Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sita's incomplete Individuation Journey?

In Ramayana, Sita does not seem to have completed her individuation journey.

The most striking point for me is when Janaka tells Rama while giving away Sita that she will be a shadow to you, following through thick and thin, Sita herself also says this before they set out to the exile. From this ideal position of wanting to give everything, she comes to a point where she has no other go, read - her Ego is so assaulted that she wants to disappear into her origin, her mother, read - unconscious, again.

As I have been thinking about this myth for a couple of years now, one perspective that is emerging freshly to me is that, Rama has taken her as a partner to his Ego, the conscious Persona that has been groomed to be the Righteous King. This Persona is the one that marries Sita. His own journey with his Anima is still incomplete. In the life led by this Persona, he accepts difficulties, he accepts the 'weird' 'irrational' behaviours of the ununderstood Anima either in the form of Kaikeyi asking for his exile or Sita asking for the Magical Deer. His conscious and righteous response to this ununderstood, irrational demand of the Unconscious is how he stands and builds a Rama rajya. All his agonies, his love, his passion, his foolishness are all either undealt, kept personal or dealt with the help of Lakshmana. There are many a places where Lakshmana counsels him in his search for Sita.

Sita seems to have set out to give her full to Rama but unreceived in her entirety, she finally has to go into the greatest container of all, the Mother Earth herself. She hardly spends any time as the Queen.

To this day, mothers treat their daughters with a bit of extra pampering. They say, after all, she has to undergo difficulty at her in law's house.


  1. Well, one perspective. But a holistic picture is missing in this perspective. There are some very good conversations between Rama and Sita in several spaces in the Ramayana including why she is sent out and she agrees for that action. As I see it in their roles in poet's imagination they picture the purposeful existence. they picture the capacity to walk in a path that has a strong vision tying each individually as well as together. They picture the dilemma in connectedness to macro learning. it would seem very much narrow if we just look at them as individuals with certain set of micro issues that they need to learn to handle. The Poet seems to have had multi dimensional perspectives, including his own while characterizing these two.

    1. Thank you for the comment.
      As I see it, Purposeful existence is very meaningful. Such a purposeful existence usually necessitates an individual to be a whole person bringing out his/her potential and living it to the full. This is what we set out to do as heros and heroines.

      While considering Ramayana, my attempt is to look at it as a Myth that operates in us consciously or unconsciously. It influences us in our lives.
      With respect to purposeful existence, Ram for me is incomplete as he fails to fully take Sita with him. His purpose is to be a king living upto the established values. My enquiry is if he were to consider it important to deal with Sita and keep her with him, he would have to enquire into why such a queen should be important to a king like himself, to a kingdom like Ayodhya. Then maybe he can build a kingdom as a king living a whole life, establishing new more discerned values. Maybe we would have ended up with a more balanced society than the current predominantly patriarchal society.