Rama's lesson


“The good prospers while the evil suffers, as the old saying goes, and in Ramayana, characters who have one of “three major weaknesses that arise from desire” end up violently being killed by the good, and their moments of death are explicitly and vividly described as if the stories are fortifying the message (233). Simply put, those who have violated 3 moral percepts presented by Rama in the book are penalized mercilessly in the end, Desiring another woman’s husband, Supernakha scolds Rama’s wife and tries to take Rama away from Sita. Enraged by her actions, Laksmana uses his dagger to “cut off Supernakha’s ears and nose,” like he’s giving her a lesson. Filled with desire to take vengeance, Supernakha goes straight to her brother and insults him in order to make Khara himself go confront Rama. “Without a justified cause for hostility” but because he was outraged by his sister who keeps pushing him to take revenge for her, Khara decides to murder Rama out of anger (233). However, the almighty Rama kills Khara by “[unleashing] a shower of arrows” (257). Khara bleeds to death. Last but not least, Marica who has falsified his form and pretended to be a deer, helping Ravana to kill Rama, fails to dodge from the arrow of Rama that ends up “[piercing] Marica’s heart” (272).

Rama initially presents 3 “weakeness that arise from desire” and, as if he’s showing how important it is to refrain ourselves from these weaknesses by taking actions, Rama punishes the characters who have fallen for one of these weakness one by one. The candid description of how the characters are paying the price seems to highly stress the cruelty of the 3 weaknesses.

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