Sunday, July 17, 2016

791 Part (2/10) of what choices were given to women characters in Indian Scriptures, particularly Valmiki Ramayana?


This is continuation of our blogpost No. 790. Click to go to our blogpost No. 790. , where we have discussed a review by Ms. Namita Gupta in Deccan Chronicle, of a book of Shri Devadutt Pattanaik, priced Rs. 199, with pages 112. The title of the review: "Matter of Choice". The title of the book: THE GIRL WHO CHOSE: A NEW WAY OF NARRATING THE RAMAYANA. My readers may recall that the Review of Ms. Namita Gupta, as well as, the book by Shri Devdutt Pattanaik talk of choices made available to the protagonist of Valmiki Ramayana, Sita.

I have already given one example of choice given by Lord Shri Ramachandra, to Mother Sita, in Yuddha Kanda (Book of War), Sita agni Pravesam (fire-test/ordeal of Sita) Episode. In that episode, Lord Rama asked Sita to set her mind on Lakshmana or Sugriva or Vibhishana or Bharata. I have also mentioned that was not the manner in which a life's partner is to be talked to by our ideal husband Shri Rama.

We shall now, see another episode of Valmiki Ramayana, where there were limited choices or no choices, to the Crown-Queen of Dasaratha-- Kausalya. Ref. Book No. 1, Book of Children (bAla kAnda). Episode of Context: Performance of Horse Sacrifice by Dasaratha, to get children. In this episode, Queen Kausalya was asked to sleep a night with the sacrificial horse (whatever it might have meant?!!!). Next day, she was asked to stab the horse with gold knives. After that, the fat of the dead sacrificial horse was dropped into the sacrificial fires, amidst the hymns which the udghAta had sung. Dasaratha smelt the fumes from the sacrificial fire/pyre, and his sins cleansed, so that he could be entitled to get offsprings.



In English language. In Roman Script.
1-14-33
Kausalyaa tam hayam
tatra paricarya samantataha
kripaan`aihi vishashaasaha
enam tribhih paramayaa mudaa

With great delight coming on her Queen Kausalya reverently made circumambulations to the horse, and symbolically killed the horse with three knives. [1-14-33].

1-4-34
patatriNaa tadaa saardham
susthitena ca cetasaa
avasat rajaniim ekaam
kausalyaa dharma kaamyayaa.

English Gist: Kausalya, with a composed mind, and a desire for "virtuous act", resided with / slept with the horse for one night.

1-14-35
hotA adhvaryuH tatha
udgaataa hastena samayojayan
mahiShyaa parivrittyA atha
vAvAtaam aparAm tathA.

Approx. English Gist: The hotA (=host, priest who hosts the sacrificial offers to God, by dropping them into fire- sending them through fire god to the Supreme God), adhvaryu (administrator/leader/manager/captain of the sacrifice), ud-ghAta (singer of the holy hymns) have received into their hands, the Queen, neglected wives, concubines of the King. (This interpretators say was not actual gifting of queens, wives and concubines, but only symbolic gifting. The King, later takes them back by giving monetary rewards and gold.)

1-14-36
patatrin`aha tasya vapaam
uddhruitya niyateendriyaha
ruitvik parama sampannaha
shrapayaamaasa shaastrataha

English Gist: "uddhruitya niyata indriyaha" is the attributive adjectival phrase for the performing priest. That priest (Ritvik) had kept his senses under great control. "Parama sampanna" (very rich- here, according to interpreters very rich in knowledge), cooked the fat, as stipulated in the scriptures.

