|4. Ramayan Story
Both Ramayan and Mahabharat stories have one common message. At some point every society becomes very harmful for most people or 99% of the population. It is the death time for this society. But the power of 1% or the rulers is very strong. To destroy such a society and establish dharma for 99% of the population, a person with very high level of yogic powers is necessary. Such a person will be born, wipe out 1% completely (or 20%), and rescue 99% (or 80%) of the population. In Ramayan he was Ram and in Mahabharat he was Krishna. This idea is presented in the Gita verse
Thus at a very high level both stories follow the general scientific theories or laws of nature: (a) birth, maturity and death process, and (b) eternal recurrence. At this level the two stories are identical. The philosophy (a) is a law of nature: birth, maturity, and death. Near the death some societies become corrupt, evil, and bring hell to its own people. The above verse G.4.8 is nothing but a restatement of philosophy (b) related to eternal recurrence.
Ravan, a very powerful king, belonging to the monster race, created a terror all over India, imposed all round adhrama, no women were safe. It is a common belief that god Vishnu was incarnated as Ram in a king family. However, in the story Ram always denied that he was god. Ram married Sita, who was not born out of her parents, but was found on earth by her adopted father king Janak, considered as a very pious man. People believe that she is incarnation god Vishnu’s wife.
Because of many family reasons, Ram had to go to exile in forest for fourteen years. One of his three brothers and Ram’s wife Sita joined him. While in the forest, in their last year, Ravan kidnapped Sita. Ram joined the forces of monkey race and wedged a war against Ravan, killed him, and rescued Sita.
But then the people of kingdom said Sita is no longer a pure wife, because she was in Ravan’s palace for one year. So Sita decided to leave Ram and remain in exile so that Ram’s honor will be restored. Sita spent rest of her life raising Ram’s two sons on Valmiki’s ashram. Valmiki is a very high level yogi, and also is the author of Ramayan story. People did not accept Sita’s sons as the sons of the king Ram. So Sita sacrificed her life by going under her mother earth. Ram then accepted her two sons as the next heirs of his kingdom.
After Sita left, Ram and his three brothers ruled for few more years, established their sons to rule different parts of the kingdom, and then left the world by casting off their bodies.
Ramayan and puranic stories clearly illustrate how destiny works in our life. Every event in the Ramayan story always points out how destiny, the cause and effect, the simultaneity law, and the reincarnation law, create the foundation of our life. Valmiki was a yogi with divine vision, and he saw such features vividly. The Ramayan story should be viewed in an integrated way to comprehend it properly. Any interpretation of any event in Ramayan story without the concept of destiny will only lead to misunderstanding and confusion. The purpose of the story is to teach the truth.
Birth of Ravan: Four yogis, in the form of young children, came to visit lord Vishnu [Vyasa, 3-16]. In the Puranic period it was quite common that god, demons, humans, see each other quite frequently, and easily. That was the tradition at that time. However, seeing these yogis as children, the two gate keepers refused to allow them. This angered the yogis and they cursed the gatekeepers. Because of this curse the two gatekeepers were born as Ravan and his brother Kumbhakarna. Thus the stories show how destiny plays the most important roles in our life. These two gate keepers were born three times. Their second birth produced the demon king Ravan.
Curse for Vishnu: In Sri Devi Bhagavatam Puran [Devi, Bk.4, Ch.12], we find the following story where God Vishnu was cursed by Rishi Vrigu. All gods attacked the demons to destroy them. At that time demons were powerless because their guru had gone for meditation. Some demons took shelter in Rishi Vrigu’s ashram (abode). Vrigu was not there, but his wife gave them the shelter. The gods could not do anything against the yogic power of the wife. So gods asked for help from Vishnu. Vishnu killed the wife with his Sudarshan Chakra and then killed all the demons who took shelter. Then Vrigu came, found his wife dead, and then he cursed Vishnu. He said Vishnu will have to take birth many times like ordinary people and suffer. In one such birth he will suffer from the separation from his wife, just like Vrigu is doing now. Thus in Ramayan priod, Vishnu incarnated as Ram, and had to live his life separated from his wife Sita.
In this connection we should mention that nobody has any power of cursing or blessing anyone. This goes against the destiny concept and also indicates existence of freewill, which is not possible as we have mentioned in another chapter. These Rishis have divine vision, they can see the future, and thus they mention, at the present time, what will happen to people in future time. Everything is already planned as we have discussed in global plan section and is stored in nature as 3-D video.
Vrigu’s curse also shows that even God Vishnu has to reincarnate on earth and on other planets. In Gita we see that Krishna is saying that he will be coming millennium after millennium to cleanse the civilization. Reincarnation is a law of nature and nobody can escape that. This means gods are nothing but high level yogis.
Birth of Sita: King Kushadhwaja had a beautiful daughter named Vedabati. She decided that she will marry god Vishnu. She went for meditation in the forest. But king Ravan saw her there and proposed to marry her. When Vedabati refused him, he wanted to abduct her by grabbing her hair. Vedabati felt impure by his touch. She sheared off her hair from Ravan’s hand and burnt herself in fire. She told Ravan that in her next life she will be the cause of his death. In her next life she was born as Sita and became Rama’s wife [Dutta, pp.1607-1610].
Global Plan: Ramayan story is a very powerful example of how destiny works in real life. Such a story can only be written by a yogi with divine vision like Valmiki. We have seen other stories written by non-yogi ordinary people where destiny was described by events only from present life. But here we see how simultaneity law works over multiple life spans. Ravan and Vishnu came at same place and at same time, both cursed by others in their previous lives, to complete the mission of fulfilling their own destinies. Sita played a very crucial role in this story, as she predicted in her previous life. She was Ram’s wife and was abducted by Ravan. So the battle began to kill Ravan in his own land of Sri Lanka, which is a large country off the southern coast of India, deep inside ocean. Monkey leader Hanuman played a very important and crucial role of integrating the battle activities of Ram; a perfect example of a global plan in human endeavor. Most important features of Vedas are embedded in this Ramayan story.
5. Mahabharat Story
As we have mentioned, Mahabharat story has some similarities, both at high and low levels, with the Ramayan story. And this is due to the periodicity of life, both in characteristics and in events. Both stories have very large collection of examples of yogic power; and many yogis lived in both periods. This happened because both stories are written by very high level yogis.
This story is not much about destiny but more about Dharma or duty and its interpretations. Everybody is interpreting his or her own dharma in his own way; forgetting that things must be unique and universal. This is a reflection of a very corrupt society of that period, where military power rules, and which lacks vision.
In Mahabharat story we see two very powerful intellectuals, Shakuni representing the bad side, and Krishna representing the good side, who provided logical reasons for their own survivals. Shakuni did not have any yogic power, but Krishna had.
Krishna has demonstrated in the Mahabharat story that dharma is unique must be restored by all means. You may have to perform adharma to implement dharma, which is designed for greater good for the people.
The story happened in the city of Hastinapur in northern India near the river Ganges. It was a family dispute that eventually got the entire country involved in a deadly war that killed millions of people, kings, and wiped out most of the family members.
The younger brother, Pandu, became the king of Hastinapur, because the elder brother, Dhritarashtra, was blind. Pandu took hermitical retreat in forest with his two wives, where he accidentally killed a yogi, having relations in disguise as tigers. The yogi cursed that same will happen if Pandu engages in physical relations with his wife.
Pandu came back to palace to hand over his crown to his blind brother and left for forest permanently for meditation. His first wife had a blessing for ability to have sons with any god she selects. She got three sons this way and then she taught the mantra to the second wife who got twin sons from two other gods.
Pandu one day became very attracted to his second wife and tried relationship with her and died because of his curse. The second wife sacrificed herself in the same fire with his dead husband. The first wife with five sons came back to palace in Hastinapur where her husband was once the king.
The King Dhritarashtra had 100 sons and they did not accommodate the five cousins well and adopted various methods to kill them; but their all attempts failed. And the eldest son of the five brothers became the new prince. In a ceremony, eldest son of the 100 brothers decided to burn the five brothers and their mother alive in a newly built palace where they were housed temporarily, for attending the ceremony. The five brothers came to know about the plot and left the palace by digging an underground tunnel. They then remained in hiding for long time. The house burnt, and Shakuni and 100 brothers who made the plot thought all six died.
In another part of the country, a king arranged a competition for selecting a husband for his daughter. All prospective princes went there. But Arjun, one of the five brothers, won the competition and married the daughter Draupadi. Thus 100 brothers and their father the King Dhritarashtra came to know that the five brothers were alive and was forced to ask them to come back and take the position of prince.
Shakuni again arranged another trick of dice game to put the five brothers permanently away in exile for 13 years. The five brothers lost everything to Shakuni and 100 brothers. They eventually wanted to disrobe their wife Draupdi naked in the court of the palace. But Krishna saved Draupdi by providing unlimited supply of length of her sari. Five brothers were completely defeated and left Hastinapur for forest, where they meditated. Arjun went to heaven and acquired all kinds of weapons from the king of heaven, Indra.
At the end of 13 years, the five brothers wanted their kingdom back but the 100 brothers refused to return anything. So the five brothers under the leadership of Krishna declared war against 100 brothers and killed all of them. In the war the five brothers lost their all sons. Only one newly born baby, grandson of Arjun, was alive to become the first king after the five brothers.
At the very high level the two stories, Ramayan and Mahabharat, are exactly similar. The emphasis here is to show that the concept of eternal recurrence is hidden behind these similarities. That is, there is a reason behind the similarities. It is a law of nature: things evolve slowly, and eventually come back to same point again, something like a sinusoidal wave.
At detailed level there are some amazing similarities too. Here is one aspect of this similarity. Two things must be remembered here – these are taken from the videos and not from the original texts. There is no original text now. The divine vision was not taken down exactly in shruti versions. Nobody knows how Shakuni was. But he was a real man and had a real physical appearance. Both texts had many foot notes and side notes, which are also lost.
What exactly happened is not known now, but these similarities can be generalized to an abstract form also: They reflect certain similar characteristics of certain types of persons engaged in certain types of thoughts and actions. Things can be changed completely in overnight, like in earthquake. Destiny has abstract tracks.
These similarities, at both high and low levels, confirm that the law of eternal recurrence is really valid in nature. The tracks can also be recurrent with some similarities.
Are these similarities intentional? Yes of course, both stories were written by yogis of highest order. Mahabharat was written after Ramayan, by Byasdev. Byasdev knew the concept of eternal recurrence and therefore created the stories along the same line. In fact in one place Krishna tells Arjun that they both came to this world many times. Krishna knew each life of Arjun, but Arjun did not remember (Gita:4.5).