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How are women represented in the Ramayana story - Essay Example

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‘Sita’ is regarded as the ‘ideal’ woman. Ramayana is one of the two great epics of the Hindu mythology, and dates back to as early as 1500…
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How are women represented in the Ramayana story
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Download file to see previous pages The epic, in totality, describes victory of goodness over evil through the virtues of love, honesty, truth, respect, and dignity.
Ramayana has been translated, rewritten and reinterpreted by many scholars in various Indian languages. The author, R.K.Narayan, has followed the work of Kamban, a famous Tamil poet of the 11th century A.D, in his narration of The Ramayana (p.xii). While the Ramayana describes the greatness of Rama, son of King Dasaratha, the epic highlights depth of every relation; for example, that of the son, the teacher, the father, the mother, the brother, the sister, the daughter, the King, the Soldier, and the servant. Parallely, it also describes the role of the man and woman on this earth. Ever since history was discovered, the Hindu mythology always regarded woman with great respect and dignity, next to the Almighty, himself. Scholars have also stated that even God, himself, bows down only in front of this mother. Even Ramayana describes woman with the same dignity and respect.
The author’s narration of the story of Thataka, a ferocious female demon, depicts Rama’s hesitation to kill her on the orders of teacher Vishwamitra because killing a woman was against his principles. Then the author refers to the teacher’s statement made to Rama, ‘a woman of demoniac tendencies loses all consideration to be treated as a woman’ (p.13). This explains that woman is considered to be a life-giver and deserves the ultimate position of respect that any human being can ever receive. Any woman that cannot personify that ideal figure and causes destruction, is not worthy of living.
In the context of power and control, the author refers to Vishwamitra’s narration of the story of Ganga to Rama. In this context, Ganga, the holy river is gendered as female (p.16). In his narration Ganga is all powerful, and convincing Ganga for a cause ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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