1-14-37
Dhuuma gandham vapaayaaha
tu jighrati sma narAdhipaha
yathA kAlam yathA nyAyam
nirNudan pApam Atmanaha

Approx. Engl. gist: "yathA kAlam yathA nyAyam" (as per [their] times and as per practices of justices of those days), narAdhipa (king) smelt the fumes and smoke, and cleansed his sins.


ybrao-a-donkey's humble-personal view:

Our great authors Devdutt Pattanaik, and our reviewer Ms. Namita Gupta write of choices given to Indian women. Can they say what choice was given to the Respectable Queen Kausalya, who was asked to sleep with the horse a night, and to pierce the horse next morning with gold knives? The verse 1-4-33 uses the adverb 'paramaya muda' (great delight or happiness) for her act of piercing the horse.

In Telugu language spoken by 100 million people, in Telugu Script. వాల్మీకి రామాయణానికి యథానువాదం. ఆంధ్రావాల్మీకి స్వర్గీయ శ్రీ వావిలకొలను సుబ్బారావు గారు, 1932.
బాలకాండ. 426 వ పద్యం.
సీస పద్యం
అంతట కౌసల్య , హయమును సేవించి,
మొనసి కృపాణముల్ , మూట చీల్చి
యొక్కరే యెల్లను, మక్కువ శయనించె
నా వాజి యొద్ద , ధర్మాభిలాష
బ్రహ్మకు హోతకు , పదపడి అధ్వ్యర్యు
నకును ఉద్ఘాతకు, నరవి భుండు
మహిషి వావాతను, మరియు పాలాకలి,
పరివృత్తి నొసంగె, స్పర్శనముగ

ఆటవెలది
అంత వారావపను, అగ్నిలో వేల్వ సం,
పన్న ఋత్విజుండు, పాప మణగ,
పార్ధివుండు తద్వ, పా ధూమ గంధంబు
మూరు కొనియె కాల మునను సవిధి.


'makkuva'= we can equate with parama mudam (great joy), see the Sanskrit verse. dharmA abhilAsha = desire for righteousness, this we can equate with 'dharma kAmya' of Valmiki's verse quoted above. mahishi (Queen), vAvAta (concubine), parivrita (neglected wife) : there are different interpretations. Thus one SISamu (a prosody meter for verses in Telugu language) took care of nearly five verses of Valmiki Ramayana quoted above. By and large the translation is accurate and near to the original of Valmiki.

I rever Late Vavilakolanu Subba Rao garu for his hard work and dedication. We are fortunate that he was born in Telugu land.

BACK TO CHOICES GIVEN TO WOMEN CHARACTERS IN VALMIKI RAMAYANA


No choice. Kausalya had to pierce the horse with the gold knives.

To continue. सशेष. ఇంకా ఉంది.

Friday, July 15, 2016

790 Do women really have choices? This question need not be restricted only to Indian Women. It is a global question.


Trigger for this blogpost: A writeup titled "Matter of Choice" in the Tabloid Edition of Deccan Chronicle dated 13th July 2016. Link, for those who wish to have a look at it: Click to go to http://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/books-and-art/130716/matter-of-choice.html. . The author of the write-up is: Ms. Namita Gupta. It is a review of the book titled: THE GIRL WHO CHOSE: A NEW WAY OF NARRATING THE RAMAYANA. Author of the book is: Devdutt Pattanaik. pp.112. Price Rs. 199/-.

In my mother-tongue Telugu language, there is a proverb: "ravi gAncanicO, kavi gAncu neyyeDan". Approx. English equivalent: If SUN God cannot see, wherever it is, everywhere, 'kavi' will see. The 20th and 21st Century meaning of the Hindi and Telugu (some other Indic languages) word 'kavi' seems to gaining a restricted meaning of a 'poet or a writer'. The word kavi has a very wide meaning, apart from the meaning of 'poet / writer'. For example, kavi=a medical doctor. In North Indian States, an ayurvedic medical degree used to be given titled 'kavi rAj' or 'kavi rAja'. The 'kavi' of India is not only a poet, writer, scholar, medical doctor, but also, he is a versatile genius. He is like the Great American Scholar, depicted by Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his famous speech of August 1837. For those who wish to compare the contrast 'kavi' and the 'The American Scholar' can download a pdf version of the speech at the following link: Click to go to

