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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

crime and punishment...

crime and punishment...
In Valmikiramayanam Ayodhyakandam, we find Kaikeyi the mother of Bharatha, managing to effect the exile of Rama . Her intention is to ensure that Bharatha becomes the heir apparent for Ayodhya..

In fact, on the very morning of the date fixed for anointment as yuvaraja, Rama is informed that he was to proceed to forest for fourteen year instead of occupying the throne. 
The noble soul that Rama is , He accepts the directions of Dasharatha the king without any dissent.. 
But Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rama who is very much attached to his elder brother flares us.. He is even ready to raise in rebellion and oppose their father the King..
Lakshmana is of the view that the king had gone out of mind and it was not necessary to follow his order.. Even revolt against him is justified..

Lakshmana tells Rama

गुरोरप्यवलिप्तस्य कार्याकार्यमजानतः।
उत्पथं प्रतिपन्नस्य कार्यं भवति शासनम्।।2.21.13।।
If a person. 
Even if he is a preceptor, king and parent, 
is acting haughtily and unreasonably, 
without having sense to discern what is right and wrong, 
and who is treading a path which is not right, 
it becomes ones duty to discipline him even by force.

Sri Rama would not subscribe to the idea of disobedience to the king and ultimately Rama, Lakshmana and Sita proceed to Forest

Unable to bear the sorrow of separation with his Sons, Dasharatha passes away.

None of the four sons of Dasharatha were available in the Palace of Dasharatha at Ayodhya when the king breathed his last..

Bharatha and Shatrugna the other two brothers of Rama were away on a visit to the kingdom of Kekaya
The Preceptor of the Ikshvaaku clan, Sage Vasishta, sends missives to Kekaya and fetches Bharatha and Shatrugna to Ayodhya..

Even though born to the ambitious and avaricious mother Kakeyi, Bharatha wss devoted to Rama.. 
He learns about the intrigue hatched by Kaikeyi which resulted in exile of Rama and the death of Dasharatha too.
Kaikeyi asks Bharatha to take over as the rule of Ayodhya..
But Bharatha is filled with remorse, and full of hatred for the cruel deeds of Kaikeyi, berates her in very sharp words..

He even says that he would have even killed her but for the infamy such action would cause to the image of Rama, as Rama would earn a bad name as the elder brother of a person who murdered his mother.

त्वामद्य निहनिष्यामि नोचेद्रुह्यामि च स्वयम्।
राघ्वस्यानुजो भ्रात भर्तो मातृहा इति॥
tvāmadya nihaniṣyāmi nocedruhyāmi ca svayam|
rāghvasyānujo bhrāta bharto mātṛhā iti||

The above slokam is found in some editions of Valmikiramayanam.. especially the Dharmalaya Edition.. but is not seen in some major commentaries.. like Bhushana of Govindaraja and Tilaka..

While on this issue, the commentators discuss the justification for revolt or even punishment of elders and preceptors when they are doing wrong and unjust things.. 
Manusmriti Says..

पिताचार्यः सुहृन्माता भार्या पुत्रः पुरोहितः ।
नादण्ड्यो नाम राज्ञोऽस्ति यः स्वधर्मे न तिष्ठति । । ८.३३५ । ।
If a ruler feels that people like his parents, the preceptor, close friend, wife, son and the priest are not to be punished even if they break the law and do nasty things, then the king is failing in his Dharma.. 
( Manusmriti 8-335)
But it is also prescribed in Brihaspathi Samhita, Nirnaya Prakaranam

गुरून् पुरोहितान् पूज्यान् वाग्दण्डेनैव दण्डयेत् ।

meaning.. When it is found that a preceptor, a priest or other respectable personage has committed some deed warranting punishment, then the punishment should be restricted to chastisement through words..

( No physical punishment may be called for)

Maybe this is the reason why Bharatha just stopped sharp words.. and did not actually assault Kaikeyi physically..

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