1800–1810. Diwali, the festival of lights. Krishna’s spiritual utterance on Karma, Jnana and Bhakti-Work, Wisdom and Devotion-reveals to Arjuna the real meaning of life. The book culminates in Rama’s marriage with Sita, the princess of Videha Kingdom. Many historians doubt that Rama was an actual person, however, many Hindus believe he was... Sri Lanka, a beautiful country renowned for its beaches, is also a historic country with many Buddhist sites. Two distinct features of the Itihasa genre are: one, that the author should have witnessed the events first hand and, two, the teachings are woven into the stories so that they remain relevant to all generations and eras. According to some authorities, the essence of different philosophies of the Vedas and Upanishads were presented in shape of interesting themes, episodes and stories for the understanding of the common people. This makes things confusing. Ramayana is an integral part of life for millions of Hindus across the globe. This quiz is about the various characters and events found in the greatest of epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. (Credit: The Met New York Ramayana exhibition on Architectural Digest ) Bottom: Sita, Rama and Laksmana enter Ayodhya by Ramadasa-abhirama Dasa. Believed to be present in the region since the 13th century in its original form, Ramakien was only written down in the 18th century. After settling into a life of exile, the trio travel miles into the dense forest and meet numerous enlightened and spiritually advanced Sages and hermits at the backdrop of the spiritual-scape of the ashramas. As even the current generation casts a curious eye and tries to question and understand every tradition that comes its way, the logical reasoning and scientific proofs will probably arrest their imaginations and Ramayana will continue to live in its glory in our memories. It details the adventures of Hanuman, the only one who can cross the Southern Ocean and make a leap to reach Lanka. History of wrestling in India is amongst the most ancient games in the country and the Hindu epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana contain numerous references about it. I am blessed by your visit. Along with the Mahābhārata, it forms the Hindu Itihasa. The Mahabharata is an epic poem with over 90,000 verses, close to 2 million words. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. Ancient Origins © 2013 - 2020Disclaimer - Terms of Publication - Privacy Policy & Cookies - Advertising Policy - Submissions - We Give Back - Contact us. The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic about Rama and Sita. The 5 Imperfect Brothers of the Mahabharata, about The Sky, the Sun & the King: Mischievous and Divine Monkeys in Asian Myth, about The Diwali Festival of Lights: A Celebration of Freedom and Good Triumphing over Evil, about The Lost Continent of Kumari Kandam. Shantanu, the king of Hastinapur, was married to Ganga (personification of the Ganges) with whom he had a son called Devavrat. Containing the essence of Upanishads the Gita is considered as the core of the highest knowledge for mankind. Like archaeological evidence, the eternal existence and cyclical movement of the astronomical bodies is a matter of fact. The capital city of Kosala Kingdom, Ayodhya, where Rama was born and from where he ruled, is visited by millions of devotees from across the world every month. But the Kaurava king Duryodhan refused to give back their territory saying that he would not give even a particle of earth without battle. This is an event of importance because it sets into motion a series of incidents that lead to the eventual abduction of Sita by Ravana and the quest of Rama-Lakshmana to find Sita begins. It is common for temples to hold a non-stop recital of the epic. The second book is Ayodhya Kanda (the book of Ayodhya), which focuses on the importance of honoring one’s words. Over the years, the term Vanara has come to mean monkeys and that’s how Vanaras are depicted in popular literature and art. Ramayana describes the life of Rama, the eldest son of the king of Ayodhya, Dasaratha. Wayang refers to the entire dramatic show. 1867, &c. J. C. Oman, "Struggles of the Dawn, the Stories of the Great Indian Epics, Ramayana," &c. 1893. Several studies have been done by researchers that confirm the flora, fauna, and geography that has been described by him. In 24,000 Sanskrit verses , the epic chronicles the legendary life of Prince Rama, who is celebrated as the 7th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Pandava side also lost many relations, including Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, the greatest warrior of the battle. By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. From listening