Main character of Ramayana

Ram is known as the son of Lord Surya and Seventh Avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. However, in Valmiki Ramayana, he was the son of Lord Sun (also surya). When king Dashrath conducted the sacrifice, lord sun presented his portion Rama. Rama's character purely resembles Karna(the chief protagonist of the Mahabharata). Both were the protagonists of the two greatest epics. Both were the eldest brother but however Yudhisthira and Bharat were crowned the king. Both had to be deceived by their mother-Kunti and Kaikeyi. Both were the most handsome good-looking person of their respective eras. Both learnt weaponry through the greatest teacher of all time- Parshurama and Vishwamitra. Despite being a part of royal family, they had to suffer their entire life. Both possessed not more than 1 wife. Both possessed the bow of Shiva. Parshurama too had a place in the epic of Mahabharata and Ramayana because of the protagonist of the epics- Lord Rama and Karna.

Depiction of Ram

Indra and Sumitra gave birth to Shatrughana and Lakshmana. Lakshmana and Shatrughana were twins. Kaikeyi and Lord Yama gave birth to Bharat. Lord Rama was born through Lord Surya.

According to Puranas, Rama, Karna and Shani are three portions of Surya. They are regarded as greatest of all men.

Rama is said to have been born to Kaushalya and Dasharatha in Ayodhya, the ruler of the Kingdom of Kosala. His siblings included Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. He married Sita. Though born in a royal family, their life is described in the Hindu texts as one challenged by unexpected changes such as an exile into impoverished and difficult circumstances, ethical questions and moral dilemmas.[1] Of all their travails, the most notable is the kidnapping of Sita by demon-king Ravana, followed by the determined and epic efforts of Rama and Lakshmana to gain her freedom and destroy the evil Ravana against great odds. The entire life story of Rama, Sita and their companions allegorically discusses duties, rights and social responsibilities of an individual. It illustrates dharma and dharmic living through model characters.[1][2]

Rama is especially important to Vaishnavism. He is the central figure of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, a text historically popular in the South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures.[3][4][5] His ancient legends have attracted bhasya (commentaries) and extensive secondary literature and inspired performance arts. Two such texts, for example, are the Adhyatma Ramayana – a spiritual and theological treatise considered foundational by Ramanandi monasteries,[6] and the Ramcharitmanas – a popular treatise that inspires thousands of Ramlila festival performances during autumn every year in India.[7][8][9]

Rama legends are also found in the texts of Jainism and Buddhism, though he is sometimes called Pauma or Padma in these texts,[10] and their details vary significantly from the Hindu versions.[11] Jain Texts also mentioned Rama as the eighth balabhadra among the 63 salakapurusas.[12][13][14] In Sikhism, Rama is mentioned as one of twenty four divine incarnations of Vishnu in the Chaubis Avtar in Dasam Granth.[15]

Several temples use the name of Rama. Ram Temple is located in Ayodhya, India.

Etymology and nomenclature change

Rāma is a Vedic Sanskrit word with two contextual meanings. In one context as found in Atharva Veda, as stated by Monier Monier-Williams, means "dark, dark-colored, black" and is related to the term ratri which means night. In another context as found in other Vedic texts, the word means "pleasing, delightful, charming, beautiful, lovely".[16][17] The word is sometimes used as a suffix in different Indian languages and religions, such as Pali in Buddhist texts, where -rama adds the sense of "pleasing to the mind, lovely" to the composite word.[18]

Rama as a first name appears in the Vedic literature, associated with two patronymic names – Margaveya and Aupatasvini – representing different individuals. A third individual named Rama Jamadagnya is the purported author of hymn 10.110 of the Rigveda in the Hindu tradition.[16] The word Rama appears in ancient literature in reverential terms for three individuals:[16]

  1. Parashu-rama, as the sixth avatar of Vishnu. He is linked to the Rama Jamadagnya of the Rigveda fame.
  2. Rama-chandra, as the seventh avatar of Vishnu and of the ancient Ramayana fame.
  3. Bala-rama, also called Halayudha, as the elder brother of Krishna both of whom appear in the legends of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

The name Rama appears repeatedly in Hindu texts, for many different scholars and kings in mythical stories.[16] The word also appears in ancient Upanishads and Aranyakas layer of Vedic literature, as well as music and other post-Vedic literature, but in qualifying context of something or someone who is "charming, beautiful, lovely" or "darkness, night".[16]

The Vishnu avatar named Rama is also known by other names. He is called Ramachandra (beautiful, lovely moon),[17] or Dasarathi (son of Dasaratha), or Raghava (descendant of Raghu, solar dynasty in Hindu cosmology).[16][19] He is also known as Ram Lalla (Infant form of Rama).[20]

Additional names of Rama include Ramavijaya (Javanese), Phreah Ream (Khmer), Phra Ram (Lao and Thai), Megat Seri Rama (Malay), Raja Bantugan (Maranao), Ramudu (Telugu), Ramar (Tamil).[21] In the Vishnu sahasranama, Rama is the 394th name of Vishnu. In some Advaita Vedanta inspired texts, Rama connotes the metaphysical concept of Supreme Brahman who is the eternally blissful spiritual Self (Atman, soul) in whom yogis delight nondualistically.[22]

The root of the word Rama is ram- which means "stop, stand still, rest, rejoice, be pleased".[17]

According to Douglas Q. Adams, the Sanskrit word Rama is also found in other Indo-European languages such as Tocharian ram, reme, *romo- where it means "support, make still", "witness, make evident".[17][23] The sense of "dark, black, soot" also appears in other Indo European languages, such as *remos or Old English romig.[24][lower-greek 1]

Ram Mandir ("Rama Temple") change

The Ram Mandir (lit. 'Rama Temple') is a Hindu temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India. Many Hindus believe that it is located at the site of Ram Janmabhoomi, the mythical birthplace of Rama, a principal deity of Hinduism.