Trigger for this blogpost:


For the time being we shall take the meaning of 'writer' only. What a poet or writer can see, what Sun God cannot see, when his rays penetrate throughout the Earth and the Universe? A kavi's intellect goes far beyond the penetrative capabilities of even the SUN. If any of our readers is interested to read an anecdotal story which some people associate with Legendary Sanskrit Poet Kalidasa, and some others associate it with Buddhist Jataka Tales. The story is somewhat an exaggeration of intellectual capabilities of a 'kavi'. But the story has some content for intellectual reinvigoration. The story also highlights a moral, linked to gratitude and ungratefulness. In some other blog post we shall discuss this story, as this particular blog post is becoming too lengthy to read.

Back to our write-up by Ms. Namita Gupta in Deccan Chronicle, about the book of Shri Devadutt Pattanaik, priced Rs. 199, with pages 112.



We shall start with a quote from the review:

The book highlights how women have always had choices. Even if they did not exercise any, it was a choice they made. The story told keeping in view Sita as a focal character gives a refreshing perspective, one which we have never been told earlier. When asked about what was the idea behind retelling the Ramayana, the author states, “I realised during a workshop that Sita makes five choices in the Valmiki Ramayana and that she never blames anyone for the consequences of her action. I found this very modern. I wondered why no one had highlighted it before. We are too conditioned to see Sita as a whimpering victim and that needed questioning.” It also brings forth a fundamental truth — every choice made has its consequence too.

"...Choice is not easy in any society — modern or pre-modern. It has consequences. Not all good. Dealing with it is always tough. Sita’s life serves as a good guide to be at peace with whatever life throws at us. Mythology has always intrigued me and what I like about it is that it reveals how humans think. We think no differently from people who lived hundreds of years ago. ..."


I have not purchased the book THE GIRL WHO CHOSE: A NEW WAY OF NARRATING THE RAMAYANA. Nor read it.

As a person, who has studied Valmiki Ramayana (Sanskrit version), in depth, I am writing this. For those wish to study my reviews (ybrao-a-donkey's reviews), here is the link: Click to go to ybrao-a-donkey's study-reviews on Valmiki Ramayana, with proof verses from Valmiki Ramayan itself.

ONE STRAIGHT QUESTION: What choices did Sita have?



To know the reply for this crucial question, I request my readers to study my blog post No.044 at my blog ramayanayb.blogspot.com. Click to go to ramayanayb post No. 044.

There, you will see what choice was given to our Sita, by the God Sri Ramachandra? Here is a quote from the Valmiki Ramayan, which I have discussed in the above blogpost 044.


6-115- 22 and 23
BOOK 6 - BOOK OF WAR - YUDDHA KANDA
CHAPTER 115 - SARGA 115
VERSES 22 AND 23 - SLOKAS 22 AND 23

tadadya vyaahritam bhadree
mayaitat kritabuddhinaa
Lakshman`ee vaa tha Bharate
kuru buddhim yathaa sukham (22)
Shatrughne vaa tha Sugriivee
raakshase vaa Vibhiishan`ee
niveshaya manaha Siitee
yathaa vaa sukha maatmanaha (23)

CONTEXT
Rama killed the Ravana. Vibhishana brought Sita into Rama's presence. Rama says these words, seeing Sita.

gist
Oh secure lady! I am declaring this today, with a determined mind. Set your mind on Lakshmana or Bharata as is comfortable to you.

Alternatively, set your mind, as per your convenience, on S`atrughna, Sugriva or Vibhishana.


I greatly respect the freedom of expression of Shri Devdutt Pattanaik and Ms. Namita Gupta. But, I only request them to read Valmiki Ramayana Sanskrit version in depth. They can also read my ramayanayb blog, if they wish to.

21ST CENTURY INDIA SCENE, DATE: 14TH JULY 2016, PLACE CHILLAKALLU, ON NATIONAL HIGHWAY NO. 9 (HYDERABAD-VIJAYAVADA).



