Powered by
Share this page on
Article provided by Wikipedia

""Indischer Maler von 1780 001.jpg
"Rama with his wife "Sita and brother "Lakshmana during exile in forest, manuscript, ca. 1780
Religion "Hinduism
Author "Valmiki
Language "Sanskrit
Verses 24,000

Ramayana ("/rɑːˈmɑːjənə/;[1] "Sanskrit: रामायणम्, Rāmāyaṇam "[rɑːˈmɑːjəɳəm]) is an ancient Indian "epic poem which narrates the struggle of the divine prince "Rama to rescue his wife "Sita from the demon king "Ravana. Along with the "Mahabharata, it forms the "Hindu "Itihasa.

The epic, traditionally ascribed to the "Hindu sage "Valmiki, narrates the life of "Rama, the legendary prince of the "Kosala Kingdom. It follows his fourteen-year exile to the forest from the kingdom, by his father King "Dasharatha, on request of his second wife "Kaikeyi. His travels across forests in India with his wife "Sita and brother "Lakshmana, the kidnapping of his wife by "Ravana, the demon king of "Lanka, resulting in a war with him, and Rama's eventual return to "Ayodhya to be crowned king.

The Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature. It consists of nearly 24,000 "verses (mostly set in the "Shloka meter), divided into seven Kandas (books) and about 500 sargas (chapters). In "Hindu tradition, it is considered to be the adi-kavya (first poem). It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king. Ramayana was an important influence on later "Sanskrit poetry and Hindu life and culture. Like Mahabharata, Ramayana is not just a story: it presents the teachings of ancient Hindu sages in narrative "allegory, interspersing philosophical and ethical elements. The characters "Rama, "Sita, "Lakshmana, "Bharata, "Hanuman, "Shatrughna, and "Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of "India, "Nepal, "Sri Lanka and south-east Asian countries such as "Thailand, "Cambodia, "Malaysia and "Indonesia.

There are many "versions of Ramayana in Indian languages, besides Buddhist, Sikh and "Jain adaptations. There are also "Cambodian, "Indonesian, "Filipino, "Thai, "Lao, "Burmese and "Malaysian versions of the tale.



The name Ramayana is a "tatpuruṣa compound of the name Rāma.

Textual history and structure[edit]

An artist's impression of Valmiki Muni composing the Ramayana

According to Hindu tradition, and the Ramayana itself, the epic belongs to the genre of itihasa like Mahabharata. The definition of itihāsa is a narrative of past events (purāvṛtta) which includes teachings on "the goals of human life. According to Hindu tradition, Ramayana takes place during a period of time known as "Treta Yuga.[2]

In its extant form, Valmiki's Ramayana is an epic poem of some 24,000 verses. The text survives in several thousand partial and complete manuscripts, the oldest of which is a "palm-leaf manuscript found in Nepal and dated to the 11th century CE. A Times of India report dated 18 December 2015 informs about the discovery of a 6th-century manuscript of the Ramayana at the Asiatic Society library, "Kolkata.[3] The Ramayana text has several regional renderings,recensions and sub recensions. Textual scholar "Robert P. Goldman differentiates two major regional revisions: the northern (n) and the southern (s). Scholar "Romesh Chunder Dutt writes that "the Ramayana, like the Mahabharata, is a growth of centuries, but the main story is more distinctly the creation of one mind."

There has been discussion as to whether the first and the last volumes (bala kandam and uttara kandam) of Valmiki's Ramayana were composed by the original author. Most Hindus still believe they are integral parts of the book, in spite of some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two volumes and the rest of the book.[4]

Retellings include "Kamban's Ramavataram in "Tamil (c. 11th–12th century), "Gona Budda Reddy's Ramayanam in "Telugu (c. 13th century), "Madhava Kandali's "Saptakanda Ramayana in "Assamese (c. 14th century), "Krittibas Ojha's "Krittivasi Ramayan (also known as Shri Rama Panchali) in "Bengali (c. 15th century), "Sarala Das' "Vilanka Ramayana (c. 15th century)[5][6][7][8] and Balaram Das' Dandi Ramayana (also known as the Jagamohan Ramayana) (c. 16th century) both in "Odia, "sant "Eknath's "Bhavarth Ramayan (c. 16th century) in "Marathi, "Tulsidas' "Ramcharitamanas (c. 16th century) in "Awadhi (which is an eastern form of "Hindi) and "Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan's "Adhyathmaramayanam in "Malayalam.


Rama (left third from top) depicted in the "Dashavatara, the ten avatars of "Vishnu. Painting from "Jaipur, now at the "Victoria and Albert Museum

Some cultural evidence, such as the presence of "sati in "Mahabharata but not in the main body of Ramayana, suggests that Ramayana predates "Mahabharata. However, the general cultural background of Ramayana is one of the post-"urbanization periods of the eastern part of north "India and "Nepal, while Mahabharata reflects the Kuru areas west of this, from the "Rigvedic to the late "Vedic period.

By tradition, the text belongs to the "Treta Yuga, second of the four eons ("yuga) of "Hindu chronology. "Rama is said to have been born in the Treta yuga to king "Dasharatha in the "Ikshvaku dynasty.

The names of the characters (Rama, Sita, Dasharatha, "Janaka, "Vashista, "Vishwamitra) are all known in late "Vedic literature. However, nowhere in the surviving Vedic poetry is there a story similar to the Ramayana of Valmiki. According to the modern "academic view, "Vishnu, who, according to "bala kanda, was incarnated as "Rama, first came into prominence with the epics themselves and further, during the puranic period of the later 1st millennium CE. Also, in the epic Mahabharata, there is a version of Ramayana known as Ramopakhyana. This version is depicted as a narration to "Yudhishthira.

