Thursday, 11 June 2009

Who was Ram?

This is a bit off topic and there are many people who believe that he is GOD (including my parents and all my close relatives) or an incarnation of Vishnu might not like it. For me I am not too sure who he is (was).

A recent chilled out Saturday evening discussion with a friend sparked this, which also brought out some of the books that I had read when I was a school going kid. Do I really believe in Ram? I am not sure. What I do know is that I do not believe that there was no one like that. Was a he a GOD or was he someone like Lord Buddha or Lord Mahavir who were real but were so ahead of their time and had such a lasting impact on history that we have to believe them to be GOD.

Long time back when I was just a school going kid I had read a book written by Bhagwan Singh "Apne Apne Ram”. And after that discussion I did a simple Google search to find about that book or if I can find it on net to read it again. Google does not throw a big light on that apart from confirming that there is indeed such book and one of the sites says that I can buy it for INR 250. Also this book is offered in some Hindi Literature course in some University.

While it’s been really a long time back but I still remember reading also discussing that book with my parents.

What Bhagwan Singh has written is a novel, which positions the story of Ram in contemporary context and makes you believe that most of the things attributed to the story of Ram could have happened.

Through the eyes of Bhagwan Singh you can easily identify some of the places that are associated with Ram. Like who could be king of Gods (Indra). Why is that story of Agastya asking Vindhya not to grow any further and crossed it and stayed south of it. Who was Ravan and why he behaved the way he behaved. This was one of the most engrossing books on story of Ram that I had read at that time and it was almost as if I read a true story without any doubt on existence of anyone of the characters.

Then after some time Narendra Kohli(A trivia: he has studied in the same school as me) came along and I got a chance to lay my hands on some of his books. Wiki says that Narendra Kohli is

"widely acclaimed as the most prominent Hindi language author of modern times[citation needed][1]. [2] Leader of cultural renissance in Hindi literature in modern times [2], he is credited with reinventing the ancient form of epic writing in modern prose. [3]. His contribution to Hindi literature is often compared to the legendary writer Premchand[3],"

He had written his story of Ram in multiple parts each defining one big part of his life as well as showcasing he achievements and his struggle. To me Narendra Kohli's Ram appeared to be a person who is trying to break the barriers existed in the society at that time, trying to unifying the country and a person who is pragmatic enough to negotiate deals with different kings, inventor and innovator of arms, someone who is trying to build an equal society for everyone. Again yet another narration which makes you believe the existence and tries to explain many things which seems impossible for normal human beings. In this narration again Ram through his deeds and character brings confidence into public and slowly gains that aura where he can be compared with GOD.

While these two stories had good impact on me and somewhere made me think of Ram as a person who was so ahead of his time that he almost appeared like a GOD. We are yet to get to that part of history and history experts are yet to get enough evidences when they can say with certainty if Ram was indeed a historical person (which I think he was) with amazing abilities and not a very very beautiful creation of Valmiki.

Some of the people I know, while on a trip to Rameshwaram made it a point to go to that part of the sea side which is supposed to be that bridge, although seems like it was not easily accessible. One of the pages from official SriLanka tourism site tries to explain their story.

[This is purely based on my thinking]

13 comments:

  1. Hinduism is a great religion. We worship the very gods whose existence/godliness we doubt! This questioning and turning of Hindu scriptures and deities into epics and myths was started by the British, for obvious reasons. Of course, biblical stories were never spoken of as myths etc. The Godliness of Jesus or his existence was never questioned. Muslims of course do not even dare to question the possibility of the Prophet receiving the word of God through an angel who no could see or hear.

    If you study Hindu scriptures, you will find that they are all so interconnected that if you take out one major deity, for example, the whole edifice is affected. For example, if you question the existence of Lakshmi, then the existence of various avatars of Vishnu and even Shiva is questionable. If you worship these Gods,then questioning their existence or divinity is illogical. Can you imagine a Christian, for example, worshipping Jesus if he believes stories that say he never existed or others that do not believe in his divinity?

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  2. Vinod sir .. while i to believe in GOD and i do believe all those GODs that we have .. sounds illogical .. but thats why i love my religion .. It gives me that freedom of testing my beliefs .. and re-affirming them ... allows me to define them as i want them .. i am not sure if others provide the same freedom (although i must say that i do not know enough about them to make any claims)..

    I am pretty sure if we really do honest research in History (which somehow we are not doing even after 60 yrs of independence) many of these figures will appear to true and not myths. I find most of our stories (so called myths) very logical.

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  3. SP, for me Ram is God.Youmay have a topic for discussions.Would you like to start a similar dialouge for the Muslims and the Christians?Try it.Yes I know,the Govt gave an affidevit to the SC saying Ram did not exist...that is politics

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  4. The Concept of GOD is bounded by human mind because we only think of GOD and it may be possible there is nothing called GOD also. If you can refer to Upanishads (don't know exact one) you will find such things. So since it is bound by human mind we are free to worship anything on earth as GOD which gives us all those which our mind wants from the GOD. Ideal Values, Confidence,Helping hand,Right Direction, Enlightenment,Happiness, worldly pleasure etc. Hinduism is based on this concept only, in which any stone, tree, framed piece of paper of photo, even the vacuum (Shoonya) becomes GOD. It is pointless to argue about who is GOD and who is not. Every thing is GOD at the same time nothing is GOD in particular.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Chowla sir .. I do not doubt Existence of Ram. For me all the stories about him are true. Any doubt very easily vanishes through the logics of Bhagwan Singh.

