The Ramayana, 2012-10-10
The Ramayana, popular epic of the Indian culture
Still told and retold in the Indian culture,
o Dance, play, song, comic books, movies. Basically every medium
Ramayana Re-enactment, Dussehra Celebrations
o About the return of Rama and Sita after their journey
All of the above is basically irrelevant in this class apparently
The Ramayana’s antiquity
Many versions of the story, but they all seem to start with the Valmiki story
400-200 BCE (books 2-6)
o Later than the Odyssey, before Aeneid
Many different versions for the culture that it was written in
A living story, extends throughout history
Different status for writers
Most important way to tell a story was through memory
o Text as a written document was only used really to make memorization easier
From one Guru to a disciple, and repeat
Ramayana in a written text
The Ramayana was like this, with maybe a parallel written text
o The scene with a hunter killed a songbird with an arrow. Valmiki cursed the Hunter.
o The disciple’s are using the writing
o Valmiki discovers the poetic meter
Valmiki is the first poet and creates the first poem of India
Interesting way because it creates a beginning to poetry
The reason why there aren’t as many texts for the Ramayana is because they didn’t know what
durable materials were. Burch Bark, Palm Leaves
The truth to the story isn’t just in the written text itself, it’s different. It’s the re-enactment of
the story, Dharma
The Banishment of Rama.
The recognition of a rule that orders the universe, a divine principle of order so your life can be
more or less aligned. It manifests itself differently for different people at different times. That’s
why the banishment is specific to Rama, because it was Rama’s purpose in life.
Rama’s stepmother has a boon, two wishes many years ago.
o Make my son king instead of Rama
o Banish Rama into the forest for fourteen years
The king didn’t want to, but he had to make a promise
o Talked in a distant voice barley her own.
o The girl is a total bitch
Dharma isn’t an ethical choice for the singular person, but for the whole of the universe. Think
the idea to ‘yes-man’
Rama believes in Dharma, so he has no choice but to be okay with being sent to the forest
instead of being king.