Challenge to Feminists, atheists and others: Discuss about all Goddesses, Angles or women.

published on July 13, 2008




By VEDAPRAKASH





Why attack “Sita” alone?


: The Jaina and Buddhist hypocrisy[1] is picked up by the selective scholars, researchers, bloggers etc., under the guise of feminism, women lib etc., throwing venom on “Sita”. Really, it is not known why she has been targeted for more than 2500 years, or 3500 years according to different estimates. That such importance given to her, however shows her established status of chastity, ideal womanhood and model wife. It is unfortunate that only “Sita” is targeted – Why? If women are really worried about the welfare of women in India or elsewhere, they have to consider all women without any bias, prejudice or ideological disposition. Nowadays, certain women are coming out as “feminists”, but exhibiting perplexing characteristics, dispositions and expressions. If a critical study is undertaken, an Indian woman or global woman has to view every woman-character, whether it is historical, pre-historical, semi-historical, mythical, legendary or whatsoever nature. But, it is not done.





The pattern


: A careful study of such literature shows a pattern, design or modus operandi as the Jaina and Buddhist versions are simply copied, modified and custom-made according to whims and fancies. Recently, Paula Richman[2] (editor)’s “Many Ramayanas” has been discussed in some forums, just to tarnish the image of Ramayana. Whenever Ramayana becomes popular, anti-Ramaya campaign would be triggered to counter it. It has to be pointed out that a woman-historian of stature – Romila Thapar[3] has not been exception to this syndrome. This time, it was Karunamnidhi[4], who initiated such activation through his famous questions of “Who is Rama? In which Engineering college he studied? And so on! Romila came out this time also, but only support Karunanidhi ideologically burying all her historical knowledge and expertise[5]. The DK has tried its best, but it failed, because, their own leaders have only “exhibited the character” of “Ravana”. They have / had more than one wife one many wives with or without concubines. So not only Sita, Surpanaka, Mandodhari and other Ramayana or other women had / have to be afraid of them.  And ironically, none of the wives or women of Black Parivar want their husbands or would-be’s  to be “Ravanas”.





Ramayaya, Kimayana, Hemayana etc


: I just reproduce what TOI has given as the new version:


Hema Ramakrishna[6], 60, has thrown fresh light on the quintessential Indian drama. Giving a new dimension to the Rama-Sita relationship, a Bangalore-based author has written a poetic English play, Sanctuary, that inverts several accepted standards in the Ramayana. In her foreword to the play, she says her work is part of the intellectual and emotional churning in the country, post-Babri Masjid demolition in 1992.



Her story de-glorifies both Rama and Ravana. Hers is a strongly feminist view






[7]






: Rama’s treatment of two women-Sita and Surpanaka-comes under the scanner. Hema says, “Rama is that perfect being that can do no wrong. No doubt whatsoever is cast on his person, never mind how fraught his actions are with expediency, especially when it comes to the shabby treatment of his wife. And the unsavoury details of Surpanaka’s mutilation.” The play has been published by a Lankan bookhouse. But the Lanka in the play is not the same. It is Ranka, located in the ‘Mahasamund’ Bay of Bengal, next to Orissa’s Chilka lakes. The other changes are practical- Ravana is not ten-headed. He has ten men beheaded to ward off his predicted “untimely death






[8]






. Hanuman and gang don’t build a bridge across the sea






[9]






, but Vibhishana, Hanuman, Rama and Lakshmana swim with Vanaras to Ravana’s island and sneak in through a secret way into the palace-castle. There is no war.



The street-smart Rama knows Vanaras cannot match Ravana’s crack army. He marches into Ravana’s bedroom in the night and kills him






[10]






. Surpanaka is the story-trigger, Ravana kidnaps Sita because his sister is mutilated by Rama and Lakshmana. The demon king tells the audience: “What ruffians to attack a woman like this!” Sita comes in just one scene, but Hema endows her with doom. The invasion of Ranka is because of her, “a mere woman”, much to the Vanaras’ disgruntlement. Hema’s reworked storyline is all in reported speech: Sita fights Ravana, but cannot match his force. Her tongue is cut for cursing him[11].



She loses speech, beauty, vitality and cowers in fear in Asokavana. Rama, repelled by the changes, rejects her. The Agni Pariksha conveys new thought. Hema makes it an angry rejection of male-dominance






[12]






: Sita jumps into Ravana’s burning funeral pyre and dies, leaving Rama guilt-ridden. The end is Trikala Narada’s epilogue: “Long before the first poets sang of him, Rama’s name and fame were well known. But somewhere along the way, on the long and dusty road taking us back to Ayodhya, many changes crept into being. For it is we who invent our myths, we who create them, shape them and sing them out..





