How many versions/types of Ramayana are there?


Depending upon the strategies for tallying, upwards of 300 versions of the Indian epic sonnet, the Ramayana, are known to exist. 

The most seasoned version is by and large perceived to be the Sanskrit version credited to the sage Valmiki. 

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The Ramayana has spread to numerous Asian nations outside of India, including Burma, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, and China. The first Valmiki version has been adjusted or converted into different territorial dialects, which have regularly been checked pretty much by unexpected developments and topical variations. A portion of the significant transformations of the exemplary story incorporate the twelfth century Tamil language Ramavataram, the Khmer Reamker, the Old Javanese Kakawin Ramayana, and the Thai Ramakien and the Laos Phra Lak Phra Lam. 

Let’s know about the different versions of Ramayana

Sage Valmiki composed the complete version of the Ramayana we as a whole know and love, however upwards of 300 unique versions of the epic are known to exist. Truth be told, the mammoth content even has versions that started outside India. These versions can be found in China, Japan, Iran, Indonesia, and Cambodia, among others. Here are a portion of the instances of these, both inside India and from abroad: 

The Ramavataram: 

Written by the unbelievable Tamil artist Kambar under the support of the Pannai kula clan leader Thiruvennal Nallur Sadayappa Vallal, the epic work depends on Valmiki’s work, however contrasts in explicit episodes in the storyline and profound perspectives. This is principally on the grounds that when in Valmiki’s version, Rama is a human sovereign while, when Kambar composes his version, Rama has effectively been revered as a manifestation of Vishnu himself. So when Rama slaughters Vaali from his concealing spot, he doesn’t want to account for himself, as he satisfied his kshatriya obligation. Nonetheless, when a similar occurrence is retold by Kambar, Rama clarifies his activities many occasions over as tune. Indeed, even easily overlooked details like the way in which Ravana kidnaps Sita is shown in an unexpected way. In Valmiki’s version, Ravana snatches Sita by her hair and cranes her over his shoulders. In any case, in Kambar’s version, Ravana takes her off the ground with the piece of the earth she is remaining on, with not so much as a fingernail contacting her.  

The Ranganatha Ramayana: 

It is the most popular Telugu adaptation of the epic written by the well known writer Ranganatha somewhere in the range of 1300 and 1310 AD; there are more than 40 variations in Telugu, however just four cover the aggregate of the story. Ranganatha Ramayana is renowned for presenting the mythical squirrel episode; when the vanaras were assisting Rama with building a scaffold to Lanka, a modest squirrel chose to do its touch and help out. As an offer of his appreciation, Rama favors the animal by drawing three lines on its back with his fingers. 

A wall painting dependent on the Reamker at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Picture; Wikimedia Commons 

The Reamker: 

A version of the Ramayana that began in Cambodia, the epic expands on its Hindu roots and gives it shades of Buddhist way of thinking. In a real sense meant ‘Wonder of Rama’, the story features the clash of good and wickedness, and plays on topics like equity and constancy through Phreah Rama (Ram), Neang Seda (Sita) and Krong Reap (Ravana). In this version, there are new characters presented like Sovanna Maccha, a mermaid who Hanuman experiences on his excursions. Like most South Asian massages, the Reamker isn’t restricted to its artistic structure, yet is retold through all fine arts, from figures to move dramatization, music to works of art. Scenes from the epic show up as sanctuary works of art and are said to have enhanced the extraordinary sanctuary of Angkor Wat. 

The Javanese gatekeeper soul Semar and his three embraced children, as portrayed in Javanese shadow puppetry. Picture: WIkimedia Commons 

Kakawin Ramayana: 

The Japanese version of the epic is viewed as the apex of beautiful articulation in Indonesia and has a ton of contrasts from Valmiki’s unique. While the main half actually coordinates with its Sanskrit archetype for its vast majority, the subsequent half sees the presentation of the almighty Jawanese watchman soul, Semar, and his immense children, Gareng, Petruk and Bagong. These four characters are staples in Javanese shadow puppetry or ‘Wayang’, and appear as funny workers to the saint, for this situation, Prince Rama. Strangely, in this version, Hanuman is viewed as the lord of the monkeys, not Valid or Sugriva like in the first. Researchers say that the principal half depends more on the artist’s Bhatti’s Ravanavadha, written in the sixth or seventh century, instead of Valmiki’s Ramayana. 

This epic sonnet has left its impact in India as well as on different nations in Southeast Asia. 

Initially written in Sanskrit by sage Valmiki, the Ramayana has been deciphered in various manners in these nations. These transformations take the fundamental plot of Valmiki’s Ramayana yet change it as indicated by the way of life of their own networks. It is then addressed in various manners in their writing, dance, theater and furthermore sanctuary engineering. 

With various versions in India itself, there are around 300 variations of the Ramayana. A portion of the mainstream ones are to be found in Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia, among different nations. 

1. The Buddhist version: 

In Dashratha Jataka, the Buddhist version of the Ramayana, Dashratha was the ruler of Kashi first and afterward of Ayodhya. In any case, the central matter of takeoff from Valmiki’s version in this Ramayana is that Rama, Sita and Lakshmana were shipped off an isolation in the Himalayas for a very long time by Dashratha to shield them from his over driven third spouse Kalyani, rather than being expelled from the realm as is prominently accepted. 

This is one of those uncommon versions of the story that has no notice of the kidnapping of Sita. 

2. The Jain version: 

In this version, Rama is a supporter of peacefulness. Along these lines, it is Lakshmana who executes Ravana and the two of them take a hike. Rama, eventually, disavows his realm and turns into a Jain priest and ultimately accomplishes moksha. He likewise predicts that both Lakshmana and Ravana will be re-brought into the world as upstanding people and accomplish salvation. 

3. The Malay version: 

Hikayat Seri Rama, the Malay version of the epic sonnet, gives Lakshmana a bigger job and even expands his significance when contrasted with Rama in certain occurrences. Malay scholars and narrators have likewise celebrated Lakshmana’s mental fortitude. 

4. The Thai version: 

Quite possibly the most well known works of writing in Thailand, Ramakien is the Thai version of the Ramayana. It is viewed as Thailand’s public epic and impacts Thai writing, culture and workmanship. 

Despite the fact that the greater part of the narratives are equivalent to those in Valmiki’s version, Ramakien gives more significance to Hanuman. 

5. The Burmese version: 

The Burmese version of the Ramayana is known as Yama Zatdaw and is the informal public epic of Myanmar. The plot, the highlights and qualities of the characters continue as before in this version, the solitary contrast being the names, which are Burmese literal interpretations of the Sanskrit names.

Other striking versions include: 

  • Ramakien in Thailand 
  • Phra Lak Phra Ram in Laos 
  • Yama Zatdaw in Burma 
  • Saptakanda Ramayana in Assam 
  • Ramacharitam in Kerala 
  • And obviously, the writer Tulsidas’ renowned Ramcharitmanas

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