Summary on the life of Rama


Written by Sulaiman Razvi
This is not actually a brief summary on the life of Rama. As I didn’t put much effort in writing this article, as many verses were already available with me. Rama has become like a main god of Hinduism due to the much conflict of his birthplace. And the chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become the favourite chants of Hindu extremists who use it only during riots or during other violent attacks. First let’s take a look at why he was born on earth. As per some Hindu scriptures Vishnu was cursed to take incarnations and the abduction of Sita and Rama seeking help of monkeys was also a curse. In one version Bhrigu curses Vishnu that in his next incarnation he will be separated from his wife because Vishnu beheaded his wife,

Valmiki Ramayana, Uttara Kanda, chapter 51. “Learn, O king, what happened formerly during the conflict between the Devas and Asuras. The Daityas, whom the Suras threatened, took refuge with the consort of Bhrigu and she, having given them a haven, they dwelt there in safety. Seeing them thus succoured, the Chief of the gods, enraged with his sharp-edged discus severed the head of Bhrigu’s wife. Beholding the murder of his consort, Bhrigu, in his wrath, instantly cursed Vishnu, the destroyer of enemy hosts, saying:- ‘Since in thine insensate fury, thou has slain my spouse, who should never have died thus, thou shalt take birth in the world of men, O Janardana, and there thou shall live separated from thy consort for many years.” Tr. Hari Prasad Shastri

In another version, Vrinda curses Vishnu after Vishnu rapes her.
Shiva Purana, Rudra Samhita 2, Yudha Khanda 5, Ch 23.38-45 “On seeing her husband, Vrnda too was delighted. She forgot her sorrow. She considered everything a dream. Delighted in the heart and with all the dormant passions kindled up, she sported with him for many days in the middle of that forest. Once at the end of the sexual intercourse she realised that it was Visnu. Vrnda rebuked him angrily and spoke thus. Vrnda said:—Fie on this misdeed of Visnu in outraging the modesty of another man’s wife. I have now realised you as the wielder of illusion, appearing in the guise of an ascetic. Sanatkumara said:—O Vyasa, saying thus in great anger she showed her brilliant powers as a staunch chaste lady by cursing Visnu. “O base foe of the Daityas, defiler of other people’s virtue, O wicked one, take this curse from me, greater in force than all persons. The two persons whom you made to appear in front of me shall become Raksasas and abduct your wife. You will be distressed on account of separation from your wife roaming about with Sesa ‘lord of snakes’ who posed as your disciple here. You will seek the help of monkeys in the forest.” Tr. Board of Scholars, Edited by Jagdish Lal Shastri

Every year Hindus celebrate Dassehra where effigy of Ravana is burnt. But have you ever wondered why Hindus burns the effigy of Ravana? Ravana was an ardent devotee of Shiva, there was no bigger lover of Shiva than Ravana. Ravana was a just king who treated his subjects well. Ravana is now associated with evils and depicted as villain because he fought Rama. But why so much hatred against Ravana? Because he abducted Sita? Then what about those Hindu gods who raped and abducted women? Why aren’t they considered villains? Is that because they are Vedic gods? You can read above verses once again. It says Vishnu raped Vrinda for which she cursed Vishnu that in his incarnation his wife will be abducted by a Demon, he will have to seek help of monkeys. So that means it was already destined to happen then why so much hue and cry over that? Because as per Hindu religion we reap what we sowed in our past lives, that’s part of Karma. Why don’t Hindus burn effigy of almost all Hindu gods for raping and abducting women? Vishnu raped Vrinda, Soma raped Tara, Brihaspati raped Mamata (his sister in law), Surya raped Kunti, Ashvinkumara raped and impregnated a Brahmin lady, Varuna raped Bhadra, Indra raped Ahalya and lusted after many women, and even Shiva attempted to rape Vishnu (Mohini) and also raped Agni by discharging semen in his mouth . Refer the article Hinduism and Lust for sources. If Ravana is demonized for abducting Sita (but not raping her) then all these gods should also be considered on the same level, perhaps much above Ravana because they raped women.

Birth of Sita

Sita was born from the earth, later she was adopted by King Janaka,
Valmiki Ramayana, Bala Kanda 1, Sarga 66, verses 13b-14a “Later, when I was ploughing the ritual field then raised by the plough [from the furrow is a baby girl… since she is] gained while consecrating the ritual-field, she is named as Seetha, and thus she is renowned.” Tr. Desiraju Hanumanta Rao

Birth of Rama

Ram’s father Dasharath had three wives and he had no children from any of his wives probably because he was either infertile or impotent. So he performed Ashvamedha Yajna the horse sacrifice which is for fertility and to gain power and in this sacrifice the queen has to place the penis of the dead horse in her vagina and has to recite some obscene verses,
Valmiki Ramayan, Bala Kanda 1.14.33-35 ”With great delight coming on her Queen Kausalya reverently made circumambulations to the horse, and symbolically killed the horse with three knives. Queen Kausalya desiring the results of ritual disconcertedly resided one night with that horse that flew away like a bird. Thus, the officiating priests of the ritual, namely hota, adhwaryu and udgaata have received in their hand the Crowned Queen, the neglected wife, and a concubine of the king, next as a symbolic donation in the ritual by the performer, the king.” Tr. Shri Desiraju Hanumanth Rao
For more information, read the article Ashvamedha Yajna The Obscene Ritual.

