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MYTHBUSTER4WASVANAVASAPUNISHMENTANDWASSITADESERTEDBYRAM?

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MYTHBUSTER4WAS
VANAVASA
PUNISHMENTANDWAS
SITADESERTEDBYRAM?
BlogbySonaParivraj(http://www.speakingtree.in/sonaparivraj)

MYTHBUSTER4

popular

WAS VANAVAS A PUNISHMENT


AND WAS SITA DESERTED BY
RAM?
Ancient Aryavart in preMahabharat
times was under the expert supervision
of highly qualified Rushis. They would
teachVedicvidyatoallmenandwomen.
Therefore, when they would pass out of gurukuls they would at least in theory be on the
samepage.Thentheywouldbeapprenticedtodifferentpeopledependingontheirabilities
andavailability.ThiscouldalsobeinanotherRajya.Inthosedaystheytreatedtheirmentees
aschildrenandweresupposedtoimpartalltheirknowledgeandsodotheirrushirin(debt).
For example, Dasharaths daughter Shanta was apprenticed with another raja but people
misinterpret it as adoption. This is wrong since they were all in gurukuls which didnt
requiremoney.
In those days they didnt use currency. The land had plenty for every human need and all
theyhadtodowassharetheresourceslikeonebigfamily.Itusedtobeoneoftherajasduty
to coordinate and manage all this. When we read numerous adventures of Padma(Hram),
they illustrate this point. People like Shabari etc. are not bhaktas the way it is understood
today.Theyareallbhaktasbecausetheyaredoingtheirdutiessattvically.Theyhaveallbeen
givenapostingoftendingcertainpartsoftheoshadhivanasandasrajasitwasthedutyof
Hramandhisteamtosuperviseandmanagethepeople.
SincethebasicstructureofentireAryavartasocietywasthesamewecansafelyconclude
thattheydidnotconsiderthemselvesasbeingseparatekingdomswithcompletelydifferent
agendas.Whenevertheyquarrelleditcouldbeduetoreasonsofgovernanceandtherewould
besomewhowouldwanttobegovernor.Itwasnotaboutowinganotherskingdomandhis
wealth etc. since noone was owner. Even citizens did not own any property. They only
managedcertainareasandweregivenaccommodationonlytolivein.Sincetheywereeco
friendly and understood the importance of maintaining natural resources as a main line of
defence,vastareaswerefullofvanas.Thesehaddifferentnamesdependingtodescribewhat
theywere.Allthesewerewithinthejurisdictionoftherajasandtheyhadtomaintainthem
properly.
Women were highly educated too and were trained to do their swadharma, which means
servingsocietyanddharmawhileworkingtowardsonesownsattvic/spiritualdevelopment.
Thetwooftenwenthandinhand.Otherwisethingswouldbeimpossibleandchaotictheway
itistoday.Thereforeweseetwopartstothegovernment.Oneisthekshatriyasideincharge
of law and order and defence. The other was the civil government side headed mainly by
women like Kaikeyi, Kaushalya, Soumitra, and in later years, Meerabai. But these remits
were flexible too, because we see that Kaikeyi played a pivotal role in the war and was
Dashrathscharioteer.Thisshowsherhighlevelofexpertisewhichcomesonlywithgreat
practice.Inthosedays,thecharioteerwasthesameasanavigatortodayanditwasaneven

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moredifficulttaskbecausetheychosenottorelyonmachines.Thiswasobviouslybecause
they wanted to improve their karmas and this cannot be done if machines do everything.
Deteriorationsetsinwhenonedoesnotadequatelyuseonesbrains.
AncientAryavartasocietyalsostrengtheneditselfbydoingmanyyagyas.Theseinvolvedan
actual yagya vedi, homa, havan etc. which sometimes would take many days. There were
alsodomesticyagyasdonebyhouseholdersbothhusbandandwife.Today,thewordyagya
isbeingincorrectlyusedforanygroupeffortandthisiswrongsincethatshouldbecalled
yatna. Etymologically the word agneya or used so it should involve agni, not only on the
outsidebutalsotheinneragnitattva.
Wearealllivinginmayawhichhasacorrosiveeffectonpeople.Thatiswhywhenweread
the histories of ancient people we see that at some point in time they were powerful and
successful but eventually deterioration set in and then an avatar had to come and remove

