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38-Maarkandeya's Raamaayan
Indrajit  in Mahabharat Group, on Jun 28, 2012, under the heading "Story of Rama and Sita removed from Boloji..."
As Described in  G-4-Van/50 - read  Raam's story

Yudhishthir asks: "Is there any one who is more unfortunate than I am? Have you ever seen or heard of such a one before?" His question is occasioned by Jayadrath's ravishment of Draupadee.

It cannot be that Yudhishthir and Paandav and Draupadee never heard of Raam, since they all were well versed in Itihaas Puraan. It only suggests then that Yudhishthir never could identify himself with Raam, or that Raam was not centrally famous in his times so that Yudhishthir would seek identification in Raam Archetype. However, when Maarkandeya mentions Raam, Yudhishthir says: "In what race was Raam born and what was the measure of his might and prowess? Whose son also was Raavan and for what was it that he had any misunderstanding with Raam?"

This shows that he has never heard of Raam. I don't consider any "plot-silliness" or something like that in this apparent contradiction. I think it is a pointer that Raam was not exceptionally famous in Yudhishthir's time, only one among many famous kings of yore hence, Yudhishthir's lapse of memory, or his "child-like" curiosity to listen to a narrative in full once again.

In Mahaabhaarat too, the Kuru-Paandav narrative is central in that it holds all other narratives and give them integrity, but it seems it is only one of the many, otherwise. I note some important points in the Maarkandeya Raamaayan and/or interesting link with Mahaabhaarat. Here are a few more to be explored -
(1) Mantharaa is an agent of God, Brahmaa sends her to Earth with the purpose to create dispute. Isn't Mantharaa like Draupadee in Mahaabhaarat born for similar reasons? Mantharaa is crooked like Kubjaa. But crookedness is also an attribute of Saraswatee in Shatapath Braahman. Not only Lakshmee (Shri) and Saraswatee are same and similar in many respects, but also Draupadee has prominent Saraswatee aspect or Vaak-aspect.
(2) Baali's wife Taaraa is an administrator and has her spies that even Baali does not know like Draupadee who is also an administrator in Indra Prashth (read Draupadee-Satyabhaamaa Samvaad).  Should be so, both are in the elite group of Panch Kanyaa. Much of Taaraa is again suppressed in Maarkandeya's Raamaayan, like her appearing before Lakshman with all power of her sexuality.
(3) Raam and Lakshman the 2 take help of 5 Vaanar (Sugreev etc)  while in Mahaabhaarat, the 2 as Krishn and Saatyaki help the 5 and the 2 as Kishn and Balaraam help /oppose the 5.
(4) Seetaa is repeatedly compared with Snake (also in Vaalmeeki when Raavan abducts her).

Markandeya Raamaayan is obviously Raamaayan in brief so all details cannot be expected. Besides, Maarkandeya is keeping the narrative relevant to Yudhishthir's question and the occasion of Draupadee's ravishment by Jayadrath. Thus, Maarkandeya is certainly not saying everything he knows about Raamaayan.

What interests me in comparing the two is that, both Maarkandeya and Vaalmeeki emphasize some episodes and dialogs like "Seetaa-Lakshman dialoge (Seetaa's acerbic tongue), Raavan-Seetaa dialogs, Raam-Seetaa encounter after the war etc, and significantly, there is unity in the two versions.

It suggests to me that the poets are actually trying to say something on Man-Woman Heterosexual Love Relation, the Power-Games involved in any relation of Evolutionary Man and Evolutionary Woman.

Why Raavan does not rape Seetaa has an interesting explanation in Evolutionary Psychology, perhaps, the story of Nalakuber's curse was invented later because later poets could not find any logic in Raavan's queer restraint in not raping Seetaa. In Vaalmeeki Raamaayan, Raavan seeks Seetaa's pity and respect. How can an Evolutionary Woman feel love for such a man?

