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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Did Sri Ram eat deer meat during Vanvas?

Prabhu Sri Ram is Maryada Purushottam, who taught how to lead an ideal life through his actions. As the centuries-long wait for Hindu Samaj is about to end on 22 January, a concerted effort is being made by vested Hinduphobic forces to spread misinformation and disaffection.

Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram

Bharatiyas have idolized Prabhu Sri Ram for centuries, and every Hindu king wished to emulate Him. Bhagwan Ram is Maryada Purshottam, the best of men who perfected righteousness. He was an ideal son, brother, husband, king – All this and more. It is not for nothing that his rule is known as Ram Rajya, and He is presented as an ideal for Hindus to emulate.

He gave up the luxurious life of the palace and gracefully accepted Vanvas by giving up the throne in favour of his brother only because his mother (albeit stepmother) asked him to do so. Even as Raja Dashrath was heartbroken while asking Ram to leave the throne and head to the forest for 14 long years, Prabhu accepted his father’s command gracefully.

Bhagwan Ram is also a perfect friend, like an ideal brother and son. He treats Sugreev as a friend and ensures that Sugreev returns to Kishkinda as king. Similarly, after killing Ravan Bhagwan Ram, he crowns Vibhishan as the ruler of Lanka. There can be no better example of the Bhagwan-bhakt relationship than that between Prabhu Sri Ram and Hanuman.

The role of Prabhu Sri Ram as a husband is not just overlooked but even subject to criticism. The critics conveniently overlook Prabhu Ram’s hardships after separating from Mata Sita. He remained a devoted husband all through his life, right from the day he married Devi Sita and took the vow of ekapatni (committed to Sita all His life and take no other wife) to leading life as a mendicant after Mata Sita’s exile to the forest.

All through his life, Bhagwan Ram walked the path of Dharma. Even though he was an avatar of Sri Hari Vishnu, Prabhu Ram led the life of an ordinary mortal. His life was meant to guide humans, and one can learn how to conduct oneself when faced with adversities.

Background

The Hinduphobic Kollywood film Annapoorani has triggered a debate as to whether Bhagwan consumed meat during Vanvas. The film features a scene where the lead actor, Farhan, encourages the actress (who aspires to become a chef) to cook meat by quoting a Ramayana verse. The problem is that it is some random verse without referencing where it appears in the Itihasa. Not surprisingly, the Hinduphobic cabal has united behind the makers by even justifying what Farhan says in the film.

Opinion is divided on this issue, with some favouring the view and others opposing it. Some refuse to take Valmiki Ramayan at face value. They believe the version available today isn’t the original but has numerous distortions and interpolations. Undoubtedly, the Granths that have come down to us are pieces of an incomplete jigsaw puzzle. However, there is no reason to reject the Granths or raise doubts about its contents only because what we have is incomplete.

What Valmiki Ramayan says?

We shall now examine what Valmiki Ramayan says about meat eating.

1) In Ayodhya Kanda, He discloses to Mata Kausalya that for the next fourteen years, He would live the life of a Muni consuming only forest produce such as roots, fruits, and honey.

ram

2) Ayodhya Kanda’s Sarga 20’s Shlok 31 reiterates the same point.

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3) Ayodhya Kanda, Sarga 28, Shlok 12 – Prabhu tells Mata that one must be satisfied with fallen fruits. Would someone satisfied with fallen fruits kill animals?

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4) Ayodhya Kanda’s Sarga 34 Shloka 59 talks about Sri Ram living happily in the forest enjoying roots and fruits.

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5) Shloka 16 of Ayodhya Kanda’s Sarga 54 Bhagwan tells Rishi Bharadwaj about subsisting on roots and fruits while practising the righteous way of life.

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Besides Ramayana, we also get proof of vegetarianism in Mahabharat too. In Anushasan Parva’s Adhyay 115 (Shlok 63-67), Pitamaha Bhishma explains to Yudishithir the importance of abstaining from meat. He lists ancient kings who abstained from meat. Among several others, mention is made of Bhagwan Raghunandan as well.

However, it must be mentioned that being a Kshatriya, He could consume meat. Many devout Hindus consume meat as it is part of their traditional diet or a necessity given their geographical location – merely being vegetarian doesn’t determine our spiritual quotient, our bhakti and sadhana does. The problem with today’s society is that we focus on unnecessary points rather than the lessons and teachings of our Granthas and Bhagwan. In conclusion, His actions, not eating habits and dietary preferences, should matter to us. Rather than focusing on and debating what He ate, we would do ourselves a great favour if we imbibed the qualities that made Prabhu a Maryada Purushottam.

(Featured Image Source: Zee News)

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Maitri
Maitri
A opinionated girl-next-door with an attitude. I'm certainly not afraid to call myself 'a proud Hindu' and am positively politically incorrect. A Bharatiya at heart who loves reading, music, sports and nature. Travelling and writing are my passions.

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