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Rama (right) seated on the shoulders of Hanuman, battles the demon-king Ravana.

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Shiksha · Chandas · Vyakarana · Nirukta · Jyotisha · Kalpa

Mahabharata · Ramayana

Smriti · Śruti · Bhagavad Gita · Purana · Manu Smriti · Agama · Pancharatra · Tantra · Akilathirattu · Sūtra · Stotra · Dharmashastra · Divya Prabandha · Tevaram · Ramacharitamanas ·
Yoga Vasistha

The Ramayana (Devanāgarī: रामायण, Rāmāyaṇa Malayalam: രാമായണം) is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is attributed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon (smṛti). The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the other being the Mahabharata.[1] It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king.

The name Ramayana is a tatpurusha compound of Rāma and ayana ("going, advancing"), translating to "Rama's Journey". The Ramayana consists of 24,000 verses in seven books (kāṇḍas) and 500 cantos (sargas),[2] and tells the story of Rama (an incarnation of the Hindu preserver-god Vishnu), whose wife Sita is abducted by the demon king of Lanka, Ravana. Thematically, the epic explores the tenets of human existence and the concept of dharma.[3]

Verses in the Ramayana are written in a 32-syllable meter called anustubh. The epic was an important influence on later Sanskrit poetry and Indian life and culture, particularly through its establishment of the shloka meter. Like its epic cousin the Mahābhārata, the Ramayana is not just an ordinary story: it contains the teachings of ancient Hindu sages and presents them in narrative allegory with philosophical and the devotional elements interspersed. The characters Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata, Hanuman and Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India.

There are other versions of the Ramayana, notably Buddhist (Dasaratha Jataka No. 461) and Jain in India, and also Thai, Lao, Burmese and Malay versions of the tale.



Traditionally, the Ramayana is ascribed to Valmiki, regarded as India's first poet.[4] The Indian tradition is unanimous in its agreement that the poem is the work of a single poet, the sage Valmiki, a contemporary of Rama and a peripheral actor in the epic drama.[5] The story's original version in Sanskrit is known as Valmiki Ramayana, dating to approximately the 4th century B.C.[6] According to Hindu tradition, the Ramayana takes place during a period of time known as Treta Yuga.[7]

In its extant form, Valmiki's Ramayana is an epic poem of some 50,000 lines. The text survives in several thousand partial and complete manuscripts, the oldest of which appears to date from the 11th century A.D.[8] The text has several regional renderings,[6] recensions and subrecensions. Textual scholar Robert P. Goldman differentiates two major regional recensions: the northern (N) and the southern (S).[8] Famous recensions include the Ramayanam of Kamban in Tamil (ca. 11th-12th century), Shri Rama Panchali or Krittivasi Ramayan by Krittibas Ojha in Bengali (ca. 15th Century), and Ramacharitamanas by Tulasidas in Awadhi which is a dialect of Hindi (c. 16th century).[6] 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."[9]

There has been speculation as to whether the first and the last chapters of Valmiki's Ramayana were written by the original author. Raghunathan writes that many experts believe they are integral parts of the book in spite of some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two chapters and the rest of the book.[10][11]


According to literary scholarship, the main body of the Ramayana first appeared as an oral composition somewhere between 750 and 500 BCE[citation needed]. Cultural evidence (the presence of sati in the Mahabharata but not in the main body of the Ramayana) suggests that the Ramayana predates the Mahabharata.[12] By tradition, the epic belongs to the Treta Yuga, one of the four eons (yuga) of Hindu chronology. Rama is said to have been born in the Treta Yuga to King Daśaratha in Ikshuaku vansh (clan).[13]

The core events of the epic may be of even greater age, as the names of the characters (Rama, Sita, Dasharatha, Janaka, Vasishta, Vishwamitra) are all known in Vedic literature such as the Brahmanas which are older than the Valmiki Ramayana.[14] However, nowhere in the surviving Vedic poetry is a story similar to the Ramayana of Valmiki.[15] According to the modern academic view, Brahma, one of the main characters of Ramayana, and Vishnu, who according to Bala Kanda was incarnated as Rama, are not Vedic deities, and come first into prominence with the epics themselves and further during the 'Puranic' period of the later 1st millennium CE. There is also a version of Ramayana, known as Ramopakhyana, found in the epic Mahabharata. This version, depicted as a narration to Yudhishtra, does not accord divine characteristics to Rama.[16]

There is general consensus that books two to six form the oldest portion of the epic while the first book Bala Kanda and the last the Uttara Kanda are later additions.[17] The author or authors of Bala Kanda and Ayodhya Kanda appear to be familiar with the eastern Gangetic basin region of northern India and the Kosala and Magadha region during the period of the sixteen janapadas as the geographical and geopolitical data is in keeping with what is known about the region. However, when the story moves to the Aranya Kanda and beyond, it seems to turn abruptly into fantasy with its demon-slaying hero and fantastic creatures. The geography of central and South India is increasingly vaguely described. The knowledge of the location of the island of Sri Lanka also lacks detail.[18] Basing his assumption on these features, the historian H.D. Sankalia has proposed a date of the 4th century BC for the composition of the text.[19] A. L. Basham, however, is of the opinion that Rama may have been a minor chief who lived in the 8th or the 7th century BC.[20]


