RAMA IS GREEN, LAKSHMANA IS GOLDEN & HANUMAN IS PURPLE! (Post No.4984)

RAMA IS GREEN, LAKSHMANA IS GOLDEN & HANUMAN IS  PURPLE! (Post No.4984)

 

Compiled by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 6 May 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 15-39 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4984

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

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French historian Michelet described Ramayana as “ a great poem, as vast as the Indian Ocean, a book of divine harmony. A serene peace reigns in it, in the midst of conflict, an infinite sweetness, a boundless fraternity which spreads over all living beings, an ocean of love, of pity, of clemency” (from Jawaharlal Nehru’s Discovery of India)

 

Ramayana is very popular in Thailand. It is called Ramkien. Scholars believe that is the changed form of Ramakiirti or Ramaakhyaana.

 

During a particular period, Kings called themselves Rama and their capital was Ayuththaya (Ayodhya of Ramayana)

The original name of Siam is Shyama desa. During the commercial contacts, Indian business men called this region Swarnabhumi (Land of Gold).

 

We know for sure the Indo-Thai contact began at least 2300 years ago when Emperor Asoka sent two Buddhist emissaries to spread the message of Buddha. The reason he sent those people to Thailand was that  the people of the country are known to India.

 

Ramayana was introduced in art forms in the thirteenth century.

Though Ramayana was known to Thais for a very long period, King Rama I only gave it a shape. Takshin the Great , King of Thonburi wrote some verses of Ramakien and Rama I (1782-1880) produced a voluminous work of 10,000 stanzas. King Rama II (1809-1820) developed it into a drama.

 

Before this literary master piece was composed the firs Ramayana literature for the mask came about in 1349 CE. Only solitary evens from Ramayana were used. But long before the stage drama, certain kind of play known as Hnang (hide or skin) was shown. Ramayana characters were painted in different colours. Rama is green, Lakshmana is golden, Hanuman is in purple and Ravana is in dark colours.  When they were staged, they were similar to marionettes, but instead of strings, characters were controlled by hands. Hnang was introduced from Java (Indonesia) and it is an adaptation of the Sanskrit Chayanataka.

 

The Thai version was adapted to reflect Thai sentiments. Thai dressing, colouring was used. Even the story was changed from Valmiki’s original Sanskrit version. Here is a strange story which is not found in Indian versions of Ramayana.

 

Hanuman Ruled from Lavapuri in Thailand!

After the victory over Ravana Rama decided to reward all his allies who had helped him. He gave the Kingdom of Lanka to Vibhisana, Kishkinda to Sugreeva, Paatalaa to Jhambavat, Buriram (Rama Puri) to Guha and so on.  Last came the turn of Hanuman. He told Hanuman that he would shoot an arrow and hanuman should follow it. Wherever it falls that area would be his. Hanuman also faithfully followed Rama’s arrow. The arrow fell at Lopburi.

 

(Lava Puri= Lop Buri; Lava was one of the two sons of Rama. it is 150 kilometres from Bangkok) .

A lot of towns will have Buri suffix; it is the changed form of Puri which means a town or city in Sanskrit.

Lopburi was very uneven and Hanuman levelled it with his tail to make it habitable. Visvakarma helped Hanuman to build a beautiful city and Hanuman ruled from there.

 

An account of the story made the people to pick up mementoes from that place and ultimately government has to declare it a protected monument. The story was that the land was scorched by the falling arrow of Rama but a green patch was left where Rama’s arrow touched the ground. This account made the people to take everything from the green patch area as sacred objects. Then government introduced measures to protect it. In fact, Lopburi is abound in chalk and it is exported.

A lot of places in Thailand are associated with Ramayana as if Ramayana episodes took place in that country. The people have absorbed the story completely and believed Rama walked the length and breadth of Thailand!!

Source book: Studies in Sanskrit and Indian Culture in Thailand with my inputs.

–Subham–

 

 

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