Cover Story: 5 stories from the Ramayana that you haven’t heard before-a brunch feature


Valmica’s were long composed by Ramayana. We don’t know when. Archaeologists refer to the Vedic period around 1000 BC in the Ganges Valley. But the Sanskrit documents that tell this story are only 2000 years old, suggesting a long period of oral history. Fifteen hundred years ago the Sanskrit epic was associated with the kingdom, and we find royal records such as Ramakia and Ramakirti to Southeast Asia, where history travelled with the sea merchants.

The Ramanand Sagar in the Ramayan is based on the story of Avadhi Tulsidas, but it is not the national Ramayan.

The compilation of the Ramayana in the regional languages began about 1000 years ago with the rewriting of Kamban in Tamil. Since then we have paraphrases on Telugu, Odiya, Assam, Bengal, Kannada, Malalama and several Hindu dialects. They established Rama as an icon for Bhakti and Rama as a form of God. The extremely popular Ramayana of the 20th century. The nineteenth-century television made by Ramanand Sagar is mainly based on the Ramayana Awadhi of Tulsidas, but it is not a national Ramayana, just as Hindi is not a national language in spite of politics.

Most Indians listen to the Ramayan in local languages, based on the regional epic
Parth Garg

Here are five episodes of the Ramayana that you may never have heard before, among the many versions of the epic that were written in despicable literature between the 15th and 18th centuries. Don’t forget that most Indians listen to the Ramayan in the local languages, inspired by regional epics. They remind us of the vast spaces of the Aries in Indian art and culture, unbridled by ideology.

Herons, Cranes and Roosters

How did the rooster get the gun?

The kidnapping of Sita, as can be seen in the Odysha Shadow Theatre, known as Rabana Chaya.

When the cock unveiled Sita Ravana’s kidnapping, Ram offered her a golden crown…

When Ram returned from a deer hunt and found his house empty, he feared the worst and began to cry. Heron said that Sita, maybe tired of living in the woods, ran off with someone. The ram furiously grabbed at his neck, which is why his neck is twisted. The crane then informed him that Sita had been kidnapped by Ravana. That her tears fell on the body of the crane, that’s why the bird is white. Relieved by what he heard, Ram said the crane could relax in the rain and that his wife would feed him with the fish he had caught. Crane didn’t like the idea. He said he couldn’t eat his wife’s jute, to which Aries answered: You don’t have a problem kissing, but you do have a problem eating your Jouta. Why is that? The crane apologized for this recklessness. The rooster also confirmed that the culprit was indeed Ravana. So Aries offered him a golden crown. The rooster refused and said that the people were already after his flesh, he didn’t want them to attack his golden crown. So Aries gave him a crown of red flesh called a cock gun.

From the folk tales of Odiya and Ramalila d’Ananga Narendra (18th century)

Sampati and Sita Wing View

Sampati lost his son, whom Sita noticed in Lanka, but he was able to give her her wings back.

The son of Sampati saw the Vanari during the Puri Sahi Jatra.

When he helped the monkeys to find Sita with her son, Sampatis’ wings began to grow again.

In Odisha during a carnival in the Puri Temple, known as Sahi Jatra, we find an enormous bird with eight monkeys (ashtan malla, or eight soldiers) on its wings. This bird has been identified as the son of Sampati, who carries vanaras (monkeys), including Hanuman, high up in the sky to show them Lanka. Sampati was Jatayu’s older brother who burned his wings and protected Jatayu from the burning rays of the sun. He lived on the south coast and ate corpses. He found some Vanadas who looked disappointed and determined to starve instead of going home as losers because they couldn’t find Sita’s location. When he heard the monkeys talking about Aries and Jaya, he was excited. The wise man told him he would get his wings back if he would help Aries find Sita. Sampati ordered his son to carry the monkeys on his wings high in the air until they saw Lanka in the middle of the sea. Sampati’s son did as he was told, and the monkeys on his wings saw Lanka. But only Sampati’s son could see Sita, because birds can see better than monkeys. When he helped the monkeys to find Sita with her son, Sampatis’ wings began to grow again.

By Sri Rama Bilas Dhananja Banji (17th century).

Mango Sabari looking for Sita.

When Lord Ram reformed the caste system.

Wooden art of Jagannath’s carriage depicting a ram shooting an arrow.

Aries eat mangos with bite marks, not those without, thus rejecting the rules of purity of the boxes.

The story of the Ram eating Ber-juota (berries to taste) Sabari does not appear in the Ramayana of Valmiki or Tulsi, but in the Bhakti-rash-bodhini Priyadas, a collection of stories of Vaishnava saints written in the 18th century. Century in Braj Bhas were written. But 200 years earlier in Odiya Ramayana we find a story that may have inspired us. During the search Sita Ram meets a tribal man (Sabara) and a tribal woman (Sabari), who wash her legs and offer her mangos. Ram noticed she had mangoes, all with bite marks. But she offers him Sundari mangoes with no teeth marks. Aries says: How do you know this one’s as good as the others? They didn’t try. Give me the one you know is delicious. For example, Aries eats mangos with bite marks instead of mangos without bite marks, thus rejecting the rules of caste purity.

From Dundee Ramayan Matt Balaram Das (15th century)

What if Ravana shows remorse?

Lord Ram keeps his word and his promises.

Lakshman and the bears prepare the arrows of Aries, as can be seen in Odisha’s fresco.

When Ravana gets Sitha back, Ram said, I will always keep my promise and make Wibhishan king, but not Ayodhiah, but Lanka.

When Ravana learns that Ram has reached the coast, he arrogantly claims that Ram will be so disappointed by the sea that he will surely commit suicide. Wibhishana tries to talk to her brother, but Ravana kicks him out. So Wibhishana travels by sea and becomes an ally of Aries. Aries announces his intentions (sancalpa): I’m going to kill Ravana and make Wibhishana the king of Lanka! But still uncertain, Sugriva says: What if Ravana repents, brings Sita back and falls at your feet? What are you gonna do? Rams answer: I will always keep my promise and make Wibhishan the king, but not of Lanka, but of Iodhue. And then I’m going into the woods. He reminds us all that Aries always keeps his word.

By Ragab Bilas Utkala-Ganta Jadumani Mahapatra (18th century).

Jellyfish and Ravana Umbrella…

…and the origin of mushrooms on Earth!

The ram topples Ravana’s umbrella, as can be seen in the art of the Odyssey Temple.

Fishermen still call jellyfish Odias Rabana Chatta or umbrellas Ravana.

After reaching Lanka, Ram and Sugreeva climb Mount Suvala to visit the city. Ravana also climbs up into the sky on his Viman to see Rama and his army. Ravana is beautiful with hundreds of royal umbrellas adorning the flying throne. Ram raises his bow and shoots an arrow and shoots the royal umbrellas of Ravana, which fall to the ground and into the sea. Those that fall to the ground become mushrooms. Those who fall into the sea turn into jelly. This episode is called Chattra Katta, or umbrella cutting. Even today the fishermen of Odiya still call the jellyfish Rabana Chatta or the umbrellas Ravana.

According to the oral folk traditions of the fisherman Odishi…

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From 24. May 2020