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The Ramayana

Universal Appeal of the Ramayana


Rama's Durbar: The Court of King Rama

Rama's Durbar: The Court of King Rama

Universally regarded as one of the world's most important literary works, Ramayana has had a profound impact on the art, culture, family relations, gender, politics, nationalism and militancy in the Indian sub continent. The everlasting value of this epic tale has been extolled through the centuries, and it has helped in molding the Hindu character largely. However, it would be wrong to say that Ramayana belongs only to the Hindus.

The Ramayana in Southeast Asia

Long ago, the Ramayana became popular in Southeast Asia and manifested itself in text, temple architecture and performance, particularly in Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia. Today, it belongs to the whole humanity because it is capable of serving as a code of ethics for all human beings, irrespective of caste, creed, color and religion.

Unparalleled Popularity of the Ramayana

The characters and incidents in Ramayana provide the ideals and wisdom of common life, and help to bind the people of India, regardless of caste and language. No wonder, two of India's greatest festive events - Dusshera and Diwali are directly motivated by the Ramayana. The first commemorates the siege of Lanka and Rama's victory over Ravana; the second, the festival of lights, celebrates Rama and Sita's homecoming to their kingdom in Ayodhya.

International Ramayana Conference

Every year scholars from different countries get together for the International Ramayana Conference (IRC), which includes presentations on various themes and workshops based on Ramayana. The IRC was held in India three times, two times in Thailand and one time each in Canada, Nepal, Mauritius, Surinam, Belgium, Indonesia, the Netherlands, China, Trinidad & Tobago and the US.
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