ramayana1 - Ramayana 1 Hindu Values as Reflected in the...

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Ramayana 1 Hindu Values as Reflected in the Ramayana Culture and tradition have often been passed from generation to generation through literature in the form of folklores and epics which embody the aspirations, norms, and cultural values of societies. These norms include specific gender roles, standards of leadership qualities, familial ties, and concepts of honor which which every individual member of a society is expected to ascribe to. Therefore, in many cultures, the role of literature, more than to entertain, is to demonstrate upon the people the proper ways by which human beings live, which is most often by emulating the ‘good’ values of the characters in a story or a tale, and conversely, to spurn or avoid the ‘evil.’ In Hindu culture, among the most significant influence of teaching is the Ramayana , whose principal character Rama battles the demon Ravana for his wife Sita who was kidnapped by the latter. The Ramayana is considered not only as a tale but also a vehicle of enculturation for Hindu children and tenets by which Hindu adults model their lives and personalities after. In the epic, values such as courage, love, chastity, religious piety, compassion, justice, uprightness, and knowledge are exhorted. There is also a clear definition of the qualities that men and women should aspire for. Religious Hindu Values The Ramayana therefore provides the symbol of human perfection in the personas of Rama and Sita. In the epic, the former is presented as the only male human being who can fulfill the descriptions “virtuous, heroic, true…firm of his vows, of grateful mind, to every creature good and kind, bounteous, and holy, just,
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Ramayana 2 and wise” which makes him “alone most fair to all men’s eyes.” On the other hand, Sita is “most excellent of women” who is blessed with “a miracle of loveliness” (Ramayana, 142) who remains “pure from spot and stain” (Ramayana 142) despite being taken hostage by Ravana.
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