The Ramayana is an ancient Indian Sanskrit epic. The Ramayana is among two major Hindu tales renowned as the Itihasas, the other being the Mahabharata. The epic, which is historically attributed to Maharishi Valmiki, tells the story of Rama, a heroic prince of Ayodhya of the Kosala dynasty. The Ramayana is one of the largest global historic epics. It is made up of almost 24,000 verses (namely in the Shloka/Anustubh meter), partitioned into seven Kandas, the 1st and 7th of which are subsequent inclusions. It corresponds to the Itihasa genre, which includes tales of historical events (Puravrtta) intermingled with lessons on the aim of human life. The Ramayana had a significant effect on later Sanskrit poems as well as Hindu culture and society. Its characters, Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata, Hanuman, and Ravana are all central to the collective psyche of India's different regions. Its most major ethical impact was the significance of morality in human life and in the ideologies of the creation of a state or a cohesive society.
The poem depicts Rama's princely conception into the Kosala empire of Ayodhya, his guidance under the Rishi Vishvamitra, and his achievements in bending Shiva's powerful bow at the bridegroom wars in acquiring Sita's hand in marriage, the daughter of King Janaka. After being deposed as successor to the empire due to political maneuvering, Rama flees to the woods with his wife and his half-brother, Lakshmana, to spend 14 years in seclusion. There, Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, kidnaps Sita and takes her to his kingdom, while her two guardians are preoccupied trying to pursue a golden deer sent to misguide them. Sita refuses to accept Ravana's advances, and Rama and his brother head to Lanka to save her. After many expeditions, they join forces with Sugriva, King of the Monkeys, and strike Lanka with the help of the monkey-general Hanuman and Ravana's own brother, Vibhishana. Rama kills Ravana and saves Sita, who passes through a fire debacle to prove herself against the lingering doubts of infidelity. When they come back to Ayodhya, Rama discovers that the people keep questioning the queen's purity, and he exiles her to the forest. There she encounters the sage Valmiki (the renowned writer of the Ramayana) and conceives Rama's two sons at his monastery. When the sons reach adulthood, the family is reconciled, but Sita, after making a stand for her sanctity once more, goes back to the Earth, her birth-giver.
The Kannada Depiction of Ramayana: Toraveya Ramayana
Toraveya Ramayana by Narahari, also recognized as Kumara Valmiki, is the first Vedic poet to adapt the complete Ramayana in Kannada. It is a large work of literature with 112 segments and nearly 5000 poems written in the Bhamini Shatpadi meter. Despite being a retelling of Valmiki's Sanskrit epic, this literary piece is said to have been inspired by Adhyatma Ramayana as well. Kumaravyasa and Kalidasa's compositional sway is clear. Shiva tells Parvathi the tale of Ramayana in this piece of literature. Ravana is depicted as a flawed hero. This is a straightforward narrative with no poetic pretensions.
Q1. Does the Ramayana have any truth behind it?
While there are many controversies regarding this, there is no solid proof of the occurrence of the events spoken of in the Ramayana. It is revered as an ancient Indian epic that imparts spiritual values and knowledge that are intrinsic to Hindu traditions.
Q2. How many Kandas does the Ramayana have?
The Kandas in the Ramayana refer to the different sections the Ramayana has been split into that depict the different stages of Lord Rama’s life. The original epic authored by Maharishi Valmiki has 7 Kandas, namely, the Bala Kandha, Ayodhya Kanda, Aranya Kanda, Kishkinda Kandha, Sundara Kandha, Yuddha Kandha, and Uttara Kanda.
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