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MYTHBUSTER4WASVANAVASAPUNISHMENTANDWASSITADESERTEDBYRAM?
successful but eventually deterioration set in and then an avatar had to come and remove
them from the planet, i.e. help clean the inner and outer vana. When one checks the
meaningsofthewordsNagas,KesinsandMunis,onefindsthattheywerehighlyadvanced
yogiswithnumerousriddhi,siddhis.TheKesinshadlonghairwhichissupposedtobegood
conductor of spiritual energies. Nagas were known to have forked tongues, which is what
yogisdowhenpracticingkechhariyoga.Thus,whenUloopi,aNagakanyafellinlovewith
Arjuna,herpeoplewerenothappyforhertomarrysomeonewhowasyogicallyinferior.The
symboloftheNagapeopleatmanyancientsitesofworshipshowtwosnakesintertwined.
ThishasalwaysbeentheyogicsymbolofIdaandPingalaNadiswiththeSushumnainthe
middle.Thengraduallyallthesepeoplestartedtobecomecorruptandthenwetherewould
beanavatarmovement,orupheavalofdivineenergiesoccurringthatrectifiesmatters.
It is necessary to bear in mind that an Avatar is not a one man effort. An entire group of
peoplegetinvolved.ItwouldbeunrealisticandchildishtoexpectthatanAvatarappearslike
superman and in a twinkling everything is made perfect. This is also detrimental because
peoplethentendtomixuptheologiesandclaimthatJesustooisanAvatarandusethatasan
arguing point for conversions. The way Avatar stories have been written has also seen
changesovertheages.TheancientAvatareventsweredescribedassimilesusingananimal.
Inlateryearspeopledidnotdothat.InthebookLightontheYogasutrasofPantanjaliby
B.K.S.Iyengar,onpage54,thereisagoodexplanationoftheKurmaAvatar.Hewritesthat
Atman acts as a tortoise to lift and keep the diaphragm floating upwards, allowing the
breath to come in contact with the inner elements of the body. This happens during
pranayam.Otheravatarstoriesaretobereadinasimilarway.Healsocomparesthebodyto
thebowinyoga.
TheVarhaAvatarisdescribedasaboarbecausewhenpreparingayagyavedi,mudchurned
upbyboarsisused,probablyduetosomespecificcompositionofthesoil.Also,thebristles
on its back are a simile for the three holy grass Munja, Durva, and Kusha which are
necessaryforyagyas.ThewordVarhacanbeetymologicallybrokenupintoVa+Hra.This
probablymeansVaforvayuandHrameaningbijamantraforsuryaandso,agnitattvatoo.
RamayanawrittenbyTulsiandValmikiaremostpopulartoday.Theyareepicpoems,not
historicalreportsandthereforeshouldnotalwaysbetakenliterally.Theyprobablyareamix
ofsomehistoricalfacts, alotof metaphorsand definitely are allegories. Recently,a lot of
ancient temples/idols of Vishnu have been found in Russia, and these were probably built
beforetheiceagewhenRussiahadawarmerclimate.SinceRamawasnotlikelytobuildhis
own temple, one can assume that they were built much later. They did not need temples
beforeandduringRamstimesincetheyfollowedtheVedicsystemwhichisperfect.Butin
lateryearstheneedwasprobablyfeltandsotempleswereconstructedwithidols/deities.Just
thewayifoneisgoodatmathsonedoesnotneedacalculator.So,onemaysafelyassume
thatTretaYugwasbeforethaticeage.
Ithasrecentlybeendiscoveredthatthegeography,flora,faunaandanimalsmentionedinthe
ValmikiRamayanaresimilartothosefoundtoday.Sincethesubcontinenthaschangedalot
since the ice age, one may safely conclude that this book was written much later and that
Valmiki was not a contemporary of Ram. Tulsi was alive during the Mughal times so its
likelythathewasinfluencedbythecorruptioninthoughtthatwasprevalentinthosedays,
regarding the limited role of women in family and society. Gurukuls and society were
gradually being ruined by the conquerors. According to popular folklore both authors had
beenspurnedbytheirwives,afterwhichtheyunderwentatransformation,becamesaintsand
wrotetheRamayan.Soitislikelythattheyprobablyexpressedtheirfrustrationbywriting
these epic poems. They do appear to be quite prejudiced against women as both tend to
portray most smart women as being bitchy or helpless. Just writing the Ramayan does not
makeoneasaint.And,evenafterdoingalotoftapasandmeditation,apersoncouldstill
becomparativelyinefficient.
ThewordValmikimeansanthillandthemudfromawhiteantshillwasusedforyagyasas
wasthemuddugupbyboars.Vedicrushisdidnothaveindividualnamesbuttookonthe
titleoftheirpredecessors.So,inthewaythatmanyantsgettogethertomakeananthill,in
thesamewaymanypeoplescontributionmusthavebeenincorporatedintotheRamayana.
Valmikiwassaidtohavebeenbornoflowcasteparents.Inthatcaseitslikelythathewas
born in Kaliyug since in Vedic times they did not believe in caste the way people do in
kaliyug.Varnashramisnotthesameascastesystem.Onehastoalsobearinmindthatalot
ofinformationcouldhavebeendistortedwhenpeoplerewrotethetextsthroughthetough
centuriesofslavery.
Most ancient societies were matriarchal especially ancient Vedic society that knew the
importance of the feminine energies. Also, its the womans mitochondria that determines
most of the characteristics of the child which is why the role of the mother was very
important and they were nurtured accordingly. This could be one of the reasons why Sita
was sent to ashram. Because the nurturing of the child starts from conception and the
guidance of rushis is important. Even Abhimanyu learnt everything inside his mothers
stomach.ThismeansthathewasalreadybeingmentoredbyKrushnaandsurelywarfareis
nottheonlythinghemusthavelearntalthoughitmusthavebeenhisspecialistarea.Also,
warfareitselfisaverydifficultsubjectandnotonlyaboutusingsword.Also,sincetheseare
justcasestudiesthereisnoreasontobelievethatothersdidnotdothesame.So,itcouldbe
likelythatallpregnantwomenwenttoashramstogivetheirunbornchildrenagoodstart.
Inthosedaysthefocuswasondoingonesdutiesjustlikeanidealfamily.Whenonereads
thedetailsofgovernanceintheMahabharatonegetsabetterideaofhowsocietyfunctioned
inancientVedictimes.Womenweretreatedasequalsandcoulddoanyroledependingon
their abilities, karmas and swadharma. So there is no reason to believe that Sita was a
helpless woman who faithfully followed her husband to serve him or that Kaikeyi and
Manthara were evil simply because they dared to be assertive and express their opinion.
Most popular versions of the Ramayan speak of how Ram, Sita and Laxman went for a
vanavasonthecommandoftheirstepmotherKaikeyi.Thishasbeeninterpretedasbeinga
punishmentorexile,Butisthatreallytrue?Later,itisbelievedthatRamdesertedSitaonthe
suggestionofadhobi.Manypeoplehavethereforeexpressedconcernabouttheattitudeof

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suggestionofadhobi.Manypeoplehavethereforeexpressedconcernabouttheattitudeof
the Suryavanshis and also our entire Vedic system, as some believe that it discriminated
against women in general and Sita in particular. People like Nina Paley have even written
limericks like Sita singing the Blues that can be found on the internet. There is an old
GujaratisongthatlamentsthefactthatRamdoesnotmatchuptoSitabecauseheaskedher
to take agni parixa and then deserted her. Even popular speakers keep reiterating that
althoughRamwasMaryadapurushottam,hewasunfairtohiswife,andalsothatKaikeyiand
Manthara were villains for having suggested that they should go on a vanavas while the
kingdomwasgiventoBharat.
Beforebeingjudgementalandblaminganyoneinthestory,itisnecessarytolookatdifferent
variablesbasedoncertainfacts.Inthosedays,thekingdomwasnotanypersonsproperty
but had a proper government similar to the one we have today. This can be read on the
internet. The Suryavanshis were warriors of the highest calibre. If the rulers of a land are
warriors, it logically follows that the rest of the society are also warriors but of a lower
calibre.Thereforewecansafelyconcludethattheyhadamilitarysociety,perhapssimilarto
the Shaolin Temple. It is a fact acknowledged by most martial artists that it were the
BuddhistswhocarriedtheVedicfightingandhealingsystemstoChina.SinceBuddhaand
his group were trained in the Vedic system, one can guess how the ancient Vedic society
musthavebeen,basedonthehistoryandperformanceoftheShaolinmonksthatcanbeseen
inmoviesandyoutubeaswellasinbooks.
Ancient India was full of forests or vanas, since they understood the value of being eco
friendly. These vanas used to be full of various herbs that were necessary for everything
from food to medicine and even fuel, as is mentioned in the Vymanik Shastra. Below is a
paragraphfromAprojectstudyconductedbywg.Cdr.M.P.Rao,etc.ofAeronauticalSociety
of India on behalf of Aerospace Information Panel of Aeronautics Research and
DevelopmentBoard,BWing,SenaBhavan,NewDelhi110011,India.
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Direct references on Ayruveda occurs in relevant aspects of this work, such as foods in
Lookingforanswers?Start
consonance with FollowMasters&Seekers
the seasons, making specialized
concentrated food preparations and
here...
discussing poisons plants. Among the many other uses of plants are included developing
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textilematerialsfromplantsformakingclothandgarmentsforthepilots,usingtheoilofthe
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seedsofGhontaaapparentlyforrunningtheairplane,useofplantsinrunningthebellows,
inmetallurgicalpracticesemployingplantsandplantproductsandthelike.
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Forestswerealsothefirstlineofdefenceandkeptinvadersaway.Thiswasoneofthemain
reasons why outsiders were unable to invade ancient Aryavarta. But, it was necessary to
SLIDESHOWS(HTTP://WWW.SPEAKINGTREE.IN/SLIDESHOWLIST)
patroltheseareasandmakesuretheydidnotgetinfestedbytoomanywildbeastsorwild
men. And so huge groups of experts like the Nishadh tribes who were like highly trained
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forestrangerswereprobablystationedtheretopatrolandmaintaintheseareas.Theyusedto

