Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in the world literature that narrates the life of Lord ram, his travels across forests in India with his wife Sita and brother Laxmana, the abduction of his wife by Ravana, resulting in a war with him and Rama’s eventual return to Ayodhya to be crowned king.  Ramayana was an important influence on later Sanskrit poetry and Hindu culture. It presents the teachings of ancient Hindu sages in narrative allegory, interspersing philosophical and ethical elements. Ramayana was the name given referring of the journey of Rama.

Vedavati is the daughter of Brahmarishi Kusadhvaja, who is the son of Brihaspati, Lord- Guru of the Devas, the gods. Having spent his life chanting and studying the sacred Vedas, he names his daughter Vedavati, or embodiment of the Vedas, born as the fruit of his bhakti and tapasya. (Vedavati was born in Satya Yuga and later she was reborn in Treta Yuga, when Ravana kidnapped Sita.) Once Ravana found Vedavati sitting in meditaion and is captivated by her incredible beauty. He proposes her and is rejected. Ravana then mocks her austerities and molests her. Vedavati then curses Ravana that she will be the cause of his destruction and enters fire, seeking the protection of Agni. Agni Devta consoles Vedavati and gives her the opportunity to seek vengeance.

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She is disguised as Maya Sita (imposter), an exact look alike of Sita and replaced Sita just before Sita is about to get abducted by Ravana. The actual Sita was under the protection of the Agni and maya Sita gets kidnapped by Ravana, leading to the destruction of Ravana. At the time of Agni Pariksha, Maya Sita enters the fire and real Sita comes out of it along with Agni, who reveals the entire truth to Rama. According to Hindu tradition, Rama is an incarnation of the god Vishnu. The main purpose of this incarnation is to demonstrate the righteous path (dharma) for all living creatures on earth. People then believed that abduction, molestation was not dharma and violation of dharma (duty) attracted punitive actions.

John Austin propounded that law is the command of the sovereign, backed by the threat of punishment. In his work, ‘the province of jurisprudence determined’ published in 1832, Austin made an effort to explain the distinction between law and morality.  He focused on the theory that there is a duty to which an individual in responsible and violation of that duty leads to punishments.  Today, kidnapping, abduction, molestation is a crime under IPC and violation of them attracts punishments. Therefore, the laws used now has a resemblance from the laws used in the period of Ramayana.

Natural law is generally explained as the ‘law of nature, divine law, a law which is eternal and universal.’ However, it has been given different meanings at different points in time. For instance, it was considered to be associated with theology but at the same time it was also used for secular purposes. Natural law is believed to exist independent of human will. It is considered natural in the sense that it is not created by man but is found through nature. Natural law theory varies in its aims and content but there is one central idea. This central idea states that, there is a higher law based on marolity against which the moral or legal validity of human law can be measured. At the heart of the natural law theory is a belief that there are certain universal moral laws that human laws may not go against, without losing legal or moral force. St. Thomas Aquinas called law without moral content, as “perversion of law”.

Then in Ramayana, people were bound by the dharma (duty). Duties then refer to everything an individual must do and must not do. These duties were decided by the moral principles- morality. This is why morality has a major role in the law making procedure. Nowadays, an unjust law is not a true law; an immoral law is not a true law. This means that if a law is not true or moral then no individual is bound to follow it.

People believe that general offer is a concept form 1605 from the precedent of WEEKS VS TYBALD, 1605 but we can trace it from the Satya Yuga, the period of Ramayana. At the dhanush yagya, seeing Rama, all the Rakshasas who were present there got scared of their future. Soon, King Janak called for her daughter Sita. When Sita reached the court where the contest was going to take place, she first saw Rama and could not take her eyes off him. King Janak came to know what was happening between Rama and Sita and therefore announced that the brave heart who breaks the Dhanush of Shiva will marry his daughter. Shiva Dhanush was easily moved by Sita during her childhood. King Janak observed it and this incident set the condition of Sita swayamvar in the Ramayana. After King Janak’s announcement, many princes and kings tried their hand at the Dhanush. However none of them could break it. King Janak was depressed and said “is there no one brave and powerful enough who could break this Dhanush”. Rishi Vishwamitra then asked Rama to go and break the Dhanush. Rama obeyed his orders and proceeded towards the Dhanush. Seeing Rama coming to break the Dhanush, Sita prayed him to be successful. No one saw Rama lifting and breaking the Dhanush. Rama was so quick that people present in the court could only remember him standing there and the next moment they saw the broken Dhanush and the hard noise it made while breaking. King Janak and Sita were elated to see Rama successful. King Janak made a general offer to everyone who was present in the crowd.

In the book of Avtar Singh, the author has explained that before 1605 it was not clear that if offer can be made to the whole world at large or it has to be made to a definite person.  After 1605 it was considered that an offer must be made to a definite person only. The difficulty suggested was that if an offer of this kind addressed to several persons could be accepted, the offeror would find himself bound in innumerable contracts. This was, however, soon overruled. The modern position is that an offer may be made to the world at large. But the contract is not made with the entire world. Contract is made only with that person who comes forward and performs the condition of the proposal. An offer need not be made to a specific person. It may be made to a person, a class of people, or to the whole world (such as the offer of a reward). An offer is a definite promise to be bound, provided the terms of the offer are accepted. This means that there must be acceptance of precisely what has been offered.

“An offer need not be made to an ascertained person, but no contract can arise until it has been accepted by an ascertained person.” [1]

There were many laws and legal elements that were present in the Ramayana which has the resemblance of the laws of this modern world.

[1] Anson’s Law of Contract, 40 (23rdedition by A. G. Guest, 1971)

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