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5 November, 2010
The Ideal Individual in the Classic Age of India
The Classic Age of India was an era where the values of society were based on the religious duty of one man and the purity of a woman. In "the Ramayana of Valmiki” , Rama and Sita are portrayed as individuals with ideal characteristics and ethical behavior in the view of the Indian culture. Rama is considered a reincarnation of divinity and a man of solemn duty; Sita is the symbol of obedience and chastity. The moral elements of each character are presented through many difficult challenges that test both Rama and Sita. The actions and decisions of both characters through the text show how Indian culture described its perspective of an ideal individual. Western culture carries a philosophy which states that power manifests through actions, whereas Indian culture contradicts this idea by stating that power manifests through suffering instead; Sita is a character who carries such power. Sita as a central female constitutes the nobility of a woman who is patient through her suffer; she is self-sacrificed; and she is always faithful and is obedient to her chastity. She considers suffering as her sole duty. Rama, on the other hand, is loyal to his family, his wife, and his duty. An example to the character’s actions is when Sita had to decide whether to move to the forest with Rama or stay back. Sita decided to follow Rama as she is devoted to him by the intense love when she said “it will not be the least hardship to me; without you, even heaven is hell” (901). Even when Rama tries to persuade her to stay she replies to him “your gracious solicitude for my happiness only makes my love for you more ardent, and my determination to follow you more firm” (902). An important point marked is that Sita’s love and faithfulness to Rama creates a strong bond between a man and a woman such that it defines the ideal wife being committed and loyal to her...