Books two to six form the oldest portion of the epic, while the first and last books (Bala Kanda and Uttara Kanda, respectively) are later additions, as some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two volumes and the rest of the book.[4] The author or authors of Bala Kanda and Ayodhya Kanda appear to be familiar with the eastern "Gangetic basin region of northern India and with the "Kosala, "Mithila and "Magadha regions during the period of the sixteen "Mahajanapadas, based on the fact that the geographical and geopolitical data accords with what is known about the region.


Rama seated with Sita, fanned by "Lakshmana, while "Hanuman pays his respects

Ikshvaku dynasty[edit]

Rama and the monkey chiefs

Allies of Rama[edit]

The "vanaras constructing the "Rama Setu Bridge to "Lanka, makaras and fish also aid the construction. A 9th century "Prambanan bas-relief, "Central Java, "Indonesia.
Ramayana stamps issued by India post

Foes of Rama[edit]



Bala Kanda[edit]

The marriage of the four sons of Dasharatha with the four daughters of Siradhvaja and Kushadhvaja Janakas. Rama and Sita, Lakshmana and Urmila, Bharata and Mandavi and Shatrughna with Shrutakirti.

Dasharatha was the king of Ayodhya. He had three wives: Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra. He was childless for a long time and anxious to produce an heir, so he performs a fire sacrifice known as putra-kameshti yagya. As a consequence, Rama is first born to Kaushalya, Bharata is born to Kaikeyi, Lakshmana and Shatrughna are born to Sumitra. These sons are endowed, to various degrees, with the essence of the Supreme Trinity Entity "Vishnu; Vishnu had opted to be born into mortality to combat the demon Ravana, who was oppressing the gods, and who could only be destroyed by a mortal. The boys are reared as the princes of the realm, receiving instructions from the scriptures and in warfare from Vashistha. When Rama is 16 years old, sage Vishwamitra comes to the court of Dasharatha in search of help against demons who were disturbing sacrificial rites. He chooses Rama, who is followed by Lakshmana, his constant companion throughout the story. Rama and Lakshmana receive instructions and supernatural weapons from Vishwamitra and proceed to destroy the demons.

"Janaka was the king of "Mithila. One day, a female child was found in the field by the king in the deep furrow dug by his plough. Overwhelmed with joy, the king regarded the child as a "miraculous gift of god". The child was named Sita, the Sanskrit word for furrow. Sita grew up to be a girl of unparalleled beauty and charm. The king had decided that who ever could lift and wield the heavy bow, presented to his ancestors by "Shiva, could marry Sita. Sage Vishwamitra takes Rama and Lakshmana to Mithila to show the bow. Then Rama desires to lift it and goes on to wield the bow and when he draws the string, it breaks.[9] Marriages are arranged between the sons of Dasharatha and daughters of Janaka. Rama gets married to Sita, "Lakshmana to "Urmila, "Bharata to "Mandavi and "Shatrughna to "Shrutakirti. The weddings are celebrated with great festivity in "Mithila and the marriage party returns to Ayodhya.

Ayodhya Kanda[edit]

Rama leaving for fourteen years of exile from Ayodhya

After Rama and Sita have been married for twelve years, an elderly Dasharatha expresses his desire to crown Rama, to which the Kosala assembly and his subjects express their support. On the eve of the great event, Kaikeyi – her jealousy aroused by "Manthara, a wicked maidservant – claims two boons that Dasharatha had long ago granted her. Kaikeyi demands Rama to be exiled into the wilderness for fourteen years, while the succession passes to her son Bharata. The heartbroken king, constrained by his rigid devotion to his given word, accedes to Kaikeyi's demands. Rama accepts his father's reluctant decree with absolute submission and calm self-control which characterises him throughout the story. He is joined by Sita and Lakshmana. When he asks Sita not to follow him, she says, "the forest where you dwell is Ayodhya for me and Ayodhya without you is a veritable hell for me." After Rama's departure, King Dasharatha, unable to bear the grief, passes away. Meanwhile, Bharata who was on a visit to his maternal uncle, learns about the events in Ayodhya. Bharata refuses to profit from his mother's wicked scheming and visits Rama in the forest. He requests Rama to return and rule. But Rama, determined to carry out his father's orders to the letter, refuses to return before the period of exile. However, Bharata carries Rama's sandals and keeps them on the throne, while he rules as Rama's regent.["citation needed]

Aranya Kanda[edit]

"Ravana fights "Jatayu as he carries off the kidnapped Sita. Painting by "Raja Ravi Varma

After thirteen years of exile, Rama, Sita and Lakshmana journey southward along the banks of river "Godavari, where they build cottages and live off the land. At the "Panchavati forest they are visited by a "rakshasi named "Surpanakha, sister of Ravana. She tries to seduce the brothers and, after failing, attempts to kill Sita. Lakshmana stops her by cutting off her nose and ears. Hearing of this, her brother "Khara organises an attack against the princes. Rama defeats Khara and his raskshasas.