connect

ask

write

belikehighlytrainedNinjasandverydifficulttodefeat.Unfortunately,todaymenaregiven
postings and they have to live away from their families. This leads to a lot of problems
SEEKERS(HTTP://WWW.SPEAKINGTREE.IN/SEEKERS)
which in turn affect society adversely. In those days, most got partners of the same
professionsotheycouldbeideallypostedtogether.ThusonefindsRammeetingallkindsof
DISCUSSIONS(HTTP://WWW.SPEAKINGTREE.IN/DISCUSSIONS/TRENDING)
peopleonhisadventures,exampleShabari.Ifeelpeoplehaveperhapsmisreadthestory.It
soundsabitsillywhenonesaysthatshetastedtheberriesandgavetastyonestoRamand
ONLINEPOOJA(HTTP://WWW.SPEAKINGTREE.IN/ONLINEPOOJALIST)
this proves her bhakti. In reality it could be that she was tasting them to weed out the
poisonousones,whichwasprobablyoneofthedutiesofatrainedherbologist.Thiswould
definitelyprovehertapastoherjob,intermsofherexpertise,aswellasherbhaktitowards
the inner divine Ram due to which the poison did not affect her. It explains the same
principleoutlinedinotherbhaktiliteraturewherethedivineabsorbsthepoison,(literalas
wellasthatofmaya),andthebhaktacomesoutunscathed.Or,thesweetberriescouldbea
metaphorforsattvickarmas.
Since Ram and his team were elected raja it was their duty to go and check out all the
arrangementsinperson.Thus,thevanavaswasacampaignormission.Also,inthosedays
therewerenoelectronicgadgetsthewaywehavethemtoday.So,iftherajadidnotgoand
meetpeopleinpersontheywouldneverknowwhohewas.Hewouldneverbeabletohelp
themordoanythingmuchatall.Manyrushislivedinforestsandotherfarflungplacesand
itwasalsonecessarytotaketheirblessingsandlearnfromthemtobeabettergovernor.This
toohadtobedoneinpersonasitwouldbeconsideredrudeandarroganttoexpectthemto
makethejourney.
The word raja describes the qualification achieved, just like a manager. And, a rajas
mudrikaorsealwasequivalenttohissignature.Sincerajaswereconsideredundefeatable,it
never left their finger, thus it was the best form of identification. It was thus necessary to
showittoallthearmiespostedinvariousplacestoensurethattheywouldrecogniseitand
followorders.Arajawasthecommanderinchiefofthearmysoobviouslyhewouldhaveto
go and inspect all aspects of the army in person. Therefore a vanavas cannot be called an
exileorpunishment.ItcouldbethatBharatandShatrughantoohadwantedtojointhembut
were prevented since Dashrath was getting old and so someone was required to mind the
fort,justlikeinanarmytoday.Itisnecessarytokeeptroupespostedatallstrategicpoints.
Since life in gurukuls was very tough and Spartanlike, they were all used to a life of
hardship, just like commandos or guerrillas. They would not suddenly switch to a life of
lethargicluxuryasitgoesagainsttheirupbringingandwarriorlifestyleandnature.So,itis
illogicaltoassumethattheylivedinsomeopulentpalacefullofjewelsandsoftcushions.
Althoughtheymayhaveusedjewelsforspecialoccasionsitwouldbeimpracticaltowear
anyregularlyasawarriorlifestyleentailsconstantandcontinuoustrainingwhichcannotbe
donewearingfancyclothesasshowninmoviesorbooks.Thus,Ram,SitaandLaxmanwere
notbeingdeprivedofanythingasispopularlybelieved.
Not only the men, but even Sita and Kaikeyi were high class kshatriyas. Since there are
numerousexamplesofwomenrushissuchasGargiandAhalya,itisobviousthatwomentoo
were given opportunities. Just the way one has to do a bachelors degree before doing a
masters,itwasnecessarytofirstqualifyasakshatriyabeforebecomingarushi.But,one
didnotnecessarilyhavetoactuallypracticeasone.Forexample,adoctorismoreadvanced

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MYTHBUSTER4WASVANAVASAPUNISHMENTANDWASSITADESERTEDBYRAM?

didnotnecessarilyhavetoactuallypracticeasone.Forexample,adoctorismoreadvanced
thananursebuthedoesnotnecessarilyhavetopracticeasonebeforehecanqualifytobea
doctor.Theyalsohadinterimstageslikerajarushi.So,ifwomencouldberushis,theycould
also be kshatriyas. Most popular example is that of Vishwamitra who was first a raja and
thenworkedhardtobecomearajarushi.

