Sunday, 17 April 2011

Ramayana and the Illiad - a continuation of the comparison

Last year i wrote a comparison between two of the greatest epics in history, the Ramayana and the Illiad. I'll link it here so I don't have to go through the points again.

In going through that post again I found i left out the biggest point of similarity in the epics - the reason for it all. To understand my statement, we will need to look back at a little of the mythology involved in both epics. Lets start with the Illiad.

The Illiad is a magnificent piece of literature that is set in the time of Greek gods and more importantly, towards the end of the popularity of Greek gods. The Greek gods Zeus, Poseidon and Hades were getting worried about the rising number of heroes and demi-gods (which is completely their fault). So they devise a plan to trigger a war that will reduce this alarming number of unnatural population. With a reduced population of Greek heroes, it gave a rise to the popularity of Roman gods, which are merely warlike clones of the Greek gods themselves.

The Ramayana is regarded as among India's greatest gifts to mankind. At the beginning of Ramayana is Ravan, the great king of Rakshasas and conqueror of all known realms. Here too there was a rise in an unnatural population, namely the Rakshasas. The gods, scared for their places in heaven, as usual run to Vishnu who devises a plan to completely destroy the entire Rakhsasa population with one careful constructed war.

Both had the higher purpose of eradicating a growing unnecessary and most probably dangerous population.

Again I'm no conspirator or mythologist. Just a person who noticed these few similarities and wanted to tell the world. A special thank you to Nayantara Gupta for making me think and realise this last similarity, which by far is to me the most interesting.

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