Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ramayana

Ramayana is an ancient epic poem in Sanskrit depicting the journey (ayana) of Lord Rama. It is a smriti (from memory) consisting of 24,000 verses in seven books, and 500 cantos (kaṇḍas). It narrates the journey of Virtue (Rama) to annihilate vice (Ravana). Lord Rama is depicted as an ideal person a common man is advised to adopt his virtues. This epic is attributed to Sage Valmiki and is supposed to have been written somewhere around 400 BCE and 200 CE.
The epic has the following parts.



1. Bala Kanda ( Book of Youth) [77 chapters] (birth and training of the princes and their marriage)
2. Ayodhya Kanda (Book of Ayodhya) [119 chapters] (life in Ayodhya as a prince after marriage to Sita)
3. Aranya Kanda (Book of Forest ) [75 chapters] (life in exile)
4. Kishkindha Kanda (The Empire of Holy Monkeys) [67 chapters] (life in the kingdom of Vanaras on their search for Seetha)
5. Sundara Kanda ( Book of Beauty ) [68 chapters] (Hanuman's journey to Lanka and his meeting with Sita)
6. Yuddha Kanda ( Book of War ) [131 chapters] (The battle between Rama's and Ravana's armies)
7. Uttara Kanda – Book of the Afterword (Rama's life after returning to Ayodhya and Sita's second exile) - It is believed that Uttar Kanda was written by Tulisadas as there is no reference to this chapter in the original Valmiki's Ramayana.


You can read the the verses, translation and in prose at http://www.valmikiramayan.net/

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