Maarkandeya highlights that Raavan cannot respect Seetaa because she is too focused on a Human Raakshas' food. My point is, an Evolutionary Man and Evolutionary Woman cannot feel Love - Sexual Attraction for each other unless they have this respect which is Sexual Respect - a different order of respect than Social Respect. So, Raavan does not rape Seetaa in fear of losing Self-Respect before a formidable Evolutionary Woman like Seetaa. To put it even more bluntly: Sex or forced Sex is simply not possible with such mental conditions unless the man is a Beast, and certainly Raavan was not a beast. He raped Rambhaa very bad but what was Rambhaa doing in loose attire amidst the soldiers? Same old debate whether rape is born like Swaayambhoo in man's mind, or is it "invited"? Nothing can be said absolutely about this, and the liability is entirely contextual.

Rape is very old. Chandramaa raped Brihaspati's wife Taaraa, as a result Budh was born, and Brihaspati raped his brother Utathya's wife Mamataa, as a result Deerghtamaa was born. I think they were the first ones to introduce this.

Seeing the unity of representation of Raam and Seetaa, Lakshman and Seetaa, and Raavan and Seetaa relation in both Maarkandeya (therefore, Vyaas) and Vaalmeeki, I re-define Satee as: the Evolutionary Woman who does not find any alternative to her Lover or husband (because of the superior merit of that one man) is Satee, though her search is on, not consciously though, and that search leads to her conflicts with her own man and also other man; and re-define Kanyaa as: the Evolutionary Woman who actively searches for alternative to her Lover husband because of her doubt in the superiority of one man in her life, and finds alternatives. (in Draupadee's case one man at a time). Whether Satee or Kanyaa, conflict with men is inevitable.

Perhaps you have not read those Satee's stories who were faithful to their husbands although they were leper (or they went to other women, or they were Asur (read the story of Vrindaa, wife of Jalandhar)

Kanyaa is Aphrodite/ Venus of Greek and Roman Myth, minus the nymphomania of Aphrodite Pandemos that is, Kanyaa is the Evolutionary Woman striving to discard Aphrodite Pandemos to evolve to Aphrodite Urania.

Another thing the Maarkandeya Raamaayan suggests is the importance of Jayadrath, because Jayadrath is conceived in the Archetype of Raavan. Neither Duryodhan nor Kans are Raavan Archetype let us take note.

Where is that level of importance of Jayadrath in present Mahaabhaarat?
That takes me back to my favorite interpretation of Draupadee that is, she actively (by using her Sexuality read in light of Kautilya's Artha Shaastra) removed Paandav adversaries (like Keechak too), and later poetsdeleted the details of those episodes to remodel Draupadee in Seetaa Archetype, and of course to relegate the importance of a Woman to background. Thus, we find less of Jayadrath (that is how Draupadee is instrumental in foiling Sindhu-Trigart matrimonial alliance) though he should have a greater place in the plot being of Raavan Archetype.

Of course, there are multiple Raamaayan, just as there are multiple Mahaabhaarat. Even Maarkandeya's Raamaayan itself is under multiple Raamaayan. Yudhishthir hears it from Maarkandeya, and Vyaas Jee narrates it, then Vaishampayana, then Sauti, then the unknown final redactor. It is Maarkandeya Raamaayan by name only then! Admitting each narrator's creative contribution, here we have at least five Raamaayan. Let there be 300 Raamaayan or the 301 by cutting the root of silly Vaalmeeki or even a 302 (dafa 302? Indian Penal Code?) inspired by the Praajna poets 301 in which Raam is a detective Ramlock Holmes, Lakshman is Dr Lakson, and Raavan is Professor Raavanorty with Seetaa of course as Prof. Ravanorty's Lady-Love - (ah! How I am nostalgic about that episode of Star Trek: Next Generation!) or even a 303 (three-knot-three!) written by Raam himself in his next-birth and living in our time to get rid of silly Vaalmeeki.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 11/29/12