When the news of these events reach Ravana, he resolves to destroy Rama by capturing Sita with the aid of the rakshasa "Maricha. Maricha, assuming the form of a golden deer, captivates Sita's attention. Entranced by the beauty of the deer, Sita pleads with Rama to capture it. Rama, aware that this is the ploy of the demons, cannot dissuade Sita from her desire and chases the deer into the forest, leaving Sita under Lakshmana's guard. After some time, Sita hears Rama calling out to her; afraid for his life, she insists that Lakshmana rush to his aid. Lakshmana tries to assure her that Rama is invincible and that it is best if he continues to follow Rama's orders to protect her. On the verge of hysterics, Sita insists that it is not she but Rama who needs Lakshmana's help. He obeys her wish but stipulates that she is not to leave the cottage or entertain any stranger. He draws a chalk outline, the "Lakshmana rekha, around the cottage and casts a spell on it that prevents anyone from entering the boundary but allows people to exit. With the coast finally clear, Ravana appears in the guise of an ascetic requesting Sita's hospitality. Unaware of her guest's plan, Sita is tricked into leaving the rekha and is then forcibly carried away by Ravana.[10]

"Jatayu, a "vulture, tries to rescue Sita, but is mortally wounded. At Lanka, Sita is kept under the guard of rakshasis. Ravana asks Sita to marry him, but she refuses, being eternally devoted to Rama. Meanwhile, Rama and Lakshmana learn about Sita's abduction from Jatayu and immediately set out to save her. During their search, they meet "Kabandha and the ascetic "Shabari, who direct them towards Sugriva and Hanuman.

Kishkindha Kanda[edit]

A stone bas-"relief at Banteay Srei in "Cambodia depicts the combat between "Vali and "Sugriva (middle). To the right, Rama fires his bow. To the left, Vali lies dying.

Kishkindha Kanda is set in the "ape (Vanara) citadel "Kishkindha. Rama and Lakshmana meet Hanuman, the biggest devotee of Rama, greatest of ape heroes and an adherent of "Sugriva, the banished pretender to the throne of Kishkindha. Rama befriends Sugriva and helps him by killing his elder brother "Vali thus regaining the kingdom of Kishkindha, in exchange for helping Rama to recover Sita. However Sugriva soon forgets his promise and spends his time in enjoying his powers. The clever former ape queen "Tara (wife of Vali) calmly intervenes to prevent an enraged Lakshmana from destroying the ape citadel. She then eloquently convinces Sugriva to honour his pledge. Sugriva then sends search parties to the four corners of the earth, only to return without success from north, east and west. The southern search party under the leadership of "Angada and Hanuman learns from a vulture named "Sampati (elder brother of Jatayu), that Sita was taken to Lanka.

Sundara Kanda[edit]

Ravana is meeting Sita at Ashokavana. Hanuman is seen on the tree.

Sundara Kanda forms the heart of Valmiki's Ramayana and consists of a detailed, vivid account of "Hanuman's adventures. After learning about Sita, Hanuman "assumes a gargantuan form and makes a colossal leap across the sea to Lanka. On the way he meets with many challenges like facing a Gandharva kanya who comes in the form of a demon to test his abilities. He encounters a mountain named Mainakudu who offers Lord Hanuman assistance and offers him rest. Lord Hanuman refuses because there is little time remaining to complete the search for Sita.

After entering into Lanka, he finds a demon, Lankini, who protects all of Lanka. Hanuman fights with her and subjugates her in order to get into Lanka. In the process Lankini, who had an earlier vision/warning from the gods that the end of Lanka nears if someone defeats Lankini. Here, Hanuman explores the demons' kingdom and spies on Ravana. He locates Sita in Ashoka grove, where she is being wooed and threatened by Ravana and his rakshasis to marry Ravana. Hanuman reassures Sita, giving Rama's signet ring as a sign of good faith. He offers to carry Sita back to Rama; however, she refuses and says that it is not the dharma, stating that Ramayana will not have significance if Hanuman carries her to Rama – "When Rama is not there Ravana carried Sita forcibly and when Ravana was not there, Hanuman carried Sita back to Rama". She says that Rama himself must come and avenge the insult of her abduction.

Hanuman then wreaks havoc in Lanka by destroying trees and buildings and killing Ravana's warriors. He allows himself to be captured and delivered to Ravana. He gives a bold lecture to Ravana to release Sita. He is condemned and his tail is set on fire, but he escapes his bonds and leaping from roof to roof, sets fire to Ravana's citadel and makes the giant leap back from the island. The joyous search party returns to Kishkindha with the news.

Yuddha Kanda[edit]

The Battle at Lanka, Ramayana by "Sahibdin. It depicts the monkey army of the protagonist Rama (top left, blue figure) fighting "Ravana—the demon-king of the "Lanka—to save Rama's kidnapped wife, Sita. The painting depicts multiple events in the battle against the three-headed demon general "Trisiras, in bottom left. Trisiras is beheaded by Hanuman, the monkey-companion of Rama.

Also known as Lanka Kanda, this book describes the Ramayana War between the army of Rama and the army of Ravana. Having received Hanuman's report on Sita, Rama and Lakshmana proceed with their allies towards the shore of the southern sea. There they are joined by Ravana's renegade brother "Vibhishana. The apes named "Nala and "Nila construct a floating bridge (known as "Rama Setu)[11] across the sea, using stones that floated on water because they had Rama's name written on them. The princes and their army cross over to Lanka. A lengthy war ensues. During a battle, Ravana's son "Indrajit hurls a powerful weapon at Lakshmana, who is badly wounded and is nearly killed.["citation needed] So Hanuman assumes a gigantic form and flies from Lanka to the Himalayas. Upon reaching Mount Sumeru, Hanuman was unable to identify the herb that could cure Lakshmana and so decided to bring the entire mountain back to Lanka. Eventually, the war ends when Rama kills Ravana. Rama then installs Vibhishana on the throne of Lanka.

On meeting Sita, Rama asks her to undergo an Agni Pariksha (test of fire) to prove her chastity, as he wants to get rid of the rumors surrounding her purity. When Sita plunges into the sacrificial fire, "Agni, lord of fire raises Sita, unharmed, to the throne, attesting to her innocence. The episode of Agni Pariksha varies in the versions of Ramayana by Valmiki and "Tulsidas. In earlier versions, this event does not occur and many scholars consider it to have been added later as society became more patriarchal.["citation needed] In "Tulsidas's "Ramacharitamanas, Sita was under the protection of Agni (see "Maya Sita) so it was necessary to bring her out before reuniting with Rama. At the expiration of his term of exile, Rama returns to Ayodhya with Sita and Lakshmana, where the coronation is performed. This is the beginning of Ram Rajya, which implies an ideal state with good morals. Ramayan is not only the story about how truth defeats the evil, it also teaches us to forget all the evil and arrogance that resides inside ourselves.[12]

Uttara Kanda[edit]

Sita in the "hermitage of Valmiki

Uttara Kanda is regarded to be a later addition to the original story by Valmiki["citation needed] and concerns the final years of Rama, Sita and Rama's brothers. After being crowned king, Rama passes time pleasantly with Sita. After some time, Sita gets pregnant with twin children. However, despite Agni Pariksha ("fire ordeal") of Sita, rumours about her "purity" are spreading among the populace of Ayodhya. Rama yields to public opinion and reluctantly banishes Sita to the forest, where the sage Valmiki provides shelter in his "ashrama ("hermitage"). Here, she gives birth to twin boys, "Lava and "Kusha, who become pupils of Valmiki and are brought up in ignorance of their identity.

Valmiki composes the Ramayana and teaches Lava and Kusha to sing it. Later, Rama holds a ceremony during the "Ashwamedha "yagna, which sage Valmiki, with Lava and Kusha, attends. Lava and Kusha sing the Ramayana in the presence of Rama and his vast audience. When Lava and Kusha recite about Sita's exile, Rama becomes grief-stricken and Valmiki produces Sita. Sita calls upon "the Earth, her mother, to receive her and as the ground opens, she vanishes into it. Rama then learns that Lava and Kusha are his children. Many years later, a messenger from the Gods appears and informs Rama that the mission of his incarnation is over. Rama returns to his celestial abode along with his brothers. It was dramatised as "Uttararamacarita by the "Sanskrit poet "Bhavabhuti.


The epic story of Ramayana was adopted by several cultures across Asia. Shown here is a "Thai historic artwork depicting the battle which took place between Rama and Ravana.
Relief with part of the Ramayana epic, shows Rama killed the golden deer that turn out to be the demon "Maricha in disguise. "Prambanan Trimurti temple near "Yogyakarta, "Java, "Indonesia.

As in many oral epics, multiple versions of the Ramayana survive. In particular, the Ramayana related in north India differs in important respects from that preserved in south India and the rest of southeast Asia. There is an extensive tradition of oral storytelling based on Ramayana in "Indonesia, "Cambodia, "Philippines, "Thailand, "Malaysia, "Laos, "Vietnam and "Maldives. Father Kamil Bulke, author of Ramakatha, has identified over 300 variants of the Ramayana.


There are diverse regional versions of the Ramayana written by various authors in India. Some of them differ significantly from each other. During the 12th century, "Kamban wrote "Ramavataram, known popularly as "Kambaramayanam in "Tamil. A "Telugu version, "Ranganatha Ramayanam, was written by "Gona Budda Reddy in the 14th century. The earliest translation to a regional Indo-Aryan language is the early 14th century "Saptakanda Ramayana in "Assamese by "Madhava Kandali. Valmiki's Ramayana inspired "Sri Ramacharit Manas by "Tulsidas in 1576, an epic "Awadhi (a dialect of Hindi) version with a slant more grounded in a different realm of Hindu literature, that of "bhakti; it is an acknowledged masterpiece of India, popularly known as Tulsi-krita Ramayana. "Gujarati poet Premanand wrote a version of the Ramayana in the 17th century. Other versions include "Krittivasi Ramayan, a "Bengali version by "Krittibas Ojha in the 15th century; "Vilanka Ramayana by 15th century poet "Sarala Dasa[13] and "Dandi Ramayana (also known as "Jagamohana Ramayana) by 16th century poet Balarama Dasa, both in "Odia; a Torave Ramayana in "Kannada by 16th-century poet Narahari; "Adhyathmaramayanam, a "Malayalam version by "Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan in the 16th century; in "Marathi by Sridhara in the 18th century; in "Maithili by Chanda Jha in the 19th century; and in the 20th century, Rashtrakavi "Kuvempu's "Sri Ramayana Darshanam in "Kannada.

There is a sub-plot to the Ramayana, prevalent in some parts of India, relating the adventures of "Ahiravan and Mahi Ravana, evil brother of Ravana, which enhances the role of Hanuman in the story. Hanuman rescues Rama and Lakshmana after they are kidnapped by the Ahi-Mahi Ravana at the behest of Ravana and held prisoner in a subterranean cave, to be sacrificed to the goddess "Kali. "Adbhuta Ramayana is a version that is obscure but also attributed to "Valmiki – intended as a supplementary to the original "Valmiki Ramayana. In this variant of the narrative, Sita is accorded far more prominence, such as elaboration of the events surrounding her birth – in this case to "Ravana's wife, "Mandodari as well as her conquest of Ravana's older brother in her "Mahakali form.

"Mappillapattu – a genre of song popular among the "Muslims belonging to "Kerala and "Lakshadweep – has incorporated some episodes from the Ramayana into its songs. These songs, known as mappila ramayana, have been handed down from one generation to the next orally. In mappila ramayana, the story of Ramayana has been changed into that of a "sultan and there are no major changes in the names of characters except for that of Rama which is Laman in many places. The language and the imagery projected in the Mappilapattu are in accordance with the social fabric of the earlier Muslim community.