Rama seated with Sita, fanned by Lakshmana, while Hanuman pays his respects.
  • Rama is the hero of the tale. Portrayed as the seventh incarnation of the god Vishnu, he is the eldest and favorite son of the King of Ayodhya, Dasharatha, and his wife Kousalya. He is portrayed as the epitome of virtue. Dasharatha is forced by Kaikeyi, one of his wives, to command Rama to relinquish his right to the throne for fourteen years and go into exile.
  • Sita is the beloved wife of Rama and the daughter of king Janaka. Sita is also known as Janaki. She is the incarnation of goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu. Sita is portrayed as the epitome of female purity and virtue. She follows her husband into exile and is abducted by Ravana. She is imprisoned on the island of Lanka until Rama rescues her by defeating the demon king Ravana. Later, she gives birth to Lava and Kusha, the heirs of Rama.
  • Hanuman is a vanara belonging to the kingdom of Kishkindha. He is portrayed as an incarnation of the god Shiva (the Eleventh Rudra) and an ideal bhakta of Rama. He is born as the son of Kesari, a vanara king, and the goddess Anjana. He plays an important part in locating Sita and in the ensuing battle.
  • Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rama, who chose to go into exile with him. He is portrayed as an incarnation of the Shesha, the nāga associated with the god Vishnu. He spends his time protecting Sita and Rama. He is forced to leave Sita, who was deceived by the demon Maricha into believing that Rama was in trouble. Sita is abducted by Ravana upon him leaving her.
  • Ravana, a rakshasa, is the king of Lanka. After performing severe penance for ten thousand years he received a boon from the creator-god Brahma that he could not be killed by gods, demons or spirits. He is portrayed as a powerful demon king, who disturbs the penances of Rishis. Vishnu incarnates as the human Rama to defeat him, thus circumventing the boon given by Brahma.
  • Dasharatha is the king of Ayodhya and the father of Rama. He has three queens, Kousalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi, and three other sons: Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Kaikeyi, Dasharatha's favourite queen, forces him to make his son Bharata crown prince and send Rama into exile. Dasharatha dies heartbroken after Rama goes into exile.
  • Bharata is the son of Dasharatha. When he learns that his mother Kaikeyi had forced Rama into exile and caused Dasharatha to die brokenhearted, he storms out of the palace and goes in search of Rama in the forest. When Rama refuses to return from his exile to assume the throne, Bharata obtains Rama's sandals and places them on the throne as a gesture that Rama is the true king. Bharata then rules Ayodhya as the regent of Rama for the next fourteen years.
  • Shatrughna is the son of Dasharatha and his third wife Queen Sumitra. He is the youngest brother of Rama and also the twin brother of Lakshmana.


The poem is traditionally divided into several major kandas or books, that deal chronologically with the major events in the life of Rama—Bala kanda, Ayodhya Kanda, Aranya Kanda, Kishkinda Kanda, Sundara Kanda, Yuddha Kanda, and Uttara Kanda.[6] The Bala Kanda describes the birth of Rama, his childhood and marriage to Sita.[21] The Ayodhya Kanda describes the preparations for Rama's coronation and his exile into the forest.[21] The third part, Aranya Kanda, describes the forest life of Rama and the kidnapping of Sita by the demon king Ravana.[21] The fourth book, Kishkinda Kanda, describes the meeting of Hanuman with Rama, the destruction of the vanara king Vali and the coronation of his younger brother Sugriva to the throne of the kingdom of Kishkindha.[21] The fifth book is Sundara Kanda, which narrates the heroism of Hanuman, his flight to Lanka and meeting with Sita.[21] The sixth book, Yuddha Kanda, describes the battle between Rama's and Ravana's armies.[21] The last book, Uttara Kanda, describes the birth of Lava and Kusha to Sita, their coronation to the throne of Ayodhya, and Rama's final departure from the world.[21]

Bala Kanda

The birth of the four sons of Dasharatha

Dasharatha was the king of Kosala, the capital of which was the city of Ayodhya. He had three queens: Kausalya, Kaikeyi and Sumithra. He was childless for a long time and, anxious to produce an heir, he performs a fire sacrifice known as Putra-Kameshti Yagna.[22] As a consequence, Rama is first born to Kausalya, Bharata is born to Kaikeyi, and Sumitra gives birth to twins named Lakshmana and Shatrughna.[23][24] These sons are endowed, to various degrees, with the essence of the god Vishnu; Vishnu had opted to be born into mortality in order to combat the demon Ravana, who was oppressing the gods, and who could only be destroyed by a mortal.[25] The boys are reared as the princes of the realm, receiving instructions from the scriptures and in warfare. When Rama is 16 years old, the 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.[26]

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 this 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.[27] Sita grew up to be a girl of unparalleled beauty and charm. When Sita was of marriageable age, the king decided to have a swayamvara which included a contest. The king was in possession of an immensely heavy bow, presented to him by the god Shiva: whoever could wield the bow could marry Sita. The sage Vishwamitra attends the swayamvara with Rama and Lakshmana. Only Rama wields the bow and breaks it. Marriages are arranged between the sons of Dasharatha and daughters, nieces of Janaka. The weddings are celebrated with great festivity at Mithila and the marriage party returns to Ayodhya.[26]

Ayodhya Kanda

Bharata Asks for Rama's paduka-footwear

After Rama and Sita have been married for twelve years, Dasharatha who had grown old expresses his desire to crown Rama, to which the Kosala assembly and his subjects express their support.[28][29] 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 exile into 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.[30] Rama accepts his father's reluctant decree with absolute submission and calm self-control which characterizes him throughout the story.[31] 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."[32] After Rama's departure, king Dasharatha, unable to bear the grief, passes away.[33] 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.[30][33]

Aranya Kanda

Ravana striking down Jatayu, in a painting by Raja Ravi Varma

Rama, Sita and Lakshmana journeyed southward along the banks of river Godavari, where they built cottages and lived off the land. At the Panchavati forest they are visited by a rakshasa woman, Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana. She attempts to seduce the brothers and, failing in this, attempts to kill Sita. Lakshmana stops her by cutting off her nose and ears. Hearing of this, her demon brother, Khara, organizes an attack against the princes. Rama annihilates Khara and his demons.[34]

When news of these events reaches 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 play of the demons, is unable to dissuade Sita from her desire and chases the deer into the forest. 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 strangers. Finally with the coast clear, Ravana appears in the guise of an ascetic requesting Sita's hospitality. Unaware of the devious plan of her guest, Sita is then forcibly carried away by the evil Ravana.[34][35]

Jatayu, a vulture, tries to rescue Sita, but is mortally wounded. At Lanka, Sita is kept under the heavy guard of rakshasis. Ravana demands Sita marry him, but Sita, eternally devoted to Rama, refuses.[33] Rama and Lakshmana learn about Sita's abduction from Jatayu, and immediately set out to save her.[36] During their search, they meet Shabari, a woman ascetic who directs them towards Sugriva and Hanuman.[37][38]

Kishkindha Kanda

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.

