1008.  My video clip too showed Rama being about to offer his eye.

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Posted: 18 June 2011 at 2:17am | IP Logged
@Yeah Vrish, I have read that as well. But we need to understand that Ramayan was originally written in around 300 BCE. Whether someone called Valmiki wrote it or someone else under the pseudonym did, we cannot say. But at that time, most of the present Gods and Goddesses (including Vishnu, Lakshmi, Shiva, Durga etc etc) didn't even exist in their present form; neither were they worshiped, nor was the concept of Avatars known.

So it wouldn't be unwise if we assume that in original version of Ramayan, Ram was nothing more than a virtuous human King. Its only in the Puranic age (400-1500 AD) these Gods and their Avatars were introduced and became amalgamated into the Epics. The same thing happened with Mahabharat (~200BCE) as well. Most of the Bhakti parts of Mahabharat viz Krishna's Bal leelas, Ras leelas etc were added around 500AD in Harivamsa, while Bhagwad Gita was modified to suit Bhagwad Puran which itself was written around 600 AD.

Now to present an ordinary man as a God, Puranic scholars had to cover up those seemingly human mistakes and present them in a better light. For example, in case of Sita's Agni Pariksha, modern interpreters say that Ram foresaw Sita's kidnap and handed her over to Agni while Ravan abducted only her image. However this is discontinuous with Ram's character as Ram didn't display similar farsightedness in many other places and seemed to be in dilemma and state of helplessness. This might be one such attempt to justify the Agni Pariksha.

In a Western Version I have read that there was no grand Mahaprayan of Ram. After Sita's departure and Lakshman's death, a dejected and tired Ram takes Jal-samadhi in the River Sarayu. This seems consistent with the fact that Ram was not presented as an Avatar of Vishnu in the original text.

Similarly, its quite possible that Sita's banishment too had been modified for same reasons. Its not an unknown fact that many Puranic scholars and Vaishnava Bhakts had traditionally been shy to depict Sita's banishment episode. Many of them had even completely omitted Uttar Kand from their works and have given a happy ending with Ram-Sita's coronation in Yuddha Kand.


Edited by Darklord_Rehan - 25 June 2011 at 5:38am

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Posted: 18 June 2011 at 5:27am | IP Logged
@ Vrish & Rehan,

I noticed both you are curious about Uttarkand. Should I post the Sita-vanavas part in detail? I think if I post upto Luv-Kush's birth, you will get your all answers.
Btw- will reply to both of you very soon.

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Posted: 19 June 2011 at 8:08am | IP Logged
Urmila
 
Please post the whole thing of Sita's vanvas - not upto KL's births, but right up to the Mahaprayan.  I also want to know about what happened after Sita's passing - the conquests for Bharat's & Lakshman's sons, et al.  But do it after you've posted about Taranisen, Ahiravan and Angad-Ravan.
 
Oh, like I promised you, here are the threads I alluded to above
 
Kaikeyi's Brideprice and the Throne of Ayodhya - on Dasharath's promise to Ashwapati
Grossly misinterpreted "Laxman Rekha" - on why the Lakshman rekha was misogynic
 
The latter spelt out the objections far better than I did, and I agree w/ Purvi on this, which I didn't always do. 
 
Rehan
 
The beauty of Valmiki is that in his original writings, it's almost like a history piece, w/ few miracles, even though he proclaims Rama as Vishnu's avatar.  For instance, Ahalya was not turned into a stone, she was just paralyzed, and revived on his touch.  Lakshman didn't draw a circle around Sita which Ravan dared not cross, et al.  In fact, Dr RC Majumdar uses Valmiki's Ramayan to plot out the history of that era, and glosses over the miracles (like the Agni-praveshna).
 
That's the primary reason I accept Valmiki over anyone else - that he was a contemporary of Rama.  I also recall reading somewhere that Vashistha too had written a version of the Ramayan, and if he did, that too would carry a lot of weight for the same reason.  However, it is possible to treat Valmiki's version as historical, but a lot more difficult w/ the latter versions, which assign miraclulous powers to Rama and others, making it something only devotees can believe.
 
Also, if one goes by how the scriptures split the yugas - the Dwapar yuga lasted for 10k years, the Treta Yuga 100k years and the Satya Yuga 1m years, then Valmiki's is even farther removed from even Vyasa, let alone medeaval authors & poets.


Edited by _Vrish_ - 19 June 2011 at 8:15am

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Posted: 19 June 2011 at 7:47pm | IP Logged

Here are my replies to you, Vrish. I also didn't use quote, my comments are in pink.

@ Vrish,

Here are my replies to you
sorry for the late, I saved your questions in a word file & then edited it with my replies, so my replies are in red color along with your questions.

 

Thanks so much.  My responses in blue - since QUOTE doesn't work, I avoided its use this time round.  My comments in this font color.

1)      Krittivas changed the name pf Balkand & YuddhaKand. In this version, BalKand is named as "AadiKand" & YuddhaKand as "LankaKand".

This tends to follow Tulsidas as far as Lankakand goes - although Tulsidas still calls the first kand Balkand, like Valmiki did

 

As Krittivas precedes Tulsidas, we have to conclude that either Krittivas himself changed the names, or he was influenced by some other sources.

Yeah, that's what I meant - there were no links b/w these 2, and Krittivas did precede Tulsidas.  I should have said that Krittivas and Tulsidas had the same name for 'Lankakand', but different ones for Balkand.

2)      The wonderful story of king Harishchandra (the grandfather of king Sagar) is nicely & elaborately narrated in Krittivasi Ramayan. This story tells how king Harishchandra became helpless with the plan of sage Viswamitra; even the poor king had to sale not only his wife & child, but also himself finally! 

So that was a part of the epic as well?  Does Krittivas have the entire Raghuvansa captured here - does he narrate the stories of Dilipa, Raghu and Aja as well?

 Yes, Krittivas narrated all the stories of Dilip, Raghu & Aja-Indumati elaborately & they are similar with that of Kalidaas's Raghuvangsha.

How about Dasharath - does he describe Dasharath's rule as well in length, aside from his marriages and battles w/ Shambara?  How about Shravan Kumar - is that something narrated only indirectly via Dasharath (as in Valmiki), or does it get narrated separately in Adikand?  How does the transfer of the kingdom from Aja to Dasharath take place?

 

Also, does Krittivas have Dasharath having 350 more wives, like in Valmiki & Kamban?

 

Yes, Dasharath's effort of keeping his people always happy is expressed by some incidents, in one word, he has been shown as a affectionate & kind King from different sides. His marriage with Kousalya, Kaikeyi & Sumitra has been elaborately described as well as the Sambar vadh part too. Here the son of blind sage-couple is named Sindhu, & his death incident has been shown in Dasharath's life directly (in Aadikand), not as his narration in Ayodhyakand like Valmiki did. Then Dasharath tried to get rid of this vice & asked Vamdev (Vasistha's son) how to do it. Vamdev advised him to utter the name 'Ram' for 3 times (as Dasharath became the reason of 3 people's death). Dasharath did it & happily returned. But when Vasistha knew this, he became very angry with his son & said him, "if a person utters 'Ram' just once, he gets rid of one crore bramha-hatya (killing of Brahmins), but you don't know this inspite being my son?  You forced the king to utter it for 3 times! Go & become a chandal." That Bamdev took birth as Nisadraj Guhak. Thus Dasharath's life is narrated separately & the story of his curse has been elaborately told in Aadikand before RLBS's birth.

When Dasharath was just a child of one year, his mother Indumati died due to the touch of a Parijat flower & King Aja cried bitterly (just like Raghuvangsa) & then he died too. Then Vasistha took little Dasharath to his ashram & started to teach him. At the age 5 years, Dasharath sat on the throne.

In Krittivas, King Dasharath married 750 wives in total, one of them was daughter of King Bhargav (as mentioned by Krittivas) & she had a girl child long before RLBS's birth. That daughter of Dasharath had name 'Hemlata'.   

 

3)      Marriage of Dasharath with Kousalya, Kaikeyi & Sumitra is elaborately narrated. According to this version, Kousalya & Sumitra's marriage with Dasharath was arranged by their parents, but Kaikeyi had to face swaymvar & she choose Dasharath.

In the ACK Dasharath, it's shown that Kaikeyi was given to Dasharath by Akshawati (forget the exact name) on condition that her son becomes king.  Wouldn't have been the case had she voluntarily chosen him in a swayamvar, so wonder whether Krittivas had translated this from something else?  I thought that the reason Akshavati put this condition on was that he was giving a young Kaikeyi in marriage to a pretty old Dasharath

The name of Kaikeyi's father was Ashwapati. In Valmiki Ramayan, Dasharath became severely injured in the war with demon Sambar. Then Kaikeyi saved his life, & grateful Dasharath promised to give her two boons. Kaikeyi didn't want them at that moment, in Ayodhyakand, Manthara reminded her about them. & Krittivas too told the same. But yes, in 107th sarga of Ayodhyakand Shri Ram told Bharat that Dasharath promised to Ashwapati to give the kingdom to Kaikeyi's son. I think it doesn't matter that Kaikeyi faced swayamvar or not, because those two boons were responsible for Ram's destiny, during that time nobody remembered Ashwapati's promise, so I think that promise made no effect on Dasharath's decision. It seems that either the king forgot that promise or ignored it. I guess it might make Krittivas to eliminate that ineffective promise. So he showed swayamvar to delete the story.

This succession was discussed in a separate thread in the Ramayan forum by Kal El - I'll dig it up sometime 

6)      When Kousalya & Kaikeyi shared the holy kheer with Sumitra, Kousalya told her, "Your son will accompany my son" & Kaikeyi told, "Your son will be a servant of my son", Sumitra agreed to those conditions & then she got the share.

 (not @ you, Urmila, @ this account) Anyway, this a/c seems to match Tulsidas, not Valmiki.  Valmiki gave the first half to Kaushalya, 2nd quarter to Sumitra, 3rd eighth tch o Kaikeyi and 4th eighth again to Sumitra.

