Ramayana and Hebraic Genesis

Gaura Krishna


A number of Scriptures contain, in a symbolic form, the exposition of the universal wisdom, the cosmic law, in other words Sanatana Dharma. Different clothes dress the same universal Truth. In the same way as the Vedas are still chanted and in this way preserved in India, even if they are no more understood, so the Ramayana is chanted nowadays, even if the present understanding of this sublime scripture concerns only its external form or teaching. More than rules of conduct, dharmic, concerning any human being or any society obliged to follow them in order not to sink in the sickness of ego and diehard materialism, Ramayana contains the quintessence of Knowledge. The form carries the substance and, even if nowadays this substance is no more understood, the external envelop that is carried in this way allows the true sadhak to get the revelations of its esoteric or secret teaching one day or the other.

It is in this way that, as an example, it is possible to draw a parallel between the Hebraic Genesis and the Ramayana.

Adam, that is to day Adi-Manu, the first man, has been created in God's image. God has imparted him His own breath. So, Adam is God manifested. Note that, at the beginning, Adam is alone, symbolising uniqueness, the A-dvaita, the not-two. At that stage Adam is the Androgyne, the Ardhanarishvara. It is only after that, from one of his ribs, God creates Eve. So Eve is created from Adam, Prakrti is an emanation of the Brahman and not distinct from That. It is the symbolization off the appearance of duality, with on one hand Adam standing for Consciousness, Shiva, Purusha, and on the other hand Eve standing for Manifestation, Nature, Shakti, Prakrti. But those both are one in essence. Let us be content with drawing a mere parallel with Ram and Sita's wedding in the Ramayana. Let us recall that Ram is the name of Universal Consciousness before all, and that the name Sita means "furrow" and refers to the soil, to Nature, to manifestation.

Now here we are in the Garden of Eden where, let us recall it, time does not exist, man is eternal, the same as God. There is no time because there is no thought, no mind. Man IS. In the Ramayana, the Garden of Eden is Chitrakut. Ram and Sita live in a perfect union at Chitrakut in the same way as Adam and Eve live the same perfect union in Eden.

It is afterwards that everything will get serious and that 'man's fall', the 'original sin', will happen. The Garden of Eden is sublime. In its centre is a tree, called the 'Knowledge tree'. "And the Eternal God said: "You will eat freely from any tree of this garden, but from the knowledge tree you will not eat; for the day you will eat from it, for sure you will die." Of course Adam conforms to the directives, being Consciousness itself. But Eve, Prakrti, will not resist very long and will end up plunging on the impulse of desire, of appearance of the mind, of ego, that makes her fall from the union with Consciousness. She eats the fruit of discursive knowledge, that is to say she begins to think and therefore to divide herself, to separate herself from Consciousness. This is the beginning of manifestation. The emergence of mind, of desire, takes here the form of the snake who says: "For sure you will not die if you eat it, for God knows that on the day you will eat some of it, your eyes will open, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Well, knowing good and evil is exactly the mental plane, the cut, the opposed pairs, for in Divine Truth, all is One. From the day he has eaten some of it, man has left the sacred for the profane, forgetting himself. And he dies. Genesis says: "The woman saw that the tree was desirable to become intelligent." Everything is very clear. On the impulse of desire, man searches for knowledge. But which knowledge would he have to search for since he IS Knowledge itself? Of course it is relative knowledge, which makes us believe that the mind is the source of all knowledge. Man imagines that he is similar to God without being conscious that he has just become a mental god. This is also the entire symbol of Lucifer, symbol of the mind: the bearer of light, yes, but of mental light, hence his fall. The tree is desirable to cultivate the mind. But how many great scientists are the kings of fools! Then they know they are naked, birth of mental knowledge. God says: "Who has shown you that you were naked?" The mind, of course… Having left his source, man becomes aware that he is naked while before he had no nakedness consciousness. Is it possible to give God the epithet 'naked'?
In short, as soon as duality appears, mind appears and from this a fall in the relative field. Man quits his source, his deep Self and from that day imagines he is different from it. This is the fall from the sacred to the profane while there was no distinction before, nor sacred neither profane… He begins to live in the illusion that there is the sacred on one side and the profane on the other side.

In the same way as in Genesis we see Eve, Prakrti, alone when Adam is in the distance, so in the Ramayana we see Sita, alone, when Ram has gone for hunting and Lakshmana has gone to join him. And it is then that Ravana, the equivalent of the biblical snake, the ego, moves forward. Here, if the symbols are different, their meaning is the same. Around the residence a magic circle has been drawn, somehow demarcating the divine domain, the Garden of Eden. In the same way as the snake makes a very attractive siren sound heard to induce Eved-Prakrti to manifest more and more on the impulse of desire; here Ravana has dressed up like a sannyasin and, in the same way, will go in uttering words of false wisdom. The goal of the snake was to induce in crunching the apple from the knowledge tree; Ravana's goal will be to induce Sita to step over the limit of the magic circle, in the same way separating the divine domain where all is one from the mental knowledge where the ego stands. So, it is exactly the same. Here also it is the false notion of "good" (as opposed to "evil") that will attract Sita out of those limits. First Sita is attracted towards Marichi who has appeared in the features of a beautiful gazelle and she asks Rama to catch the animal and this will move him away from the hermitage in the same way as Eve had been moved away from Adam. Like in the Bible, everything that will happen is the continuation of the 'primal desire'. Again it is Sita who will send Lakshmana (who symbolizes Buddhi, the way to Consciousness) to Rama. It remains for Ravana, the ego, this "general of rakshasas before whom worlds with Devas, Asuras and men shake", filled with desires, to praise Sita's beauty etc., to make her step over the magic circle. And Sita will step over. She will cross the veil of Maya (the circle) where the distinction between divine world and profane world begins.

The apple being eaten, the circle being crossed, that is the fall of man. This fall is the fall in individuation, the raising of the ego, the fact to believe being a separate individual. Since this very moment man becomes mortal, woman has to "give birth in pain", man "to work by the sweat of his brow" in order to find again the divine union, Eden or Chitrakut. And everything else in the Ramayana describes the struggle of human soul to find gain the union of Purusha and Prakrti, all devils man has to kill in himself to go forward on the divine path, on the dharmakshetra, until the stage of renouncement. And the outcome of the Ramayana will be Rama-Consciousness' victory against Ravana, the terrible, monstrous ego that one believe to have killed but that reappears suddenly with thousand heads. This will be the re-union of Rama and Sita, of earth and skies, of Consciousness and Prakriti, the cosmic wedding of Shiva and Parvati at Triyuginarayan, the Divine Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven.