Thursday, September 25, 2014

Astrology by Harimohan Jha

ASTROLOGY by Hari Mohan Jha from Khattar Kaka English version by Chandra has That day the astrologer was studying the almanac. Then Uncle suddenly came there. When the astrologer saw him, he was in trepidation and began to pack up the almanac and his other belongings. Uncle accosted him, “What are you studying, my dear astrologer?” “The newly-wed bride is still at her mother’s place. Looking for the auspicious day for her to come here,” the astrologer said. “She can come here whenever she wishes. Why do you take so much “She has to commence her journey on an auspicious day, shouldn’t she?” “True. She should not commence her journey on a bad day such as when there is a cyclone. Isn’t that all that’s there to it?” “There isn’t a single good day this month,” the astrologer said. “Why not? This month has all the thirty days.” “But the time is moving in the easterly direction, isn’t it?” “Don’t tell me those devious things. Is time a bull left to roam freely in the village to say that it has gone to graze in the open field in the east? Time always “You don’t believe in science. Now the sun travels from the west to the “So what? What’s the bride’s mistake in that that you don’t permit her to “What do you want me to do? There’s no auspicious time for the next three “Look. She can’t come here in the month of Pushya.” “This month is not auspicious.” “What sin has Pushya month committed?” “How can anyone argue with you? In Magha and Falguna months time reverses its path. In Chaitra, moon will not be beneficial.” “God himself is against these people. That’s why they are asking you to fix a good day. O! Master, what do you mean when you say time is reversing in Falguna and the moon is not favourably disposed of in Chaitra?” “Then, Bhadra month (astrologically not auspicious) will arrive,” said the “You are the most inauspicious Bhadra, I say. Ask me instead. I’ll fix today as the auspicious day,” Uncle said. “How’s that possible? Today is Monday. And it is prescribed that you have to give up travelling in the easterly direction on Monday,” the astrologer said. “Why? Are there any nails in the path or what?” Uncle said. “You speak like an atheist. ‘Travel to the east is proscribed on Saturday and “Why? Tell me then how would the train from Delhi to Howrah run today? In fact, the whole earth itself rotates from the west to the east. How?” “Wise people travel when the celestial constellation is beneficial to them,” “If travelling in the direction of strength causes rain of laddus, then I’ll travel everyday in that direction. I travel everyday in every direction. Where there is a proscription, nails didn’t hurt me. Nor did it rain flowers when there was no “Do you mean to say the directional problem is all humbug?” “The problem that you are talking about is nothing but the thorn in your “What about the problem with the particular days? Is that also humbug?” “Yes. Why is that there no such problem in other countries? We are the “If you ignore science, what can be said? But take a look at ‘Muhurta Uncle snapped at him. “Not Muhurta Chintamani’ but ‘Dhurta Chintamani’. Self serving people like you have trapped everyone in the great vicious circle of auspicious moments. Muhurtam for every damn thing. Time for the king to perform abhishekam, for the army, horses and the elephants to march, soldier to wear the armoury, merchant for purchase and sale, money- lender to grant loans, washerman to wash cloths, dancer to start the dance. What is this but sheer humbug? The farmers have been caught in the web of muhurtam for everything - for ploughing, seeding, transplantation and harvest. You have a greater grip on the women’s hair. When should they tie the hair into a bun? When should the fire be lit? When should they bathe? When should the children be Uncle observed the expression of surprise on my face and said, “I’m not saying this for fun. The astrologers have attained great control over the women’s breasts also. Even the child who suckles is not spared by the astrologers. If you don’t trust me, listen to this – ‘...’ (Daivajna Vallabha) ‘It is good to breast-feed the child on all days except Chaturthi and “Arey! What’s this madness? Why should Mangala planet be annoyed and cause harm if a woman gives her breast to her new born child on Tuesday? Why should it have enmity with her breast?” “Uncle, probably the planets and the stars do have an effect and that’s the reason for such discussion on time.” “Arey! Time is the cause of our ruin. Time at home and outside. Time for the field. Birth time. Time for death. Time for marriage. Surely no emperor or king would have had more fuss and pomp than the emperor of time. ‘He will destroy if annoyed.’ This fear has made cowards of people. Muhurth for marriage, muhurth for nuptials and muhurth for house warming. This is not all. There’s muhurth for conception too. What is this if not extreme foolishness?” “Uncle! I’m sure you are saying this for fun. How could anyone consult the “Arey! You don’t seem to believe this! You are innocent. What do you know? Listen to this relating to the time for conceiving – ‘There’s no permit for conception on shasti, ashtamai, full moon day, no moon day, chavithi and chaturdasi. There’s permit for this activity only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.’ Answer this: Will the moon be eclipsed or will the sky break up if the bride and bride groom have intercourse on the pleasant full moon night? If the couple have sex on Sunday, will the horses of the Sun’s chariot be frightened or the wheel be broken? Why should the astrologers, like the self existent beings, like the flies in the ointment, poke those noses in everything as if it is their personal matter? Why do they interfere like the scorpions in the affair of the couple? Why should they come like this, uninvited?” “Uncle, don’t you have faith in astrology?” “Arey! If astrology was true, I should have died two thousand times by “This is what is said in astrology- ‘Trouble is round the corner if oil is applied on Sunday. Monday it’ll enure brightness; Tuesday, death; Wednesday, money; Thursday, penury and Saturday, comfort. In these, only the astrologer should tell what the relationship between the cause and the effect is. For the last fifty years I have been applying oil everyday. In these years, there must have been more than two thousand five hundred Tuesdays. Yet I’m alive. Now tell me. Do you want me to believe in astrology?” “Uncle! Only an astrologer can give a reply to this.” “What would he say? He’ll fix you tightly in his net. Look at the hubbub created in Ruthuprakaran, where at one place, it is said – ‘If a woman menstruates on Sunday, she will become a widow.’ “At another place, it is said – ‘If if a woman menstruates on Panchami, she would never be a widow.’ “Now I’ll ask the astrologer this. What will happen to the woman who menstruates on panchami Sunday?” The astrologer remained mum. Then Uncle continued. “At one place it is ‘If a woman attains puberty in Magha month, she would give birth to “At another place, it’s like this- ‘If a woman attains puberty in Krithika star, she would be childless.’ “Now ask the astrologer if she would give birth to an impotent person if she attains puberty in Magha month and Krithika star?” Noticing that the astrologer was in no position to reply, Uncle said, “See this finny thing. It’s said at one place- ‘If puberty is attained in Dhanu rasi, she will be woman of virtue.’ ‘If puberty is attained on Saturday, she will be a prostitute.’ “Now you decide this yourself. What would happen if puberty is attained “Arey! What all should I have to recount? So much of deceit, fraud, trickery, cunningness. If I describe everything, it’ll be a big purana. Yet, people here go on holding the astrologer’s tail.” As Uncle was speaking, Buddhinath Choudhary came running and said, “O! Astrologer master! Just now a boy is born in my home. That’s why I’ve come rushing to you. Please cast his horoscope and advise me.” “How long ago was the child born?” asked the astrologer. “Ten minutes ago,” Badrinath replied. The astrologer consulted the almanac and started. He shouted, “My Uncle asked, “What’s matter? Have you been bitten by a hornet or what?” The astrologer put his hand on his head and said, “No. If it were that I wouldn’t have been bothered. But I see wholesale destruction.” Buddhinath Choudhry’s face turned pale. He shivered and said, “Please tell me at once, master. What’s there in the horoscope?” “What’s there in the horoscope to say? Mud and dust. His birth star is moola first padam and in ganda yoga. He’ll be the cause of his father’s death.” Buddhinath Choudhry felt as though he was struck by thunder. His eyes The astrologer gravely said, “This child has been born to cause trouble to you. There are only two options. Cast away the child. Or else, send the child and his mother to his grandfather’s house. You can’t see his face for eight years. And from now on you have to donate cows, gold, perform navagraha puja, et al.” Uncle couldn’t take it any more. “Whoever has written this is a big scoundrel, a conceited fellow and a cheat. You are the evil planets in reality. In the name of stars, you make good of your own star. Through your needless conspiracy, why do you torture the poor man?” “Does it mean that you don’t believe in horoscope?” the astrologer asked. “As far as I know, there’s one benefit out of the horoscope. Your child will get ear rings. In my view horoscope is nothing but trickery. Thousands of children would have been born at this time. Will their destiny and life be the same because of that? Twins will be born at the same time. One will survive and the other won’t. The horoscope of both must be the same. Then why are the results are so The astrologer was somewhat confused and said, “Bhrigu and Parasara and others have dilated so much on the horoscopes. Do you imply that that was all “For thousands of years, you have been in this cunning business, peddling these names, aren’t you? Whatever occurs to you, make a sloka and attribute it to Parasara. O! Man. I have also read books on astrology. Only rogues could have written those things. Putting blinkers on the eyes of the householders, they have said obscene things about their women too.” The astrologer started, “Where? For example?” “Not one or two. Many. Look at this – “Looking at the horoscope of the house owner, they (astrologers) would doubtless know that the man’s wife would be stout, like a sack of puffed rice. That’s not all. By making calculations of the planets in the horoscope, they would find out the shape of their breasts too. ‘If Kuja is ruling, her breasts would be large and robust.’” I was surprised. Uncle noticed this and said, “Don’t gape at me like this. This is nothing. Listen further – ‘The wife of the person who has this yoga doubtless would become a prostitute or would satisfy the desire of many persons.’” “Uncle! Married life would be ruined completely because of such words, Uncle said, “The persons who make the sloka have no worry. Hear this – ‘If the child’s horoscope has this yoga, the child without doubt is a I said, “This sloka can cut the throat of a woman.” “Not just hers. There’s a sloka which would slit the throat of her brother-in- ‘If the horoscope has this yoga, the son would be born out of the semen of “The smell of the semen would reveal it to the astrologer! Tell me what is this if not plunder, pillage, conspiracy and goondaism? Such ruffians in this country are called the ocean of learning of astrology.” “You have mentioned so many things. Are they all in the treatises on “What do you mean? I’ve quoted from the texts. The astrologer is right in front of you. Ask him if all these are there in the texts or not? And what text is it? The astrologer scratched his head and said, “True. These are there in the text. ‘Parasara horasarah’ is a standard text on astrology. But why do you call it “Not only untrue but obscene. The kind of abuses written in that can’t be heard anywhere except in brothel houses. Look at this – ‘If a person has the influence of this planet, he would covet other women. His wife will become a prostitute. His mother will be a bitch.’ “Such abuses about wife and mother will be heard only in cultureless families. Is this a language of the scholars?” “Uncle! I never knew that the texts on astrology would contain such “You don’t know because you never read astrology. You would know if you read ‘Brihajjatakam’ and ‘Parasara horasarah’.” The astrologer couldn’t contain himself any more. “Where’s the evidence to say that all this is false?” he asked, as if he was throwing a challenge. Uncle replied: “I’m the evidence. My horoscope predicted that I’d be a king. Forget kingdom. I don’t even have four acres of land. Instead of rajayoga, everyday I’m forced to practise hatayoga. Then about jaraja yoga. Apply some logic. Does anyone get into adultery after consulting the almanac? Thereafter, would the child come of the womb after checking the lagna? Forget about others. You can’t detect even your own child’s jaraja yoga. Keeping in view people like ‘You would be watching the time of union of the moon with Visakha but wouldn’t know of your wife’s activities, who is rollicking in the embrace of many “That being the case, how could you catch that someone is a bastard?” The astrologer was angry. “What you have said is abusive. Do you mean to say that the wife of an astrologer would be a prostitute?” Uncle smiled and said, “The feminine gender for ganaka (astrologer) is ganika (prostitute). Isn’t that so? Besides, ganaka also more or less does the same work as ganika. Look at how well it has been explained – “Ganaka and ganika are equal. The Creator intended both to earn money by enticing people through their five parts of the body. Ganaka opens the almanac and shows to the people. Ganika opens and shows her five parts.’” The astrologer was as good as dead. Yet, he proudly said, “Whatever has been mentioned in the science of astrology is proven and true. Bhrigu and Parasara had vision of the past, present and future.” “Do you have faith in astrology?” asked Uncle. “Of course,” replied the astrologer. “Then let me look at your horoscope.” The astrologer hesitantly picked up the horoscope and handed it over to Uncle examined the horoscope and said, “Do you want me to tell you the result? You’ll not run away, would you?” “Why would I run away?” said the astrologer. “Then hear this. Parasara says like this – ‘If Sukra enters planet Mangala or is seen in conjunction with Mangala, the person will have the pleasure of bhaga kiss.’ “Then look at where Sukra is in your chart. Tell me if the result applies to you or not. Do you want me to explain the meaning of this in crude language to The moment he heard this, the astrologer packed his books and left the Uncle kept calling him from behind. “O! Master, o astrologer! Take at least But why would the astrologer return? ***

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rational criticism of Ramayana by prof (late )Hari Mohan Jha

RAMAYANA Uncle was cleaning kismis (dried grapes) for munching during Ramnavami celebrations. “Uncle, would you like to come for Rama’s story recital tonight in the public ground?” I asked. “Which part?” “Sita’s vanavas, banishment to the forest.” “Then, no. I won’t go.” “Why uncle? Rama, the righteous, the noblest among the human beings, was personification of unparalleled virtues, wasn’t he?” “He was, surely! How to condemn a weak woman to a life of grief? How to banish a wife away from home? Cut the nose of a woman? In a way, his life of valour began by making a woman cry and ended too similarly,” Uncle said. “Uncle, God took birth as man and went through all those trials, didn’t he?” “Could he have not done those things without being so harsh? In truth, you can’t really blame him alone for those deeds. His misfortune was that at the very beginning of his life he had a teacher like Viswamitra who started his instruction to Rama with the killing of Tataka. Otherwise, would Rama’s first arrow have been aimed at a woman? Viswamitra’s were all unusual ways. He wanted to prove that his name indicated friendliness. So, the rules of grammar had to be changed to accommodate that. In order to scale up from Rajarshi to Brahmarshi, he changed the caste rules. In competing with Vasishta, he dumped morality and good conduct in the river Karmanasa. A man such as him, what education could he impart to Rama? How could he convey to others what he himself did not possess?” Uncle said. “Uncle, Rama was embodiment of justice. He did not hesitate to banish his wife to the forest in the cause of justice, didn’t he?” “No, son. The contrary was true. In fact, it was a habit with his dynasty. His father banished him to the forest. Rama did the same to his wife. You said justice, didn’t you? Do you mean that it’s justice to hang someone just because someone said something? If he was interested in justice, he should have summoned both the parties to the royal court and should have weighed the evidence of either side dispassionately. He didn’t do that. Quietly, he sent away Sita to the forest. What justice was this? What ideal was this? Sita, the queen, didn’t even have the rights of a commoner!” “But Rama had to demonstrate the ideal of bowing to the people’s wish...” “That hardly was the case. People of Ayodhya never wanted Sita to be banished from the kingdom. That’s why she had to be taken out in the chariot at the dead of night. And Lakshmana was ever ready. He was ready with the sword to cut Surpanaka’s nose! Ready with the chariot to take Sita to the forest! “Uncle! He went to the forest in order to fulfil his father’s promise.” “Try some logic. What is exile? Living in many forests or in one forest? He didn’t follow vanavas in the sense of the former. If it were in the latter sense, he should have lived in a forest close to Ayodhya or lived in Chitrakoot for fourteen years. That would have sufficed to comply with his father’s word. Where was the need for him to roam about thousands of miles? That too by foot, taking along the dainty Sita with him! When Gautama, the legal scholar of Mithila, posed this very question to him, Rama had no answer. On top of it, he cursed, ‘Those who study Gautama’s logic would be born a jackal.’ What response was this? Did logical debate mean howling like a jackal? If Rama had studied the law of the land of Mithila, he wouldn’t have been so unjust.” Cutting the coconut kernel into pieces, Uncle resumed his talk. “Assuming that the people unanimously demanded banishment of Sita, what should Rama have done? He knew that his consort was blemishless and had come out of the ordeal by fire unscathed. Then how did it matter what the world said? He should have stood firm. If he suspected that the people would revolt, he ought to have enthroned Bharatha and retired to the forest with his wife. That would have been recognised as an ideal. Rama as a king understood the nature of the kingdom but not the love of his wife. Queen Sita, in deference to her duty as a wife, trifled the kingdom. But Rama the king could not forsake the throne in obedience to his duty as a husband. An English king (Edward the Eighth) gave up the throne in order to marry a woman (Simpson) he loved. Rama could not measure up to that English king.” “Uncle! You seem to be hurt by Sita’s banishment to the forest.” “Why not? Sita’s whole life was one of grief. She hardly had any good time. First, she roamed about the forests with her husband. Then when she was settling down to live in the palace, she was bundled out. When he was in the forests, he cried for her all over. He got a bridge built across the ocean. But after returning from Lanka, Sita could not stay at home. That’s why people of Mithila say that their girls should not be given in marriage to those who live in the west.” There were tears in Uncle’s eyes. He was upset. “Such neglect for a queen like Sita? In thought, word and deed she was devoted to Rama. She followed his footsteps. She walked about the dangerous forests with him. She jumped into the leaping fire to appease him. And before jumping into the fire, she said, ‘If in thought, word and deed I always worshipped Rama, O! Lord of Fire, you know my purity. For my sake become cool like sandal.’ It happened like that only. The leaping flames turned cool like the sandal. “She came out shining like pure gold. Yet, against such a chaste woman, how cruelly did he behave? She was thrown out when she was pregnant for eight months. We must applaud such cruelty! Sita, being born in Mithila, was not the one to be easily irritated. That’s why she tolerated all this. If she were from any other area, she would have shown her might. Hey, tell me this. If the idea was to break their relationship, he could have sent her to her father’s place. Couldn’t he? Instead, why did he pack her off to such a dense forest? She entered the nether world because she had no hope of justice here. She was consumed by the same earth from which she was born. Should the life of a wife, who was by all means most virtuous, end like this? No wonder, the earth cracked up and took her in.” I tried to mollify Uncle. “The washerman was the reason for all this.” Uncle saw red. “Tell me this. If a washerman falls off the donkey, I wouldn’t throw your aunt out of our home, would I? Rama actually spent most of his time in the company of creatures such as Nishad, Kevat, Bhillini, eagle, bear, monkey and the like, didn’t he? Because of a foolish maid servant’s words, a father banished his son to the forest. And this man sent his wife away to live in the forest because of the prattle of a mindless washerman. In their court, the petty held sway – Mandhara at home and Durmukah, Rama’s spy, outside.” “Uncle, it was done to uphold morality...” “Not morality. Say, immorality. If morality was the ideal, why did he shoot Vali hiding behind the tree? He should have engaged him in a face to face battle and killed him. What happened to the vow that ‘Men of Raghu dynasty do not fear Lord Yama also’? That’s why Vali sarcastically said, ‘Mahatma! You are born to protect dharma, righteousness, but you have killed me like a vyadha, a hunter (treacherously).’ “If the idea was to punish Vali for his misdeed of taking Sugriva’s wife, Tara, then why did he not kill Sugriva who also was guilty of the same offence? “But Rama was the noblest of all the human beings and he upheld morality...” “You say so but I consider he was quite hasty. Why, like a child, did he run after the golden stag? Pining for Sita, why did he cry roaming about in the forest? Sugriva was a friend and yet he was ready to rain arrows on him for the delay in finding Sita. He strung the bow against Samudra too in haste. When Lakshmana was felled in the battle field, he cried piteously. Does it behove the brave to lose their equanimity like this?” Uncle began to shell the badam and said, “After a careful consideration, it appears to me that Rama was not at fault. Actually, his father Dasaratha was a hasty man too. He went out hunting. He heard a sound on the river bank. And immediately he drew the bow, placed the arrow on the string and released it pulling it to the ear in the direction whence the sound came. It didn’t occur to him that he could be shooting a man. Poor Sravanakumar was killed and his blind father died of heartbreak. And, as a result, Dasaratha too had to die of the pangs of separation from his own son. Look at this. When he had two queens, for what fun did he think of marrying another in ripe old age? ‘For an old man, a young wife is dearer than his own life.’ He was so smitten of Kaikeyi that even when he went to war, he made her sit beside him in the chariot. What kind of a chariot was it! It broke just at the nick of time! His name was Dasaratha but he didn’t have a single rath (chariot) which was useful. Otherwise, where was the need for Kaikeyi to put her wrist in the wheel and hold the chariot from crumbling? Her wrist indeed was strong! It didn’t snap even when it was put in the axle. Her heart too was no less. Because of her prowess, the old king’s life was somehow saved. Then without a second thought, he promised her that he would give whatever she wished. He didn’t have the sense to think what he would do if she wanted him to get her a star in the sky. Afterwards, when she asked for Rama’s banishment, he was mightily upset. By the way, it must be said that Kaikeyi was quite reasonable. If she were to ask him to give his heart, what would the righteous Dasaratha have done? This is not all. Having given the word, what made him beat his chest? Anyway, after fourteen years, his son would have ruled the kingdom again, wouldn’t he? He should have waited patiently until then. If his love for the son was so overwhelming, he too should have joined and gone along with Rama to the forest. He didn’t do any of that. ‘Haa Rama, haa Rama’ he wailed and died. Would a Kshatriya’s heart be ever so weak?” Uncle wouldn’t leave