    To me Ram even if was an incarnation of Vishnu he still earned his Greatness through his deeds .. I think that was the whole purpose of leading and exemplary life.


    Pangala Sir . you are right i also believe in the same concept. But for me its not about who is GOD and who is not. Its about what i believe in and i found that those books helped me get more clarity on my thoughts at the same time establishing his existence.

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  7. There is always been a clash between the actual history and myths.
    While history is based on archeological survey, physical proofs and any other reference proof which are based on 5 senses of our body, mythological stories are from the mind which is above all 5 senses. It is obvious that there are many things in world which can not be sensed by our 5 senses and so it is true that history based on measurement of 5 senses are also not complete.
    Since everything in world is nothing but what we feel in our mind which is ultimately waves and according to law of conservation of energy energy of whole universe remains same, so the things which are felt by mind are never losing waves and are the real fact. All the waves which had happened in past and is happening now all are present on this universe. It is only felt by inner mind when we concentrate on it. It is like you feel uneasy and sense something whenever something bad/good happens to your most loved one who are far from you. (Telepathy)
    So by combining all these if you concentrate your mind and move on with a path you can see the past of a person/thing. This is how Hindu mythology is written there is no doubt about this.
    As Vinodji explained all the stories even though written by different authors at different times matches exactly in all aspects like name of person, places, incident etc.
    Further, more than glory of individual person you will find ideal values, spiritual truths which are true irrespective of time and place in such great epics of mankind. So to question the reality of it is just foolishness and blindness.

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  8. The last sentence of my last comment was not to be meant as personal wrath on author.
    I understand and appreciate the feelings of the author. It is common that these doubts come to any normal person. From ages these doubts are suppressed by many and never tried to explain the fact and real meaning behind each such doubts. Because of which the current younger generation which have more freedom of asking question are not able to get answers even they have open mind towards Hindu myths/history. Then we blame that younger generation are not supportive to Hindu tradition etc.
    Let the question come and let it come in the open mindset of accepting the ultimate truth which is for betterment of mankind let not go away from answering, let us go beyond our bounds, narrow minded thinkings and find the ultimate answer. Let the wishes of our GREAT rushis in Veda, Upanishads be continued.

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  9. This is my personal opinion, but I feel that whether Shri Ram was a God or not -or even whether He existed or not- the answers to these questions are not important. What is important is the belief, the faith in him that exists in the hearts of Hindus.

    Whether or not he was born in Ayodhya, whether or not he and his Vanarsena bult the Setu- these should not be issues to be proven by impirical evidence. That Hindus believe them to be true should be enough.

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  10. Pangala: What i believe is Ram was real and not a myth. Now how do we explain that he is a GOD .. we have someone like Lord Buddha or Lord Mahavir .. who were on earth in flesh and blood.. similarly Ram was here and so were few others who are termed as myth .. And thats why all the stories (which are termed as myth) matches exactly in their core ..

    I believe that its a beauty of our religion that it allows you to doubt and provides enough instances or evidences to reaffirm your belief .. And i think thats the core that has allowed it to survive and thrive

    Manju: You are right faith is key. At the same time we have a real chance to prove that he is real and not a myth (as who oppose tend to shout) as we have loads of evidence and these books make it logical and compelling.

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    लबरेज़ है शराबे-हक़ीक़त से जामे-हिन्द[1]

    सब फ़ल्सफ़ी हैं खित्ता-ए-मग़रिब के रामे हिन्द[2]

    ये हिन्दियों के फिक्रे-फ़लक[3] उसका है असर,

    रिफ़अत[4] में आस्माँ से भी ऊँचा है बामे-हिन्द[5]

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    है राम के वजूद[8] पे हिन्दोस्ताँ को नाज़,

    अहले-नज़र समझते हैं उसको इमामे-हिन्द

    एजाज़ [9] इस चिराग़े-हिदायत[10] , का है यही

    रोशन तिराज़ सहर[11] ज़माने में शामे-हिन्द

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    पाकीज़गी[14] में, जोशे-मुहब्बत में फ़र्द था
    शब्दार्थ:
    ↑ हिन्द का प्याला सत्य की मदिरा से छलक रहा है
    ↑ पूरब के महान चिंतक हिन्द के राम हैं
    ↑ महान चिंतन
    ↑ ऊँचाई
    ↑ हिन्दी का गौरव या ज्ञान
    ↑ देवता
    ↑ ऊँचे आसन पर
    ↑ अस्तित्व
    ↑ चमत्कार
    ↑ ज्ञान का दीपक
    ↑ भरपूर रोशनी वाला सवेरा
    ↑ वीरता
    ↑ एकमात्र
    ↑ पवित्रता

    ReplyDelete
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