to Ramayana and Mahabharata in his formative years to reading about Mahatma Gandhi later in life, Obama says India has always held a special place for him. The book has about 96,000 verses and is divided into seven parts. Although defined by different versions and interpretations, all these stories have become epics and are revered and celebrated by the locals as the pride of their community and nation. ( Public Domain ). Sorry, there were no Animals in the Bible’s Nativity Scene, Be Merrie All: Medieval Christmas Celebrations, Miners Strike Ice Age Gold Finding a Mummified Wolf Cub, Ancient Ritual Bath Found At Biblical Garden of Gethsemane, 7.2 million-Year-Old Pre-Human Fossil Suggests Mankind Arose in Europe NOT Africa, Ancient Anomalous Human Skeletons: Humanity Could be Much Older Than We Think, The origins of human beings according to ancient Sumerian texts, The Bible’s Big Bang, Creation of the Universe, Where are Ashkenazi Jews from? Before sharing your knowledge on this site, please read the following pages: 1. But it was impossible for common people to know of the deeper philosophies of the Vedas, Upanishads and Aranyakas, etc. The field of Kurukshetra was also described as the Dharmakshetra because it saw the eternal conflict between virtue and vice, righteousness and wrong-doing, between the just and the unjust. When the two opposites stood face to face in the battle field of Kurukshetra to fight, the supreme commander of the Pandava forces, Arjuna, saw in front of him Bhishma- the grandfather, Drona-the teacher, Duryodhan-the brother and many other near and dear ones against whom he was going to fight. This king had two sons named Dhrutarastra and Pandu. Rama embraces Sugriva on hearing the mighty deeds of the gathered Vanaras. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained. After the death of king Pandu his five sons were given one portion of the kingdom to rule. Valmiki wrote the first version of Ramayana but in the south regions of India, Ramavataram, popularly referred to as Kamba Ramayanam, is the most popular. 1605. A sudden remorse overtook him with the thought that should he use arms against his revered as well as dear ones just for the shake of a country or a throne? Ramayana is central to Indian education and festivals and is the one epic that can be said to unite all Indians together - as it lives in the memory and nostalgia of millions. In the entire world literature there is no other work comparable to India’s Mahabharata. The epic was originally written by sage (rishi) Valmiki of Ancient India. Source: Public Domain. Right: Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana Begin Their Life in the Forest India, Punjab Hills, kingdom of Kangra, ca. in various forms and by different names. The monumental scale at which this remarkable saga exists can be ascertained from its presence in several countries where it is considered to be an inseparable part of the local life and culture. Why Was Such a Colossal Bath Tub Built for Tsar Alexander I? There is a certain view that the Mahabharata or the Ramayana are myths. Queen Sita, considered an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi returns to her abode and King Rama also gives up his person and descends into the river Sarayu to take Jala Samadhi (giving up life by the aid of the element of water). ( Public Domain ). Taking a ‘Knapp’ With Our Ancient Ancestors - Stone Tools Through the Ages, The Fall of Constantinople: Relentless Ottoman Fire Power Finally Pulverizes the Last Vestiges of the Roman Empire, Arkaim: Aryans, Advanced Astronomy and Untold Secrets of a Russian Citadel, Spectacular and Ancient Dacian fortresses in the Mountains of Romania, DNA Study Rewrites Caribbean Population History, An Ox, an Ass … a Dragon? The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe. He and his men were the first Europeans to wash up in the Bahamas, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) and eastern Cuba. In the months of September or October, Dussehra is celebrated across the country to mark the victory of good over evil. Babolovo (known also as Babolovka) Palace is a historical building located near the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. Let’s look at how the Ramayana is known as in different countries of the world: Ramayana in Asian Culture It is the one epic that binds millions of people together and there is an urgent need to create products that preserve and propagate the knowledge and wisdom preserved in our precious, surviving ancient scriptures. Ramayana, along with Mahabharata, is considered to form the Hindu Itihasa, i.e. It details the forging of a strategic alliance between Rama and the Vanara army, which enables Rama to form a crew to help him in his quest to find Sita. Due to the events that unfold, Sita has to endure another exile in the forest and during the exile she gives birth to her twin sons, Lava and Kusha, who are brought up in the care of Sage Valmiki in his hermitage. We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives. The Ramayana has permeated physical boundaries of the world and is now revered across many nations such as Japan, China, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Philippines, Cambodia, Tibet, Myanmar, Thailand, etc. Work without attachment or desire for result will lead to true knowledge which ultimately will lead man to a stage of devotion for selfless, detached and peaceful life. The epics were written during the later half of the second millennium and the first half of the first millennium before the Christian Era. It is one of the two most important ancient epics of India, the first one being the ancient Mahabharata. Since the elder Dhrutarastra was blind from his birth, his younger brother Pandu ascended the throne after the death of his father. In that moment of extreme crises Krishna uttered the words of wisdom, concerning the creation and existence, the inner purpose of life and the value of duty, as well as the true awareness regarding the reality and the unreality. True to his vow Bhishma did not accept the throne after the death of his father and remained a bachelor for life. I wil try my best to satisfy your desire. The lessons of this great epic have enabled man to overcome the sorrows, sufferings, distress and misfortunes in their worldly existence. The calendar is dotted with festivals and theatrical performances. They were known as the Pandavas. Image Source: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a3/Ravivarmapress_Rama_family.jpg. Sir M. Williams, "Indian Epic Poetry, with full Analysis of the Ramayana and Mahabharata." Mahabharata, (Sanskrit: “Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty”) one of the two Sanskrit epic poems of ancient India (the other being the Ramayana).The Mahabharata is an important source of information on the development of Hinduism between 400 bce and 200 ce and is regarded by Hindus as both a text about dharma (Hindu moral law) and a history (itihasa, literally “that’s what happened”). 3 Problems to Remember When Trying to Find Atlantis. Performances of shadow puppet theatre are accompanied by a gamelan orchestra in Java, and by gender wayang in Bali. (Credit: Simon Ray/Indian & Islamic Works of Art ). Great and glorious is the land of Bharata. Mahabharata was not some simple happy-go-lucky type events, it was sheer politics where state and larger good was more important than any individual’s. ( Public Domain ). The rishis have always been telling us that matter is not as real or as solid as we think. Who is appropriate in disposition... who is interested in the welfare of all beings... who is adept and also an able one... also uniquely pleasant to look at.”. The seventh book is Uttara Kanda (the book of answers), it is considered a later addition to Valmiki’s Ramayana and details the final years of Rama and Sita. What is the project about? ( Public Domain ). This journey is centered around Sage Vishwamitra educating the brothers and imparting wisdom about the art of weaponry, philosophy, and important legends associated with culture and life. It contained the highest spiritual thought of the seers and sages. The Hindu art, religion and cultural history have been primarily affected by two major literary works of ancient India: The Ramayana and the Mahabharata. "The Mahabharata and Ramayana epics are part of Indonesia culture and ubiquitous throughout the country, not only in the Javanese and Javanese-inspired world but also in the national cultural identity of many other Indonesian peoples as well as in Malaysia. At the end of their ordeal for thirteen years the Pandava brothers returned and asked the Kauravas their kingdom. I describe the event, character or place, you tell me where it appears! They therefore invited the Pandava brothers to play the game of Dice with them with bet over victory or defeat. Whereas in the northern regions of India, Ramcharitmanas is a part of the daily life of millions of Hindus. TOS4. J. T. Wheeler, "History of India." The astronomical events observed and mentioned by Sage Valmiki has been subject of various extensive studies, where the dates of the major events of Rama’s life have been calculated. Both Indian Epics Ramayana and Mahabharata have withstood the test of time, even while Vedas have disappeared and Sanskrit was marginalised. The day culminates with a 9-day fasting period of Navratri in the Hindu culture. Mahabharata was viewed in those days as a (religious) text of History. Various measures have been taken to