Questions on Ramayan

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Posted: 8 months ago

Hey guys. I have recently started reading up about Ramayan and have a lot of questions. My questions may look repetitive, but I am new to this. I hardly have much knowledge about Ramayan except the basic story line. I haven't read the real epic. Feel free to clear my misconceptions. Thought y'all well be able to explain things to me :) 


1. Why didn't Ayodhya or Mithila help Ram when he went to battle with Ravan? I know Janak was not a king per say but more of the head of a farmer community, but still, I guess they could provide some help. No excuse for Ayodhya though. 

2. Hanuman went to Sita in Ashok Vatika and met her. Why couldn't he have brought her back? 🙈😂 

3. What was the reason for Manthara's strong hatred for Ram? Was it just because she came from Kekaya and wanted Bharat hence? That seems strange. 

4. How is beating up Manthara like that justified - I have read that Bharat and Shatrughan beat her up later. She technically was just looking out for the queen from her kingdom. Is beating her up justified? 

5. Why did Dasharath love Ram more than others? 

6. Is it true that Vibhishan married Mandodari after he became King? 

7. How is Meghnath's death justified? Laxman was unable to defeat him if he would have finished Nikulbhila Yajna. But why couldn't Ram have taken up arms and fought with him? 

8. It's a known fact that Ram asked Sita to go through agnipariksha. How is this justified and why did he do this? (Appease subjects is not reason enough IMO) 

9. Who managed Ayodhya while Ram was away? Bharat with Ram's slippers? 

10. What's Shatrughan's role in the whole epic? 

11. Why did Lakshman cut off Surpanakha's nose and ears like that? This was wrong at least as per my understanding. There's nothing wrong in asking a man's hand in marriage as polygamy was common? 

12. Did Ravan ever show any romantic interest in Sita? I haven't heard of any, but still asking. What was his motive? To keep Sita as a prisoner forever? I mean how did he want to take revenge for Surpanakha? 


I'll add more as and when needed 🙈 

Posted: 8 months ago

Originally posted by CaptainSpark


Hey guys. I have recently started reading up about Ramayan and have a lot of questions. My questions may look repetitive, but I am new to this. I hardly have much knowledge about Ramayan except the basic story line. I haven't read the real epic. Feel free to clear my misconceptions. Thought y'all well be able to explain things to me :) 


1. Why didn't Ayodhya or Mithila help Ram when he went to battle with Ravan? I know Janak was not a king per say but more of the head of a farmer community, but still, I guess they could provide some help. No excuse for Ayodhya though.


I answered this in the other thread so just copying it over:


When Seeta was abducted, Rama was going about as a hermit. His coronation was not done so technically, Ayodhya had no King. He was King just in name, and Bharat was his regent. This is why Rama might have refrained from asking the Ayodhya peeps to come down.

 Also, communication was slow. To find Seetao nly they took like 10months, and another month to travel down to the sea-shore. So, to wait for the Ayodhya army to first come to Kishkindha, then to Lanka, it would've been tiresome, and many people would've died on the way thus weakening both Rama's and Ayodhya's army.

Then, as I mentioned Ayodhya did not have a coronated King for 14 years. Bharat did the administrative stuff but he did not have powers equal to a coronated King. In this case, he needed all the support he could to keep Ayodhya safe from invaders and such. The most important asset of them was Ayodhya's formidable army, to remove even one soldier would weaken Ayodhya's defenses and would potentially jeopardize Rama's accession in the future.


As for Janak, he was a highly respected King so Dasharath might have, but I don't think his jamai raja had any practical authority to command him. Also, a little ego battle: Ayodhya always stands alone and above all else.


2. Hanuman went to Sita in Ashok Vatika and met her. Why couldn't he have brought her back? 🙈😂


Seeta didn't want to touch a different man than Rama. Hanuman offered, though. smiley36


3. What was the reason for Manthara's strong hatred for Ram? Was it just because she came from Kekaya and wanted Bharat hence? That seems strange.


Ramayan is mostly a utopian composition. Everyone is white/black, nothing in between really unless it is explicitly mentioned (like Meghnaad).

Manthara saw Rama as the one and only obstacle in the path of Bhaat's 'success' so Rama bore the brunt of her crusades.


