The Ramayana Quiz

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By jwblackwell

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Summary

The Rāmāyaṇa is an ancient Sanskrit epic from India, one of the two important epics of Hinduism, the other being the Mahābhārata.

It narrates the life of Rama, a legendary prince of Ayodhya in the kingdom of Kosala, and follows his fourteen-year exile to the forest, travels across forests in the Indian subcontinent with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana, and Rama's eventual return to Ayodhya to be crowned king.

The scholars' estimates for the earliest stage of the text ranging from the 8th to 4th centuries BCE, and later stages extending up to the 3rd century CE, although the original date of composition is unknown.

It is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature and consists of nearly 24,000 verses, divided into seven Khanda (parts) the first and the seventh being later additions.

The genre of the Ramayana is Itihasa, narratives of past events (purāvṛtta), interspersed with teachings on the goals of human life.

There are many versions of Ramayana in Indian languages, besides Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain adaptations, as well as Cambodian, Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Lao, Burmese, and Malay versions of the tale.

The Ramayana was an important influence on later Sanskrit poetry and the Hindu life and culture, and its main characters were fundamental to the cultural consciousness of a number of nations, both Hindu and Buddhist.

The name Rāmāyaṇa means "Rama's progress", with ayana altered to ayaṇa due to the Sanskrit grammar rule of internal sandhi.

Valmiki's Ramayana is an epic poem of some 24,000 verses, divided into seven kāṇḍas (parts) and about 500 sargas (chapters).

According to Robert P. Goldman, the oldest parts of the Ramayana date to the mid-8th century BCE.

The Ramayana text has several regional renderings, recensions, and sub-recensions, with two major regional revisions: the northern (n) and the southern (s).

There has been discussion as to whether the first and the last volumes of Valmiki's Ramayana were composed by the original author.

The Ramayana depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal husband, and the ideal king.Summary of Ramayana

  • Ramayana is an ancient Indian epic that tells the story of Prince Rama's quest to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana.

  • The story is divided into seven books or kandas, each focusing on a different aspect of the story.

  • The first book, Balakanda, tells the story of Rama's childhood and his marriage to Sita.

  • The second book, Ayodhyakanda, covers Rama's exile from his kingdom and his journey to the forest with Sita and his brother Lakshmana.

  • The third book, Aranyakanda, tells the story of Rama's time in the forest and his encounter with Surpanakha, Ravana's sister.

  • The fourth book, Kishkindhakanda, covers Rama's alliance with the monkey king Sugriva and his search for Sita.

  • The fifth book, Sundarakanda, focuses on Hanuman's journey to Lanka to find Sita and his subsequent adventures there.

  • The sixth book, Yuddhakanda, tells the story of the war between Rama's army and Ravana's army and Rama's victory.

  • The seventh book, Uttarakanda, covers Rama's reign as king and the birth of his sons Lava and Kusha, as well as Sita's exile and eventual reunion with Rama.

  • There are many regional versions of the Ramayana in India, with some differing significantly from each other.

  • The epic has a strong influence on Indian culture and religion, and is still widely read and performed today.

  • The Ramayana also has versions in other Southeast Asian countries, such as Indonesia, Cambodia, and Thailand.

  • The discovery of a 6th-century manuscript in West Bengal revealed insights into the evolution of the narrative and the missing chapters in the recension.

  • Tamil literature also has references to the story of Ramayana, implying that the story was familiar in the Tamil lands even before the Common Era.Different Versions of the Ramayana

  • The Ramayana has various versions across different cultures and religions.

  • The Buddhist version of the Ramayana has some variations from the Hindu version. It does not include the abduction of Sita and there is no Ravana or Rama-Ravana war. Instead, Ravana appears in other Buddhist literature, the Lankavatara Sutra.

  • Jain versions of the Ramayana can be found in various Jain agamas. In the Jain epic of Ramayana, it is not Rama but Lakshmana who kills Ravana. Rama renounces his kingdom and becomes a Jain monk.

  • In the holiest Sikh scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, there is a description of two types of Ramayana. One is a spiritual Ramayana which is the actual subject of Guru Granth Sahib, while the other is a historical account of King Rama.

  • Nepal has two regional variants of the Ramayana – one written by Bhanubhakta Acharya and the other by Siddhidas Mahaju in Nepal Bhasa.

  • Cambodia's version of the Ramayana is called Reamker, which shows the balance of good and evil in the world. It has several differences from the original Ramayana, including scenes not included in the original and emphasis on Hanuman and Sovann Maccha.

  • The Javanese Kakawin Ramayana is not based on Valmiki's epic but based on Ravanavadha or the "Ravana massacre". The Balinese Ramakavaca is a further development of Kakawin Ramayana.

  • The Burmese version of Ramayana is called Yama Zatdaw. It is heavily influenced by Ramakien (Thai version of Ramayana).

  • The Maharadia Lawana, an epic poem of the Maranao people of the Philippines, has been regarded as an indigenized version of the Ramayana.

  • Thailand's popular national epic Ramakien has an expanded role for Hanuman and he is portrayed as a white monkey. Sita is the daughter of Ravana and Mandodari.The Ramayana: A Literary Masterpiece That Influenced Art and Culture Across the Globe

  • The Ramayana is an ancient Indian epic poem that tells the story of Rama, a prince who sets out to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana.

  • The text is composed of seven books and over 24,000 verses, and is attributed to the sage Valmiki.

  • The Ramayana has had a profound impact on art and culture in the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia.

  • The story has inspired many secondary works in various languages, including the Kambaramayanam by Tamil poet Kambar, the Telugu language Molla Ramayanam by poet Molla, and the 16th century Awadhi version, Ramacharitamanas, written by Tulsidas.

  • Ramayanic scenes have been depicted through terracottas, stone sculptures, bronzes, and paintings.

  • The Ramayana became popular in Southeast Asia during the 8th century and was represented in literature, temple architecture, dance, and theatre.

  • Today, dramatic enactments of the story of the Ramayana, known as Ramlila, take place all across India and in many places across the globe within the Indian diaspora.

  • Multiple modern, English-language adaptations of the epic exist, namely Ram Chandra Series by Amish Tripathi, Ramayana Series by Ashok Banker and a mythopoetic novel, Asura: Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelakantan.

  • One of the best-known Ramayana plays is Gopal Sharman's The Ramayana, a contemporary interpretation in English, of the great epic based on the Valmiki Ramayana.

  • Rampur is the most common name for villages and towns across the nation particularly UP, Bihar, and West Bengal.

  • In Indonesia, especially Java and Bali, Ramayana has become a popular source of artistic expression for dance drama and shadow puppet performances in the region.

  • The critical edition of the text was compiled in India in the 1960s and 1970s, by the Oriental Institute at Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India, utilizing dozens of manuscripts collected from across India and the surrounding region.

Description

How much do you know about the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana? Test your knowledge with our quiz and discover fascinating details about the story of Prince Rama's quest to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana. From the different versions of the Ramayana across cultures and religions to the impact of the epic on art and culture, this quiz will challenge and enlighten you. Don't miss this opportunity to delve deeper into one of the largest ancient epics in world literature

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