In those days it was considered important for people to pay their rushi rin(debt), which
meant that they had to give to society. Sharing of knowledge was considered everyones
duty, and withholding knowledge a crime against humanity and Saraswati Maa as it could
makeallthedifferencebetweenlifeanddeath.Ifonekeepsinmindtheanalogyofanarmy
thepicturebecomesclear.Allchildrenwenttoresidentialgurkulswheretheystudieduntil
theirgraduationandwerethenapprenticedindifferentprofessions.Theyweretreatedlike
thechildrenoftheirmentorswhowouldbeinchargeoftrainingthemandpreparingthem
fortheirchosenroles.So,itisdifficulttosayforsurewhetherallthepopularcharactersin
bothepicswerebiologicalchildrenormentees.Dictionarymeaningof'Pu'=particularhell,
'tra'=todeliver.SoaPutraisonewhodeliversfromhell,notonlybiologicalsonbutmentee
too. This enabled people to deal with their rishirun(debt) which involved passing on their
knowledgetoasuitableperson.Sincetheybelievedinmemorisingratherthanwritingdown
information,onefindsthatRavanapasseshisknowledgeontoLaxmanandBhismapassesit
ontoYudhisthir.Thiscouldbeequivalentofhandingoverportfoliotothenextofficerin
chargeorrajah.Forexample,Dashrathhadadaughter,Shanti,whohadbeensenttoanother
raja.Butsinceallchildrenwenttoresidentialgurukuls,itwouldbepointlesstosaythatshe
wasadoptedsinceshewouldnotbeathomeatall.Butitwouldmakesenseifshewassent
thereasanapprenticetospecialiseinsomefieldinwhichthatrajawasperhapsanexpert,
with theunderstandingthat shewouldthen takethat post. Therefore it isa possibilitythat
Rama, Sita and the rest were apprentices too. This would solve the problem of younger
peoplenotfindingpostsbecausetheoldercouldnotjustbeaskedtoleave.Sotherewould
belessfightingforthesamepostsandalsofosterafeelingoffriendshipamongallifthey
sharedexperiences.
Dashrath had once taken Kaikeyi to war which proves that she must have been a highly
skilled warrior. She had then saved his life by putting her little (kanistha) finger in the
chariotswheel.Thisstorymaysoundabsurdifoneassumesthatthechariotwasthesameas
theoneweseeinillustrationsormovies.But,wecannotbesurethatthesculptors,paintings
etc.weredonebycontemporaries.Ithasnotbeenprovedthatartefactshavesurvivedfrom
the time of Ram which was Treta Yuga. In later years things could have changed a lot.
Anothervariableisthatthepoemisaparaboleandhasmanylayersofmeaningtoit.Sothe
wheelcouldalsomeaninnerchakraandKaikeyicouldhavedonesomeyogamudraorother
advanced techniques to make it better. Even Sri Krushna uses the little finger which is
associatedwiththejalatattva.ThisiswhyDashrathwashappywithher.Hedidnotgrant
her boons or promises. The word var has been translated as acceptance by Pandurang
Shastri Athavale. So it could mean that Dashrath is agreeing to accept her judgement in
matters of governance due to her expertise. Kaikeyi always played a pivotal role in
Dashrathsgovernmentanditisnotincharacterifonesaysthatshesuddenlydecidedtogo
againstRambecauseshewashisstepmother.Highlyqualifiedwarriorsdontoftenacton
strange impulses. Ram and Laxman were often taken by rushis to kill asuras who were
messingupyagyasbythrowinginmeattopollutethem.Thusitsclearthatitwastheirarea
ofexpertiseandduringthevanavastheyaredoingmoreofthesame.
In the story, even Kaikeyi had taken up a life of a tapasvirenunciate. She was not a
stubborn,spoilt,queenasiswronglyexplained.Mantharacanbereadastheinnerchurning
orthinkingandKaikeyithevoiceofreason.Dashrath,theking,canbereadtobetheego
sinceformostpeopleegodominates.ThewordDashrathaispossibleamispronunciationof
Daxrath.Daxmeansegoandrathischariot,whichremindsusofhowSriKrushnaguidesthe
chariot of a sadhak by taking control of all his reins of faculties. Ego prevents the tattvas
fromgoingforthenecessaryvanavas,soKaikeyitakessanyasinordertosubduetheego.
She does not throw a tantrum and throw away her clothes and jewels. Kaikeyi could be
translated as inner voice, Manthra as inner churning of reason. Dashrath(Daxratha?) is the
ego+bodyinitsbenignformandDashanan/RavanaislikeDaxa,HramisRudraandSitais
Sati.Sothisstorycanalsobereadasarewriteofthatolderstory.Sati(Jiva)iswithSivabut
wantstovisitDaxa,whichisegoinmaya.Itdominatessoisreferredtoasfatherorhusband.
DaxaegodoesnotrespectSiva,sotheSatiJivaburnsuphergrossselfandimpuritiesinfire
of tapasya and austerities, (not literally sitting in fire). So SivaRudra come and removes
headofDaxaegoandSatiJivaisunitedwithherSiva.Sointhesamewaytheinnervoiceof
reasonsubduestheegoandinstructsinnertattavastogoonapathofausterities(vanvas)to
get rid of impurities and the more aggressive ego as represented by Dashanana(Daxanan?)
Ravana.Sohishavingtenheadscouldbereadasthepowerandknowledgeoftenpeople.
Theentiresystemwasbasedonpeoplebeingallowedtoworkaccordingtotheirswadharma
and towards improving their karmas and becoming more sattvic with the aim of attaining
moksha. This was not only in theory like most understand today, but was also put into
practice.So,ifinthegurukul,agirlshowedpotentialofbeingawarriorshewouldnotbe
deniedthechance.And,sincechildrenwenttoresidentialgurukuls,itsnotlikelythatwomen
just cooked, cleaned or did knitting. They were all like army personnel and often married
colleagues for convenience. It is likely that a sort of parallel womens government was
functioning.Thismusthavebeenheadedbythewomanraja,forexampleKaikeyi.Rajawas
ajobtitlewhichcouldapplytowomentoo.Themanandwomanrajahprobablyhadsimilar
remits and shared the responsibilities of governing. The strong point of men was probably
activecombatwhereaswomen,whomayalsohavedonecombattraining,weremoreintothe
otherareasofgovernanceaswellassubjectssuchaspsychologicalwarfare.
WearetoldthatDraupadiwasfireborn.Thismakessenseonlyifwethinkintermsofthe
firetattvawhichisoneofthefivetattvasthattheentireworldismadeupof.Suchpeopleare
highly rajasik and so its likely that these women made strong soldiers and had a womens
armyledbyDraupadi,Kaikeyiandotherslikethem.Sincetheytoohadtotakeapprentices
its possible that the four boys Ram, Laxman, Bharat, Shatrughan were not necessarily

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its possible that the four boys Ram, Laxman, Bharat, Shatrughan were not necessarily
biologicalchildrenbutmenteesofKaushalya,KaikeyiandSumitra.
Whenmarryingorchoosingapartner,itslikelythatakingwouldchosesomeoneofasimilar
calibre,aswellassomeonewhosechakrasandastrologicalchartswerecompatible.Onecan
refertobooksontantricsexthatexplainhowahighlevelofcompatibilitycanbeattained.
Thishelpedtogovernthekingdombetter.WhenSitawasachildshehadapparentlylifted
theShivadhanushquiteeasily.ThisiswhyJanaka(meaningfatherofthenation/people),her
father had made the condition that he would choose a man who could break the dhanush.
Here,itisnecessarytounderstandwhatexactlytheShivadhanushcouldbe.Wasitmerelya
bow?Orwasitahighlyadvancedweapon?ItisafactthattheancientAryanshadadvanced
weaponsandaircraftascanbereadonnumerouswebsites.So,thereisnoreasontobelieve
thatitwasonlyasimplewoodenbowrequiringonlymuscularstrength.Theywerehighly
trainedrajasormilitaryleaders,soitshighlypossiblethatitcouldhaverequiredadvanced
knowledgeofscienceandtechnology.IfSitaknewhowtoliftitshetoowasnotahelpless
womanastheyliketocallher,butahighlytrainedwarrior,quitecapableoftakingcareof
herself.
Pleaseseebelowtounderstandhowthedhanushepisodeworksasaparaboleandexplains
thespiritualsignificance:
MundakopanishadII(ii)3:TakingashisbowtheweapondescribedintheUpanishsads,let
the seeker put to it the arrow sharpened by devotion and having stretched it to the utmost
discharge it with the mind fixed on the brahman. Know O beloved the indestructible
brahmanistheaim.
Mundakopanishad II (ii) 4: The sacred word Om is the bow, the arrow the soul, and
brahmanisitsaimheshallbepiercedbyhimwhoseattentiondoesnotswerve.Thenhewill
becomeonewithhimasthearrow(becomesonewiththeaimwhenithaspiercedit.)