4. How is beating up Manthara like that justified - I have read that Bharat and Shatrughan beat her up later. She technically was just looking out for the queen from her kingdom. Is beating her up justified?


Bharat actually stopped Shatrughna from killing Manthara (as per the laws for having sabotaged the prince of the kingdom). Both Bharat and Rama, as the main people in positions of advantage/disadvantage due to her plottings, forgave her eventually.


5. Why did Dasharath love Ram more than others?


First child, heir to the throne, generally of a pleasing disposition.

Rama had been groomed to become the futrure King from the start. I'm sure that involved him spending a lot of time with his father, the actual King. So perhaps that was the reason Dasharath was more inclined towards him.


6. Is it true that Vibhishan married Mandodari after he became King?


There are some folklores, most accepted versions/translations do not mention this.


7. How is Meghnath's death justified? Laxman was unable to defeat him if he would have finished Nikulbhila Yajna. But why couldn't Ram have taken up arms and fought with him?


Lakshman had vowed to fight Meghnaad so Rama refrained form interfering. If Lakshman had failed in his final attempt I guess Rama would have stepped in.


8. It's a known fact that Ram asked Sita to go through agnipariksha. How is this justified and why did he do this? (Appease subjects is not reason enough IMO)


There is a story of Maya Seeta. It's said that the real Seeta went with Agni deva and lived in Agni loka for that one year when Ravan abducted her and shiz. In this story, Ravana is able to 'touch' and 'abduct' and 'subdue' only the Maya/Chhaya Seeta. It is believed that Seeta could take on the form of MahaKaali at her will (she killed Ravana's elder cousin AhiRavana in this manner). So, Ravan would've died if he tried to touch the actual Seeta and Rama's life purpose would be unfinished. These stories are found in Ananda and Adbhuta Ramayana, both ascribed to Valimiki.


9. Who managed Ayodhya while Ram was away? Bharat with Ram's slippers?


Yup, from Nandigrama (WB wala or not idk smiley36).


10. What's Shatrughan's role in the whole epic?


Nothing, really.

In Uttar Kanda he slays the demon Lavanasura and is then crowned the King of Mathura. Also, on his way to Mathura, he ends up in Valimiki's ashram on the night that Lava-Kusha are born, and Valmiki very slyly has him do the christening of the boys without revealing their identity.


11. Why did Lakshman cut off Surpanakha's nose and ears like that? This was wrong at least as per my understanding. There's nothing wrong in asking a man's hand in marriage as polygamy was common?


That was wrong, definitely. Lakshman's logic was that she didn't quit trying after both Rama and he both turned her down once. Also, she insulted Seeta.


12. Did Ravan ever show any romantic interest in Sita? I haven't heard of any, but still asking. What was his motive? To keep Sita as a prisoner forever? I mean how did he want to take revenge for Surpanakha?


He wasn't exactly taking revenge for Shoorpanakha. In fact there are theories which suggest Shoorpanakha was the one taking revenge here. Ravan had previously killed her husband Vidyutjihhva in a battle (where the husband was a minor soldier, so he was unnecessarily killed).

so, in this theory Shoorpanakha identifies Rama as the only match for Ravana. She knew Ravana had a problem with the ladies, so she set him up for Seeta so that Rama and Ravana could be played off against one another. (First she tried taking Rama as her husband, so she could influence HIM to fight, but that didn't work so she lured Ravan there with Seeta)


Ravan definitely had romantic interests. He was in fact quite polite with her in the beginning, requesting her to take him as her husband. He got rakshas-y only when Seeta showed resilience. Ravana also tried luring Seeta by promising Mandodari as her maid if she marries him. Ravana also forced Mandodari to come and promise to BE her maid (which Mandodari absolutely HATED doing but couldn't say no).


Ravan however did not even touch Seeta due to an archaic curse that said Ravana would die if he forces any woman into having relations with him. I think it was Mandodari's influence that kept him from forcing Seeta outright (Lanka was vaguely matriarchal owing to Rajmata Kaikasi's presence).


I'll add more as and when needed 🙈 


Hope I could help! <3

Posted: 8 months ago

@Pro - quite clear now. 😂

Just- Why would Ram have to convince Janak? I mean he could have sent a messenger, also Janak never tried finding out what happened to his daughter? He should naturally send in people for help 🙈

Second, if she was only Maya Seeta what's the need to bring Maya Seeta back from Ravan when real Sita is safe? 

