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Monday, April 22, 2024

Ramayana: A Cultural Journey Through Regional Languages

The Tamil epic "Kamban Ramayana" precedes "Ramcharitmanas" in significance, shedding light on virtues essential for transcending from a mere mortal to a divine being, ultimately achieving unity with the supreme divine. When Narad Muni queried Valmiki about the embodiment of virtues such as universality, consciousness of norms and duties, bravery, and upholding Dharma, Valmiki's response led to the creation of the Sanskrit Ramayana, later translated into regional dialects like "Ramcharitramanas" by Goswami Tulsidas.

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By Er Rajesh Pathak

The Tamil epic “Kamban Ramayana” precedes “Ramcharitmanas” in significance, shedding light on virtues essential for transcending from a mere mortal to a divine being, ultimately achieving unity with the supreme divine. When Narad Muni queried Valmiki about the embodiment of virtues such as universality, consciousness of norms and duties, bravery, and upholding Dharma, Valmiki’s response led to the creation of the Sanskrit Ramayana, later translated into regional dialects like “Ramcharitramanas” by Goswami Tulsidas.

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In the 12th century, Kamban translated Valmiki’s Ramayana into Tamil, known as “Ramavtaram” or “Kambaramayana,” earning accolades as one of the finest literary works in Tamil literature. Kambar, proficient in both Sanskrit and Tamil, was honored with the title “Kavi Chakrawarty” for his remarkable contribution. In the 14th century, Madhav Kandali translated it into Assamese, further refined by Shankerdev and SantMadhwan. Similar adaptations followed in Malayalam as “Kannash Ramayana” and “Ramyanchampu,” as well as in Telugu by Budhnath. Punjab witnessed its own rendition, “Govind Ramayana,” authored by Guru Govind Singh, aimed at invoking the spirit of valor among the populace through Rama’s character to challenge Mughal misrule, contributing to the formation of Khalsapanth.

The recent events surrounding the Ram temple ceremony have sparked interest nationwide, owing to Ramayana’s deep-rooted presence in various regional languages. Reports indicate diverse local celebrations of “Pran-pratishtha” in Ayodhya. Notably, in Sehore, near Bhopal, residents of Crescent colony organized a unique event inspired by the Ram-Shabri episode from Ramcharitramanas. They convened for a communal feast, “Shabri Samrasta Sahbhoj,” at the Shri Chandreshwar Mahadev temple, accompanied by their household staff and workers, symbolizing inclusivity and harmony.

The impact of observed events is undeniable. As evident in Ayodhya’s Ram Temple complex, proposed temples dedicated to Maharshi Vishwamitra, Agastya Muni, Nishadraj Guh, Maharshi Valmiki, and Mata Shabri reflect the enduring influence of Ramayana on societal consciousness.

 

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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