The Kishkindha Kanda is set in the monkey citadel Kishkindha. Rama and Lakshmana meet Hanuman, the greatest of monkey heroes and an adherent of Sugriva, the banished pretender to the throne of Kishkindha.[39] Rama befriends Sugriva and helps him win over his brother Vali and regain the kingdom of Kiskindha.[40] In exchange for the help received from Rama, Sugriva sends search parties to the four corners of the earth, only to return without success from north, east and west.[41] The southern search party under the leadership of Angad and Hanuman learns from a vulture named Sampati that Sita was taken to Lanka.[41][42]

Sundara Kanda

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

The Sundara Kanda forms the heart of Valmiki's Ramayana[43] and consists of a detailed, vivid account of Hanuman's adventures.[39] After learning about Sita, Hanuman assumes a gargantuan form and makes a colossal leap across the ocean to Lanka. Here, Hanuman explores the demon's city and spies on Ravana. He locates Sita in Ashoka grove, who is wooed and threatened by Ravana and his rakshasis to marry Ravana. He reassures her, giving Rama's signet ring as a sign of good faith. He offers to carry Sita back to Rama, however she refuses, reluctant to allow herself to be touched by a male other than her husband. She says that Rama himself must come and avenge the insult of her abduction.[39]

Hanuman then wreaks havoc in Lanka by destroying trees and buildings, and killing Ravana's warriors. He allows himself to be captured and produced before 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.[39][44]

Yuddha Kanda

The War of Lanka by Sahibdin.It depicts monkey army of the protagonist Rama (top left, blue figure) fighting the demon-king of the king of Lanka, Ravana in order 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 the monkey-companion of Rama - Hanuman.

This book describes the battle between the forces of Rama and 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 monkeys construct a bridge (known as Rama Setu) across the ocean, and the princes and their army cross over to Lanka. A lengthy battle ensues and Rama kills Ravana. Rama then installs Vibhishana on the throne of Lanka.[45]

On meeting Sita, Rama asks her to undergo agni Pariksha (test of fire) to prove her purity, since she had stayed at the demon's palace. When Sita plunges into the sacrificial fire, Agni the lord of fire raises Sita, unharmed, to the throne, attesting to her purity.[46] The episode of agni pariksha varies in the versions of Ramayana by Valmiki and Tulsidas.[47] At the expiration of his term of exile, Rama returns to Ayodhya with Sita and Lakshmana, where the coronation is performed.[45]

Uttara Kanda

Sita in the Hermitage of Valmiki

The Uttara Kanda concerns the final years of Rama, Sita, and Rama's brothers. After being crowned king, many years passed pleasantly with Sita. However, despite the agni pariksha (fire ordeal) of Sita, rumors about her purity are spreading among the populace of Ayodhya.[48] Rama yields to public opinion and 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 became 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 Ashwamedha yagna, which the 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 grievous, and Valmiki produces Sita. Sita calls upon the Earth, her mother, to receive her and as the ground opens, she vanishes into it.[48][49] Rama then learns that Lava and Kusha are his children. Later a messenger from the gods appears and informs Rama that the mission of his incarnation was over. Rama returns to his celestial abode.[46] The Uttara Kanda is regarded to be a later addition to the original story by Valmiki.[6]

Influence on culture and art

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. The story ushered in the tradition of the next thousand years of massive-scale works in the rich diction of regal courts and Brahminical temples. It has also inspired much secondary literature in various languages, notably the Kambaramayanam by the Tamil poet Kambar of the 13th century, the Telugu-language Molla Ramayana, 14th century Kannada poet Narahari's Torave Ramayan, and 15th century Bengali poet Krittibas Ojha's Krittivasi Ramayan, as well as the 16th century Awadhi version, Ramacharitamanas, written by Tulsidas.

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

Variant versions

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.

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 South-East Asia. There is an extensive tradition of oral storytelling based on the Ramayana in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and Maldives.[citation needed] Father Kamil Bulke, author of Ramakatha, has identified over 300 variants of Ramayana.[50]

Within India

The seventh century CE "Bhatti's Poem" Bhaṭṭikāvya of Bhaṭṭi is a Sanskrit retelling of the epic that simultaneously illustrates the grammatical examples for Pāṇini's Aṣṭādhyāyī as well as the major figures of speech and the Prakrit language.[51]

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 AD, Kamban wrote Ramavatharam, known popularly as Kambaramayanam in Tamil. Valmiki's Ramayana inspired the Sri Ramacharit Manas by Tulasidas 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 Ramayana in the 17th century. Other versions include a Bengali version by Krittivas in the 14th century, in Oriya by Balarama Das in the 16th century, in Marathi by Sridhara in the 18th century, a Telugu version by Ranganatha in the 15th century, a Torave Ramayana in Kannada by the 16th century poet Narahari and in 20th century Rashtrakavi Kuvempu's Sri Ramayana Darshnam, Kotha Ramayana in Assamese by the 14th century poet Madhava Kandali and Adhyathma Ramayanam Kilippattu, a Malayalam version by Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan in the 16th century.

There is a sub-plot to Ramayana, prevalent in some parts of India, relating the adventures of Ahi Ravana and Mahi Ravana, the 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.

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.[50] In Mappila Ramayana, the story of the 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.[50]

In Nepal

Two versions of Ramayana are present in Nepal. One is written by Mahakabhi Siddhidas Mahaju in Nepali Bhasa. The other one is written by Aadikavi Bhanubhakta Acharya. The Nepal Bhasa version by Siddhidas Mahaju marks a great point in the renaissance of Nepal Bhasa whereas the one of Bhanubhakta Acharya is the first epic of Nepali.[citation needed]

Southeast Asian versions

The Javanese dance of Ramayana describe Shinta held as prisoner in Alengka palace surrounded by ladies in waiting.

Many other Asian cultures have adapted the Ramayana, resulting in other national epics. Kakawin Ramayana is an old Javanese rendering; Yogesvara Ramayana is attributed to the scribe Yogesvara circa 9th century CE, who was employed in the court of the Sriwijaya. It has 2774 stanzas in manipravala style, a mixture of Sanskrit and Archaic prose Javanese language. The most influential version of the Ramayana is the Ravanavadham of Bhatti, popularly known as Bhattikavya. The Javanese Ramayana differs markedly from the original Hindu prototype.

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 the Buddha. In Hikayat Seri Rama of Malaysia, Dasharatha is the great-grandson of the Prophet Adam. Ravana receives boons from Allah instead of Brahma.[52] In many Malay language versions, Lakshmana is given greater importance than Rama, whose character is considered somewhat weak.[citation needed]

The Khmer retelling of the tale, the Reamker, is popularly expressed in traditional regional dance theatre.

The Cambodian version of Ramayana, the Reamker, is the most famous story of Khmer Literature since the 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.

