On Friday, January 20, alleged Rationalist, and writer, KS Bhagwan sparked outrage after making controversial comments about Lord Rama and Goddess Sita. KS Bhagwan claimed that the Valmiki Ramayana, in Uttar Kaand, states that Lord Rama used to drink wine with Sita every afternoon.
Rama’s main activity in the afternoon was to sit with Sita and drink wine. the author was heard saying that this is what the documents state. KS Bhagwan made the comments while speaking at an event in Mandya, Karnataka.
This is not the first time that the writer has expressed objectionable opinions about Lord Ram. In December 2018, he stirred up a controversy after claiming that according to Valmiki Ramayan, Lord Ram used to drink ‘intoxicants’ and made Sita consume them too. In his book “Rama Mandira Yake Beda,” he made these comments.
Following his comments, some Hindu organisations launched a protest against KS Bhagwan and tried to hold a puja outside the controversial writer’s residence in Kuvempunagar.
Back then, KM Nishant, a member of a Hindu rights group had told the Times of India that the Uttar Kaand was added later on in the Valmiki Ramayana and that it was not composed by Sage Valmiki.
“In his book Rama Mandira Yake Beda, KS Bhagwan quotes verses from Uttar Kaand, the concluding chapter of Valmiki’s Ramayana. However, Bhagwan should be aware that Hindus disagree with Uttar Kaand because we believe Valmiki did not write the chapter. There is no mention of Uttar Kaand in any of the 24,000 slokas that make up the Ramayana,” Nishant told Times of India.
It is notable that those arguing that Lord Rama used to consume meat and liquor often quote this shloka from Valmiki Ramayana’s Sundarkand:
na māṃsaṃ rāghavo bhuṅkte na cāpi madhusevate |
vanyaṃ suvihitaṃ nityaṃ bhaktamaśnāti pañcamam || 5-36-41
Those claiming that Lord Rama used to consume alcohol and meat interpret this shloka as He (Lord Rama) is not eating meat anymore, nor indulging in liquor (not even spiritual liquor) and he is just eating the fruits available from the forest.
However, the Gita Press publication clarifies that the shloka actually means that it is a sin for any Raghuvanshi (including Lord Rama) to consume meat or alcohol. Then why would Lord Rama consume these things? Lord Rama in accordance with the Shastras used to eat fruits available in the forest.