Tulsidas and Modernity

Beside one’s expertise such as auto manufacturing and management for me, one must have some other interest too such as reading, writing or even painting. Over the years, Tulsidas and his Ramcharitmanas has been my companion. While many keep on criticizing him for being a little too anti-woman and too pro-brahmin, I find him real modern in his social approaches.

Many talk about at least three social taboos in Hindus- veil for women, large number of children per person, and unsociability.

Time and again, Tulsidas talked against untouchability. But the best is one as given below:

Ram sakhaa rishi barbash bhenta, Janu mahi luthat saneh sameta.
Ehi sam nipat neech kou nahn, bad basishth sam ko jag mahi.

This is beside Ram’s love for nishad and Sabari, the dalit woman.

Tulsidas specifically mentions of only two sons to each of the four brothers, once they start living in Ayodhyaya.

Dui sut sundar Sita jaye, Lav Kush Ved purananh gaye
Dui dui sut sab bhratnh kere, bhaye roop goon sheel ghanere

And then Tulsidas comes specifically against the veil. He makes Ram instruct.

Kah raghuvir kahaa mum manehoo Sitahi sakha payede aanahoo
Dekhahoon kapi janani ki nai bihansi kaha Ragunath gosain

Many a times, I get real lonely. With advancing age, it is getting agonizing, as for some time, nothing including TV or Internet get my emptiness filled. But Tulsidas’ Ram Charitmanas provides the answer and end my solitude. I adore the book and its creator. I keep on reading and getting many fresh ideas from this most respected book based on Valmiki’s epic Ramayana. I don’t think there is any fundamentalism in this.

While the mere thought of the law and order situation in Noida and the country makes us shiver, I get reminded of Tulsidas definition of Rakhashas. How nicely has he answered to the suspicion that he thought people of the modern India would raise about the real Rakhashas?

Badhe khal bahu chor Juara, Je Lampat pardhan pardara
Manhin matu pita nahin deva, sadhunh san karwahahin seva
Jinh ke yah aacharan bhawani, te janahu nisichar sab prani

Mayawati aspersions on vipra has become less frequent after her experiment and success of her brand of social engineering where so-called vipra have joined with dalits to make her win the last assembly election. Tulsidas mentions of vipras and Brahmins as one who inculcated good virtues and values such as learning, imparting knowledge and advice through lot of education and tapsya, and not as one born from Brahmin parent.

One may keep on thinking over these social issues and can get the way out for an equitable society living in peace mutually helping and respecting each other.

I wish I could have made all my dear ones read Tulsidas.

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