By Anshul Pandey
As we are celebrating Ram Navmi today hence lets gain some basic knowledge about our major Ramayanas. Ram has become a reality as he sits in his abode proudly. People calling him mythical character or imaginary King must be reeling in shame. Two Primary sources of information about Shri Ram are Valmiki’s Ramayan and Ramcharitmanas written by Tulsidas. Then of course there are umpteen number of books depicting the life of Shri Ram. Besides these two there are many other old scriptures written by other author’s about Shri Ram. Some of the books are:-
1) Valmiki Ramayan by Valmiki
2) Ram charitra manas by Tulsidas
3) Anand Ramayan unknown but attributed to Valmiki
4) Kamb Ramayan by Kamban
5) Kritivasi Ramayan by Krittibas
6) Katha Ramayan by Madhava Kandali
7) Bhavarth Ramayan by Eknath
8) Adhyatma Ramayan by Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan
9) Rangnath Ramayan by Buddha reddy.
10) The Oriya Dandi Ramayan by Balram Das
11) Bhanu bhakta Ramayan by Bhanu bhakt Acharya
Apart from minor differences, most of the narrative about Prabhu Ram is the same that is more or less they have many similarities with Valmiki’s Ramayan.
Some books mentioned above are not as widely read as Valmiki Ramayan and Ramcharitmanas. Valmiki was contemporary of Ram. So definitely, his writing cannot be something to be taken lightly. Today I want to refresh what many scholars who have deeply delved into the two primary Scriptures and found out some major differences in the two books.
1) Valmiki Ramayan(Balkand 9th Chapter) mentions about Dashrath’s daughter named Shanta but this is not mentioned in Ramcharit Manas. Dashrath gave his daughter Shanta to King Rompad.
2) Valmiki Ramayan mentions Sita’s exile after the coronation of Shri Ram, but this is not mentioned in Ramcharitmanas
3) Lakshman had drawn a line, known to everyone now as Lakshman Rekha to prevent Mata Sita from any harm, रक्षन्ति तवं……. This is mentioned in Ramcharit Manas but not in Valmiki Ramayan.
4) Strong legs of Angad cannot be lifted either by Ravan or his son Meghanad. These are not depicted in Valmiki Ramayan. But Ramcharitmanas clearly depicts this.
जो मम चरण सकसी सठ तारी।फिरहि राम सीता मैं हारी।
सुनहु सुभट सब कह दससीसा।
पद गहि धरणी पचारहु कीसा।
5) Ahilya episode also differs in both. Ahilya was rescued by Shri Ram when they were going to Mithila. Just a darshan of Shri Ram was enough for Ahilya to return to her former self as per Valmiki Ramayan
त्रयाणामपि लोकानां यावद् रामस्य.दर्शनम्।१६ बालकांड वाल्मीकि रामायण।
In Ramcharitmanas, Shri Ram had to touch Ahilya by his feet to rescue her from curse.
गौतम नारी श्राप बाद उपल देह धरि धीर।
चरण कमल रज चाहति कृपा करो रघुबीर।
Ramcharit Manas, Balkand doha 210
6) Valmiki Ramayan is written in sanskrit whereas Ramcharitmanas is in Awadhi as you all must have judged while going through this article.
7) Ramayan is written in Shlok form whereas Manas is written in Chaupai form.
8) There is no mention of Ahiravan and Mahiravan in both Ramayans. This episode is mentioned in Anand Ramayan.
9) Ramcharitmanas does not mention that all the dead Vanars were revived, but Valmiki Ramayan has mentioned this point. When Dashrath arrives in a Viman from Indra Lok and talks to his sons, a happy Indra wants to know what can he do for Prabhu Ram. Shri Ram requests Indra to revive all the dead Vanar’s.
मम् हेतोः पराक्रांता ये गतायमसादनम्।
ते सर्वे जीवितों प्राप्य समुत्तिष्ठन्तु वानराः। Yudhha kand 120.5
Although Valmiki Ramayan seems nearest as per narration of history of Shri Ram, but we cannot deny the narratives written in other Ramayan. But due to Kalp bhed or difference in each era or period of time because there was Ram in each and every Era. A Kalp means a period of time between creation or destruction of the world. So we find slight differences in these stories. Otherwise my personal view is that all these scriptures are generally authentic. The above mentioned differences are due to Kalp difference.
(The writer is an Author & Columnist. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)