When someone says RamRajya, what comes to the mind of the people? Those who have heard this word before knows that it refers to the empire of Lord Ram, a society which was unlike any other; where there was no pain, where dharma ruled.
Many people have doubts about the existence of Lord Ram and the existence of RamRajya. In one way, the doubt is valid because whatever description we have of RamRajya through our scriptures just sounds out of this world. There is nothing compared to it in our present times which raises the question if it really is a piece of history or a figment of someone’s imagination? Without any discussion on this, for the sake of this article, let’s just assume that RamRajya existed at a certain place and at a certain time.
Its historicity doesn’t matter in the context of this article because the question we are going to entertain here is far more interesting and important because it directly attacks the validity of the concept of dharma.
Dharma here is not referring to any religion. It refers to the dharmic philosophy.
The Important Question
So we just assumed that there was somewhere in the distant past a perfect society which we refer to as RamRajya. In that society, there was no pain, there was no illness, everyone does their duties according to dharma, and everyone was happy. In other words, it was a perfect society.
And what was the reason for it to be perfect? Because it was ruled by dharma.
Now, the question is, if RamRajya was a perfect dharmic society, what happened to it?
Let’s reiterate the question for better understanding. When we talk about dharma, we think of it as a perfect, true, self-sufficient, eternal philosophy or concept. Then, when we say that a society is ruled by dharma, it means that society must have inherited these properties. A perfectly dharmic society should be able to sustain itself till the end of civilization from the planet as it is a faultless, self-sufficient society. Going by this logic, if we again ask what happened to RamRajya, why was it not present in our present times, and why did it disappear; the possible answers are a direct threat to the sanctity of Dharma and need to be confronted urgently.
There can be three possible reasons for this absenteeism of RamRajya from our present times.
- Dharma itself is neither truth nor self-sustainable
- Dharma was not perfectly applied in the RamRajya. In other words, there was false dharma in RamRajya.
- The rise and fall of RamRajya were in accordance with dharma.
Let’s see it one at a time
Dharma itself is neither truth nor self-sustainable
When we say that there was a perfect dharmic society at a time and then it eventually collapsed, logical deduction points towards a possibility that perhaps the fundamentals on which that society stands is itself not perfect; perhaps the Dharma itself is not perfect.
This is a troublesome possibility because it is a direct attack on the sanctity of dharma. For years we heard that dharma is the way to peace, dharma is the way to truth, dharma is self-sufficient; and now if we say that dharma is not perfect, neither it is self-sustainable nor it is truth, this civilization will fall into an instant because this nation which we call Bharat itself stands on dharma.
But of course, nothing like that happened yet. Dharma is simultaneously the oldest and probably the only metaphysical principle or concept which is yet to be proved wrong. On one hand, dharma is perceived as something eternal and on other hand, it is the most scrutinised concept.
But how can a metaphysical principle be scrutinized? By making hypotheses. Multiple lineages of gurus and shishyas experimented with dharma and tried to project its concepts on the physical world for the sake of every being. There is absolutely no reason to say that the concept of dharma itself is faulty. It has been experimented on for centuries and is yet to be falsified.
Dharma was not perfectly applied in RamRajya
If the dharma is perfect, then the next possibility is that perhaps its application is not perfect in RamRajya?
It has been said on for centuries and we already assumed above that RamRajya was a perfect society based on dharma. If it is already assumed perfect, then there is no need to entertain this possibility.
The rise and fall of RamRajya were in accordance with dharma.
The last and the most interesting possibility is that perhaps the rise and fall of RamRajya was according to dharma.
How is this possible? How can dharma destroy something that follows it?
Dharma is not a cheat code for immortality. Whoever claims a beginning has to accept death too. Dharma is a blueprint for action as per the grand scheme of the universe. Dharma can be seen as a way towards peace.
And what might be the grand scheme of the universe?
I can’t claim that I understand the working of the universe in the minutest details, but I think that as humans want to live in peace and attain moksha, and humans are considered as a reflection of the universe, it might be possible that the entire universe itself wants to attain the moksha.
And what could be the moksha for the universe?
To go to its beginning state where everything was one.
This is just a hypothesis but it’s not baseless. As the end goal of dharma is to make man one with the Paramatma, it may be the end goal of the entire cosmos too. And to attain moksha, dharma is needed. For this reason, the natural affinity of the universe might be towards dharma.
But how is all this related to the rise and fall of RamRajya?
Maybe, just maybe, the time had ended for RamRajya and to spread dharma outside the empire of Lord Ram and to the rest of the world, its fall is necessary. This seems like the most valid reason without contradicting any of the traditional understanding of dharma.
We don’t know the exact events that happened, if there was a flood or a plague, or an invading army overran the RamRajya? But if we try to understand it in the grand scheme of things, we can conclude that its fall is itself as per dharma so that the dharma lives not in the corner of a small nation, but the entire world.
The last thing I like to add is that spread of dharma is not synonymous with the spread of some kind of religion or social law. It is the spread of the knowledge which is accumulated on this land for thousands of years and which is advantageous for everyone without any exception. It is not referring to any kind of violent invasion or missionary work.
This article is based on what I think is the reason behind the end of RamRajya and is not directly based on any scripture. So, if any reader thinks it is wrong and there are some other reasons or have something to add, you are welcome to comment.