Was Ram a Castiest? Did Ram Kill Shambuka, the Dalit?
“Ram was a Castiest. He killed Shambuka as the latter was Shudra (working class).” Another comment (s) in my articles about Rama.
The Shambuka story goes like this: “When Lord Ram is reigning as a virtuous king, a humble aged Brahmin comes to him with his dead son in his arms. The sages explained to Ram that this unfortunate death must have happened because a Shudra must be practicing Vedic penances. Ram goes on a tour of inspection in his flying chariot (Pushpak Viman) and finds an ascetic doing austerities. The ascetic informed Ram that he is Shambuka, a Shudra, and performing this rigorous penance. Rama kills the Shudra for doing the pious activity of tapasya (penance) and Vedic chanting.”
“There is no such incident in Ram’s history depicted in Valmiki’s Ramayan. Before discussing that, hypothetically, let’s take the story for the face value. Let’s agree that Ram kills Shambuka.”
“Shambuka is a Shudra who is not supposed to do Vedic tapasya (penance). The incident is a black mark and a proof that Ram hated Shudras.”
Ram kills Ravan, who is a Brahmin. Ravan had also performed Vedic penance. So going by the same logic of Shambuka story, Ram hated Brahmins.
What’s more, Ram also fought with Parasuram. Parasuram was also a Brahmin. Hence Ram was a Brahmin hater. He was an anti-Brahmin!
Again, Ram also fought with few Kshatriya Kings. That makes him Kshatriya hater too!
Ram killed the monkey King Vali; hence he is an animal hater… Probably those “intelligent” people should write to Maneka Gandhi to banish Ram as he hurt animals.
“Please don’t try to sell such lousy logics to me. I am not buying…”I replied.
The Shambuka story is illogical and misfit. It lacks clarity and genuinity.
To start with, there are nearly 300 versions of Ramayana. The genuine and authentic Ramayana is written by Valimiki, who incidentally is a Dalit. There is NO mention of Shambuka in Valmiki Ramayana. If Ram was a castiest, why should the Dalit Valmiki hail him as the ONLY perfect man in the earth?
Also, the story of killing Shambuka is NOT mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam, which again an authentic Purana. Even in the retelling of Ramayana in Mahabharata (which again is an authentic epic) Vanaparva, there is no mention of this incident.
Valmiki Ramayan is history of Ram. Most of other versions of Ramayan are exaggerated, myth-added, unbelievable and art of fiction. Ram was not a superman. Ram is a fact for historians. Since people worship him, lot of myths and legends added to his story.
Yes, the Shambuka story appears in the Uttara Kanda (Sarga 74-78) of Adhyatma Ramayana and not in the original Valmiki Ramayan. Uttara Kanda is not authentic. According to historians the story of Shambuka is added to Ramayana at least after 5th century AD. The content, language and grammar of Uttar Kanda do not sync with Ramayana. This khand contains several questionable and polished content and contradictory with the original Ramayan.
Long ago, my daughter who had read this story asked me: “Appa, it was clearly said in the Ramayana that Lord Ram returned Pushpak Viman to its original owner Kuber after returning to Ayodhya. So how come Ram went for searching of Shambuka by Rama with help of Pushpak Viman?”
Even school kids can see this contradiction. When you add up such castiest stories to provoke and appease, please at least use minimum common sense. The entire Shambuka incident is 100% fake.
It is said by ‘Valmiki’ that in Sri Ram’s reign there were no premature deaths in his kingdom. Then how come a Brahmin kid died prematurely? It’s contradicting Valmiki’s claim, right?
Now, it is time for some logical thinking.
– The Ramayana was written by a Dalit, Valmiki. He was number one devotee of Ram. He proclaims Ram as perfect man in the earth. He addresses Ram ‘Maryada Purushottam’ which means “The Ideal Best Man”. And he clearly says that Ram doesn’t discriminate. Ram was a Sanatan Dharmi, how can he discriminate?
-The entire base of Ramayan is a curse of Shudra. Ram’s father Dasarath kills a Shudra young mendicant named Shravan by mistake. His blind parents cursed Dasaratha that he too would experience “Putrashoka” (grief due to loss of a son). Would Dasarath’s son invite another curse by killing a Shudra again? Is he that stupid and arrogant?
– Ram embraced Nishada King (out caste, lower than the lowest class) Guha. There are only few people that Lord embraced.
– Ram ate the fruits offered by Dalit lady Shabari. Shabri belonged to Bhil/Tribal community. It was not just fruits, but half eaten left overs by Shabari.
– There are many examples from Ramayana which prove that Lord Ram enjoyed a healthy relationship with different members of Shudra community. Rama didn’t kill any pious Shudras whom he came across. So, why only Shambuka? If he were a casteist, why would he take the help of Hanuman, Sugreeva and others?
– In some versions of Ramayan, it is mentioned that Shambuka was not even a shudra. He was an Asura by the name of Jambha. True to his name, he was extremely arrogant. His intention of tapasya was to enjoy Parvathi (Shiva’s consort). So, isn’t killing of Shambuka appropriate?
The testimony of Sage Narada clearly states that Lord Ram is noble, unbiased and affectionate towards everyone.
Truth is that in the Vedic age there was no caste system. Only Varna system was in practice which has nothing to do with today’s social caste system. Caste system came into practice in India, when alien cultures invaded peace-loving Indians and created insecurity among them. Few ignorant priests interpolated the Texts like Ramayana and Manu Smriti with verses supporting caste system. These interpolations were done with vested interests.
An un-biased individual should understand that right and wrong are relative to time, place and situation. These are not absolute thing but depend on personal, social, constitutional right and wrong. Killing cows is illegal in some states in India. But, in states like Kerala, you can kill cow in public and a large chunk of Hindus eat beef. Eating pig meat is banned in many countries. Even the word ‘pig’ is deleted from the dictionaries in some religious countries. You can kiss your wife or girlfriend in public in USA. The same act in Saudi would lend you in jail or even more. Why would you accuse something on Ram without understanding the matter of fact of time, place and situation?
However, anyone is free to believe Shambuka story as true. And they can also believe that Ram killed him. Shambuka wished to go to heaven. And Ram helped him reaching there ASAP, that’s all. Period.
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