This happened when out of habit I tuned into ‘Siya ke Ram’ a mythology based show on an Indian television channel while I was with my sister at my mum’s place. The habit I must clarify finds its roots from my mum-in-laws insistence on watching the show for lack of anything else that’s more meaningful enough on television.
Coming back to the show, that particular episode was showing how everyone had failed to pick up Lord Shiva’s arc and the subsequent entry of Ram (the incarnation of Lord Vishnu) with his brother Lakshman and his Guru to the venue of Sita’s Swayamwar. Though hope and anxiety were evident among King Janak’s family members, but Sita looked particularly hopeful and i must say desperate for Ram to succeed in picking up the Dhanush, a condition put down by her father for anyone who wished to get married to Sita.
At this I just happened to remark to my sister. “Swayamwar and all is just an excuse. It is so evident that Site is already infatuated or attracted towards him.” To this my sister added that having read the Ramayana, it is quite evident that love had already blossomed between them by the time things came to this Swayamwar.
The discussion then drifted to the realization that all the major pillars of Hindu Mythology are guilty of propagating love relationships.
I already mentioned the perceived infatuation between Ram and Seeta through their encounters before the Swayamwar. Then their is ofcourse another avatar of Vishnu i.e. ‘Lord Krishna’ whose name has almost ceased to exist alone and his devotees worship him as RadheKrishna. Love tales of Radha and Krishna are have been subject to enough adoration as well as discussion. More so because Lord Krishna did not marry Radha. Yet their love is the epitome of commitment and passion for all who consider him as their deity.
Also, there’s lord Shiva who despite being a ‘Yogi’ who lives an austere life on Mount. Kailash is not devoid of love and passion. After a lot of persuasion and cajoling he gave in to Sati’s wish and made her his bride. Sati re-incarnated as Parvati in another life and her love for Shiva also took her to Mount Kailash where she was successful in pleasing Lord Shiva enough so he would agree to marry her. The story of their marriage and re-marriage and their ‘Grahastha’ life is a well-known mythological legend.
Well, my point of this post is not just to make you aware of what Lord Ram or Krishna or Shiva did with regards to their love lives. I rather wish to draw your attention towards the fact that even these Gods weren’t devoid of feelings of love, passion and endearment; then why is it so that the very same devotees of these deities refuse to acknowledge and respect the existence of such emotions among their kids.
It is so ironic that most of the parents in my religion start to plan for their kids wedding almost from the moment they are born, how and why do they not take into account a possibility that their Ram/Krishna/Shiva may find a Seeta/Radha/Sati or vice-versa for themselves without their intervention.
I do not mean to demean the status of the aforementioned Gods or their better-halves in any religious context. Neither am I accusing the entire or only the Hindu community of taking a dogmatic stance where Love and Marriages are concerned. Our parents have definitely been plagued with a restrained view towards their youth finding their soul-mates on their own. It is high time they reconsider and re-structure their views and thoughts in this respect. Among other logics and arguments in favor of love propagated marriages, our mythology should provide them a perspective and some balm to their imperious stand.
No conclusions or judgements; just a thought and a probe.
P.S – I do not mean to hurt the emotions of the devotees of the Hindu Gods in any manner. These are solely my thoughts on a very practical issue faced by the youth today. As a young parent this topic just intrigued me and thus this write-up.