Two Different Context –
Ramayana and Mahabharata, they exists in two different contexts. Ramayana can be termed as early stage of an organization and Mahabharata as the stage after that. In the early stage of an organization there are no politics, everyone is humble to the organization , an ideal leader(Rama) and ideal employees, i.e., and ideal environment. In such a ideal environment ,where people are so humble, they never knew or tried to use the rules for their own good.
Where as Mahabharata is the later stage of an organization, where people are not so humble, and rules are being used to cause harm others.
How life is being handled with respect to Rules and Dharma –
Let me explain the difference with an example. When Rama leaves Ayodhya and goes to the forest, in that situation Bharath had a chance to become the king of Ayodhya. But he denied to be the king of Ayodhya. Because he don’t want to be the king. He want his brother Rama to be the king.
Where as in Mahabharata both Kauravas and Pandavas are brothers but Kauravas didn’t want Pandavas to become king. This lead to a war between the brothers. In that war all Kauravas were killed by Pandavas with the help of Krishna. If you compare both the scenarios, in both of the cases rules were followed. But in Ramayana rules were not used for bad deeds. Where as in Mahabharata rules were used for bad deeds. That is the difference between Ramayana and Mahabharata.
4 Prime Characters with Graphical Representation –
Rama told exactly what to do and how to live. On the other hand Krishna gave a choice and explained the results/effects of the path we choose
Rama upholds Dharma and at the same time follows the rules. While, Ravana doesn’t care about the rules. He follows the Law of the Jungle, or matsya nyaya as is mentioned in Indian scriptures. For him, there are no rules (Your property is my property. Your wife is my wife).
In Mahabharata, Duryodhana always follows the law to the last letter, but doesn’t care to think about the principles or Dharma.
Whereas, Krishna is always bending the rules but what for? For upholding Dharma.
Let’s make a 2×2 matrix to understand this.
As we move on the right hand side along the x-axis (Or the Dharma axis), Dharma is upheld.
As we move along the y-axis (Or the Rule-following axis), rules are being followed.
Now let’s compare Ramayana and Mahabharata using this 2*2 matrix. On one side we have Dharma (+ is Dharma Upheld. – is Dharma is not upheld). On the other side we have Rules (Followed, not Followed).
From the matrix Rama is a person who follows the rules and thus dharma is upheld (Rama is the ideal leader of an organization which is in its early stage.). Ravana is a person who never follows the rules and thus dharma is not upheld. Krishna is a kind of leader who bends the rules to upheld dharma. If you compare both Rama and Krishna now Rama is the leader of an organization where there no politics. Krishna is a leader of an organization which is in the later stage. Aim of both the of them is to upheld dharma. But the way they did it was different as the situations are different. This again lead to another interesting question. Is breaking rules in order to achieve or upheld dharma correct or not?
Rules vs Dharma – Breaking the rules ???
Rules are written in order to achieve or upheld dharma. If that is not happening then there is no use of following rules.
In short, RULES=GOOD
This is what differentiates Ramayana and Mahabharata. In Ramayana , Rama followed the rules and thus the others . So, Finally Rama became the king. In Mahabharata Kauravas used rules in order to take away kingdom from Pandavs. i.e., rules are followed but good is not happening. Thus when good is not happening, A leader like Krishna will end the rules to upheld dharma. This is what the difference between Ramayana and Mahabharata.
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