Age of Sita at the time of her marriage with Rama

As per Valmiki Ramayana, Rama is said to have married Sita when she was 6 years old,
Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda 3.47.3-5 “I am the daughter of noble-souled Janaka, the king of Mithila, by name I am Seetha, and the dear wife and queen of Rama, let safety betide you. On residing in the residence of Ikshvaku-s in Ayodhya for twelve years, I was in sumptuosity of all cherishes while relishing all humanly prosperities. In the thirteenth year the lordly king Dasharatha deliberated together with his imperial ministers to anoint Rama as Crown Prince of Ayodhya. When Raghava’s anointment was being organised my venerable mother-in-law known as Kaikeyi begged her husband Dasharatha for a boon. Restraining my veracious father-in-law by a good deed once done by her in his respect, Kaikeyi besought two boons from him, namely expatriation of my husband, and anointment of her son Bharata. ‘If Rama is anointed now, come what may I will not eat, sleep, or drink, and my life ends this way,’ thus Kaikeyi was adamantine, and the king and my father-in-law entreated her who is nagging with meaningful riches, but she did not make good on that entreaty. My great-resplendent husband was of twenty-five years of age at that time, and to me eighteen years are reckoned up from my birth.” Tr. Sri Desiraju Hanumantha Rao
If we do little maths here we understand that Sita was 18 years old when she went into exile with her husband and before the exile she had spent 12 years with her husband in the hosue of King Dashratha, so if we deduct the age of Sita at the time of exile and number years she spent in the house of King Dasharath i.e., 12 years old,
18-12= 6 years old
Sita after marrying at 6, lived in the palace of King Dashrath until she was 12. When she was sent to exile with her husband, she was 18 years old. The age difference between Rama and Sita was 7 years. Skanda Purana clearly states that Sita was married when she was only six years old,
Skanda Purana III.ii.30.8-9 “The bow of Isvara that was kept in the abode of Janaka, was broken. In his fifteenth  year, O king, Rama married the six year old beautiful daughter of the king of Mithila, Sita who was not born of a womb. On getting Sita, Raghava became contented and happy.” Tr. Ganesh Vasudeo Tagare

Rama’s love for meat, liquor and watching dancing girls

Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda 2.20.29 “I shall live in a solitary forest like a sage for fourteen years, leaving off meat and living with roots, fruits and honey.” Tr. Shri K.M. K. Murthy

But he relished meat even in the forest, and not just chicken or mutton but even pork.
Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda 2.52.102 “Thereafter, the two brothers hunted the deer and wild boar, and other beasts and growing hungry, fed on roots and berries as ordained, resting at eventide beneath a tree.” Tr. Hari Prasad Shastri

Sita addressed Ravana (who was in the guise of an ascetic) in the following way,
Valmiki Ramayana 3.47.22b-23 “Be comfortable for a moment, here it is possible for you to make a sojourn, and soon my husband will be coming on taking plentiful forest produce, and on killing stags, mongooses, wild boars he fetches meat, aplenty.” Tr. Desiraju Hanumanth Rao

Read the article Intoxicant consumption in Hinduism for references on alcohol consumption by Ram and Sita

Violence by Rama

Rama beheads a Shudra,

Ramayana of Valmiki, Uttara Kanda 7, Chapter 75-76 ”On this that Prince born of Raghu approached the one who had given himself up to rigorous practices and said:- ”Blessed art thou, O Ascetic, who art faithful to thy vows! From what caste art thou sprung, O Thou who hast grown old in mortification and who art established in heroism. I am interested in this matter, I Rama, the son of Dasaratha. What purpose hast thou in view? Is it heaven or some other object? What boon dost thou seek by means of this hard penance? I wish to know what thou desirest in performing these austerities, O Ascetic. May prosperity attend thee! Art thou a brahmin? Art thou an invincible Kshatriya? Art thou a Vaishya, one of the third caste or art thou a Shudra? Answer me truthfully!”…Hearing the words of Rama of imperishable exploits, that ascetic, his head still hanging downwards, answered:- ”O Rama, I was born of a Shudra alliance and I am performing this rigorous penance in order to acquire the status of a God in this body. I am not telling a lie, O Rama, I wish to attain the Celestial Region. Know that I am a Shudra and my name is Shambuka.” As he was yet speaking, Raghava, drawing his brilliant and stainless sword from its scabbard, cut off his head. The Shudra being slain, all the Gods and their leaders with Agni’s followers, cried out, ”Well done! Well done!” overwhelming Rama with praise, and a rain of celestial flowers of divine fragrance fell on all sides, scattered by Vayu.” Tr. Hari Prasad Shastri

