Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ramayana - the moral epic

This is one of the oldest and most widely read Indian Epic. It is very much a part of the Indian culture and the characters and occurences in this long story is interwoven in every Hindu Indian's life; so much so that constant references are made to it, at different instances till date. Comparisons are drawn, morals ellicited, examples higlightened, or even mistakes refered to, to save oneself from similar repercussions. The main protaganists being Ram, his brother Lakshmana and Ram's wife Sita, the story focuses on the tribulations that the three of them had to face, when they were banished into the forest for a period of fourteen years, unjustly.

It is one of the few topics, that unites the entire nation; there are few minor differences in the course of events or details as the narration has changed, over the centuries, while it was handed down in various forms through several generations. In the North people still revere and worship Lord Ram and Maruti,his aide, and the number of temples amply bear proof to this. Whereas in the South, the reverence is to a lesser degree, and they do not form the main Gods, and they come under the subsidary level. But yes they do have temples for 'Ramar' and 'Hanumar' sprinkled all over; the names refered to have slight diffrences too.



The epic has been among the most important literary and oral text of whole of South Asia. So much so that it has its influence spread across Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Tibet and other Asian Countries, where Hinduism is followed. The book is considered a treatise on moral values, to be followed or refered to when one is steeped in doubts about self or confounded by the choice of action to be adopted; it is also an authentic and conscientious reflection of the values and ethics, which the great sages of yore felt, should be passed on to generations, as a testimony to the dictum that Goodness alone prevails, integrity can and will vanquish all evil and virtuousness triumphs eventually. And this incredibly inspiring  literary work has managed to capture this essence and retain it too through the endless cycle of years or yugas, and still remain unblemished, both enlightening and entertaining the reader of this grand epic.

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