The Ramayana: Reflections On Common, Fundamental Aspects Of World Civilization

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The Ramayana: Reflections On Common, Fundamental Aspects Of World Civilization

Human civilization touches on three important aspects namely religion, social and political attributes of the society as illustrated in various epics. In this discourse, Ramayana is discussed with a reflection of how other civilizations incorporated the three or some of the society attributes mentioned. Ramayana is a poetic epic describing ancient Indian interactions with religion and sociopolical factors in the civilization. Basic teachings on life of the ordinary Indian and perhaps that of many Asians are depicted in the life of the epic characters in the series of books touching on the narrative. Ideals of life in the various perspectives depicted in the lifestyles adopted in the presentation of the main characters achieve the intended furnishing and teachings of the epic. King Dasaratha has three wives and four sons among them, Rama, Lakshmana and Satrughna with first wife Queen Kaushlaya and Bharata with a second and younger wife, Queen Kaikeyi (Mythome para.9).

Prince Rama was next in line to the throne of his father and King but faced the obstacle in form of his step mother who proposed her son Bharata for the same despite being younger. Under the King’s decree on a promise to fulfill two desires of this wife, she had Rama banished paving the way for her son’s rise to the throne. Rama’s wife, Sita and his younger brother, Lakshmana accompanied him on his forest retreat (Mythome para.5). These events happened behind Bharata’s back and he sought Rama into the forest upon learning the sad developments. Rama refused to return as Bharata pleaded but his promise to wait for his banishment to end for him to return to his rightful position on the throne strengthens their relationship to the dismay of the Bharata’s mother. The epic concludes in a scene of abduction of Sita where Rama spirited fight secures her release and demands for a sign of her purity before he could accept her back into his life. Rama proceeds to his throne as promised by his step-brother, paving in a time of a success regime guided by virtue and justice. Upholding one’s dharma is taught in the story with these main characters taking the fore front.

Sociocultural teachings of virtue in the society are flouted by evil characters such as Bharata’s mother and the demon abducting Sita. Political rot is seen when the king fails to deliver justice to his kingdom just for the sake of a promise to his scandalous young wife. On the other hand, vices are defeated by the cooperation shown by the young people who turn evil away and follow their dharma. Religion and virtues as depicted in the epic constitute an important part of the society if justice in political and social scenes is to thrive. Most stable civilizations in the human history are perhaps built on the willingness of harmony in sociopolitical and religious teachings.

Similarities with Other Epics

Ramayana is similar in presentation to the Epic of Gilgamesh by taking the poetry form contained in a series of tablets as is the case of books in Ramayana. The King of Uruk despite having both deity and human forms does not discharge justice to his people just as King Dasaratha as seen in the Ramayana. Vices such as prostitution and oppression emerge and young men such as Enkidu emerge to fight against it and the convers.............


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