Ramayana:The Soul of India

By G P Chaudhary

tulsidasTulsidas:Tulsidas is the all-time national poet of India and most celebrated of all the Indian sage or saint and poet- laureate. He was disciple of Narhariji Swami   in the school of vaisnaism discipline and was imparted religious instruction and morals. In course of time he delivered Ramakatha – the story of Rama to Tulsidas .And thus, Tulsidas learnt about Rama and afterward he started reciting Ramlila everywhere he went In course of time. Tulsidas became great poet and devotee of God Rama.He authored great epic Ramchandramanas.He-the lyric poem in local dialect Avadhi vernacular and in seven Kands –Balkand, Ayodhyakand, Aryanakand, Kiskindhakand, Sundarkand lanka kand and lavkushkand. He lived in 1600 Vikaram Samvat. He was born to Brahmin parents in Banda near Prayag (present day Allahabad in UP).

Tulsidas is responsible for pioneering the work Ramcharitra manas greatest Hindu epic equivalent to Indian epic Mahabharata and some greak epic covers a wide range of subjects including art, culture, science, psychology, metaphysics, logics, ethic, politics, literacy, wisdom and religious subjects expressing them in the day to day life concern of Indians. Tulsidas ` religious books have a great influence on the development of human thought.

Ramcharitra manas describes the birth of Rama and his brothers and exile to forest, meeting and parting of the family, kidnapping of Sita and her freedom from the kidnaper Ravana a domen king to war and conflict, defeat and death of Ravana, coronation of Rama to Ajodhya throne and again exile of Sita and war with his sons Lav Kush and banishment of Sita with Mother earth and Rama`s departure to Baikunth the heavenly abode appearing as Vishnu the Almighty.

The Rama charitramans was authored in local dialect-Awadhi and understood in the neighborhood several dialects with easy expressions for the people. He also composed Hanuman Chalisa a devotional hymn dedicated to monkey god Hanuman and everyday song sung in every house hold of Hindus. Hanuman Bahuk, described his bodily pain and suffering in several stanzas.Vinayapatrika is understood he composed in the last .The poem beseeches Rama to accept his prayers (bhakti).The Hindus sung as evening prayer with ghee lamp (arati) the some of the stanza of the Vinaypatrika. His work Kavitawali and Gitawali are most popular among masses.

Tulsidas stayed at Varanasi, Prayag, Ajodhya and Chitrkut most of his days but he travelled four dhams and Himalayas and mansarovar where he met (darshan) to Kakbhushandi the crow who is one of four narrators of Ramayana (the story of Rama).Tulsidas is considered reincarnation of Great saint Valmiki a renowned devotee of Lord Rama the composer of original Sanskrit Ramayana.

 Tulsidas also staged dance and music folk theatre on the life and   acts of Rama popularly known   Ramlila a playwright in which the art, culture and society in India is seen and experienced and big audience gathers to view it in and around  Varanasi. In the present day Ramlila (play of Rama) is enacted all over the world woven into function of life and natural expression before the audience .Hindustani classical music  popular music and ramdance forms have been also utilized in Ramlila Plays more elaborately expressing effectively and in simple emotional experience of the general population. Ramlila has always been recognized manifestation of religion and help for realization of the Supreme. Ramlila is essence of pantomime show in which all the stories associated with the God Rama who is the central figure and revolves round him. All the stories are told and woven in marvelous context.  Ramlila actors are enough to lift the viewers in a different world and the females roles are also performed by male actors appearing in woman alike. Most significant that Tulsidas shaped the Ramlila play rare form of folk drama on the manly and earthly performances of God apparently his best acts and performances are remembered  as most attractive and intelligence creativity and attitude and are retold, replayed not only on the stages but are also screened in Cinema and TV shows  mostly viewed all over the world in almost in all world language.    A carmine color commemorative postage stamps was depicted on the celebrated poet and author was issued on 01.10.1952 of denomination 1 anna and a very popular stamps a land mark in the Indian stamps in the early years of Independent

Valmiki: You may be aware about Ramayana a text that elaborates on the Lila (life and achievements) of God Rama the King of Ajodhya. He was first son of King Dasratha fromvalmiki his first queen Kashaulya. He had three more brothers, Bharat from mother Kekeyee and Laxman and Shatrughan from mother Sumitra. Rama married Sita a beautiful woman from Janakpur in Mithila. Dashrath exiled him to forest for 14 years to fulfill the desire of mother Kekeyee. He abandoned his claim for throne and served the exile. In forest he lost his wife Sita to whom Raksha King of Lanka Ravana kidnapped and kept in Ashok Vatika. Ravana did not set free her despite advice by his wife Mandodri and brother Bhibhisan. After long and odious search Rama find back Sita after a fight a cobssal war in which Ravana was defeated and killed.

