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Next Week Th/Sept. 29: When Asia Was the World, Chap. 1 (download from blog or from laulima), pps.1-20When Asia Was the World, Chap. 1 ***The Rama Project.

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Presentation on theme: "Next Week Th/Sept. 29: When Asia Was the World, Chap. 1 (download from blog or from laulima), pps.1-20When Asia Was the World, Chap. 1 ***The Rama Project."— Presentation transcript:

1 Next Week Th/Sept. 29: When Asia Was the World, Chap. 1 (download from blog or from laulima), pps.1-20When Asia Was the World, Chap. 1 ***The Rama Project. Due: T/Sept. 27 *** ***Response/blog entry #3 Due: Noon Friday Sept. 30*** T/Sept. 27: Rama Project Presentations Th/Sept. 29: Hindu/Buddhist Empires in China and Southeast Asia

2 What was Rama’s treatment of Sita? Javanese Ramayana (9th c.): For a long time the king looked sad, nauseated and dejected. He felt pity for his weeping wife. Then he spoke softly to the sorrowful one: Janakatmaja, stop it! Make your mind clear, my dear. Do not be upset, do not be distressed, because you will no longer be my wife. 'My mind is troubled by the fact that you have been staying very long with the enemy. It might bring stain to me, as for sure everyone will look at me with distrust. 'The family of Raghu was pure and flawless in the world, but if I take you back as my wife, the purity of my family will be stained by impurities. …Therefore let your steadfastness and suffering during separation be regarded as your penance. Stop worrying, clear up your mind this instant. You will only make yourself thin, if you are lacking food and rest. You are free to choose or to go wherever you wish. If you want to return to Mithila, it is all right, or you may stay with Wibhisana. Or you may wish to take refuge with Lakshmana. or Bharata, or even with the king of the monkeys. Do not worry, feel free to do as you wish. My words are the words of one who thinks only for the weal of others. It is not an expression of anger. Surely it is unfortunate that you be separated from me as, in fact, the purpose of your existence is to love me. Valmiki’s Rama: "You, with a suspicion arisen on your character, standing in front of me, are extremely disagreeable to me…. That is why, I am permitting you now. Go wherever you like. All these ten directions are open to you, my dear lady! There is no work to be done to me, by you.” "Which noble man, born in an illustrious race, will take back a woman who lived in another's abode, with an eager mind? …You may go wherever you like from here. …Set you mind on Lakshmana or Bharata, as per your ease. …Otherwise, set your mind either on Shatrughna or on Sugreeva or on Vibhishana the demon; or according to your own comfort. Seeing you, who are endowed with a beautiful form and attractive to the sense, detained for long in his abode, Ravana could not have endured your separation. For a translation of Valmiki, see

3 How do we view Sita in the fire? Compare with Narayan p. 149 … Thus speaking, Sita walking around the fire- god, with her mind free from hesitation, entered the blazing fire.… That Sita, with the shining of fresh refined gold and decked with ornaments of refined gold, plunged into the blazing fire, in the presence of all people. All the living beings saw then that wide-eyed Sita, who looked like a golden altar, plunging into the fire. The sages, gods, and the Gandharvas saw that illustrious Seetha entering deep into the fire as a sacred oblation of clarified butter. "O valiant Rama! Why are you speaking such harsh words, which are violent to hear for me, like a common man speaking to a common woman? … I am not the one in the way you understand me. Have a faith in me. I swear to you by my own character.” "By the conduct of vulgar woman you distrust the entire race of women. Give up this doubt, if I have been actually tested … "O Lakshmana! Create a pile of fire, for me, which is a remedy for this disaster. I no longer wish to survive, smitten as am with false blames. I will enter a fire, to obtain the only course appropriate for me, who has been abandoned amidst an assembly of men, by my husband who was not satisfied with my traits." A Valmiki translation:

4 The blue prince rejected Sita for having spent so many nights in another man’s home. The princess felt so disgraced and heartbroken that she asked Lakshman to build her a cremation fire. She declared that if she were innocent, she would be unharmed by the flames. Otherwise, she would gladly let herself perish before anyone who questioned her honor. Sita bravely walked into the fire and stood in its center. Patel’s ending

5 19 th c. Sati, Bali 18 th c. Sati, India Danger of the Sita model: Sati

6 19 th c. Sati, Bali Danger of the Sita model: Dowry deaths and Bride burning

7 Ramayana endings I. Sita’s trial by fire - agni pariksha (all versions) II.a. Triumphant return to Ayodhya (Kamban) or: II.b. Uttara Kanda (Valmiki?): rumors spread about Sita… 1a) Rama banishes Sita to the forest or: 1b) Rama tells Lakshman to kill/abandon Sita 2a) Sita finds Valmiki, gives birth to twin boys, (Lava & Kush) who eventually reunite with their father i) Sita rejoins Rama, happily reunited or: ii) Rama demands another fire trial: Sita returns to Earth; Ram dies heartbroken

8 Ramayana endings 1.Or… Chaya Sita? The 16 th c. Tulsidas Solution

9 Question: Is Ramayana really the tale of “the perfect man”? If not, what? Why does the story continue to appeal?

10 Buddhism Site of origin: India Date: 6 th century


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