Ramayana—literally, the journey of Rama—is an ancient Indian Hindu epic whose protagonist is Shri Ramachandra (henceforth Rama) and antagonist being Ravana.
Written by Valmiki, it narrates the story of a prince who was born into royal Ikshwaku dynasty, grown up and married the girl, left the palace along with his brother and wife to keep his father’s promise to his step-mother unbroken, killed the danava named Ravana who abducted his wife during the exile.
It is divided into seven kandas—Balkanda, Ayodhyakanda, Aranyakanda, Kishkindhakanda, Sundarkanda, Lankakanda, and Uttarakanda. Uttarakanda, it is popularly believed, was added later. These seven kandas or chapters have an approximate 24 thousand shlokas in total which makes it a detailed narration.
However, due to human curiosity, there are several questions which some people have in their mind. Most of them remain generally unanswered due to the scarcity of time in studying the Ramayana. We have picked half a dozen of them and tried to answer them in our best capacity.
Along with the changes in the audio-visual mediums, Ramayana has started becoming available in several other forms including animation and TV serial. In the later part of this blogpost, we are giving you the links of one popular animation series so that you can watch it during this time-period of the pandemic.
In the Ramayana, does Sri Rama knows he is God?
Valmiki Ramayana is an amazing epic of which Rama is the hero. Courageous were his acts, dharma or righteousness was his motivation, astounding were his principles, amazing were his colleagues and army, and overall inspirational was his life!
After reading the Ramayana any person is left with multiple questions which are generally unanswered. A prominent among those questions is: in the Ramayana, does Sri Rama know he is God?
The answer is ‘No’.
According to the Hindu puranas, Bhagwan Vishnu takes ten avatars among which seventh is of Rama. His avatar as Rama was of a human being.
He does heroic acts to defeat danavas but that too after taking the training under his gurus. He goes to forest, as the Ramayana tells it to us, so that his father’s promise to Rama’s step-mother Kaikeyi remains unbroken. Though he is a royal prince, he lives his life as a commoner with his brother and wife. He goes to the Lanka to rescue his wife and defeats the King of danavas, Ravana, with the courageous army of vanaras.
In whole Ramayana, he never uses his divine powers, as the Gods use, to change his destiny and outcome. Had he been aware of his powers, he could have used them for manipulation.
He lives his life as an ordinary human who is a follower of maryada-loosely translated as limit. Thus, his name maryadapurushottama—the man who follows his limits and the best among the rest—is relevant.
Who is great in Ramayana? Is it Lord Rama or Ravana? Was Lord Rama (Ramayana) a great person?
Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic, contains various characters like Rama, Sita, Lakshamana, Bharata, Ravana. All of them, if one reads the Ramayana, are totally developed and their characteristics are meticulously described in the Ramayana.
But, many are confused over a question: Who is great in Ramayana? Is it Lord Rama or Ravana?
The obvious answer, from our perspective, is Rama. Yes, great was he.
Some argue, either ignorantly or deliberately, Ravana was great because he never touched Sita without her consent; he took the revenge of his sister’s humiliation; he was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva; and composed poems for praising him but does that make him a great as human?
No, because, he never stopped his sister from doing indecent behaviour but instead stood by her. He didn’t follow his dharma.
He didn’t touch Sita inappropriately but that was out of his obligation because he was cursed, as the Ramayana tells that to us, that he would be burnt if he would ever touch any woman without taking her permission. That curse was also from a woman he raped.
Ravana was arrogant for his knowledge and he was a tyrant ruler too.
These are, obviously, not the characteristics of any great man. Are they?
On the other hand, Rama went to the forest just to keep his father’s promise unbroken; he built an entire army out of the scratch and showed the characteristics of a true leader; he not only stood for dharma but also lived for it; he built a bridge to cross the giant ocean; he tried to convince Ravana using all the tactics available; he won Lanka but made Vibhishana because he was the legitimate heir of the kingdom.
Thus, Rama’s character and his life makes him great.
In the Ramayana, Rama comes as an ideal man who should be followed. So, of course, Rama was great and would remain so.