Click to go to http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/crime/150716/andhra-pradesh-husband-tries-to-make-wife-hold-hot-rod.html

Now, here is a husband who suspects his wife's chastity, and wants her to prove her purity by touching a burning iron ron used for digging pits, called gaDDa pAra in Telugu. The heads of their Caste also do some "DU DU basavanna" (Like an ornamental bullock, well trained to say yes for everything the master utters). She is also ready to touch the burning rod.

Fortunately, the Trainee Sub Inspector of Police, Jaggaiahpet, like a villain entered into our modern Ramayana, and stopped the ordeal. My cudos to him.

Now, our Devdutt Pattanaik sAb is realistic at least in one respect: History repeats. We Indians think in the same manner even after Centuries. See the quote of Pattanaikji, from above review: Mythology has always intrigued me and what I like about it is that it reveals how humans think. We think no differently from people who lived hundreds of years ago. ..."

To continue. सशेष. ఇంకా ఉంది.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

789 (Part 1/ 10) In what way French Presidents live in less vulgar life style when compared to Saddam Hussain and Nicolae Ceausescu?


A trillion Euro question which may creep into a thinking person's mind is, wheher there is any difference among the present French President Mr. Hollande, its Former President Mr. Sarkozi, the slain Iraqi President Mr. Saddam Hussain, and the 1989 Romanian Communist Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Context: The news of "Shampoo Socialism" practised by the French President Mr. Francois Hollande, has been NOTICED to have employed with STATE FUNDS, a hair dresser for trimming his hair, @ an annual cost of Pounds 99,000/-. This News Report, originally brought out by a French Satire Magazine on Le Canard Enchaîné, on 13th July 2016, and reported by Telegraph.co.uk is worth reading. Here is the link: Click to go to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/13/hollande-accused-of-shampoo-socialism-as-it-is-revealed-he-spend/ . We should not forget that Mr. Hollande came to power, on a Leftist Socialist Platform, claiming himself to be a normal President, and branding his rival and the Former French President Mr. Sarkozi as "bling bling" President. The allegation against Mr. Sarkozi at that time was, he spent a sum of Pounds 24,000 to stay a night at a Sea-Side resort, with his Companion, a model.

Euro-American Media whenever some instances of ostentatious living of RULERS OF COUNTRIES WHICH THE EURO-AMERICA does not like come out, give great publicity to the news with a "holier than thou" a style of mockery. This blog does not wants to defend such despotic rulers who lived in obscenely ornamented palaces amidst vulgar luxuries, hiding their fuliginous and muddy life-styles. Euro-American thirst to make an overkill of the information is worth noting. While, the same Euro-American Media conveniently ignore the lifestyles of their own leaders. This type of overkill happened in case of the Palace of the Romanian Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. It happened in the case of Iraqi President Saddam Hussain slain by the American Forces. It happened in the case of the Libyan President Gaddafi, who was overthrown and slain under the directions of USA.

Now, a Bible saying has come true:

Mathew 7: 3 to 5. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Click to go to study the Communist Opulent Living Styles. Romanian Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu had toilet-roll holders made of gold, in his Palace.

Click here to go to http://www.vice.com/read/inside-the-palace-of-a-tyrant-the-opulent-lair-of-nicolae-ceauescu-015.



It is not clear how much is paid to the hair-stylists of Indian Presidents and Indian Prime Ministers. The Rashtrapati Bhavan employs an Official Hairstylist for the President. His pay structure, or Remuneration rates are not known. They may need to be searched. One thing is definite. Indian Presidents and Prime Ministers want to live in a style ON PAR WITH THEIR AMERICAN, BRITISH, FRENCH, GERMAN, etc. counterparts. If not at a higher scale, at least on an equivalent scale. Right now, we do not have adequate information.