Legends change

This summary is a traditional legendary account, based on literary details from the Ramayana and other historic mythology-containing texts of Buddhism and Jainism. According to Sheldon Pollock, the figure of Rama incorporates more ancient "morphemes of Indian myths", such as the mythical legends of Bali and Namuci. The ancient sage Valmiki used these morphemes in his Ramayana similes as in sections 3.27, 3.59, 3.73, 5.19 and 29.28.[26]

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Notes change

  1. The legends found about Rama, state Mallory and Adams, have "many of the elements found in the later Welsh tales such as Branwen Daughter of Llyr and Manawydan Son of Lyr. This may be because the concept and legends have deeper ancient roots.[25]

Citations change

  1. 1.0 1.1 William H. Brackney (2013). Human Rights and the World's Major Religions, 2nd Edition. ABC-CLIO. pp. 238–239. ISBN 978-1-4408-2812-6.
  2. Roderick Hindery (1978). Comparative Ethics in Hindu and Buddhist Traditions. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 95–124. ISBN 978-81-208-0866-9.
  3. Vālmīki (1990). The Ramayana of Valmiki: Balakanda. Translated by Goldman, Robert P. Princeton University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-4008-8455-1.
  4. Dimock Jr, E.C. (1963). "Doctrine and Practice among the Vaisnavas of Bengal". History of Religions. 3 (1): 106–127. doi:10.1086/462474. JSTOR 1062079. S2CID 162027021.
  5. Marijke J. Klokke (2000). Narrative Sculpture and Literary Traditions in South and Southeast Asia. BRILL. pp. 51–57. ISBN 90-04-11865-9.
  6. Ramdas Lamb 2012, p. 28.
  7. Schechner, Richard; Hess, Linda (1977). "The Ramlila of Ramnagar [India]". The Drama Review: TDR. 21 (3). The MIT Press: 51–82. doi:10.2307/1145152. JSTOR 1145152.
  8. James G. Lochtefeld 2002, p. 389.
  9. Jennifer Lindsay (2006). Between Tongues: Translation And/of/in Performance in Asia. National University of Singapore Press. pp. 12–14. ISBN 978-9971-69-339-8.
  10. Roshen Dalal 2010, pp. 337–338.
  11. Peter J. Claus; Sarah Diamond; Margaret Ann Mills (2003). South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia : Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Taylor & Francis. p. 508. ISBN 978-0-415-93919-5.
  12. King, Anna S. (2005). The intimate other: love divine in Indic religions. Orient Blackswan. pp. 32–33. ISBN 978-81-250-2801-7.
  13. Matchett, Freda (2001). Krishna, Lord or Avatara?: the relationship between Krishna and Vishnu. 9780700712816. pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-0-7007-1281-6.
  14. James G. Lochtefeld 2002, pp. 72–73.
  15. Robin Rinehart 2011, pp. 14, 28–30.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 "Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary --र". sanskrit.inria.fr. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Asko Parpola (1998). Studia Orientalia, Volume 84. Finnish Oriental Society. p. 264. ISBN 978-951-9380-38-4.
  18. Thomas William Rhys Davids; William Stede (1921). Pali-English Dictionary. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 521. ISBN 978-81-208-1144-7.
  19. Wagenaar, Hank W.; Parikh, S. S. (1993). Allied Chambers transliterated Hindi-Hindi-English dictionary. Allied Publishers. p. 528. ISBN 978-81-86062-10-4.
  20. "Ayodhya Case Verdict: Who is Ram Lalla Virajman, the 'Divine Infant' Given the Possession of Disputed Ayodhya Land". News18. 9 November 2019. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  21. Rajarajan, R.K.K. (2001). Sītāpaharaṇam: Changing thematic Idioms in Sanskrit and Tamil. In Dirk W. Lonne ed. Tofha-e-Dil: Festschrift Helmut Nespital, Reinbeck, 2 vols., pp. 783-97. pp. 783–797. ISBN 3-88587-033-9.
  22. Ramdas Lamb 2012, p. 31.
  23. Adams; Douglas Q. Adams (2013). A Dictionary of Tocharian B: Revised and Greatly Enlarged. Rodopi. p. 587. ISBN 978-90-420-3671-0.
  24. Maloory and en 1997, p. 160.
  25. Maloory and en 1997, p. 165.
  26. Vālmīki; Sheldon I. Pollock (2007). The Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki: An Epic of Ancient India. Araṇyakāṇḍa. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 41 with footnote 83. ISBN 978-81-208-3164-3.
  27. Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1994). Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema. British Film Institute. ISBN 9780851704555.

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Further reading change

Preceded by
King of Kosala Succeeded by
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Treta Yuga
Succeeded by