Thailand's popular national epic Ramakien ("Glory of Rama") is derived from the Hindu epic. In Ramakien, Sita is the daughter of Ravana and Mandodari (T'os'akanth (=Dasakanth) and Mont'o). Vibhisana (P'ip'ek), the astrologer brother of Ravana, predicts calamity from the horoscope of Sita. So Ravana has her thrown into the waters, who, later, is picked by Janaka (Janok). While the main story is identical to that of the 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 the Wat Phra Kaew temple in Bangkok.

Other Southeast Asian adaptations include Ramakavaca of Bali (Indonesia), Maharadya Lawana and Darangen of Mindanao (Philippines), and the Yama Zatdaw of Myanmar. Aspects of the Chinese epic Journey to the West were also inspired by the Ramayana, particularly the character Sun Wukong, who is believed to have been based on Hanuman.[citation needed]

Theological significance

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 a popular deity worshiped in the Hindu religion. Each year, many devout pilgrims trace his journey through India, 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 the god Vishnu. The main purpose of this incarnation is to demonstrate the righteous path (dharma) for all living creatures on earth.

Arshia Sattar states that the central theme of the Ramayana, as well as the Mahabharata, is respectively Ram's and Krishna's hidden divinity and its progressive revelation.[53]

See also


  1. ^ William Buck & Van Nooten 2000, "Introduction" p.xiii
  2. ^ Dutt 2004, p.198
  3. ^ Brockington 2003
  4. ^ Prabhavananda 1979, p.81
  5. ^ Goldman 1990, p.29
  6. ^ a b c d e Sundararajan 1989, p.106
  7. ^ William Buck & Van Nooten 2000, p.xxi
  8. ^ a b Goldman 1990 "Valmiki's Ramayana: Its nature and history", pp.4-6
  9. ^ Dutt 2004, p.191
  10. ^ Raghunathan, N. (trans.), Srimad Valmiki Ramayana
  11. ^ Arya, R. P. (ed.), Ramayan of Valmiki
  12. ^ Goldman, Robert P., The Ramayana of Valmiki: An Epic of Ancient India p. 23
  13. ^ Indian Wisdom Or Examples of the Religious, Philosophical, And Ethical Doctrines of the Hindus, by Monier Williams, Published 2006
  14. ^ In the Vedas Sita means furrow relating to a goddess of agriculture. - S.S.S.N. Murty, A note on the Ramayana
  15. ^ Goldman, Robert P., The Ramayana of Valmiki: An Epic of Ancient India p 24
  16. ^ Rama - The story of a history - chennaionline.com
  17. ^ Goldman, Robert P., The Ramayana of Valmiki: An Epic of Ancient India p. 15-16
  18. ^ Goldman, Robert P., The Ramayana of Valmiki: An Epic of Ancient India p. 28
  19. ^ See Sankalia, H.D., Ramayana: Myth or Reality, New Delhi, 1963
  20. ^ Basham, A.L., The Wonder that was India, London, 1956, p 303
  21. ^ a b c d e f g Keshavadas 1988, p.23
  22. ^ Keshavadas 1988, p.27
  23. ^ Keshavadas 1988, p.29
  24. ^ William Buck & Van Nooten 2000, p.16
  25. ^ Goldman 1990, p.7 "These sons, are infused with varying portions of the essence of the great Lord Vishnu who has agreed to be born as a man in order to destroy a violent and otherwise invincible demon, the mighty rakshasa Ravana who has been oppressing the gods, for by the terms of a boon that he has received, the demon can be destroyed only by a mortal."
  26. ^ a b Goldman 1990, p.7
  27. ^ Bhattacharji 1998, p.73
  28. ^ William Buck & Van Nooten 2000, pp.60-61
  29. ^ Prabhavananda 1979, p.82
  30. ^ a b Goldman 1990, p.8
  31. ^ Brockington 2003, p.117
  32. ^ Keshavadas 1988, pp.69-70
  33. ^ a b c Prabhavananda 1979, p.83
  34. ^ a b Goldman 1990, p.9
  35. ^ William Buck & Van Nooten 2000, p.166-168
  36. ^ Keshavadas 1988, pp.112-115
  37. ^ Keshavadas 1988, pp.121-123
  38. ^ William Buck & Van Nooten 2000, p.183-184
  39. ^ a b c d Goldman 1990, p.10
  40. ^ William Buck & Van Nooten 2000, p.197
  41. ^ a b Goldman 1994, p.4
  42. ^ Kishore 1995, pp.84-88
  43. ^ Goldman 1996, p.3
  44. ^ Goldman 1996, p.4
  45. ^ a b Goldman 1990, pp. 11-12
  46. ^ a b Prabhavananda 1979, p.84
  47. ^ Rajagopal, Arvind (2001). Politics after television. Cambridge University Press. pp. 114–115. http://books.google.com/books?id=PbgW2jTESKEC&pg=PA114. 
  48. ^ a b Goldman 1990, p.13
  49. ^ Dutt 2002, "Aswa-Medha" p.146
  50. ^ a b c "A different song". The Hindu. 12 August, 2005. http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/fr/2005/08/12/stories/2005081201210200.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  51. ^ Fallon 2009
  52. ^ Effect Of Ramayana On Various Cultures And Civilisations p. ?
  53. ^ Sattar 1996, pp. lvi-lvii


Further reading

Original text (Sanskrit)

External links

Translations (English)

Research articles

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to The Ramayana article)

From Wikisource

The Ramayana of Valmiki , translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith
English translation by Ralph T. H. Griffith (1870-1874).

The Ramayana is one of the two epic Hindu poems, the other being the Mahabharat. The Ramayana describes the story of the deeds of Lord Ram who defeats Ravan,the demon king of Lanka (present day Sri Lanka) in a mighty war for he kidnaps Sita,the wife of Ram. Ram lays siege to Lanka and gets back Sita.

This verse translation by Griffith, whose translations of the Rig Veda and the Sama Veda are also available at sacred-texts, was scanned in 2000 from an original copy, which had very poor typesetting. Due to the difficulty of converting this 600 page text to etext, the project was put on hold for several years until OCR technology matured. Finally in 2003, the text was OCR-ed and proofed at Distributed Proofing. However, despite best efforts, there are several places in this text where the proofing was difficult or impossible. These are indicated by asterisks or (illegible). We are in the process of cleaning up these issues and hope to have a definitive version of this text at some point.


