Posted: 05 March 2012 at 7:19am | IP Logged
I'm just replying separately since all those colors are confusing me.
I do agree with what you're saying, and I definitely acknowledge that romance is not the only element in Ram-Sita or Radha-Krishna relationship, but I still categorize those relationships differently from Ram-Lakshman or Ram-Hanuman, simply because one treats their brother or friend differently from their wife or husband...one relationship is not greater than the other, and Ram gave importance to all the relationships in his life, but he also treated his wife different from his brother, his brother different from his father or mother, etc. While it is true that Ram and Krishna are incarnations of Vishnu, they were human incarnations and therefore felt human emotions while on Earth. I think of Vishnu differently from Ram, because Ram felt all the human emotions as per his avatar whereas Vishnu is beyond comprehension and he doesn't feel emotions like a human. So while I also give equal importance to the devotion between Ram and Sita, Radha Krishna just as much as romantic love, I feel that Ram's devotion to Sita portrayed through his attempting to massage her legs is not against the customs of Treta Yug.
Also, Ram did not stick to all customs, especially those which were wrong. He ate the berries of Shabari though she belonged to the lower class, whereas others avoided her and even insulted her. The customs of Treta Yug were to elevate the higher classes and stay away from the lower classes, and Ram showed everyone how wrong that was by giving respect to Shabari. So if it was
a custom of Treta Yug to say that husbands should never massage their wives even when they are in pain, I don't think Ram would have agreed with it, so that scene from ASR is not unbelievable to me.
Moreover, I don't think any of us will ever know what the customs of Treta Yug or Dwapar Yug really were, except for the major ones written in the scriptures, so when it comes to things like, did husbands ever press their wives' legs or backs when they were in pain, it is such a small thing that we won't really know, so as long as the characters of Ram and Krishna are kept intact when showing such scenes, I wouldn't make deal out of it. I know you consider that to be out of the character of Ram in that scene from ASR, but I didn't so in this we should just agree to disagree.
Btw, you mentioned about Lakshman being in pain and Ram putting his hand on his head...if Lakshman ever was in pain, I think Ram would do anything to make him feel better, same with Hanuman, Bharat, Sugreev, or his other devotees and brothers. Ram was not that high and mighty to expect others to serve him and not return the service when his devotees are in pain. Just like he ate the half-bitten fruits of Shabari, I feel that Ram would not have hesitated to serve any of his brothers, friends, and devotees if they were in pain and came to him for comfort. Putting his hand on his devotees' head is more to assuage mental pain, not really physical...if his devotees were in physical pain, I believe that the Ramji I believe in and pray to would have served them like a devotee himself. That's how I define the statement 'God is a servant of his devotees'.
It's true that God's touch is enough to rid people of both mental and physical pain, but taking it in the sense that Ram was born a human and kept within the limitations of a human life, he would not have performed miracles like Krishna by touching people's heads and ridding them of physical pain. At least, this is what I believe.