Buddhist Version[edit]

In the Buddhist variant of the Ramayana (Dasarathajātaka, #467), Dasharatha was king of "Benares and not Ayodhya. Rama (called Rāmapaṇḍita in this version) was the son of Kaushalya, first wife of Dasharatha. Lakṣmaṇa (Lakkhaṇa) was a sibling of Rama and son of Sumitra, the second wife of Dasharatha. Sita was the wife of Rama. To protect his children from his wife Kaikeyi, who wished to promote her son Bharata, Dasharatha sent the three to a hermitage in the Himalayas for a twelve-year exile. After nine years, Dasharatha died and Lakkhaṇa and Sita returned; Rāmapaṇḍita, in deference to his father's wishes, remained in exile for a further two years. This version does not include the abduction of Sītā.There is no Ravan in this version i.e. no Ram-ravan war.

In the explanatory commentary on Jātaka, Rāmapaṇḍita is said to have been a previous incarnation of "Buddha, and Sita an incarnation of "Yasodharā.

But, "Ravana appears in other Buddhist literature, Lankavatar Sutta.

Jain version[edit]

"Jain versions of the Ramayana can be found in the various "Jain agamas like Ravisena's Padmapurana (story of Padmaja and "Rama, Padmaja being the name of "Sita), "Hemacandra's Trisastisalakapurusa charitra (hagiography of 63 illustrious persons), Sanghadasa's Vasudevahindi and Uttarapurana by Gunabhadara. According to "Jain cosmology, every "half time cycle has nine sets of "Balarama, "Vasudeva and prativasudeva. Rama, "Lakshmana and "Ravana are the eighth "baladeva, "vasudeva and "prativasudeva respectively. "Padmanabh Jaini notes that, unlike in the Hindu puranas, the names Baladeva and Vasudeva are not restricted to "Balarama and "Krishna in Jain Puranas. Instead they serve as names of two distinct classes of mighty brothers, who appear nine times in each half time cycle and jointly rule half the earth as half-"chakravartins. Jaini traces the origin of this list of brothers to the jinacharitra (lives of jinas) by "Acharya Bhadrabahu (3d–4th century BCE).

In the Jain epic of Ramayana, it is not Rama who kills Ravana as told in the Hindu version. Perhaps this is because Rama, a liberated Jain Soul in his last life, is unwilling to kill.[14] Instead, it is Lakshmana who kills Ravana. [14]In the end, Rama, who led an upright life, renounces his kingdom, becomes a "Jain monk and attains "moksha. On the other hand, Lakshmana and Ravana go to "Hell. However, it is predicted that ultimately they both will be reborn as upright persons and attain liberation in their future births. According to "Jain texts, Ravana will be the future "Tirthankara (omniscient teacher) of Jainism.

The Jain versions have some variations from Valmiki's Ramayana. Dasharatha, the king of Saketa had four queens: Aparajita, Sumitra, Suprabha and Kaikeyi. These four queens had four sons. Aparajita's son was Padma and he became known by the name of Rama. Sumitra's son was Narayana: he came to be known by another name, Lakshmana. Kaikeyi's son was Bharata and Suprabha's son was Shatrughna. Furthermore, not much was thought of Rama's fidelity to Sita. According to the Jain version, Rama had four chief queens: Maithili, Prabhavati, Ratinibha, and Sridama. Furthermore, Sita takes renunciation as a Jain ascetic after Rama abandons her and is reborn in heaven. Rama, after Lakshmana's death, also renounces his kingdom and becomes a Jain monk. Ultimately, he attains "Kevala Jnana omniscience and finally liberation. Rama predicts that Ravana and Lakshmana, who were in the "fourth hell, will attain liberation in their future births. Accordingly, Ravana is the future tirthankara of the next half ascending time cycle and Sita will be his "Ganadhara.

Sikh Version[edit]

In "Guru Granth Sahib, there is a description of two types of Ramayana. One is a spiritual Ramayana which is the actual subject of Guru Granth Sahib, in which Ravana is ego, Sita is budhi (intellect), Rama is inner soul and Laxman is mann (attention, mind). Guru Granth Sahib also believes in the existence of "Dashavatara who were kings of their times which tried their best to restore order to the world. King Rama (Ramchandra) was one of those who is not covered in Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Granth Sahib states:

ਹੁਕਮਿ ਉਪਾਏ ਦਸ ਅਉਤਾਰਾ॥
हुकमि उपाए दस अउतारा॥
By "hukam (supreme command), he created his ten incarnations

This version of the Ramayana was written by "Guru Gobind Singh, which is part of "Dasam Granth.

He also said that the almighty, invisible, all prevailing God created great numbers of Indras, Moons and Suns, Deities, Demons and sages, and also numerous saints and Brahmanas (enlightened people). But they too were caught in the noose of death (Kaal) ("transmigration of the soul). This is similar to the explanation in "Bhagavad Gita which is part of the "Mahabharata.["citation needed]


Besides being the site of discovery of the oldest surviving manuscript of the Ramayana, Nepal gave rise to two regional variants in mid 19th – early 20th century. One, written by "Bhanubhakta Acharya, is considered the first epic of "Nepali language, while the other, written by "Siddhidas Mahaju in "Nepal Bhasa was a foundational influence in the "Nepal Bhasa renaissance.

