Books & Literature

The sad finale to Ramayana

Agency | December 03, 2016 11:24 AM

Title: Uttara: The Book of Answers; Author: (Translated by) Arshia Sattar; Publisher: Penguin; Pages: 286; Price: Rs 499

The Uttara Kanda is the seventh and last book of Valmiki's Ramayana. It chronicles events after Lord Rama's exile and as the reinstated king of Ayodhya. As scholar Arshia Sattar says, it acts as an epilogue to the main story whose loose ends are tied up and the narrative closure is provided with Rama's ascent to heaven.

Uttara Kanda is also important because the way we see Rama after reading this is very different from how we would view Him if we did not go beyond the Yuddha Kanda.

Undoubtedly, the most poignant and heart-wrenching moment in Uttara Kanda is the banishment of Sita by Rama after bazaar gossip about her when she was in Ravana's captivity. It is that one moment in the Ramayana saga when questions are raised if Rama should have done what he did, dumping an innocent woman, His own wife, in a forest, an act that shattered even Rama's otherwise loyal brother Lakshmana.

The second such moment in the epic comes when Rama draws his sword and, without any emotion or hesitation, cuts off the head of Shambuka -- because he, a "Shudra', was undertaking the most difficult austerities to attain heaven. Brahmin sages praise Rama for the killing, arguing that the low-caste man was violating the established caste order.

The Uttara Kanda spends its early chapters relating to Rama, through the learned sages, on the history of Ravana's family. Generations of Ravana's family emerge as rapacious and needlessly aggressive, with the king of Lanka finally earning a curse from women tormented by him that his head would split if he were to touch any other woman. This curse saves Sita.

Those who love Hindu epics will enjoy this book. The author's translation of Valmiki's Ramayana still remains a bestseller.

 

Have something to say? Post your comment
Must Read
Capt Amarinder announces e-POS to replace blue ration cards across punjab by March 31
Capt Amarinder announces e-POS to replace blue ration cards across punjab by March 31
Channi conducts surprise checking at technical education industrial training directorate & board office
Channi conducts surprise checking at technical education industrial training directorate & board office
SAD appoints Observers to prepare the party to contest Haryana elections on own symbol.
SAD appoints Observers to prepare the party to contest Haryana elections on own symbol.
Social audit for mid-day in meal in state soon
Social audit for mid-day in meal in state soon
Contempt petition; DC writes to director local body
Contempt petition; DC writes to director local body
Indebted Nation remembers Netaji on 121st birth anniversary
Indebted Nation remembers Netaji on 121st birth anniversary
For Ludhiana and ropar youth- trials for recruitment in army from Jan 25 to 29 in Nawanshahr
For Ludhiana and ropar youth- trials for recruitment in army from Jan 25 to 29 in Nawanshahr
JDA sets up facilitation center to facilitates people to apply for e-auction
JDA sets up facilitation center to facilitates people to apply for e-auction
Punjab CM orders immediate release, regularisation of pending old age pensions
Punjab CM orders immediate release, regularisation of pending old age pensions
 SAD appoints Observers to prepare party to contest Haryana elections on own symbol
SAD appoints Observers to prepare party to contest Haryana elections on own symbol
CBI files case in Rs 487 cr coal import scam
CBI files case in Rs 487 cr coal import scam
Capt Amarinder Singh writes to Defence Minister for settting up LCVs Manufacturing unit in Punjab
Capt Amarinder Singh writes to Defence Minister for settting up LCVs Manufacturing unit in Punjab