Saturday, September 12, 2009

Love, Marriage, Philosophy and Physics

You won't believe it that I wrote this. Me, who worships the Gods of Bachelorhod every day . The guy who cannot bear to be addressed by honeyed words of the “honey,sweetie,cutie,babe” kind. Yes . I did write this . Stuff about love and marriage. At the cost of being banned for life from ze Cool Boys Club, I did write this.

A nocturnal conversation between the man who is my father, my teacher and my best friend, and yours truly , imbibed me with the following facts, mythological facts if you want it that way. And I digested them, and came up with this .

Ram is known as Marayada Purushottam Ram, the ideal man . Ideal man , he WAS , but the ideal husband he wasn't . He failed to perform his “patni-dharma” , and their marriage was tested and failed . It is as simple as that . There is nothing blasphemous about it . No Sir . No religious sentiments can be hurt by this one . This is the way it happened . And the conclusion is , that ideal man he was, he could not be the ideal husband. He loved her, but the affairs of his kingdom caught with him, and ruined his marriage.

The day , and I don't what day is it or what is it called , on which Ram and Sita were married is considered to be the unholiest day for marriage . Now don't go on shredding this logic by asking for scientific facts supporting this argument . Just look at it, as abstractly as possible , by believing in what happened rather than how did it happen , and you will see .

And the day the Destroyer married the Source of All Energy, the day Shiva married Parvati , is considered to be the holiest and the most auspicious day to marry. Mondays, as a day to fast, are very popular young single women seekking a kickass husband, because it is the day of the King of the Dancers, Mahesh . And why, because he WAS the ideal husband. He did not fail his wife, unlike Ram . Bhole Baba is a true Rockstar .

And don't look at this story as one from Hinduism. Abstraction again, look at what happened, and not where it happened. It just makes a lot of sense to me, in a very different way. They explain to me, the notion of marriage and the concept of love.

An ideal man can never be the ideal husband, and the ideal husband can never be the ideal man . It is like the concept of duality , they both co-exist and mutually .

Sometimes, and I don't know why, Hindu Mythology seems like Physics to me, told like a story or as a poem. I see Creation, Destruction, Preservation, Energy, Mater, Antimatter, Quantum Mechanics and what not. I can't really find out all the physics in it, but I can get the hang of some of it , some of the times .

p.s. Thou shall not blame the author if you were quietly scratching your head , or hurling abuses at me , after reading this . :)


Child Of Adam said...

Wow!! good one... and it indeed is somethin to ponder over.. "an ideal husband can never be an ideal man, n vice versa.. "..

Moral of the story: The ideal man is gay... hyuk hyuk hyuk...

Child Of Adam said...

NOTE TO ALL RELIGIOUS FANATICS: please don't begin to scrutinize my comment...

Anrosh said...

i like the interpretation of the mythological facts - i can hear onomatopoeia ringing here.

on another note
the ideal husband and the ideal man resides in a fools paradise

vimmuuu said...

Never thought all those from the physics angle. Now that its mentioned here, Im thinking !!

Btw, where does a non-ideal man like me and non-ideal husband, say Hitchy fit in ?? (sorry hitchy, im not aware of any other husbands in the blog samaj ;) )

ramblingsbybones said...

Child of Adam - good one!

indianhomemaker said...

Kislay this is the beauty of Hinduism... that we can make such observations.

I read (all quotes)..

"The most powerful indictment, however, comes from the people of Mithila, the region which is the parental homeland of Sita. We are told that Sita's being is part of the very consciousness of Mithila; she is all pervasive in the land, in the water, and in the air of Mithila. "Her pain sits like a heavy stone on the hearts of Mithila's people.

This sentiment comes through numerous folk songs of the region."


"Even today, people of Mithila avoid marrying off their daughters in Marg-Shish because that is the month Sita got married. Even today, people of Mithila do not want to marry their daughters into families living in Avadh, in fact anywhere west of Mithila.

They repeatedly recite Sita's name in marriage songs but Ram's name is omitted. At the end of the song there is usually one line which says "'such like Sita was married into Raghukul [the family name of Ram]'" (Dalmia, 1986)10 .

There is a beautiful folk song of Mithila ... in which a daughter tells her father what kind of a groom he should find for her. After describing various qualities she is looking for, the daughter advises her father: "Go search in the north, go south, or get me a groom from the east. But don't go westward,"

"Ram may not have rejected her as a wife but only as a queen in deference to social opinion, but Sita rejects him as a husband. In Kalidasa's Raghuvansha, after her banishment by Ram, Sita does not address Ram as Aryaputra (a term for husband that literally translates as son of my father-in-law) but refers to him as 'King' instead. For instance, when Lakshman comes to her with Ram's message, she conveys her rejection of him as her husband in the following words: "Tell the king on my behalf that even after finding me pure after the fire ordeal he had in your presence, now you have chosen to leave me because of public slander. Do you think it is befitting the noble family in which you were born?" (Kalidasa)3

His rejection of Sita is almost universally condemned while her rejection of him is held up as an example of supreme dignity... "

Will get you the link...