I know, Vrish, this part matches with Ramcharitmanas but not with Valmiki Ramayan. Perhaps this appears from Adhytma Ramayan as Krittivas couldn't copy from Tulsidas . But how is this addition of Krittivas? I mean, what do you think about these two promises made by Sumitra?

I tend to believe Valmiki's version on this one.  While Kaikeyi may have been capable of extracting such a promise from Sumitra, I don't believe Kaushalya could have done it.  Valmiki has Dasharath distribute the payash and not Kaushalya & Kaikeyi, which is why I tend to believe it more.  (Not to mention that as a rule, I believe Valmiki over anyone else, but Krittivas tends to be more 'Valmiki-compatible' in a lot more aspects than some other versions) 

Another point - in Valmiki, Shatrughan went on to become the ruler of Madhupura after killing Lavanasura, so obviously, he didn't remain Bharat's 'servant'.  In one version of Adhyatma that I read, when he accompanied the horse in Rama's Ashwamedha yagna, he fought Lavanasura then and killed him, but instead of becoming king himself, he installed his son Subahu on the throne, and continues on the yagna, during which he battles Luv and gets wounded.

 

What does Krittivas have?  Does Shatrughan become the ruler of Madhupura himself, or does he crown his son?  Or is there just no mention of that feud w/ Lavanasura?

 

Shatrughan became the king of Madhupuri (Mathura, Krittivas told so) himself, & Lavan vadh didn't take place at the time of Ashwamedh yagna, it was done much before, at the time of Kush Luv's birth. That is written by Krittivas.

7)      According to Lord Shiva's order, Parshuram gave Shiva's bow to king Janak & told him, "I want to marry your daughter Sita, but now I'm going for 'tapasya', so keep this bow, if anyone can lift this bow before I return, you may accept that person as your son-in-law".

 In other words, Parashuram had his evil eyes on Sita?  Incidentally, did Parashuram accost Rama in the swayamvara itself (Tulsidas) or when the baraat was returning to Ayodhya (Valmiki)?

Parshuram appeared when Dasharath was returning Ayodhya with sons & daughters-in-law, so this again follows Valmiki. Listening to the noise of crowd Parshuram thought, "Surely someone has married Sita" & then rushed to the spot.

I myself don't think that Parshuram had evil eyes on Sita. As he was an incarnation of Vishnu himself, it is not abnormal that he wanted to marry Lakshmi (Sita).

Okay, then this is similar to Valmiki, who had Parashuram confront Dasharath, not Janak.

 

8)      When Viswamitra pleaded to Dasharath for Ram, being overwhelmed with affection & fear, the king made a plan & sent Bharat-Shatrughna instead of Ram-Lakshman with sage! On the way, Viswamitra could recognize them & became furious on the king. As a result, the king had to send Ram-Lakshman finally!

 Mahakavi Krittivas Dasharather naam Dubiye chereche 

I couldn't guess that you know so clear Bengali! Yes I agree, this incident lorwers Dasharath's character, & a great poet like Krittivas should not do that. But I think it's only to represent Dasharath's heavenly love & affection towards Ram. I agree that he should not send his other two sons to face such a danger as they were his own children too, but most probably Krittivas wanted to prepare the reader for the next facts. & so he made Dasharath to play such a trick just to express the extremeness of his affection to Ram, that affection which can even end a father's life, & poet wanted to give a hint of this extreme love previously in first kand. That's completely my opinion. But also, Vrish, we don't know which source Krittivas translated from, so we can't decide whether this fact is his brainchild or not. So we can't blame him alone, can we?   

Yeah, I don't fault Krittivas @ all - I am just curious as to his sources.  I don't think he meant to malign Dasharath, but either he, or the person he was translating, unintentionally ended up doing just that, while probably thinking that they were glorifying Dasharath for his love of Rama.  Besides, chances are likely that Bharat or Shatrughan could have killed Taraka just as easily, so in the real story, neither of them got the chance to.

Incidentally, I once heard from someone that Shatrughan, when he was very young, killed a rakshasha called Ripu, and got the name Ripudamman as a result.  Is there any account of that in Krittivas?

 

No, there is no such story about Shatrughna. Ripu means enemy, & he is called Ripudaman/Ripusudan as a destroyer of enemies.

 

(About my language, I am a Bong, but not a fluent reader, and Krittivas, being written in 13th century Bengali, is even more difficult to follow.)

9)      Guru Vasistha fixed such a holy moment for the quadruple marriage of RLBS & SUMS that would result never separation between husband & wife. But all the Gods became worried by this arrangement & plan fully made that moment over!

So how did they undo it, and that too, so well that Sita was separated from Rama twice?

Being worried the Gods sent the Moon-God (Chandradev) to Mithila. He started to dance in the royal palace, & all became so mesmerized with Chandradev's dance that the holy moment fixed by Guru Vasistha passed away, & nobody noticed it!

Not only Sita was separated from Ram, but Urmila & Mandavi were also separated from their husbands later, right? So this plan of Gods became entirely successful. & about the second separation of Uttarkand, I think that Gods didn't want it! & they perhaps didn't thought about that separation, as they knew Lord Vishnu will surely fulfill his devotee's curse. But the first separation was needed for all of them & for mankind. So they only thought about Ravan's death & their liberation from all sufferings caused by demons at that time.  

