The Ramayana Tradition in Asia

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Item Code: IDE379
Author: V. Raghavan
Language: English
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 9788126027361
Pages: 743
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.8" X 6.0"
Weight 1.05 kg
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Book Description

From the Jacket:

The Ramayana is one of the germinal sources linking the different cultures of the Indian subcontinent and also the various nations of Asia. The story of Rama has pervaded deep into almost all regions, faiths and languages of Asia, influencing not only the literature but also the social customs and cultural development of many nationalities of Asia. Sahitya Akademi therefore considered it befitting to organize an international Ramayana Seminar in 1975 at New Delhi, which proved to be culturally and intellectually rewarding exercise with the participation of over forty scholars from 11 countries, each an authority on the Ramayana lore in his language and region.

The late Dr. V. Raghavan, who was the moving spirit behind this Seminar ever since it was envisaged as a joint venture of the Government of India and Sahitya Akademi (National Academy of Letters), also helped in putting these Seminar papers together for publication.

Sahitya Akademi is happy to offer this unique publication for the benefit of both the laymen and the scholars interested in Asian culture in general and the Ramayana Tradition in particular.

Sahitya Akademi is the National Academy of Letters set up by the Government of India in 1954.It is an autonomous body whose policies are laid down by a General Council which consists of representatives of the various Indian Languages, States and Universities.

The Akademi's programme is directed to fostering and coordinating literary activities in the Indian languages and to making good literature written in any Indian Language available in translation to readers in all other languages of the country.

Akademi publications are mainly in Indian languages. Its publication programme in the English language is generally limited to supplying basic information about Indian writers and their works.

The Akademi has also actively cooperated with UNESCO in the implementation of UNESCO'S major project of Mutual Appreciation of Eastern and Western Cultural values and has also maintained contact with several literary and cultural institutions in foreign countries to encourage better appreciation of Indian Literature abroad. The Akademi has got prepared for UNESCO several publications of abiding literary interest.



If a poem has contributed substantially to keeping a culture alive amongst vast masses of people through ages, it is certainly the epic Ramayana. Rama, the hero, a likeable, pleasing godman, later came to be liked upon as a human god, more especially with the Vedic gods receding into the background. In fact, 'Rama' became a byword, with religious and spiritual, mantra-like overtones amongst the illiterate populace, even as OM was amongst those well-versed in scriptures.

The Poet's attempt at presenting the grammar of human relationships, as it emerges from the royal houses of Ayodhya, Kiskindha and Lanka, had not a little to do with immense popularity of the Ramayana. There is a subtle magnetism also in the ultimate fate of Sita, perhaps of women in general, as described in the last book, which , though, like the first one, not of the Epic when Kalidasa wrote his Raghuvamsha and was indeed a very moving part of the story when Bhavabhuti selected it as the theme for his masterpiece Uttara-rama-charita. The eternal war against evil, the lesson (if a poem must have a lesson) urging one 'to behave as Rama and not as Ravana' has a universal appeal which cuts across religions and endears the work to votaries of various faiths in India as well as in the neighbouring countries, where the Ramayana remains a significant part of their cultural heritage.

In recent times, outstanding scholars, both in the West as well as in the East, have conducted in-depth studies of the many problems connected with the sprawling Ramayana tradition. Attempts at tracing the origin of the main incidents of the narrative in actual history, folk-tales, legend or myth have been made again and again. The interaction between and the synthesis of the Brahminical, Buddhistic and Jain Ramayana tradition form another subject of study. The additions and alterations made by oral reciters, folk theatre artistes, painters and sculptors not only in India but in the countries of the South-East Asia as well have also claimed the attention of many a scholar. The problem of the relative antiquity of the main events and the writing of the two epic-the Ramayana and the Mahabharata – has been carefully looked into. The questions of the poetic diction and the use of the metres in the Ramayana have been discussed. And there is a continuing interest in assessing the various poetic renderings of the Ramayana story in modern Indian languages vis-a-vis the work of Valmiki. A whole Ramayana lore has grown.

The present volume of papers, presented at the International Ramayana Seminar hosted by the Sahitya Akademi at New Delhi in 1975, is one more proof of how much still remains unexplored and deserves the close scrutiny of discerning scholars. It is gratifying to note that Ramayana scholarship in South-East Asian countries has already made a rich contribution to the Ramayana lore.

The Sahitya Akademi has recently undertaken an ambitious project of compiling a critical inventory of Ramayana Studies in the world-"Inventaire raisonne des Etudes du Ramayana"-which has been adopted by the Union Academique Internationale. I am sure this work, which involves collaboration of various countries, will be, when completed, a very important research tool for the Ramayana students all over the world.