Ramayana written by "Bhanubhakta Acharya is one of the most popular verses in Nepal. The popularization of the Ramayana and its tale, originally written in "Sanskrit Language was greatly enhanced by the work of Bhanubhakta. Mainly because of his writing of Nepali Ramayana, Bhanubhakta is also called Aadi Kavi or The Pioneering Poet.

Southeast Asian[edit]


Cambodian classical dancers as Sita and Ravana, the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh (c. 1920s)

The Cambodian version of the Ramayana, "Reamker ("Khmer: រាមកេរ្ដិ៍ - Glory of Rama), is the most famous story of Khmer literature since the "Kingdom of Funan era. It adapts the Hindu concepts to Buddhist themes and shows the balance of good and evil in the world. The Reamker has several differences from the original Ramayana, including scenes not included in the original and emphasis on "Hanuman and "Sovanna Maccha, a retelling which influences the Thai and Lao versions. Reamker in Cambodia is not confined to the realm of literature but extends to all Cambodian art forms, such as sculpture, "Khmer classical dance, "theatre known as lakhorn luang (the foundation of the royal ballet), poetry and the mural and bas-reliefs seen at the "Silver Pagoda and "Angkor Wat.


"Lakshmana, Rama and Sita during their exile in "Dandaka Forest depicted in "Javanese dance

Indonesia has some adaptations of Ramayana, including "Kakawin Ramayana of "Java,[15][16] and Ramakavaca of "Bali (Indonesia).[17] Javanese version of Ramayana has some differences if compared with the original Hindu version. The first half of "Kakawin Ramayana is similar to the original Sanskrit version, while the latter half is very different from the original Ramayana. One of the recognizable modification in Javanese version of Ramayana is the inclusion of the indigenous Javanese guardian god, "Semar, and his misshapen sons, Gareng, Petruk, and Bagong who make up the numerically significant four "Punokawan or "clown servants". Kakawin Ramayana is believed to have been written in "Central Java circa 870 AD during the reign of Mpu Sindok in "Medang Kingdom.[18]:128 The Javanese Kakawin Ramayana is not based on Valmiki's epic, which was then the most famous version of Rama's story, but based on "Ravanavadha or the "Ravana massacre", which is the sixth or seventh century poetry by Indian poets Bhattikavya.[19]

"Kakawin Ramayana has also become the reference of Ramayana in the neighboring island of "Bali which developed the Balinese Ramakavaca. The bas reliefs of Ramayana and Krishnayana scenes are carved on balustrades wall of 9th century "Prambanan temples in "Yogyakarta,[20] as well as in East Java 14th century bas-relief of "Penataran temple.[21] In "Indonesia, Ramayana has been integrated into local culture especially those of "Javanese, "Balinese and "Sundanese people, and has become the source of moral and spiritual guidance as well as aesthetic expression and also for entertainment, like in "wayang and traditional dances.[22] The "Balinese "kecak dance drama for example, represent the story taken from Ramayana episodes, where dancers that play as Rama, Sita, Lakhsmana, Jatayu, Hanuman, Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Indrajit, performed and surrounded by a troupe of over 50 bare-chested men who serve as the chorus chanting "cak" chant. The performance also include a fire show to describe the burning of Lanka by Hanuman.[23] In "Yogyakarta, the "Wayang Wong "Javanese dance drama also performed a Javanese rendering of Ramayana episodes. The most spectacular Ramayana performance in Java would be the "Ramayana Ballet performed on the Trimurti Prambanan open air stage, with backdrop view of the three main prasad spires of "Prambanan Hindu temple.[24]


"Phra Lak Phra Lam is a "Lao language version, whose title comes from Lakshmana and Rama. The story of Lakshmana and Rama is told as the previous life of "Gautama buddha.


The "Hikayat Seri Rama of "Malaysia incorporated element of both Hindu and "Islamic mythology.[25][26][27] For example, Dasharatha is the great-grandson of the Prophet "Adam. Ravana receives boons from "Allah instead of Brahma.


Rama (Yama) and Sita (Me Thida) in "Yama Zatdaw, the Burmese version of Ramayana

Yama Zatdaw is "Burmese version of Ramayana. It also considered as "Myanmar unofficial national epic. There are nine known pieces of the Yama Zatdaw in Myanmar. The Burmese name for the story itself is Yamayana, while zatdaw refers to the acted play or being part of "jataka tales of Theravada Buddhism. This Burmese version also heavily influenced by "Ramakien (Thai version of Ramayana) which resulted from various invasion by "Konbaung Dynasty king toward "Ayutthaya Kingdom.


The "Maharadia Lawana, an epic poem of the "Maranao people of the "Philippines, has been regarded as an indigenized version of the Ramayana since it was documented and translated into English by Professor "Juan R. Francisco and Nagasura Madale in 1968.[28](p"264")[29] The poem, which had not been written down before Francisco and Madale's translation,[28](p"264") narrates the adventures of the monkey-king, Maharadia Lawana, whom the Gods have gifted with immortality.[28]

Francisco, an indologist from the "University of the Philippines Manila, believed that the Ramayana narrative arrived in the Philippines some time between the 17th to 19th centuries, via interactions with Javanese and Malaysian cultures which traded extensively with India.[30](p101)

By the time it was documented in the 1960s, the character names, place names, and the precise episodes and events in Maharadia Lawana's narrative already had some notable differences from those of the Ramayana. Francisco believed that this was a sign of "indigenization", and suggested that some changes had already been introduced in Malaysia and Java even before the story was heard by the Maranao, and that upon reaching the Maranao homeland, the story was "further indigenized to suit Philippine cultural perspectives and orientations."[30](p"103")


The Thai retelling of the tale—"Ramakien—is popularly expressed in "traditional regional dance theatre

Thailand's popular national epic "Ramakien (Thai:รามเกียรติ์., from Sanskrit rāmakīrti, glory of Rama) is derived from the Hindu epic. In Ramakien, Sita is the daughter of Ravana and Mandodari (thotsakan and montho). Vibhishana (phiphek), the astrologer brother of Ravana, predicts the death of Ravana from the horoscope of Sita. Ravana has thrown her into the water, but she is later rescued by Janaka (chanok). [14]:149 While the main story is identical to that of Ramayana, many other aspects were transposed into a Thai context, such as the clothes, weapons, topography and elements of nature, which are described as being Thai in style. It has an expanded role for Hanuman and he is portrayed as a lascivious character. Ramakien can be seen in an elaborate illustration at "Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok.