Third, isn't it dumb to not go back to Ram despite his messenger coming in 😂 I mean if we see it as hanuman being a MONKEY, she was just having a vahaan. Also Ravan already touched her (as in kidnapped) 

Fourth, is it explicitly mentioned that Ram was an incarnation of Vishnu? (Like in MB I guess Krishna's Vishwaroopam is the mention apart from Bhagwat Puran) 

Also, was Mandodari Ravan's only wife? 

Posted: 8 months ago

Originally posted by CaptainSpark


@Pro - quite clear now. 😂

Just- Why would Ram have to convince Janak? I mean he could have sent a messenger, also Janak never tried finding out what happened to his daughter? He should naturally send in people for help 🙈


Politics right. Also, as per rules, after marriage Seeta was officially Rama's problem not his.

And, it would take freakishly long time for a messenger to go up there, notify him and then return with an army. Tab tak toh they had already won the war. smiley36


Second, if she was only Maya Seeta what's the need to bring Maya Seeta back from Ravan when real Sita is safe?


Dushton ka samhaar! smiley14


Third, isn't it dumb to not go back to Ram despite his messenger coming in 😂 I mean if we see it as hanuman being a MONKEY, she was just having a vahaan. Also Ravan already touched her (as in kidnapped)


You know Nabanita Deb Sen's Seeta says the exact same thing in her satire wala short story. smiley36

As for the real Seeta, well she held those sorta things pretty close to heart didn't she. smiley9


Fourth, is it explicitly mentioned that Ram was an incarnation of Vishnu? (Like in MB I guess Krishna's Vishwaroopam is the mention apart from Bhagwat Puran)


Funnily, not really. It is implied, and latter texts mention this but Valmiki does not.

I don't remember though, maybe one instance was during their births, where Rama is 50% Vishnu, so is Bharat, and Lakshman-Shatrughna each were 25% Vishu (based on how much payasam their mothers had).


Also, was Mandodari Ravan's only wife?


She was his first and principal wife (there's a funny story about how Ravana tried to marry Parvati but Parvati tricked him into marrying Madodari). 

another wife called Dhanyamalini is mentioned on and off, but basically he had a house full of married and abducted ladies.


Posted: 8 months ago

Originally posted by CaptainSpark


@Pro - quite clear now. 😂

Just- Why would Ram have to convince Janak? I mean he could have sent a messenger, also Janak never tried finding out what happened to his daughter? He should naturally send in people for help 🙈

As pro said sending a messenger and returning from Kishkindha would take much time, they had already delayed much time. Plus he couldn't delay post 14 years since Bharat had made him promise to return within 14 years else he would commit suicide.

And no Janak didn't know that Seeta was abducted, Ram had moved out of North India to come to Dandak one in South India just to ensure that people from Ayodhya and Mithila don't come to them regularly

Second, if she was only Maya Seeta what's the need to bring Maya Seeta back from Ravan when real Sita is safe? 

To be honest I don't believe in this Maya Seeta theory since it's not there in Valmiki Ramayana, (by the way folklores have that Draupadi is a reincarnation of this Maya Seeta) but even if we assume it to be true then Ram's purpose to incarnate was to restore Dharma by killing Adharmi Ravan, Seeta Haran was just a part of the bigger game. Aside even if for a moment we believe that it wasn't needed, was it actually advisable to leave the woman who helped you n your wife in the abduction of a monster? Isn't getting her freed a moral responsibility

Third, isn't it dumb to not go back to Ram despite his messenger coming in 😂 I mean if we see it as hanuman being a MONKEY, she was just having a vahaan. Also Ravan already touched her (as in kidnapped) 

Ravan had pulled her by hairs not actually touched her body and Hanuman was a Vanar not actually a monkey. It is a different species just like humans, Rakshas etc. 

Plus there is a difference between being touched forcefully and allowing someone to touch

Fourth, is it explicitly mentioned that Ram was an incarnation of Vishnu? (Like in MB I guess Krishna's Vishwaroopam is the mention apart from Bhagwat Puran) 

Actually the Valmiki Ramayana explicitly doesn't mention Ram being an incarnation of Vishnu, it states Ram as some great man as great as Vishnu. Aside unlike as in Krishna avtaar, Ram Avtaar never mentions Himself as God but behaves only as human since Ravan could be killed only by Humans hence Ram doesn't exhibit any God like powers

Also, was Mandodari Ravan's only wife? 