Was Mandavi ever separated from Bharat?  Both the serials have it, but it's not something I've ever read anywhere.  I mean, she could easily have lived w/ him in Nandigram, and while he may have denied her, I'd be interested as to whether any authors have it.  Does Krittivas have this account?

 

No, Krittivas has not written this explicitly, but it's only my guess/belief. We can see Bharat's life in Nandigram, & the description we get matches with a brmhachari's life. & a bramhachari never allows his wife to live with him. So it's quite natural & normal to think that Mandavi was separated from Bharat for those 14 years.

 

Also, does Krittivas have the account about both the curses - Narad's & Bhrigu's - that caused Rama's 2 separations?  I mean, just b'cos Narad had cursed Vishnu once didn't mean that Bhrigu's curse had to be separate - they could have been overlaid and coincidental.  (Just like in the Mahabharat, both the rishis (Kanva, Vishwamitra, Durvasa, et al) and Gandhari cursed the destruction of the Yadavas, but they didn't have to be destroyed twice, the first one was adequate)

 

No, Krittivas didn't show any of the two curses. When Lakshman was returning Ayodhya after leaving Sita near Valmiki's ashram, Sumantra just told him that he knew this future of Ram-Sita previously, that's all. Unlike Valmiki Ramayan, Sumantra didn't tell him about Bhrigu's curse.

 

10)   In AranyaKand, when Lakshman left Sita alone in the cottage, he drew a line (Lakshman-rekha) to save her. (Tulsidasji didn't show this line in AranyaKand, he mentioned it later as Mandodari's dialogue to Ravan)

Yeah, this is one of the worst inventions in the Ramayan, and contributed much to misogynic thought in medeaval times, that wasn't there in ancient times.

Sorry, Vrish, I can't agree with you in this regard. I don't think that the Lakshman rekha incident can influence misogamy; it was done only to save Sita, not to insult her. Rather people of next era treat this fact as an example of respect to women. We can see that in Ramayan's time people used to respect their sisters-in-law (in human society, don't look at vanar & rakshas society) but in Mahabharat's time this respect disappeared. How could Lakshman leave his motherly sister-in-law alone & unsafe in that cottage after visiting the demons like Khar-Dusan? In Valmiki too, he prayed for Sita's protection to Gods, & here he drew that line only for more security. Remember, he was going to violate Ram's order then, & he had to carry the responsibility of Sita's security. His line was just a representative of him in his absence. & if you think about misogynic thoughts, then I will say that the story of Ahalya, Sita's abduction & the thoughts of Ayodhya's people at Uttarkand had much more contribution to them, as they all are insults to women. Lakshman rekha is a sign of protection, not of offense.      

This was once discussed in the Ramayan forum (around the time the original episodes regarding Sita's abduction took place) and it was pointed out that in Valmiki, there was no Lakshman rekha, and when people inserted it in, and on top of that, piled on statements about 'maryada rekha' which, once a woman crosses, she cannot cross back, it's a foundation for suppressing the freedom of women.  While Lakshman's intensions (as per this, and the Tulsidas version) was to protect Sita, the way it ended up being used was as a stick to signal women that if they dared cross that rekha, they'd have violated the maryada of their family/society/whatever, and lose the right to be respected, and certain protections that automatically accompanied it.

Given that no such convention existed in the millenia preceding it, and that women in both the Treta Yuga and the Dwapar Yuga were considerably more free to do things, I'd say that these medeaval introductions of Lakshman rekha into the Ramayan where they didn't hitherto exist (here, I'm not necessarily pinpointing either Krittivas or Tulsidas, but rather whoever originally came up w/ this Lakshman Rekha story) did a lot to degrade women, whereas their honor was hitherto much more respected.  As for the other instances, people today don't respect Indra for violating Ahalya, or the Ayodhyavasis for doubting Sita, or Ravan for abducting her, so I don't agree that those instances inspired people to suppress women as this invented incident did.

 

The term 'Maryada rekha' is used in Ramanand Sagar's serial only (I don't know if the NDTV Ramayan too has it), & that is also as Ravan's dialogue. Neither Krittivas nor Tulsidas has written this term, & they never used any comment/dialogue which can show this line as a maryada rekha. In the old serial Ravan told this to Sita only for threatening her, as well as to fulfill his intention, which is very natural for a demon like Ravan. But Lakshman never told this, he only requested his bhabi not to cross it for her safty. But Lakshman rekha is always respected as a symbol of protection in Bengal after Krittivas's Ramayan came; this rekha has been placed within the great idioms of Bengali, which still means 'protection' in every case of life. So being a Bengali, I can't support that Lakshman rekha influences people to take it as a maryada rekha. At least in Bengal, where this rekha concept was first brought by Krittivas, this idea has never been appeared that it can degrade women. If a large society like Bengal does not believe in this maryada rekha concept, then how can I agree with the fact that people in general think so? Besides, how can you think Lakshman so cruel that his line would prevent Sita to cross back? He was the only person in our Indian epics who took all risks of his own life to escape his sister-in-law from demon's hands, he could never be so rude with Sita. I believe that Sita could easily cross back if she wished or tried to do so. It was Ravan who prevented her to do so. He forcefully put her on his chariot. Neither Lakshman nor his representative wanted Sita's harm; they would not resist her to cross back. If Lakshman wanted to destroy her freedom, then his line even resisted her to cross it for the first time, isn't it? Besides, if his line was so important for him as a symbol of Sita's maryada, then why did he remain silent to Ram about this line? If he thought that Sita can't be further accepted by his brother/family/society only for crossing that line then why did he fight for her escape? & Sita was accepted finally by all, if the people of Ayodhya didn't want her purity's proof, then she remained on throne with full honor. Nobody pointed out the fact of crossing Lakshman rekha then. & he was Ram who wanted to leave her after Ravan vadh, not Lakshman (for disobeying his line), rather the later was hurt enough to see his bhabi's insult.