a job half done. Now he was after Dasaratha, I thought and said, “Uncle! Everyone learns lessons from the characters in Ramayana...” “I too will learn lessons: That I shouldn’t release the arrow without seeing the object; shouldn’t give a boon without thinking and shouldn’t beat the chest in despair after promising.” “Uncle! You are only looking at the frailties.” “Well, show me the virtues.” “King Dasaratha was a man of truth...” “True. So truthful that he tried to fool Sravanakumar’s blind father by impersonating that he was Sravanakumar!” “Rama was such a devout son...” “Yes. He didn’t come even after he heard the news of his father’s death. Despite being the eldest son, he didn’t perform the last rites and instead moved down southward undeterred.” “Lakshmana was such dedicated brother...” “True. He aimed the arrow at one brother (Bharatha) for the sake of another (Rama).” “Bharatha sacrificed...” “Bharatha didn’t bother to know what happened to his brother for fourteen years. He didn’t have the leisure in the capital in order to go and find out in the forest, did he? If only he had taken out the army, would Rama have had to seek the help of the monkeys?” “Hanuman was devout...” “Yes. He left the first master, Sugriva, and devoted himself to the service of Rama.” “Vibhishana, such an ideal...’ “Yes. He has become the reason for the adage, ‘The house spy would be the cause of Lanka’s destruction’. Pray god that the country should be saved of such Vibhishanas.” “You mean to say there is not a single ideal character in Ramayana?” “Why not? In the whole of Ramayana, I can think of only one ideal character.” “Who?” Uncle smiled. “Ravana,” he said. “Uncle! You always joke.” “No joke. Cite one blemish of Ravana.” “You’re great uncle! Everyone sees so many faults in Ravana but you seem to find not a single flaw in him, do you?” “Come on. Out with it.” “He seized Sita by force and took her away...” “That was done to teach your virtuous, purushotthama, that the nose of a sister of another ought not to be cut; that while living in an alien land you shouldn’t court enmity with others; that you shouldn’t run after mirages and that you shouldn’t insult any woman. Look at this! Ravana took Sita to Lanka but he didn’t humiliate her. He didn’t take her to his palace. He put her in Asoka Park. Everybody might call him a rakshasa, demon, but such decent behaviour is seldom seen among the human beings.” “Uncle! You always speak contrary to what people believe. You’re arguing in support of one who committed such a heinous crime and blame the ocean of kindness that’s Sitapati...” “Say stone-hearted Sitapati. What happened to the princess of Vaidehi, who left for Ayodhya after marriage? She didn’t have the fortune of returning to her parents’ home. That’s why we keep off people of the west, don’t we?” “Uncle! You’re biased against the relatives of Sita from her husband’s side. If you saw Rama, you would at least put your palms together in salutation, wouldn’t you?” “How would I do that? I’m a Brahmin and he, a Kshatriya. I, of course, would have blessed him, “May you be filled with good thoughts. If hereafter people talk of Ramarajya, don’t give them scope to say, ‘Chee! Chee! Rama Rama’. I’d advise him to employ a Brahmin like me as his minister.” “But Uncle, Ramarajya means an ideal state, doesn’t it?” “True, Tulsidas wrote, ‘There are no wretched, poor, sorrowful persons in Ramarajya.’ But I would have added, ‘Except for poor Sita who was the most unfortunate.’ If our village administration is run on the lines of Ramarajya, we can’t say how many Sitas would be consumed by the earth.” “Uncle! Since you celebrate Sriramanavami you must have devotion in your mind.” “Yes, but that’s for Sita. But for Sita, Rama would have been acclaimed only as ‘Raghupati Raghava Rajaram’. He wouldn’t have been called ‘Patita pavana Sitaram’. Every Kshatriya king would routinely do whatever Rama did. Just in respect of one matter, he was an exception. He did not take another wife. He got a gold statue of Janaki made and spent the rest of his life looking at it. For this reason, I would forgive him of all his misdeeds. Rama’s greatness was due to Sita. That’s why, first Sita and then Rama. Tulsidas said, ‘I would raise my hands, put my palms together hands and pray assuming that the entire creation is pervaded by Sita and Rama.’ Valmiki also says, ‘Pray Sita and her husband.’” “Uncle. You are so devoted to Sita. Why then do you criticise Rama? You don’t spare his father too.” Uncle broke into a smile and said, “Arey, don’t you understand this small little thing? I’m from her mother’s place. The criticism of the barber from the mother-in-law’s place also is also acceptable. And I’m a Brahmin. Could anyone else venture to talk like me? People of Mithila would always pour scorn on the people of Ayodhya. Even god can’t make us shut up.” Original in Hindi By late Prof Hari Mohan Jha Telugu translation by Prof J L Reddi of Delhi University English traslation by K Chandrahas, Hyderabad