The Ramayana

Book I[1]

  • Canto I: Nárad 75%.png
  • Canto II: Brahmá's Visit 75%.png
  • Canto III: The Argument 75%.png
  • Canto IV: The Rhapsodists 75%.png
  • Canto V: Ayodhyá 75%.png
  • Canto VI: The King 75%.png
  • Canto VII: The Ministers 75%.png
  • Canto VIII: Sumantra's Speech 75%.png
  • Canto IX: Rishyas'ring 75%.png
  • Canto X: Rishyas'ring Invited 75%.png
  • Canto XI: The Sacrifice Decreed
  • Canto XII: The Sacrifice Begun
  • Canto XIII: The Sacrifice Finished
  • Canto XIV: Rávan Doomed
  • Canto XV: The Nectar
  • Canto XVI: The Vánars
  • Canto XVII: Rishyas'ring's Return
  • Canto XVIII: Rishyas'ring's Departure
  • Canto XIX: The Birth of The Princes
  • Canto XX: Vis'vámitra's Visit
  • Canto XXI: Vis'vámitra's Speech
  • Canto XXII: Das'aratha's Speech
  • Canto XXIII: Vas'ishtha's Speech
  • Canto XXIV: The Spells
  • Canto XXV: The Hermitage of Love
  • Canto XXVI: The Forest of Tádaká
  • Canto XXVII: The Birth of Tádaká
  • Canto XXVIII: The Death of Tádaká
  • Canto XXIX: The Celestial Arms
  • Canto XXX: The Mysterious Powers
  • Canto XXXI: The Perfect Hermitage
  • Canto XXXII: Vis'vámitra's Sacrifice
  • Canto XXXIII: The Sone
  • Canto XXXIV: Brahmadatta
  • Canto XXXV: Visvámitra's Lineage
  • Canto XXXVI: The Birth of Gangá
  • Canto XXXIX: The Sons of Sagar
  • Canto XL: The Cleaving of The Earth
  • Canto XLI: Kapil
  • Canto XLII: Sagar's Sacrifice
  • Canto XLIII: Bhagirath
  • Canto XLIV: The Descent of Gangà
  • Canto XLV: The Quest of The Amrit
  • Canto XLVI: Diti's Hope
  • Canto XLVII: Sumatí
  • Canto XLVIII: Indra And Ahalyá
  • Canto XLIX: Ahalyá Freed
  • Canto L: Janak
  • Canto LI: Vis'vámitra
  • Canto LII: Vas'ishtha's Feast
  • Canto LIII: Vis'vàmitra's Request
  • Canto LIV: The Battle
  • Canto LV: The Hermitage Burnt
  • Canto LVI: Vis'vámitra's Vow
  • Canto LVII: Tris'anku
  • Canto LVIII: Tris'anku Cursed
  • Canto LIX: The Sons of Vas'ishtha
  • Canto LX: Tris'anku's Ascension
  • Canto LXI: S'unahs'epha
  • Canto LXII: Ambaresha's Sacrifice
  • Canto LXIII: Menaká
  • Canto LXIV: Rambhá
  • Canto LXV: Vis'vámitra's Triumph
  • Canto LXVI: Janak's Speech
  • Canto LXVII: The Breaking of The Bow
  • Canto LXVIII: The Envoys' Speech
  • Canto LXIX: Das'aratha's Visit
  • Canto LXX: The Maidens Sought
  • Canto LXXI: Janak's Pedigree
  • Canto LXXII: The Gift of Kine
  • Canto LXXIII: The Nuptials
  • Canto LXXIV: Ráma With The Axe
  • Canto LXXV: The Parle
  • Canto LXXVI: Debarred From Heaven
  • Canto LXXVII: Bharat's Departure

  1. Called in Sanskrit also Bála-Kánda, and in Hindi Bál-Kánd, i. e. the Book describing Ráma's childhood, bála meaning a boy up to his sixteenth year.

