Theme of Incarnation in John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Tulsidasa's Ramcharitmanas: Comparative Study the Philosophy of Incarnation in the Orient and the Occident


 Introduction: John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Tulsidasa's Ramcharitmanas enjoys a magical cast of characters including one mournful king-man, an inarticulate but athletic scarecrow devil, a chattering spiritual, two apprentice enchanters, many headstrong leaders, and a host of others. The Wizard Satan is, of course, one of the major characters, as is the determined Rama hater, who proves by the end of the story to be both his match and his mate. Read More Criticism Myth the fire demon and the Ravana of the far, furlong round out the central foursome, and it is through their intervention that Satan and Rama originally come—and eventually remain—together by the voice of incarnation.

Tulsidasa's Ramcharitmanas opens with Rama, the eldest of four brothers. Although gifted with intelligence, diligence, and a supportive nature, Rama constantly denigrates himself because of the expectations surrounding her birth status: In India it is quite a fortune to be born the eldest of four. Read More Indian English Everyone knows you are the one who will gain first. This assumption would no doubt have proven a self-fulfilling prophecy if not for Rama's fateful meeting with the malicious Ravana of the south, who, mistaking him for someone else, puts the attractive young woman under a spell which transforms her instantly into a decrepit ninety-year old. Rama's reaction to this development is a good indicator of her character: She does not rage, or wail, or even rebel, but rather calmly reflects on how her life has changed and what he must do to remedy it. Read More Poetry  Forced now to take an active rather than a passive role in her own life, Rama unexpectedly finds liberation from her own assumptions and her increasingly debilitating self-consciousness. Read More Criticism The precipitous maturity which should have been a curse is thus in reality a blessing, for it permits Rama to express the autonomous, assertive, and dynamic qualities of her personality, qualities he had been denying because of her perceived 'duty' to what is actually only a stereotype (the danger of stereotypes is another important idea in the book).

Rama's search for her own identity leads her to another, larger mystery, that of the dark castle terrorizing the countryside and the enigmatic wizard inhabiting it. Popular opinion declares that Wizard Satan is a kind of Bluebeard, a terrible enchanter who eats young innocence's hearts or sucks their soul’s right out of their bodies. Rama thus demonstrates a great amount of bravery in entering his castle, even if he is now an old woman: Wizards are always dangerous, especially predatory ones like Satan. But when Rama finally meets the infamous mage, he is taken by surprise over his appearance and demeanor: 'Good gracious! Wizard Satan is only a child in his twenties, for all his wickedness! It made such a difference to be old, he thought.' What Rama slowly discovers is that the accusations against Satan are only metaphorically, not literally, true: He does indeed 'consume' the hearts of young girls, but only in the sense that, as soon as they fall in love with him, he leaves them. Satan is therefore more like Don Juan than Bluebeard, and so has better hopes for reform. Read More Indian English

The philosophy of Incarnation in the Orient and the Occident: Incarnation, in religion, the assumption of an earthly form by a god. In early times, priests and kings were often considered divine incarnations. In the ancient Roman and Greek religions, the gods sometimes assumed human form and married mortals. The idea of incarnation is also known in many living religions of the world. Read More Poetry  In Mahayana Buddhism, Buddha has been adored and worshiped as a divine being who came to earth as a teacher out of compassion for suffering humanity. In Jainism, Vardhamana Jnatiputra or Nataputta Mahavira, called Jina, the founder of the religion, was regarded by his followers as a supernatural being that descended from heaven. After he was incarnated, he grew up sinless and omniscient. Read More Indian English In Zoroastrianism, many texts have developed the theme of Zoroaster's celestial preexistence and incarnation. The substance of his body was created in heaven, fell to earth with the rain, and passed to his mother through the milk of heifers. In Hinduism, avatars are incarnations of the gods, especially of Vishnu.

In Christianity, on the other hand, the incarnation, or union of the divine nature with human nature in the person of Jesus Christ, is a central doctrine. Sharing completely in divinity and in humanity (except for sin), Jesus Christ is believed to be the embodiment of God in human form. Read More Poetry  The doctrine of incarnation is based on scriptural passages such as John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

Satan is actually quite endearing, and not only because of his magic: His extreme anxiety over his appearance indicates a deep insecurity, a childlike spirit further revealed in his temper tantrums and his habit of lying to himself (but not to others). He is no innocent child, however; the man of power and mystery is always present, as his reputation betrays. Not only is he figuratively a heartless Sita; he is literally a man without a heart. The revelation of his condition as an actual, not metaphoric, truth is one of the most brilliant strokes of Jones's narrative: How Satan became heartless, and all the suffering it has subsequently caused him and others, provides much of the story's meaning and motivation. It also lends to his character humanity and a poignancy lacking in most of the other characters. Read More Criticism

