It is painful to hear undesired words about our loved ones; if the undesired words speak the truth, we can somehow digest them; but it hits hard when it is untrue! Lord Rama is a personality which is adored by Bharat in its entirety. For those who are drawn by devotion, he is epitome of divinity – The Supreme Lord; for those who lead a life of leaning towards ideology and principles, he is living example of unparalleled humanity – Maryada Purushottama! Our heart grieved on hearing the unspeakable and untruthful utterances on him by the uninitiated or ill-informed ‘intellectuals’.
It is highly sinful to remain silent when reputation of holy men is ruined, when truth is tarnished! One who does it is as good as dead, even when he is alive; therefore we shall try to answer the ill-conceived allegations on Lord Rama.
After all what did the ‘intellectuals’ say?
Those words are not worthy of even repetition. Having no other option to present the matter, we quote one of their statements: “It is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana that even Rama-Sita had consumed beef”.
After listening to these words, doesn’t it feel like having piping hot mercury poured in to your ears!?
Trying to gain cheap publicity by indulging in false propaganda on noble souls who have helped all does not reflect well on anyone; especially on those who are donning the mantle of saints!
We study Valmiki Ramayana every single day without fail; based on our clear understanding of ‘what is there and what is not there” in Valmiki Ramayana, we would like to negate, in just three statements, the ill-intentioned accusations on the most illustrious of humans to tread the earth:
First Statement: In the 7 cantos, 500 chapters, and more than 24 thousand verses of Valmiki Ramayana, there is not even a single mention anywhere to the effect that “Rama-Sita consumed beef”!
Valmiki Ramayana has several descriptions of Sri Rama’s food habits, but there is not a single reference pointing towards beef either directly or indirectly! Leave alone killing cows/consuming beef; Ramayana has direct references to indicate that even a small wrong done towards cows would be a great sin.
A context in Ramayana: Kousalya doubts Bharata, “You too are involved in conspiring for Rama’s exile!” A hurt Bharata takes frightening vows to establish ‘I am not such a man’. Listing great sins one by one and declaring ‘If I am in agreement with Rama’s exile, then let these great sins befall on me’ – this is the vow. In the list of heinous sins, the following three sins pertain to cows:
“गाश्च स्पृशतु पादेन” – Let the sin caused by touching a cow with leg befall on me
-Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda, Canto 75 Verse 31
“हन्तु पादेन गां सुप्ताम् “- Let the sin of kicking a sleeping cow befall on me
-Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda, Canto 75 Verse 22
“बालवत्सांच गां दोग्धु” – Let the sin of milking a cow with young calf befall on me
-Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda, Canto 75 Verse 56
Kousalya melts at the end of his vows; from the bottom of her heart she accepts Bharata as innocent.
Note that in those days it was considered a great sin even to touch a cow with legs. It was crime to drink milk from a cow with young calf! So called intellectuals, do you have such high sense of justice or sympathy towards animals? Introspect!
This was a conversation between Rama’s brother and Rama’s mother; this incident undoubtedly illustrates the position in those times, of that state, of that family with respect to cow. Things being so, how can one even imagine Rama-Sita consuming beef? Ramachandra never breaks personal/social regulations; that character is molded in such a way! That is why he is called Maryada~Purushottama!?
If you accuse Rama of consuming beef without an iota of proof, you will have to remain silent if someone accuses you of cannibalism without proof!
Anyway allegations don’t call for any proof, right?
Second Statement: Leave alone Rama, according to Ramayana even Ravan did not consume beef!
Here is the proof:
Instance: Searching Sita, Anjaneya enters Ravan’s bar room. There he finds leftover drinks and meat; Valmiki gives a long list of partially eaten meat found there:
Valmiki Ramayana Sundara Kanda canto 11:
मृगाणां महिषाणां च वराहाणां च भागश: |
तत्र न्यस्तानि मांसानि पानभूमौ ददर्श स: ||13 ||
Hanuman finds cut meat of deer, he-buffalo, pig in Ravan’s barroom.
रौक्मेषु च विशालेषु भाजनेष्वर्धभक्षितान् |
ददर्श कपिशार्दूलो मयूरान् कुक्कुटांस्तथा || 14 ||
He finds half eaten meat of peacock and hen in golden vessels.
वराहवाध्रीणसकान् दध्रिसौवर्चलायुतान् |
शल्यान् मृगमयूरांश्च हनूमानन्ववैक्षत ||15 ||
He found meat of pig, porcupine, rhinoceros, deer, peacock processed with curd and salt.
क्रकरान् विविधान् सिद्धांश्चकोरानर्धभक्षितान् |
महिषानेकशल्यांश्च च्छागांश्च कृतनिष्ठितान् ||16 ||
On the other side, Maruti found cut and processed meat of wild crane and partridge (chakora), and half eaten meat of buffalo, goat and fish.
Not even a trace of beef anywhere!
Valmiki has referred to the meat of many other animals; but there is no mention of beef at all!
On the contrary, there is a reference of Ravan praising cows!
“विद्यते गोषु संपन्नम्” – “Cows are treasuries of wealth!”
(Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda, Canto 16, Verse 9)
This is Ravan’s declaration!
Agreed these intellectuals do not need Rama anyway; it would be great for the nation if they follow Ravan in this!!
Third Statement: There is no reference to anyone eating beef anywhere in any verse of Ramayana!
This is an open challenge to those intellectuals and their entourage who blabber that as per Valmiki Ramayana Rama-Sita consumed beef!!
Show at least one instance in Ramayana with Kanda~Canto~Verse number where consumption of beef by anyone is described!!
We would expect you to show, usage of the word “beef”, at least in any one place in entire Valmiki Ramayana, show us the reference! That would be more than sufficient!!
A step without watchful eyes may be kept on a thorn; the walker might be sent rolling to the bottom of a cliff!
Words without knowledge will harm not only the speaker, the listener too might fall!
Let the journey of getting intelligent start with the basic knowledge that one should talk after with proper knowledge of any subject!
Translated blog of Sri Samsthana SriSri RaghaveshwaraBharati MahaSwamiji