Ramayana Wonders-1


Ramayana and Mahabharata are two great epics in Sanskrit language. Hindus consider these two epics as their sacred literature. They worship the books. They won’t even touch them with unclean hands or on unclean days. Though the illiterate Hindus do not read the books the story is known to every Hindu through hymns, songs, lullabies, nursery rhymes, proverbs, paintings, sculptures, dances and religious/musical discourses. There are lot of hidden gems in the Ramayana.

Valmiki Ramayana is the original Ramayana written by Valmiki in 24,000 couplets. It is considered Adi Kavyam= First Epic. 

300 Different Ramyanas

1.There are 300 different Ramayana versions in the world. It is written in all major Indian languages in the olden days. Now it has been translated into all major western languages in the world.

2. Gayatri mantra in the Rig Veda is the holiest mantra for Hindus. One of the 300 Ramyanas is called Gayatri Ramayana. It is formed from 24 couplets from Valmiki Ramayana. Each couplet starts with one letter of Gayatri which has got 24 letters. Whoever reads these 24 hymns will get the merits of reading the full Ramayana.

3. There are more than 200 different types of plants described by Valmiki. More than 185 weapons are described by Valmiki!

3. Divya Prabanda Pasura Ramayana: An ingenious Tamil Periyacvachan Pillay selected Tamil Hymns from 12 Vaishnavite saints (known as Alvars) and composed a Ramayana. It is called Divya Prabanda Ramayana after the book Divya Prabandam, which contains 4000 hymns of the Tamil Vaishnavite Saints.

4.Nama Ramayana: The English word Name came from the Sanskrit word ‘Nama’. So this Ramayana is full of Rama’s name at the end of each line. No one knew who composed this. But this has been repeated by thousands every day. In sixty simple Sanskrit lines it relates the whole story of Ramayana. It begins with the line ‘Sudha Brahma Parathpara Rama’ and ends with ‘Ragupati Ragava Rajaram- Patita Pavana Sita Rama’.

3462 Similes

5.Ramayana has Seven Cantos, 24,000 couplets. But the seventh canto is considered a later addition. It has got 500 chapters. Ramayana has 3462 similes. Kalidasa who is famous for his similes has used less than half of this number. Valmiki’s 3462 similes belong to 13 different types.

In Sundara Kanda, more than 30 similes are used in just 22 couplets. A heap of similes are in canto 19 of this Kanda.

6.Jain Ramayana: Padma Sarita (pavuma sariya) is a Prakrit language book containing 118 pervas/sections. This big book has been dated to 4th Century AD by the German Scholar Jacobi. This book analyses Ramayana in a logical way and says Ten Heads for Ravana, Six Month Sleep of Kumbakarna  etc are wrong.

No ‘Sati’, so older than Mahabharata

7.In Ramayana the custom of Sati is not mentioned anywhere. All the wives of Dasaratha and other characters did not die with their husbands in the funeral pyre. So it is definitely older than the Mahabharata where there are numerous references to sati.

8.Cremation was practised by everyone. Dasaratha, Vali, Jatayu, Ravana and Andhamuni were all cremated. So burial was unknown to Ramyana. Dasaratha’s body was preserved in oil till Bharata came from Iran-Afganistan border. His mother Kaikeyi was from Kekaya which was in the border of modern Iran-Afganistan. Eldest son was supposed to do the cremation, a custom followed by the Hindus until today. Since Rama was banished Bharata had to do it.


Announcing Three Times

9.Janaka, father of Sita, repeats three times the decision to give her to Rama in marriage. This custom is followed around the world in many ceremonies (In Judicial Courts, Muslim Talaqs/divorces, going round the temple etc).

King lists differ from the king lists in thirteen Puranas. But it is not uncommon. We have similar conflicting and contradicting king lists of Sumerians and Egyptians.

Tamil Festival Pongal

10.Tamils celebrate Pongal, a Harvest festival on Makara Sankranti Day. A harvest festival known as AGRAYANA is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana (III-16-16)

Ramayana says Candalas wore blue clothes. Sangam Tamil Literatures says Roman Body Guards wore blue clothes. Sanskrit literature says that those who were sentenced to death wore Red clothes.

Pet Birds: Parrots and Peacocks

11.Parrots and pea cocks were raised as pet birds. We have numerous references to parrots in Tamil and Sanskrit literature (Please read my posts Can Birds Predict Future, Animal Einsteins and Lie Detectors in the Upanishads)

Pet Birds (VI-75-20, II-65-5), caged female parrots (V-13-13), sportive peacocks (V-6-38), Parrot-Myna (II-53-22), parrots in palace (II-88-7) are some of the references to pet birds.

Elephants are mentioned in a number of places. Even 60 year old elephant (ii-67-20) is mentioned.

Swastika Symbol

12.Hindu Mangala (Auspicious) emblem Swastika is found around the world from pre historic times. But it is considered Hindu because they have been using it from Vedic/ Indus Valley days until today. Swastika is found on Royal raft (II-89-2) and panegyrists (II-16-46).

1000 pillar mandap ( now seen in Nayak Temples of Madurai, Tiruvannamalai etc) is mentioned in Ramayana (V-15-16 and VI-39-22)

Contd. in second part…………………………

Source Materials: India in the Ramayana Age by Shantikumar Nanooram Vyas; The Ramyana of Valmiki- translated by Hari Prasad Shastri and JM Macfie; Stotramala by LIFCO. Pictures are from Face Book and other websites. Thanks. Contact swami_48@yahoo.com

Please read other posts about Rama: 1. Ram –the Best PR Man 2. தியாகராஜ சுவாமிகளுடன் 60 வினாடி பேட்டி 3.நாமும் அனுமார் ஆகலாம் 4.கம்பனுடன் 60 வினாடி பேட்டி 5.ராமாயண வினா-விடை (க்விஸ்)


Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: