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Prahlad's teachings against the practice of 'SATI'

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Posted: 03 March 2012 at 2:17pm | IP Logged

Hey Guys,

 
So today, my family just finished Narasimha Avatar from BRC's Vishnu Puraan, and a scene I actually liked from the show was Prahlad's teachings against the practice of 'SATI'.Clap
 
In the scene, Maharani Kayadu was getting ready to immolate herself on her husband's pyre when Prahlad asked her why she was doing it. When she answered that she was carrying out the duty of a wife, Prahlad asked her what happened to the duty of a mother? He then went on to explain how a woman was not just a wife. She was also a mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, and sister, so if Kayadu ended her life by immolating herself on the pyre of her dead husband, who no longer needed her, what would happen to those living who actually did need her, like himself? He further preached that when an individual dies, their soul no longer belongs to that body and that the bond we have with the body is also gone, so to kill one self for that body is meaningless. Prahlad's final argument was that SATI is equal to suicide, and that Vishnu himself or any of the other Gods never condone such a sin, either from man or woman, so Sati is not a right practice and doing it is no noble deed, but a sin since a woman would have failed in her duties of a mother and all other relationships (like serving her in-laws and parents) and further committed the crime of taking away her life, which no one has the right to do except God.
 
I don't know whether this scene actually happened in any of our scriptures, but I felt that it was really well done and teaches a great lesson to those people in India who still fill that SATI is a noble practice for a woman after the death of her husband. It is true that suicide is a great sin, and Sati is nothing different from suicide (or it could be murder when the woman is forced into it), so God can never forgive the individual who does Sati or who forces a woman to do Sati.
 
What do you guys think of this scene? I never expected it from Narasimha Avatar of all stories but it was well done.

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Posted: 03 March 2012 at 10:21pm | IP Logged
It is indeed very nice and true teaching. But I prefer serials like Balika Badhu or Tarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashma (actual fictions) to give contemporary social messages rather than mytho shows. Mytho shows should stick to social messages naturally coming out of them like in Ramayan Ayodhya Kand. But epic events twisted to teach modern day lessons is not very convincing for me. By showing it through the characters of Ram or Krishna or Bhishma through their words, you are authenticating as if your argument is also correct (and not just your objective) where as this is still worthy of appreciation (only logically not always convincing) since the intention is noble (consequential ethics). IMO Mytho shows should stick to logically explain how the things were justified in Dwapar or Treta or even if not justified, it can be left open to debate (I mean what they want to convey can still be conveyed without the one sided way of showing only their way of explanation or logic is correct using a very major character of the epic) rather than creating an artificial event. I thought Kayadhu died before the death of Hiranyakashyapu as shown in movie Haridarshan. Isn't it? Or the movie is wrong?

Well what I mean to say can be better conveyed through some of the examples of teachings of BRC MB twisted from actual MB e.g. Subhadra haran was forced and not at the will of Subhadra and Krishna had his own logic behind it which was equally justifiable then. Then final preaching of Bhishma against the partition of nation to be like partition of mother. Here I liked Vrish's argument in one of the threads that if Hastinapur partition was wrong, Ram also did that wrong by dividing Kosala between his two sons Lav and Kush. Then Ram pressing Sita's legs also looks very ordinary, cheap and unwanted. Man-Woman equality can still be shown with better dignity of Ram's character of Treta scenario or the same scene and message can be given through some other fictional show and fictional characters.


Edited by ShivangBuch - 03 March 2012 at 10:26pm

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Posted: 04 March 2012 at 7:02am | IP Logged
Originally posted by ShivangBuch

It is indeed very nice and true teaching. But I prefer serials like Balika Badhu or Tarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashma (actual fictions) to give contemporary social messages rather than mytho shows. Yes, I agree with you, but something like the practice of SATI I believe is not really a contemporary social message, because we haven't had many instances of it in our mythos either. The only one I know is of Madri immolating herself on Pandu's pyre, but neither Kaushalya, Sumitra, or Kaikeyi did that for Dashrath, so I do not think it was considered a virtuous practice even then. After all, even Ram and Krishna preached that suicide is a sin, and SATI is nothing more than suicide. Mytho shows should stick to social messages naturally coming out of them like in Ramayan Ayodhya Kand. But epic events twisted to teach modern day lessons is not very convincing for me. By showing it through the characters of Ram or Krishna or Bhishma through their words, you are authenticating as if your argument is also correct (and not just your objective) where as this is still worthy of appreciation (only logically not always convincing) since the intention is noble (consequential ethics). IMO Mytho shows should stick to logically explain how the things were justified in Dwapar or Treta or even if not justified, it can be left open to debate (I mean what they want to convey can still be conveyed without the one sided way of showing only their way of explanation or logic is correct using a very major character of the epic) rather than creating an artificial event. I thought Kayadhu died before the death of Hiranyakashyapu as shown in movie Haridarshan. Isn't it? Or the movie is wrong? I don't know anything about Kayadu actually...in all the movies I've seen, she has never played an important role in Narasimha Avatar other than being the mother of Prahlad...BRC's Vishnu Puraan gave her a lot of importance, far more than necessary, so I am bound to think they made up a lot of events in the story since it lasted for about 15-20 episodes...far more than necessary to show Narasimha Avatar.Wacko

Well what I mean to say can be better conveyed through some of the examples of teachings of BRC MB twisted from actual MB e.g. Subhadra haran was forced and not at the will of Subhadra and Krishna had his own logic behind it which was equally justifiable then. Then final preaching of Bhishma against the partition of nation to be like partition of mother. Here I liked Vrish's argument in one of the threads that if Hastinapur partition was wrong, Ram also did that wrong by dividing Kosala between his two sons Lav and Kush. Then Ram pressing Sita's legs also looks very ordinary, cheap and unwanted. I don't think that scene looks very cheap, as Ram was equally an ideal husband as Sita was an ideal wife, and when a husband sees that his wife is tired, to make her feel more comfortable is not wrong, and it's not really a contemporary social message either. I'm sure men in the other yugas were not cold hearted. They also cared for their wifes, so that scene from ASR did not bother me, but the scene that did was the lesson Ram gave in the end of the portrait scene when he advocates against men remarrying. I understand that the CVs were further clarifying his eka patnivrat vow, but in that scene Ram's message against remarriage seemed a bit out of place and unnecessary, so I understand what you mean when you say that some contemporary social messages seem out of place in a mytho (though having just one wife is not really contemporary since Ram was an eka patnivrat), but to make them acceptable to today's audience who will not want to watch Ramayan or Mahabharat if Ram or Krishna are not shown as caring, loving husbands who treat their wives with equality, I believe the social messages could be written better in a more believable manner that doesn't seem out of place in a story that is supposed to take place in the treta yug or dwapar yug. Man-Woman equality can still be shown with better dignity of Ram's character of Treta scenario or the same scene and message can be given through some other fictional show and fictional characters. Yes, I agree that Ram and Krishna's characters can be shown with better dignity in some scenes, but to see them portrayed through fictional characters does not have the same effect, because audience wants to see the Gods preach about equality, not the common public. When God says man and woman are equal, it holds more weight than if a fictional character says it, know what I mean? So I'm not against the new mythos having contemporary social messages that teach today's youth the morals that are necessary to survive in today's society, but they should be done in a dignified, believable manner, without any added melodrama.

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Posted: 05 March 2012 at 12:31am | IP Logged

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Posted: 05 March 2012 at 5:06am | IP Logged

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Posted: 05 March 2012 at 7:19am | IP Logged
I'm just replying separately since all those colors are confusing me.LOL

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.SmileLOL

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.Smile

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Posted: 05 March 2012 at 7:20am | IP Logged
I'm enjoying this debate with you, Shivang Anna, it's been too long.Hug

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