There are four yugas: Satya Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, Treta Yuga, Kali Yuga.

It is well known that dharma is relative w.r.t. the time. Many dharmas which are valid in one yuga may not be valid for the other. Inorder to remove the ambiguity, dharma sastras and other scriptures come into the picture.

With this context, I got the following doubt.

I read one story of Oghavati from Mahabharata, and words of Rama from Ramayana.

Observe the following lines by Sudarsana:

The son of Agni, O king, said to Oghavati,--Do thou never act contrary to (the wishes of) those that seek our hospitality. Thou shouldst make no scruple about the means by which guests are to be welcomed, even if thou have to offer thy own person.

[SECTION II, Anusasanika Parva, The Mahabharata]

Similarly observe the following lines by Rama:

"O gracious lady! Therefore, this has been spoken by me today, with a resolved mind. Set you 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."

[22-23, Sarga 115, Yuddha Kanda , Valmiki Ramayana]

and also these lines by him:

"Without being asked, I myself would have gladly offered even Sita with kingdom, even my life, loved ones and wealth."

[7, Chapter 19, Ayodhya Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana]

It is well known that Ramayana happened during Treta Yuga and the story of Oghavati happened mostly before Dwapara Yuga.

Even it seems to be extreme step in those yugas also. It was still treated as dharma during those days.

Is that dharma of giving/offering own wife to others is invalid in Kali yuga according to scriptures? If yes, which scripture mentions about relativity of this particular dharma?

1 Answer 1


The relativity of dharma with respect to person is of primary importance to this question than the relativity of dharma with respect to time.

The simple answer may be that both Sudarsana and Rama are Jivan Mukthas from childhood i.e., self-realized at childhood itself.

Sudarsana is Jivan Muktha

Sudarsana also was, in appearance, as beautiful as the full moon, and even in his childhood he attained to a knowledge of the supreme and everlasting Brahma.

[SECTION II, Anusasanika Parva, The Mahabharata]

In addition to that, the couple are following the vrat of satisfying guests with high priority.

Rama is also a Jivan Muktha. At the age of fifteen, Rama listened Yoga Vasista and became Jivan Muktha. Rama himself declares about his liberation to Vasistha.

It is all owing to thy favour only, O Venerable sir, that I have attained to my state of perfect holiness, and become as pure as the clear atmosphere in autumnal calm and serenity. I am entirely freed from all the errors, which are so detrimental to the right course of our lives in this world, and an act as pure as the clear sky, in the true and very state of finite vacuity. (The very state of the deity). I am set free from all bonds, and released from all attributes and adjuncts; I find myself situated in a crystalline sphere, and shining there as clear as crystal. I am quite pacified in my mind and am neither willing to hear or do anything else; I am quite satiate in myself, and require nothing more for my satisfaction. I am quite at rest as in the state of hypnotism ...................................................................... This world I ween, is certainly a vacuum; and it is by my belief in the nihility of the phenomenal, that I am awaked to my immortality. (The visible world is a passing and vanishing sight, and it is by our belief in the spiritual only, that we see the everlasting scene)................................I am neither content nor discontented with anything, nor rejoice nor repine at any event; I do what is my duty in society, without retaining the erroneous conception of reaping their reward..............................................So long sir, as I shall have to live in this body of mine, I must do my bodily acts, with my mind fixed in the sole One only. I must live to eat and drink, and continue in the course of my business in life; but I am freed from all fear of my failings in them, by the kind counsels to me. (That the liberated man is at liberty to do or undo his duties).

[10-30, Chapter 201, Yoga Vasistha [English], Yoga Vasistha]

Thus both Sudarsana and Rama became Jivan Mukthas long before their marriages. And it is important to understand that the Jivan Mukthas are beyond both Dharma and Adharma.

This explanation may not be apt for the second statement made by Rama in the question as it can be seen as words of punishment to Sita for her harsh words to Lakshmana just before her abduction by Ravana.

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