The Ramayana - Alysse Johnson Infidelity At Its Finest...

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Alysse Johnson Infidelity At Its Finest Purity in the Hindu society was very important and if someone was considered impure this was a great shame to befall upon them. In The Ramayana , the edition written by R.K. Narayan, there were two significant situations when purity came into question. One instance was with the sage Gautama; he walked in upon his wife Ahalya committing infidelity with the god Indra. Although Ahalya was tricked into committing this crime she was still held responsible for her actions, trickery or not. For their adulterous actions the sage cursed both his wife and the god. However, the other situation of infidelity is not as convicting as the sages story. Rama’s wife, Sita, was captured by the demon king, Ravana, because he wished to make her his wife; although only the reader knows that Ravana cannot touch Sita without her consent. This detail is unknown by Rama, so when he rescues her from Ravana he releases her from her duties as his wife because he questions her purity. She passes a test to prove herself untainted, but the city people question her purity in a different version of The Ramayana ; Rama tried to have Sita murdered in order to save face. Both of these tails of The Ramayana are very important for showing the reader how important saving and keeping one’s body clean for their spouse and that one’s purity or impurity of the mind can lead to either not tainting or tainting one’s cleanliness as their moral being. Out of absolute beauty Brahma created a woman and placed her in the sage named Gautama’s care until she was grown. Through this time the sage never once let an intimate thought about the beauty, Ahalya “(which in Sanskrit language means non-imperfection)” (p. 19) cross his mind. Gautama had nothing but pure thought about the girl and when the time came he brought her back to her creator, Brahma. The purity of Gautama’s heart and mind proved to Brahma that his undoubtedly beautiful creation of a women was only fit to be his wife; since she
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Alysse Johnson grew up with him she knew all his needs and proved to be as perfectly beautiful as she was a perfect wife. Purity in this situation was important because without it Gautama would have never been able to have the most beautiful women created in the world by a god to be his wife. Also because she grew up in his care he knew the content of her purity and was grateful to accept her as his wife. Gautama’s and Ahalya’s reward for their untainted hearts, minds, and bodies was to have each other and only each other as their significant other; they were each other’s perfect husband and wife. Indra, the highest god among gods thought that he was the only one worthy enough to have the beauty, Ahalya, which Brahma created. However, because Brahma thought that Indra’s “conceit and presumptuousness” (p. 19) made him unworthy of Ahalya’s hand, instead he gave her to the sage Gautama. This upset Indra very much, he craved to have the attention and to gaze
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This note was uploaded on 11/02/2011 for the course REG 101 taught by Professor Lee during the Spring '11 term at Cardinal Stritch.

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The Ramayana - Alysse Johnson Infidelity At Its Finest...

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