In a hurry now.

Loved this post!

Vinod_Sharma said...

I think as far as the example of Ram is concerned, it is not the ideal man vs ideal husband at all. He was both -till he had to choose between being a king and a husband. He chose Raj Dharm.

So, Ram's example tells us that an ideal king cannot be an ideal husband or even father. There is a price to be paid if you consider your subjects as your children as much as you do your biological ones. Gandhi was also an ideal "king". He stopped sleeping with his wife at the age of 39 and treated his children no differently from all other children.

If you view this in the present context, we find that plenty of our rulers, big and small, are ideal husbands and fathers. Perhaps that is why they cannot be ideal kings! In fact some of them are neither ideal husbands nor ideal kings!

manju said...

Nice post, Kislay! Why only Shriram? Conflicting loyalties confuse people in all ages.

Even today a person can find their loyalty to their parents conflicting with their loyalty to their spouse.

Many a mother has been torn between her duty towards her husband and that towards her children.

The list is endless...

Kartikey said...

absolutely. That's why hindus love and respect Ram. The idea of perfection in India is not the same as the idea of perfection in the West. Ram is knows as Marayada Purushottam and he is perfect; despite any shortcomings.
If the Rama avatar tells us about Raj Dharma and the conundrum between marriage and leadership, then the Krishna avatar is an example of kama as a means to bridge the gap.
I have been asked several times about Sita 'suffering' at the hands of Ram and how Indians can worship him. The perfection of man and its interpretations come largely inspired from outside India where it is unquestionable and at times unpardonable.

Added to reader.

wordsndreamz said...

That was amazing! I really like your analysis.

'Sometimes, and I don't know why, Hindu Mythology seems like Physics to me, told like a story or as a poem. I see Creation, Destruction, Preservation, Energy, Mater, Antimatter, Quantum Mechanics and what not.' - I agree ! This sounds so much like my discussions with my dad!

Loved this post!

hitch writer said...

the way people are reeling off posts...

and the way i m scratching my head...

I am soon gonna be left with no hair...

never mind vimmmuu !!!

amrit said...

Ram was an ideal man and may be not so ideal husband. How does that prove that an ideal man can never be the ideal husband?

1. Ramayana makes it very clear that Ram was not a 'man'. He was God's avatar.

2. Unless an 'ideal man' is defined, one cannot claim that Ram was an ideal man. He was what he was. See - if I define an ideal man as a man who has to be an ideal husband then your conclusion falls flats.

But interesting post anyway. :)

Chikki said...

Nice post, discussion above is all the more nice.Very informative for a person like me who knows shit about mythology.

IHM - Wonderful explaination, I simply loved it.

Child of Adam - So true!;)

Indian Home Maker said...

Chikki Thank You :)

BK Chowla said...

Ram was a RAJA,a Husband and a Father.One can be a good with all the three responsibilities.May be for Ram,his Praja was the last word.In any case ,it can not be generalised......

ritu said...

"An ideal man can never be the ideal husband, ..."
Awesome interpretation.. loved it.

And Y worry about Physics??!!??:)
Better code an application to determine ideal man/husband ;)..
Make a deal with one of the popular (Indian) marriage portals.
Then U would be an Ideal man with all the time n money 2 be an ideal husband..;)

mesoliloquy said...

Kislay, I was just beginning to think where you disappeared and then saw this on my reader today. :)

Well written! that is the beauty of Hindu mythology. We can interpret as we please and there is so much flexibility.

I know almost all women call Ram an ordinary man and object to his 'Maryada purushottam' tag. I being a Ram bhakt have been in debates over this a lot of times. :))

The things is that our mythology is interconnected. For every deed there is a reason. People who often question just his deeds are unaware of the story behind it. In my opinion, either follow all the stories or else just leave it as it is.

My question to all: everyone worships Gandhiji and call him father of the nation. What did he do?

Was he a good husband?
Was he a good father?

He gave his life for the nation but he was never there for his family.

Why do people respect and revere such a person? Can't the same be applicable to Ram?

Amrutha said...

Kislay!!! Did you really write this? I love the abstraction, the logic...everything! Way to go dude!! :-)

amreekandesi said...

Very interesting conclusion - "An ideal man can never be the ideal husband, and the ideal husband can never be the ideal man."

I'd love to get some definitions on the ideal man and ideal husband to muse over this intriguing thought.

Chrysalis said...

Kislay: Hello I am back from hibernation and yours is the first post I read.

Very interesting and I must applaud u for your barvery for even tackling the subject...I have tried many times and chickened out.

Anyways in my humble opinion, it was not Ram who left Sita but Raja Ram who left Rani Sita. He did it keeping the inetrests of the state in mind. His decision conflicted with his emotions for Sita, definitely yes. But he never doubted her. A King gave up his Queen for political and national reasons. Its not the same as a husband giving up his wife. He had taken ekpatni vrat and hence he sat for the yagya with Sita's moorti by his side, though the shastras allowed him to remarry for conducting yagyas...he refused to do so saying his heart remains with Sita.