ThefounderofTaoism,LaoTzuwasactuallyBabaBogarnath,aSiddharfromSouthIndia
whohadgonetoChinatoteach.Hewasobviouslyahighlytrainedyogi.Thiscanbereadon
the internet. His teachings have become popular, and below is another example of how
dhanushisusedtoexplainspiritualdevelopment:
TaoTeChingLaoTzuchapter77
TheTaoofheavenislikethebendingofabow.
Thehighislowered,andthelowisraised.
Ifthestringistoolong,itisshortened
Ifthereisnotenough,itismadelonger.
TheTaoofheavenistotakefromthosewhohavetoomuch
andgivetothosewhodonothaveenough.
Man'swayisdifferent.
Hetakesfromthosewhodonothaveenough
togivetothosewhoalreadyhavetoomuch.
Whatmanhasmorethanenoughandgivesittotheworld?
OnlythemanofTao.
Thereforethesageworkswithoutrecognition.
Heachieveswhathastobedonewithoutdwellingonit.
Hedoesnottrytoshowhisknowledge
Thewayofnatureislikeastretchingbow.
Thehighrestrains,thelowerlifts.
Thesurplusdecreases,theinsufficientbenefits.
Thewayofnaturedecreasessurplusyetbenefitstheinsufficient.
Thewayofman,asarulehowever,decreasestheinsufficientsoastogivetothesurplus.
Whocanhaveasurplusandgivetoallunderheaven?
Onlythosewhohavetheway.
Theholypersonusesthistoserve,yetdoesnotrelyon,
Meritoriousdeedsresult,yetnotdwelledwithin.
Suchabsenceofdesireappearsableandvirtuoushowodd!.
Thus,theliftingofthebowmaynotbejustaphysicalexercisebutalsoaboutthespiritual
calibre of the person as well as his knowledge about all aspects of governance. Another
interestingpointisthatdhanushwasaunitofmeasurementinancientIndia.Sotherecould
besomeconnectionthere.
ThemainreasonwhyIfeelvanavascannotbedescribedasapunishmentisinthemeaning
belowtakenfromTheabhidharmamahvibhsasstra,asarvastivdincommentary,3rd
century BCE and later. It describes the possible etymological interpretations of the word
nirvanaandisavailableonline.
Nirvaiscomposedofthreephonesniandvaandna:
ni(nir,nis,nih):out,awayfrom,without,atermthatisusedtonegate
va:blowingasinblowingofthewindandalsoassmelling
na:nor,never,donot,didnot,shouldnot
Vanaisforestin/oftheforest/forestscomposedofflowersandotheritemsoftheforest.,[7]
butvanahasbothphonesvanandva.Vanhasbothanauspiciousandominousaspect:

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butvanahasbothphonesvanandva.Vanhasbothanauspiciousandominousaspect:
van:like,lovewish,desiregain,procureconquer,winpossessprepare
van:treeforestthicket,cluster,groupquantitywood
va:blow(ofwind)emit(anodor),bewaftedordiffused
va:weave
Vana+NirNatureofnirvana
ThepathofrebirthLeavingoffBeingawayfromthepathofrebirthpermanentlyavoidingall
pathsoftransmigration.
ForestWithoutTobeinastatewhichhasgotridof,forever,ofthedenseforestofthethree
firesoflust,maliceanddelusion
WeavingBeing freeFreedom from the knot of the vexations of karmas and in which the
textureofbothbirthanddeathisnottobewoven
StenchorstinkWithoutBeingwithoutandfreefromallstenchofkarmas
.
RamsactualnamewasPadma.TheSuryamantrais:
HRAMHREEMHROOMHRAIMHRAUMHRAHA
These 6 syllables are the bij (seed) mantras of the 12 names of Surya, or the sun, in long
formofthischant.Whatisaseedsyllable?AccordingtoGeorgFeuersteintheyareknown
asseedmantras
because they are the sonic seeds planted in the bodymind from which higher
consciousnessorawarenesscansproutinaproperlypreparedYogapractitioner.Suchsacred
germinalsoundsplayanimportantroleinTantricritualbuthavebeenknownandusedsince
Vedictimes.Theyarenotmeaninglessbutaresonicrepresentationsofparticulardeitiesor
othersubtlerealities.So,increatingthebijamantrawithourbodythroughsoundwe,ina
sense, align ourselves with the vibration of the idea or energy they represent. Its about
resonance.
Thesuryaalsomeanstheinnersuryachakrawhichisaboutthecreativeforceinusandis
very powerful. A lot can be read on the internet. Its the same force that Karna had in
abundance. His kavach is actually a real mantra that one needs to do in order to protect
oneselffromtheimmenseenergythatiscreatedbydoingthesuryamantra.Anexcesscould
literallyburnapersonfromwithin.Booksareavailableonthesubjectofmantrashaktis.
Ifwecontinuewiththeparabole,whileRamrepresentsfire,Laxmanrepresentswater,Sita
isprithvisinceshewasfoundintheearthandthenreturnedtoit,andHanumanjiisvayu.
The four elements work in and with the fifth element, ether, to vanquish evil forces as
representedbyRavanawhowasverypowerful.ItwasdestinythatNarayanaprabhuwould
takeformasaNara.ThiswasbecausewhenRavanahadobtainedaboonfromShivahehad
mentioned that he should not be killed by any jati, or group of people. But, since he
consideredNara,orhumansasinferior,hedidnotperceivethemasbeingathreatandsodid
notmentiontheirname.Thus,itwasalwaysRam/Padmasdestinythatheshouldbetheone
tokillRavanaandtherestjustworksoutaccordingly.SothereisnocausetovilifyKaikeyi
orsaythateitherRamorBharatweretreatedunfairly.
Anotherpointisthatitteachesusaboutthevariouswaysinwhichonecanbeagoodsattvic
karma yogi and achieve high level in bhakti. Each bhakta can divinise his karmas by
workingselflessly,andbyfocussingontheinnerdivineregardlessoftherolehedoes.Since
karma yoga is about doing correctly what one has been trained to do, it follows that a
kshatriyawouldneedtogoonamissionandservethepublicinordertoimprovehiskarma.
Inancienttimesit wasthenorm.EvenDashtrathandJanaka had donethat.Janaka means
fatherofthenation.Itwasnothisfirstname.Hewasgiventhistitlebecauseheservedhis
peoplewithimmensededicationandlove,justthewayafatherwouldtreathischildren.
Toworkselflesslyasarenunciateandsubduingonesegowasveryimportant.So,Ramaand
histeamwoulddothatbygoingonavanavas.Bharat,Shatrughanandhisteamtooneeded
toimprovekarmas.But,atleastoneteamwasneededtomindthefort.Theywereadvisedto
workasrenunciateswhilelivingamongcomparativecomfort.Thewholesystemofhowto
achievethisisexplainedinSadhnaPadaandperhapsappliestoalotofpeopletoday.Thus,
whenBharatmentionstakingRamspadukas,itimpliesthathewillstepintoRamsshoes
andgoverninthesamespiritofrenunciation.OritcouldalsomeanthatBharatisaccepting
hismistakeandapologisingtoHramforwantingtogoonthevanavas.Eventodaywehave
the phrase in Hindi aapke jute mera sar. Hram, here, can also mean inner divine. If one
looksatthebiggerpicture,italsomeansthatifasincerebhakta(Bharat)doeshisdutiesasa
truerenunciate,hisinnerdivine(Ram)willcleanupinnerandouterjungle.Nooneowned
thekingdomjustliketodaynooneownsanation.SoitswrongtosaythatBharatwasgiven
Ramsproperty/inheritance.Onceagainthatideacomesfromthetimesofslaverywhenthe
Mughals and then the British fought over who would be the exploiter of India. Also, if
KaikeyisintentionswerebadshewouldnotaskRamtocomebackafterfourteenyears.She
would probably ask him to leave forever. And, since Ram was already very popular this
would not be a very good move politically as Bharat could then possibly face a rebellion
fromRamssupporters.Sorealisticallythatexplanationdoesnotwork.Theaveragelifespan
ofpeopleinthosedaysranintoafewhundredyears,soamerefourteenyearsisnotasking
for much from a young man in his prime. Even if we accept the literal meaning, it would
onlybefairthatallthesons/menteesgettheopportunitytopracticewhattheyhavelearnt.
Whyshouldonebefavouredovertheother?Bothneedtoprogressalongthepathofkarma
andeventhepublichadtherighttochoose.Thestoryclearlystatesthatbothwereevenly
matched,sothevanavaswasgoingtobethedecidingfactor.
AgniParixawasaritualisticceremonyundertakenbyarenunciateorsanyasitosymbolise

