[INDOLOGY] Help on mystery painting of Ramayana (?) episode

Robert Goldman rpg at berkeley.edu
Tue Aug 25 12:08:44 EDT 2015


Dear Nityanand-ji,

Thank you very much for helping us solve this puzzling painting and reminding us of the innumerable variations on the endlessly fascinating Rāmakathā.  And thanks again to all who made helpful suggestions.

Best. 
Dr. R. P.  Goldman
Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor in South and Southeast Asian Studies
Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies MC # 2540
The University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
Tel: 510-642-4089
Fax: 510-642-2409



> On Aug 24, 2015, at 9:48 PM, Nityanand Misra <nmisra at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> The painting refers to the Bhīla folk narrative Rom-Sitmani Varata in which Rāvaṇa’s life is in a bumblebee fixed in the chariot of Sūrya. , Rāvaṇa can be killed only if the bumblebee is dropped by an arrow into a pan of boiling oil when its reflection falls in the oil at noon.  Lakṣmaṇa does this and Rāvaṇa is killed. 
> 
> Sources: 
> 
> 1) Jaydipsinh Dodiya (2001). Critical Perspectives on the Rāmāyaṇa. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. ISBN 9788176252447 <tel:9788176252447>. p. 102: Not Rama, but Laxmaṇa kills Rāvaṇ here by his valour and intelligence. We find here another unusual motif of Rāvaṇvadha. Laxmaṇa gets hold of Mandodari’s clothes by tempting the washerman with jewells. He proceeds to serve lunch to Rāvaṇ disguised Mandodari and cleverly finds out the secret of his death. Rāvaṇ’s soul is packed safely in a wasp which resides up in the chariot of the sun. Now if a person who must be a celibate for past 12 years, stands from the early morning on a pan of boiling oil and sharp at noon when the sun comes on head and the wasp is reflected below in the oil, if he kills the wasp with a single arrow and if it falls dead in the oil and burns, then and then only, Rāvaṇ could die. Now, who but Laxmaṇa fulfils all these necessary qualifications? Sothe thing is done. Rāvaṇ’s death here is not a hero's death fighting in a war, but a ritualistic death. 
> 
> 
> 2) Manoja Kumāra Miśra (2001). Maukhika Mahākāvya. New Delhi: D K Printworld Private Limited. ISBN 9788124601761 <tel:9788124601761>. p. 30: लक्ष्मण मंदोदरी का छद्मवेश लेकर रावण की मृत्यु का रहस्य जान लेते हैं। रावण का प्राण (जीव) आकाशगामी सूर्य देवता के रथ में विराजमान भौरें में है। जिस व्यक्ति ने बारह वर्ष के समयखंड तक ब्रह्मचर्य पालन किया हो वह उबलते तेल की कढ़ाही के दोनों छोर पर अपने पैर ठहराये मध्याह्न के समय भौरें का प्रतिबिम्ब तेल में पड़ने पर धनुष पर बाण का संधान करके भौरें को अगर तेल में गिराये तब ही रावण की मृत्यु हो सकती है और पृथ्वी पर से अहंकार का नाश हो सकता है। इस कठोर कार्य को लक्ष्मण अनेक बाधाओं का सामना करके पूर्ण करते हैं। उसका रसाल वर्णन भील साधु तंबूर पर भजन गाकर करते हैं।
> 
> 
> Sent from my iPad
> 
> On 25 Aug, 2015, at 1:08 am, Robert Goldman <rpg at berkeley.edu <mailto:rpg at berkeley.edu>> wrote:
> 
>> Dear Colleagues,
>> 
>> Apparently the image did not come through with my original mailing. Thanks to those of you who have alerted me to this and to those who have offered valuable help on the basis of the verbal description.  I am attaching the image again, this time in  a smaller format in the hopes that you will be able to see it.  Thanks again for you help and advice. 
>> 
>> Best. 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> <Puzzling Painting.jpeg>
>> Dr. R. P.  Goldman
>> Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor in South and Southeast Asian Studies
>> Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies MC # 2540
>> The University of California at Berkeley
>> Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
>> Tel: 510-642-4089
>> Fax: 510-642-2409
>> 
>> 
>> 
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