In the previous episode we saw how and why are the “Ithihaasaas” more significant than the “Puraanaas” in the Hindu Literature. In today’s episode we shall look into yet another very important fact as to why is the Ramayana considered more significant than the Mahabhaarata.We shall see a few justifications for the above statement.
The first justification goes like this: It’s known to all of us that the Mahabhaarata describes the life incidences of Bhagawan Krishna and the Ramayana describes the life incidences of Lord Rama. If we take the Ramayana, we see the presence of Lord Rama in all the seven Kaandaas (Parts) – Right from the beginning till the end of the story. However, does the Mahabhaarata completely talk about Lord Krishna in all the eighteen “Paruvaas” (Parts) from the starting till the end? The answer would be “NO”! The Mahabhaarata talks about numerous people like Ganga, Gaangeyaa, Amba, Ambaalika, Paandavaas, Kauravaas, Dhirduraashtra, etc and Lord Krishna is just a miniscule part of the entire epic called Mahabhaarata. In fact, the author of the Mahabhaarata – the Great Sage Veda Vyaasa himself was confused if he had conveyed properly what he had to convey, and that’s the main reason he modified and re-wrote the entire thing as the “Bhaagavatha Puraana”. This kind of a shortcoming cannot be seen in the Ramayana. Valmiki Maharishi was “to the point” in whatever he wanted to convey – right from the beginning till the end. He started the Ramayana with Lord Rama and completed it with the same Lord Rama. This is one of the main reasons why the Ramayana is considered extremely sacred in our “Bhaarata Desha” (India).
The second important point here is that, even though both Rama and Krishna are incarnations of the same Lord Vishnu Himself, both these incarnations have more differences than similarities between them. For instance, Lord Rama was born in the clan of Lord Surya (The Sun God) whereas Lord Krishna was born in the clan of Lord Chandra (The Moon God). Rama was born in a palace, whereas Lord Krishna was born in a jail. Rama was born during the daytime, whereas Krishna was born during the nighttime. Lord Rama incarnated on a “Navami” (Ninth) day of a month, whereas Lord Krishna incarnated on an “Ashtami” (Eighth) day of a month. For Lord Rama, his birthplace, the place where he lived his entire life and the place from which he returned back to “Vaikunta” (The Aborde of Lord Vishnu) were all the same – Ayodhya, whereas, for Lord Krishna everything was different – His birth place being Mathura, grew up at Gokula, lived in Dwaraka and departed to Vaikunta from “Prabaasu Theertha”. All in all, Lord Krishna doesn’t stay at one place and he keeps roaming here and there!! If all his dwelling places were different, even His words were different!! Whereas, Lord Rama knows only one word, one sentence, one arrow and one promise. But Lord Krishna… As per Aandaal’s paasuram (Paasuram in Tamil means verse),
Maalaai pirandha nambiyai maalai seiyum manaalanai!
Yelaappoigal uraippaanai inge podhakkandeere!!
Here, the phrase “Yelaappoigal uraippaanai” means, “the boy who always speaks lies”!! Aandaal, through this verse asks if someone had seen Krishna – the playful boy who just only speaks lies, anywhere. It’s only she who knows the truth, because she is His beloved wife!!
You might all be wondering why am I talking all bad things about Lord Krishna. The simple reason is that, this blog is dedicated to talk about Lord Rama and not about Krishna!! Maybe in future when I get the opportunity to write about Bhaagavata Puraanaa, we shall certainly see how Lord Krishna is better than Lord Rama!! However, there’s no competition here. Every incarnation of Bhagawan is divine and it’s a unique experience.
The third justification as to why Ramayana is much more significant than the Mahabhaarata: Although the Mahabhaarata talks at length about Lord Krishna, is there any significant section in the entire text that describes about his beloved wife Rukmini (The incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi)? Again, the answer is a “NO”! Whereas in the Ramayana, more than even Lord Rama, Goddess Sita Devi (again, the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi) plays an important role in the entire story, starting from the Baala Kaanda till the Utthara Kaanda! It’s only because the Ramayana is a description of both Lord Rama and Goddess Sita Devi together, it is referred as “Shrimad Ramayana”. Whereas, we just say “Mahabhaaratha” and not “Shrimad Mahabhaaratha”, just because there’s no significant description about Goddess Rukmini Devi.
Moreover, there is one significant person in the entire Ramayana story, who is still present at every place where the Ramayana is sung. He was present at the place when Lord Rama’s sons Lava and Kusha sang the Ramayana for the first time, and he is here with all of us even today when we talk about the Ramayana with tears of joy and bhakti (devotion) towards Lord Rama. Who is that person? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!!