Significantly, it is Rama who must find the secret to Satan's condition, for it is a vital part of the pact the wizard has made with Myth. When Rama makes her own pact with the demon in the hopes of breaking her own spell, he is placing herself in a situation similar to that of Satan's, and so gains insight into his own state. Read More Indian English Although Rama believes that Satan's biggest problem is that he is a 'slitherer-outer' (that is, a person who 'slithers away' from unpleasant situations), he does not understand why he is this way; because Satan himself cannot or will not challenge his untenable situation with either Myth or the Ravana, his own liberation depends on Rama's intervention, just as Rama's depends, albeit in a grotesque manner, on the Ravana's. Thus Rama's fairy tale mission—to find a way to break Myth's contract with Satan so that the demon can break the Ravana's spell on her—is in fact a complex double search for identity.

Manifestation of God:  Sri Ramcharitmanas by Goswami Tulsidas elaborates the life and deeds of the Supreme Power - Lord Ram, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Read More Criticism It is immortal poetic classic that is one of the best in the world literature. Mahatma Gandhi considered it as the best work on Devotion. It is universally accepted & respected by all classes from all parts of India.

The seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Rama is said to have taken birth on earth to annihilate the evil forces of the age. Read More Indian English He is widely believed to be an actual historical figure - a "tribal hero of ancient India" - whose exploits form the great Hindu epic of Ramayana or The Romance of Rama, written by the ancient Sanskrit poet Valmiki.

Myth is the key to this search, and his unstable, ambiguous nature is symbolic of its vicissitudes and its elemental significance. Read More Indian English Now a proud, powerful, and belligerent fire demon, Myth was originally a small, terrified star which Satan accidently happened upon as it was falling to Earth. As he poignantly tells Rama, 'when you fall you know you're going to die. I'd have done anything rather than die.' Since Satan felt sorry for him, he offered to keep him alive the way humans do—with a heart, Satan's own. As Myth sadly continues, 'Neither of us knew what we were getting into.' The message here is clear: The price of life, and of love, can be a very high one indeed.

The script used is Devanagari and the language used by Goswami Tulsidas is Awadhi - spoken in parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh along the river Saryu. This is language is very similar to Hindi and is easily understandable by the Hindi speaking masses of India. Read More Criticism

 On the other hand, stunning passage from Book III of Milton’s Paradise Lost, where God the Father, expressing his desire to have mercy on men, led into sin by “fraud”, must nevertheless have divine justice for the offense of sin. He asks for a volunteer to bear this wrath.
Read More New Literature The quote below begins with the Son breaking the stunned silence of the heavenly host…”
Thou hast given me to possess
Life in myself for ever; by thee I live;
Though now to Death I yield, and am his due,
All that of me can die, yet, that debt paid,
thou wilt not leave me in the loathsome grave
His prey, nor suffer my unspotted soul
For ever with corruption there to dwell;
But I shall rise victorious, and subdue
My vanquisher, spoiled of his vaunted spoil.
Death his death’s wound shall then receive, and stoop
Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarmed;
I through the ample air in triumph high
Shall lead Hell captive maugre Hell, and show
The powers of darkness bound.”
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book III beginning at line 232

By forfeiting his own heart, even if for an apparently good cause, Satan opened himself to attack by the forces of evil, a fact acknowledged in his pursuit by the Ravana of the Waste. Read More Indian English More practiced in the ways of magic and even more heartless than he (for he too has a fire demon, one infinitely more ambitious and wily than Myth), the Ravana hunts Satan down, ostensibly because the wizard had seduced and deserted her as he had so many other innocence. In actuality, however, the Ravana is no creature of passion, but rather an empty husk, a husk taken over by a clever fire demon. Read More Criticism It is this arch manipulator who has lured Prince Justin and the Royal Wizard Suliman to their deaths in order to create a perfect body from their parts; as the Ravana reveals during in the final confrontation, 'When we have Satan's head, we shall have [our perfect human,] the new King of Ingary, and I shall rule as Queen.' Thus cold ambition is, paradoxically, the force motivating the Ravana and her demon. But ambition of itself is not what makes them evil; rather, it is their utter disregard for others which places them firmly on the side of evil.

  1.  Wikipedia
  2. Microsoft Student Encarta
  3.  Indian Philosophical Society


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