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givingupofgrossbodyindulgences.Itdidnotinvolveliterallysittinginthefire.SinceSita
had successfully achieved that stage it probably implied that she was then no longer
interested in being a raja. But Ram had to continue with his duties and so they decided to
part ways and she went to the ashram for further studies and development. She may even
have been training to be a rajarushi just like Viswamitra. Towards the end she is said to
have gone back to the earth. This obviously implies that she took samadhi. Only a highly
disciplinedyogicandothatsowecansafelyassumethatshewastrainingforthat.
HersonswereLuhv,(withanh)andKush.LuhvpossiblymeansnanoparticleandKush
meanstheholygrasswhichrejuvenatestheearth.Thustheparaboleherewouldbethatwhen
the prithvi tattva in us (Sita) gets caught up in MayaLamka, we, as sadhakas should do
tapasya to activate our inner Ram/Hram (fire tattva), Laxman (water tattva) and Hanuman
(Vayutattva)tovanquishtheevilpowers.Afterthat,prithvicanberejuvenatedbytherushis
orwisepeoplewhenitproducestheholygrassKushandLuhvtheparticleoflife.
TheRigVedastoryoftheVarhaAvatarhasasimilarmeaning.Itwassaidthatthebristles
onVarhasbackweretheholygrassesKusha,DurvaandMunja.Thesewereusedinyagyas
andgrewinvanas.Oneofthemaintestsofyoungdisciplesinagurukulwastobeableto
differentiate between and collect the three prickly grasses for the guru. That is the reason
whyjaneoorholythreadinthosedayswasmadefromMunjagrass.Itwasprobablylikea
portableyagyakit.Oncequalified,apersontravelledwhereverrequiredtoperformyagyas
andthejaneowashisbadge.Also,Varahadoesnotmeanliterallyaboar.Itisametaphor
for a huge cosmic event and/or social upheaval that occurred when the divine force
destroyedtheevilones.ThisiswhythenameHanumanisimportantaswell.Itisalsothe
exhalationwhenonedoesthepranayam.Onceinnershaktisaredeveloped,thisexhalation
candoalotofgoodordamagedependingonthesadhakasintentionsandabilities.
During vanavas Surpankha threatens to complain to Ravan when Laxman chops her nose.
Onareallifelevel,Ravansgroupwerecausingmischiefinthoseareas.Itisnecessaryfor
Brahmanstopreservetheirviryaasitempowersthemwhendoingyagyaswhichstrengthen
the nation. Surpankha was weakening the countrys defences as represented by the
Brahmans.Thisiswhyitwasnecessarytodisableherabilitiestodopranayam,(notliterally
cuthernose),whichleadstodevelopingriddhisandsiddhiswhichSurpankhawasmisusing
when seducing the Brahmans. Again, one way of looking at it would be that if a sadhak
(Surpankha)misusestheirshaktis,thewaterelement(Laxman)coulddestroy/damagefrom
within.AnotherangleisthatwhenBrahmanshavesuchtemptationstheycanrelyontheir
inner Laxman to help them to overcome those provided they have worked hard and
developedtheirRam(sattvicshaktis).
RavanhadattendedSitasswayamvarsotheyalreadyknewwhotheywouldbedealingwith.
AccordingtothestoryhesendsMarichintheformofthegoldendeer.Deerwereusedas
symbols for attachment in ancient art. Also, deer by nature are pure and their vrittis are
conducive to sattvic development. So, tapasvis preferred to use their skin to sit on when
meditatingespeciallywhenitwascold.Normallytheywouldjusttaketheskinofdeerthat
died a natural death. But in this story the deer is not a real one and so Sita, who has seen
throughMarichsdeception,asksherinnerdivineRamatodestroythismayaillusion.She
later says the same to Laxman. The Laxman rekha is about the boundaries that a highly
evolvedspiritualmindwillputontheaspirant.Manmeansmind.Laxcouldmeangoalas
wellasthesameasLaxmijiwhogivesspiritualwealth.Afterthat,Ravancomesdisguisedas
a sadhu. Once again we see the same metaphor. That no matter how harmless, good and
benignthingsareinmaya,actuallytheyareharmfulfortheJivaastheykeepitboundand
away from Shiva. It is wrong to read it as an example of the popular saying atithi devo
bhava. The word tithi means auspicious time. Therefore, a+tithi would mean inauspicious
time.Thegeneralmeaningofthephrasecouldbe,letthisinauspiciousmeetingbeblessedby
the gods and hope nothing goes wrong. Its not about foolishly welcoming anybody
indiscriminatelyinyourhouse.Sitawasnotadumbfooltodothat.
ThewordLamkaisaboutthebijasoundLamoftheMooldharachakra.IfRavanawasa
hightapasvihispeoplecouldnothavebeenmuchdifferent.Soittellsusabouthowagroup
ofverysuccessfulpeoplehavebecomecorruptandpowercrazy.Ravanaissaidtohavebeen
afewthousandyearsolderthanRamandSita.Thiscouldbereadasmanyyearsofcorrupted
poweraspersonifiedbyRavana.ThewordcouldbebrokenupintoRa,meaningenergiesof
Hram or Surya, and Van. He was known to have been an expert Veena player and some
sources even say that he could have been the inventor of Vichitra Veena. The word Van
could mean an expert Veena player. In those days when they did yagyas, Veena players,
mainly women accompanied the chanting of mantras, since our universe is made of sound
and the Veena is probably the instrument that must best duplicate the sounds required to
makeyagyassuccessful.Thiscouldbeonereasonwhyhewasabductingwomen.Alongwith
wantingtousethemforyagyas,anotherreasoncouldbethatsincewomentoowerehighly
educated, they would be missed by their own countries and even husbands who probably
needed them for yagyas. That would further demoralise them. He could not win over Sita
and that was upsetting him since yagyas have to be done voluntarily otherwise the power
would wane. He could not possibly have had evil designs on her as that would reduce his
viryaandalsohispowersgainedbytapasya.Hewasprobablyintoworlddomination.Sothe
story also tells us how our tattvas fire (Padma/Ram), water (Laxman), Prithvi (Sita), and
Vayu(Hanumanji),canworktogethertohealusandremoveinnerandalsoouterimpurities.
AnotherdemonstrationofRavanspoweristhathekillsJatayu.Heissupposedtobeanold
friend of Dashrath. Another meaning for this could be that he represents the Athirathram
Agnichaya yagya vedi which is bird shaped. Wikipedia says that 'The entire ritual takes
twelve days to perform, in the course of which a great birdshaped altar, the uttaravedi
"northernaltar"isbuiltoutof1005bricks.TheliturgicaltextisinChapters20through25of
the Krishna Yajurveda. The immediate purpose of the Agnicayana is to build up for the
sacrificeranimmortalbodythatispermanentlybeyondthereachofthetransitorynatureof
life, suffering and death that, according to this rite, characterizes man's mortal existence.'
ThiscouldimplythateventhisyagyahadnoeffectoverRavana,whowasthebestatdoing

