Written by London swaminathan
Date: 24 March 2017
Time uploaded in London:- 21-58
Post No. 3754
Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.
Kalhana, author-poet-historian of Kashmir, in his book gives an interesting anecdote about Ramayana in his book Rajatarangini.
From First Taranga of Rajatarangini:–
“Then Damodara (Damodara II) who was either descended from the House of Asoka or was born in some other dynasty, protected the land as the king.
“Highly resplendent with material resources was the king who was the crest jewel of Siva worshippers, and one hears of his spiritual power even to this day as a marvel of the world.
“Like Kubera this foremost among kings held under his own sway the Guhyakas; by ordering them he built the extensive dam at Gudda.
“When a lofty minded man is about to do some remarkably beneficent act, alas! impediments arise owing to the meagreness of the past merits of men.
“For he had tried with the help of Yakshas to build in his kingdom extensive dykes of stone to mitigate the havorc of inundations.
Spiritual Power of the Brahmins
“The spiritual power of the austerities of Brahmans of radiant enlightenment is unfathomable, since it could reverse the fortune of even such as he was.
“The prosperity of kings when destroyed by the forces of kinsmen and other rivals one has seen restored once more; it has no chance of being re-established if lost through disregard of the Brahmans.
“When he had risen to bathe to perform the Sraaddha Ceremony (oblations to the departed souls), the king was requested by some hungry Brahmins, on one occasion, before he had taken his bath, to give them food.
“Desirous of proceeding to Vitasta (river) when he ignored this, they, by their spiritual power, then placed that river in front of him—‘Behold! here is Vitasta; now feed us. Even though addressed in this wise, he perceived that the production of the river was a delusion.
“I shall not offer food without bathing, O Brahmins!move on now for the time being; when they had been thus addressed by him, they cursed him as follows: May you become a snake.”
“Your sin will be atoned by listening in one single day to the whole of the Ramayana – thus they declared after they had been placated.
“In Damodara Suda, wandering fa through thirst, by the vapour of his breath, which is hot in consequence of the curse, he is recognised by the people even today.
“Then there ruled in this very land the founders of cities called after their appellations, the three kings named Huska,Juska and Kanishka”.
—-Chapter 1/ First Taranga of Rajatarangini
Ramayana was popular even before 2000 years from the Southernmost tip Kanyakumari to Kashmir. Even 2000 yeal old Tamil Sangam Literature (Purananuru) has verses containing Rama’s stories!
We have 3000 different versions of Ramayana, spreading over a vast geographical area up to Indonesia, Thailand and China.
We have continuous production of Ramayana for over 2000 years. No other epic was treated that way.
Added together all the Ramayanas will run into millions of lines.
Ramayana was composed in more languages than any other language.
Ramayana is called Adi Kavya (the first classic in the world); Soka (sadness) turned into Sloka (Sanskrit couplets);
When Valmiki saw, a hunter shooting down one of the two love birds, he felt sad (Soka) and burst into poetry (sloka).
Ramayana has over 3400 similes. Grand message in simple Sanskrit!
Ramayana was the epic done by all the oriental religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.