Critical edition[edit]

A "critical edition of the text was compiled in India in the 1960s and 1970s, by the Oriental Institute at "Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India, utilizing dozens of manuscripts collected from across India and the surrounding region.[31] An English language translation of the critical edition was completed in November 2016 by Sanskrit scholar Robert P. Goldman of the "University of California, Berkeley.[32]

Influence on culture and art[edit]

A "Ramlila actor wears the traditional attire of Ravana.

One of the most important literary works of "ancient India, the Ramayana has had a profound impact on art and culture in the "Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia with the lone exception of Vietnam. The story ushered in the tradition of the next thousand years of massive-scale works in the rich diction of regal courts and Hindu temples. It has also inspired much secondary literature in various languages, notably "Kambaramayanam by "Tamil poet "Kambar of the 12th century, "Telugu language Molla Ramayanam by poet "Molla and "Ranganatha Ramayanam by poet Gona Budda Reddy, 14th century "Kannada poet "Narahari's Torave Ramayana and 15th century "Bengali poet "Krittibas Ojha's "Krittivasi Ramayan, as well as the 16th century "Awadhi version, "Ramacharitamanas, written by "Tulsidas.

Ramayanic scenes have also been depicted through "terracottas, "stone sculptures, "bronzes and "paintings.[33] These include the stone panel at Nagarjunakonda in "Andhra Pradesh depicting Bharata's meeting with "Rama at "Chitrakuta (3rd century CE).[33]

The Ramayana became popular in Southeast Asia during 8th century and was represented in literature, temple architecture, dance and theatre. Today, dramatic enactments of the story of the Ramayana, known as "Ramlila, take place all across India and in many places across the globe within the "Indian diaspora.

Hanuman discovers Sita in her captivity in "Lanka, as depicted in "Balinese kecak dance.

In "Indonesia, especially "Java and "Bali, Ramayana has become a popular source of artistic expression for dance drama and shadow puppet performance in the region. Sendratari Ramayana is "Javanese traditional ballet of "wayang orang genre, routinely performed in "Prambanan Trimurti temple and in cultural center of "Yogyakarta.[34] "Balinese dance drama of Ramayana is also performed routinely in "Balinese Hindu temples, especially in temples such as "Ubud and "Uluwatu, where scenes from Ramayana is integrap part of "kecak dance performance. Javanese "wayang kulit purwa also draws its episodes from Ramayana or Mahabharata.

Ramayana has also been depicted in many paintings, most notably by the Malaysian artist "Syed Thajudeen in 1972. The epic tale was picturized on canvas in epic proportions measuring 152 x 823 cm in 9 panels. The painting depicts three prolific parts of the epic, namely The Abduction of Sita, Hanuman visits Sita and Hanuman Burns Lanka. The painting is currently in the permanent collection of the Malaysian National Visual Arts Gallery.

A depiction of Ramayana by Syed Thajudeen

Religious significance[edit]

Deities Sita (far right), Rama (center), Lakshmana (far left) and Hanuman (below, seated) at "Bhaktivedanta Manor, "Watford, England

Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, is one of the most popular deities worshipped in the Hindu religion. Each year, many devout pilgrims trace their journey through India and Nepal, halting at each of the holy sites along the way. The poem is not seen as just a literary monument, but serves as an integral part of Hinduism and is held in such reverence that the mere reading or hearing of it or certain passages of it, is believed by Hindus to free them from sin and bless the reader or listener.

According to Hindu tradition, Rama is an incarnation ("Avatar) of god "Vishnu. The main purpose of this incarnation is to demonstrate the righteous path ("dharma) for all living creatures on earth.

Ramayana in popular culture[edit]

Multiple modern, English-language adaptations of the epic exist, namely "Ram Chandra Series by "Amish Tripathi, "Ramayana Series by "Ashok Banker and a mythopoetic novel, Asura: Tale of the Vanquished by "Anand Neelakantan. Another Indian author, "Devdutt Pattanaik, has published three different retellings and commentaries of Ramayana titled Sita, The Book Of Ram and Hanuman's Ramayan.

A number of plays, movies and television serials have also been produced based upon the Ramayana.


Starting in 1978 and under the supervision of "Baba Hari Dass, Ramayana has been performed every year by Mount Madonna School in Watsonville, California. Currently, it is the largest yearly, Western version of the epic being performed. It takes the form of a colorful musical with custom costumes, sung and spoken dialog, "jazz-rock orchestration and dance. This performance takes place in a large audience theater setting usually in June, in San Jose, CA. "Baba Hari Dass has taught acting arts, costume-attire design, mask making and choreography to bring alive characters of "Sri Ram, "Sita, "Hanuman, "Lakshmana, "Shiva, "Parvati, "Vibhishan, "Jatayu, "Sugriva, "Surpanakha, "Ravana and his "rakshasa court, Meghnadha, "Kumbhakarna and the army of monkeys and demons.