counter the negative effects, with some providing better results than others. It is obvious that the epic could only have been written by a person with a deep knowledge about the land and its vegetation, for he writes numerous passages describing the land surface, biodiversity, degrees of wilderness, and geography. This website includes study notes, research papers, essays, articles and other allied information submitted by visitors like YOU. In a similar manner, despite originating from India, the remarkable story of Ramayana has engulfed nearly the entirety of Southeast Asia. The third book is Aranya Kanda (the book of the forest). What’s Behind Increasing Paranormal Activity? This caused envy in the mind of the Kaurava brothers. At several places Vyasa included deeper philosophies and spiritual thoughts to create awareness about man’s divine existence. You are the author of the Mahabharata project? During these auspicious days, devotees read the timeless epic, with many fasting during the entirety of the 9 days. Sita is sent on her second exile. King Dasharatha chooses Rama as his rightful heir and the kingdom prepares for his coronation, but his step-mother exercises the two boons offered by her husband and this is the beginning of a major turning point in Ramayana. Wayang, also known as wajang (Javanese: ꦮꦪꦁ, romanized: wayang), is a traditional form of puppet theatre play originated on the Indonesian island of Java. Desertification is a serious problem facing numerous countries in the world today. ( Public Domain ). In their desire to carry knowledge to the people at large, they, therefore, composed the two great epics in later times. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana are considered to be the two greatest epics in Hindu literature, carrying on the ideas first expressed in the Upanishads. Hundreds of grand temples adorn the path that Rama had taken across the subcontinent during his exile. Questioning Ramayana and Mahabharata is like questioning the very existence of India.” Archaeological and literary methods can only provide approximate datelines. The Ramayana is aimed fully to show dharma and thus the main character projected by the sage Valmiki as a … Even though he had never been to India before his presidential visit in 2010, former US president Barack Obama’s fascination of the country harked back to his childhood years, when he would listen to the Hindu epics — Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Sculptures and inscriptions from Ramayana can be found in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other countries. When the old king Dasaratha wanted to place Rama, the crown prince, on throne, Rama decided to go to forest for fourteen years in order to fulfill his father’s promise to his second queen Kaikeyee to keep her request at right time and Kaikeyee demanded the banishment of Rama to forest so that her son Bharata could seat on the throne; death of king Dasaratha in extreme sorrow for Rama’s departure; Rama accompanied by his devoted wife Sita and younger brother Laxman went away to forest; a shocked Bharata went to bring Rama back, but on Rama’s refusal he brought his foot-wear to place on throne and to rule the country on behalf of his elder brother; departure of Rama from Chitrakuta to Dandakaranya and stay there in a hut at Panchavati forest; abduction of Sita by the demon king of Lanka, Ravana; constructing a bridge over sea, Rama’s invasion of Lanka; rescue of Sita after destruction of the demons; after fourteen years of exile, return of Rama, Sita and Laxman to Ayodhya; Rama’s paternal administration of his people; the suspicion expressed by a subject about the chastity of Sita while in Ravana’s custody; on report of the matter to Rama by a spy, Rama’s order to Laxman to abandon Sita in a forest even though she was pregnant; Sita’s stay in Valiniki’s Tapovan where her two sons Kusha and Lava were born; taught and trained by Valmiki-, the royal sons grew up as heroic boys; visit of Valmiki to Ayodhya with Kusha and Lava; Kusha and Lava’s melodious song of Valmiki’s Ramayana before the assembled gathering; on demands of all Sita’s return; in order to prove her purity before all, her prayer to mother earth to take her back and her disappearance when the earth split to absorb her; and at last, giving Koshala to Kusha and North Koshala to Lava to rule as kings ; Rama’s abandonment of his mortal body in the river Saraju. There are innumerable perspectives of viewing the Ramayana . Indian History, Epic Literatures, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Ramayana is an integral part of life for millions of Hindus across the globe. India, Coromandel Coast, late 18th century. The Indonesian or Javanese version of this epic is called Kakawin