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ThiscouldimplythateventhisyagyahadnoeffectoverRavana,whowasthebestatdoing
differentyagyas.ThisisoneofthereasonswhymaybetheVanaracouldnotdefeathim.He
was just too powerful, and very much older than all of the other main characters. Also,
HanumanjiwasajuniorofficerofhispeopleandsosincetheyhadanalliancewithRavanhe
couldnotjeopardisethisbyfightinghimlikeamaverick.Justliketoday,ancientarmieshad
rulesthathadtobeobeyed.So,hehelpsSugrivaandRamaformanallianceandconvinced
thepeopletofightagainstRavan.WealsoseethatVibhishanalsowasinfavourofRama.
Thatcouldnothavehappenedovernight.Maybetheycultivatedafriendshipinsecretandhe
wastheirmoleinLamka.Therearenumerouspossibilities.
It was said that Sita was given a special cloth by Kaushalya, that would never need to be
washed.Recentlyscientistshaveinventedsuchclothsthatgetcleanedbybacteriaanddo
not have to be washed for long periods. More information can be read on internet. This is
advancedscience.Anotherpuzzleisthatif,asmentionedinthestorytheyhadbeenthrown
outofAyodhyaaspaupers,thanhowdidSitagetjewelswhichsheapparentlythrewoutof
thevimanwindowwhenRavanabductedher?Ancientsculpturesalsotellusthatwomendid
notwearsareesbutdhotisandblouseswithadupattadrapedontop.Soitalljustdoesntadd
up! This reads better as a metaphor where the jewels represent the jewels of wisdom or
riddhi siddhi. So Sita, the tapasvi tries to access her inner divine Hram by using those, or
giving those up, since this is necessary. She was known as Vaidehi from the land of the
Videhaswhoarehighleveltapasvis.Onecanreadalotofinformationontheinternetabout
Videhamuktas,whohadmasteredtheirgrossmatter,andgivenupbodilydesires.Sothereis
nowaythatSitaisahelplesswomanbyanystandards.
WethencometothepointwhereitissaidthatameredhobiinfluencedRamandhedeserted
Sita. Once again this has been misinterpreted. There is a very famous bhajan by Sant
Mirabai:
Shyampiyamorirangdechunariya
Eisirangdekerangnahichhoote,
Dhobiyadhowechahesariumariya
Here, the chunariya symbolises her mind stuff. It could also refer to the colours of the
chakrasthatcanbeseenwhentheygetactivated.Shealsopraysthatthecolourshouldbeso
strongthatthedhobishouldnotbeabletowashitawayevenifhetriesalllifelong.One
wouldthinkthatperhapsshehasusedthelineaboutdhobionlyasapoeticmetaphor.Butif
onelooksdeeperonewouldwonderwhyancientbhaktasalwaysreferredtodhobi.Evenin
theRamayana,thedhobiraisesaquestionaboutSita,andthensheleavesRama.Manyhave
blamedRamaforthissayingthathedesertedhiswifeonameredhobisinstigation.Butone
needstopauseandthinkabouthowlifemusthavebeenintheTretaYuga.Beforejumping
tohastyconclusionsoneshouldreadupinformationonancientVedicgovernance.
Dr.Sanjeev Kumar Sharma Editor, Indian Journal of Political Science, Department of
Political Science Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut5 (U.P.), writes in India Good
GovernanceinAncientIndiaRememberingKingshipinShantiparavamofMahabharat:
The cabinet of the king should contain four Brahmins with knowledge of Vedas, eight
Kshatriyas with immense physical force and power, twenty one Vaishyas with prosperity,
threeSudraswithbenevolenceandgoodmannersandoneSutaknowingPuranas.
Also, D.K. Agarwal and Suresh Chandra Shukla, Dept. of chemistry Lucknow University)
writeinWashermanandWashingMaterialsinAncientIndia,that:
Ancient society was divided into four varnas. The last varna known as ksudra had a
subclassknownasrajakaanditsprofessionwastowashclothes.Thiswasoneofthefive
specialcategoriesofworkerswhoweregivenahigherplaceassilpinsorartisans,theother
fourclassesofartisansbeingcarpenter,weaver,barberandshoemaker.Theywereregarded
as a superior class of workers. (see Indian Journal of History of Science, 19 (4): 314322
(1984).

This proves that the dhobi was not merely a lowly servant but a respected member of the
government who also represented that section of society. In those days people were eco
friendly and did not use chemicals. They used natural elements which required detailed
knowledge of the herbs, geography, flora, fauna etc. They even used herbs for fuel as is
mentionedintheVaimaikaShastra.Inaprojectstudyconductedbywg.Cdr.M.P.Rao,etc.
of Aeronautical Society of India on behalf of Aerospace Information Panel of Aeronautics
ResearchandDevelopmentBoarditismentionedthat:
Direct references on Ayruveda occurs in relevant aspects of this work, such as foods in
consonance with the seasons, making specialized concentrated food preparations and
discussing poisons plants. Among the many other uses of plants are included developing
textilematerialsfromplantsformakingclothandgarmentsforthepilots,usingtheoilofthe
seedsofGhontaaapparentlyforrunningtheairplane,useofplantsinrunningthebellows,
inmetallurgicalpracticesemployingplantsandplantproductsandthelike.
Theworkalsomentionsthat:
oPilots belonging to Dwija classBrahmins, Kshatriyas &Vysyas, were forbidden to
consumeflesh.
oRestrictionoffleshintheirdietfordwija&nondwijaclassesofthesocietyfocusesontwo
significantobservations.
oAviator could be from any branch of the community without the usual barriers of
Chaturvarna system that prevailed in ancient India. Perhaps the vital qualitative
requirementswereskillandfitness.
TheaboveshouldprovethatRamdidnoteatfleshofanimalsbutonlyoffruitsandplants.
Also,thestorymentionshowRamandLaxmanwereoftencalledupontokillAsuraswho

