Ramayana, The Legendary Sanskrit Epic of Hinduism and Ancient India

Ramayana, The Legendary Sanskrit Epic of Hinduism and Ancient India


From 1000 B.C to 700 B.C, the power struggles between Aryan kingdoms in India brought about new oral literature, literature that became important religious texts, stories about the ideal warrior, the powerful hero saving the people he cares about, and life lessons 
that are brought with 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 their own epic literature, and religious writings in the Vedas, which encompasses a large body of religious texts.  

One of the main achievements of Aryan creativity was created by Valmiki, the man who created the Ramayana (Story of Lord Rama), which was one of the earliest and more important Sanskrit epic in the ancient world.

Ramayana is one of two great Sanskrit epics from ancient India and an important Hindu literature. Other being the Mahbhrata.

 

Ramayana has inspired artists over the years and even at the present day. Multiple films animated by the Japanese and the 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 movies and works of art created in reference to the Ramayana. 

The importance and the reason why this story is so revered is because of the presentation of Hindu’s holy values such as dharma, virtue, and karma. In the story for example, Rama completed both his dharma and Ravana's karma when he killed him by completing his 14 year quest to save his wife. Throughout this way, dharma and karma coexist in one's life. 

There’s also a direct representation of Hindu god’s  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 important, but there is one crucial thing to analyze from the theme and the structure of the story. This is one of the earliest forms of the 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 who seems overwhelming to the protagonist, but ends up succumbing to the determination of the protagonist.

 

These qualities of a piece of literature make the influences and the beauty of it long lasting, as the Ramayana has been shown to accomplish for Indian culture and Hinduism.

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