In Ramayana at what age did God Ram went to forest?
In the second kanda of the Ramayana, Kaikeyi tells Dashratha to order Rama to go to the exile and to make her son Bharata a king, thanks to the provocation of Kaikeyi’s personal servant Manthara.
Rama, to keep his father’s promise unbroken, decides to go to the forest. His wife—Sita—and his brother—Lakshmana—join him.
Curiously, many ask what would be the approximate age of Rama when he went to forest. The answer, as per the rigorous research of Nilesh Nilkanth Oak, is 17 years. Yes, only 17 years when he left the palace for his exile of 14 years.
In the book titled Historical Rama, Oak states with the evidence that Rama was born on 29th November in the year 12240 BCE and he left for Vanavasa on 21st December, 12223 BCE.
Therefore, by doing calculations, we can say Rama went to forest when he was 17.
Who was the Guru of Lord Rama?
The word ‘Guru’ means the dispeller of darkness in Sanskrit. Guru is not just teacher but much more beyond that. In Indic traditions, guru does not only educate the disciples but also give the understanding of dharma. After what we can call the graduation, as the chronicles state, guru would advise satyam vada, dharmam char (meaning: speak truth, follow dharma).
After seeing the life and character of Rama, one may wonder who was the great teacher or guru who instilled such values in him.
One of Rama’s gurus was Vashishta, who was mainly kulguru, the priest and preceptor of Ikshavku dynasty, where Rama was born.
Another guru was Vishwamitra. According to the Ramayana, he gave the knowledge of the devastras or celestial weaponry to Rama and his brothers, he trained them in dharma and guided them to kill powerful demons like Tadaka, Maricha and Subahu. Vishwamitra also led Rama and Lakshmana to the Swayamvara ceremony for princess Sita, where Rama broke the bow presented resulted into his marriage with her.
So, Rama had two gurus: one was Vashishta and another was Vishwamitra.
Did Valmiki meet Lord Rama while writing Ramayana?
Did Valmiki, the author of Valmiki Ramayana, some ponder and ask, really meet Rama? If yes, then what did they do and what is the evidence of this?
The answer of the first question is affirmative: yes, Rama really met Valmiki, the chronicler of Valmiki Ramayana.
In the Ramayana, Shloka 56 of Sarg 16 of Ayodhyakanda mentions,
“इति सीता च रामश्च लक्ष्मणश्च कृताञ्जलिः।
अभिगम्याऽश्रमं सर्वे वाल्मीकि मभिवादयन्।।2.56.16।।”
This can be translated as, “Thus Rama, Sita and Lakshmana approached the hermitage of sage Valmiki and paid obeisance to him with folded hands.”
The following Shloka mentions the response of Maharishi Valmiki.
“तान्महर्षि प्रमुदितः पूजयामास धर्मवित्।
अस्यतामिति चोवाच स्वागन्तु निवेद्य च।।2.56.17।।”
“The great sage Valmiki conversant with righteousness was delighted,” it can be translated. “He honoured them by extending welcome and said ‘Be seated’.”
Thus, with these slokas, we can arrive on the conclusion that the chronicle of the Ramayana met the hero—Rama. So, yes, Valmiki really meet Rama but it is uncertain whether he really met him while writing the Ramayana.
Ramayana: The legend of Prince Rama watch online
In the past, dramas and dances related to the Ramayana were performed regularly, but, with the rise of technology the medium got changed. Films, televisions, and even animations on the Ramayana were being made.
One among such animated films is ‘Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama’ which was directed and produced by Yugo Sako, a Japanese citizen, in 1992. The film was successful and so people often ask where to watch online.
Here are some links for that purpose:
Ramayana: the legend of prince rama Hindi (Ramayana: the legend of prince rama hd)
Ramayana: the legend of prince rama English (Ramayana: the legend of prince rama 1080 p)
Some have the curiosity to know about the cast who performed this. It can be found here—Ramayana: the legend of prince rama cast
We hope that we have successfully answered your queries and you spent a good time reading this.
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