Ramayana of Valmiki, Uttara Kanda 7, Chapter 75-76 “O Kakutstha be happy! This very day that child has received new life and has been restored to his parents. The child was resuscited at the instant that the head of the Shudra fell.” Tr. Hari Prasad Shastri
A Brahmin boy died in Ram’s kingdom so Rama went out to find the cause of this death signifying that there must be some unrighteous thing going on that lead to the death of this boy. So Rama found Shambuka who was hanging upside down from a tree performing vigorous penance. Ram asked his caste and reason for his penance and beheaded him. Some apologists say that Rama beheaded Shambuka because Shambuka was performing penance to acquire boon for an evil purpose. If Shambuka was slain for that then why wasn’t Ravana beheaded too? Is that because Ravana was a Brahmin and Shambuka was a Shuda? Shambuka in this passage clearly said that he is performing penance to acquire the status of God in body. He wasn’t performing it with some evil intention. If Rama already knew his intention then why did he first enquired and then beheaded him? Why didn’t he just go there and behead him? Rama asked Shambuka’s caste, Shambuka reiterated that he is a Shudra. Shudra caste is emphasised here which means that Rama beheaded him because a Shudra should not perform such penance.
Rama ordered Lakshman to cut off the nose and ear of Shurpanakha who was expressing her love for Rama, but he cuts off her nose and ears of Ravana’s sister,
Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda 3.18.20-21 “She is freakish, knavish and overtly ruttish, oh, tigerly man, it will be apt of you to deface this paunchy demoness” Thus Rama said to Lakshmana. Thus said to that mighty Lakshmana he infuriately drew sword and chopped off her ears and nose before the very eyes of Rama.” Tr. Desi Raju Hanumanth Rao
Lakshamana mutilated another lady named Ayomukhi, read the article Violence in Hinduism for more information. This is what provoked Ravana to abduct Sita. If Krishna lusts after several women then it’s just love but if Shurpanakha expresses her love then she is lustful. I am not saying this but some scholars like Desi Raju Hanumanth Rao wrote this. Khara the younger brother of Ravana spoke thus,
Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda 3.18.26 “Then that sister of Khara who is convulsed in the fluster of fear and her body wetted with blood reported to her brother Khara, all about Rama’s arrival in forest with his wife and Lakshmana, and even about his misshaping her.” Tr. Desi Raju Hanumanth Rao

Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda 3.19.1 “On seeing her who fell before him in a misshapen and blood-soaked condition, demon Khara is all stewed up and asked her. [8] Now, I will take away the lives of that miscreant with my arrows that are terminators of lives, as a swan would drink milk to dregs even if it is mingled in water, duly separating milk from water.” Tr. Desi Raju Hanumanth Rao

So Shurpanakha was infuriated and she wanted Rama, Lakshmana and Sita to be dead. So her brother Khara sent 14 demons to kill them. Rama kills these fourteen demons. So Khara himself fights with Rama and is killed. Valmiki Ramayana 3.30.20 says that Rama shot over a thousand arrows at Khara. Question is where did he get over a thousand arrows in the forest? Did he take those arrows while he was going for Vanvas? As per Valmiki Ramayana 3.30.30-31 it took one and a half hour for Rama to kill fourteen thousand demons along with Khara and Duushana. Rama shot over a thousand arrows at Khara alone so how is it possible for a human to shoot so many arrows in just one and half hour? Those arrows didn’t kill Khara but the one arrow called Brahma missile killed Khara which he got from sage Agastya.
Mahabharata, Vana Parva 3.275 “And after these Rakshasas had been slain, Surpanakha with mutilated nose and lips, repaired to Lanka–the abode of her brother (Ravana). And when that Rakshasa woman, senseless with grief and with dry blood-stains on her face, appeared before Ravana, she fell down at his feet. And beholding her so horribly mutilated, Ravana became senseless with wrath and grinding his teeth sprung up from his seat. And dismissing his ministers, he enquired of her in private, saying, ‘Blessed sister, who hath made thee so, forgetting and disregarding me? Who is he that having got a sharp-pointed spear hath rubbed his body with it? Who is he that sleepeth in happiness and security, after placing a fire close to his head? Who is he that hath trodden upon a revengeful snake of virulent poison? Who indeed, is that person who standeth with his hand thrust into the mouth of the maned lion!’ Then flames of wrath burst forth from his body, like those that are emitted at night from the hollows of a tree on fire. His sister then related unto him the prowess of Rama and the defeat of the Rakshasas with Khara and Dushana at their head. Informed of the slaughter of his relatives, Ravana, impelled by Fate, remembered Maricha for slaying Rama. And resolving upon the course he was to follow and having made arrangements for the government of his capital, he consoled his sister, and set out on an aerial voyage. And crossing the Trikuta and the Kala mountains, he beheld the vast receptacle of deep waters–the abode of the Makaras. Then crossing the Ocean, the Ten headed Ravana reached Gokarna–the favourite resort of the illustrious god armed with the trident. And there Ravana met with his old friend Maricha who, from fear of Rama himself, had adopted an ascetic mode of life.” Tr. K.M. Ganguli
Mahabharata, Vana Parva 3.276 “…Then he replied to the lord of the Rakshasas saying, ‘I shall surely render thee whatever help I can!’ Then the Ten-headed Ravana said unto him, ‘Go and tempt Sita, assuming the shape of a deer with golden horns and a golden skin! When Sita will observe thee thus, she will surely send away Rama to hunt thee. And then Sita will surely come within my power, and I shall forcibly carry her away. And then that wicked Rama will surely die of grief at the loss of his wife. Do thou help me in this way…” Tr. K.M. Ganguli

How Hanuman confirmed Sita?

Valmiki Ramayana, Sundar Khanda 5, Sarga 15, verses 28b-29 “Hanuma saw Seetha with a face like full moon, with beautiful eyebrows, with graceful rounded breasts, by the radiance making all directions without darkness, goddess like with black hair, with lips like bimba fruit, with a good waist, very firm, with eyes like lotus petals, like Rati the consort of god of love.” Tr. Vasudeva Kishore

Heated argument between Sita and Lakshmana

Hanumanth Rao summarizes it as: “Seetha rebukes Lakshmana for he is still here, loitering away even after listening Rama’s cry for help. She goes to the extent of slandering him as having intents to woo her, at the cost of Rama’s life. Lakshmana tries to pacify her but in vain, as she persists in her rash talk. Lakshmana leaves her alone and starts to reach Rama, broken-heartedly…”