She was the chief wife and the only one mentioned by name but there were definitely more wives of Ravan

Posted: 8 months ago

Thanks guys. More or less clear now. I also don't get the Maya Seeta theory so considering it was real Seeta- 

I am sure she knew that if Hanuman was coming to her with proof Ram obviously trusted him and hence sent him in. So it's a little strange that she still refused to come back with him and made Ram go through the whole thing? I mean if we consider Ram human I am assuming he didn't know he was destined to kill Ravan or something. So it would be a better option to not lose so much of the army for this reason when there is the option of bringing her back via Hanuman. I am just wondering the logic behind this whole thing. Also it doesn't show Sita as a very mature woman IMO. 

And how come Janak never knew about Sita haran? I mean didn't he bother to even find out via Ayodhya what was going on? Sounds strange. I understand why the army bit didn't happen but not even asking about your daughter is a little weird even in those times. 

Also, I am still unable to understand Ravan's motive. Considering he didn't know Surpanakha's revengeful ideas as per what Pro said, he then of course worked because he was angry with what Laxman did. Why then did he target RAM and not Lakshman himself? Also, what exactly would he achieve by bringing Sita in? As in obviously Ram would wage war with him and try to get her back so he even if he won the war he would be left with Sita. How is that serving his intentions? I want to know his clear motives and reasons why he did these things. 

Also @FP - can you elaborate on the anthropological bit about Hanuman being another species. I would love to know more about this in fact that's what I was wanting to ask you guys about. 

Posted: 8 months ago

Also interested to know y'all ka viewpoint about Meghnath. 

Posted: 8 months ago

Originally posted by CaptainSpark


Thanks guys. More or less clear now. I also don't get the Maya Seeta theory so considering it was real Seeta- 

I am sure she knew that if Hanuman was coming to her with proof Ram obviously trusted him and hence sent him in. So it's a little strange that she still refused to come back with him and made Ram go through the whole thing? I mean if we consider Ram human I am assuming he didn't know he was destined to kill Ravan or something. So it would be a better option to not lose so much of the army for this reason when there is the option of bringing her back via Hanuman. I am just wondering the logic behind this whole thing. Also it doesn't show Sita as a very mature woman IMO.


She was also probably looking for revenge on Ravana for having forced her here. She probably wanted to teach Ravana a lesson by proving how much of a hornet's nest he had ruffled by abducting her.


And how come Janak never knew about Sita haran? I mean didn't he bother to even find out via Ayodhya what was going on? Sounds strange. I understand why the army bit didn't happen but not even asking about your daughter is a little weird even in those times.


I don't think the Ayodhya guys knew anything. Bharat comes to know of the full story only when Hanuman tells him on his way back with the Gandhamadan parvat.


Also, I am still unable to understand Ravan's motive. Considering he didn't know Surpanakha's revengeful ideas as per what Pro said, he then of course worked because he was angry with what Laxman did. Why then did he target RAM and not Lakshman himself? Also, what exactly would he achieve by bringing Sita in? As in obviously Ram would wage war with him and try to get her back so he even if he won the war he would be left with Sita. How is that serving his intentions? I want to know his clear motives and reasons why he did these things.


Ravana wanted Seeta as a trophy wife right. Seeta was quoted to be the most beautiful woman on Earth and Ravan was a womanizer and maintained a collection. For him, Shoorpanakha's insult was just the entry point.

Both Ananda and Adbhuta Ramayan mention Seeta being Ravan and Mandodari's  biologial/adopted daughter. In both versions she was meant to become the cause of the destruction of Ravana and hence was buried in a field far off where Janaka later found and raised her.

Then, according to Ananda Ramayana, Ravana had also kidnapped Kaushalya and Dasharatha had to wage a similar war to free her (and for Rama this rivalry was an old one).

Phir there are some stories about how Ravana came to Seeta's swayamvar and failed to lift Shiva's bow and thereafter held a grudge.


These are just a few stories that can give us insights into why Ravana did what he did, but mostly it is agreed upon that he did have romantic interests for Seeta and war happened because he didn't wanna say sorry. smiley36



Mythological Masti 


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