The Cultural Impacts Of The Ramayana

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INTRODUCTION: Written over 2,500 years ago, the Ramayana has inspired and captured the imagination of several generations of Indians. Internationally, the Ramayana is renowned as one of the most famous epics ever produced by humanity. The authorship of Ramayana is attributed to the legendary poet, Valmiki, who created the foundations of Sanskrit poetry. Over 24,000 slokas or verses reflect the way of life, culture and even the politics of an ancient era. The cultural impact of the Ramayana is still prominently present in the nations of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and even East Asian countries such as Malaysia and Cambodia. The story of Lord Rama accentuates very subtle facets of his personality; and by extension, those of our own. The text aims to teach us moral lessons of the philosophy of Dharma. Rama, the protagonist of this historic epic, is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The eldest son of King Dasharatha and heir to throne of Ayodhya must leave home, owing his exile to the cruel manipulations of his step mother, Dasharatha’s second queen Kaikeyi and her maid servant Manthara. Yet his role, in a more cosmic sense is more than just that of an obedient son of a just king. As the incarnation of Vishnu, the Preserver, he is fated to go up against and eventually defeat the powerful, malevolent demon king Ravana, a plight on Earth and in the heavens alike. Ram’s trials and adventures paint the picture of the perfect individual, unbendable, virtuous and indomitable.

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