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Also,thestorymentionshowRamandLaxmanwereoftencalledupontokillAsuraswho
weredisruptingyagyasbythrowingmeatinthekund.Ifyagyasinvolvedmeateating,they
would not bother to kill anyone and probably enjoy a good barbeque together! The
ashwamedhayagyahasbeendescribedbysomeasinvolvingeatingmeatofhorses.Thistoo,
soundsillogical.VedicscientistswereknownasAshvinau.SothewordAshvacouldmean
scientificknowledge.Medhameanswisdom.Sothepurposeoftheyagyacouldbetospread
science and wisdom at the speed of a horse in the land. This is why people expected the
supremacyofRamasthechakravartiraja.Yagyasweredoneforvariousreasonsatdifferent
timesandshouldnotbelumpedunderone.Ifinlateryearspeopleatemeatitcouldbefor
differentreasonssuchasfamine,lackofadequatefoodwhenonamissionorsimplylackof
disciplineandeachcaseshouldbetreateddifferently.Itisunwisetokeepmakingsweeping
statements and explaining away history covering millions of years in a mixed up way
withoutestablishingthetimelineandotherfactors.
Thus, one can assume that even dhobis/rajakas were highly educated. And since they
probably had a panchayat system where some were elected representatives of their guilds,
theirwordcarriedweight.TheymusthavefeltthatsinceSitahadbeenelectedtodotherole
ofrajaandbecorulerwithRamasheshouldnotresignsinceshemusthavebeendoinga
good job. A vanavas during which sattvic karmas were done was looked upon as a higher
qualification done to serve the public better. Or, a doubt could have been raised but not
about her character as a woman. In those days people were more mature, and not unduly
obsessedwithsuchissuesasmanydidnotdosuchactivitiesforrandompleasures.(Thevery
factthattheyhadhighcalibrerajasliketheSuryavanshisandJanakasprovesthatthepublic
too must have been highly advanced in sadhna. Just like in an army, if someone is of the
calibreofacadet,therewillbesomeonewhoisacorporal,captainetc.).Maybetheywere
notsurethatshewouldbeabledoherjobsuccessfullyasRavanhadthereputationforbeing
extremelypowerful,andsinceshehadbeenhishostage/prisoner,theymayhavefeltthatshe
hadperhapsbecometraumatisedoradverselyinfluenced.MetaphoricallyRavanasLamkais
likeMayainwhichtheJiva(Sita)getstrapped.VanorVaticaiseitherjungleorpathof
Ashoka, which means without sorrow, therefore of pleasure. The asuric/demonic creatures
troublingherwerethetemptationsofmayathatkeepusbound.ButSitamanagestoremain
unbound/unaffectedlikealotusflowerandsoherinnerdivineRamcomesandrescuesher.
Throughoutthestorytherehavebeennumerousincidentsofhowevenrushisofhighcalibre
havebeendefeatedbyRavan.ItisobviousthatanyonewouldwonderhowSita,whowasa
raja, and so of a lower calibre than a rushi, could have come out unscathed from that
experience.Also,sincethecorulerwasalsosupposedtobethetantricsexpartneritwould
create a dilemma since such practices were done for the betterment of society. This was
because the energies that the couple could generate would make them very powerful as a
team and enable them to serve the people better and destroy asuras. So they must have
decided to send her to the ashram which was not like an orphanage. It was a place where
tapasvisofhighcalibrewentforfurthereducationandtrainingamongotherthings.Thereis
no reason to believe that a highly educated person like Sita was like a helpless village
woman. If she wanted she could have gone to her parents house or got alimony etc. But
sincethatwasnotthelifestyleofthosetimes,itspointlessreadingthestoryinthatway.

Everypersoninancientsocietyhadaplaceorposting.Whenchildrenwereborntheylived
withparentsforsomeyearsandthenwenttoresidentialgurukulswhichweretheirhomes
until they graduated. After that they went to their postings or guilds depending on their
chosen vocation based on their prarabdha karmas, abilities and calibre in order to do their
swadharma which involved serving desh and dharma. They were mentored by the experts
andtrainedtotakeoverfromthem.Incasechangesweretobemadetheywenttoashramsto
consultandtrainwithrushis.Justlikeinanarmytoday.Thisisthecontextinwhichitwas
saidthatpeopleshoulddotheirdutiesandnotleavetheirpostsunmannedinthevarnashram
system.Itwasneveraboutbullyinganddiscriminating.Problemshavehappenedinkaliyug
regardingthisbuttheoriginalsystemshouldnotbeblamedasanyorganisationisboundto
haveastructureandahierarchy.Everyonecannotdoliterallythesamejobinthesamepost
at the same time. One cannot have two commanders/managers in the same post. They
usuallyworkedtogetherliketheteaminthefamousmoviesStarTrek.So,evenaSuta,did
not mean inferior servant but a junior officer. He was supposed to be an expert in the
Puranaswhichwasnomeantask.Itinvolvedmemorisingthetextsaswellasbeingableto
explainthemasandwhentherajawantedguidance.
ThisisprobablywhyArjunobjectstofightingwithKarna.InthatcontextSutaPutradoes
not mean biological son of a Suta, since everyone knew that noone knew about Karnas
biologicalparents.ItreferstohismentorswhowereSutas.Competitionbeingstiff,justlike
today,apersoncouldberejectedfornotgettingamereonepercentmore.Similarly,Karna
wasrejectedbysomeguruseventhoughhewasverycapablebecausetherealreadywereso
manykshatriyacandidatesandtheyprobablydidnotwantonemorejoiningthefray.Or,that
hewassogoodatbeingaSutathattheyneededhimmoreinthatfield.Or,becausehewas
highlyunpredictableashehadprovedduringhisstudentdayswhenhehadliedtohisguru
abouthisqualificationsandclaimedtobeaBrahmanboy.Wecanneverbetoosure.
All the characters in any ancient story can be read as archetypes as the tale applies to all
humans.Wecanneverbehundredpercentsurewhattheauthorsintendedwhenwritingthese
tales but we should read it in the context of the Vedic lifestyle of those times. The main
purpose has always been to educate and inform. The stories cover many branches of
knowledge such as botany, zoology, science, politics, karmasadhna system, geography,
astrology,psychology,geologyandalotmore.Oneonlyhastolookdeepandnottakethings
atfacevalueinordertounderstandthemessageofourancients.
For example, the Ram setu bridge does not have only a religious significance. In fact our
ancientreligionhasalwaysbeenabouthowweexistinmayaandhowtoimproveourlives.
ItlinksIndiatoLamkaandhelpsbalancethelandmass.Ifremoveditcouldcausealotof
damage to the region. The twelve Jyotirlingas were made in places where the balance has

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damage to the region. The twelve Jyotirlingas were made in places where the balance has
beenconsidereddelicate.Theyaremadeofmeteoricstonesororiginalshaligramwhichhave
propertiesthatcanbetermeddivine,sincetheyareuncommononearthandverypowerfulif
activatedintherightwaybytherightperson.Alltheancientstoriesareaboutsuchdivine
qualities within and without but have been explained in terms of actual people. This is
because the Sanskrit language has a gender for all nonliving things too. And also, the
energiesareexplainedintermsofgroupsthatthosequalitiesfallunder.Themalequalities
and the female qualities which may roughly be explained as the yin and the yang, or as
thosederivedfromtheidaorpingalanadis,irrespectiveofthegenderofthegrossbody.

Ithelpstounderstandbetterifonechecksthedictionarymeaningsofthenamesandreads
themincontextofthesadhnasystem.Ibelieveancientnameswerelikedescriptivenouns,
ratherthanarandomchoice.MostSanskritwordsarecompoundwordsandithelpstocheck
theetymology.Educationanddevelopmentinthosedayswasmeasuredintermsofprogress
onthesadhnapathandsohastobereadaccordingly.Itisuptopeopletostopdenigrating
ourancientsandworktogetherasateamforourcollectivefuture.Whenonesknowledge
increasesoneisbetterabletounderstandourancients.
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