Homer 15,693 lines and Valmiki 48,000 lines! (Post No.5347)



Homer 15,693 lines and Valmiki 48,000 lines! (Post No.5347)


Compiled by London swaminathan

Date: 21 August 2018


Time uploaded in London – 8-26 AM (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5347


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Hindus have two great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata; of these two Ramayana is older and Mahabharata is larger. There is nothing in the world that is not touched by Veda Vyasa, author of Mahabharata. Ramayana is famous for its simplicity and superb story.

A comparison with other great epics of the old world will give an idea of their enormous size.
Mahabharata has 2,20,000 lines
Ramayana has. 48,000 lines
Homer’s Iliad has 15,693 lines
Virgil’s Aeneid has 9868 lines
Iliad + odyssey together contain 30,000 lines

Professor Monier Williams says, “ Ramayana is undoubtedly one of the greatest treasure in Sanskrit literature. The classical purity, clearness and simplicity of  its style, the exquisite touches of true poetic feeing with which it abounds, its graphic descriptions of heroic incidents, nature’s grandest scenes, the deep acquaintance it displays with the conflicting workings and most refined emotions of the human heart, all entitle it to rank among the most beautiful compositions that appeared at any period or any country”.
“There are many graphical passages in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, which for beauty of description cannot be surpassed by anything in Homer,… that the the diction f Indian epics is more polished, regular and cultivated, and the language altogether in a more advanced stage of development than that of Homer”.


“The battle fields of the Ramayana and Mahabharata are not made barbarous by wanton cruelties, and the description of Ayodhya and Lanka imply far greater luxury refinement than those of Sparta and Troy. Ramayana and Mahabharata rise above the Homeric poems also in the fact that a deep religious meaning appears to underlie all the narrative, and that the wildest allegory may be intended to conceal a sublime moral, symbolizing conflict between good and evil, teaching hopelessness of victory in so terrible a contest with purity of souls, self-abnegation and the subjugation of passions.

Did Homer copy Ramayana?

Some critics hold that the Ramayana is the original of Iliad that the latter is only an adaptation of the former to the local circumstances of Greece; that Homer’s description of the Trojan war is merely a mythological account of the invasion of Lanka by Ram Chandra. The main plot, of course, is the same. Troy stands for Lanka (Tabropane), Sparta for Ayodhya, Menelaus for Rama, Paris for Ravana, Hector for Indrajit and Vibhishan; Helen for Sita, Agamemnon for Sugriva, Patroclus for Lakshmana, Nestor for Jambavan. Achilles is a mixture of Arjuna, Bhima and Lakshmana.


Anterior to Homer, Greek literature has no existence, even no name, and it is difficult to believe that, without any previous cultivation whatever, some of the highest and the noblest work in the whole range of literature should come into existence. The English literature did not begin with Milton, nor the Roman with Virgil; nor does the Sanskrit with Valmiki or Vyasa, as the Greek does with Homer.


M.Hippolyte Fauch, in the French translation of the Ramayana, says that, “Ramayana was composed before the Homeric poems’ and that Homer took his ideas from it.”


Schlegel calls ‘Ramayana the noblest of epics’.

Sir William Jones says,
“The Ramayana is an epic poem on the story of Rama, which, in unity of action, magnificence of imagery and elegance of style far surpasses the learned and elaborate work of Nonnus” .


(Nonnus was an Egyptian poet of Hellenized Egypt of fifth century CE. His epic on Dionysus contain 20,426 lines in Greek language)
After giving the argument of the Ramayana, with his usual moderation, Professor Heeren says, “Such in few words, is the chief subject of Ramayana, while the development and method of handling this simple argument is so remarkably rich and copious as to suffer little from a comparison in this respect with the most admired productions of the epic muse.”


Professor Dowden says, “Juliet is but a passionate girl before this perfect woman meaning Brutus’ Portia, but what becomes of Portia herself before this heavenly woman, this ethereal being, this celestial Sita?”


Stamps on Homer and Virgil

Source Book:- Is Hindu A Superior Reality, Krishan Lal Jain, Akshat Publications, 1989