Book II

  • Canto I: The Heir Apparent
  • Canto II: The People's Speech
  • Canto III: Das'aratha's Precepts
  • Canto IV: Ráma Summoned
  • Canto V: Ráma's Fast
  • Canto VI: The City Decorated
  • Canto VII: Manthará's Lament
  • Canto VIII: Manthará's Speech
  • Canto IX: The Plot
  • Canto X: Das'aratha's Speech
  • Canto XI: The Queen's Demand
  • Canto XII: Dasaratha's Lament
  • Canto XIII: Das'aratha's Distress
  • Canto XIV: Ráma Summoned
  • Canto XV: The Preparations
  • Canto XVI: Ráma Summoned
  • Canto XVII: Ráma's Approach
  • Canto XVIII: The Sentence
  • Canto XIX: Ráma's Promise
  • Canto XX: Kaus'alyá's Lament
  • Canto XXI: Kaus'alyá Calmed
  • Canto XXII: Lakshman Calmed
  • Canto XXIII: Lakshman's Anger
  • Canto XXIV: Kaus'alyá Calmed
  • Canto XXV: Kaus'alya's Blessing
  • Canto XXVI: Alone With Sitá
  • Canto XXVII: Sítá's Speech
  • Canto XXVIII: The Dangers of The Wood
  • Canto XXIX: Sítá's Appeal
  • Canto XXX: The Triumph of Love
  • Canto XXXI: Lakshman's Prayer
  • Canto XXXII: The Gift of The Treasures
  • Canto XXXIII: The People's Lament
  • Canto XXXIV: Ráma In The Palace
  • Canto XXXV: Kaikeyí Reproached
  • Canto XXXVI: Siddhárth's Speech
  • Canto XXXVII: The Coats of Bark
  • Canto XXXVIII: Care For Kaus'alyá
  • Canto XXXIX: Counsel To Sítá
  • Canto XL: Ráma's Departure
  • Canto XLI: The Citizens' Lament
  • Canto XLII: Das'aratha's Lament
  • Canto XLIII: Kaus'alyá's Lament
  • Canto XLIV: Sumitra's Speech
  • Canto XLV: The Tamasá
  • Canto XLVI: The Halt
  • Canto XLVII: The Citizens' Return
  • Canto XLVIII: The Women's Lament
  • Canto XLIX: The Crossing of The Rivers
  • Canto L: The Halt Under The Ingudí
  • Canto LI: Lakshman's Lament
  • Canto LII: The Crossing of Gangá
  • Canto LIII: Ráma's Lament
  • Canto LIV: Bharadvája's Hermitage
  • Canto LV: The Passage of Yamuná
  • Canto LVI: Chitrakuta
  • Canto LVII: Sumantra's Return
  • Canto LVIII: Ráma's Message
  • Canto LIX: Das'aratha's Lament
  • Canto LX: Kaus'alyá Consoled
  • Canto LXI: Kauslaya's Lament
  • Canto LXII: Das'aratha Consoled
  • Canto LXIII: The Hermit's Son
  • Canto LXIV: Das'aratha's Death
  • Canto LXV: The Women's Lament
  • Canto LXVI: The Embalming
  • Canto LXVII: The Praise of Kings
  • Canto LXVIII: The Envoys
  • Canto LXIX: Bharat's Dream
  • Canto LXX: Bharat's Departure
  • Canto LXXI: Bharat's Return
  • Canto LXXII: Bharat's Inquiry
  • Canto LXXIII: Kaikeyí Reproached
  • Canto LXXIV: Bharat's Lamest
  • Canto LXXV: The Abjuration
  • Canto LXXVI: The Funeral
  • Canto LXXVII: The Gathering of The Ashes
  • Canto LXXVIII: Manthará Punished
  • Canto LXXIX: Bharat's Commands
  • Canto LXXX: The Way Prepared
  • Canto LXXXI: The Assembly
  • Canto LXXXII: The Departure
  • Canto LXXXIII: The Journey Begun
  • Canto LXXXIV: Guha's Anger
  • Canto LXXXV: Guha And Bharat
  • Canto LXXXVI: Guha's Speech
  • Canto LXXXVII: Guha's Story
  • Canto LXXXVIII: The Ingudí Tree
  • Canto LXXXIX: The Passage of Gangá
  • Canto XC: The Hermitage
  • Canto XCI: Bharadvája's Feast
  • Canto XCII: Bharat's Farewell
  • Canto XCIII: Chitrakúta In Sight
  • Canto XCIV: Chitrakúta
  • Canto XCV: Mandákiní
  • Canto XCVI: The Magic Shaft
  • Canto XCVII: Lakshman's Anger
  • Canto XCVIII: Lakshman Calmed
  • Canto XCIX: Bharat's Approach
  • Canto C: The Meeting
  • Canto CI: Bharat Questioned
  • Canto CII: Bharat's Tidings
  • Canto CIII: The Funeral Libation
  • Canto CIV: The Meeting With The Queens
  • Canto CV: Rama's Speech
  • Canto CVI: Bharat's Speech
  • Canto CVII: Ráma's Speech
  • Canto CVIII: Jáváli's Speech
  • Canto CIX: The Praises of Truth
  • Canto CX: The Sons of Ikshva'ku
  • Canto CXI: Counsel To Bharat
  • Canto CXII: The Sandals
  • Canto CXIII: Bharat's Beturn
  • Canto CXIV: Bharat's Departure
  • Canto CXV: Nandigrám.
  • Canto CXVI: The Hermit's Speech
  • Canto CXVII: Anasúyá
  • Canto CXVIII: Anasúyá's Gifts
  • Canto CXIX: The Forest

Book III

  • Canto I: The Hermitage
  • Canto II: Virádha
  • Canto III: Virádha Attacked
  • Canto IV: Virádha's Death
  • Canto V: S'arabhanga
  • Canto VI: Ráma's Promise
  • Canto VII: Sutíkshna
  • Canto VIII: The Hermitage
  • Canto IX: Sita's Speech
  • Canto X: Ráma's Reply
  • Canto XI: Agastya
  • Canto XII: The Heavenly Bow
  • Canto XIII: Agastya's Counsel
  • Canto XIV: Jatáyus
  • Canto XV: Panchavatt
  • Canto XVI: Winter
  • Canto XVII: S'u'panakha'
  • Canto XVIII: The Mutilation
  • Canto XIX: The Rousing of Khara
  • Canto XX: The Giants' Death
  • Canto XXI: The Rousing of Khara
  • Canto XXII: Khara's Wrath
  • Canto XXIII: The Omens
  • Canto XXIV: The Host In Sight
  • Canto XXV: The Battle
  • Canto XXVI: Dúshan's Death
  • Canto XXVII: The Death of Tris'iras
  • Canto XXVIII: Khara Dismounted
  • Canto XXIX: Khara's Defeat
  • Canto XXX: Khara's Death
  • Canto XXXI: Rávan
  • Canto XXXII: Rávan Roused
  • Canto XXXIII: Súrpanakhá's Speech
  • Canto XXXIV: Sûrpanakhá's Speech
  • Canto XXXV: Rávan's Journey
  • Canto XXXVI: Rávan's Speech
  • Canto XXXVII: Márícha's Speech
  • Canto XXXVIII: Márícha's Speech
  • Canto XXXIX: Márícha's Speech
  • Canto XL: Rávan's Speech
  • Canto XLI: Márícha's Reply
  • Canto XLII: Márícha Transformed
  • Canto XLIII: The Wondrous Deer
  • Canto XLIV: Artcha's Death
  • Canto XLV: Lakshman's Departure
  • Canto XLVI: The Guest
  • Canto XLVII: Rávan's Wooing
  • Canto XLVIII: Rávan's Speech
  • Canto XLIX: The Rape of Sitá
  • Canto L: Jatáyus
  • Canto LI: The Combat
  • Canto LII: Rávan's Flight
  • Canto LIII: Sitá's Threats
  • Canto LIV: Lanká
  • Canto LV: Sítá In Prison
  • Canto LVI: Sítá's Disdain
  • Canto LVII: Sítá Comforted
  • Canto LVIII: The Brothers' Meeting
  • Canto LIX: Ráma's Return
  • Canto LX: Lakshman Reproved
  • Canto LXI: Ráma's Lament
  • Canto LXII: Ráma's Lament
  • Canto LXIII: Ráma's Lament
  • Canto LXIV: Rama's Lament
  • Canto LXV: Rama's Wrath
  • Canto LXVI: Lakshman's Speech
  • Canto LXVII: Ráma Appeased
  • Canto LXVIII: Jatáyus
  • Canto LXIX: The Death of Jatáyus
  • Canto LXX: Kabandha
  • Canto LXXI: Kabandha's Speech
  • Canto LXXII: Kabandha's Tale
  • Canto LXXIII: Kabandha's Counsel
  • Canto LXXIV: Kabandha's Death
  • Canto LXXV: Savari
  • Canto LXXVI: Pampá

