Power In The Ramayana

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Corruption has been a theme throughout history with people in power. These people try to work this system to gain more power; others make the most out of the power they have. History repeats itself in the system of kingship depicted in The Ramayana, an epic by Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami (R.K. Narayan). Some characters seek to possess the most power possible in their lifetimes, while others are content with the power they have and focus on their duty. In the epic, the people who are seeking more power are self-serving. Narayan depicts the political system of kingship in this epic through various people in power including those who have good intentions regarding power and others who choose to seek power for only power’s sake without any sense of duty. Ultimately,…show more content…
One such character who prioritizes duty over power is King Dasaratha’s son, Rama, who is satisfied with the amount of power he has and does not focus on the specific goal to be king. The power Rama has, even though he isn't king, comes from the respect he shows to the citizens in his father’s kingdom. He focuses on the needs of his subjects and not personal ambition. This is especially evident on returning to the palace and "citizens crowded the highway to have a glimpse of [him]. Rama always had a word for everyone in the crowd" (Narayan 6). He gained their respect by thinking of each citizen as a person, not as a subject under his father's rule. Narayana’s depiction of Rama as the ideal son of a king is one who is first a good citizen, fine with whatever he has, even if it is nothing. He told his step-mother, Kaikeyi, who felt threatened by his potential power, "be assured that I will not shirk. I have no interest in kingship, and no attachments to such offices, and no aversion to a forest existence'" (Narayan 45). This quote reveals that Rama’s ethics help him leave the throne to his half-brother, Bharatha. Rama is more connected with the duty he holds that the power he would
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