I don't know in which society people see this line as a maryada rekha & who misinterpret it (not in Bengal, I can confirm you) but guess those people has never thought about Ramayan's characters & perhaps they didn't try to realize them, so they believe in such unnecessary ideas. Any of two great poets haven't written this, so only people like them can think so & it's entirely their imagination. & I think we should not blame a great poet only for those people who don't even understand Ramayan's glory.  

 

12)   Vasmalochon, a demon of Ravan's court, had such a power that his one glance could burn anything! When Ram's battle crossed the bridge, Ravan sent Vasmalochon to kill all of them. But Ram destroyed him using the mirror-weapon (darpan-astra) which made mirrors on everyone's face! As a result, the demon saw his own image on their faces & died by the fire of his own eyes! (This story was an influence of European Myth & legend, there was a similar character named Balor who had the same power.)

Yeah, this is one of the famous, but usually glossed over, since Valmiki & Tulsidas don't have it: dunno about the others.  Except that in the Kumbhakarna ACK, it's shown as happening early in the war, whereas in Krittivas itself, from what I could gather, it actually happened after the death of Indrajit.  This really surprised me, as one would have thought that as yuvraj, Indrajit would have been the last one to be sent by Ravan 

Indrajit is always the last person sent by Ravan. Valmiki, Krittivas, Tulsidas, all have shown the same.

In Krittivas, I looked for the account of Bhashmalochan, and found it after Indrajit's death, not b4.  Also, Mahiravan's incident too happened after Indrajit's death. 

Yes, Mahiravan appeared after Indrajit's death, you are right. But Bhashmalochon came much before, at the time of crossing the bridge.

15)       Vibhison had a son named Taranisen. He was a great devotee like his father, but after Makaraksha's death Ravan forced him to join the battlefield. His parting scene from his mother Sarama is very touching. In battlefield, Taranisen uttered a divine prayer to Ram, hearing which the Lord became affectionate to him, He told, " I can't hurt my devotee,--------I know there is no other way to escape Sita,-------but I can't tolerate my devotee's pain! My devotee is my all!" Then Taranisen thought that he will never achieve "mukti" if Ram disagreed to slay him. He changed his words & started to insult Ram, which was completely acting. After his death, Vibhison revealed that Taranisen was his son. Lord Ram broke down in grief. The whole incident is full of tears.

Yeah, I too had read somewhere that Vibhishan had a son, who fought in the war and was killed by Rama.  But what I recalled from that account was that he voluntarily went to battle, and got killed, don't remember whether it was Rama who killed him, or someone else.  Was he that formidable - I'd have thought that even someone like Sugriv could have made short work of him

In Krittivasi Ramayan, Vibhison's son was too powerful to defeat vanar warriors very easily. Then Ram had to appear to fight with him. Actually he was a true devotee of Shri Ram & wanted to die in Ram's hand, so he had to remove others to fight with Ram only. I will post the whole story later.   

I also read somewhere that Indrajit too had a son, who after Indrajit's death, was sent by Ravan to avenge him.  He too fought and died - Ravan was left w/ no successors.  Is it Krittivas who has something like this?  Also, does Krittivas go into the character of Sulochana?

No, Krittivas had no such story about Indrajit's son, here Indrajit had many wives but Krittivas didn't mention any of them in particular, so Sulochona's story is missing from this version. I think Sulochona is the brainchild of Tulsidas only.

What is the source of this story of Indrajit's son? Can you please tell me?

I don't know, but like Vibhishan's son, I recall reading about that somehere many years ago.  Was just wondering whether it was in any Krittivas translation (incidentally, are there any?) 

I had listened recently that Krittivas version has been translated in English, but couldn't find this till now.

17)      The Shktishel episode. Shkti was the weapon of Ravan (not of Indrajit) which was given by his father-in-law Mayadanav & Ravan applied it after Indrajit's death (just like the Valmiki Ramayan). Here also, Susen is the doctor of Kiskindhya (not of Lanka) & he was in Ram's side as always.

In this aspect, Krittivas seems to follow Valmiki more than Adhyatma (I won't say Tulsidas, since Krittivas preceded him).  Although in Valmiki, Lakshman was downed twice - once by Indrajit, and second time after Indrajit's death, by Ravan.

Yes this part is from Valmiki but Krittivas added many new incidents here like Kalnemi vadh, Sun-God story, Hanuman's meeting with Bharat & Hanuman's fight with Gandharvas of Gandhamadan etc.     

18)  After Kalnemi vadh, Ravan became worried & forced Sun-God (SuryaDev) to rise earlier in the mid-night. Sun-God initially disagreed to do so as it's a violation of natural rules, but al last he had to agree fearfully. But Hanuman stopped his chariot & requested him not to do so. SuryaDev happily agreed but asked for a plan. Hanuman took him under his arms!

Again, follows Valmiki, not Adhyatma

This part does not follow Valmiki at all. Valmiki never showed Kalnemi vadh & this amazing incident of Sun-God. I guess Sun-God case was shown in new Ramayan (I haven't watched the new serial much, so I may be wrong). I guess they adopted this story only from Krittivas as Tulsidas hasn't it. Read the Valmiki version here, Valmiki Ramayana - Yuddha Kanda

Okay, I stand corrected, it's not there.  And yep, they did show it in the AS Ramayan

 

19)       The meeting of Hanuman with Bharat is slightly modified here. Firstly, Guru Vasistha made Hanuman awake. He scolded Bharat for hurting Hanuman without knowing his actual intention. Hanuman too, scolded Bharat! Secondly, Bharat put Hanuman with the mountain on his arrow & threw it to Lanka in order to save time.

Okay, in Valmiki, Hanuman never met anyone in Ayodhya during that flight

Tulsidas also has this story of Hanuman-Bharat meeting. As I haven't read Adhyatma Ramayan, & guess you have read it, I like to ask you one thing. Is this incident shown in Adhyatma? If not, then we can conclude that Tulsidas adopted this story from Krittivas.

I haven't read Adhyatma, just some accounts of it, so am not sure.  But it is a source of many of the descrepancies b/w Tulsidas & Valmiki, since the former used Adhyatma, not Valmiki, as his source. 

21)       The Mahiravan-Ahiravan incident is far different from that shown in NDTV Ramayan. Here Mahiravan is another son of Ravan who born in patal-lok & lived there.  Here Ahiravan is son of Mahiravan (not brother) & presence of any serpent woman (naag-kanya) is not found in the whole incident. Mahiravan's plan for abducting Ram-Lakshman is very interesting & unique (I will post later, this process of abduction was affected by a European Myth, there was a thief whose character matches with Mahiravan). Devi Durga (Jogaadyaa) told Hanuman the way of Mahiravan's death!

Actually, when I told you I have questions, this is where I had the biggest question.  In school, we had the poem 'Mahiravan vadh' in the ICSE, which was right from here.  In it, Ravan does invoke Mahiravan after the death of Indrajit.  The story is exactly what the ACK Mahiravan has - Hanuman makes a tent w/ his tail surrounding Rama & Lakshman in preparation for Mahiravan's attempt, and he himself guards the only entrance to it.  Vibhishan tells him to beware of anybody, while he does the rounds.  Mahiravan first approaches Hanuman in the guises of Dasharath & Bharat, but Hanuman asks him to wait for Vibhishan, who should be able to see thru his disguise.  Both times, Mahiravan disappears.  Finally, Mahiravan takes Vibhishan's roop and approaches Hanuman, who lets him in.  When the real Vibhishan comes to Hanuman, the latter suspects him to be Mahiravan

OMG! Whatever you know about this part completely matches with Krittivas! Only with a little addition, in Krittivasi Ramayan, Mahiravan took the form of Maa Kousalya & King Janak too after Dasharath & Bharat, & yes, then Vibhison. That's why I told it is an interesting process of abduction.

They go in and find that Mahiravan has put everyone to sleep and captured Rama & Lakshman.  Hanuman goes to patal and finds that the 2 of them are prisoners, and to be sacrificed to Durga (not some Rakshasha god as depicted in the serial).  Hanuman asks Durga how to save them, and she gives him a plan.  He tells Rama & Lakshman about it.  When the time is come to sacrifice Rama & Lakshman, Mahiravan tells them to bow, but Rama tells him that being royalty, others bow to them, they don't bow to anyone, and ask Mahiravan to show them.  Mahiravan throws away his scimitar and does it, and Hanuman, who was shrunken, suddenly assumed his full form and took the opportunity to behead Mahiravan, who like all demons, became released from his curse and returned to the Gandharva realm.

Yes, that part matches with Krittivas too, & Devi Durga is called Yogadyaa here, which is one of her 51 forms of 51 Shakti-pith. & the power Mahiravan had to put everyone to sleep, this is similar with a thief narrated in European myth.

My question - was the story of panchamukhi here?  or somewhere else?  According to that, Hanuman had to simultaneously put out 5 diyas located in different places in a room.  He took this form, where 4 of his faces face the 4 directions, and the 5th upwards, and he simultaneously blows out the diyas.

No, Krittivas had no such story of panchamukhi. What is its actual source?

