From 1000 B.C to 700 B.C, the power struggles between Aryan kingdoms in India brought about new oral literature, literature that became critical religious texts, stories about the ideal warrior, the mighty hero saving the people he cares about, and the teaching of life lessons through these stories.
One of these pieces of literature was a story filled with adventure and religious values, Ramayana.
With the assistance of an army of monkeys, Prince Rama attempts to rescue his beloved wife, Sita, from the ten-headed demon Ravana's captivity. The epic, which spans seven cantos and has 24,000 words, contains the teachings of ancient Hindu gurus.
What is the Ramayana, and Why is it So Important?
In ancient India, the ancient Aryans impacted society in more ways than one. They introduced a caste system, reincarnation in Hinduism and Sanskrit.
The Aryan society also created epic literature and religious writings in the Vedas, encompassing many sacred texts.
Valmiki, who created the Ramayana (Story of Lord Rama), invented one of the main achievements of Aryan creativity, one of the earliest and more critical Sanskrit epics in the ancient world.
Ramayana is among two great Sanskrit epics from ancient India and essential Hindu literature. Other is the Mahabharata.
Ramayana has inspired artists over the years and even in the present day. Multiple films animated by the Japanese and Warner Bros. themselves have animated movies about Ramayana.
There are also other movies inspired by the Ramayana, like “Sita Sings the Blues” in 2008, “Lava Kusa: The warrior Twins,” and numerous more films and works of art created about the Ramayana.
The importance and the reason why this story is so revered is because of the presentation of Hindu religious values such as dharma, virtue, and karma.
In the story, for example, Rama completed his dharma and Ravana's karma when he killed him by completing his 14-year quest to save his wife. Throughout this way, as Hinduism claims, dharma and karma coexist in one's life.
There’s also a direct representation of Hindu gods in Ramayana. One example of this in Ramayana is Hanuman in the story.
Hanuman, the monkey god, led the monkeys to help Rama accomplish his goal.
These aspects of the 24,000-verse epic are essential, but there is one crucial thing to analyze from the theme and the structure of the story. That is one of the earliest forms of hero vs. villain-styled stories.
The hero has a long (14 years in this case), sometimes grueling journey to ultimately save someone, whether it’s a woman or an entire nation.
The Ramayana has elements of modern hero vs. villain stories that make them so satisfying, a powerful enemy that seems overwhelming to the protagonist. Still, he ends up succumbing to the determination of the protagonist.
The long-lasting influences and beauty of a piece of literature, such as the Ramayana, are demonstrated to have accomplished for Indian culture and Hinduism due to these qualities.