Sita addressed Lakshmana,
Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda 3.45.5b-7a “You are like a foe of your brother in friend’s mien, Soumitri, as you are not making a move towards a brother even if he is in an emergency. Because of me you wish Rama to be completely destroyed, and only because of your cupidity for me you are not following up on Raghava. It is definite.” Tr. Desi Raju Hanumanth Rao

Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda 3.45.21b-22 “You are a debased one devoid of mercy, thus a dreadful one, and a degrader of your dynasty, and I deem that you derive pleasure from fatal hardship to Rama.” Tr. Desi Raju Hanumanth Rao

Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda, 3.45.29-30 “Thou art a very Goddess unto me, I therefore dare not answer thee. What thou hast spoken, O Maithili, is nothing surprising for females. Such is the nature of womankind on this earth. Women by nature are crooked, fickle, devoid of religious knowledge, and bring about difference between father and sons.” Tr. M.N. Dutt

Sita accuses Laxman of eyeing her and calls him a Jackal

Mahabharata, Vana Parva 3, Section 276 “Then Lakshmana said to her, “Timid lady, thou hast no cause of fear! Who is so powerful as to be able to smite Rama? O thou of sweet smiles, in a moment thou wilt behold thy husband Rama!’ Thus addressed, the chaste Sita, from that timidity which is natural to women, became suspicious of even the pure Lakshmana, and began to weep aloud. And that chaste lady, devoted to her husband, harshly reproved Lakshmana, saying, ‘The object which thou, O fool, cherishest in thy heart, shall never be fulfilled! I would rather kill myself with a weapon or throw myself from the top of a hill or enter into a blazing fire than live with a sorry wretch like thee, forsaking my husband Rama, like a tigress under the protection of a jackal!” Tr. K.M. Ganguli

Sita proves her chastity and is abandoned by Rama

Sita is forced to prove her chastity by means of fire ordeal after a washerman accuses her of committing adultery,
Valmiki Ramayana, Bala Kanda 1.1.82-84 “Then Rama spoke harsh words to Seetha among the assemblages of monkeys, demons, and others, but she that Seetha being husband-devout has entered the burning fire intolerant of those unkindly words of Rama. Then, upon the word Fire-god, and Rama realised that Seetha is rid of sins and he is very highly gladdened. And when all the gods reverenced him for his great accomplishment in eliminating Ravana, Rama shone forth with his self-resplendence. Thus all the three worlds inclusive of their mobile and sessile beings, all gods with the observances of hermits have become exultant for this great accomplishment of the great souled Raghava” Tr. Desiraju Hanumanth Rao
Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Khanda 6.116.1-2 “Hearing the harsh words with indignation, spoken by Rama, which caused her hair to stand on end, Seetha became very much perturbed. Hearing the terrific words of her husband, which were never actually heard by her before, amidst a large gathering of people, Seetha stood bent low with shame. [18-19] “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.” [29-30] Thus speaking, Seetha walking around the fire-god, with her mind free from hesitation, entered the blazing fire. A large gathering of men including children and elders, saw the shining Seetha having entered the fire there.” Tr. Shri K.M.K. Murthy

Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Khanda 6.118.2-5 “Shaking off that funeral pile and taking that Seetha, the daughter of Janaka in his arms, the fire-god forthwith sprang up at once in a personified form. Bearing in his arms the youthful Seetha, who was shining brightly as the rising sun, was decked in ornaments of refined gold, attired in a red robe and wore dark curly hair, who was further adorned with ornaments of flowers, which had not abraded (on her entering the fire and coming out of it), who was absolutely beyond reproach and looked just the same (as she did while entering the fire and coming out of it), who was absolutely beyond reproach and looked just the same (as she did while entering the flames), the fire-god restored her to Rama. Then, the fire-god, the witness of the whole world, spoke to Rama as follows “Here is your Seetha. No sin exists in her.” [14] “The world would chatter against me, saying that Rama, the son of Dasaratha, was really foolish and that his mind was dominated by lust, if I accept Seetha without examining her with regard to her chastity.” Tr. Shri K.M.K. Murthy

Even after proving her chastity via fire ordeal, Pregnant Sita is abandoned in the forest.
Padma Purana V.56.53-64 “Then Rama told the words that came out of the washerman’s mouth (i.e. that were uttered by the washerman) and thaat were heard by the spy, to the magnanimous Bharata. Hearing them, Bharata said to his brother who was afflicted with grief: ‘Brahma said: ‘She is pure’ Your father Dasaratha also (said the same thing). (Then) how should she respected by the world, be abandoned merely on (the strength of) the washerman’s worlds. How will it be turbid today due to the worlds of the washerman? Therefore, give up the great grief due to the censure of Sita. Look after the kingdom along with her the very fortunate one who is pregnant. How do you wish to abandon your charming body…Hearing these words of Bharata, the righteous (king), the best among the eloquent, again spoke these words to him: ‘O brother, whatever you say is all just. But by my order, carry out the words which I utter. I know that she is purified in fire, is chaste and is honoured by the world. (But) I am afraid of public scandal. (Therefore) I (shall) abandon my (wife) Janaki. So, taking in your hand a sharp and very fierce sword, (either) cut off (my) head, or abandon (my) wife Janaki in the forest.’ Hearing these words of Rama, Bharata, with tremor in his body and tears (in his eyes), fell unconscious on the ground.” Tr. N.A. Deshpande
So Rama was afraid of public’s censure. For fame he abandoned his loving pregnant wife.

