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.
Sita chose to enter 'fire' when Rama disowned her and asked her to go along with somebody like Lakshmana, Bharata, Satrughna, Sugriva, Vibhishana.
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.
Kausalyaa tam hayam
tatra paricarya samantataha
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].
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.
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.)
patatrin`aha tasya vapaam
ruitvik parama sampannaha
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.
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.
What will our Puri, Sringeri, Kanchi, Dvaraka, Badari, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Mysore, etc. Swamiji's say about this?
We may have to always keep in our minds, that Aryans were white. DaSaratha, might have been white. Kausalya and Sumitra might have been native queens, while Kaikeyi seems to be a white. (No evidence. Only guess work. My Readers will please forgive me.).
The White Races (America, Europe, ANZ, Canada etc.) have a tendency to treat every thing they do as 'civilised', and everything else done by brown and black body-color melanin containing humans of other countries, as barbaric and cannibalistic. Everything done by INdian Natives might have appeared to be 'kshudra pUja' (Worship of Evil Spirits') to the European Aryans who migrated to INdia. But what they did? Throw pieces of meat and fat of dead horses (includes Bulls, slaves, birds as per Mahabharata) in Asva mEtha, smell the fumes of the fat, and self-convince themselves that their sins were cleansed! Who were barbaric? Native INdians or the Imported Aryans? According to our Swamijis these Aryans are 'Worshipp-ables'.
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.
Can what Valmiki said in 1-14-34, really be true?
See the adjectives and attributes used by Valmiki to describe Kausalya:
patatriNaa tadaa sArdham
susthitEna ca cEtasA
Avasat rajaniim ekAm
kausalyA dharma kaamyayA.
SusthitEna ca cEtasa = 'with a stabilised mind'. A woman who asked to stab a horse with a golden knife three times, and who was going to sleep with a dead horse for a whole night, can she really have a stabilised mind? What did she do all the night with her stable mind, while lying down beside the dead horse? What she may be/might have been thinking about? We have to do some 'para kAya pravESam' [Enter into the body of some other person (Kausalya) to read their thoughts]. Of course, Swamijis who are Great Defenders of our Culture, will skip these verses.
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.
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
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.