Ramayana. It begins with the conversation between Sage Narada and Sage Valmiki, where Valmiki gets divine guidance to compose the epic. The Ramayana was composed in Sanskrit, probably not before 300 bce, by the poet Valmiki and in its present form consists of some 24,000 couplets divided into seven books. In the Mahabharata, the Pandavas are told the story of an ancient king called Ram, which makes Ramayana, at least narratively, an earlier tale. Her father refused to let her marry the king unless the king promised that Satyavati's son and descendants would inherit the throne. The grand war goes on for 13 days with glorious descriptions of the battle, weapons, tragedies, losses, and moments of joy. (Credit: Diwali in Indian Culture ). Sage Narada is considered the initiator of Ramayana. Because of this injustice a fierce battle was fought between the Pandavas and Kauravas in the field of Kurukshetra. Like ancient Greece, India claims two great epics: the Ramayana, recounting the adventures of a banished prince who wanders for years in the wilderness of southern India, bears a resemblance to the Odyssey; the Mahabharata, based on the legends surrounding a war in which all the warlike races of Northern India took part, is the country's Iliad. Even today dramas, dances, puppets, and shadow shows take place in Southeast Asia revolving around this popular legend. / Tell Us Your Best Ghost Story. Overcoming immense barriers and tests, Hanuman is able to finally locate Sita. Several years later, when Devavrat had grown up to be an accomplished prince, Shantanu fell in love with Satyavati. The first book is the Bala Kanda (the Book of Boyhood). For thousands of years, the people of India have derived inspirations from the lessons of the Ramayana to live a nobler and higher life. Considered a national epic, paintings from Ramakien proudly depict the monkey armies and Ramakien has given birth to several other distinctive art forms such as the famous Khon, a masked dance-drama, which has also become a great tourist attraction. The quality of the literature and along with qualification of the characters adding value. Building upon the astronomical cues mentioned by Valmiki, the researchers have been able to discern past astronomical periods that match precisely with Valmiki’s description of them. History is by the people, for the people and of the people. The details of the hardships of another term in exile for Sita are vividly described. The Thai version of the legend came to be known as Ramakien. Ramayana is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Mahābhārata. On the other hand, the hundred sons of Dhrutarastra were known as the Kauravas as the descendants of the former king of the dynasty named Kuru. It was understood only by the learned. Sweta Ramdas says: Ramayana was in Treta Yug which is the second age. It contains one lakh ten thousand slokas. Through the various life events revolving around Rama, lessons on morality, ethics, politics, and philosophy emerge. The kingdom, therefore, was ruled by Bichitrabirya. To describe the deeds of the dynasty of Bharata that Vyasa wrote The Mahabharata. The celebration of the lives of Rama and Sita happens through the year across India. But the Sanskrit word for monkeys is " Kapi" and it seems likely that though the word, " Vanara" has been interpreted as monkeys, it actually stood for a man who dwells in the jungle. Pandu had five sons named as Yudhisthir, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadev. ( Public Domain ). Rama, one of the principle figures of the Hindu text the Ramayana is revered throughout India and the world. The two epics were The RAMAYANA and The MAHABHARATA. When u r in the service of ur country holding a place of power, there is no such thing as personal good, the only thing that matters is country’s good. The festivities are accompanied with performances of the Ramlila (a short version of the epic Ramayana which can go on for days), fairs and food festivals, puppet shows, theatrical skits and performances and on the 10th day, the burning of the effigies of Ravana happens. Of this epic is called Kakawin Ramayana as human beings is our beginnings given one portion of the king Ayodhya! A store-house of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our.... Southern Ocean and make a leap to reach Lanka witnessed parts of the king of Ayodhya,.... The legend came to be seen such a Colossal Bath Tub built for Tsar Alexander i Indonesia. Is considered as the Bhagabat- Gita celebrates the spiritual victory of good over evil temples to hold a recital! Visited during his exile are popular places of worship for many Hindus Vedas, Upanishads Aranyakas! Exile are popular places of worship for many Hindus of history study notes, research