Book IV

  • Canto I: Ráma's Lament
  • Canto II: Sugríva's Alarm
  • Canto IV: Lakshman's Reply
  • Canto V: The League
  • Canto VI: The Tokens
  • Canto VII: Ráma Consoled
  • Canto VIII: Ráma's Promise
  • Canto IX: Sugríva's Story.
  • Canto X: Sugríva's Story
  • Canto XI: Dundubhi
  • Canto XII: The Palm Trees
  • Canto XIII: The Return To Kishkindhá
  • Canto XIV: The Challenge
  • Canto XV: Tará
  • Canto XVI: The Fall of Báli
  • Canto XVII: Báli's Speech
  • Canto XVIII: Ráma's Reply
  • Canto XIX: Tárá's Grief
  • Canto XX: Tárá's Lament
  • Canto XXI: Hanumán's Speech
  • Canto XXII: Báli Dead
  • Canto XXIII: Tárá's Lament
  • Canto XXIV: Sugríva's Lament
  • Canto XXV: Ráma's Speech
  • Canto XXVI: The Coronation
  • Canto XXVII: Ráma On The Hill
  • Canto XXVIII: The Rains
  • Canto XXIX: Hanumán's Counsel
  • Canto XXX: Ráma's Lament
  • Canto XXXI: The Envoy
  • Canto XXXII: Hanuman's Counsel
  • Canto XXXIII: Lakshman's Entry
  • Canto XXXIV: Lakshman's Speech
  • Canto XXXV: Tárá's Speech
  • Canto XXXVI: Sugríva's Speech
  • Canto XXXVII: The Gathering
  • Canto XXXVIII: Sugríva's Departure
  • Canto XXXIX: The Vánar Host
  • Canto XL: The Army of The East
  • Canto XLI: The Army of The South
  • Canto XLII: The Army of The West
  • Canto XLIII: The Army of The North
  • Canto XLIV: The Ring
  • Canto XLV: The Departure
  • Canto XLVI: Sugríva's
  • Canto XLVII: The Return
  • Canto XLVIII: The Asur's Death
  • Canto XLIX: Angad's Speech
  • Canto L: The Enchanted Cave
  • Canto LI: Svayamprabhá
  • Canto LII: The Exit
  • Canto LIII: Angad's Counsel
  • Canto LIV: Hanumán's Speech
  • Canto LVI:
  • Canto LV: Angad's Reply
  • Canto LVI: Sampáti
  • Canto LVII: Angad's Speech
  • Canto LVIII: Tidings of Sitá
  • Canto LIX: Sampati's Story
  • Canto LX: Sampáti's Story
  • Canto LXI: Sampáti's Story
  • Canto LXII: Sampáti's Story
  • Canto LXIII: Sampáti's Story
  • Canto LXIV: The Sea
  • Canto LXV: The Council
  • Canto LXVI: Hanumán
  • Canto LXVII: Hanuman's Speech

Book V

  • Canto I: Hanumán's Leap
  • Canto II: Lanká
  • Canto III: The Guardian Goddess
  • Canto IV: Within The City
  • Canto VI: The Court
  • Canto VII: Ravan's Palace
  • Canto VIII: The Enchanted Car
  • Canto IX: The Ladies' Bower
  • Canto X: Rávan Asleep
  • Canto XI: The Banquet Hall
  • Canto XII: The Search Renewed
  • Canto XIII: Despair And Hope
  • Canto XIV: The As'oka Grove
  • Canto XV: Sítá
  • Canto XVI: Hanumán's Lament
  • Canto XVII: Sítá's Guard
  • Canto XVIII: Rávan
  • Canto XIX: Síta's Fear
  • Canto XX: Rávan's Wooing
  • Canto XXI: Sita's Scorn
  • Canto XXII: Rávan's Threat
  • Canto XXIII: The Demons' Threats
  • Canto XXIV: Sítá's Reply
  • Canto XXV: Sítá's Lament
  • Canto XXVI: Sitá's Lament
  • Canto XXVII: Trijatá's Dream
  • Canto XXX: Hanumán's Deliberation
  • Canto XXXI: Hanumán's Speech
  • Canto XXXII: Sítá's Doubt
  • Canto XXXIII: The Colloquy
  • Canto XXXIV: Hanumán's Speech
  • Canto XXXV: Hanuman's Speech
  • Canto XXXVI: Ráma's Ring
  • Canto XXXVII: Sítá's Speech
  • Canto XXXVIII: Sitá's Gem
  • Canto XLI: The Ruin of The Grove
  • Canto XLII: The Giants Roused
  • Canto XLIII: The Ruin of The Temple
  • Canto XLIV: Jambumáli's Death
  • Canto XLV: The Seven Defeated
  • Canto XLVI: The Captains
  • Canto XLVII: The Death of Aksha
  • Canto XLVIIL: Hanumán Captured
  • Canto XLIX: Rávan
  • Canto L: Prahasta's Questions
  • Canto LI: Hanumán's Reply
  • Canto LII: Vibhíshan's Speech
  • Canto LIII: The Punishment
  • Canto LIV: The Burning of Lanká
  • Canto LV: Fear For Sítá
  • Canto LVI: Mount Arishta
  • Canto LVII: Hanúmán's Return
  • Canto LXI: The Feast of Honey
  • Canto LXV: The Tidings
  • Canto LXVI: Ráma's Speech