Proof of existence of Ram

There is no proof that Rama existed. Hindu stories are mythology. No one knows whether it really happened or not. One of the evidence cited by Hindus is Adam’s bridge or Ram Sethu, a bridge connecting India with Srilanka. Hindus believes that this was constructed by the Vanar Sena (monkey army) to attack Ravana the king of Lanka and get Sita back. It took 12 years for them to construct this bridge. But as per Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Ram Sethu is not a man-made bridge but it’s a natural formation which refutes the ‘strong evidence’ of Ram’s existence. Nasa also rubbished the claims that astronauts taking pictures of Ram Sethu do not prove the existence or otherwise of a manmade Ram Setu bridge as mentioned in the Hindu epic Ramayana.

What ASI has to say about Ram Sethu
Another interesting point to note is the reason why the ASI came to the conclusion that Ram Sethu was not a man-made structure. The ASI says that Ram Sethu is a natural formation made up of shoals/sand bars, which are possessed of their particular shape or form due to several millennia of sand action and sedimentation.
Further, the ASI justified its stand of the bridge not being man-made by stating that no human remains have been discovered at the site of the formation known as the Adam’s bridge.
After having carried out reconnaissance surveys, bathymetric and sonar studies, sampling and drilling at several locations on the Adam’s Bridge, the ASI came to the following conclusions:

  • The Rameshwaram island evolved approximately 1,25,000 years Before Present.
  • The Dhanushkodi sand pit appears to be a feature of coastal processes and shoreline emergence and its orientation appears to be along the dissipation of wave energy patters of Palk Bay and Gulf of Manor.
  • The marine domain between Rameshwaram and Sri Lanka was exposed between 18,000 and 7,000 years BP during which time it would have been possible for human beings and animals to travel on foot between India and Lanka.
  • Rock and Soil samples show that the same being from the Upper Miocene period.
  • The coastal areas around Mandapam, Rameshwaram and Adams Bridge indicate their revolution by a combination of various coastal processes such as palaeo sea level positions which led to the formation of beach rocks, coral growth, a series of islands known as Adams Bridge and the subsidence of the erstwhile Dhanushkodi township.
  • The field geographical observations and drilling data confirmed that there were no indications or evidences of man made structures on the present day seabed or on the subsurface level between Dhanushkodi tip and the Adam’s bridge islands within the exclusive economic zone limits of India.

Photos no proof of Ram Setu: NASA
“The mysterious bridge was nothing more than a 30 km long, naturally-occurring chain of sandbanks called Adam’s bridge,” Hess had added.
The same day, the government submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court in which the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said there were no historical records to prove the existence of a manmade Ram Setu. The Ramayana says Lord Ram’s army had built a bridge across the sea to Lanka (now Sri Lanka) on their way to battle the demon king Ravana.
The affidavit prepared by ASI had gone on to say there were no historical records to prove the existence of Lord Ram either

Myth vs Science

Two independent scientific agencies, namely the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and individual geologists have conducted detailed studies on the geological formations associated with Ram Sethu and all have established conclusively that Ram Sethu is not a man-made structure.
The GSI carried out a special programme called “Project Rameswaram” between December 2002 and March 2003, which, according to the GSI’s newsletter of September 2003 annexed in the government counter-affidavit, included: (i) reconnaissance survey; (ii) drilling the Dhanushkodi Foreland (the eastern projection of the Rameswaram island); (iii) offshore surveys involving depth measurements; (iv) seabed samples and side scan sonar images of the seabed; (v) drilling in one of the islands within the Exclusive Economic Zone, or EEZ (which is about 10 km from the Dhanushkodi tip); and (vi) radiocarbon or C-14 dating and thermoluminescence (TL) dating of samples.
Four boreholes, roughly 4 km apart, were drilled to collect subsurface sediment/rock samples to generate geological data towards determining the geological history of Dhanushkodi Foreland and Adam’s Bridge/Ram Sethu. Samples from different locations off Mandapam (located on the mainland coast across the Rameswaram island) were taken for TL dating.
Important among the GSI’s conclusions, based on the geological investigations of its marine wing, are the following:
There are no indications or evidence of man-made structures in the present-day seabed or in the sub-surface level between Dhanushkodi tip and Adam’s Bridge islands within India’s EEZ limits. Age data of corals indicate that the Rameswaram island has evolved since 125,000 years ago.
A combination of various natural coastal processes such as sea level positions in the historical past, wind-borne activity, new tectonic movements, wave action, etc., have led to the evolution of the coastal areas around Mandapam, Rameswaram and Adam’s Bridge/Ram Sethu, which has led to the formation of beach rocks, coral growth, vast stretches of coastal dunes, series of islands (of Ram Sethu) and subsidence of the erstwhile Dhanushkodi township.

