In the great Indian epic

In the great Indian epic - In the great Indian epic The...

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In the great Indian epic, The rRamayana, the reader is introduced to the divine character, Rama, son of King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya of Alohyda. According to the poet Valmiki’s version of the story, Rama is the human incarnation of the great God Vishnu and the embodiment of Dharma , and thus “a perfect man.” (xxi) However, despite the seemingly perfection of Rama, we are sporadically reminded that he is still human, therefore may be susceptible to the mistakes and errors that all men are prone to. The most famous example is in the episode of Rama and Vali, the son of Indra and the monkey king of Kishkindh. As Rama and his brother Lakshmana are urgently seeking for the kidnapped Sita, they run into a troubled Sugreeva, a monkey and brother of Vali. Rama listens to Sugreeva’s story and offers to help the monkey in exchange for saving Sita. Rama’s decision to help Sugreeva can be easily understood, both being in somewhat of similar predicaments. Rama probably felt like he could relate to Sugreeva’s suffering and took pity on him. Sugreeva had also seen Ravana carrying off Sita and collected Sita’s jewelry, thrown by the later as clues for her rescuers. The sight of his beloved’s possession causes Rama to be engulfed in emotion and sheds tears in front of Lakshmana and Sugreeva. At this poignant moment, Rama must have felt the urgency of rescuing Sita more than ever, and being in desperate need of assistance to search all the corners of the earth for Ravana, he promises Sugreeva Vali’s death in exchange for locating Sita. Rama’s first apparent mistake may have been in getting between the two brothers quarrel, for even Lakshmana is unsure and questions whether Rama “should participate in this struggle [between mere monkeys]” (p. 99). But a principle theme in the Ramayana is the adherence to dharma, and thus once the promise to Sugreeva has been made, Rama must carry it through,
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much in the same way that King Dasaratha had to honor Kaikeyi’s wishes, regardless of his feelings about it. And thus Vali, the magnificent warrior, was shot and killed by a single arrow fired by
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In the great Indian epic - In the great Indian epic The...

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