But do not agree with IHM or Mr. Dalmia whose research is being quoted here. Things maybe so to some extent in Mithila, but we still have little girls being named Sita and happily so.

Sita never rejected Ram. Infact in one instance when Ram says he will leave her she is sad and she says you should have left me 10 months ago , why did you go into all this trouble of war etc. In this instance her character becomes more brilliant than Ram's.
She understood Ram's responsibility and never blamed him. Its like saying the Army wives who lose their husbands in war regret marrying them because the husband knowingly sacrificed his life fot the nation, leaving them alone to fend for themsleves.

Ram's act and Sita's acceptance of it is to be viewed as an act of supreme scarifice for the nation.

BTW there are 18 Ramayans.....Valmiki Ramayan being the most authentic, and Tulsidas's Ramayan also holding a strong position....but it is Valmiki's version we should rely on for fact checking.....if we read some others we are reading stuff full of 'chamatkaar' and not so true incidents meant to please little children.....better to be forewarned than to judge wrongly :)

Sarkywoman said...

Really good post. "An ideal man cannot be an ideal husband". The duties of an ideal man conflict with that of the duties of an ideal husband.

Like some people above quoted "Gandhi was not an ideal father or husband, yet we idolise him". He could either be true to the nation or to his family. He HAD to make a sacrifice.

Similarly, Ram had to sacrifice Sita for his Kingdom.

Until now, I was NOT a fan of Ram (or Ram Bhakt, if you prefer) only on account of his leaving Sita this way. But, after reading your post, I understand.

Vinod_Sharma said...

I think one more aspect that is overlooked by those who criticise King Ram for sacrificing Queen Sita is that Ram the man sacrificed his own love and life too. After Sita left, Ram never slept on his royal bed. Like her He slept on the floor and lived like a hermit in the midst of opulence because as a man, he could not let himself enjoy the pleasures and comforts of a king when the love of his life was not.

Mavin said...

What an eclectic mix....and what comments exhibiting deep erudition.

If you permit, I shall scratch my head a trifle non-plussed and observe silently.

The alternative is to blabber and suffer the pain of appearing foolish.

IHM and Vinod, as ususal, take the pole position.


nimis540 said...

A different,fresh post.. :)

indyeahforever said...

you know what I absolutely LOVE about the way you think and write?:D
the fact that you can and do use words like unlike Ram . Bhole Baba is a true Rockstar .
:D:D now to think of 'THE' gods like that just makes me crack up :D:Dand thankful that the rational and sane generation doesn't find it blasphemous to write like this:)))

I kind of agree with Vinod Sir's comment about a king(or queen for that matter) not being able to fulfill his/her responsibilities as a wife/mother/father/husband well......and yes GAndhiji is another such example...

I too love Hindu mythology and even the religion for precisely this reason:) there is so much much room for interpretation...

PS:- Why this worshiping of bachelor gods everyday dear friend?

ye gods !!!give this poor lad some sense! :P

all committed guys are referred to as honey bear , cutie pie and such like ?:D:D and who is feeding all this mumbo jumbo to you?:D:D


Sometimes, and I don't know why, Hindu Mythology seems like Physics to me, told like a story or as a poem. I see Creation, Destruction, Preservation, Energy, Mater, Antimatter, Quantum Mechanics and what not. I can't really find out all the physics in it, but I can get the hang of some of it , some of the times . count me in too as one then:)) seems the same way to me as well:)

craftyshines said...

se kislay erm al-kisladin, i knew from day one u were cool!!!

this is an awesome read! drawing parallels... u r theuncrowned king of that!

loved ur analogy of ideal man and ideal husband.. by far, i think they both are myths! :P :P

can the twain meet? no comments... coz i genuinely have no clue!

all this seems like physics?? *shudder* that's a word i really hate, right after the word "math"

love... shud be chemistry ideally!


i did scratch my head, but for now, i will blame dry scalp.

ur post is kickass!

J P Joshi said...

A very good post. I tend to agree with the above comments; two of them by Vinod Sharma and the long one by Chrysalis. Yes, Raja Ram did not fault, and husband Ram could have faulted BUT then He was looking after the larger interest rather than a selfish interest... that is probably the case with most idealists.

Charakan said...

Interesting and thought provoking post. The story is told in such a way that each one of us can interpret the way he or she likes So I may interpret husband Ram's actions as an example no husband should follow. So I may strive to be both an ideal man and a good husband. Since I am not a King I do not face the dilemma faced by Ram.With the advent of democracy family life of the ruler should be irrelevant now.

Charakan said...
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Charakan said...
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venkatesh said...

Hey Kislay, For a change I may not agree with you here... Ideal man can be ideal husband too.. Let me not get into Ram's case..
\But good logic, the selection of words etc etc :) said...

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nimis540 said...

Where are you?????????????/

I followed you fron Ritu's place and reached a weird

Try visiting that site..Your spelling mistake gave me heart attack..I was wondering when did Kislay become a chrisitian missionary :)

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