This golden rule has to be followed for all women, but not followed! However, they go on discuss about the Rama’s ill-treatment of Sita.




The psyche, syndrome and pathology


: Psychologically, their inferiority complex works opposite with superiority complex. They have only one agenda – attack, abuse or even blaspheme Ramayana, you get attention of all easily. But, they may or may not realize its seriousness. It is just like calling one’s own mother a prostitute (Though I am very sorry to use such expression, as otherwise, people understand only such language in some cases). As they characterise the suffering of Sita in a negative or so-called de-glorified way, they should depict the other popular or this type of de-glorification, street-smart heroines, women and goddesses. But they do not do. Why their minds have been diseased with such mindset? Why their thinking has been carcinogenic stopping all thought processes? Perhaps, we have to follow the prescription of Tiruvalluvar!



Demythologization and de-glorification: When the critical edition of Ramayana was prepared, many scholars have involved in it. Thus, the de-glorifiers, manipulators and blasphemers must know about the “critical edition”. But, they are not worried about it, but they want only Apocryphal





[13]





Ramayanas and not critical edition of Ramayana. They also go on produce more such trash – “Apocryaphal Ramayanas” against Valmiki Ramayana. Thus, if the blind can ride, they can use winds as chariots or even aeroplanes. Thus, “Kimayanas” or “reverse-Ramayanas” cannot be fit into any historical or critical studies, but it is some sort of “secular Romances” in India with “romantic atheism”.



“Demythologization” has been the removal of “myth” in ancient texts in historical perspective. As many historians and archaeologist have done it, H. D. Sankalia in his books have pointed out that the following could be historical facts, as such facts were known to Indians since at least 1000 BCE. As he had been an archaeologist, he has demythologized Ramayana and brought it to human understanding. However, in spite of his scholarship and professorship, he never discussed low about Ramayana.



But, other historians do – Romila does, as pointed out – a de-glorification process? How atheist Karu-like personality and the woman-Romila could be thinking in the same way when the question of rama comes? When the issue of historicity of Rama comes? What is that coincidence or psycho-pathological matching?





Separation of male-female, husband-wife etc


: In modern context, man and woman, if they want, they can live together, have sex, raise or abort children and divorce or go away. Again the divorced or separated man and woman can repeat the process on the principles of “independence” or “right of living and separation”, “right to have sex” and so on. None can question. When man-man and woman-woman relationships are also accepted, or opposed, such relationships are glorified, publicized as hall-mark of progressiveness and freedom of expression of sex[14]. However, in  everty society, irrespective of divisions, differences and variance, all people and animals follow the pattern of one man-one woman relationship.



Again note, recently a Supreme court Judge has opined that the Hindu Marriage act has been responsible for maximum divorces





[15]





. It has to be noted that Indian tradition does not sanction divorce, though, historical evidences have been there. However, of lte, there have been few cases reported every year, because of modernism, westernism and women could not cope up with such modernization processes at one side and other traditional and conservative system followed.





“Clooneyism” exhibited in theological attack on Hindu Goddesses


: How professional bias could affect this subject could be noted from the book / study of one Harvard University Professor Francis X. Clooney[16], S. J., in his comparison of Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin Mary. As the paper of K. V. Ramakrishna Rao criticising his study is available in the internet, the appropriate portions are reproduced here for convenience[17] (three paragraphs with tables – all italicized): For Clooney’s reaction, in turn to his paper, see the referred to websites[18].








“Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin Mary”




: This is the subtitle of the recent book of Clooney mentioned above, which has been dissented, refuted and disapproved by the involved Vaishnavites. They have been totally dejected and dismayed, the way in which he collected the inner information from them and now using, rather misusing in different way. Under the guise of “Comparative Theology”, he has tried to compare certain Hindu Goddesses with the Mary taking the following six works:






Title of the work



Author / Composer



Period / date



Language


Sri Guru Ratna Kosa (Auspicious Treasury of the Jewels That Are Sri’s Quality)


Parasara Pattar


12th century CE


Sanskrit


Saundarya Lahiri (Wave of Beauty)


Attributed to Sankara


10th cent. or before.


Sanskrit


Apirami Antati (Linked verses for Apirami – the Beautiful One)


Apirami Bhattar


18th cent.


Tamil


Akathistos (Sing while Notseated)


Not mentioned


6th cent.


Greek


Stabat Mater


Do

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