The legend connected with Ram is very influential and popular in Indian society and across South East Asia and people there revered for unending compassion courage and devotion to religious values and duty in connection with Rama.
Valmiki was great sage and is the author of holy epic Ramayana consisting 24000 verses. His other work is Yoga Vasistha dealing with philosophical issues. Last part of Ramayana the seventh book tells us the story of Valmiki. In his early life he was known as Ratnakar and he was a highway robber. He robbed people and killed them. Once he wanted to rob sage Narada but his lessons changed his mind and understood the truth of life and further Narada taught him the mantra for salvation. But he was unable to chant the salvation Rama-Rama.He chanted the phonetic anagram of “Rama “Mara- Mara” without stopping even for food or sleep day and night. Years came and gone. His body covered with anthill. In long course of time, the mantra changed to Rama Rama.Finally Narada appeared and granted a boon removing the anthill and he was reborn and because he was reborn from valmika (anthill) he was renamed Valmiki. Valmiki became a great poet and a great sage He had fortune to have glimpse of Lord Rama, his queen Sita and brother Laxman at his ashram. Narada related the play (Lila) of Rama. Valmiki felt a vision in which Brahma directs him to pen the Ramayana and thus great sacred epic was born.
We find the appearance of Valmiki in the Uttarakand the last seventh book, which tells us the story of Valmiki early life.
He described in Uttarakand how Kush and lava twin sons of Lord Rama and Sita born and nursed in forest after exile of Sita by Rama. The sons were taught and trained in warfare and in politics by Valmiki with whom ashram Sita took shelter. Ashvsmedha yajna horses of King Rama were retrieved and captured by the two sons near Tamsa River and they bravely fought the soldiers and defeated Hanuman and Rama`s brothers in the battle. At last, Ram himself took the position Meanwhile Valmiki appears there and interrupts them and by explaining to Rama that they were his sons. Considering inappropriate for him to fight with his own sons, he delayed the process of conflict. Reunion took place. But Sita refuge in the arm of her Goddess Mother Earth. Ultimately Rama returned/ went to Baikuth the heavenly abode of the Supreme God in the form of Vishnu ending the humanly Lila (play) on the earth. A Red purple postage stamps unwatemarked adhesisive stamps paper dedicated to the great saint and author Valmiki was depicted  14.10.1970.

Bhavabhuti was a great scholar of 8th century. He was famous for his play and poetry written in Sanskrit. He authored three acts and considered equilvant to Kalidas the great poet and dramatists. He was Deshastha Brahmin of Padampura Vidhrava (now in MP).  Mahavircharitam (Exploits of The Great Hero) is his first work and composed in seven acts representing the seven stages of life. The story is highly courageous depicts the early life of Rama unto the defeat and death of Ravana. The third text is Utararamacharitam (The Later Deeds of Rama),   The work is about Rama`s later life depicts coronation, the abandonment of Sita and their reunion, and about their sons Lav Kush and the refuge (banishment) of Sita with the Mother earth. His other great work is Malatimadhava a domestic drama a complex original love intrigue complete with sorcery, human sacrifice, and Tantric practice in ten act. The act is based on romance of Malati and Madhava and combines love and horror with felicity never again equated in Sanskrit literature. Malati, the heroine of the act, was beautiful daughter of a Minister of  King of Padmavati who was in love with Madhava in all her innocence and simplicity ever since she first have his glimpse  but the king wanted her to marry a another young man Nandana. The act also narrates lovers’ friends another lover Makaranda and Madayantika.After long changing situation the couples united and thus the drama has a happy ending.    His dramas, written in Sanskrit are noted for their suspense and vivid characterization, rival the outstanding plays of the better-known playwright Kalidas .

G P Chaudhary, Bajra Bariatu Hehal Ranchi 834005, India, Mobile 9308255900

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