Book VI

  • Canto I: Ráma's Speech
  • Canto II: Sugríva's Speech
  • Canto III: Lanká
  • Canto IV: The March
  • Canto V: Ráma's Lament
  • Canto VI: Rávan's Speech
  • Canto VII: Rávan Encouraged
  • Canto VIII: Prahasta's Speech
  • Canto IX: Vibhíshan's Counsel
  • Canto X: Vibhíshan's Counsel
  • Canto XI: The Summons
  • Canto XII: Ravan's Speech
  • Canto XIII: Rávan's Speech
  • Canto XIV: Vibhíshan's Speech
  • Canto XV: Indrajit's Speech
  • Canto XVI: Rávan's Speech
  • Canto XVII: Vibhíshan's Flight
  • Canto XVIII: Ráma's Speech
  • Canto XIX: Vibhíshan's Counsel
  • Canto XX: The Spies
  • Canto XXI: Ocean Threatened
  • Canto XXII:
  • Canto XXIII: The Omens
  • Canto XXIV: The Spy's Return
  • Canto XXV: Rávan's Spies
  • Canto XXVI: The Vánar Chiefs
  • Canto XXVII: The Vánar Chiefs
  • Canto XXVIII: The Chieftains
  • Canto XXIX: S'árdúla Captured
  • Canto XXX: Sárdúla's Speech
  • Canto XXXI: The Magic Head
  • Canto XXXII: Sitá's Lament
  • Canto XXXIII: Saramá
  • Canto XXXIV: Saramá's Tidings
  • Canto XXXV: Malyaván's Speech
  • Canto XXXVI: Rávan's Reply
  • Canto XXXVII: Preparations
  • Canto XXXVIII: The Ascent of Suvela
  • Canto XXXIX: Lanká
  • Canto XL: Rávan Attacked
  • Canto XLI: Ráma's Envoy
  • Canto XLII: The Sally
  • Canto XLIII: The Single Combats
  • Canto XLIV: The Night
  • Canto XLV: Indrajit's Victory
  • Canto XLVI: Indrajit's Triumph
  • Canto XLVII: Sitá
  • Canto XLVIII: Sitá's Lament
  • Canto XLIX: Ráma's Lament
  • Canto L: The Broken Spell
  • Canto LI: Dhúmráksha's Sally
  • Canto LII: Dhúmráksha's Death
  • Canto LIII: Vajradanshtra's Sally
  • Canto LIV: Vajradanshtra's Death
  • Canto LIX: Rávans Sally
  • Canto LX: Kumbhakarna Roused
  • Canto LX: Kumbhakarn'a Roused
  • Canto LXI: The Vánars' Alarm
  • Canto LXII: Rávan's Request
  • Canto LXIII: Kumbhakabna's Boast
  • Canto LXIV: Mahodar's Speech
  • Canto LXV: Khumbhakarna's Speech
  • Canto LXVI: Kombhakarna's Sally
  • Canto LXVII: Kumbhakarna's Death
  • Canto LXVIII: Rávan's Lament
  • Canto LXIX: Narántak's Death
  • Canto LXX: The Death of Tris'iras
  • Canto LXXI: Atikáya's Death
  • Canto LXXII: Rávan's Speech
  • Canto LXXIII: Indrajit's Victory
  • Canto LXXIV: The Medicinal Herbs
  • Canto LXXV: The Night Attack
  • Canto XCIII: Rávan's Lament
  • Canto XCVI: Rávan's Sally
  • Canto C: Ravan In The Field
  • Canto CI: Lakshman's Fall
  • Canto CII: Lakshman Healed
  • Canto CIII: Indra's Car
  • Canto CVI: Glory To The Sun
  • Canto CVIII: The Battle
  • Canto CIX: The Battle
  • Canto CX: Rávan's Death
  • Canto CXI: Vibhíshan's Lament
  • Canto CXII: The Rákshas Dames
  • Canto CXIII: Mandodarí's Lament
  • Canto CXIV: Vibhíshan Consecrated
  • Canto CXV: Sitá's Joy
  • Canto CXVI: The Meeting
  • Canto CXVII: Sítá's Disgrace
  • Canto CXVIII: Sítá's Reply
  • Canto CXIX: Glory To Vishnu
  • Canto CXX: Sítá Restored
  • Canto CXXI: Das'aratha
  • Canto CXXII: Indra's Boon
  • Canto CXXIII: The Magic Car
  • Canto CXXIV: The Departure
  • Canto CXXV: The Return
  • Canto CXXVI: Bharat Consoled
  • Canto CXXVII: Ráma's Message
  • Canto CXXVIII: Hanumán's Story
  • Canto CXXIX: The Meeting With Bharat
  • Canto CXXX: The Consecration
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See also


Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Indian Mythology/Ramayana article)

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

< Indian Mythology

Ramayana is the second largest Indian epic, after Mahabharatha.

Story outline

Ramayana is the story of one of the incarnations of lord Vishnu, that of Rama. Rama is born as the eldest son of the king Dasharatha, and is heir to the kingdom. During his childhood, he travels with his teacher, Vishwamitra, and learns the art of war and righthood. He marries Sita, who is depicted as the human incarnation of the goddess Lakshmi. Later, when time comes for him to be the king, his step-mother intervenes and claims the throne for her son, Bharatha, who is a brother to Rama. Rama gladly gives up the throne and goes into exile for 14 years with his wife and brother Lakshmana. During his exile, the evil king of Lanka, Ravana, falls in love with Seetha, and kidnaps her. Rama and Lakshmana team up with the king of apes, Sugreeva, and storm the island of Lanka. A fierce battle ensues, in which Lakshmana kills Ravana's son, Indrajit, and in the final part, Rama kills Ravana.

Simple English

Hindu texts


The Ramayana is the career or story of Rama, is one of the two most important ancient epics of India, the other being the Mahabharata. The epic was originally written by sage (rishi) Valmiki of Ancient India. The book has about 96,000 verses and is divided into seven parts.

The story of the Ramayana is about Prince Rama who has been exiled from his kingdom of Ayodha. He goes to king Ravana.

Different versions of the book are available. It has been translated into all the major languages of the world.

The different parts of the Ramayana are also called books. These seven parts or books are noted below:

  1. The first book is Balakand, meaning the book of the childhood.
  2. The second book is Ayodhyakanda, meaning the book of Ayodhya.
  3. The third book is Aranyakanda, meaning the book of the forests.
  4. The fourth book is Kishkindhakanda, meaning the book of Kishkindha.
  5. The fifth book is Sundarakanda, meaning the book beautiful.
  6. The sixth book is Yuddhakanda, meaning the book of the war.
  7. The seventh book is Uttarkanda, meaning the last book.

There are different views about the time the Ramayana was written. Some people believe that it was written 2,500 years ago. Others think that it was written only around 1,800 years ago. All agree that the book is very old and was written before the Mahabharata.

The Ramayana is still very popular today. Every autumn the Ramlila (Rama play) is performed at the festival of Dassehra. A huge model of Ravana is set alight. This symbolises the triumph of light over darkness.

A Tamil version of the book was written between the 9th and 10th century. The writer of this book was Kamban, this version is known as Iramavataram, meaning coming of Rama. In the 16th century, Tulasidas wrote a Hindi version of Ramayamna. This was named Ramacharitmanasa. Over many centuries, the story of Rama reached places in other countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. The Ramayana has been translated into most of the major languages of the world.

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