The Balakanda is the prologue of the Valmiki Ramayanam and the Uttarakanda is the epilogue of the same. It is traditionally believed that Valmiki is the author of the entire Ramayanam including the prologue and the epilogue. There are those who believe that some slokas were interpolated. What are they and do we agree?
A. The Balakanda has some slokas in it which state that Sri Rama is an avatar of Vishnu.
All Hindus believe this very deeply in our hearts. But people other religions question it.
- The Colonial Historians were Christians without exception. They believed that Christ was the only true God. They firmly believed that the bible was a historical document and that all miracles of Christ including his resurrection were the ‘gospel’ truth. Not to be questioned. Therefore they believe that all the slokas regarding Sri Rama’s divinity were interpolations.
- The Valmikis belive that Valmiki is the eternal God and that Sri Rama was a human hero. Therefore they also believe that all the slokas regarding Sri Rama’s divinity were interpolations.
Most of the Vedic Rishis Vasishtha, Viswamitra, Gautama, Bharadwaja and others were senior to Sri Rama. Both Sri Rama and his father Dasaratha performed Vedic Yajnas. Sri Rama’s marriage with Sita Devi was a Vedic wedding. Kausalya and Sita Devi are said to have performed the Sandhya Vandanam. The Vedic concept of the Brahman is completely out of the conceptual grasp of people who believe firmly in other religions because they do not have the concept of what a ”Divya Amsa” is. Though even a Hindu child seems to have an intuitive idea of what it is. It is perfectly conceivable that Valmiki saw Sri Rama and his brothers as a Divya Amsa Sambhutah.
- Therefore is no need to assume that those slokas were interpolations.
- It makes No Difference to the Fact of Sri Rama. (History)
- It makes even less difference to the Faith in Sri Rama. (Sprirituality)
B. The Balakanda has some slokas in it which refer to Valmiki in the third person.
- For example the story of the Krauncha birds and the discussions with Narada and Brahma.
- It is possible that the use of the third person was just a style.
- Particularly given that the first shloka ever composed in Anusthup Chandas was by Valmiki and may have wanted to write about the incident.
- There is no need to assume that these slokas are interpolations.
C. The Uttarakanda has some slokas in it which refer to Valmiki in the third person.
- These slokas describe Valmiki as a Bhargava, as a Brahmarshi and as a Great Man and describe the story of his raising Kusa Lava, the sons of Sri Rama, teaching them the Ramayanam, bringing Sita Devi to Sri Rama and taking an oath of purity on her behalf.
- Valmiki was truly a great man., but he was not given to self-praise or self-promotion. When Sri Rama and Lakshmana meet him in the Aranyakanda, he says that they met some Rshi. We infer they met him from other details. He clearly gives the name of all the other rshis that Sri Rama met except his own.
- Some lingusists refer to style of composition. I myself have over half a dozen styles of writing, so I think the great Valmiki would have had uncountable numner of styles. I reject this style based line of reasoning.
- There is no “love” in the Uttarakanda. The Main Ramayanam devotes a lot of slokas to the love of Dasaratha and Kausalya for their son, to the love of Bharata and Lakshmana for their brother, to the love of Sita Devi and Sri Rama for each other, and to the love of Hanuman and Sugriva for Sri Rama. The Ramayanam is first and last the poetic history of a loving kingly family of great achievements.
The Uttarakanda is like a historical epilogue to the Ramayanam. It tells Ravana’s story, the history of the Rakshasas, the northward expansion of the yakshas and rakshasas, the westward expansion of the Ikshavkus upto Gandhara, the settling of new cities Takshashila and Mathura and Sita Devi’s departure with Dharani Devi. It talks about the sons and nephews of Sri Rama coming to the throne in various cities of Northern India and the final departure of the brothers to Swarga. I think that the contents of the Uttarakanda may be accurate, but they may have been written by a student of Valmiki, maybe Bharadwaja or maybe someone else.
Either way, Valmiki taught Kusa and Lava the Ramayanam, only upto Sri Rama Pattabhishekam, as the Uttarakanda itself indicates.
Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula