The Ramayana of Valmiki – Class Discussion

Background: Before you attempt to complete this assignment, it will be helpful for you to read the lesson notes. In the lesson notes, you’ll need to rely on the supporting documents, particularly “Dharma in Depth” (you’ll find this document in the week’s folder.  Again, it is important to read through the lesson notes before attempting to complete this assignment. There, you’ll see a link to “Dharma in Depth” which should prepare you for this assignment. Additionally, you also need to read through The Ramayana. Like other assignments, this semester, it is not a short reading. However, you are not reading the entire epic; instead you’ll only be reading selections from books 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (none of these selections is longer than 18 pages, while most are around 4-10 pages).

Question #1: For this part of the assignment, your goal is to isolate characters within this epic during a moment of dilemma. There are many such situations in the text. After finding one such situation, I want you to let the class know the details in the scene (book, line numbers, character involved, and dilemma involved). Then, ask and answer the following questions:

  • Does the character behave according to dharma in these situations?
  • How does their behavior exemplify dharmic or non-dharmic behavior?
  • If they behaved against the principles of dharma, what should they have done?
  • If they behaved against the principles of dharma, what consequences did they have to bear?

Part II: Define/explain/show significance of, etc., in no more than 5 complete sentences ONE of the following terms/characters:

  • Dharma
  • Karma
  • Samsara
  • Hanuman
  • Vishnu
  • Ravana
  • Brahma-missile

Note: Be sure to use complete sentences as you construct your response. Also be sure to connect your response to this week’s reading. Finally, I’m not looking for answers copied and pasted from Wikipedia or other online sources. Look to your lecture notes and textbook (and of course, your own thoughts).

For this assignment, I’d like you to create a separate thread for each question. In order to receive a 100, you need to respond to both questions. The truly successful post will not be written without some consideration (and editing). You may also, if you are not sure of the strength of your own post, respond to the posts of others in class. In doing so, you’ll help others in class refine their thinking and add to the collective wisdom in the course. Naturally, you should be tactful when responding and follow the golden rule.