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I couldn't help but notice but all tales are about the victors. They are always about how the good one, a subjective entity, won over the bad one, again a subjective entity. The voice of the vanquished seldom noted in a sense of appraisal, it almost always describes why they are bad.

When Hanuman burns down Lanka and is captured, Vibhishana tries to reason with Ravana on why he is wrong and why he should seek the feet of Rama. In process Vibhishana describes how great Rama is, how he is an embodiment of everything that is good in the world, how he is pinnacle of human excellence, how he is not a mere human but a great Saint. It is merely a laurel for Rama rather than reason. It seems that all of dharma at the moment was to serve what was right, again a subjective entity. It is told as if seeking the feet of Rama was the only truth in the universe. He is the one that would lead the world to salvation. Nothing else could lead you to moksha. Although, Ravana might be the one with pride and anger, how come praising someone else in front of a person with a high self esteem be ever be the solution. It is rather provocative. It would anger a person even more.

The concept of 'papa', also is used ever so randomly. When the good one does a deed that could be called bad, it is termed as 'leela' or 'maya' of the great one. When someone challenges this notion, it is always shut down by saying that the great one is great and you are too small to question the great one. It is the mystery of the great one to do such things. How are we to measure the greatness?

Why is it that we have to lookup to one that is good? Is it our ultimate goal to serve the great?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Keshav Srinivasan May 31 '17 at 4:07

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First - While Ramayana is itihaasa, you must remember that it was written by a RuShi which means that the author is committed to speaking the truth. They do not color the narrative with personal biases or ulterior motives. They always call a spade a spade. To wit, there are accounts of the superior lives of the inhabitants of Lanka both in terms of prosperity and adherence to dharma (agni kriyas etc.). Do not confuse western definition of "history" with what is RuSi prOktam. Western(Xtian) history is indeed the account of the victor but not Hindu itihAsa.

Second- "seeking the feet of Ram was the only truth in the universe." This IS the only truth in the universe.

Third - "It seems that all of dharma at the moment was to serve what was right," But of course! Why are you questioning it? If you are talking about the subjectivity of what is right - this is why there are clearly defined dharma sastras. To remove the subjectvitiy and individual interpretation of right and wrong. Do you question the constitution or the law or the penal code as subjective? These have been defined after sifting through all possible interpretations and subjectivity and arriving at the truth that endures across time and space and applies universally.

There may be nuances but by and large the law is the law. No?

Fourth - "how come praising someone else infront of a person with a high self esteem be ever be the solution" Heard of counselling, intervention etc.? These are accepted in modern day because they have "western" sanction but we cannot look past the packaging when they are offered in Hindu texts.

Fifth - "The voice of the vanquished seldom noted in a sense of appraisal, it almost always describes why they are bad. " Wrong again. Take the example of Rama- Vali samvaada. Vali challenges Rama's actions and tries to justify his own deed. As the dialogue progresses, Vali sees the truth of the matter and acknowledges his wrong-doings. His voice was not silenced nor were his views suppressed. They were reasoned out.

Sixth- "The concept of 'papa', also is used ever so randomly." No. It is well-defined. "When the good one does a deed that could be called bad, it is termed as 'leela' or 'maya' of the great one. " The good ones do not do bad things. They only seem bad because we do not understand the nuances of dharma. Once we understand these, we also realise that the good ones did not do bad. The view is a limitation of the viewer not of the dharma itself.

Seventh - "Why is it that we have to lookup to one that is good? Is it our ultimate goal to serve the great? " Do you want to look up one that is bad? Is your ultimate goal to serve evil? Why? Answer this and we will find sufficient reason to look up to that which is good.

Last- " He is the one that would lead the world to salvation. Nothing else could lead you to moksha. " This IS the truth.

P.S. What is your confusion here? You don't like good ; you like bad?

  • I understand your elucidation. It is not that I like good or bad, the question was why is the way of dharma to be accepted. Is it only black and white in the description of dharma and evil. If the nuances of dharma are not easily understood, why are we supposed to make an effort in understanding it when there is something simpler, that goes by the will. Please do not view my comment as a list of questions but as a curious minds pondering. I do not intend to challenge something rather to understand it better. – Manikanta Reddy D May 31 '17 at 4:10
  • The nuances of dharma exist. Free will is not superior to dharma; which is why we have to make an effort to understand dharma. Yes I understand where you are coming from but to give you a satisfactory answer requires the exposition as well as the exploration of the foundation, structure & superstructure of law, justice, social order, laws of the universe, balance of karma, physical forces of the universe and their transformations, and many other fundamental concepts. Basically we need to explore what drives the universe and life. Such exploration has already been done and resulted in dharma1/1 – user1195 May 31 '17 at 4:25
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    Good one. You can also add an instance where Ravana is also praised as great in Sundarakanda. – Sarvabhouma May 31 '17 at 4:48
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    @ManikantaReddyD Valmiki Ramayana is an unbiased version of Ramayana. As said in the answer, it is itihaasa which really happened. A sage won't have any bias over a demon or a demigod. He treats everyone eually while narrating incidents. There are many instances in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata where the antagonists are praised. – Sarvabhouma May 31 '17 at 4:50
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    @sv, you may think the logic is poor, but Vali, the victim, didn't think so. He was completely satisfied by Rama's answers, and entrusted his own son Angada to Rama. To put it in modern terms if u like - 'If a victim refuses to press charges, police don't question the perpetrator'. – ram Jun 1 '17 at 19:23
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To look up to the good and great is a hallmark of civilized society. Because Truth triumphs and is lasting. By not doing so you are promoting evil.

And have you not heard that history is written by the victor? He has the right of way, he is right in the aftermath of a successful conflict..

  • This exactly is what I'm questioning. Are the ways of ones that win to followed? In that case there should be nothing wrong with someone eating a cow, he deafeated it and hence consuming it. There is nothing wrong with robbing someone, I triumphed over him. – Manikanta Reddy D May 31 '17 at 2:38
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    @ManikantaReddyD You got it backwards. The ways of those to be followed must be followed. Those who must be followed always win. – user1195 May 31 '17 at 3:44
  • @ManikantaReddyD, yeah there is nothing wrong with you robbing someone. There is also nothing wrong in police shooting you. And nobody shoots the police for shooting a robber. So who won at the end ? Your definition of 'end' is half-way. End means, end of karmic loop. As long as an action you take is adharma, you'll end up as the loser no matter how far away the 'end' is. – ram Jun 1 '17 at 19:30
  • The debate on this point is interesting. Yes 'history is always the victor's tale'. That said, 'What is Evil'? Logically, it is that which is not good. But then 'What is Good'? and the answer unambigously is that whch is not evil. And so we are where we started. In this regard there are verses in Valmiki Ramayana that sing praises of Raavana's good qualities. In Uttara Kaanda (not available in most printed editions) there are six sargas dedicated to Raavana Digvijaya. I am sure that these worses would not potray Raavana in a negative way. So your assertion that only the victor's qualities – Suresh Ramaswamy Sep 23 '17 at 2:36
  • victor's qualities are praised & the vanquished is ignored does not hold good. Again Ravana was a great Shaivite scholar. He had many good qualities which are praised in various Puranas. In Shiva Purana also there is reference to Ravana's worship of Shiva and his prayer to Lord Shiva. Therefore, to say that the vanquished are always potrayed as evil & the victor as good, does not hold good for Itihasa Puranas, but it really does appear so apparently. Only an in depth study of the scriptures will reveal that even though inclined to criticize the loser their good qualities are appreciated. – Suresh Ramaswamy Sep 23 '17 at 3:24

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