Why new ‘Ram Setu’ video is no more than an interest-rouser, a talking point

So, what exactly does the video show?
It shows images that it says were captured by a NASA satellite over the “shallow waters” of the Indian Ocean, revealing something like a “chain of submerged objects running largely between Sri Lanka and India”. It says that on closer analysis, “investigators” had calculated that the “line of rocks” was “over 30 miles long”.
The video essentially makes two claims. One, that the rocks at the site “predate” the surrounding sand. “Scientific analysis reveals the rocks are 7,000 years old but are sitting over the top of sand that is only 4,000 years old,” it says. And two, that these rocks do not belong there and have been brought from somewhere else, possibly by a human agency.
These claims are not, however, made by any of the three “experts”. They are part of the commentary in the video. An unidentified individual says these are “stones that have been brought from afar and set on top of the sandbar island chain”.
And how credible are these two claims?
The promotional video cites no sources or studies. The basis for the claims will perhaps be known once the full episode is broadcast. It is best to wait until then.
However, none of the several Indian oceanographers and geologists that The Indian Express spoke to over Wednesday and Thursday were aware of any new published material in any peer-reviewed journal that would support these assertions. Several of them had seen the video, and they said it raised more questions than answers. “The claims in this video do not merit a discussion until the evidence or source is revealed,” Dr Rajiv Nigam, an acclaimed marine geologist who retired from the Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography, said.
While no scientific attempt has been made to date the rocks or the sand at the site, the claim that the rocks could be 7,000 years old is not entirely implausible, said C P Rajendran, a geologist with the Bengaluru-based Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.
However, like Dr Nigam, Prof Rajendran, too, said it was difficult to believe any claim in the absence of dating methodology and other information. “The claim about rocks having been transported from somewhere else… It need not necessarily be due to human intervention,” Prof Rajendran said. “It is possible that the rocks were transported by cyclones, which are pretty frequent in that area. But we need to have more information, and it is not there in this video,” he said.
How then should this video be seen?
Solely as an effort to “stimulate interest and conversation” in topics such as these, according to Argyilan, one of the experts quoted in the video. The Indian Express had contacted Argyilan and Rose to know more about the claims. Till the time of going to press, only Argyilan had responded. In an email, she said that she had “not performed primary scientific research related to Ram Setu”, and that she had been asked to comment “only on the satellite photograph” presented in the programme. “My specific comments in the piece address only the visual clues related to presence of a carbonate shoal — bright, light blue waters in a carbonate environment indicative of shallow waters between India and Sri Lanka,” Argyilan said
Rama was nothing but a fictional character.

Babri mosque/Ram Janmabhoomi

As I said there is no evidence that Ram even existed let alone proving his birth place. There is no record of when he was born. Hindus claim Babri mosque to be birthplace of Ram because there stands a mosque, had the mosque stood 25 kilometre from current spot then Hindus would’ve claimed that to be the birthplace of Rama. There is not a single historical document showing that Babri mosque was built over the ruins of a temple, nor does Baburnama says that. There is proof that people in the 16th century visited banks of Sarayu river for pilgrimage but there is no proof that people visited the spot (on which Babri mosque was built) for pilgrimage. Babur’s commander Mir Baqi constructed Babri mosque 500 years ago so there must have been some historical record of people visiting it prior to the construction of Babri mosque. After all its not so old, its just 500 years old history so there must have been some historical evidence to prove that Babri mosque was built after destruction of Ramjanmabhoomi. There were two renowned Hindu scholars in the 16th century namely Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who was the founder of Gaudiya Vaishnavism and another one was Tulsidas Goswami the ardent devotee of Ram who wrote Tulsi Ramayana, these two do not mention demolition of Ram temple. Hindu scriptures instead locates birthplace of Rama far away from the spot of Babri mosque,

Skanda Purana, Vaisnava Khanda 2, Ayodhya-Mahatmya 8, chapter 10, verses 16b-19 “To the west of it, the devotees should worship Vighnesvara by seeing whom not even the least obstacle remains (in the affairs) of men. Hence Vignesvara, the bestower of all desired benefits, should be worshipped. To the north-east of that spot is the place of the birth of Rama. This holy spot of the birth is, it is said, the means of achieving salvation etc. It is said that the place of birth is situated to the east of Vighnesvara, to the north of Vasistha and to the west of Laumasa.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

I have used Skanda Purana translated by Ganesh Vasudeo Tagare and published by Motilal Banarsidass. Historians in the following passage have used other version of Skanda Purana namely the Vrindavan manuscripts and Bodleian Library, Oxford,

“…We have used the printed version of the Skanda Purana (Kashemarian edn, Bombay, 1910) and two other versions found in Manuscripts in Vrindavan Reswarch Institute, Vrindaban, and the Bodleian Library, Oxford…The internal contents of the Skanda Purana including the mention of Vidyapati, who passed away in the first half of the 16th century, show that the core of this Purana itself was not compiled until earlier than the 16th century. Ayodhya-Mahatmya given in the printed version has not been compiled by one hand. For example, the course of the description of the tirathas [pilgrimage] in general is interrupted and all of a sudden the glorification of Ayodhya starts…The description of Janamsthan occurs in the last chapter of the Ayodhya-mahatmya (verses 18-25), and is clearly a latter addition. It is easier to make insertions at the end of texts. In spite of these various inconsistencies, even if we accept the location of the birthplace of Rama as given in Ayodhya-mahatmya, it does not tally with the site of the Baburi Masjid. Two terms are used for the birthplace of Rama, Janamsthan and Janambhumi. Even if we take the two to be identical, the Ayodhya-mahatmya information about the location of the birthplace does not take us to the Baburi Masjid site. Both the Vrindaban and Bodleian version of the Mahatmya mention the compass directions and distance from a few states. According to verses 21.24 the birthplace is located 500 dhanus (910 meters) westward of Laumash and 1009 (1835 meters) eastward of Vighneshvara. According to local Hindu belief Laumash or the place of Lomash is identical with the present Rinamochana Ghat. On this basis the Rama Janmabhumi should be located somewhere west, in the vicinity of the Brahmakunda close to the bed of Sarayu. Further according to the Mahatmya Rinamochana Ghat, or the place of Lomash, lies 700 dhanu (1274 meters) northeast of Brahmakunda. Both the direction and the distance have been found to be approximately correct by us. It is further stated that the Janmasthan lies northeast of Vighnesh. According to local tradition the place of Vighnesh is marked by a pillar, which lies southwest of Rinamochana Ghat. This again excludes the Baburi Masjid site and places the birthplace somewhere between Rinamochana and Brahmakunda on the bank of Saraya. Thus, according to Hindu belief as given in the Ayodhya Mahatmya of the Skanda Purana, the birth place of Rama cannot be located on the site where the Baburi Masjid stands. It is argued by experts of the VHP that the location of Rama Janambhumi is given on the basis of solar directions and cannot be determined through the use of campus. But even if we take solar directions into account the Janambhumi of the Skanda Purana cannot be located on the site of the Baburi Masjid…”
Babari Mosque or Rama’s Birth Place? Historians Report to the Indian Nation, By R.S. Sharma, M. Athar Ali, D.N. Jha and Suraj Bhan, Published 13th May, 1991.