Animated movies[edit]




TV series[edit]


  1. ^ "Ramayana". "Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. ^ Ramayana By William Buck
  3. ^ Mukherjee Pandey, Jhimli (18 Dec 2015). "6th-century Ramayana found in Kolkata, stuns scholars". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. TNN. Retrieved 20 December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Uma Singh, Senu Singh (16 January 2013). "Ramayan as a complete life of real human" (PDF). Indian Journal of Arts. 1 (1): 2. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  5. ^ Mukherjee, P. (1981). The History of Medieval Vaishnavism in Orissa. Asian Educational Services. p. 74. "ISBN "9788120602298. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  6. ^ Living Thoughts of the Ramayana. Jaico Publishing House. 2002. "ISBN "9788179920022. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Krishnamoorthy, K.; Mukhopadhyay, S.; Sahitya Akademi (1991). A Critical Inventory of Rāmāyaṇa Studies in the World: Foreign languages. Sahitya Akademi in collaboration with Union Academique Internationale, Bruxelles. "ISBN "9788172015077. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Bulcke, C.; Prasāda, D. (2010). Rāmakathā and Other Essays. Vani Prakashan. p. 116. "ISBN "9789350001073. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  9. ^ CANTO LXVII.: THE BREAKING OF THE BOW. sacredtexts.com. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  10. ^ Rajarajan, R.K.K. (2001) Sītāpaharaṇam: Changing thematic Idioms in Sanskrit and Tamil. In Dirk W. Lonne ed. Tofha-e-Dil: Festschrift Helmut Nespital, Reinbeck, 2 vols., pp. 783-97. "ISBN "3-88587-033-9. https://www.academia.edu/2514821/S%C4%ABt%C4%81pahara%E1%B9%89am_Changing_thematic_Idioms_in_Sanskrit_and_Tamil
  11. ^ Rajarajan, R.K.K. (2014) Reflections on “Rāma-Setu” in South Asian Tradition. The Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society, Vol. 105.3: 1–14, "ISSN 0047-8555. https://www.academia.edu/8779702/Reflections_on_R%C4%81ma-Setu_in_South_Asian_Tradition
  12. ^ "Shrimad Valmiki Ramayan | Hindi Books PDF". hindibookspdf.com. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  13. ^ Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (1 January 2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. "ISBN "9780816075645. 
  14. ^ a b c Ramanujan, A.K (2004). The Collected Essays of A.K. Ramanujan (PDF) (4. impr. ed.). New Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 145. 
  15. ^ "Ramayana Kakawin Vol. 1". archive.org. 
  16. ^ "The Kakawin Ramayana -- an old Javanese rendering of the …". www.nas.gov.sg. Retrieved 2017-12-13. 
  17. ^ Bhalla, Prem P. (2017-08-22). ABC of Hinduism. Educreation Publishing. p. 277. 
  18. ^ "Coedès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella, ed. The Indianized States of Southeast Asia. trans.Susan Brown Cowing. University of Hawaii Press. "ISBN "978-0-8248-0368-1. 
  19. ^ Ardianty, Dini (8 June 2015). "Perbedaan Ramayana - Mahabarata dalam Kesusastraan Jawa Kuna dan India" (in Indonesian). 
  20. ^ "Prambanan - Taman Wisata Candi". borobudurpark.com. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  21. ^ Indonesia, Perpustakaan Nasional Republik Indonesia / National Library of. "Panataran Temple (East Java) - Temples of Indonesia". candi.pnri.go.id. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  22. ^ Joefe B. Santarita (2013), Revisiting Swarnabhumi/dvipa: Indian Influences in Ancient Southeast Asia
  23. ^ Planet, Lonely. "Bali Kecak Dance, Fire Dance and Sanghyang Dance Evening Tour in Indonesia". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 2017-12-13. 
  24. ^ "THE KEEPERS: CNN Introduces Guardians of Indonesia's Rich Cultural Traditions". www.indonesia.travel. Retrieved 2017-12-13. 
  25. ^ Fang, Liaw Yock (2013). A History of Classical Malay Literature. Yayasan Pustaka Obor Indonesia. p. 142. "ISBN "9789794618103. 
  26. ^ Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 1898. pp. 107–. 
  27. ^ Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 1898. pp. 143–. 
  28. ^ a b c Guillermo, Artemio R. (2011-12-16). Historical Dictionary of the Philippines. Scarecrow Press. "ISBN "9780810875111. 
  29. ^ Francisco, Juan R. "Maharadia Lawana" (PDF). 
  30. ^ a b FRANCISCO, JUAN R. (1989). "The Indigenization of the Rama Story in the Philippines". Philippine Studies. 37 (1): 101–111. "doi:10.2307/42633135. 
  31. ^ "Ramayana Translation Project turns its last page, after four decades of research | Berkeley News". news.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  32. ^ "UC Berkeley researchers complete decades-long translation project | The Daily Californian". dailycal.org. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  33. ^ a b B. B. Lal (2008). Rāma, His Historicity, Mandir, and Setu: Evidence of Literature, Archaeology, and Other Sciences. Aryan Books. "ISBN "978-81-7305-345-0. 
  34. ^ Donald Frazier (11 February 2016). "On Java, a Creative Explosion in an Ancient City". The New York Times. 
  35. ^ "Welcome". King's Dharma. Retrieved 10 October 2016. 


Further reading[edit]

Sanskrit text
Secondary Sources

External links[edit]

) ) WikipediaAudio is not affiliated with Wikipedia or the WikiMedia Foundation.