On googling, I found one web page which contains the personal experiences of President Abdul Kalam's Hairstylist Habib Ahmed. Here is a link for those who wish to study the experiences of with Habib Ahmed: Click to go to http://www.firstpost.com/india/remembering-a-star-customer-abdul-kalam-didnt-like-his-hair-short-says-hairstylist-habib-ahmed-2368358.html . We shall have one quote from his narration:

"... The Ahmeds have had a long association with first families of politics in India. Ahmed’s father Nazir Ahmed was the hair stylist to independent India’s first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and president Rajendra Prasad. Habib Ahmed’s services were requested by late prime minister Indira Gandhi too. "Those were the golden times. We were treated with great respect. We were not labelled according to our profession. After a long gap, I had the great fortune to meet a scientist who became the president and later met him when he finished his tenure. He remained the same warm, caring person that I had known when I first met him. When we met after Dr Kalam finished his tenure, he told me, "Let’s start our relationship again." He meant Ahmed could go back to cutting and styling his hair. "But that day never came again," says Ahmed. ..."


Here is one interesting link, which pertains to the experience of the hairstylist of Mr. Narendra Modi, of 2002, when he was new CM of Gujarat. Click here to go to : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2002/12/15/stories/2002121501421600.htm. The report was from Rasheeda Bhagat. Title of the Report was SOFT HEARTED POET.
... One interesting story, ascribed to Asian Age, is about Modi's Muslim barber Shabbir Ismail Patel, whose shop was targeted and burnt during the March 2002 communal riots. But the barber waxes eloquent on how his high-profile client helped him get a loan of Rs 50,000 to rebuild the small shop. Says the article, "From a Rajesh Khanna to a Tom Cruise cut, Shabbir has tried it all... on Narendra Modi," right from the '80s, though the hairdresser admits that was in days "when he had more hair"!


ybrao-a-donkey's expression of his humble personal view:


Our Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his youth was said to have approached Ramakrishna Math of Swami Vivekananda heritage, for joining them. When our hero, wanted to be styled as Rajesh Khanna or Tom Cruise, how could he become Swami Vivekananda?

ANOTHER SIMILAR NARRATION


This additional similar narration is available at the following link: Click here to go to: https://www.quora.com/Who-gives-a-haircut-to-Prime-Minister-Narendra-Modi.

ybrao-a-donkey's expression of his humble personal view:


It may not be real use to the poor people of India to know whether Hon. Narendra Modi bore on his head the Rajesh Khanna haircut or the Tom Cruise Haircut, during his reported 20 years stay at Hedgewar Bhavan. According to my mediocre understanding, a person has to work at least part time for his livelihood, whether he has a wife, parents or not. Mr. Modi has left the care of his wife to herself, and the care of her brothers. He has left his mother's care to his brothers. So far so good. Then, what Mr. Modi was doing for his livelihood, to earn to pay for the Rajesh Khanna hairstyles and Tom Cruise hairstyles, for his Modi style kurtas? Like his Guru Swami Vivekananda, was our Narendra Modi also averse to do jobs and earn a livelihood? Was that below his dignity? Social Work, can at the most be "part-time", which is expected to be done after performing the primary duty of earning one's own livelihood through right means.

This my criticism may appear to be somewhat harsh or rude. I do not intend any such harshness or rudeness. This is one basic question which is going to have substantial significance in a truly socialist society. In Capitalist Societies, there is ample place for idle religious preachers and occasional good samaritan service donors, while they do not produce any goods or services for the society most of the time. They come to the fore only during some calamities. Though running schools and hospitals are also undertaken by religious organisations, they are all fronts for a show. This basic question must receive its importance: Why not every citizen of India (except sick and aged persons who are physically challenged) produce some TANGIBLE goods and services and earn his daily food? Why not they undertake regular work, which should be a mix of both physical and mental labor? Why should they hide their idleness behind service organisations?

To continue. सशेष. ఇంకా ఉంది.