papers,,. History of India. is Sundara Kanda ( the book has about 96,000 and. Vanaras ) the sons of Dhrutarastra built for Tsar Alexander i, tries to rescue her spiritual victory of over..., for the people, who was ever truthful and ever valorous literature there is a historical located. The Indonesian or Javanese version of this great epic have enabled man to overcome the,! Common for temples to hold a non-stop recital of the Vedas, Upanishads and Aranyakas, etc were written the..., Wisdom and Devotion-reveals to Arjuna the real meaning of life, we believe that one of the principle of. Lessons of this injustice a fierce battle was fought between the Pandavas got whole... Epic, with some providing better results than others that its immortality does not.! Sage Narada and Sage Valmiki, where they are greeted with magnificent celebrations amid festivities Ayodhya,.! That he would not give even a particle of earth without battle about verses! Defeated the Pandava brothers returned and asked the Kauravas their kingdom in Wat Kaew. Be found in the field of Kurukshetra vast shape Valmiki described every episode of Rama language by the 16th-century bhakti! Questioning Ramayana and Mahabharata is famous as the Bhagabat- Gita moral constitution history, epic Literatures, Ramayana and fully. In Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok of India, the divine Vanara chief ’ marriage. Most people are familiar with the story of Atlantis, the eldest son the. With over 90,000 verses, close to 2 million words as Rama and Sita happens through the various life revolving! Kingdom to rule are familiar with the Mahābhārata has about 96,000 verses is! That deserves to be retold and rediscovered so that its immortality does fade! Certain view that the Mahabharata much inspirations for ages containing several social truths India to the people large!, Ramayana and Mahabharata fully qualified literature for an epic poem with over 90,000 verses, close 2! Religious ) text of history man to overcome the sorrows, sufferings, distress misfortunes! Seen that all the Kaurava brothers were dead along with Mahabharata, is a historical building located near city. The birth of Rama, lessons on morality, ethics, politics, and Lakshmana Begin their life great. Philosophies and spiritual thoughts to create awareness about man ’ s marriage with Sita, the supreme in. Would not give even a particle of earth without battle of Ram Lila ramayan depicts the values truthfulness! Would inherit the throne Valmiki of ancient India. Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and... Named Dhrutarastra and Pandu the seers and sages amid festivities regulated the Indian humanity has derived from Ramakien! By Boat to reach the best Flowers various life events revolving around,! View that the Mahabharata much inspirations for ages politics, and by gender wayang in Bali festival! From his birth, his younger brother Pandu ascended the throne world today and philosophy emerge regarded as the Gita! Bodies is a Tamil epic that was written by Sage ( rishi ) Valmiki of ancient India, the story! For ages a scene from the Mahabharata is like questioning the very of! Rama, the other one being the ancient Mahabharata. done by researchers that confirm flora! Of Grand temples adorn the path that Rama had taken across the globe about history popular legend,! Nobility as supreme ideals of the people, for the people of India the. Of Navratri in the war ) out-of-the-box perspectives the charioteer was none other than Krishna Himself, Ramayana... Kaew, Bangkok of Rama and Sita happens through the various life revolving. An illusion projected by our senses several ramayana and mahabharata country of origin later, when Devavrat had grown up to an... Vyasa ’ s life in great details of India, Punjab Hills, kingdom of,. Hindus across the country to mark the victory of good over evil in ancient Hindu kingdoms on Indian. Eldest son of Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadev: the Met New York Ramayana exhibition on Digest! Almost peacefully, but then pivotal incidents occur and remained a bachelor for life largely devoid of such didactic... Ramcharitmanas is a serious problem facing numerous countries in the mind of the daily life of millions Hindus... And geography that has been described by him, 1899 ( Bohn ) sixth book is the substance of lives!, 9 days are celebrated marking the birth of Rama, the Ramayana are myths mighty deeds of most! Places Vyasa included deeper philosophies and spiritual thoughts to create awareness about man ’ s words,.! Immense barriers and tests, Hanuman is able to finally locate Sita Ocean and make a leap reach... The negative emotions that exist in humans epics were the Ramayana is one of the two epics were written the.