[Advaita-l] Ramopakhyana of Mahabharata vs. the Uttara Kanda of Ramayana
Venkatesh Murthy (वेङ्कटेशः सीतारामार्यपुत्रः)
vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Wed May 4 07:23:06 CDT 2016
On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 3:08 PM, Kathirasan K <brahmasatyam at gmail.com> wrote:
> Namaste Venkateshji,
> While this approach to appreciating Ramayana may very well serve the needs
> of those in Nivrtti Dharma where vairagya is a pre-requisite, it may not
> help a community that wants advance its progress in terms of material
> progress. I am referring to the majority of people who are in Pravrtti
> Dharma here. I come from a place where hindus become very complacent with
> suffering and difficulties in life so much that they feel that our
> scriptures are strewn with adversities for even the gods. They quote Rama,
> Sita, Yudhishtira etc as examples.
> I am curious if the illustrious hindu kings of ancient and medieval India,
> had such an outlook (that life is an ocean of unhappiness) towards life. And
> if so, how did that contribute to an opulent society that they ruled during
> those times?
In Mahabharata there is Yaksha Prashna episode. The Yaksha asked
Yudhisthira what is the biggest wonder in the world? It is not the
Seven Wonders like Great Wall of China or Taj Mahal. Yudhisthira said
everyday people are dying. But the living people desire to live for
ever. People know everybody will die one day. But the way they live is
like they will live for ever. This is the biggest wonder.
Everybody knows they will not carry any money to next Janma when they
die. But they will accumulate hundreds of crores of rupees like they
will take it with them. This is the biggest wonder.
Everybody knows they came here without wearing jewelry and gold rings
on ten fingers. Everybody knows when they die and cremated by
relatives the jewelry and rings on fingers will be taken away. But
when living they will wear huge amount of jewelry and rings on ten
fingers. This is the biggest wonder.
Everybody knows when they die the houses built will not come with them
and will not come with the sons and daughters also when they die. But
they will build many houses and purchase flats. This is the biggest
Everybody knows meat eating, smoking and drinking will cause many
diseases like cancer and heart problems. But they will eat meat, smoke
and drink. Cigarette packets have warning 'Smoking kills'. But
Cigarette manufacturers are making huge profits. This is the biggest
Similarly everybody knows there is no permanent happiness in Samsaara
but they will search for permanent happiness in Samsaara. This is the
> Kathirasan K
> On 4 May 2016 at 01:36, Venkatesh Murthy (वेङ्कटेशः सीतारामार्यपुत्रः)
> <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>> There is one reason for Uttara Kanda. In original Ramayana the ending
>> is happy. But that may mislead people to think this Samsaara is very
>> nice and full of happiness like in Raama Raajya. It was ideal kingdom
>> with people with ideal happiness.
>> But as a matter of fact there is no happiness in this world
>> permanently. If there is happiness it will end someday. Therefore true
>> happiness cannot be outside but inside only. To show this they have
>> made even Seeta driven to forest again and Raama is experiencing
>> sorrow again.
>> The moral of story is - If even great people like Raama and Seeta
>> could not be permanently happy how can we ordinary people be happy in
>> this Samsaara. It is an ocean of unhappiness only.
>> On Tue, May 3, 2016 at 10:39 PM, S Jayanarayanan via Advaita-l
>> <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>> > Thanks to Neelakantan (on advaitin list) for the note on Samkshepa
>> > Ramayana not containing any reference to the Uttara Kanda.
>> > One more reason that the original Valmiki Ramayana may not have any
>> > reference to the Uttara Kanda:
>> > The Phalashruti at the end of the Yuddha Kanda, appears complete (
>> > http://www.valmikiramayan.net/utf8/yuddha/sarga128/yuddha_128_frame.htm ) --
>> > "By studying and listening to this epic, all the gods get appeased. By
>> > listening to this Ramayana, the forefathers forever get pleased.
>> > To those persons who transcribe with devotion this collection of poems
>> > depicting the story of Rama residence in heaven is assured.
>> > By listening to this highly meaningful and auspicious poetical
>> > composition, a person gets family-prosperity, augmentation in money and
>> > grain, superior women, exquisite happiness and all the acquisition of wealth
>> > on this earth.
>> > This narrative is to be listened invariably by good people, seeking
>> > for wisdom, longevity, health, fame, fraternity, intelligence, welfare and
>> > brilliance."
>> > There are now three points against the Uttara Kanda being a part of the
>> > original Ramayana:
>> > (1) Ramopakhyana ends with the Yuddha Kanda, no mention of any events of
>> > Uttara Kanda whatsoever.
>> > (2) Samkshepa Ramayana at the beginning of the Valmiki Ramayana has no
>> > reference to the Uttara Kanda.
>> > (3) The full Phalashruti appears at the end of the Yuddha Kanda.
>> > There is now only one point in favor of the Uttara Kanda being a part of
>> > the original text:
>> > The Gayatri Mantra that is supposed to be strung in the Ramayana, as the
>> > first letter of every thousand shlokas, may not be perfect. (Needs
>> > confirmation)
>> > S Jayanarayanan wrote:
>> >> It has debated whether or not the Uttara Kanda constitutes a part of
>> >> the original Valmiki Ramayana, or is a later addition to the text.
>> >> Here is the reason why I believe the Uttara Kanda may not have been a
>> >> part of the original Valmiki Ramayana:
>> >> The Mahabharata actually contains the "Story of Rama, the Son of
>> >> Dasaratha", known as "Ramopakhyana". After talking about Rama and Lakshmana
>> >> going to the forest, Sita's captivity, Hanuman setting fire to Lanka, war
>> >> with Kumbhakarna, death of Ravana, freeing Sita etc., it ends with:
>> >> "And then assisted by the celestial Rishi (Vasishtha), Rama performed
>> >> on the banks of the Gomati ten horse sacrifices without obstruction of any
>> >> kind and with treble presents unto Brahmanas."
>> >> Surprising that the "Ramopakhyana" as narrated in the Mahabharata ends
>> >> exactly at the same place as the Yuddha Kanda of the Valmiki Ramayana (i.e.
>> >> the beginning of Rama Rajyam), with no mention of the later events of the
>> >> Uttara Kanda!
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