The whole basis of Ayodhya case was that a temple had been demolished and then a mosque was built over it, but Supreme Court said in its judgement that “ASI had not established whether temple was demolished to build the mosque.” The verdict was given on the basis of faith of Hindus and not on facts, it was already known that verdict was going to be delivered in favor of Hindus in Hindu majority India since Hindu party was favored in the court. Questions were put only to Muslims and not to Hindus in the Supreme Court. River stream was found underneath Ram temple site, now we need to know if Ram was born in middle of a river or on a boat? Or is it that the river changed its course for Kaushalya to deliver Ram.

Renowned historian Sarvepalli Gopal writes,
“It is quite evident that no temple-mosque controversy was known in Ayodhya till the nineteenth century. Local stories were put into circulation and claims were raised over the places of worship in Ayodhya. The British played a significant role in strengthening the claim by providing the local stories with a historical basis. The British in Faizabad and Ayodhya had come to stay after AD 1816. The devepments in Ayodhya were an extension of whatever was happening in the adjoining district of Banaras, where a great riot had occurred in 1809. By then the British had been in the area for over twenty five years. It is therefore certain that the attempt of the British writers to provide a historical basis to the circulating local myths, fostered the Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhumi issue in Ayodhya.” Anatomy of a confrontation: the rise of communal politics in India, p.48, by Sarvepalli Gopal, Palgrave Macmillan, 15-Oct-1993

“It seems probable that in the nineteenth century the idea started developing in Avadh that Babur had destroyed the Ramjanmabhumi temple and erected a mosque in its place. In 1838, Montgomery Martin wrote that the people of Ayodhya maintained that a mosque had been raised by Babur. Martin added that as in other parts of North India, in Ayodhya too, Aurgangzeb was blamed for the destruction of several Hindu temples. However, it was Babur’s mosque that attracted Martin’s attention most. He wrote that in the construction of the mosque, carved black stone pillars had been used and as they were un-Islamic they confirm the destruction of temples by Muslim zealots. However, Martin felt that the Babri Masjid had not been built from the debris of the temple said to have been erected by Vikrama of Ujjain. The story of Babur and his mosque started gaining significance in the nineteenth century. In 1819, John Leyden translated the memoirs of Babur and he wrote that Babur had encamped near Ayodhya on 28 march 1528. In 1826 Erksine remarked that he had found a document that confirmed that Babur remained in Ayodhya for a fortnight and was involved in building activites. The remarks by these two confirmed the local myth that Babur had destroyed the Ramjanmabhumi temple during his stay in Ayodhya. In 1866, H.M. Elliot asserted that Babur came to Ayodhya and destroyed the famous temple. He added that the mosque was constructed about the time of his expedition to Bihar. It was on the basis of these writings that the idea gained popularity. Most of the British officials and scholars who tried to put together a history of Ayodhya highlighted the desecration of the temple commemorating the birthplace of Rama. This idea became so strongly entrenched in the psyche of the British officials and the local people that it was difficult to dislodge it.” Anatomy of a Confrontation: Ayodhya and the Rise of Communal Politics in India, p.47, By Sarvepalli Gopal, Palgrave Macmillan, 15-Oct-1993

Hindus try to claim every monument as their and link it to their religion, they consider Vatican city to be distorted word for Vatika and Taj Mahal to be Tejo Mahelya even when there is historical data showing construction of Taj Mahal from the foundation. Also read,


Birth of Rama and Sita

King Dashratha didn’t have any son so he performed Ashvamedha Yajna and then Kaushalya gave birth to Rama and other wives also gave birth to Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrugana.
As per Hindu scriptures Sita didn’t have any mother, she was born from earth or arosed from the earth.

Sita is described as born of no woman (or womb), this is mentioned in Agni Purana 5.11-12; Valmiki Ramayana 1.66.26. Sita addresses Rama,
Valmiki Ramayana Yudha Khanda 6.116.15 “O knower of virtuous conduct! My birth was from Janaka in disguise; but was actually from the earth. My sacred birth of such a high degree, was not honoured by you.” Tr. Shri K.M.K. Murthy


Rama disowns Sita


The entire chapter 115 of Yuddha Kanda speaks of this. Ram says that he liberated Sita from Ravana not because of his affection to Sita but only to get back his lost honor. Ram clearly tells Sita that he has not affection towards Sita. And then goes on to say that Sita is free to take shelter elsewhere, the Maryada Purshottom (ideal man) even tells his wife to go to any person namely Lakshaman, Bharat, Shatrughna, Sugreeva or even to demon Vibhishan the brother of Ravana. Hearing these words of Rama, Sita started to cry.


Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda 6, Sarga 115, verses 1-25 “Seeing that Seetha, who stood at his vicinity bowing low, Rama began to tell his feeling hidden in his heart. You are won back by me, after conquering the enemy in the battle-field, my dear lady! That which is to be done through human effort, has been accomplished by me. I have come to the end of my indignation and my outrage has been completely requited as also the contempt against the enemy have been wiped out, all at once, by me. Now, my manly strength has been seen by all. Today, my toil has borne fruit. Now, I have fulfilled my promise. Today, I am the master of myself. The wrong done to you, when you were deserted from me, in that you were taken away by a fickle-minded demon, which was ordained by the destiny, has been corrected by me as a human being. What is the use of a prowess, however great, of that weak-minded man who does not wipe out, by his energy, the insult fallen to his lot? The praise-worthy act of Hanuma in the form of crossing of the ocean and the destroying of Lanka, has borne fruit today. The endeavour of Sugreeva, who exhibited his prowess on the battle-field with his army and tendered a good advice, is fruitful today. Furthermore, the exertion of Vibhishana, who after deserting his brother who was void of good qualities, sought my presence, is fruitful today. Hearing those words spoken thus by Rama, Seetha with her eyes wide open like those of a female-deer, was bathed in tears. The heart of King Rama, as he saw Seetha, (the beloved of his heart) near him, was torn for fear of public scandal. In the midst of monkeys and demons, Rama spoke (as follows) to Seetha, whose eyes resembled the petals of a lotus, who wore dark curly hair and was endowed with fine hips. I, wanting for an honour, have done this particular act, which ought to be done by a man, in killing Ravana and thus wiping away the insult meted out to me. You have been won by me, whose mind stands purified by asceticism as the southern quarter, which was difficult to be approached by the world of mortals, was conquered by the Sage Agastya. Let it be known to you that this endeavor in the shape of war, which has been successful carried through, due to the strength of my friends was not undertaken for your sake. Let there be prosperity to you! This was done by me in order to keep up my good conduct and to wipe off the evil-speaking from all sides as well as the insinuation on my own illustrious dynasty. You, with a suspicion arisen on your character, standing in front of me, are extremely disagreeable to me, even as a light to one, who is suffering from a poor eye-sight. O Seetha! 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? While mentioning greatly about my lineage, how can I accept again, you who were harassed in Ravana’s lap (while being borne away by him) and who were seen (by him) with evil looks? You were won by me with that end in view (viz. the retrieval of my lost honour). The honour has been restored by me. For me, there is no intense attachment in you. You may go wherever you like from here. O gracious lady! Therefore, this has been spoken by me today, with a resolved mind. Set your mind on Lakshmana or Bharata, as per your ease. O Seetha! 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. Hearing that unpalatable speech of her beloved husband, Seeta who used to hear pleasing words alone, was very much trembled for long, like a creeper attacked by the proboscis of an elephant and thereupon shed tears.” Tr. K. M. K. Murthy


Rama and Sita commits suicide

Ram commits suicide by drowning himself into the Sarayu River. Now Hindu fanatics attacking minorities by chanting Jai Shree Ram should also follow what Ram did who came on earth in flesh and bone to teach the way of living.

Valmiki Ramayana, Uttara Khanda, chapter 110 “When he had proceeded about six miles, the Pride of the Raghus beheld the sacred waters of the Sarayu flowing westwards, eddying and rippling in their course, and he went on further to the Goprataraka Ghata, his subjects thronging round him on all sides. At that momemnt, as Kakutsth was preparing to ascent to heaven. Brahma, the Grandsire of the World, surrounded by the Gods and the illustrious Rishis adorned with jewels, appeared seated in their aerial chariots, and the whole firmament glowed with a transcendent splendour…Thereafter to the sound of a myriad instruments and the singing of the Gandharvas and Apsaras, Rama stepped into the waters, whereupon the Grandsire, from on high, uttered these words: ‘Hail O Vishnu! Hail O Raghava! With thy God-like brothers, now enter thine eternal abode! Return to thien body if thou so desirest, O Long-armed warrior! Occupy the realm of Vishnu or the shining ether…Hearing these words of the Grandsire, the supremely virtuous Rama formed his resolution and entered Vishnu’s abode in his body with his younger brothers…” Tr. Hari Prasad Shastri

Valmiki Ramayana, Uttara Khanda, chapter 110 “…At that time, whosoever entered the water of the Sarayu River, yielding up their lives gladly, their eyes suffused with tears of ecstasy, and, having abandoned their bodies, took their places in a celestial chariot. As for those in animal form, who entered the waters of the Sarayu in hundreds, they ascended to the Third Heaven in divinely resplendent bodies…” Tr. Hari Prasad Shastri
Much before Rama’s suicide, Sita commits suicide by ‘descending the earth’ from where she was born. Which is nothing but Sita committing suicide.

Valmiki Ramayana, Uttara Khanda 7.97 “…If, in thought, I have neve dwelt on any but Rama, may the Goddess Madhavi receive me!’ As Vaidehi was still speaking, a miracle took place and, from the earth rose a marvellous celestial throne supported on the heads of Nagas of immeasurable power, their bodies adorned with divine gems. The Goddess Dharani, bidding her welcome, took Maithili in her arms, causing her to be seated on that celestial seat and, while she occupied the throne, a shower of blossoms fell without ceasing from the sky. Then the Gods bursts into loud acclamations, crying ‘Excellent! Excellent! O Sita thy virtue is supreme!’… The entire assembly witnessed Sita’s descent into the earth and, at that moment, a great tremor passed through the whole world.” Tr. Hari Prasad Shastri

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