It is unfortunate that Dr. V. Raghavan, the renowned Indologist and Ramayana Scholar, who presided over the International Seminar and edited the text of this volume passed away on Ramanavami day, 1979 and could not live to see it published.

It is hoped this volume will prove a worthy addition to Ramayana Studies.




  Preface v
  Programme of the Seminar xi
1. The Ramayana in Sanskrit Literature by V. Raghavan 1
2. The Old Javanese Ramayana, its composer and Composition by Soewito Santoso 20
3. The Role of the Sacred Book in Religion - The Ramayana by Harry H. Buck 40
4. Ramacaritamanasa and its Relevance to Modern Age by C. Bulcke 58
5. Validity of the Ramayana Values by Sukumari Bhattacharji 76
6. Ramayana Manuscripts of Different Version by U.P. Shah 93
7. The Migration of the Ramayana Story to Indonesia And Some Problems connected with the Structure And Contents of the Old Javanese Ramayana By Himansu Bhusan Sarkar 103
8. The Malaysian Ramayana in Performance by Amin Sweeny 122
9. Ramayana in Malaysia by Ismail Hussein 142
10. The Ramayana in the Philippines by Juan R. Francisco 155
11. The Ramayana Tradition in Kannada by V. Sitaramiah 178
12. Ramayana in Malayalam literature and Folk-Lore By N.V. Krishna Warrior 204
13. Ramayana in Telugu Literature and Folk-Lore By C.R. Sarma 215
14. Jain Ramayanas and Their Source by V.M. Kulkarni 226
15. The Ramayana - Its Character, Genesis, History, Expansion and Exodus by Suniti Kumar Chatterji 242
16. Ramayana in That Theatre by Chamlong Sarapadnuke 245
17. The Ramayana in Laos (Vientiane Version) by Kamala Ratnam 256
18. The Khvay Thuaraphi by Sachidanand Sahai 282
19. Ramayana in Burmese Literature and arts by U. Thein Han And U. Khin Zaw 301
20. Re-Creations of the Ramayana in Tamil and Hindu by Shankar Raju Naidu 315
21. Ramyana in Inscriptions by D.C. Sircar 322
22. Textual Theme of Ramayana in Japan by Prof. Minoru Hara 334
23. Ramyana in Nepali by Kamala Sankrityayan 348
24. Ramayana in Sinhala Literature and its Folk Version by J. Tilakasiri 385
25. The Ramayana and its impact on Gujarati Literature By Prof. Umashankar Joshi 397
26. Sri Ramayana in Tamilnadu in Art, Thought and Literature by R. Nagaswami 409
27. Ramayana in Srilanka and Lanka of the Ramayana - by C.E.Godakumbura 430
28. Tulsi-Dasa's Ramacaritamanasa in Hindi and its Relationship to the Sanskrit version of Valmiki, The Tamil Version of Kamban, and the Thai Version of King Rama I by S. Singaravelu 455
29. Bhusundi Ramayana and its Influence on the Medieval Ramayana Literature by Bhagwati Prasad Singh 475
30. Ramcharitamanasa and the performing Tradition Of Ramayana by Induja Awasthi 505
31. Ramavatara (Ramayana) By Guru Govind Singh by Baljit Tulsi 517
32. Ramayana in Kashmir Literature and Folk-Lore by P.N. Pushp 534
33. The Ramayana in Bengal by Bhabatosh Datta 546
34. Rama-Literrature in Orissa and its Influence on Indonesia by K.C. Sahoo 561
35. Ramayana in Manipuri Literature and Folk-lore by E. Nilakanta Singh 537
36. Ramayana in Assamese Literature by Biswanarayan Shastri 583
37. Oral Tradition of the Ramayana in Bengal by Asutosh Bhattacharya 593
38. Ramayana in Oriya Literature and Oral Tradition By Nilamani Mishra 617
39. The Ramayana in Indian Sculpture by C. Sivaramamurti 636
40. Ramayana, the Epic of Asia by Lokesh Chandra 648
41. Ramayana in Mongolia by T.S. Damdinsuren 653
42. The Ramayana Tradition and the Performing arts by Suresh Awasthi 660
43. Ramayana in Sculpture and Paintings in Thailand By M.C. Subhadradis Diskul 670
44. Ramayana in the Arts of Asia by Kapila Vatsyayan 689
  List of Participants 703
  Index 707


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