No idea - just what I had heard.  My above description of Mahiravan was from the ACK, but the poem 'Mahiravan vadh' I alluded to above was by Krittivas only - I should have mentioned that the subject was Bengali. 

Bottom line - Hanuman, not Rama, killed Mahiravan.  Also, Angad, Jambavan, Nala & Neela did not go.

Exactly. So whatever the new Ramayan showed about this does not match with Krittivasi Ramayan.

Now, what was the story of Ahiravan?  Can you narrate that?

Oh sure, I will love to narrate it. Will post later.

Thanks 

22)       Before the final battle, Ravan worshipped Goddess Durga. Being pleased with Ravan, Goddess came & sat on his chariot! Then Ram had to worship Devi Durga according to Lord Bramha's advice. But Maa Durga played a trick. Ram collected 108 blue lotuses with help of Hanuman to offer her, but one of them was hidden by her. Then lotus-eyed Lord Ram decided to offer his one eye instead of the missing lotus! Maa Durga became pleased & left Ravan's chariot. (This process of worshipping Maa Durga with 108 lotuses is still followed by Bengali people today in their well-known Durga pooja fesrival of autumn) 

Was it 108 lotuses or 1000?  The serial showed 1000, and someone commented on that in my YouTube channel - see below.  I checked out the text, and seem to recall it saying 1000 (sahasra).  Just confirm it for me and if you have an YouTube a/c, read those comments and fill in your findings?

 

I read Krittivas from my childhood & it's my bedside reading now. I was 100% sure that it is 108, not 1000. But after your question, I checked it again & again & found that it tells several times that it is 108 (shatasta), not sahasra. & Bengali people still worship Maa Durga with 108 lotuses, as this process of Durga puja came from Krittivasi Ramayan, I'm totally sure that it's strictly 108, not 1000. & yes, I have Youtube channel & I saw the comments on your channel too, don't know why people wrote that it was 1000 in Krittivas version, it is completely wrong information. I will post my comments there too.

Thanks. (Doesn't shatasta mean 27?  Or am I not reading you right?)

In 1 TV program on Durga puja a couple years ago, I recall someone saying that previously, it used to be celebrated in early February, but got shifted to the Dusshera time frame after Krittivas wrote his Ramayan. 

27 is 'saatash' in Bengali, not 'shatasta'. Krittivas used both terms 'astottaro-shato' ( or asto-uttaro-shato; asto=8, uttar=after & shato=100, so it means 108) & 'shatasta'(or shato+asta, means 100+8=108). So it's strongly 108. & Ram worshipped the Mahisasur-mardini form of Durga (as Krittivas used the names 'Chandi', 'Kaali' etc) in order to get the boon of win in war, not the Aadi Shakti or the unmanifested form as per Rehan says, so according to the rule of worshipping Mahisasur-mardini (manifested) form, 108 lotuses are needed, not 1000 or 1008.

                     & yes, Durga puja was celebrated in spring (basanta) which was known as 'basanti puja' before Krittivas. In Krittivas, when Lord Bramha advised him to worship Durga, Ram answered, 'how it is possible? She is worshipped in spring. This is not the holy time to worship her, this is autumn", then Bramha advised him to perform 'akal bodhon' (worshipping in abnormal time) & this is followed now to follow Shri Ram's footprints. 

23)      UttarKand is different from that of Valmiki Ramayan & that shown in Ramanand Sagar's Luv Kush. Here Sita herself wanted to visit Valmiki's ashram as her only wish during pregnancy, so Ram had to arrange this. But before that, Bhadra presented the pathetic news of people's talk about Sita, & Ram himself heard the conversation between two washer men which made him sure about the news. Like the Valmiki Ramayan, Sita didn't know about her exile before reaching to the other side of river Ganga

Ramanand Sagar's serial had Tulsidas' account of Uttarkand, which didn't have Luv-Kush @ all, but instead had that kaagbhushandi story.  But Sita wanting to visit rishis was very much there in Valmiki, except that she wasn't specific about Valmiki.  However, @ this time, Rama got the news from Bhadra about this rumor mongering about Sita.  In Valmiki, there was no dhobi, so now we know that the dhobi story originates from whoever Krittivas translated from.

Incidentally, in Krittivas, do the rishis visit Rama after his coronation and give him the full story of Ravan, Vali & Hanuman? 

Yes, Krittivas's Uttarkand is too long & it has all the stories of Ravan's dynasty, Ravan's fight with Kuber, Anaranya (Ram's ancestor), Kartabiryarjun, Vali, Yama, Mandhata etc. & full story of Hanuman's past which was narrated to Ram by the sages.   

24)       Shatrughna alone heard Ramayan (story till then) sung by Luv Kush while he returned from Madhupuri after slaying Lavanasur. He spent that night in Valmiki's ashram. He became very emotional to hear Ramayan but could not see the singers. He asked Valmiki about the singers but Valmiki avoided carefully.

In Valmiki, Rama explicitly asks Lakshaman to leave Sita near Valmiki's ashram, and he asks Shatrughtan to visit Valmiki.  While there, on the night of KL's births, Shatrughan actually  meets Sita.

 

Does Krittivas' account match this?

 

In Krittivas too, Ram asks Lakshman to leave Sita near Valmiki's ashram. But here Ram didn't ask Shatrughan to visit Valmiki, Shatrughan went to visit Valmiki himself, while on the way to Mathura (Madhupuri). Yes, on the same day Sita gave birth to Luv Kush, but Valmiki ordered his disciples not to express this news to Shatrughan. Thus it was kept secret.

Btw- in Valmiki, Shatrughan heard about Luv-Kush's birth, & knew their parent's name too, but did not meet Sita (a famous scholar wrote that, he couldn't meet Sita as Ram didn't order him to do so).

 

25)       The war of Luv Kush with their uncles is interestingly & elaborately narrated here. This is not written by Valmiki, Krittivas adopted this incident from Jaimini Bharat. The whole war is similar with that shown by Ramanand Sagar, only with one difference. The boys not only made their uncles unconscious, they killed them, & also killed Vibhisan's & Sugriv's battle. Only Hanuman & Jamvuban were alive because they had boon of immortality. & they also fought against Ram, but neither Ram nor Luv Kush could win. The children made their father unconscious. Finally Valmiki came & made all of them alive.

Now, you've made me curious about Jaimini Bharat   Besides, Vibhisan too had the boon of immortality, so he too shouldn't have died.  I think the term 'killed' was loosely used by some poets. 

I'm also curious about Jaimini Bharat, but couldn't find it till now. Vibhison didn't die but he did nothing mentionable here, so I eliminated his name. 

Vibhishan was immortal as per Brahma's boon, unless Jaimini Bharat disagrees.

 

Yes I know that, & I haven't read Jaimini Bharat so can't confirm whether it disagrees or not.

 

  I have noticed that there are lots of similarities between Krittivas & Tulsidas versions, they are so much similar in various incidents & in descriptions that I guess one must be influenced by the other! Now we have to know who appears first, Tulsidas or Krittivas? I found that Wikipedia says (see my first post), Krittivas's time was much earlier. So should we conclude that Tulsidasji read the Krittivasi Ramayan? What do you think, friends?  

Tulsidas used Adhyatma as his source, and not Krittivas, and definitely not Valmiki.  Krittivas does seem to use a lot of Valmiki in his account.  But yeah, Krittivas does precede Tulsidas.

Yes Krittivas used Valmiki mainly but he also added lots of new stories from other sources. Perhaps he didn't use Adhyatma but used some Puranas & some foreign myths.

Thanks again for providing all these accounts  

You are welcome ! Glad you are satisfied with these accounts. Keep visiting this thread as I will come soon with some new stories in detail.  

Yup, can't wait - particularly for Ahiravan & Tariansen

 



Edited by Urmila11 - 21 June 2011 at 10:26pm

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Posted: 19 June 2011 at 7:52pm | IP Logged
@ Rehan,

Here are my replies to you
Smile

Hello Semanti. Thanks for this thread.

Regarding 108 or 1008 lotuses, I have heard both in different versions. Actually if you are worshiping Mahishasur Mardini Durga (manifestation of Parvati), then the ritual is of offering 108 blue lotuses, corresponding to 108 names of Durga. However if you are worshiping unmanifested Parvati or Adi-Shakti in her primordial form, then its 1008 lotuses corresponding to 1008 names of Lalita Sahasranama. Now it depends upon whether Ram worshiped Durga or Gauri. In Bengal we celebrate Durga Puja as Sharodiya Akal Bodhan which was supposedly held in Basanta prior to Ram.

 

Yes, Rehan, you are right about the number of lotuses. & Ram worshipped Maa Durga, not Gouri or unmanifasted form. So he had to offer 108 blue lotuses as you told.

Incidentally, does this story goes like - Durga hides one lotus from the offerings and Ram intends to replace the lotus with his eye? I have heard this story too.

 

Exactly, the story tells so.

 

Strangely, this is similar to Vishnu's offering to Shiva where Shiva hides one lotus and Vishnu replaces it with his eye and pleased with this, Shiva gives him the Sudarshana Chakra.

 

Wow, wonderful & similar story you shared! Thanks dear brother! Can I ask you in which source (any Puran?) you have read it? 

I wish to ask you - does Sita know of her banishment in this Ramayan?

 

No, Sita didn't know this beforehand.

 

 I have heard two versions of Sita's banishment

1. Ram reveals his dilemma to Sita who herself willingly accepts banishment. (This was also shown in Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan)

2. Ram has Lakshman escort Sita to other side of the Ganga Ghat, without revealing his intentions to her. Its only while Lakshman sails away leaving her, does Sita come to know of the banishment.

 

Yes, that is shown in Krittivas version, I mean the 2nd point you mentioned. Here too, Ram asked Lakshman to leave Sita near Valmiki's ashram, & Lakshman didn't tell her before reaching to the other side of Yamuna that she has been banished by Ram.

Curiously, both of these versions have been attributed to Valmiki. While the pro-Bhakti Indian sources support the former notion, the neutral, or rather secular, sources tend to support the latter.

What does Krittivas say?


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