SITA DAUGHTER OF RAVANA! STRANGE THAI RAMAYANA-1 (Post No.5017)

SITA DAUGHTER OF RAVANA! STRANGE THAI RAMAYANA-1 (Post No.5017)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 16 May 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 16-37 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5017

 

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Ramayana has influenced Thailand in its culture, language and arts. But the Thai Ramayana has got many strange things in it. It may look funny for some and blasphemous for others. It may be due to the fact that the original Thai Ramayana was destroyed in a fire accident in the 18th century and then several hands added new materials to it little by little. Three versions are available now.

 

In India every temple has got some story behind the Murtis/idols of the temple which is nothing but a mixture of local legends and the original epics. Names of Rishis and saints belonging to different periods are freely used, but all with the good intention of increasing the greatness of the temple.

 

In Thailand also Rama and Sita are greatly respected but with the distortion of the original Ramayana which is over 2000 years old. Two facts will startle any Hindu in India who has read Ramayana:

1.Sita is the daughter of Ravana and Mandothari and Ravana abducted and married her without knowing the fact.

  1. Hanuman is not a chaste god but married many women and had children. In Valmiki Ramayana he is a Brahmachari; a celibate.
  2. Apart from Ravana, there was another demon with 1000 more heads.

4.The names of the Ramayana characters are distorted beyond recognition.

5.Thais believed Ramayana happened in Thai soil.

6.Thais don’t know Valmiki or the word Ramayana. They know only Ramakien (may be Ramakirti or Rama Khyana).

Manich Jumsai, an authority on Ramakien says, “The Thai version was adapted to Thai sentiments. The story is so made and adapted to that Thai character that no Thai thinks of it a thing originated from foreign origin. It is impossible to convince an average Thai that the incidents connected with Rama story did not take place in Thailand.

Strange names

Kucchi= Manthara (Kubja=Kubji=Kuchi)

Svaahaa= Anjanaa

Kallaacanaa= Ahalyaa

Kaakanaasuraa= Tadakaa

Khukhan= Guhan

Mongkut= Kusa (Rama’s son)

Vajmrga=Vaalmiiki

Satrud= Satrughna

Khrut= Garuda

Lak= Lakshmana

Pulastya= Lastian

Bibhek= Vibhishana

Chiuha= Vidyukkja

Monto=Mandodari

Totskan= Ravana (Dasa kantha)

 

The following have distorted spelling but easily recognisable:

Siidaa (Sita Devi),Phaali (Vaali), Sukrip= Sugreevan, Intharachit (Indrajit), Kumphakhan (Kumbakarna)

 

New names which are not identifiable:

Benchakai, Maiyaraab, Maalivaggabrahmaa, Suvannamachchaaa, Machchaanu, Mahaapaal, Debaasura and Unraaj

 

Here is the story:-

It is not divided into cantos but divided into three parts .

The Benchaki episode, the Maiyaraab episode and several other episodes are new; not found in the Valmiki Ramayana

Benchakaai Episode; Hanuman had a son!

Ravana ordered Banshakaai, a demoness to take  the form of Sita, feign dead and float down the river near Rama to dupe him. After Hanuman and Sugreeva captured her she revealed her identity. Rama forgave her when he came to know it was Vibhishana’s daughter and asked Hanuman to take her out of Lanka. Hanuman made love to her and she bore him a son called Asuraphad.

 

Hanuman’s Second Son

When building the bridge and Hanuman and civil engineer Nilan had a fight and so Rama punished both. Nilan was sent to Sugreevan as servant and Hanuman was ordered to finish the bridge work in seven days. When all stones he put disappeared he went down the sea and met a beauty Suvannamachchaa (Suvarna Matsya= Gold Fish); Hanuman fell in love with her and they had a son;  his name was Machchaanu (Fish).

 

Maiyaraab episode

Ravana asked his friend Maiyaraab, King of Patala (under water world). Maiyaraab went to Rama’s camp, sprinkled sleeping powder and brought unconscious Rama to Patala. Sugreevan found it and sent Hanuman to rescue him. He sought his son Macchaanu help him.

 

 

Episode of Maalivaggabrahmaa

 

When demons fell one after another at Rama’s arrow, Ravana got worried and asked his grandfather Maalivaraja Brahma to pronounce an impartial judgement in the case. He accused Rama of great many things. Brahma listened to both the sides in the no man’s land (battle field) in the presence of Devas and found Ravana guilty. Thus Ravana’s plan got totally misfired.

 

–to be continued………………

 

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–